16th June, 2019
What a fabulous overnight passage we had last night. With only two hours of darkness, even then the ‘darkness’ is more of a twilight, the Guest had the opportunity to view the fabulous Fjord scenery drift by. I was aiming to arrive early to ensure we had our ‘tender’ operation all set-up in good time for the shore excursions.
Anchoring in Jondal takes a bit of thinking about because it goes from being too deep to anchor and then shallow enough for anchoring, but too close to the shore. The other consideration is you need to anchor going in backwards, why? Imagine the Fjord sea bed rising up rapidly, that means it is a slope, a steep slope at that. So, consider dropping the anchor going-in bow first, when the anchor reaches the Fjord floor it could slide down into the deep!
This is how you get over that problem. You walk the anchor back until is it 3 or 4 meters above the Fjord floor at your planned anchoring point. Walking back means you lower the anchor using a powered winch, known as a Windlass. Having done this, you put it on the brake and disengage the Windlass, now it is ready for letting go. You then swing the ship and come astern into your anchorage, at the point of your planned anchoring point you ‘let go’ the anchor. Now the anchor hits the Fjord floor very quickly and as the ship is moving astern the anchor drags up-hill and embedding itself into the Fjord floor. Now the anchor wont slip downhill.
The next challenge was that I had anchored so close-in, to make the Tender ride to ashore short, less time, that if the stern swung, it would hit the ‘rocks’. Fortunately the Saga Sapphire is fitted with a stern anchor, often referred to as a stream anchor. I lowered the stern anchor until it touched the Fjord floor and left it there to act as a ‘dredge’ to stop the stern swinging. Worked a treat, not just a pretty face you know!
Jondal, what a beautiful spot, it was misty with frequent showers, but what a lovely spot. I do like these quiet small-town anchorages. It was a Sunday and all, save for a souvenir shop and a petrol station, everything was closed. It kind of added to the tranquilly of the place.
Back to the business of the day, operating a Tender service. We use the ships two Tenders to ferry Guests back and forth. I also contracted a ‘shore’ Tender to assist at peak times; this proved to be a very useful addition to the service; making the whole day well delivered, no waiting Guests and a frequent service to and from the ship.
As the day drew on the mist lifted to reveal the splendour of the mountains. It’s getting close to departure and I need to let the Staff Captain take the ship out of the anchorage because I had agreed to read in Church.
See you in Bergen.
Captain Stuart Horne
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