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7th May, 2019


The Pilot time for Tallinn was not until 0630, great, a late start to the day. I do like early sunrises and if the sea conditions are calm – this really enhances the moment, I ask for an early call in such circumstances. The picture here is of the sunrise at 0518 whilst on a NE’ly heading off the island of Naissaar, the point at which we turn south into Tallinn bay. A lovely moment.

The Bridge team were all ‘closed-up’ at 0615 ready for the Pilot embarkation on the run south to the pier. Tallinn is principally a Ferry port, the cruise piers, reasonably recent structures, have been built outside the port and in open water, so good ‘training’ opportunities for my junior officers.

The Safety officer volunteered for the manoeuvre this morning and had considered his plan in detail. However, embarking the Pilot we were advised that the berth had changed. Whilst not a significant issue, it did require Denis to rethink his strategy with some alacrity. It was a bow-in approach which is straight forward, you just have to remember to stop at the right moment!

Berthed by 0800, the ship was cleared by telephone - whilst we waited for the ships shore representatives to arrive. It was a little overcast and cool in the breeze, but this was the best part of the day. As the afternoon drew on, so did the drizzle.

Despite the wetness, Tallinn is a great port to visit, whether you are going on tour or doing your own thing around the fascinating ‘old’ town. Departure was set for 1600, a promptness was required so that we could all get spruced up for the Britannia Club Cocktails this evening.

James, my young 2nd officer was driving out tonight, this would be a good test for him – probably his last manoeuvre on this tour of duty as he is due ‘on-leave’ when we get into Dover on the 13th. Backing out of the berth, utilising the wind, the ship came astern and bodily away from the pier into deep water where the swing, 180 degrees, was executed. Nice job James.

With the course set to the north, to get into the Gulf of Finland Traffic management scheme, I handed the charge over to the Chief Officer so that I could go to my cabin make myself look young and presentable. See you in Stockholm.

Captain Stuart Horne

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