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24th August, 2019


This morning dawned a little gloomy. The forecast was for clouds and showers, at least the day proved to remain dry and brightening a little in the afternoon.

We picked up our ‘jolly’ pilot at the station south of Karmoy. This Pilot station serves both the ports to the north, including Haugesund as well as Stavanger to the south. Basically, you arrive, turn left for Haugesund or turn right for Stavanger. We’ll be doing the ‘turn-right’ thing on Wednesday when inbound for Stavanger.

With the Pilot onboard at 0500, we turned north, or left, to passage up the inside of Karmoy Island to the west, with the sinuous mainland to the east. The first part of the passage inbound is not particularity attractive, perhaps ‘average’. However, about one hour out from the berth is it a nice Fjord-like passage.

I did the parking this morning, need to get my ‘eye-in’ as they say. You’ll probably recollect that I am very keen to train my younger officers to drive the ship, however, the first few ports, when back from leave, I do just to ensure I don’t forget how it’s done. Not that that is likely with over 6500 berthing/unberthing manoeuvres done in my career.

The approach in Haugesund is simple, you just need to remember that you run out of navigable water to the north as you park. In principle, don’t forget to stop.

The breeze was slight and thus berthing not requiring the service sf a tug today. We were parked and the ship cleared by the local authorities for our Guests to go ashore just before 0800, on time.

The berth area is not exactly a beautiful scene, its reasonably utilitarian, however the town is quaint, a few minutes’ walk away, and we get good feedback from our guests.

With the overcast day drawing to an end, the ship was made ready for departure. All tours back and positive comments by many.

At 1700 we let go the mooring lines and manoeuvred the vessel ‘around’ the knuckle, why was this required? There was a stiff breeze on the port quarter pining the ship to the berth, no opportunity to use the engines to lift the stern in these conditions. Using the ‘bend’ in the berth, I pushed the bow around that bend to cantilever the stern off the quay and into the wind. When about 60 degrees of the berth and the wind right astern, we manoeuvred into the wind and into clear water astern. A slick manoeuvre even though I say myself!

Completing the swing and proceeding out on the two hour pilotage, I handed the ‘charge’ of the ship to the Staff Captain, Simon, so that I could attend the Newcomers’ Cocktail party. Over two hundred first-time Saga cruisers this cruise; a high number.

See you in Bergan, the ‘wet-city’?!

Captain Stuart Horne

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.