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13th December, 2017

La Palma

A good day was had yesterday in Madeira and getting into port early was well received by my passengers. It was even moderately warm, in fact positively balmy compared to the ice-age in the UK. Sailing as scheduled Matt, my Safety Officer, drove out. Nice job, particularly as it was his first 'drive' of Saga Sapphire.

It was a fast passage south to La Palma and that irritating swell was still evident. There was just enough 'tiger in the tank' to adjust to a course taking us West of La Palma for long enough to give a comfortable evening.

La Palma was a half day call, but given the weather and exposed nature of the port and the current wind direction and strength, I needed some 'thinking' time - and so I arrived one hour early at the Pilot station. Having embarked the Pilot, and discussing the options available, an approach was made and the ship backed into the port with a Tug on stand-by. We were all tied up for 1130, as with many things - quality over quantity.

The day was fresh, but out of the wind the temperatures rose to 22 degrees and it all felt rather pleasant indeed. Although a half day, it's a great port of call and the shore excursions on offer were very popular.

All our guests were on-board in good time for dinner, however I delayed departure to ensure all were seated in the dining rooms before we launched into the open sea.

Leaving at 2000, the pilot being on-board for all of 3 minutes, we set out on the revised 'south of Tenerife' track. The original tack, and shortest, was north-about, but would take the ship beam-on to the sea and make it quite uncomfortable. The revised passage took the ship between La Gomera and Tenerife, around the south-west to 'hide' from the swell...

Captain Stuart Horne

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