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20th March, 2018


After our two days at sea the sun rose this morning at 0658, a good hour before we were due to embark the Pilot. Oddly, today was the earliest sun rise of the cruise, other than the day we get back to Southampton. From a ship operations perspective our port timings in the Canary’s are fab, no dark early morning arrivals! But more importantly for our guests the partaking of a leisurely breakfast before we arrive and manoeuvre is just such a lovely start to the day.

The Pilot embarked at 0800 and I was all-fast alongside by 0845 and in a jiffy, Jane, the Chief Purser radioed up “ship is clear”. Great arrival time, ship cleared in and Mr Blue Sky all around,, it doesn’t get any better than that. Having just re-joined Saga Sapphire after a ‘wintery’ leave and endured the first “beast from the east”, it was nice to feel the sun’s warmth on the face.

It was a calm morning, although wind became a bit brisk during the afternoon. Our guests returning from their Shore Excursions seemed to have really enjoyed themselves, particularly the day visit to Santiago de Compostela.

It was a late sailing schedule, 2200 but the wind had got-up something fierce at sundown and was gusting 40 knots. John, our humorous Cruise Director, and the F&B team had arranged a vibrant Sailaway Party on the Veranda deck aft… that was the problem - it might well become very vibrant on deck!

To facilitate, I delayed sailing until 2230 and then to allow even more ‘party’ time, I manoeuvred stern-first out of the harbour and kept the wind on the bow…. the Chief Engineer was wondering what on earth I was up to! Anyway, it all worked a dream, the deck party was in full swing until 2315 and then we took it inside as I really did have to get going to Las Palmas.

The Pilot debarked at 2245 and left me up to my tricks, he wanted to go home.

With the ship turned, and the wind now rattling across our decks, we slipped away into the night.

Captain Stuart Horne

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