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3rd July, 2012


The Liverpool pilot must have been very keen as his boat came racing out towards us some thirty minutes before the scheduled ETA. He was indeed very cheery and it wasn’t until later when I spoke with our local agent, that I found out the reason why, he normally only pilots the scrap carrying ships, not that I read anything into that. A special assignment for him then.


The Mersey was much the same as when I last passed through the brown murky waters over twelve years ago, except the skyline had changed somewhat. The beaches of Crosby had Antony Gormley statues of men embedded in the sands which apparently caused a certain degree of consternation amongst the locals when they were first placed. There were numerous calls to the coastguard when these ‘men’ were thought to be about to drown as the tide rose and enveloped them. From a distance the Liver Building seemed to be divided by a very tall slim apartment eau de nil coloured building. In fact as we came much closer it was a few hundred yards to the west, along with several other modern buildings that have gone up in the interval. They are a sign of great investment to what was a very run down area, which now also includes the new Cruise Pier, a series of large floating concrete structures which rise and fall with the tide.

While our passengers disappeared off to see the ‘Beatles Experience’, ‘Iconic Liverpool’ and further afield to Snowdonia, I remained to greet terminal staff, including a lovely enthusiastic lady with that unmistakeable accent who presented me with a present for the ship. It was a small cast statue of the flightless Liver Bird, obviously a proud symbol of Liverpool, but it’s somewhat prehistoric appearance may take some explaining to the foreign guests who, on occasion, visit my quarters.

The weather, in true British summer fashion, was not great, but at least it did not rain. The folks came back suitably impressed I believe, and as we were not due to sail until 2300 hours, a local ‘sounds like’ group, the ‘Cheatles’ came on board to entertain. The accents were good, the songs were the same, the wigs were impressive and they even managed to get a few of our still lively folks up onto the dance floor.

Happy days.

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