15th June, 2021
Hello Saganauts, this is Captain Darin William Bowland with an update from the beautiful Spirit of Discovery.
After a strict period of quarantine and a few weeks onboard, we are now heading out for day one of sea trials. This 6 day period will allow us to ensure all systems are fully operational for our first cruise departing on June 27th. A long layup period is not optimal for a ship like Discovery and now it’s time to get the ship operational again. A 4-hour transit down the famous River Thames and then we will exercise the ship in a designated area, away from other traffic.
The London International Cruise Terminal, but still in Tilbury... My first time in the terminal which opened in 1930 to accommodate the golden age of ocean liners! The old railway station is now the luggage hall.
After the 4-hour transit we disembarked the local Tilbury pilot and headed for our exercise area.
First watch after 15 long months! Good to be back at sea. Ship is starting to come alive and I am seeing a lot of smiles on our crew’s faces...behind the masks
Sea trials involve the START process which is Safety Training and Readiness Testing. All systems are put through rigorous testing to ensure reliability and correct functionality. Here we are briefing the team prior to crash stopping the ship. Obviously the other part of all of this is for the team to become conversant with the equipment again and proficient at operating the ship.
One of our Junior Officers, Robert Gorry, putting the ship through its paces.
The White Cliffs of Dover on Sunday morning at 0630, just before arrival. Beautiful! Over the next few days we will be in the Straits of Dover working through shiphandling exercises, cleaning the ship, Covid response drills, Fire drills, Lifeboat exercises etc. Furthermore, we will be conducting numerous training sessions for the crew, on the job training, and setting up the various departments to welcome our guests onboard for our first cruise.
Talk with you in a few days with an update on our progress and I look forward to meeting all of you.Captain Darin William Bowland
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