Black tie evening
This was another black tie evening and after getting changed we went up to the Planet Bar for pre-dinner drinks.
I had gravalax and Cobb salad for starters and then I had the Maryland chicken for my main. Desert was a delicious toffee sundae. Our servers had decided that we were not going to get our full complement on the table and we were now set just with four places.
After dinner we went to see the Headliners were perform ‘Electric Avenue’ in a full Playhouse Theatre.
The clocks changed overnight and we moved ever closer to Caribbean time.
From the Captain’s Log
Azura began her approach to Ponta Delgada at 04:35 as she entered the territorial waters of the Azores. The officers of the 4-8 watch commenced their pre-arrival checks at 05:45. These checks include testing the pitch of the vessel’s thrusters, doubling the vessel’s steering motors and contacting the pilot station to confirm the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA).
The vessel was also declared to be in Potentially Hazardous Conditions(PH), this is routine and involves the precautionary closing of the vessel’s watertight doors when close to land.
At 07:43 the Captain took the ‘Charge of the Ship’ and at 07:45 ‘Stand By Below’ (SBB) was rung for the engineers. This informs the engineers to have our engines ready for manoeuvring purposes.
By 08:00 Azura had all 6 thrusters online and hand steering was engaged with a quartermaster taking the helm. The pilot boarded from the port side at 08:08. The approach was conducted by the Captain with the advice of the pilot. Azura commenced a turn to the north east to clear the southern breakwater before moving astern to parallel the quay.
Weather forecasts had indicated the potential for gusts of wind up to 30 knots; Azura therefore had the assistance of two tug vessels which helped push Azura bodily into position on the quayside.
Our mooring arrangements included particularly well positioned breast lines to account for gusts pushing the vessel off the berth. The first line went ashore at 08:41 and by 09:10 the first disembarkation of guests had occurred.
All guests and crew were confirmed on board at 16:37 in preparation for our departure. The last line was cast off at 16:46 enabling the First Officer to thrust the ship bodily off the berth before putting on headway and taking Azura to sea.
Shortly after clearing the breakwater Azura was brought to a course of 237° to begin her Great Circle track to the Caribbean.
Weather: Variable, heavy rain showers punctuated by bright spells
Wind: North Easterly, Force 3