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31st July, 2013


We took the ‘scenic’ route on our way around the north, passing inside of Ratlin Island to give the folks a great view of the scenery, and getting a three knot push from the current as we did so. The following morning the weather was a little better than forecast and there was even a little blue sky as the pilot boarded. He welcomed me back by name and I remarked he must have a very good memory, as the last time I had called there was on Saga Rose back in 2005. He smiled and said, ‘Ah then, but I have your book’.


I turned the ship outside the harbour and proceeded to back her in, pointing out to the pilot that this particular ship is actually easier to ‘park’ when it’s going backwards. He raised his eyes….and smiled again. A relatively straight forward docking even with a rig supply vessel berthed immediately ahead of ours. There was also a smiling welcome from the local tourist folks and, as this was Saga Sapphire’s maiden call to Killybegs, we had the customary exchange
of gifts.

Although the cloud gradually encroached and the skies became much greyer, the rain held off until after lunch. I had to call the agent to ask if the now two supply vessels berthed abreast of each other could be moved before we departed, otherwise they might end up as a very large fender. I could visualise him scratching his head when he said that the harbour office was closed at the moment, ‘While they have their lunch….as am I’. Well, this is a fairly laid back part of Donegal so why rush I thought?

Passengers enjoyed the tour to Donegal town by waterbus, Belleek Pottery and the local carpet factory for those who just ventured closer to home. I had no reports of anyone over imbibing at the Harbour Inn, which was advertising free music with a pint of the black stuff. The supply vessels departed and left us a clear run for our departure, mercifully the onshore wind eased and the small local tug could manage to haul our blunt end of the wall to ensure our scratchless getaway.

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.