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Valencia

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

5th November, 2017

When the Bridge team called me at 0545 it was rather windy at the ship with 25-30 knots from the North-West. However we were informed that the wind at the berth was 10-15 from the NW which was manageable without a tug, even with the wind off the berth. At 0645 the pilot boarded and shortly afterwards we entered the large harbour, swinging the ship through 180’ and then “backing up” a distance of 1 mile to approach our berth.

As we got closer to our dock the wind freshened to 20 kts with gusts to 25kts so with this wind I altered our berthing plan. We brought the stern to within about 10 metres off the dock, “fired” our heaving line rocket to the linesmen and then ran our first lines to hold the stern. Once we had 2 lines out aft I then thrust the ship through approx 70 degrees as our team on the aft mooring deck held the stern – I hope this makes sense to most of you!!! Anyway we got the ship safely alongside and several members of the Bridge Team commented “Captain, you certainly earned your money today!!” A great compliment I thought.

Valencia is Spain’s 3rd largest city after Madrid and Barcelona, and was founded as a Roman Colony in 18 BC. Situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain. The collection of ancient monuments, diverse scenic sites and cultural attractions makes Valencia one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations for both Spaniards and World travellers.

With 4 tours on offer whether the City Tour On Foot, by coach, the “Flamenco in Valencia” or “Vall D’Uxo & San Jose Caves” there was something for just about everyone.

I took off on my bike again over the lunchtime period and following the dedicated cycle paths. Spain is very geared up for cyclists and I headed initially for the coast, following the line of the beach for about 5 miles. I then turned in-land and using “Google Maps” headed for the park situated on the former bed of the River Turia which was diverted after a flood in 1957. It’s a beautiful park with many attractive gardens & bridges and the very impressive Museu de les Ciencies de Valencia (City of Arts and Sciences Museum) which includes an aquarium, planetarium, opera house, concert hall and IMAX cinema. It is considered one of the 12 treasures of Spain. I also stopped at the futuristic “Assut de l'Or Bridge” – a dazzling white single-pylon cable-stayed bridge, designed by Valencian architect and civil engineer Santiago Calatrava, and completed in December 2008. After 25 km on the bike I decided it was time to head back, but not before a small bowl of Paella, which Valencia is famous for.

With everyone on board we sailed shortly afterwards, and Staff Captain Franko took the ship to sea using the wind to best effect to “assist” us off the berth.

Captain Julian Burgess

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.

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