14th April, 2019
What a day, what a day - absolutely gorgeous! After an evening of sailing through the Fjords in tranquil waters, we approached Rosendale at 0600 this morning. I was early because it was a tender port and we did not have the support of shore services, so my Tenders had to be top-notch. Tours were popular and we had a lot of enthusiastic guests to get ashore early doors, so our operation had to be slickety-quick.
My young cadet, Rosie, drove into the anchorage this morning, the first time she had taken the ‘Conn’ of a vessel. Anchoring is a good way to start you career in ship handling, although this anchorage was particularly critical. Why? As you probably aware Fjords are rather deep. In most Fjords the depths go from zero to 200 meters within a short distance from the shoreline. What we have to allow for, when anchoring, is the ships swinging circle, as the ship swings around its anchor. As you can understand, the more anchor cable you have out, the larger the swinging circle, needless to say, it’s never less than 350 meters because the ship is already 200 meters long. Thus anchoring in Fjords is a rare opportunity.
Anchoring a ship like the Saga Sapphire has a depth limit and my ‘limit’ is about 70 meters of water. Any deeper than that and we won’t have enough anchor cable to both reach the seabed and be long enough on the seabed to hold the ship. Whilst the anchor is key in holding the ship, the greater ‘holding’ power comes from the anchor cable embedded into the seabed. At Rosendale there is a small ‘shelf’ on which you can anchor - but the anchor, allowing for a 380 meters swinging circle, sits right on the edge of that shelf. Fifty meters the wrong way and your anchor will slide down into the deep! It was a good learning experience for Rosie and she did extremely well, benefitting hugely from the experience.
Being anchored for 0630, nice and early, gave the team ample time to be fully ready for our first tours where we had to have 140 ashore by 0900 and what a day. Glass-like Fjord waters, blue skies and stunning scenery. We were not alone this morning, the square-rigger Statsraad Lehmkuhl was close by. I do love to see these square-riggers in their full glory. This one was built, in 1914, as a German merchant training ship and named “GrossHerzog Friedrish August,, I find Saga Sapphire so much easier! She carries 22 sails with a sail area of 2026 square meters, that’s a lot of sail cloth!
Rosendale is a lovely picturesque port of call. It is not a ‘hive’ of activity, especially on a Sunday - but what a place to suck the beauty of life. The feedback from the Guest was absolutely great. So, the day drew to an end. With all our launches guest onboard and launches stowed, it was time to heave up the anchor. With this much cable out, it takes a fir while to bring the anchor home, 36 minutes in fact.
With the anchor aweigh at just before 1800 we made our way, initially retracing our morning passage, before heading out to the North Sea for our run down to the Pilot station for Stavanger. No ‘entertaining’ this evening. It was a long night last night, so I’m off early heading for the Duvet!
Captain Stuart Horne
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