After a prolonged absence, I return to the blog. Since last posting, (it seems like an age ago), I have been keeping busy; time in Europe, training and U.K. with family and a of course, some time in Florida. It has been quite disjointed, flitting hither and thither……
My ‘training’ was at our Training Centre outside Amsterdam, a town called Almere. I’ve mentioned it before on these pages; on this occasion I was doing a course on ‘Ship Handling’. I was dubious about this before going there; after all, I have been handling ships since 1982. As is transpired, after many years of handling Azipod-drive ships, I returned to ‘conventional’ with rudders, twin-screw and thrusters. In my case, my ‘sim’ was a Costa Cruise line vessel, 135,000 tonnes. During the week, I and the officers with me were put through numerous scenarios. I had to confess that I enjoyed it immensely. Simulators have come a long way since I first experienced one. One is totally absorbed into the complexities within minutes of walking into one, they are so realistic. While another team conducted their exercise, I took the opportunity to whip out the iPhone, so, for your delectation, some visuals of the sim. The first is taken in the ‘control’ room; the room in which the adjudicators/instructors sit and the 2nd is in the sim itself. The scene is from Port Everglades, (Fort Lauderdale), complete with a Delta airline aircraft on final approach, they think of everything!
Having come away from my course it was back to U.K. and some time with family. Returning to Cambridge, (a beautiful city) and visits to Sam and Liz and (of course), the grandchildren. They are growing so fast. It was a delight to have to do a ‘shopping’ memory game with Emily every morning 🙂 .
I write now, on a (our first) dull and gloomy morning. We are docked at ‘Icy Strait Point’, (presumably so named because it looks good in cruise brochures). I have known it as Hoonah for many years and previously one had to drift off the village and tender guests ashore. The new dock makes a world of difference and instead of being on or near the Bridge all day, I now have luxury of sitting in 🙄 my office and writing. We are on a 14-day itinerary this year; out of Seattle on a Monday, we make our way north and call at Ketchikan, then scenic cruise Tracy, (or Endicott) Arm before going to Juneau, Icy Strait Point, thence across the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage, Homer and Kodiak before crossing back to Hubbard Glacier, Sitka and Victoria B.C. and Seattle. It’s a superb itinerary, far less intensive than the 7-day cruises.
I must be getting old; despite writing this blog for months I always return after a period off the ship and find that I have to remember how I did this and that on these pages, crunching photos and videos for example. Never mind, it all came back and I post a time-lapse of our transit of Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier; (the actual transit to the glacier took 3 hours, you see it in approximately 40 seconds 🙄
Here is arrival Juneau, a similar ‘speedy’ docking 🙂 It’s nice to back!