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

6th November, 2012


Windy November weather followed us all the way down past the Iberian Peninsula and on towards the Madeira archipelago. Fortunately it was mainly aft the beam and the Sapphire rode it well. Even as we passed Porto Santo, the island to the north east, the five metre swell and strong north easterly wind was having its effect. Funchal, however, is a sheltered harbour and we had no problem slotting in between two other vessels.

There was great interest shown for our maiden arrival, particularly from the Madeira ship enthusiasts club, who came down with the other officials to give us their own present, a delightful plaque with a photograph of our arrival just a few hours before. We looked very good I thought, the photo taken with us all lit up in morning twilight.

Other duties prevented me meeting other members of the club later, which was a great shame as I had a bottle of vintage Madeira wine placed on my desk, and I can only presume it was from one of the members. (Thank you, ‘obrigado’ – I know they read the blog also).

We were also conducting a drill during the morning, which meant crew mustering on the quayside, as well as some technical work that required us to limit power for a while. The day was relatively cool and the mountains above the city remained behind cloud, those passengers who went on the levada walk came back somewhat bedraggled, but others who remained in town stayed dry.

We sailed on schedule, with much hooting of hooters between us and the German ship ahead as we passed, I’m not sure who gave the last blast, but P&O’s large iceberg refused to join in the cacophony, most probably because their duty officer couldn’t hear us in the air conditioned splendour of his encapsulated bridge. (I wonder how they hear sound signals in fog? – open a window I suppose).

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.