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14th August, 2017


After the overnight saunter from the Channel Islands we shaped up for the Cherbourg pilot grounds and what a fantastic sunrise. It seemed the sun was ’late’ today as we has put our clocks forward one hour overnight making 6am sunrise 7 am. I do like the early sunrises - such a crisp, clean feel to the air and when at sea it's even more special.

I had brought the Pilot embarkation time forward 30 minutes to ensure we were all tied up and ready for guests to go ashore a soon as possible.

The Pilot strolled onto the bridge and I recognised the deportment: “ah Pierre, Mon vieil ami, comment vas-tu?” It was my old friend from back in the day of my Piloting. I used to spend some memorable moments in Cherbourg whilst waiting for deep draft tankers to go up the English Channel. The photograph of the Café de Paris and its neighbouring ‘eateries’ are located just to the west side of the port. Regular haunts of mine some ten years ago.

A simple manoeuvre in the inner harbour, Petite Rade, had us alongside . It takes a while to get ‘things’ done in Cherbourg. The shore gangway was put in place and ultimately we were given clearance for our Guests to go ashore. The first tours were away a tad late so I put back our departure by 30 minutes, just to ensure we delivered what it says on the tin.

With the sun shining pretty much most of our stay the locals turned-out to see us off. It had that hint of ‘Atlantic Crossing’ nostalgia. After all this berth is from where the great Ocean Liners set sail, including the Titanic, for the North Atlantic passages and it still proudly carries its name ‘Darese Transatlantiqiue’.

Blowing the ship's ‘typhoon’ [whistle], it’s a bit of a bellowing beast, we waved interested spectators ‘a la prochaine’….

Captain Stuart Horne

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