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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

1st December, 2018

Well, many of you may be surprised to see Dover in the title for today’s blog. It’s not because we don’t like Portsmouth any more, but more because we encountered delays heading north to the UK due to some winter storms passing through, which meant we had to take shelter en-route in order to not only stay safe but also to stop those gin glasses from sliding off the bar.

We hid quietly at anchor in the calm of the beautiful natural harbour offered in Vigo Bay, before crossing the Bay of Biscay when conditions had calmed nicely. However this meant that we arrived a little behind schedule, and logistically it was decided that Dover was the more sensible port to head to. After a few calm days at sea during which we enjoyed our farewell cocktail party and the final few days of executive chef John’s delicious offerings, before arriving in Dover on Saturday morning. By this stage, another system of winter weather had caught up with us, which meant blustery conditions alongside in Dover, and frequent spells of rain. December had arrived…

However, the weather did not at all affect our operation, where the passengers who had enjoyed their Moorish Mediterranean cruise headed home with some great memories, and we boarded some more passengers who were keen to visit a couple of North European ports on our next cruise entitled ‘Amsterdam Escape.’ Also carried out was a full unload and load of everyone’s baggage (a lot more always comes off than came on at the beginning…) and some 90 pallets of stores were brought on containing food, beverage and technical supplies for the ship.

At 17:00, once everyone had settled in and attended our mandatory safety briefing prior to departure, we were ready to let go our lines and whizz up the English Channel overnight towards the Netherlands. The wind howled and the rain poured (of course) as I stood on the bridge-wing manoeuvring the ship as we departed, but once we steadied on our north-east course between the UK and France, conditions were pleasant inside our grand little ship, and we held a little casual welcome cocktail party to formally say hello.

Various courses would be followed overnight within the vessel routing schemes in the southern North Sea, before approaching the flat coast of Holland and coastal town of Ijmuiden in the early hours of Sunday. I’ll speak to you from there!

Captain Kim Tanner

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