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Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

15th October, 2014

It was an early start for me this morning as I was taking Saga Sapphire through the Needles Channel, west of the Isle of Wight. So I was on the bridge for 4:30am in readiness to get the ship lined up for the narrow entrance to the channel. There is quite a bit of current that runs across the entrance so I have to line the ship up about a mile before and basically “crab” my way in at an angle as I stem to counteract the current. Once through we continued past Yarmouth as we headed for the pilot station at Cowes where we embarked our pilot at 6:00am. As we embarked the pilot, the fog came down and we had zero visibility. However we are all trained in doing “blind Pilotage” so all the bridge officers and myself and the pilot worked together as a team pointing out oncoming ships, ensuring we were maintaining a course within the main channel. As we approached the berth I assumed the control again for manoeuvring. We could not see the pier so everything was done on radar and electronic chart but as we were half way through the swing, the fog lifted a little and I could see a bit more.

As we came in alongside this morning we were greeted by slightly drearier weather than that we’ve been experiencing over the last fortnight. As always we were sad to see our guests go but delighted to meet new and old friends once again on our next voyage to the Canaries. This cruise we’ve fewer Britannia club members than usual at 286, but it’s lovely for us of course to encounter new people. As always we are sailing full this cruise, and there’s a fantastic atmosphere as everyone’s delighted to be sailing into the sunshine.

Today we gained a new show team who will be setting up their new shows this cruise and entertaining our guests, so we’re all looking forward to seeing the new talent that we have here on board.

Sail away today was unfortunately a wet one, however most still did go out to see us sail away from the port whilst enjoying the sounds from the Saga Sapphire Orchestra.

With long journeys for most travelling down to the ship, as soon as the restaurant doors were open tables began to fill up quite rapidly. Once our guests had finished their evening meals most decided to head up towards the main show lounge.

To put a face to the names in the Daily Programme, our Cruise Director Kayleigh McMahon hosted a fabulous welcome show this evening. Opening the show with" Get Happy" Kayleigh soon had the audience joining in. The singers and dancers, along with our resident entertainers, showcased their talents. Come the end of main show time, for those feeling rather peckish the glorious late night bites were most welcome.

Playing into the early hours the Perfect Mood entertained up in the Drawing Room whilst Dave Peterson, our Cocktail Pianist, played through in Coopers Bar.

Captain Alistair Mclundie

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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