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26th June, 2018


It was an unusually fabulous day at sea yesterday, running up the North Sea winding our way around the oil fields and windfarms off the UK East coast. Blue skies and calm waters, but slowly becoming cloudy in the afternoon and the wind starting to freshen by yesterday evening.

This morning at 0500 we passed to the east of the southernmost point of Shetland’s, Sumburgh. Lerwick, situated on the east coast of the ‘mainland’ lying on a waterway which runs between the mainland and the island of Bressay to the east, is approached from the south.

The pilot at Lerwick has limited waterway authority and you need to get ‘well-in’ to embark. I had tasked my 3rd Officer ‘Rob’ with the anchoring this morning… Yes Lerwick was due to be an ‘alongside’ port but given the presence of another cruise vessel Saga Sapphire was relegated to the anchorage. The anchorage was very confined and with the wind from the south, Rob needed to swing through 180 degrees before putting the anchor down.

Slow and steady is the watch word when anchoring but by 0815 we were anchored and making ready for our Launch operation. The wind was moderate, which always helps to keep the vessel in one direction. The temperature had dropped a lot today and the clouds increased throughout. That said, the reports back from those just taking a ‘wander’ and those on excursion all seemed to indicate they had had a great time.

With everyone back on-board we stowed the boats, picked up the pontoon and headed back out the way we came. We had the same pilot as inbound. I had talked with him earlier, he had been on the Island for 27 years but still seen as an outsider!

Once clear south of Bressay, we turned NNE to head for Norway where the temperatures are expected to drop to 6 or 7 degrees….

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.