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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

24th January, 2018

Weaving in between the local Portuguese fisherman catching lunch, we approached the coast of the Algarve at around 07:00. A light layer of mist hung around sea level making it seem quite eerie. Portimao harbour is not a particularly deep one, and in fact we are among the largest ships that they can accommodate here. We entered the breakwaters passing a few eager fishermen and photographers alike stationed on the pier heads, before approaching our berth located about half a mile or so inside – which doubles as the local ferry berth.

A nice sunny day was to follow, and although it is mid-winter the Algarve still has plenty to offer our intrepid Saga cruisers. For the action enthusiasts, there was a 4WD countryside adventure tour offered, trekking along the rugged coast in jeeps taking in local highlights and various viewpoints along the way. Trips around Portimao itself of course were offered, and also ones venturing further afield to Lagos – and a combination of both for those who couldn’t make their minds up about what they wanted to see.

The day passed very pleasantly indeed, with temperatures reaching a pleasant 17C, most agreeable for a pleasant wander along one of the nearby sandy beaches. I declined the offer to join the Chief Engineer ashore for lunch. Although I was keen, I was far more enthusiastic to dive headfirst into the pile of emails & paperwork required from a modern cruise ship Captain.

Consolingly, I have already been to the Algarve a few times on holiday though, and in an excited effort to explore the golden coastline even rented a little boat once which broke down about 20 miles from the harbour. No spare engine or sail available I rooted around in the little cuddy, searching for an alternative means of propulsion. To my overwhelming joy I located a tiny plastic paddle resembling something from a Fisher-Price factory. Luckily for me the locals were very friendly, and most seemed to possess boats with towlines & more reliable motors than my rented version.

Back on board this evening it was time to sail away from this pleasant spot and head to Portugal’s capital tomorrow. This evening’s entertainment consisted of virtuoso violinist Peter Fisher, who I am told was very impressive. I couldn’t vouch for this personally though, as a Captain’s duty includes that of experiencing fine dining, which sometimes over-runs …

Speak to you from Lisbon, once I’ve had time to digest supper!

Captain Kim Tanner

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.