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13th September, 2013


The weather remained equable after we had picked up anchor and headed south towards the ‘Belts’. The following morning, in calm seas and the latter stages of twilight, the familiar face of the Kalundborg pilot joined us. He is a very pleasant gentleman of obvious experience, with the gentle lilt of Danish English and has probably worked on ships as long as I have.


Berthing in the relatively narrow confines of Kalundborg harbour was carried out without any fuss or drama, except for the fabulous welcome provided by the young lady pipe band marching along the quayside in their red and white American style uniforms.

I stood on the quayside as our guests on tour went off and even managed to ‘blag’ my way into the picture as our ever so gently persistent photographers managed to persuade Lesley Garrett to pose over a ship’s lifebelt before she left for Copenhagen. On board it was ‘Sports Day’ and Vlad the Safety Officer had everyone busy on crew Emergency Drill duties. A ‘fire’ in the print shop raged out of control, make believe passengers were ushered up to the boat deck, all the port lifeboats were lowered and even the demo life raft was inflated in front of a very attentive large group crew members above the bridge. When Vlad has a megaphone in his hand even I listen.

Our smiling pilot returned towards the end of the day, off we went, then off he went down to his boat, but not before wishing everyone on the bridge ‘happy sailing, see you next year’ and leaving me a fine polo shirt with ‘Danish Pilot Service’ embroidered on the front. I guess it is a kind of advertising really as, unusually, it is not compulsory to take a pilot in Denmark and no doubt he needs
the business.    

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