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16th October, 2013

La Coruña, Spain

Well it has to be said it was rather a dreary start to the day as Saga Sapphire docked alongside this morning at the port of La Coruña. We arrived at the pilot station in darkness at 8:00am, along the dramatic and rocky coastline. The leading lights of the lighthouses on the hill, guided us into the pilot station safely as we weaved our way around the inbound fishing fleets ready to land their catch at the markets. Once onboard as we approached the berth, I took the ship for berthing. The wind was very light so I chose not to use the tug but from nowhere, a severe squall swept over the port and the wind rose from 8 knots to gale force, over 30 knots. The rain was torrential. I quickly revised my approach and swung the bow away from the quay rather than towards it, and told the pilot to attach the tug while I bought some time. Sods law is that whenever you are just about to go on the bridge wing to berth the ship, the heavens open and this was no exception. I managed to turn the ship and then started manoeuvring alongside. It seems an age and a struggle to get the ship in against the eddying wind direction. However we were soon all fast astern of an Italian Navy warship. Myself and Richard the Staff Captain were absolutely soaked and wearing our white tropical uniform, my trousers and shirt soon became transparent!! So a change of clothes were in order.

 But as the day progressed it brightened up no end which was to the delight of both crew and guests. Our berth today was in the most convenient spot as directly opposite was a rather large shopping mall, which of course made everyone smile as once again this was the perfect opportunity for a spot of retail therapy.

Tours were a little later this morning at 10:00am to the joy of most of the guests. Many went to Santiago de Compostela on the day tour giving them the chance to really explore this ancient pilgrimage town.  The cathedral, which is really a wonderful sight to see, has become the most popular sight of Christian pilgrimage after Jerusalem and Rome. Being entertained by a choral group in a quaint little courtyard on the excursion is definitely one of the highlights, with everyone dressed in traditional costume. Despite the poor weather the guests seemed to thoroughly enjoy the port of La Coruña which is perched on the north-western coast of Spain and is the capital city of the rugged region of Galicia.

Farewell was much more straight forward so we let go in bright sunshine and headed out from our last port of call to traverse the bay of Biscay towards Southampton on Friday.

 With the farewell cocktail party this evening at 6:30pm our guests after enjoying the wonderful afternoon tea for the second to last time, soon disappeared to go and prepare for the wonderful evening they have ahead of them.   

Entertainment this evening was with the ever amazing Elaine Delmar, whose CD’s almost flew off the shelves after her first show. Singing a selection of songs both from Gershwin and Cole porter Elaine sang repertoire loved by all.

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.