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Vigo

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

3rd February, 2019

After a “lively” run up the Portuguese coast, Sunday morning awakened us with a beautiful sunrise and very little wind. Due to the heavy sea and swell the day before our arrival into Vigo was all set for a pilot boarding time of 1215. There are two entrances into Vigo and we took the Canal Del Sur or Southern entrance. The swell was running at 2-3 meters but with this great sea ship and our stabilizer fins we made a comfortable approach through the 1M wide southern entrance. Having a mid-day arrival meant lots of guests were either up on deck or watching from inside – either way I had many comments about what an enjoyable arrival it was!

Once inside the bay the seas eased very quickly and just before the pilot embarked we were able to bring our stabilizer fins in. With the pilot on board at 1215 we then proceeded at slow speed towards our berth, passing the berth ½ m off and then conducting a large swing to stb’d before docking alongside at 1315. Even with the later arrival we were still able to offer a full tours programme with 2 tours to the magnificent Santiago de Compostela (a few photos attached)

Vigo is a city and municipality in the province of Pontevedra, in Galicia on the NW coast of Spain. Vigo is actually one of the largest and most important fishing ports in all of Europe and is also a regular stop for cruise ship traffic with tours to Santiago de Compostela, and Bayona. Vigo also has some interesting history as it was attacked by the English Admiral Sir Francis Drake in 1585 and 1589. In 1702 a British-Dutch fleet under Sir George Rooke and James Butler, Duke of Ormonde, destroyed a Franco-Spanish Fleet in the bay.

I let the Staff Captain head off for a late lunch and on his return took to the road, on a previous road bike of mine that I donated to the Crew last year for a tackle prostate cancer auction. Joey the 12-4 Bridge Quartermaster joined me, and we headed off along the coast. It was a great ride near the beach and we covered 25km in approx. 50 minutes. I always enjoy cycling in Spain as all the motorists are very respectful of cyclists.

On my return to the ship it was a quick shower and change as at 1830 we had some special guests coming up to my cabin for pre-dinner drinks and canapes. This was followed by a special dinner with our “Diamond” club members who have sailed with us for more than a 1000 nights – yes more than 1,000 nights! There were 5 on board so the restaurant team created a special table to accommodate a total of 18 of us. It was a 7-course menu and I managed to finish dessert before heading up to the Bridge for departure at 2130.

With everyone on board we slipped our moorings and Carl our 2nd Officer manoeuvred us off the dock to retrace part of our tracks out of Vigo harbour and then we exited via the North Channel en route for Dover.

Captain Julian Burgess

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