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North Sea Crossing

August 30, 2011

My departure began at 6am on Saturday morning. Our house had decided the best way to deal with this early morning was stay up until it happened so the evening before we turned up the music, drank a lot of cider and bleary eyed into the wee hours we resolutely stayed awake. At 6am it was time to stop drinking and start pulling my things together, making sure that in a drunken haze my passport wouldn’t lay forgotten in the corner of my bed. My mum called at 6.30 to make sure I was on my way. And I was, of sorts.

The train pulled into Grimsby Town and I called the only person who I could count on to be as excited as me about this stopover. Jenny’s from Grimsby Town and she gave me the aural tour down the telephone – out of the station, over Bethlehem road, past Greggs, into the shopping centre and out the other side. I asked her how to get to Immingham Docks and she called her ma – Karen – who happened to be in town and offered (without being asked, begged, bullied, persuaded) to lift me the half hour drive to the docks. I hope she won’t mind having her photo posted here (above left – with the larger of the seagulls). What a brilliant and generous woman, first class rescuer of a lost Southerner in search of the Northern docks (I would have been wandering oil refinery lined roads for hours without Karen’s help).

Immingham Docks

And then it was final farewells and onto the boat, an hour’s wait for the port business to be done and then my introduction to the Swedish crew (“we’re one big family” – not quite as reassuring as was probably intended – I’ve read too many Stieg Larsson’s…). I went to my room, slept for twenty hours and woke up for breakfast in the Captain’s mess at 7am the following day (lunch would be 12noon, dinner 4.30pm and sandwiches to be snacked on as and when). My next cargo ship journey will be through the Norwegian Fjords and up the coast to Bodo in a much bigger ship with a much bigger crew. Will board the MV Nordvik tomorrow at 4pm – staying on her for 4 nights and pulling in to ten harbours to offload and pick up cargo which will mostly be of frozen fish…

a video about the cargo (well sort of) from the Baltic Bright…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jo Kulsdom permalink
    August 30, 2011 9:56 am

    Lovely Tamsin, In spirit I am with you all the way,, I have made some super trips myself on ships, to NewZealand, Panama Canal, ,,was a mess-boy on a LIBERTYship taking bauxite to Baton Rouge on the MISSISSIPPI, All quite fantastic,, Good Luck, come back safely, and watch those bears, The most dangerous animals on earth Jo

  2. August 30, 2011 10:13 am

    Wow – you’re going to the Arctic! Amazing! Keep posting 🙂

  3. August 30, 2011 1:05 pm

    A couple of links to the MV Nordvik:
    The first has a Live Map that allows landlubbers to follow its progress.

    Looks somewhat more interesting than one of the Hurtigruten fleet:
    that ply a similar route!

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