Latitude 48° 14 North. Longitude 174° 26 West.
Almost midnight on the North Pacific, about 230 miles south of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. A heavy fog blankets the sea. There’s nothing but the wind spinning eddies through the mist.
Out of the darkness, a rumble grows. The water begins to vibrate. Suddenly, the prow of a massive ship splits the fog. Its steel hull rises seven stories above the water and stretches two football fields back into the night. A 15,683-horsepower engine roars through the holds, pushing 55,328 tons of steel. Crisp white capital letters — COUGAR ACE — spell the ship’s name above the ocean froth. A deep-sea car transport, its 14 decks are packed with 4,703 new Mazdas bound for North America. Estimated cargo value: $103 million.