Standing on deck 7, the ship is easing her way into her berth and its all go on the dockside. The guide lines are being thrown out to those waiting to tie her securely and the officers on the bridge are on their toes, as always, to ensure our docking is a smooth one. Will I ever get bored with this? I very much doubt it.
This really is something I never get tired of seeing. It still amazes me how they do it, I know for sure if it was me our ship would end up on the dock not sitting gracefully alongside it.
I have been lucky enough to leave port whilst on the ship’s bridge with the Captain, Deputy Captain and other crew members. This really was an experience that will stay with me forever. I always enjoy flitting from pillar to post to watch the ship sail in and out of port but to experience it from the bridge, trust me; there really is no better view. Although I suppose that’s obvious because we would all be in trouble if there was.
Just listening to the instructions going back and forth on the radio, those reporting in that all ropes are untied, doors etc are all secured, it really is like being in a mind blowing bubble. The crew then kick everything into gear and slowly she pushes away from the dockside and it’s all done with a control about the size of a joystick.
The entire time my eyes were darting all around, I didn’t know where to look, I quite easily could have pulled up a chair and sat there for the entire length of the cruise, I really do feel so privileged to have had that opportunity.
I think we must agree that one of the funniest things about arriving in port is watching those on the dockside trying to catch the guide lines. A few years ago we arrived in Gibraltar, it was a blisteringly hot summer’s day and I think tensions on the ground were clearly a little frayed. I remember seeing the guide line come flying out of the starboard side two or three times and each time the guy on the dock failed to catch it. Eventually he started shouting at the ship’s crew, I couldn’t understand what he was saying but I know it definitely wasn’t very nice and to say he was upset is an understatement.
A few short moments later, again, the line comes hurtling out of the ship, only this time I am convinced it had been fired by some kind of rocket launcher. It shot across the dock, just about hit the guy in the face and then slowly came to a stop. I know I shouldn’t but I was laughing so hard. If the guy was angry before then now he was irate. The slurs continued from him and by this time the ship’s crew but it was just so comical. This guy had a bee in his bonnet before we even got there and I think to be honest the crew just had enough and they decided to get their own back. He was still mumbling away, hand gestures being given by the time the gangway was being put into place. I’m just glad we weren’t relying on him to untie us at the end of our call.