Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Leaving Monte

Leaving harbour was a lot easier than arriving – we were facing the right way for a start. At 16:00 the chief engineer ordered both main engines started and all thrusters tested. Fids lined all external decks as smoke bellowed from the stack and the murky water of Monte harbour was churned from side to side. Half an hour later, the local pilot squeezed through the crowd to the bridge, giving Captain Harper the all-clear to weigh anchor.

The harbour was quiet as the Shackleton passed the National Armada and steamed into open sea. As we neared the final breakwater, the bright orange launch which had followed us from our berth drew neatly alongside, the helmsman’s hands dancing on the wheel and throttles to keep her steady while the pilot lowered himself down the bosun’s ladder to re-join his boat. The moment the pilot’s feet touched deck, the launch cut away, its crew waving as they opened up the twin V8s and sped home. We were at sea again. Posted by Picasa


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