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14th February, 2020


Arrival in to Santa Cruz de Tenerife was much like any other navigational watch this contract for me on the 4-8 watch.  It began at 03:45 with a strong coffee in one hand and a takeover checklist in the other. It is standard procedure of any navigational watch at sea to be fully acquainted with operations of the vessel, eyes adjusted to the conditions and to have good situational awareness. This cruise I have had the assistance of the deck cadet, Omar Farid, as he understudies me in the role of Officer of the Watch. He will be returning to college soon to prepare for his final exams and preparation to be an officer. We began by readying the vessel for arrival by checking all equipment, contacting the port/pilot authorities and adjusting the speed as required for the correct ETA. This arrivals speed adjustment was more important than usual as we pressed on to be first at the pilot station ahead of the Marella Explorer and Mein Shieff 4. All went to plan and a standard manoeuvre by Captain Lambert  saw us safely alongside and tied up for the day.

As the port call happened to fall on Valentine’s Day, I thought it in my best interests to treat the better looking half to breakfast ashore. My girlfriend Lauren, a dancer on board, and I walked the quiet streets of Santa Cruz till we came upon a coffee house tucked away down a suburban alley. The coffee house had the locals already at their tables, abuzz with chat and laughter with espressos in hand. We took a table and scanned the menu with an array of too many special crepes and pancakes. Her favourite! Some pre-planning and searching here had helped redeem myself for the lack of fresh flowers she had hoped for that morning. Two milk chocolate and hazelnut covered crepes later we were both content after a very enjoyable breakfast. As the city continued to wake up around us, we carried on our stroll towards the Tenerife Opera House and along the front enjoying the time off the ship. Ambling along, enjoying the fresh air and chit chat the morning seemed to pass quickly. Before we knew it, it was time I got back to the ship for a sleep and rest as I had watch and departure in the afternoon.

A steady but light onshore breeze assisted with the departure manoeuvre by the Captain and we were off towards Las Palmas at a slow meander. All set for another early arrival the following morning…

Carl, Third Officer

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