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29th August, 2012

Around Britain

Cruise passenger

Well today was the first of our days at sea, and the ship was awash with excitement. We had sailed through the night around the East Anglian coastline following old waters I used to sail when on the supply vessels, sailing out of Great Yarmouth. We were required to sail between the many shoals found off this coastline and with strong tides so I was up on the bridge a few times where the searoom was reduced. But again it took me back to the 80s and 90s when I was sailing these waters, and was very pleasant. We were off the Humber estuary by 0700 in the morning and continued north towards Flamborough head. I was interested to see from the bridge a pair of large pink hands waving to the shore!!! Strange I thought then realised one of our passengers was waving to friends from a few miles out and they could see him quite clearly from the shore.He had bought a large pair of pink foam hands!!! To be honest with the colour of these hands you could have seen them from space!!

We continued north towards Whitby, but the wind started to increase unannounced to 40 knots. We passed a yacht sailing south being toosed about so I called them to see if they were okay and they were quite happy. But beyond I could see the Whitby Lifeboat escorting another yacht into harbour, so it was a challeniging time to be under sail that morning. Onboard, the morning started off with a ‘Welcome Aboard’ from your Cruise Director. John introduced to a large audience, some of the most important hospitality and entertainment staff working on the Sapphire.

On this cruise we are very lucky enough to be able to provide two fantastic lecturers for all to enjoy over the coming sea days. The first, Captain Richard Woodman, provided some fascinating insights into those pillars of light that dot our coastline in a “Historical Review of British Lighthouses” - an informative 45 minutes for those who were present.

The other Guest Speaker this cruise is military historian Michael Forrest. He entertained with a lecture on “Queen Victoria’s Finest And Most Excellent Soldiers”. Obviously this was very popular and Michael will continue to provide interesting talks on this topic over the coming days.

The highlight of the afternoon would have undoubtedly been the 'Classical Tea', featuring the talents of String Delights. An excited audience spent three quarters of an hour listening to the trio, whilst enjoying Food and Beverage’s delicious culinary creations.

We passed by the Farne islands at about 1630 and proceeded north towards Rattray Head, just north of Peterhead.

This evening I hosted the Welcome Party and I was able to dine at my table with guests whom I have sailed with on many occasions, and those that were onboard for the first time and were enjoying the ship.

After my meal, as usual I went to the bridge to ensure all was well and write my night orders before retiring to bed. We were just coming up to Rattray Head and again it was dark, and with the light flashing, it took me back again to my North Sea days. If in the winter you were out at the rig, way up north, and the weather was really bad, when heading in, you used to see the loom of Rattray Head's light over the horizon and it gave you this sense of relief as you knew you were near a safe harbour. So it was nice to see it in more pleasant times!!

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.