As we head Northwest toward St. Helena in calm seas and making good speed, we take time to reflect on the past 96 hectic hours in Cape Town.
Since arriving at E berth on Saturday afternoon, the Engineering team and Shore Contractors have worked almost non-stop to get the newly rebuilt starboard engine up and running by Sunday evening. At the same time we loaded general cargo and some 51 containers for the Island, and the Hotel department continued with the loading of stores and preparation of the passenger cabins.
On Monday the ship proceeded to sea trials on both engines, at 0900 hrs local time. This was another busy day for the engine room boys, with the testing and commissioning of the new equipment, and the testing of both stabilisers. We returned to the port at 1700 hrs local, only to be advised that the Pilot would not be available until 1930, so a long day became even longer by the time the ship was all secured back at E berth.
Sailing day is always busy onboard and Tuesday was no exception. Final stores had to be loaded, baggage brought onboard, Safety Muster to take place, sludge to be discharged, GPO and diplomatic mail loaded, Lloyd’s Surveyor in attendance, certificates handed over, Hotel staff completing the passenger accommodation, the balance of the cargo to be loaded; and of course the final adjustments made in the engine room after the trials. So it was with some relief that, loaded with 71 containers, 815 tonnes of cargo, 117 passengers and 55 crew, we cast off our last line at 1756 hrs local time, and headed out of Cape Town harbour with three long blasts of the ship’s whistle, and Dave Mitchell singing ‘My St. Helena Island’ throughout the ship on the PA system.
After a calm night at sea, with passengers and crew well rested, we are now back into our wonderful life on the ocean waves.