Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Summer 2011 Part 5

NORDSTJERNEN

Monday 11th July (contd.)
Seven Sisters

Ronja Superior

Bridge approaching Kristiansund

Welcome sign

Eidsvaag Polaris

At 4.30 p.m. we arrived at Kristiansund and had just under half an hour to take a short walk along the quayside to see the statue of the Klippfiskkjerringa, to be back on board for 5 p.m. sailing.

Nordstjernen at Kristiansund

One of our anchors

The Bridge from the quayside

Interesting drain cover

For sale in a shop...

Little tug steaming along nicely

The weather was clear but cool and the scenery was endlessly interesting. My Father had also called here on several occasions on the ARANDORA STAR. As we left the port, a few of us could stand on one bridge wing to watch the departure.

View from the Bridge

Island Challenger

Because the ship was now entering open sea it soon became very rough, and many of us on this tiny ship felt unwell, but this stretch of the passage was likely to last for a couple of hours and simply had to be endured.

Restaurant (and Captain's Table) laid for dinner

Most of us recovered in time for Restaurant dinner at 6.30 p.m. which was served at our individual tables – a beautifully presented plate of cured reindeer for starters,



followed by a layered creation of 3 fish with vegetables,



and followed by the famous Norwegian dessert of red soft fruit in juice, with cream.



It was a delicious meal, beautifully cooked and presented, and cheerfully served, and set the high standard for all the meals on board.

We called at Molde at 8.30 p.m. for an hour, and just before arriving there I was astonished to see AIDA BLU heading out of the mist towards us.



I know we are a small ship, but I didn’t envy the passengers on there heading up into those rough seas. Once in Molde I took a short walk around in the rain trying to identify a church in one of my Father’s photos;

A Molde church

I thought this was interesting

as we left, the NORDLYS berthed nearby.



We saw several of the Fjord1 and other Molde ferries whilst we were there.

Tiderose

Brandal

Romsdalsfjord

Noldefjord

Sekken

Last view of Molde

There is a Bar on the Saloon Deck near the Restaurant, so I took a glass of something delicious with me to the Lounge later that evening to see a short film show about the Hurtigruten route scenery; then I had a chat with the Purser about NORDNORGE and her now famous voyage north, and of course about NORDSTJERNEN. This was when he told me about her not having any sisters, as she was a replacement ship. He said there was no cargo on this trip as the crane was broken; the ship has ‘ancient monument’ status in Norway, so has special ‘clearance’ as a ship; she only sails in Norwegian waters so SOLAS doesn’t apply; she uses heavy oil but is fairly good, and the accountants are happy.

She is likely to last only one year now probably, as Hurtigruten must decide about new ships; FINNMARKEN is still on charter in Australia, and all are happy with this, so the charter may be renewed, in which case Hurtigruten must decide whether they need 1 or 2 new ships. I asked about the next SOLAS regulations due in a few years’ time, and he said NORDSTJERNEN’s fire doors would not be able to be used under the next Regulations.

I had noticed that the Post flag was flown from the stern flagpole and the Purser said that Mail had not been carried since the 1980s on the Hurtigruten ships, but as a courtesy they were allowed to continue using the Post flag because of her special status in Norway.

He was interested in knowing about my Father’s ship calls along the Norwegian coast in the 1930s, and mentioned another passenger he had met recently. The gentleman was coming back to the country that he had only seen during the Second World War from his submarine periscope! He had liked the look of the mountainous coast and bird life and determined to come back some day and actually set foot on the landscape he had so admired. The Purser didn’t mention the nationality of that passenger and I didn’t ask.

The ship called at Alesund at midnight for 45 minutes but I didn’t see a thing – I was lulled to sleep by the sea.

Ships seen: Kystekpressen, Coastguard vessel Barend Biesheuvel, Nordstjernen, Seven Sisters (Sea 7) a working ship with a heli-pad on the bow, Ronja Superior, Dart from Arhus, Kar steam tug at Kristiansund, Eidsvaag Polaris, Kristiansund cross-harbour ferry, Island Challenger, the UT 776E written on the hull of a vessel with a big bow, and no stern, outside Kristiansund, Nordlys of Hurtigruten, Molde ferries Tiderose, Brandal, Romsdalsfjord, Noldefjord and Sekken, a fast ferry in Kristiansund, Robas, Aida Blu appearing out of the mist and heading north from Molde

To be continued…

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Summer 2011 Part 4

NORDSTJERNEN

Monday 11th July 2011 (contd.)
With a 10 a.m. departure we soon returned from visiting POLARLYS,

Part of the hull

Why, it's a wind-chute!



the engines on NORDSTJERNEN were started and off we went, reversing out into the fjord, then full ahead for the Hurtigruten voyage south to Bergen.



and away we go

Looking astern

I had booked an unknown cabin many months ago, because the dates fitted in with my other travel plans later in the month, but was nervous of what I would be allocated after hearing some horror stories about the lowest inside cabins (on Deck A) on this 1956-built vessel, of 2,191 tons.

Down the stairs

On the stairs

Down another deck

On the stairs

I needn’t have worried! I was allocated cabin 204, which was an outside 2 bunk cabin on Deck B, with a porthole.



The bunks were one above the other, there was a small day bed/settee under the porthole, a seat in an alcove with a light above where my little suitcase fitted perfectly, there was a wardrobe, and a washbasin neatly fitted into the space between my bed head and the cabin door.




All the wood was gleaming, the porthole was very welcome although it was necessarily rather high up, and hot water gushed out of the tap when needed. It was what I would call a bijou cabin, but I was very happy with it and the bed proved to be extremely comfortable. A shower room was just across the corridor and so were Ladies Toilets.

My cabin corridor

NORDSTJERNEN (IV) was built in 1956 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg, simply to replace another ship of the line, so she had no sisters. After being re-engined in 1983, she now carries 400 passengers in 69 cabins, with no car capacity. Her service speed is 15 knots. Her hull is black, with white superstructure, there are two raked masts and the black funnel over the mid-ships engines carries the Hurtigruten logo, making her a small but balanced-looking ship. I had looked at Anthony Cooke’s book ‘Liners & Cruise Ships – Some notable smaller vessels’ before I left home so I had some knowledge of her history and a kind friend had also sent me some notes.

NORDSTJERNEN has five public decks: cabins are on Decks A, B and C (which is where Reception is located). The top Saloon Deck is accessed by a staircase,
On the staircase

which leads forward through the Hall to the Lounge.




Lounge art work

Lounge art work

Astern of the Hall is the U-shaped Restaurant with tables on both sides of the kitchens and with the food set out on serving tables across the middle forward part for lunch times and breakfast.




Set evening dinner in the Restaurant was served at individual allocated tables.


The Cafe (port side)




and Bar (on the starboard side) were astern of the Restaurant,




and another Lounge was astern of them.

Aft Lounge

Aft Lounge

There was access to the Sun Deck from the doorway of the Aft Lounge.


Made by John Hastie & Co. Ltd. of Greenock

From the aft Sun Deck there were stairs leading up to the Boat Deck, and more stairs from the Boat Deck down to the forward Lounge.





Our 10 a.m. departure would take us on “A Voyage of Discovery”, south to Bergen where we would arrive tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2.30 p.m. having called at several ports en route. I had pre-paid for my four meals on board (lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch) so went to the Saloon Deck Restaurant at 12.30 to choose delicious things from the buffet to eat. There was a wide choice of salad and cold starters, then for my main course I chose reindeer stew, which had been slow-cooked with mushrooms to create a fairly strong flavoured dish. With vegetables and small boiled new potatoes, my plate looked very inviting. My companion chose the reindeer and something to accompany it labelled ‘sour cream pudding’. We were a bit surprised when this turned out to be semolina. There were calorific desserts, cheese, coffee, tea and water all available and included.

Food could also be bought and consumed in the Café Bar.

Ships seen: Polarlys, Nordstjernen


To be continued…