Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Norway to Ireland 2011: Arrival in Waterford, Ireland

In which we arrive at our destination, Waterford, Ireland. We arrived a day earlier than forecast (Wednesday) and we then partook of the Tall Ships Festival in Waterford for the next  three days. It was a monster party. More on that next time.

Day 12   Thursday             June 30, 2011

All day yesterday was spent getting the ship ready for port and ready for public tours. The 12-4 watch pulled in the remaining three staysails and the 4-8 watch did the final trimming of the braces. When we got on deck at 8, our watch had the pleasure of starting to polish the brass. We hadn’t realized until then how much brass the ship carried: door handles, signs and plaques, half the pins for securing the lines, window rims, the two compass pedestals, and the ship’s bell.

Yikes! We spent four hours in the morning and then were “invited” back to help the 12-4 watch get it done. I don’t think we finished until about 3 p.m.

By now we were in sight of the Irish coast and following the Soerlandet to the mouth of the Suir River. I was really looking forward to the trip up the river and seeing the other class A ships, especially the Russian ship, the Mir, the only serious competition that the Christian Radich has at this point in the history of the sport (at least that’s what the crew says!).

Yesterday we were so busy that I had no time to make an entry. We tied up in Waterford last evening about 6:30 with great pageantry. It was a remarkable ride up the Suir River with an Irish pilot on board directing the helmsman. It was a beautiful entry, mostly sunny with a couple of brief showers to give us a view of why this country is so green. There were people lining both banks of the river the entire 15 miles into port. They were waving and cheering, some with Irish flags, and when we thought they could hear us, we shouted back. Alan tried to get across the point that he was single and whenever we passed a pub, he tried to order a Guinness.

On our final approach we were met by three tugs that deftly pushed
and pulled us into our mooring. The crew did a great job working with the dock hands to get the spring lines on the bollards.

After all the docking procedures were complete, the cooks and the stewards set up a buffet dinner on the main deck. Before dinner Captain Jagdum had all the watches assemble and passed out diplomas to each trainee signifying the distance and dates of the voyage. This was completely unexpected and a really nice touch. Mine was printed in Norwegian and Caroline offered to make one in English, but I think it’s better in Norwegian so I said no.

The dinner was exceptional and we finally had beer after 8 days at sea.  In between the diplomas and dinner the Captain passed around a shot of rum for everyone and toasted to a good voyage and a safe trip home. This ship and crew is a class act.

Next up: the Waterford Tall Ships Festival

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