Tuesday, 15 November 2016

'Silver Explorer'

More events of Monday, 14th November

I boarded ‘Silver Explorer’ a little after two in the afternoon and boarding formalities were quickly completed. I was told that lunch was still being served in the Restaurant so, peckish after the morning’s exertions, I enjoyed an excellent chicken soup before finding my cabin – 314 on the port side. By about 3.30 p.m. all passengers had boarded and at four there was a mandatory lifeboat drill.

At five o’clock, I watched our departure from deck 6. The initial movement away from the quay was controlled by our lady Captain, Maggi Ettlin, from the starboard wing bridge using the remote control panel.

'Silver Explorer' Captain, Maggi Ettlin.

The ship and the various shore parties managing the mooring lines remained in touch using hand portable radios. The Harbour Pilot was also on our bridge and the Valparaiso pilot boat ‘Zeus 1’ remained close by monitoring our progress, as did the powerful-looking ocean-going tug ‘Huairavo’, equipped with two fire-fighting monitors. We slowly manoeuvred out into the channel and, once we were clear of the stern of the massive Hapag-Lloyd container ship ‘Santa Teresa’ loading at the container terminal, the pilot boat came alongside on our port side towards the stern and we ‘dropped the pilot’.

Valparaiso: Ocean-going tug ‘Huairavo’ observes our departure as we pass the stern of the Hapag-Lloyd container ship ‘Santa Teresa’.

We made our way outside the protection of the harbour mole and past a number of moored ships giving us wonderful views of Valparaiso as the sun set. The appearance of the cascades of buildings set on the hills facing the sea made me think of a child who’d just emptied all his building blocks onto the floor.

Valparaiso, viewed from the sea at sunset.

Having watched our departure, I briefly joined the ‘Sail Away’ cocktail party on deck 6 aft. At 6.30 p.m. passengers gathered in the Theatre where Kara Weller, the Expedition Leader, carried out ‘Staff Introductions’ covering the managers who look after the ‘hotel’ side of the ship and the 9-strong Expedition Team.

Immediately after the introductions, it was time for the first of our evening meals on board. Seating is unallocated but the staff are always happy to suggest a table so I stayed in the dining room quite late talking with new friends from the United States, Australia, Spain and the U.K. (a young man working in Dubai whose family home was just 12 miles from where I live!

Aboard 'Silver Explorer': Entrance to the Restaurant.

I slept soundly as the ship made its way south along the Chilean coast.

Related Posts

Next post describing this trip: 'Day at Sea'.
All posts describing this trip: Chilean Fjords.

My pictures

Where necessary, clicking on an image above will display an 'uncropped' view or, alternately, pictures may be selected, viewed or downloaded, in various sizes, as below:-

Pictures of Embarcation and leaving Valparaiso are here.
Pictures aboard 'Silver Explorer' are here.
All my pictures of Chile, taken on this and earlier trips, can be found in the collection Chile.

[Pictures added: 5-Jan-2017]