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6th September, 2017

St Petersburg

This morning the Russian Pilot embarked some 25 nautical miles out. The route inward to St Petersburg is a very narrow and shallow channel - and we do it in convoy. There were 5 cruises ships in the convoy this morning, but we were in pole position.

The Pilot came across as very reasonable, listened, and communicated in a constructive manner. Part of the ‘process’ is what we call an MPX, Master Pilot Exchange. This is where we declare the status of the ship and the Pilot declares the status of navigation, in basic terms.

The passage inwards, through the outer limits of St Petersburg, demonstrated that the Pilot was good at what he did. Nicely done, Vladislav.

I recalled the first time I was here. Then it was called Leningrad, so I was expectant of a drab, grey, impoverished city….. but the spectacular sunrise, just before 0500, aroused my suspicions that things had changed. A new cruise facility, and some contemporary buildings under construction, it was all shiny.

After a chilly hour on the bridge wing we were all tied up by 0600 ………. time for some breakfast.

Our passengers, too, would soon be up and tucking-in to their breakfasts, before getting ready to go ashore to enjoy the highlights of this magnificent city of St Petersburg.

Captain Stuart Horne

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