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8th November, 2012

Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Lifeboat drill

The rains had returned by the time we were ready to depart from La Palma in the late evening, and as we waited for a ferry to arrive and dock in front it was bucketing down. Needless to say we did not prolong the process and were clear of the island before midnight.

The run across to Tenerife is relatively short and by 0700 hours we headed into another Santa Cruz, separating to large RCCL jobs with almost 4000 passengers on each. Even as we were docking the first of many were stomping down the side of the breakwater road in a minor gaggle, dodging the dozens of tour buses that were headed up the other way. Before my almost compulsory plaque exchange we had crew drill and now there is a new requirement to fill one of the life boats with ‘passengers’ every six months. So, while many of the crew were going about their emergency duties and the other boats were being exercised, number 8 was loaded with well over a hundred happy souls who played their part, sat very cosily and smiled for me up on the bridge wing (photo attached). They had a pleasant jaunt around the harbour then returned.

The passengers had a much better weather day and, with a late sail, were entertained by ‘Grupo Atteneri’, a local folkloric group. The fuel bunkers were late in arriving (an iceberg had taken the bunker barge’s first load) and consequently we didn’t get away until after midnight when they were eventually completed. We headed east into a starry night and, on reduced RPM, slowly covered the short distance towards Gran Canaria.

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