8th February, 2019
We left Dover in thick fog with about 200 meters visibility. This made the departure a little eerie as we could not see the opposite pier or the entrance to the harbour from the berth. I had one tug assisting to make things easier getting off the berth and all went well. We headed out into the channel and crossed the traffic separation lanes before turning to the north to start our passage to Hamburg. Luckily the fog cleared about 2 hours after our departure and the visibility remained fair for the rest of the voyage.
The wind had blown to up force 8/9 by the time we arrived at the Elbe Pilot station and the Pilot embarked at just after midnight by helicopter as the sea was too rough for the Pilot boats.
It’s a long pilotage up to Hamburg with 2 changes of pilot (the pilots usually only cover a specific part of the river) and we were all fast alongside at 0730.
Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city and a major port. We were docked right opposite the container berths where some of the largest Containerships in the world dock. In fact, our departure was delayed as we watched 2 of them come in and dock.
The day was full of some exciting trips including Medieval Lubeck, The Miniature Wonderland, Highlights of Hamburg and an extra trip added in to the Bergen-Belsen Memorial.
Departure was uneventful and we set sail for Wilhelmshaven at 1900.
Captain Richard Lambert
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