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Jun 2015

29 June 2015; Inside Passage, BC Canada.

With full speed the ship made it nicely on time to the Seymour Narrows and just past 10 pm. she went through. I was not on the bridge but I could feel it in the cabin; but only if you are attuned to it. Even with slack tide in the Narrows, it is not really slack tide. There are always eddies and side currents which are caused by the flood stopping and the Ebb starting. Slack tide is just the moment where one flow is losing it from the other. So when the ship goes through, changing course from approx. 325o to 287o and then to 006o, the eddies around the ship will nudge it one way or the other and will try to push the ship off course. The Quartermaster behind the wheel reacts instantly to such an off course movement and as there is no room for error here, the “bringing-back-to-course” is much more abrupt than normal.  It causes a different movement than one is used to and that is what you feel. Going through the Seymour Narrows on the early tide means that you have a lot of spare speed in hand for the remainder of the schedule. Ketchikan pilot is always around 04.00 – 04.30 Alaskan Time and as that does not change whatever tide you have to take, it means time and speed in hand. Holland America expects their captains to try and bring as much enjoyment to a cruise as possible and if that can be achieved with some extra, but safe sightseeing then that is what normally happens. What we do and what can be done depends on a lot of factors. First of all, how much time do we have in hand? Secondly can we go safely where we want to go (if a scenic area is full of fishermen casting nets in the fairway then you do not go there). Thirdly what is the weather going to be like? Fourthly does it not conflict with the on board program and if that all is ok, then there is the next step: […]

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