Skip to navigation Skip to content
< Back to Saga Sapphire blog

22nd June, 2012



We’ve had a few problems that have meant us remaining in port for a little longer than we would have cared for, minor technical issues that we needed to rectify to ensure they didn’t become larger ones. They actually proved to be the catalyst that brought all my fellow colleagues together, both ashore and afloat. My main responsibility is, as I’m sure we all know, the safety of the ship and all on board. Bob, our Chief Engineer, decided outside expert assistance was required to backup our own experienced teams fault finding efforts, so the telephone calls were made and the experts traced. Needless to say, they don’t all reside north of the Arctic Circle.

Our berth in Tromso was available only until lunchtime as another vessel was booked to dock there during the afternoon, so we came off and went to anchor, then went alongside again that evening. It was also booked the following day from 11:00, so we had to come off again, however shuttle buses had been hastily arranged for the folks who wanted to take a more in depth look at what Tromso had to offer. Later, by the time we were out at the anchorage, tenders had been splashed to get them all back.

In an amazing stroke of good fortune another of our vessels, ‘Quest for Adventure’ was scheduled to pass the area during the afternoon and my good friend Captain Kees Speckman diverted to deliver us a spare part we did not have. Not without some humour of course, as he told me he was going to play on his deck speakers the tune from that 80’s TV program, the ‘A Team’, as he manoeuvred nearby while the exchange took place. Finally we went alongside in the evening, and the expert was sitting on his suitcase patiently waiting, after travelling for some considerable time and on several different flights.

Quest for Adventure

Over the next seven hours he rooted through the system and eventually, in the middle of the night, came up trumps. We gave the agent the required two hours notice for departure, but the tugs couldn’t come until 10:30 the following morning. Something to do with the summer solstice and some strange liquid concoction that Norwegians are expected to consume at this time of year and which apparently affects their ability to wake up (let alone drive a tug I suppose).

So after an eventful two days we left the berth, unfortunately leaving a huge trail of black smoke over my old colleague on the ‘Discovery', which had just docked behind us. It looked suitably disgusting but was soon sorted out when the main engine scavenge air dampers, which had closed on their fail safe mode, had been reset.

Our scheduled half day call had been extended to two full days, and I met a surprising number of resolute passengers who had enjoyed the whole thing, not only having had time to go to the Botanic Gardens, the Polar Museum and the Cathedral of the North, but also to stay out on deck and see the midnight sun blazing away in all its glory.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.