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25th July, 2013



Bergen was anything but the rain capital of Europe when we arrived, and we seemed set for yet another sunny day. It was a busy one as well, cruise ship wise, as there were five other vessels alongside. While the passengers went about their leisure pursuits, our day was somewhat different as we had a number of different emergency scenarios to go through in order for our new Safety Management Certificate to be issued. They included a suspicious package search, emergency drill and lifeboat evacuation.

For most of the crew much of that work was completed by lunchtime and our hastily assembled crew football team went off to play against one of the German vessel’s crew. Apparently on arrival it appeared as though their opponents were not just some rag bag assortment of enthusiasts, but a well trained ‘fighting’ machine and were already limbering up in immaculate kit. I was told later that it wasn’t exactly a whitewash, our team defended magnificently, but they did succumb to a 2 – 0 defeat. The brave souls said they really enjoyed the game, but had a variety of physical ailments to which the Doctor had to examine on their return, including the band's guitarist who had damaged his plucking finger and the drummer who’d sprained his wrist.

Meanwhile our auditor colleague completed his inspections and issued the necessary paperwork, so we now have a new ‘designated person ashore’, our direct liaison in times of need. He had been on board preparing for the changeover, but promptly left the ship even before the auditor.

By late afternoon clouds had gathered over the mountains, but the light rain that could be seen falling on the slopes just about stayed away until after our departure. Our luck continued.

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.