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27th December, 2017


The run up to Gothenburg Pilot was a straightforward navigational affair until I received a phone call from the Agent at 0100, yes one in the morning, to tell me tugs were not available until after 0730 due to their excessive working hours the previous day - as decreed by the Union. My first tour was at 0815, 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival, so not a lot of wiggle room.

I arrived at the Pilot station 30 minutes earlier than requested but 30 minutes later than scheduled, and then persuaded the Pilot to embark at that time. ‘Being there’ can be quite persuasive!

Tom, the Staff Captain, was parking today and the tug aft was made-fast just before 0800. It’s a tight turn into the berth area from the stream and having a large RoRo ferry in the way did not really help! Tom made lovely approach using tug to nudge the stern into the restricted berthing area.

We were done, tied up, gangway in and ‘cleared by the authorities’ from 0840-ish and the tours away. Not too shabby Tom!

Gothenburg is always a popular city, and the tours were well received, particularly the City & Haga tour. However, I had the feeling that most passengers were using the day as a ‘get over the Christmas indulgence day’, and a stroll ashore just helped that process along!

With all on-board for 1800 it was time to head deeper into the Baltic. Richard, the Chief Officer, was driving out this evening and, again, we required the services of a tug. It’s a tight manoeuvre and is done by lifting the ship bodily [laterally] off the quay about 80 meters, then swinging the ship around. Richard made a super job of the manoeuvre and we headed out into the islands off Gothenburg.

I have attached a picture of an event recognising the crew for their hard work. Although I have focussed more on those crew our passengers do not normally see, there should be some faces you recognise. Enjoy.

Captain Stuart Horne

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