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27th December, 2019

El Hierro

It was another glorious morning as we approached El Hierro for the East; the sun was still down but you could feel the humidity, I do love that ‘far-away’ place feeling in the mornings.

It’s an interesting little Island, the most southerly and westerly, just about, of all the Canaries and in some ways a miniature Tenerife from an aerial photographic profile. If the sea-level dropped, not a lot, El Hierro would become much larger given that to the south, and attached, is a large seamount extending from El Hierro. That’s all a bit academic, I can’t see the sea-level dropping 150 meters, more likely to rise with our current environmental concerns.

So, picking up the pilot close off the Breakwater , and allowing for the raging ‘set’ - I was going sideways at 2.5 knots, I pushed the bow around to the north and approached the berth ‘bow-in’. You have to be certain of the weather here, if you get in and the weather turns, you can’t get out. There is no maritime infrastructure here at all, that’s what adventure is about.

All tied up with the sun rising on our starboard side, the ship was cleared by local authorities and the Guests were meandering ashore at just after 0800. Another ‘sun-drenched’ day. I did remind our Guests that only ten Cruise ships call here each year, and Saga infrequently and that when we do schedule, either we can’t get in or we can’t get out. So, today is a treat especially as I was hopeful of a successful departure.

It has been a busy cruise, loads of activities to support the Guests experience, however, my desk was starting to pile up with the ‘to-do’ things!

With the sun was below the yard-arm and it was time to think about departure. It was a leisurely run across to Las Palmas overnight and so no hurry and I wanted to give loads of time for the ’sail-away’ experience on the back deck. Hugo, my Portuguese friend, the Chief Officer, was driving out tonight. It’s a tight space, but with breathless conditions, it was a great ‘learning’ opportunity manoeuvre.

A nice and controlled manoeuvre by Hugo saw us debark the Pilot at 1745 and then set course to Las Palmas; back towards the west. I was a having a ‘night’ off tonight, a ‘club-sandwich’ in the cabin with Leigh, boy I know how to treat a lady!

Feet-up time…

Captain Stuart Horne

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