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4th July, 2018


We shaped up for the narrow approach into Bodo harbour, some 60 meters across the entrance and as I entered I was advised of a change of berth. So many think parking a ship is the same as parking a car!

This updated late information required quick and clear out-loud thinking as the Navigation bridge and Mooring teams had to re-evaluate the plan and agree a new plan. Franko, the Staff Captain was driving in and the new manoeuvre required swinging deep in the harbour before approaching the berth. This was a Maiden call for the Saga Sapphire.

With such expertise within the team, this variation to the arrival plan went through without a hitch and we were moored for the Shore Excursions to get away as scheduled.

As this was a Maiden call we had the traditional Plaque exchange to do. I had the pleasure of inviting the Harbour Master [who was also the financial director - useful role to have] on-board with a lady from the Tourism office. Hilary, our lovely Social Hostess, accompanied me as we undertook the formalities in the Aviators bar.

During the day the wind had freshened to 20 knots from the Northwest, blowing the ship onto the berth. Like all ships she can have her moments can Saga Sapphire. You do need to be a seafarer to drive her, and that’s her beauty. So, under such conditions as we had this evening, it would take good seamanship to lift her off the berth. With departure brief held, everyone understood the expected reaction of the vessel and all that good stuff. Would you believe it - as we let-go our mooring ropes she sailed against the wind. There must have been an under-current venturing under the keel and up into the space between the pier and hull - creating a high pressure spot. That’s the only explanation.

Clear of the berth we cleared the harbour and set course for Sedjfordur, yep - a tricky one to pronounce - not looking forward to my next PA broadcasts! Once clear of the coastline hazards we set our near westerly Great Circle course to Sedjfordur.

Captain Stuart Horne

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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.