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Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

24th May, 2015

Having flown up from Cornwall that very morning and re-joined Saga Sapphire in Dover, Friday was rather busy. We sailed close enough to schedule and made a few manoeuvres a mile or so east of the harbour entrance in order for a compass adjuster to complete his measurements and re-issue our magnetic compass calibration card. Few would think that in these days of electronic wizardry it is still a requirement for all ships to carry a magnetic compass.

The night past peacefully as we proceeded north with a ship full of passengers new to Saga, many of whom had never cruised on any ship before. The one week cruise to Norway had been sold as a ‘Newcomers Cruise’ and it was unusual not to see at least a few regular faces. The May weather has not been great in the UK and the next day seemed to follow suit, the clouds built up indicating an impending weather front and the sea swell started to materialise off the port bow after we had passed over the Dogger bank. Judging by the numbers at the Welcome Cocktail Party there must have been a few who chose to take room service, but all of those I met were impressed, even after just a day on board.

0500 hours on Sunday morning and whatever clear sky that was visible as dawn broke was soon to disappear after the pilot for Stavanger boarded. The forecast was not encouraging and by the time we docked, fortunately very close to the centre of the city, rain was starting to fall. Although it stayed with us throughout the day the damp conditions did not stop the folks enjoying their tours or just going for a stroll. It did however force a cancellation of the helicopter tour, understandable I would suggest, as Pulpit Rock in cloud is not the best place to be in the vicinity of while sitting in a ‘paraffin pigeon’. (Sorry, fly boy language – not mine).

We sailed at 1600, slowly gliding past a large cruise vessel where everyone seemed to be looking down at us, envious no doubt (well they should be anyway). Within the hour the sky cleared, blue sky emerged and the passengers were able to see the rugged, beautiful coastline in far better conditions than had prevailed whilst we were alongside.

Captain Philip Rentell

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.