The morning starts off as a normal joining day, with lots of spring cleaning for us to do before the new crew arrive. The night brought in some stronger winds and some concerns while on anchor watch. The anchor had started laying astern of us, which is unusual and there were worries that the cable had got caught on a prop or on the keel. What had happened is that the
wind increased from 5 knots to 15-18 knots in an hour and caused the tide to rip through at a fast rate pushing the ship forward on the anchor cable. Then when the ship managed to right itself, the cable had got caught between the ship and Bower anchor up on the bow, putting an incredible amount of tension between the two. The only way to right it, was to start the engine and create some slack in the cable while some of the crew handled the cable around the outside of the anchor freeing it up.
The winds increased again to 18-20 knots during the night and an extra vigilant anchor watch was kept by all. The wind is still strong this morning and the forecast is that it will remain like this for the next couple of days. Unfortunately the wind is coming from the SSW which is not going to help us sail South.
The Topmen and myself head over to the marina at 0900 to meet the crew for 0930. When we arrive everybody is already onboard the charter boat ready to head out to the ship. I have never had such a timely crew and we almost feel like we are late! The guys from Gun Marine Services kindly take us back to the ship and also some additional last minute supplies. The voyage crew all mange to transfer from the ships safe and soundly but as we start to transfer the bags across the strong tides and currents rip through. In no time we are struggling to remain safely alongside on the charter boat to transfer the bags due to the big swell. The bags get onboard safe and sound and it is just us professional crew left to tackle the transfer, we make it back onboard after precision timing and a leap of faith.
Once everyone is onboard we start with the information overload and formal training.