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St Helier, Jersey

Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

9th August, 2018

It was an early morning start before arrival in Jersey for the deck department preparing the Tenders for arrival. The first tender was ‘splashed’ at around 09:15, and took around 15 minutes to get into the inner harbour next to the RNLI station with all of the equipment to set up our camp in the torrential rain which had set in. We had the Pilots guiding us in for the first run, giving advice and local knowledge to the helmsman, as it had been a while since some of us had been into St Helier, and the first call for myself in just over two years with Saga. We had to observe the traffic lights warning us of the other movements within the harbour and stick to the 5 knot speed limit once passing the outer breakwater.

I returned to the vessel at around lunchtime once the tenders were flowing freely with shore excursions and independent travellers making their way ashore to see the Battle of the Flowers. After lunch some of the Safety and Crew Welfare systems on board were undergoing an Audit for compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), so that was completed before I headed back ashore again to oversee the return of the last tours and tenders to the vessel. The weather at the end of the day was a contrast to the beginning with lots of sunshine, but a confused sea state caused by a strong wind against the flooding tide, which made for a challenging return to the vessel and tricky operation to safely transfer passengers back on to Saga Pearl II, with the Bridge manoeuvring the ship to create the best lee that they could.

As I mentioned, I have worked for Saga for just over two years, initially joining Saga Pearl II as Chief Officer whilst she was completing a Round Britain Cruise in July 2016, I have spent the majority of my time on board Saga Pearl II. Prior to this I worked on Cargo Ships, carrying various raw bulk materials such as coal, iron ore, bauxite, salt or grains on Bulk Carriers of between Panamax (225mx32m and 70,000dwt) and Capesize (300mx50m and 235,000dwt). These ships traded worldwide from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to China, Thailand, Canada, New Orleans, USA, Guinea in West Africa or the Amazon in Brazil, we even called into Port Talbot on the Bristol Channel. I obtained my Masters Licence earlier this year, and now carry out the role of Safety Officer on board, having recently transferred from the Saga Sapphire. I am scheduled to continue sailing on Saga Pearl II until she leaves the fleet before heading to the Spirit of Discovery, which is a challenge I am looking forward to, including time in the yard in Papenburg, Germany before delivery.

Whilst at home in Ipswich, where I grew up and my parents still live, I love sailing my 19ft Squib keelboat with my father on the River Orwell and out into the North Sea. I also try to catch-up with my twin sister, Libby who lives and works in London. I also enjoy hillwalking, which means travelling away from the flats of Suffolk to North Wales, the Lake District or Peak District whenever I can persuade my friends to join me!

Andrew Makinson, Safety Officer

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.