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17th June, 2019


It was unusual to see the ship being manoeuvred out of the anchorage, whilst I was viewing from within the Britannia Lounge, in church yesterday evening! It was another pleasant overnight passage through the Islands and Fjords of the Norwegian Archipelago – passing under the two Bridges before approaching the berth.

I was looking forward to Bergen, my relief was joining!

The Staff Captain, Richard, was in the chair for berthing, a sneaky little off-berth breeze provided a measure of challenge. A storm force 7 was forecasted for departure which dictated a stern-in, portside too berthing plan. The advantage of going astern onto the berth is that the stern would seek the wind, helping the manoeuvre against the wind and onto the berth. Swinging 400 meters before the pier end, the ship was manoeuvred bow-north before backing down onto the pier. With the ship stopped 7 meters off the berth, we relied upon the aft mooring ‘breast’ line to heave the stern alongside, whilst using the bow thruster to push the bow parallel until berthed.

The mooring operation took an unprecedented long time due to the length of the lines and the need to use a mooring ‘launch’ to take the lines from the ship to the shore, the forward lines were going to be nearly 200 meters long, that’s a long line for moorings in anyone’s book. After 45 minutes, the ship was finally ‘all-fast’ for 0815, just a little late. With the first tour at 0900 there was no impact upon the Guest experience.

I returned to my office to continue with my ‘hand-over’ notes. I was handing over to Captain Kim Tanner, so I need to be a little more complete and voluminous with my information for him. It had been a while since he was last on the Saga Sapphire. Just before 0900, Kim knocked on my door - it was nearly time for me to go home!

My day was spent chatting with Kim as we waded through all the information I had prepared. Kim was driving out tonight to get him back into the swing of manoeuvring the Saga Sapphire, she is quite different to the Saga Pearl II, Kim’s previous Command.

Off the berth for 1630 and the Pilot with the Conn, I left the bridge to prepare for the Cocktail Farwell Party, leaving the ship in the capable hands of my OOW’s and Chief Officer. The Farwell party went down well and I had a most enjoyable group of Guest around the Captains dinner table which rolled on to fairly late in the evening. Fortunately I have a day at sea tomorrow, before Dover so I’ll not be asking for my usual 0503 call!

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.