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Corfu

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

9th October, 2013

Corfu

The island of Corfu is located just off the West coast of Greece. Corfu enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate along with excellent beaches making it a popular destination for holiday makers, having said that however the temperature was somewhat mild today with it being just roughly 17 degrees Celsius.

With the high winds throughout the night slowing us down slightly meant a predicted late arrival was instantly assumed, however as we came closer into land we were a little more sheltered meaning we were able to catch up on the time lost. None the less in order to give our guests plenty of time here in Corfu, I was fortunate enough to be able to extend the time in port, what with there now being two days at sea.

On embarking our pilot, he informed me we would be berthing on the inner berth which was still being constructed and being dredged and as such the soundings of the water depth were not accurate. However the pilot assured me with great confidence that there was more than sufficient water all around the inner harbour so I repeated this for the sake of our Voice recorder, as I had a sneaky suspicion there may not be as much as he said. Anyway I brought the ship in slowly. I knew if there was not sufficient water it would only be sand, but again the pilot is legally there to give me all the info. So I slowly proceeded and made my approach. Then as expected the pilot started to get slightly agitated so I asked if he was Ok then he said “move closer to the berth as not so much water”. As this wasn’t a surprise to me I manoeuvred the ship accordingly. But then he kept saying we should get closer and closer to the berth as there wasn’t any water. So in the end I said, once again for the Voice recorder as evidence,” what exactly is the water depths here!!!”

“No problem, no problem Captain!!  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I thought. Anyway I decided to swing the ship early and back into the berth and because of the Shallow water, the ship tends to respond sluggishly so I asked for the tug to give us a push. So I waited, and waited and waited and in the end said, “is the tug pushing”..” Ah Captain, this is an old tug with no power “he laughed. Again not a surprise I have to say, but then said as a good Scotsman,” well why am I paying for it….”

Anyway I decided enough was enough and took the bull by the horns and moved the ship out the harbour, re positioned the way I wanted then headed for the berth. All was going well.

My next question, “Ok pilot there must be sufficient water on the berth for this ship ?”. “Oh yes Captain no problem use as much of the berth as possible”..” Ok Pilot can I take the ship to the end of the berth ? “. Absolutely Captain, no problem.

But as I approached, the immortal words, “well you may want to stop about 60 metres from the end. “Why pilot” as if I didn’t know,” just would be better to stay this far from the end”

So although a little frustrating, the pilot was so laid back, you couldn’t help but like him...

Corfu

As we sailed in this morning it was nice out on the open deck as the Perfect Mood Duo serenaded the guests whilst they enjoyed the vast amounts of culinary delights on offer at the BBQ. As always the cameras on deck were flashing continuously as we sailed in, especially more so than normal this cruise what with the theme being photography. I must admit I’ve seen many of the photos taken by our guests in the various ports of call as we’ve had them playing on a slide show on the television in the drawing room for everyone to see, and the standard is somewhat exceptional to say the least. To begin with I genuinely thought they were taken by professional photographers!  So I think the photography lecturers must be doing a grand job in teaching our guests the art of photography.

With the first excursion departing at 12:45, five full coaches soon disappeared on the Corfu Overview tour. After a scenic drive though the countryside this tour stopped at a local kouam-kouat distillery where they were invited to taste the liqueur. Corfu town, the capital is one of the most beautiful and elegant in Greece, particularly the architecture in the medieval old town. The historic Corfu tour‘s major attraction was the Achilleion Palace which was built in 1891.

Sailing Time I thought was going to be interesting as there was a very fresh breeze blowing the ship onto the quay but the port had decided to send another old tug but this time had just enough power to assist us and off we went, straight forward. So I joked with the pilot about the arrival carry on, and again he smiled and made a joke of it.

The evening’s entertainment through in our main show lounge was music, song and anecdotes from our resident piano entertainer, who was also a former pianist on board The Royal yacht Britannia, Martin Orbidans. The movie playing this evening was man of Steel which is a favourite of mine however I thought I’d take this opportunity to enjoy some of the fine talent we have on board so I watched the ever entertaining Martin. 

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.

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