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8th August, 2017


Our passage from Peterhead to Dundee saw Saga Sapphire pick up the Dundee Pilot at the mouth of the River Tay at 0230 in the morning. Oops, it was dark - not used to this!

There was not a lot to see for the 12 mile river passage up to the berth, that might have had something to do with the darkness! The Pilot was quite chatty and gave me chapter and verse on the Dundee three 'J s' of Jam, Jute and Journalism. The 'J' of journalism includes the 'Beano'. I remember reading that as a lad, Roger the Dodger, Billy Whizz, Minnie the Minx.

However, I was intrigued to hear that Dundee is a 'quiet' shipping town, and there are only three pilots working the river. Some of the 'offshore' industry has made a small entry into the area. A couple of 'jack-ups' and offshore support vessels were moored on the north bank - where Saga Sapphire was berthed.

The river is shallow at Low Water, too shallow by far to navigate. Hence our arrival and departure times were dictated by High Water times. The berth was dredged to suit the Saga Sapphire hull form - so at low water we were 'boxed'. That means we were floating in a dug-out 'box' and all around was shallow water, too shallow for Saga Sapphire to leave.

We were berthed for 0430 - it was time for bed! When I rose I was delighted to see, yet again, a lovely day - knowing further south the country was suffering heavy rain and stormy conditions. As I remind my Guests frequently, 'what a good choice of cruise they have made'!

It was also great to see the 'bagpiper' on the quay to welcome our Guests on and off the ship.

For departure I arranged a tug with the Harbour Master, as there was an onshore breeze and we were sailing on the Ebb, i.e. the water level reduces as we navigate out, so no time for hanging about.

The run down the River Tay out to sea was lovely, brisk, but the sun was shining. The wind gave rise to short white sea and, as a bonus, Dolphins playing on the bow!

Captain Stuart Horne

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.