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12th December, 2013

Mystery Cruise. Port No. 5

Reduced visibility at sea tends to be rather tiresome as extra bodies are required to be on duty to ensure a safe passage. Fortunately electronic charts, radar, and automatic ship identification systems have made life safer than when I first came to sea (that was not in the days of sail as some of my young officers may think), even so, the Staff Captain and I had to split the night in order to be on the bridge and assist the watch keeper.

A little before 9:00am and an hour after the harbour pilot had boarded, the lights of our berth became a little more obvious, it was several miles from the city centre and the only clue to our fifth destination lay just across from the security fence. It was the Volvo Museum, the port was Gothenburg, the fifth maiden call for this ship and third country this voyage. The excursions went off, we had a drill for the crew and the sun still refused to shine. Although the tour was very interesting, despite another Christmas Market, I believe the majority of the men would have been quite happy to just tootle across the road and spend a few hours peering at old Volvos and not just the cars. The museum had bits of planes and boats from which the company had been associated over the years. I’m afraid I couldn’t even manage that. After lunch and a rest I managed to get my Swedish ‘fix’ by watching an old episode of Wallander.

By the time we came to sail I was able to dispense with some of those unflattering ‘lower’ layers of clothing, not because it had warmed up outside, but because I knew my time on the bridge wing would be relatively brief before we could return to the modest warmth of the wheelhouse. With a freshening breeze the seas outside were just a tad choppy, enough for the pilot to ask for a substantial lee in order to make the transfer to his boat. The ship leant first one way and then the other before eventually settling on our new course in a northerly direction. The folks are still guessing, and I’m saying nothing. I can imagine the frustration, sorry, suspense.

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.