26th May, 2019
It seemed an endless river passage having embarked the Pilots at Escoumins yesterday morning. There are three pilot changes, Escoumins, Three River and Quebec and working with Pilots takes more energy than not having them. As it is compulsory, we have to make the team approach work. Yesterday later afternoon we passed the city of Quebec looking quite magnificent on both side of the river - strange as we sailed passed our berth where will be berthed on the way back downstream in two days’ time.
We approached, with caution, the ‘T-junction’ in the river at Montreal where the river runs in one direction and the still water of the port, because it is a cul-de-sac, branches off in the other direction. It’s an interesting challenge; the river, on arrival, flows on the bow at 6 knots and you have to cut out of the ‘stream’ and in to the still water, quite tricky. The weather had been forecasts for a southerly 35 knots, and had been blowing all morning, just to add to the general interest of the day. Cutting out of the ‘stream’ you do at some speed, during which you cannot make your ‘tugs’ fast, or ‘bent-on’. Hence it really is a hand-brake stop to slow down before you run out of water in the cul-de-sac!
However, after all the excitement, we had two tugs bent-on and I was able to execute the tight manoeuvre swinging and backing onto the berth. Berthed on time at 0800 only to be delayed by the complication over the gangway positioning. Deck 7 was far too steep and thus we had to rearrange a lot of shore paraphernalia to get the gangway into Deck 5. Only if we were armed with the correct information initially, we would not have had the 45 minute delay. Hay-ho, we made the best of it and kept our eager Guests advised.
It was a lovely day, cool, but bright and by lunchtime the wind had dropped away to make it positively warm. My crew were also eager to get ashore. We have two full days planned in Montreal. With not sailing until 1700 tomorrow giving al my crew the opportunity to get ashore and enjoy the city.
Captain Stuart Horne
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