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Captain’s Log: Nov. 6, At Sea

We have had a very enjoyable week. The voyage south from Port Everglades towards Grand Turk, through what is basically the ‘open’ Atlantic, was windy and we used our stabilisers throughout. I was a little concerned that the wind, which showed no sign of abating on the morning of the 3rd, would affect our ability to dock at the Cruise Center and even at 6 that morning, when moving into the lee of the island, it was 35 knots. (The island, being extremely low, does not afford much shelter from wind).

One of our stabilisers ‘rigged out’ (left) and one of our stablisers housed.

However, the weather gods were looking down on us as I made the final approach towards the pier, a local anomaly, (or just good fortune), swung the wind more or less straight up and down the berth and it eased slightly, making the berthing straightforward. We have to ‘creep’ in here, the bridge mark on the pier must not be overshot, as the water depth under the bulbous bow shelves rapidly, until we have just over 2 metres or 6 feet of water under it when in position.

Roadtown, Tortola, was a beautiful day. We had sailed at full sea-speed to arrive on schedule, the first time we had put the ‘pedal to the metal.’ We only slowed down as we transited the ‘Narrows’, a stretch of water between the west end of Tortola and the adjoining islands of St. John. It was a glorious day and our open decks were crowded with guests enjoying the sun and the scenic views. Entering the Francis Drake Channel, there were sail-boats a-plenty, for this is one of the most popular areas in the world for ‘boating vacations’, (I being one of those ‘vacationers’ a few years ago). We docked on the north side of the pier, on the other side was the “Maasdam,” and we exchanged waves with her guests as we slowly moved into position.

Approaching the Narrows.

In the Narrows.

An evening departure, the sail-away and passage through the islands on our way to St. Thomas was lovely, and many guests stayed out on deck in the warm balmy air to enjoy the sights. Our docking at the Crown Bay facility coincided with the call of the “Westerdam,” and she berthed on the other side of the pier.

My wife is travelling with me and I took the opportunity to go ashore — the first time in weeks — and while ashore I took some photos for the blog.

Crown Bay. The ‘E’ on the right and “Westerdam” left.

A wide-angle shot. HAL ships in the distance and Havensight in the foreground.

Roland has told me that several readers have asked about the difference in handling qualities of the ‘E’ compared with other vessels of our fleet. I will post a separate blog on that subject soon.

Photos courtesy of Jonathan Mercer

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