Iceland Cruise 28 – Brave Orkney Maritime Pilots

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Iceland Cruise March 2018 – It ‘s nearly the end of our cruise, just a couple more posts to go – After we had left Kirkwall, Orkney, I was waiting on deck to take photos of a lighthouse I had seen in the distance, when I suddenly noticed the Kirkwall Bay Pilot Vessel coming along side of the ship.  The vessel had left harbour to follow us, so they could pick up the pilot after he had navigated us out into open water.  Such a little boat against the size of the cruise ship.  It took quite a while before they found a gap in the rough seas, so that the pilot could jump off the cruise ship.  I just kept taking photos and hoped a big wave didn’t cover them.  I was just amazed at what I was watching, and in the end I got my photo, but I did find it incredible that’s how they leave the ship.  I had never thought about it before, and this had happened every time we had left port, although the sea had not been so rough before.  Great photos for my Occupation Category – Kirkwall Bay Pilot Vessel & Maritime Pilot.  

A maritime pilot, also known as a marine pilot, harbor pilot or bar pilot and sometimes simply called a pilot, is a sailor who maneuvers ships through dangerous or congested waters, such as harbors or river mouths.



10 Replies to “Iceland Cruise 28 – Brave Orkney Maritime Pilots”

    1. Yes, my great-grandfather x 3 was a river pilot in Devon, this is back when they had sailing ships. Ha ha those waves got up to 15 foot in the end, got a little rough 🙂

      1. Yes very true, most of the family were sailors and I married one 🙂 although he seems to have lost his sea legs 🙂

  1. Wow! That’s really something how they do that. Glad you were there to document it. Very interesting to see. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Thanks Pat, I was holding my breath, it looked so dangerous, it took ages before they could get close enough, but glad I got to take photos 🙂

  2. Like all your other readers I gasped when I saw the man leaning out of the ‘doorway’ (probably called something else on board ship) towards his two mates. Fantastic record of bravery and you may not have experienced the worst of the weather. I always thought that ‘pilot’ was the name for the small boat that lead a larger ship or ferry out of the harbour not an actual human being. Health and Safety rules don’t stretch to Orkney then ;-).

    1. I did know about the pilot, as we had one in the family, but as you say, rules don’t seem stretch to Orkney. Ha ha just as well because there would be no photos 🙂 He was very brave, all three of them were.

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