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7th August, 2018


It was nice to have three relaxing days at sea before arriving here in Dover this morning. The weather was good, a bit dull on the Biscay crossing day, and it cooled off a bit too - of which I think we were all thankful!We had a couple of great nights of entertainment, John Parton was a hoot in Call my Bluff and the Crew Show, the following night was really well received.

So, here we are in Dover. Not an early morning this morning, great news - we had a tidal window restriction and could not enter the Eastern entrance until 0719. The Pilot boarded at 0700, on schedule and we entered the Port at 0719, smashing! Franko, Staffy, was driving in this morning, a breathless morning in Dover. Bit of a squeeze as one for those floating behemoths was also in on the Cruise terminal today.

Nice manoeuvre, alongside bang on schedule at 0800. At 0900 the first of Mediterranean Cruise ‘family’ were disembarking for their door-to-door limo service. It had been a fabulous cruise. Next, well, I had a packed diary today, turn-around is always a busy day and I needed to have a number meetings and my good lady, Leigh, joined the ship at 1300. Busy!

Meetings done for the day and just about ‘all-aboard’ at 1515, we commenced our Passenger drill at 1530. Today, given it was inclement with rain, we executed an ‘internal’ mustering, so much more comfortable. All done, it was time to sail.

Richard the Chief Officer was driving out this afternoon. Dover departure under ‘still’ conditions can be a bit tricky because of the ‘curve’ of the berth and the low water conditions accentuated the challenge. I offered a Tug, to which he declined. A wry smile crept across my face. Letting go, Richard tried to lift the stern, initially she went but then, typically Saga Sapphire style, she came to a stop. Sitting there, a few meters off the berth it was clear that a tug would be required. Fortunately, as it was before 1700, Dauntless, the stand-by tug in Dover, was still on duty and within fifteen minutes she was at our service. It only took a small nudge on the Port Quarter to get her going, before the stern was clear for Richard to drive the ship astern out of the Western entrance.

Outside the harbour, swinging the bow to starboard, Richard shaped up Saga Sapphire to cross the Dover Strait and into the NE bound traffic lane. We have a day at sea tomorrow before getting to the Kiel Canal tomorrow evening; and for that, we would need to be well rested.

Captain Stuart Horne

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