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Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

22nd January, 2019

Today we had a port call in Ceuta after a reasonably smooth passage down from Portsmouth and the Super Blood Wolf Moon on the morning of the 21st.

Weather was calm on arrival and docking was straight forward.

Ceuta (Arabic: سبتة (Sabtah), Berber: Sebta) is one of two Spanish exclaves in North Africa (the other one being Melilla). The territory had several rulers before the Portuguese in 1415 took control of this city east of Tangier. Since 1580 it has been under Spanish administration but has the status of an autonomous city despite being located on the African continent almost directly south of the autonomous city of Gibraltar.

This exclave was in the spotlight in 2005 together with Melilla because hundreds of people were trying to climb over the border fence. Ceuta being part of Spain and therefore a safe haven for Africans made it a prime target for migrants. Today the border is heavily protected by the Guardia Civil. The European Union invested a lot of money to make illegal immigration more difficult.

There were a number of well received shore excursions here including a visit to Tetuoan UNESCO World Heritage Site in Morocco, and a walking Tapas tour of Ceuta that I understand had plenty of wine as well!

During the day the weather deteriorated and we departed in windy conditions.

Captain Richard Lambert

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