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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

15th January, 2018

Well, this was more like it. Sunshine shone upon our arrival into Tenerife at 08:30 in the morning on the 15th of January. Tenerife? That wasn’t on the itinerary, I hear you say! Well, didn’t I mention that this is Captain Tanner’s debut mystery cruise?!

After our diversion and resulting delay at the beginning of the cruise, thinking caps had to go on and we came up with another plan to keep everybody happy. A call at a Canary island en-route to Africa. Tenerife was the best all-round solution, and because of its location and large harbour with plenty of berth availability, was able to provide us with a full day call for everyone to enjoy. We shared the berth with the enormous Queen Mary 2 and, would you believe, the mighty Saga Sapphire!

Tours were busy today and disappeared off to all sorts of interesting sounding spots. One, called “Northern Delights” (not to be mixed with “Northern Lights”…) took everyone on a scenic drive past the charming fishing village of San Andres, which they say has been there since 1497. Las Teresitas was the next stop, a lovely sandy beach – made partly from some 238,000 tons of golden sand, allegedly borrowed from neighbouring Africa. I wonder if they ever noticed that one of their beaches was missing some considerable amount of sand?

Another of our trips visited Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak at 12,000ft. I am reliably informed that no terrain forming this peak was actually taken from anyone, though, unlike Las Teresitas. This tour journeys up and around the peak, eventually leading to the phenomenally sized 29 mile volcanic crater, and National Park therein. Our final trip today appealed particularly to the Welsh contingent, pleasantly named “Gardens of the Valley.” This entailed some lovely scenic driving and a visit to some rather impressive botanical gardens founded by a Royal Decree of King Charles III of Spain, in 1788. And my, how things have grown since those seeds were planted all those years ago…

Back on board, passengers less inclined on tours or wandering freely around Santa Cruz, the port town, instead either lazed around the ship happily or took a stroll over to our sister ship, parked next to us. I popped over to visit Captain Burgess on board Sapphire too, and almost immediately as I set foot onto the quayside the heavens opened. Typical. Luckily Saga’s free umbrella provision came in handy and only my feet became sodden.

We sailed just as the sun set in the evening, tooting the whistle as we passed Saga Sapphire on the way out of the harbour. My ex-colleagues on the towering Queen Mary 2 decided to join in, too – and almost blew us away with their whistle!

Off we go…to Western Africa. Next stop: The Gambia (along with plenty of nice, well-deserved tropical sunshine…).

Captain Kim Tanner

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