Our run South from the Clyde to Weymouth was a pleasant one with only thick fog during the last leg from Start Point slowing us down. At one point we passed a 349m Container Ship giving us a huge radar target….but we couldn’t see her!
The South Coast began with Relief Chief Officer Robin Wall joining for the duration of our stay there meaning he and I sailing again together in these now familiar waters.
We had assistance as ever from our friends at Wightlink, ABP Southampton, QHM Portsmouth and all the other Ports along the Solent. A special thank-you to Serco at the Naval Base in Portsmouth who stepped in to supply our tug replacing the Butcher’s tugs we have used for so many years.
In this my 6th year as Master of Waverley on the South Coast, it is now a case of meeting old friends at the resorts of Bournemouth, Swanage and Weymouth and with the ship looking good and running well only our old adversary the weather could get between us and our target of a perfect South Coast with no cancellations!
This duly came to pass, with truly awful weather over one of the weekends which caused us to cancel some sailings including our proposed Worthing call on the Monday too.
After the South Coast came my first spell as Master of Waverley on the Thames. Once again my personal thanks go to all the ports and agencies in this district for the superb co-operation and assistance we received in the execution of our timetable. The PLA staff & Pilots, Tug Master, various Pier Masters, Tower Bridge and LRS staff could not do enough to help and I found myself enjoying the London River trips far more than I had expected to.
The experience of Sailing under Tower Bridge at night to enter the Upper Pool never loses its magic!
My memory also served me better than I thought as I re-visited Ports I had not seen since I was Mate with Captain Steve Colledge back in 2006 and it was also good to put names to faces…..meeting people for the first time, having spoken to them every year since becoming Senior Master regarding timetable planning.
A particular highlight of the South Coast and Thames were our two “Scott Suppers” where we entertained many old and new friends and a host of dignitaries and some colourful characters.
The setting of Tower Pier with The Tower of London, a floodlit Tower Bridge and HMS BELFAST as our backdrop is pretty hard to beat in any inner city berth!
With the Thames safely behind us we ran ahead of some unpleasant weather and arrived safely on the Clyde for our traditional end of season weekend before paying off our hard working crew and setting about the task of getting the ship into winter lay-up condition.
Captain Andy O’Brian – Senior Master