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29th July, 2018


After a peaceful passage overnight across the Gulf of Genoa, we raised the shore lights of Monte Carlo, rising up the mountain side at 0530 in the morning. With sunrise at 0616, it was relatively dark because with the sun’s declination at 19.5 degrees north, relative to our latitude, sunrise is quick and it goes from ‘dark to light’ in a short time frame.

We were anchoring in Monaco, or to be precise, outside of Monaco harbour; no Pilot was required and we approached the anchorage early to ensure the ‘Tender’ operation was fully ready in good time to operate the first tour ashore. The conditions were good – the forecast saying the sea-state was ‘ripples’. With the anchor down and the ship steady at 0700, the Tender pontoons were rigged and the Tenders launched and we all set up before 0800 - with the first tour ashore scheduled for 0830.

By mid-morning, a ground swell had emerged, the seas still a ripple, as forecasted, however a ground swell was coming in from the SW and making the Tender operation a bit of a challenge. By lunch time I had to heave up the anchor and spend the afternoon adrift manoeuvring the vessel to provide a ’lee’ for the tender operation. Cleary this impacted the expediency of the tender service, the launches having to wait for the ship to reposition on a frequent basis. That said, the ship’s crew pulled together and did a fantastic job to ensure the port-call was achieved whilst ensuring the absolute safety of our Guests embarking and debarking the tenders alongside the ship pontoons.

With all tours and guests back on-board, we rounded up the last of the ‘visitors’ who disembarked using the shore-provided launch. Once clear, we heaved anchor and set a SW’ly course across the Gulf of Lions, towards Barcelona.

By the way, I have added a photo of the crew-cycle club who did a ride to Pisa and back (obviously!) during our stay Livorno, more energy than me – perhaps that’s why they call me the Old Man!

Captain Stuart Horne

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.