Captain’s Log: Across the Atlantic to Half Moon Cay

Captain’s Log: Across the Atlantic to Half Moon Cay

Captain Jonathan Mercer

We left Lisbon on Thursday night, bound westwards for landfall in the Bahamas, having had a “maiden call” ceremony with the port officials that morning, after which I had interviews with the local TV stations.

I had 2 choices for our route, the shortest, which is a Great Circle route and a composite of varying courses, or a rhumb line, which a straight line to our destination. The rhumb line was 60 miles longer, however I decided on this route, which took us south of the Azores, (as opposed to the Great Circle, which took us north). My reasoning being that there were two ‘nasty’ weather systems barreling in from the Atlantic and by going south, I hope to miss their full effect. So off we set and sure enough, Friday and Saturday brought us steep swells and moderate winds, however compared with what was happening further north, this was quite acceptable, as up there, had we taken the great circle route, we would have had 60 knot winds.

We passed 200 miles south of the Azores yesterday (Saturday), and this morning we woke to considerably less wind, although the swell generated by the passing of the weather systems is still present. All we need now is for the cloud-cover to decrease, the sun is trying its best.

The remnants of hurricane “Shary” is 600 miles to our north-west and should not affect us and having got her out of the way, I am now watching “Tomas”, brewing in the Caribbean, however it is early days for that one, the computer models varying in their forecast as to which path it will take, so time will tell…

Captain Jonathan

Jonathan Mercer is Nieuw Amsterdam’s captain.


Join the Discussion


  1. Lisa Boyd November 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the update Captain Mercer. I am tracking your progress as you sail this way in anticipation of my cruise with you on November 14th departing out of Ft. Lauderdale making its way to the Western Carribean. I am SO looking forward to a peaceful and relaxing voyage on the Nieuw Amsterdam and have anxiously awaiting this trip. My hope is for you and the crew to have fine weather and good sailing as you make your way back to this side of the pond. Safe travels and look forward to seeing and meeting the Nieuw Amsterdam crew November 14th.

  2. Joanna Mercer November 2, 2010 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Very interesting write up, safe crossing.

  3. Almuth November 2, 2010 at 9:56 am - Reply

    So nice to now have two Captains writing about their side of the experience ! To us, the “view from the bridge” enriches each sailing we are on. If you have time at all, please continue your writing !

  4. marilyn schoen November 3, 2010 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    So good to hear about your crossing. My grandaughter is a dancer on your ship so she keeps up updated. Her Mother, Sister , and I are joining you in Ft. Lauderdale for a Carribean Cruise which we are really excited about.

  5. Kate Ruvolo November 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    I too love hearing of your experiences and we too keeping an eye on Tomas, we sail with you on Sunday! Why such a late departure? Not that I mind as the crew does a fantastic job keeping us entertained! Late arrivals? Maybe we’ll have the pleasure of a Shuttle Launch from the deck!

  6. Maria C. de Munoz November 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Hi Captain Mercer, my husband and I were supposed to cruise with you out of Venice in October 6th. Unfortunately I broke my arm in the airport, not even a half hour after landing. I have renamed your ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam – A ship with a big heart. We will never forget all the help you personally gave us, nor Dr. Palma Wideman, Annie Watson R.N. or Nancy from Guest Relations. Very soon all of you will be receiving letters of appreciation through the Holland America Headquarters for the compassion, caring and love all of you gave us before and during our medical disembarkation. May God always protect you all during your travels. I have been following your log while I recuperate from my arm surgery.

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