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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

2nd September, 2018

After a sunny morning in Dover it was time to set sail with an almost empty ship, up to Bonnie Scotland. We would have a day at sea on Saturday before arriving in Greenock on the Firth of Clyde, on Sunday morning. A grand total of 9 lucky passengers had the ship almost entirely to themselves for this little jaunt, for we would be picking up the remainder of our guests in Greenock before the annual National Trust of Scotland charter cruise.

Our Saturday at sea was unfortunately rather gloomy with foggy patches and occasional drizzle, however the sea remained nice and calm which on the plus side meant that we were able to spot plenty of wildlife as we headed north through the Irish Sea. Whales and porpoises aplenty were sighted by our team on the Bridge throughout the day.

Early on Sunday morning, we approached the river Clyde and weaved our way up towards one of the old shipbuilding centres of the UK, now home to the famous naval base of Faslane. We were berthed safely alongside in Greenock at around 10:30, welcomed by a piper and some light Scottish drizzle. However as the day wore on the sun manged to find its way through the clouds and it ended up being quite a pleasant afternoon.

I had an old Scottish friend and colleague living nearby, who thought he’d pop down and say hello. In hindsight I believe it might have been the offer of an excellent free lunch on board which was his main incentive to travel my way, but of course I am always willing to give such people the benefit of the doubt (despite the fact that he is Scottish). Afterwards though, he offered to drive me down the coast to the town of Largs, which boasts the world famous Nardini’s ice cream parlour. We enjoyed a cracking bowl of frozen delight there, whilst walking along the Scottish waterfront watching sailors struggle with the gusty winds whipping up the brown waters of the Clyde.

All too soon the day wore on into evening, at which point it was time for me to check everyone was on board Saga Pearl 2 and then head off to sea. We wouldn’t be going far though, for our first port was that of Tarbert, located just around the corner on Lock Fyne. Our aim was to be anchored there just after supper time in order to be ready to tender our freshly embarked passengers ashore first thing in the morning. I checked the forecast and couldn’t believe my eyes – sunshine was on the cards in Scotland. I would await until awakening the next day before I would believe this news!

Captain Kim Tanner

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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