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11th February, 2020


Leaving Southampton via The Needles, the Saga Sapphire raced down the English Channel to get ahead of storm Ciara. On our first two nights of the Canary Island Paradise cruise we experienced some rough weather, with a maximum roll of 5 degrees either side at times. Some of our senior officers on the bridge had not found their sea legs yet and suffered. Some of the deck officers have been at sea for over 10 years but still get seasick from time to time, they must love their job!.

 As soon as we passed Lisbon going South, the weather eased and continued to get better as we were making our way down to Cadiz.

Arriving into our first port of the cruise, we had a 0700 pilot and were alongside at 0800. Nice sunny weather greeted us, we had a maximum temperature of 24 degrees, which was far warmer than the weather back home in Glasgow where I live.

As Cadiz was our first port after three days at sea, there were a lot of operations taking place that day. One of the ongoing operations was offloading garbage and other waste by crane. This operation is essential and extra care must be taken whilst doing the operation as there are a lot of people involved and the risk of someone getting injured is high. During this crane operation, we had 5 main crew members each with an important & supportive role. There is one officer who is overall in charge of the operation ( Sanitation Officer ), myself assisting in a supervising support role for the operation on the behalf of the sanitation officer as part of my training, one able seaman operating the crane, one able seaman signalling, one ordinary seaman with a tag line. This operation was a great chance to apply my theoretical knowledge of how to manage a crane operation into practical experience/knowledge. Personally I believe this is the best way to learn. Not only for this crane operation, but also for other operations and challenges that might be faced during my career. As a lot of seafarers may agree with me, this career depends a lot upon experience.

After this operation was complete, there was just enough time for me to go back to the bridge to assist and prepare the bridge for departure.  

After 3 days at sea, some of it quite rough, our passengers where keen to stretch their legs ashore. The Saga Sapphire was docked very close to the town and there was a shuttle bus taking passengers to the Cathedral. Just over the road from the cathedral there is sea front promenade with views out across Cadiz Bay. 

All the tours went well with many of them cultural visits to surrounding areas and towns.

Captain Richard Lambert and Omar, Deck Cadet

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.