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22nd August, 2018


Morning Bloggers, just on my approach into Dover, yes, it’s early in the morning. Well, we have had an enjoyable few days since leaving Gdynia. A fab night out of Gdynia, it was ‘Call my Bluff’, old John Parton does make me laugh and the audience were in stitches, almost falling out of their chairs. Nearly an hour and a half of great entertainment.

Then we had Kiel Canal on Monday, not a port of call, but the transit. We came eastbound at night at the beginning of the cruise, now we were making a spectacle of the transit by doing a day-light passage. The timing was perfect with us entering the Holteneau lock just after 0800, and entering the Canal at 0900. The ‘east’ end of the canal is the most fascinating, whilst the west end is more rural and very green. We approach the Brunsbuttel locks, the river Elbe end, at 1730. So, the entire day-light day in the canal.

The weather, mixed, but dry and proved great vistas from either the open decks or from within, the Drawing Room, of course, being the perfect venue for inside out viewing! You could even consume Georges world class Fish & Chips at the Beach club and watch the world go by, fabulous. George and Ursula and their teams put on a great food event on Verandah deck aft, a German sausage feast. A few rounded bellies I noted!

An interesting fact was pointed out to me, as we passed by, the Canal had the longest ‘bench’ in Europe. If you zoom in the photo attached, you can just make out the wooden bench running alongside the canal. I have included some photos of the ship in the Kiel Canal taken by one the embarking Pilots – if you don’t ask you don’t get.

Yesterday was a lazy day at sea, the afternoon turning out to be blue skies, with a light breeze and coupled with a slow passage, this is what cruising is about.

So, today, Pilot at 0515 this morning - we should be alongside by 0615. This early because of the tidal restrictions on a ship of this length, just shy of 200 metres. Turn-around day is always busy and I am handing Command over to my colleague, Captain Burgess today. I’ll be disembarking at 1400 and likely falling asleep in the car as soon as the door is closed!

I do hope you have enjoyed the Blogs and I’ll see you in October.

Signing off, Stuart.

Captain Stuart Horne

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