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18th January, 2020


Hello Blog readers,  well, guess what, another beautiful Caribbean Island. This chain of Islands, the British Virgin Islands, are quite spectacular, the pictures speak for themselves... It’s been a few years since I last visited Tortola and you know what, I love it here. I have never been on holiday here, but it is on my to-do list.

What’s even more nice, I was speaking with the Pilot and I asked “what nationality do you consider yourself”, his reply was, with a great Caribbean smile and an air of pride “I am British”. Wow! That’s just beautiful! 

So, talking of the Pilot -  entry towards Tortola is through the outlying Islands called the ‘Little Sisters’ that lye around 6 miles south of Tortola, this was around 0600 this morning. Passing through the Sisters you turn left at Tortola, otherwise you hit the putty, making for the port of Road Town; great name!

The Pilot hopped aboard at 0700 and we shaped up for our berth, bow-in. A bit brisk and the ship was setting over 20 degrees downwind as I tried to line up with the berth. The object was to get in to the ‘lee’ of the other cruise ship on the ‘north’ side of the pier, enabling me to berth. A bit of ‘in-quick’ and jump on the brakes. I am sure that the spectating Guests, on both ships, thought we were just swans gliding along the surface; ambling into Port.

Anyway, safe alongside and the gangway landed for 0745, we settled  down for another warm day.  Some great tours on offer here and the highlight, I think, was the trip across to Virgin Gorda – quite spectacular so the Guests informed me.

Before long, it was time to let go the mooring ropes and make our way back south  towards St Kitts.

JT, my 3rd Officer, was driving out this evening.  A relatively straight forward exercise, the wind was a little brisk with the ‘other’ Cruise ship having sailed and not providing that ‘lee’ I enjoyed this morning. Backing out in a relatively straight line, well done JT, the ship was swung bow to starboard before retracing our inwards steps of this morning.

The Pilot was away quickly at 1820; once shaped up to clear the Little Sisters I handed the ‘Charge’ to the OOW, Karl, keeping the 1600-2000 watch and went back to my desk, my usual place!

See you in St Kitts…

Captain Stuart Horne 

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.