1st September, 2019
After a lumpy run up the North Sea it was nice to get inside the Norwegian Archipelago. At 0503 we embarked the pilot at the ‘inside’ station because there was too much swell at the western station, we commenced our 24 nautical mile run into Bergen. It is a very scenic drive through the Fjords.
With sunrise at 0630 and twilight at 0545, there was plenty of daylight for my guests to watch the Norwegian world pass by on both port & starboard sides.
There is an interesting part of this passage inwards and that is what I call the ’narrows’, you have to laugh, most of Fjord driving is in ‘narrows’ of one sort or another. Anyway, this particular area, which occurred at 0700, is a pinch point with a twist, a tight turn to port and then starboard. With slack water its fine, with a full tide, it takes some focus of the mind. Today, we had a full tide running to the north. With close oversight of the Pilot, we were though slickety-quick as you need ‘speed’ to create water flow over the rudder to enable the ship to respond as required.
Taking my fourth coffee of the morning, we then assessed the manoeuvre on to the berth. The winds were gusting 30knots from the South west and we had a tidal flow that summed with the wind conditions. Not at all helpful. All said and done, we were alongside safe and sound by 0730, in ample time to get our Guests ashore. It’s a balance between alongside being on time, not allowing any oversight that may impact the guests going ashore, or being in-time to allow the Guest to go ashore so to meet their expectations. I go with the latter.
It was a mixed day, generally overcast with periods of torrential rain, well, you know what they say about Bergen! Quite a contrast to last week when we here on the previous cruise. Despite the dull day, the Guest appeared to be cheerful through the gloom and enjoyed the tour offerings and even doing Bergen independently.
It was time get going, we have a long way to go this cruise. Chris, 3rd Officer took the ship out - a relatively text book manoeuvre, nicely executed. The passage was out via the north, around three hours of fjord passage before emerging out into the Norwegian sea.
I was required at Sunday Church and, handing of the ’charge’ to Denis, Staffy, I left the bridge in his and the teams capable hands.
Relaxing in my cabin now, safely out at sea and no ‘duties’; this evening so a chance to recharge the ageing batteries!
Captain Stuart Horne
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