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1st May, 2017


Conditions in the Biscay were not exactly ideal and the scheduled low speed would have only prolonged the ‘agony’, so the decision was made to arrive into Leixoes the evening before the itinerary dictated. The Monday therefore became very pleasant by midday when Finisterre was behind us and we had berthed before cocktail time. A night in the calm waters was obviously to the benefit of the evening entertainment ‘Can’t cook, won’t cook’, with celebrity chef Kevin Woodford as the host and, thanks to Mrs R, the Master and his wife as the gullible contestants. All probably did not go quite as Kevin would have liked, but it was certainly entertainment! The following morning as I saw the tours off many of the folk were still smiling and were asking whether I had ‘recovered’from the ordeal. It was not me who had to recover I believe.

Operationally we were quite busy with drills and such like while alongside in Leixoes, but passengers were soon up and about taking the shuttle bus into Oporto or one of the optional excursions available. As might be expected of our experienced Saganauts, the tour to the wine lodge at the estate of Quinta da Aveleda was suitably subscribed, as was the Oporto tour that took in a short cruise along the River Douro then a tasting of Port in a local cellar. Oporto is a lovely place and I was a little disappointed that on my last call I could not get ashore, but for our future there’s always Easy Jet. Mrs R is looking forward to a few city breaks she tells me.

We left on time, squeezing our way out of the tight basin and passing one of those newish small expedition ships that appear to be scooping up the market for trips to the more adventurous destinations like Antarctica and Greenland. It is with fond memories that I look back at taking our ‘elegant ladies’to those magical places.

Captain Philip Rental

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