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Spirit of Discovery blog


27th October, 2019

After our late sail from St Tropez we were scheduled for an 0700 pilot and 0800 alongside in Toulon. 1 hour before we received advice that the pilot would not be with us until 0730 as our berth was occupied by a local Ferry! With a quick slowdown to 6 knots we then gingerly proceeded towards the pilot station for the later boarding. Apparently the port, pilots and ships agent knew the ferry would not be leaving the berth until 0800 but someone forgot to inform the ship!

Once the pilot boarded at 0730 we accepted we would be 30 mins later alongside. With the hotel department notified, guests were informed and a couple of tweaks made. We proceeded in towards our berth and then stopped 1/2M off the berth until the ferry departed. As soon as she was clear we headed in and were all fast alongside by 0830.

During the morning we had our weekly crew emergency drills and tested the ships company in their emergency procedures. Another testing drill where we used “synthetic” smoke to create a realistic incident in one of the crew spaces.

Another plaque exchange was due at 0900 but due to the delayed arrival this was rescheduled to 1130 – for this I gave the pleasure to our Assistant Cruise Director to carry out the proceedings as I was very involved with a length de-brief after the drills.

With everyone on board by 1715 Staff Captain once again carried out the departure manoeuvre and he certainly demonstrated that he has a great feel for the ship. It was a lovely evening to depart from this attractive port with the hills providing a spectacular backdrop.

Captain Julian Burgess

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.