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23rd April, 2017


It was an early start this morning with pilot at 0530 due to the 27 mile run in to the berth. We had experienced strong beam winds, overnight gusting to 60 knots, but Saga Sapphire took it in her stride and leaned over only gently to about 1'. I am realising more and more she is a good "sea ship". By the time we got to the pilot station the wind had eased to a "mere" 30 knots!!!

As we approached our pier a tug was made fast as the wind was blowing us on to the berth. With us all fast by 0830, we got clearance shortly thereafter and our guests were free to proceed ashore. This was my first call to Aalborg.

Its location by the Limfjord made it an important harbour during the middle ages and later an industrial centre. Today the city is in transition from a working class industrial centre to a knowledge based one. Aalborg is twinned with many cities around the world, including Edinburgh and Lancaster.

There were 4 tours on offer today with something for everyone; from the energetic Aalborg Walking Tour to the more sedate City Tour. The Danes are of course famous for their beer so we offered the Aalborg Beer Walk - missed that one didn't I!!

Sailing was scheduled for 1800hrs and with everyone on board by 1740 we made our final preparations for departure. The wind had freshened to 30 knots so with 1 small tug we had to be inventive. We let go all our lines except two "springs" aft and with the tug pulling the stern off, and the thruster bringing the bow out, we gently came astern on 1 engine to "spring" the bow off. This was a slow but measured manoeuvre which worked really well. We then had to sail 1 mile in the wrong direction to the "swinging ground" where the fjord was wide enough to turn the ship through 180'. With the swing complete we retraced our tracks from this morning.

On the way out we were greeted by a "unique" local who has set up 3 mini cannons on the edge of the fjord. As we passed he gave us a 3 gun salute, as shown in the photo.

With the pilot away at 2030 we set sail for our next port, Oslo in Norway.

Captain Julian Burgess

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.