1st February, 2019
The sea day before Casablanca was a busy one which included a 12 hour charity cycle-thon, a raffle and auction for my favoured charity “tackle prostate cancer”. At 1100 I took to the saddle on one of the two “spin” bikes which were set up outside the Britannia Lounge as per the photos attached. There were lots of guests there to “kick” things off and many were very kind in sponsoring us. My opposite number on the other bike was Rebecca, one of the Explosive singers who is half my age – but I still managed to keep up with her!! After 30 minutes and a significant sweat on I handed over the bike to the next crew member and then headed for a shower. During the afternoon we had a charity auction and raffle, with some fantastic prizes including; a Private dinner with the Captain and Staff Captain in the Masters quarters which went for £45 per head, so with 6 guests this was a great start. There was also afternoon tea with the Chief Engineer, a private lunch with Senior Officers, ringing the ships bell, sounding the ships whistle and making the noon announcement. With gift aid we have raised over £4,000 which is just fantastic and will really help this small charity which is run by volunteers. I was very honoured to be presented with a plaque from the trustees.
It was a dark arrival into Casablanca with pilot at 0700 and sunrise at 0826. There was quite a swell running near the harbour entrance, so we kept the fins out and boarded the pilot just inside the outer breakwater. The wind had also freshened so we took our first tug of the cruise and made it fast on the port ¼. With a 90’ swing in the centre of the harbour we then “backed” down to the berth and were all fast alongside shortly before 0800. Clearance took a little while which is not unusual in Morocco!! Anyway, all was on time for the 0845 dispatch of the first tour to Rabat. It was a day of changeable weather and I took the opportunity to head to a local Souk with the port agent for some local shopping.
There were 5 tours on offer today including “Rabat Revealed”, “Casablanca & Ricks Café” , a city tour and “Splendours – Hassan II Mosque” . Attached are a few photos from the Mosque.
With everyone on board by 1645 , we let go our lines shortly after 1700 and re-traced our tracks out of the harbour and set sail for Vigo.
Captain Julian Burgess
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