Spirit of Adventure blog
Six years have passed since my last call to Basseterre.
When reviewing the passage plan, I saw that they have built a new pier and we had been assigned to it. It has a slightly better angle to the prevailing easterly winds than the old one. When I got a wakeup call from my Bridge team, they instructed me that another ship was scheduled at the same time at the pilot station. You could tell from the approach pattern that she was adamant to take her pilot first.
As a general rule of thumb, we assign a full hour for docking and undocking. It can be done quicker, but we like to have some extra time in our pocket. Once the pilot boarded her, the pilot launch proceeded to us. Our pilot came to the Bridge and when I advised him on my intention how to dock(swing the ship and back her in), he said that we are not allowed to do that as local regulations dictate that we must go bow in. I did try to fight it, but I was told its either bow in or anchor.
I wasn’t particularly keen on tendering and I didn’t want to end up in long discussion with the pilot, so we went bow in once we had enough space as the ship ahead of us turned and backed up to the pier. They have been assigned the old pier and were allowed to go anyway they wanted. Once alongside, I realised that the harbour wasn’t the only thing that changed in six years.
The city has expanded and I wanted to see development. Before I went ashore, I had to conduct a plaque exchange. Three plaques have been exchanged each end. I’m not particularly keen on going ashore in uniform unless it’s the official business.
Quick lunch in Officers’ Mess, changed in to t-shirt and jeans and ashore I went undercover, while my Chief Officer went ashore for lunch and got me a very nice photo of Adventure. The city has progressed a lot. Bars, restaurants and shops were left, right and centre. I lost a good hour to walk through it all. I was happy to find one of the stores that my kids love. Del Sol is clothing shop where products change their colour when exposed to the sun.
Captain Franko Papić
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