Viability not the greatest but the show must go on. Msc Febe departing Rotterdam 3 hours late had a knock on effect with her arrival to the Port of Felixstowe. The Harwich Haven Pilot Launch St Christopher was busy out in the north Sea firstly boarding pilots onto two coasters for Ipswich then landing london pilots then transferring one bound for London and then finally boarding a pilot onto the maiden voyage MSC Febe at about 11:30am. With the pilit onboard, MSC begins her inward journey in to the Port of Felixstowe. Passing the South Shipwash Buoy, the pilot radios Harwich VTS to confirm he was onboard with a maximum draught of 11.85 metres from Rotterdam with no defects. VTS replies that there was a ready berth planned port side to Felixstowe Berth 8 and continued with the wind on the Landguard Gauge and height of tide. The pilot requests three tugs for berthing, centre leads and a floater. (Centre lead aft, pushing on the quarter and centre lead forward) Duty tug copies the conversation. Svitzer Deben leaves the tug pontoon with the Svitzer Shotley following behind. Deben makes fast centre lead aft while the Shotley positions on the starboard quarter ready for a push indirect. A little while later the Svitzer Sky leaves the tug pontoon to the forward tug and make fast once the MSC Febe was inside the harbour. Stick around for part 2. Rounding the Beach End and berthing alongside Felixstowe Berth 8.
The latest world’s largest container, MSC Febe rounds the Beach End into the harbour and for a port swing for Felixstowe Berth 8. At almost 400 metres long and 61.5 metres wide, she is a new generation of container ship as the MSC Gulsun Class is the first to have a design of 24 containers across and 12 stowed below deck, giving this class a record breaking capacity of 23,756TEU. MSC Febe approaching the Harwich Approach Buoy, Svitzer Deben breaks away from the tug pontoon with the Svitzer Shotley following behind. They both head out the harbour to assist with the Beach End into the harbour. The pilot radios the Deben and goes through the plan of berthing. He requested that the Deben was to make fast centre lead aft and get ready for powered indirect while the Shotley was to position on the starboard quarter for the corner but would not require a push indirect then move around to the port side to position on the quarter for a push around. The skipper of the Shotley asks the pilot as they had a passenger which was one of the Harwich Haven Pilots, if they could do a push indirect to show how it helps with steering the 90° Beach End turn into the harbour. The pilot agrees and gets the Deben to standby on the port quarter just incase they needed a little extra help. Svitzer Sky breaks away from the tug pontoon and radios the pilot to confirm where he would like to make them fast. The pilot confirms that he would like them to make fast centre lead forward for a port swing. At the Rolling Ground, the pilot gets the Shotley to build up to a full power push at a 45° angle on the starboard quarter while the Deben favouring the port side. Safely inside the harbour and down to 6 knots, the Sky makes their approach bow to bow for the centre lead forward. Engine stopped, the Febe drifts up the harbour past the 400 metre Ever Govern alongside Felixstowe 9. Soon after, the pilot gets the Deben to pull straight back 50% to reduce her headway. The pilot also runs the engine astern to reduce further. The Shotley moves around from the starboard side on to the port side near the funnel. Once in position, the pilot gets the Shotley to push up full power to swing the stern. Deben move out onto the starboard side and takes the stern around. Meanwhile further forward, the Sky moves onto the port side and builds power to take the bow around. Swinging to port, the Sky carefully passes the Shelf buoy before increasing weight again. Swung around 180° the pilot gets the Shotley to move around to the starboard side as they back up into the berthing position. The berthing master parked in the bridge position on the quay helps the pilot berth in the correct position. The pilot radios the mooring gang with the final tie up which would be 3, 3 and 3 each end with 2 springs first then the offshores then head and stern lines and complete with the 3rd springs both ends EDT evening of the 27th January 2020