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Alesund

Spirit of Discovery blog - Captains' blogs

30th September, 2019

After a very windy night with gusts to 50 knots and seas/swell to 4m metres it has proven to me that Spirit of Discovery is a fine sea ship despite her shallow draft of 7.2m. We of course eased the speed slightly to make conditions better for our guests and it only meant we were 25 mins later for the pilot. Definitely better than pushing the ship too hard and therefore avoiding the “slamming” you can get if you go too fast. As we approached the pilot station the 4-8 team brought the stabilisers in rather too early, but as soon as I walked on the bridge and felt the ship rolling they were straight back out again!! At least we witnessed just how effective they are at reducing the rolling movement.

With the pilot on board at 0715 we were all fast alongside our berth at 0805, only 5 mins late and much of that was due to the incredibly slow speed of a Norwegian Coastguard ship we had to follow in, until we “woke” them up with a VHF radio call and asked them to either speed up or keep out of the way!!

This morning was taken up with Inspections. First, we had the Master’s Inspection which is when 8 groups of 3x key Officers inspect different areas of the ship focusing on ensuring the ship maintains a new ship feel and look. At 1030 it was time for the crew cabin inspection whereby all crew and officer cabins are inspected to again ensure the required standards are met.

For our guests they headed off on a variety of tours from “Path of the Trolls”, “Art Nouveau City Walk”, “Sugar Lump Mountain Walk” to the “Clipfish Experience with Lunch”. The great thing about Alesund is that you can wander straight into the town from the ship and it’s only a 10 minute walk.

With everyone back on board by 1645 we let go 15 mins later and then “backed” the ship directly astern approx 1 mile to a safe turning area before swinging the ship through 120’ and boy does she swing fast once you get the pods and thrusters set. Once clear of the port we disembarked our pilot and then headed back out to sea before following the Norwegian coast towards Haugesund.

Captain Julian Burgess

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

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