Most ports on the world require the use of a local pilot to guide ships through the particulars of their situation. This is true for tanker ships and cruise ships. Sometimes we have seen the pilot arrive at a cruise ship – a bit of a challenging manoeuvre, but the real challenge is probably boarding a big tanker in high seas.
Last night our on board newsletter had a note saying that the pilot for Richard’s Bay would be delivered around 03:30 by helicopter. We tried to decide between us if we had seen a helicopter landing pad on the ship – pretty sure we hadn’t. Would they lower him from the helicopter? I had reason to visit the purser’s office, so I asked them. Sure enough- he would be lowered to the upper deck.
At 03:36 there was a mighty clatter and a light outside. I went to the veranda door – trying to decide if I should go out to look. Just then the helicopter banked away and the prop wash sent a big wash of moisture down the side of the ship. Good thing I wasn’t out there!
So – next time you are moaning about the Colwood Crawl, or lamenting the traffic on the Deerfoot….. at least you don’t get lowered out of the sky onto a ship deck in the middle of the night to start your workday!
Since I don’t have a picture of that event you’ll have to make do with the Valentine’s Day cake on the buffet tonight!
The bakery on board is amazing!