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La Coruna

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

26th October, 2017

With sunrise at 0806 we slipped into the port of La Coruna under the shadow of darkness. Our 2nd Officer Hugo kept the control of the course and speed until we were deep inside the harbour, when he handed over to me to complete the final manoeuvre. We “backed” up gently towards the berth and were all fast alongside by 0830. We caught the first glimpse of twilight and 30 minutes later it soon became clear we were in for a beautiful day in this delightful Galician port.

La Coruna is the capital of this rugged region and boasts a rich maritime heritage. It is famous for being the departure point for Felipe II and his doomed Armada, which was defeated by the English in 1588. British military enthusiasts also know it as the location of the Battle of Corunna that took place in 1809. Napoleon’s troops attacked a division of the British Army led by General Sir John Moore, who lost his life in the battle and is buried in the city. In keeping with its seafaring tradition, La Coruna is also famous for the Tower of Hercules, Europe’s oldest functioning lighthouse which dates back to Roman times and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

There were 6 shore excursions on offer today with three of these to Santiago de Compostela, a Scenic Estuaries tour, La Coruna on foot and the one that stood out for me for a future visit was the trip to Lugo, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

I headed ashore late morning and met up with a Spanish friend I had not seen for 4 years. As we're both keen golfers he took me to his course “Real Club de Golf de la Coruna” which I have played a couple of time before. It’s a beautiful course and said to be in the top 10 in Spain. We paired up with a friend of his and his son, both named Juan which made it easy to remember. With no real warm-up we jumped in our buggies and headed for the first tee.

The “terms” and handicaps were discussed, debated and finally agreed!! With the opening par 3 I started with a birdie, won the hole and it had all the makings of a great day. After 3 holes Juan Jnr and myself were level par and 2 holes up. Well my great start petered out very quickly and I ended up with an average round. The only saving grace was that my friend Luis had a spectacularly bad day!! Anyway the weather was superb, the course was in terrific condition and Juan Jnr and I breezed home with the “winnings”. The 19th hole was the reward with some gorgeous Calamares, Spanish omelette and some Iberico ham, all washed down with a nice glass of…… well beer for them but coca cola for me as I was “driving” later!!

We slipped our moorings and re-traced our tracks through the harbour with our Safety Officer having the con. Once clear of the port I made a swift departure and headed down to our Farewell Cocktail party.

After greeting our Guests at the entrance it was time for my farewell speech. After a general introduction I like to show a 4-5 minute snap-shot video of our cruise which our Videographer produces. This always brings back many happy memories of the cruise and all the ports we have visited. I then took the opportunity to introduce a number of our staff who were either nominated, were runners-up or had won the Employee of the Month scheme which we run on board. The guests love this as the crew of Saga Sapphire are so highly thought of and appreciated for their excellent service and attention to detail.

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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