Looking back

The trip to New Orleans went smoothly. We could sail a lot more at the end. And a wonderful southern wind brought us to the Mississippi river mouth. Just before dark the two pilots came on board. Because of the fact that we are a passenger vessel they are extra careful over here. Fortunately we were able to convince them that the few sails set would be of no influence to the steering and that we were sailing by engine.

100 miles on the river still ahead of us. The Thames is only 70 miles long and to Hamburg it is 80 miles when on the river. We expected to arrive somewhere in between breakfast and lunch, depending on the current and traffic. Unfortunately the wind was completely gone after the first change of pilots.

The differences

Somewhere more to the end of the river we had to explain again about sailing. Even though the apparent wind was still 0.5 knots the pilot suggested to take away the few sails that were set. They thought the ship was beautiful and they were impressed how well the Clipper responded to the helm. And I was surprised about the amount and the size of ships that sailed the river. And contrary to our experiences on the Thames and Elbe, inland waterway shipping rules apply here. Going upstream you just take the inside curve and it does not matter when you end up on the wrong side.

In the fog
In the morning the upcoming fog made the sailing even more interesting. Fortunately the fog was hanging low making it possible to view the cranes and the houses. Only the dock to moor against was invisible. So I very carefully sailed ahead until the officer on the bow yelled that it was only 50 meters to the pier. Shortly after also the crew on the aft got a bettter idea what the area looked like. Unfortunately we are here only for 48 hours because of an event for the Municipality of Amsterdam. I do recommend New Orleans for events in the future. In three hours we will depart again with destination St. Petersburg, Florida: our next stop.*

* On April 2nd the ship arrived at St. Petersburg, Florida (editor’s note)

29°57’N 090°03’W

about the author

Andi Manser - Captain Clipper Stad Amsterdam

Captain Andi Manser came on his bike to the Netherlands all the way from Switzerland, his country of birth. He hoped to find a job on a yacht. His job as captain on the Clipper Stad Amsterdam is a dream come true.