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27th October, 2013

Arrecife Lanzarote


Arrival at Arecife was very straight forward. I was expecting one of the large Cruise ships but this never materialised so it was a bonus we had the berth to ourselves for most of the day. Upon arrival, I sailed the ship straight into the breakwater. We stopped engines at 4 knots and steered the ship alongside, with the speed dropping all the time. The occasional kick astern of the engine to kick the stern towards the pier and slow down, it’s all about balance and timing. So by the time we were in position, the ship is just about touching the fenders and stopped. We were all fast at 0730. At 8am the ship was all clear from the local authorities so our guests were then able to proceed ashore. After the announcement all those going on excursions today gathered in the Britannia lounge where they were greeted by Kayleigh Lucas our Assistant Cruise Director. With 5 tours departing the vessel this morning several were away from the ship come 9.30 this morning, and then once again it was a peaceful haven for all those deciding to stay on board and soak up the rays.

The cloaks went back 1 hour once again last night giving everyone the chance to recuperate after a few busy days exploring the different ports of call.

Today I was rather envious of those experiencing the Cesar Manrique foundation as it’s an absolutely superb tour, which I discovered a few years ago. Going to the foundation always reminds me of being a child and exploring as your left to your own devices to roam around independently, giving you the opportunity to really capture all the amazing sights on film. Arrecife is infact a volcanic island, Cesar Manrique built his foundation within the volcanic rock and craters that have been formed. A truly wonderful experience and a tour I always recommend. Once again the Lanzarote panoramic tour was the most popular excursion today, with our guests travelling inland to Teguise which is the islands old capital, founded in the 15th century. Eating out in the port of Arrecife is always a good experience. Many of the crew went ashore to experience the local specialities today such as garbanzos compuestos, a chickpea stew and papas’ arrugadas, a vegetable dish.

With Puerto Del Carmen relatively close by some of our guests ventured off on tour to see this lovely beach resort, and it has to be said it was definitely the most perfect day to laze about on this beautiful beach.

Being a Sunday we had a Service of Worship this afternoon. Once everyone had come back onboard, I had to sail the ship first. This afternoon was going to be interesting and challenging. The wind had turned from blowing us off the berth to blowing us on the berth. I decided to carry out a little bit of basic seamanship. I let go of all the lines forward and aft, keeping the after spring. I then moved the ship astern about 3 metres so the starboard quarter would sit on the fender. Then using the bowthruster, I thrust the bow away from the quayside while the stern sat on the fender. The plan was to get the wind on the starboard bow and then start blowing the ship off the quay naturally. However as I moved the bow to port, the wind just kept coming further and further off the port bow!!!. So in the end, I manoeuvred the stern away from the quayside using quite a bit of power on the propellers, and then once parallel, moved astern quickly and drove the ship astern out of the port. All went well and it was one of these days when patience was a virtue!! We cleared the port in good time to run down and take the Service with Rev Ken Newell. Of course we were serenaded by the Pilipino choir led by our much loved cruise staff member Resty Sacedor. This evening the Sydenham Quartet was back gracing our stage shortly followed by Virtuoso piano entertainer Jonathan Ainsworth, a witty gentleman who is an absolute delight to watch. Tomorrow’s next port of call is probably the prettiest of the Canary Islands so once again the guests retire to their cabins with much to look forward to.

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.