Friday, 25 May 2018

Ultra large Merete Maersk eases from Felixstowe Berth 9 as the ferry Stena Hollandica passes. 24/05/18

Michael Brakhage
Harwich Haven pilot boarding time confirmed for 17:30, all but one crane working on the forward section of the ship boom up. A line of tugs with boxes waiting to be lifted onto the ship. Cargo operations complete, the crane begins to boom up and the driver makes his desent down the many flights of steps to ground level.
The pilot onboard radios Harwich VTS to say they were ready for departure, 13.9m for Tanjung Pelepas and would like the tugs in attendace. Svitzer Shotley was the first to arrive on the scene and finds out where forward they are to make fast. The pilot first said about the centre lead forward but as he wanted a push up as they single up. The second idea would be to make fast on the starboard shoulder but on the main deck which would be better to push up. The Svitzer Kent already knew that they would be made fast centre lead aft as they would be used for a powered indirect out of the harbour. As the tugs make fast it begins to rain, slowly getting heavier before stopping altogether.
Once both tug were made fast they push up easy as they were wwaiting for the ferry Stena Hollandica to pass through the harbour. The plan was to ease off the berth but stay in the berth box until the Hollandica had passed. The ferry about to enter the harbour, spring lines were released and the tugs back off and gently ease her away from the fenders. Just as the Stena Hollandica passes, the captain thaks the pilot for his co-operation. The channel clear the pilot increses the tugs power but mostly Shotley forward, to help the bow out. The pilot gives the enging a kick ahead with the wheel hard to starboard. As The Merete comes ahead, the Shotley is released on the shoulder and scurries around the stern to position on the port quarter to standby if required. Kent drops in astern and stands by ready for a powered indirect. Speed increasing steadily, the pilot give the Kent the nod to go out on the Starboard quarter at full line la=oad for a powered indirect. Kent's power increasing, black smoke pours from the funnels. Safely out of the harbour Shotley is stood down and comes away from the ships side as the Kent eases then drops in astern to retrieve their tow line.

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