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17th May, 2018


Once the departure from Aarhus, Denmark was complete and we were full away on passage I was stood down from my early wake up to complete the Pre-Arrival checks of the bridge equipment. After what felt like a minute’s rest, I was awoken by the monotonous ring of my alarm and proceeded to ready myself for the coming watch. Upon climbing the many stairs to the bridge I joined the Chief Officer, Emmeline, on watch and preceded with my normal arrival duties. With light traffic in the area and good speed management by all officers we coasted in to a smooth professional arrival as usual.

It was a rather grey, dreary and overcast start to the morning as we transited the Kattegat and headed towards the pilot station for the Port of Kiel. None the less, a tranquil time to be awake as the rest of the world sleeps peacefully. In the back of my mind I did hope the weather would improve and the skies clear as the previous evening I had promised Captain Burgess another fair weather port.

We embarked the pilot just after 06:20LT and proceeded on a Southerly course down the 12Nm pilotage to the swinging circle just off the Osteekai Berth near the centre of the city. We were joined on arrival by a celebratory tug as this was indeed our maiden call to the Port of Kiel where we would receive a plaque to commemorate the event. Emmeline proceeded to approach the swinging circle and begin the manoeuvre by swinging the bow to starboard with the bow thruster while splitting the engines ahead and astern to assist the movement. Captain Burgess then took the Conn and Navigator and completed the berthing manoeuvre. The vessel was all fast just after 08:30Lt and thus coaches and tours began to depart the vessel as scheduled.

As promised the weather started to brighten, skies cleared to a mellow blue, and the temperatures started to climb to a healthy 19C by 15:00LT. All this kept me in the good books with the Captain as he had planned a round of golf with Stuart Anderson, a superb singer and pianist. Between you and me it should be noted that the Captain did manage to beat Stuart rather convincingly, so the drinks were definitely on Stuart!!! The Captain mentioned that the Kitzeberg Golf Club they played at is in fact the oldest in Germany, having opened in 1902.

It was a lovely evening on board with 60’s band the Fortunes playing in the Britannia Lounge after dinner. There was a rumour that the Captain had once again put his dancing shoes on!!

Carl van Heerden

Third Officer

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