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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

25th January, 2018

Well, doesn’t time fly when one’s having so much fun. Here we were, approaching the final port on our Canary Island & African adventure…but the fun was far from over yet, as not only have we got more days to enjoy before returning to Portsmouth but also we had a little surprise in store for everyone this evening…

We entered the river Tejo at around 06:00, marking our approach to the City of Lisbon. Around 10 miles after rounding the sandbanks at the entrance, the Pilot comes on board to remind me where to park. We have been to Lisbon several times though, and my memory is not as bad as my mother’s, so we really didn’t require a pilot. The weather had taken a turn for the worse today and it was pouring with rain as we tied the ship up, requiring me to wear my Captain Birdseye yellow oilskin outfit whilst parking on the open Bridge wing, thus providing good entertainment for some brave onlookers armed with umbrellas. A little rain does not deter the British from enjoying the outdoors.

The forecast was for it to clear though, and indeed just before lunch the sun popped out and remained for the rest of the day. Lisbon is a favourite port for us, and there is so much to see and do that it is very difficult to tire of it. With trams to jump on and off, the quaint old town and streets to explore, grand palaces and gardens to visit, and stunning national parks not far away, there is more than enough here to do for a week let alone a day.

Well, do you remember me mentioning a surprise earlier on? Throughout the day there was a scurrying of activity near the ship on the river, whilst local fire enthusiasts moored several boats a few hundred metres from our little ship in preparation for . . . . . . . a personal firework display which I had been keeping a secret from everyone. At around 18:00, just after sunset, when perhaps a few were becoming a little concerned at why we weren’t departing the port as planned, I mentioned over the PA system that people might want to pop out on the open decks shortly and keep their eyes skyward…

The fireworks were excellent, and it was all so close to the ship one could almost feel the heat from them! On the aft deck the traditional address to the Haggis had been made for Burn’s Day, and bagpipes were played as everyone watched on. Fortunately, being at the front of the ship, I did not require my earplugs for the bagpipes!

Well, after much fire and whistle-hooting, it was time to leave Lisbon and head out in the North Atlantic ocean for our return trip to Portsmouth, Yes – Portsmouth! A new turnaround port for us. I was becoming bored of Southampton & Dover. The sail-in is enjoyable, but more about that in a few days’ time…

Captain Kim Tanner

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