28th August, 2019
We’re on our way back toward Dover, but what a fab day, rain showers included, stay in Stavanger.
It only seemed a few hours between leaving the bridge last night and rising for Pilotage this morning. The Pilot time was set for 0730, however it was a high-speed run from Skjolden to Stavanger and I was looking to save some nautical miles somewhere. The previous night, in discussion with our Pilot, it transpired that we could navigate inside the ‘base-line’ without a Pilot in certain areas.
One area permissible was passing inside Utsira, a well know name from the Shipping Forecast, North Utsira and South Utsira. Because it was inside the base-line, I felt it prudent to be on the Bridge, hence, late night - early morning. It was crisp morning this morning, bit of a sharp breeze coming in from the west, but the day was set to be fine. The Pilot embarked at 0730 and we made our way on a SSE’ly course towards the narrows, which lye just north of the Port.
Simon, Staffy, was driving in this morning and given the brisk-ish conditions we ordered a tug. A tug, it was a super tanker! It seemed it was the ‘maintenance’ season for tugs and the main harbour tugs had their engine undergoing overhauls. So, what was provided, a huge off-shore supply vessel with towing capabilities, this thing must have been half the size of the Saga Sapphire! Anyway, a highly manoeuvrable and capable vessel to assist us in our ‘swing’.
Simon took the ’Conn’ from the Pilot having passed through narrows, swinging bow to port and backing the stern down onto the berth. Nice manoeuvre by Simon and we were all set for our Guest to go ashore before 0900, on time.
It was a lovely day until 1730, just as the last tours were returning when the heavens opened, cats and dogs, stair-rods, whatever you phrase you can think of, it was the case. It was torrents of water. As we navigate out passed the narrows, the rains cleared away as quickly as they arrived.
Once settled down, I handed the ‘charge’ to Staffy so I could dash down for the Farewell Cocktail party. Its busy life! I have just come off the Bridge, having gone back after the Cocktail party, assessing the day tomorrow, our last day of the cruise, a sea-day making passage south through the north Sea. Hmm, looks set to be another blue-sky day.
I have to say, I have never had such a fabulous Norwegian cruise, the weather was absolutely fantastic.
Time for bed as I look forward to getting a call at 0700, rather than 0500… night night.
Captain Stuart Horne
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