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3rd August, 2017


We came the long way around to Liverpool.  It had been a while since I drove a ship up the Mersey.

What an improvement on the water-front since my last visit and much more development is planned. However, some things don’t change, as there is still brown water, but then it is the Mersey.

We embarked the pilot some 7 miles off shore for the 19 nautical mile pilot passage from sea, up the river and to the berth. Passing Wallasey to the west and Bootle to the east, we made our way 'down town'. The River Mersey can have a fair flood on her, meaning to say if you stopped engines the ship would carry on drifting upstream with the tide, and at some speed. We were due to berth starboard side alongside which required a 'swing' in the river. For this the Pilot Authority recommends the services of a Tug.... Whilst only a recommendation, it was a RECOMMENDATION, you know what I mean!

The weather, with a brisk westerly breeze overnight, decided to deliver a 'docking shower' just as we were manoeuvring off the berth. This meant that the berthing team, me, standing on the bridge got a cold August shower. We berthed on the pontoon off Princess Parade - right down town just after 0630. It was a faster than expected Pilotage.

The Cavern Club, Liver Building & Museums were but a short walk. You could not get a better place to park, never mind the NCP!

It was a busy day with meetings and Liverpool came and went! The feedback from our Guests was almost ecstatic - so much to do and see, be it on a Shore Excursion or doing their 'own' thing.

So it was 'off' just before 1800, having waited for the last of the Shore Excursions to come back and the Pilot to embark. Setting off under steely-grey cloud cover, the outward river passage was without issue - the Pilot finally jumping off at 2030.

With the horizon clearing, allowing the setting sun to be glimpsed between the sea and cloud base, it was nice end to a successful day as we set our meandering course towards the Isle of Man.

Captain Stuart Horne

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