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Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

6th December, 2017

It was a breezy night and with our late sail from Bremerhaven we were pushing Saga Sapphire as much as we could, given the conditions. The Pilot was due at 1130 for a 1300 berthing and I was only 20 minutes late.  Not bad considering the conditions.

With the Pilot embarked we discussed the manoeuvre plan - I was only ever going to go in stern first. Why? Firstly it's easier to control the stern in the wind, and secondly I needed a get out plan. The weather was set to deteriorate during the afternoon and I wanted to make my evening easier, not more difficult!

The Pilot understood my point of view but did not quite understand the sailing on the wind bit. Having swung in the reasonably tight navigable water I placed the ship beam-on to the wind. That is to say, the ship's side became a large sail. Sailing sideways in a controlled manner down the harbour, at the right time I pushed the engines astern and slipped neatly into the narrow cut of the berth.

The tours were off promptly, at the most only a few minutes late and I sighed a sound of relief. When I spoke with guests later the tours seemed to have been very well received, with no comments from anyone about the weather.

We had a large amount of fuel to take in Ijmuiden so our stay was extended to facilitate that. The speed to Zeebrugge from Ijmuiden was high but my navigator, Chief Officer Richard, found me some value miles to save.

Slipping our lines Staff Captain Tom took us to sea in, yet again, rather brisk conditions. As soon as the Pilot was off I was away down to the Pole to Pole. I enjoy hosting [my waistline however does not!]. Saga Guests are so easy to engage with, so many interesting life-stories. You can see why on a Saga Cruise you make friends for life, not just for the holiday...

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.