Happy 40th birthday Jon! Jon arose to a fine sunny day on his 40th birthday. Proceedings began with the voyage photo, with chief engineer Steve at the helm of the automatic timer on the camera. Cheesy grins complete, the forward starboard set off in search of Belgium chocolate!!!
Among others Ted and Nick with a little assistance from the ships wheelchair propelled at considerable pace by Jim legged it towards the gangway to catch the ship before it left its harbour position around lunch time. All hands to harbour stations, Rod at the helm, Ben abandoned in the doti boat, Mary and Robin pulling in mooring lines, Sam and Ted on fender duty. The fog was down and so was visibility, what a difference a day makes!!
Captain Clare on the bridge working hard to earn her film star wages headed us up the canal, Ben at the helm with orders to ‘steer down the middle’ towards Zeebrugge. We had a little interlude of happy birthday singing and cake for Jon, a true work of art from Cooky Dave and probably the first time its been sung whilst making full steam ahead!. Approaching the lock Rachel, medical purser in charge of fenders, offered to position one on the bowsprit, offer declined! The fog remained as we entered the lock at Zeebrugge in the process of coming along side and mooring a rogue fender claimed a victim, David (W/L). Swift work from nursey pursey, Rachel with Georgie’s opinion led to some medical assistance before returning to Lord Nelson after a stitch or six. The fender in question continued to try to make its escape before being returned to Nelly’s crew with a smile and some pedal power.
When all seemed quiet leaving the lock the fender made its second bid for freedom only to be recaptured by Steve, now firmly attached (the fender that is – MP). The fog remained thick so we have dropped anchor for the night. Forward Port were all kitted up, armed with uncle Joe’s mint balls, ready for watch to be stood down at the last moment for the night. Forward starboard are happy to escape the midnight till four watch and are now chilling in the bar or crashed out in their bunks, awaiting an early start to weigh anchor.
Sue and Forward Starboard watch