3rd September, 2019
Arriving into Alesund is one of the shorter ‘Pilotages’ on any Norwegian itinerary, being just 7 nautical miles. It was a very lump passage overnight, indeed, the swell was in excess of 6meters and the bow was moving significantly. It was good to get ‘inside’ the lee of the islands and settle the ship down.
The pilot embarked at 0630 yesterday and we were all-fast by 0730 ready for the first tours at 0800. The day was starting to promise some broken cloud and the forecast was for a dry day. Halleluiah! I had been keeping a wary eye on the forecast, we have two days out in the open Norwegian Sea for our next passage north towards Hammerfest. Having researched a number of data sources I concluded it would be better to stay in port overnight rather than punch out into the open sea where the storm surges were forecast to be significant.
I broke the news to the Guests at around 1430, then again at 1700 once all Tour guest were back onboard. We put out extra moorings and hunkered down, to be honest, in a lovely spot. Alesund is quite the attractive town and I think the photographs demonstrate that. The wind blew up overnight and eased down by 0500. We had scheduled departure for 0730 in the morning, thus minimising the impact on our next port arrival; Hammerfest. The planned impact was a noon arrival rather than 0800. Hammerfest is also an overnight stay and the Shore ex team, led by Leo, had managed to reschedule all the tours without any ‘experience’ reduction. Well done Leo!
The morning, dawned reasonably angry and as departure drew near, the thunder clouds started to move to the Northeast. The ship was prepared for heavy weather in any event as it was not the storm that would cause discomfort, but rather the residual swell conditions created by the storm. We lifted off the berth at 0730 and proceeded out, disembarking the pilot well inside as the storm swell was running up the Fjord entrance toward Alesund.
Conditions seem good, initially, then as we emerged into the open water the swell began to increase. My plan was that we to keep the ship south of the swell conditions, as much as I could whilst being aware of another storm system tracking to the south of our position. Let’s see how the next two days roll out…
Captain Stuart Horne
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