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16th December, 2018


Here we are, we found a port. It’s a rather cracking day here in Zeebrugge. Why we are here, well we could not get as far as we wanted to go, the weather got in the way again. The 13th, a Thursday navigating up the Portuguese coast was rough, back to pitching and rolling as we wallowed northward.

On the Friday, the weather eased but by then we were a good eight hours behind and frantic negations were afoot to, yet again, arrange an ad hoc port, shore excursions and port services. Late on Saturday we cemented the arrangements for a call into Zeebrugge, arriving at noon and sailing the evening the following day.

This morning, just after Church, just enough time for me to read the Lesson, we embarked the pilot at 10.00 and made are way along the 21 mile pilotage to the port. Berthed at just before noon, we made ready for the shore excursions. We had planned, again, for a two-centre visit. Day 1 to Ghent, a fabulous city at Christmas, then on day 2, a tour of Bruges and free time with ample shuttle service to/from the ship into Bruges.

Its evening now, it’s cold, we have been used to 20 degree to 25 degree temperatures , this evening its 4 degrees. A bit of a shock! Mixed messages from the returning Guests, clearly the damp and cold did not enhance the tour experience to Ghent. I think we’ve forgotten – it is winter!

I’m of off to bed, I do feel somewhat worn out by this cruise. It’s been challenging. Let’s see what tomorrow brings… some sunshine is forecasted.

Captain Stuart Horne

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