Skip to navigation Skip to content
< Back to Saga Sapphire blog

5th January, 2019


Our approach to Tortola is from the North through the Saint Francis Drake Channel as we head towards the pilot station for an 0645 embarkation. Our Staff Captain Tom is conducting the manoeuvre this morning and with the pilot on board we proceed through the turquoise waters to our berth at Road Town some 3M away. With Tom “driving” I adopt the role the Staff Captain would normally take and become the “Operations Director” – this is a role in our Bridge Resource Management structure that essentially keeps an over-view of the situation and takes charge of internal radio comms to the mooring decks and gangway party. I discuss the final docking position with the pilot so that Tom is clear on where to STOP!! We were all fast alongside by 0740 and clearance is granted at 0800.

Road Town is the capital of the BVI’s (British Virgin Islands) as well as the central administrative and business centre of the territory. Local tradition recounts that Christopher Columbus named Tortola, meaning “land of the Turtle Dove”.

My family were very keen to return to a “secret” bay we discovered some 7 years ago and recreate some of the pictures and memories from that day. Fortunately, the beach and surrounding bay were little changed except that the swings we had photos taken on had been removed. With some parallel thinking my 2 daughters got 4 stools together, worked out the previous location of the photo shoot and “kapow” the same picture 7 years on was recreated. This was their final day before flying back home so we had to make it special with virgin Pina Colada’s, Daquiri’s and Fruit Punches along with a delicious BBQ lunch. We snorkelled in the sea, raced in the pool and generally “goofed” around for the day. Once back on board the day was topped off with a Fabulous meal at East to West – our amazing Asian Fusion restaurant.

Next stop Antigua

Captain Julian Burgess

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

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.