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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

14th August, 2018

This is only the second time that the Pearl II has berthed at Campbeltown. The first was in 2016 during her time as the Quest for Adventure, when she was chartered to the Scottish National Trust.

In 1700 Campbeltown was promoted to a Royal Burgh and became a trading hub for Northern Europe and America. During the 18th and 19th centuries, herring fishing became the main economy of the town. By 1820 there were 145 boats, manned by 435 men and boys working out of the harbour. Today, the fishing fleets are gone; however the town is bustling with hotels, restaurants, museums, shops and pubs. And, of course, Campbeltown is still producing world renowned single malt whisky.

Okay, that’s the history lesson complete, now a little bit about me and my role onboard the Saga Pearl II! I have been sea going for 30 years, joining the Royal Navy in 1988. I had been working as an engineer in my home city of Leeds but having a wander lust, I desperately wanted the opportunity to see large parts of the world at a time when travel wasn’t so readily accessible.

My RN career saw me serve on most of the Portsmouth based Type 42 destroyer fleet, seeing action in the second Gulf War on HMS Liverpool. Finally, my RN career came to an end in 2012 after 24 years service and I had to make the scary decision of what to do next.

Luckily for me I had a good friend working for Saga and it didn’t take him long to convince me that this was the company to come to. I have now been operating in the role of Chief Electrician for the past 6 years, initially on the Sapphire and now permanently on the Pearl II.

The electrical department onboard the Pearl II consists of me, my First Electrician, a Second Electrician and three assistant electricians. We cover from top to bottom, front to back and everything in between! Days onboard can be incredibly varied and can see us working on the generators, lifts, Galleys, laundry or replacing several of the thousands of light bulbs around the ship! It’s never a dull day.

For those who are interested in the ships facts and figures, the Saga Pearl II has a low voltage electrical system. We have 3 diesel generators, each with an output of 450V, 3 phase, 60Hz and 1.4MW of power. One of the main engines can be configured for generation and this provides us with an extra 2.8MW. So in total, we can produce a maximum of 7MW of power, which is more than enough to supply all our needs with plenty of spare.

On my time off the ship I love spending time at home in Hampshire, with my wife of 30 years, Claire and our daughter Rebekah. When all the jobs are complete and when I’m allowed, you will find me mostly on a lake bank drowning worms or hitting balls at my local golf club.

Ian Simpson - Chief Electrician

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.