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Hammerfest

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

6th September, 2019

It was nice to have ‘land-ahoy’ yesterday morning. Whilst conditions were not uncomfortable, my Guests were a little tired of the constant motion and hoolie which limited ‘open-deck’ enjoyment, it had been a windy and cold couple of sea-days. That said, the afternoon just before arrival, Wednesday, the sun came out and the conditions around the Beachclub were pleasant - I had few engaging conversations with guest wrapped in blankets!

We rounded the north end of Soroya island at 0730 and headed into the inland waters between the outlying islands and the island of Kvaloya, the island on which Hammerfest resides. This is also as short Pilotage inwards, 10 nautical miles and, as I said it was nice to get in to the lee of Soroya Island, the seas just became immediately calm, just the tonic…

The pilot embarked at 1030 as we approached the north end of the Island and shaped up for the approach to the harbour entrance. The harbour is small and we consumed the entire harbour so it seemed. I was all ‘fast’ for 1200, as planned on the re-scheduled departure from Alesund. The Guests seemed to be satisfied with the decision, having missed most of the ’lumpy’ bits on our passage north.

The day started gloomy, but rapidly improved to deliver significant periods of blue skies and skin-warming temperatures. A good day was had by all, dare I say. On the plus side, Leo and his team delivered the full Explore Ashore experience, re-timed, but all delivered. Overnight was a peaceful affair. The twinkling lights of the sparse far-shore settlements provided a lovely back drop to the general vista.

The sun rose this morning, that’s always a good start - we’d all be in trouble if it didn’t, in slightly duller conditions than yesterday with heavy grey clouds in view on the western horizon. The morning just about held dry and with all guest and crew onboard, we struck the gangway and lifted off the berth, on time at 12 noon.

Because the cruise Itinerary did not permit much in the way of Fjord cruising, I negotiated with the ‘Pilot’ and gained his approval - at no extra cost, to sail the inside passage, south of Mageroya, the ‘North Cape Island’ before going out to open sea, so an afternoon of scenic cruising. Well, it would have been fantastic save for the torrential rain. It was something to see, but not quite as I had hoped, one can only but try. I must have a word with the ships Chaplain!

Right, clear of the Islands now, I can get off the bridge, I’m off to lead a Charity Auction with the Cruise Director, Jemms, to see how much we can raise for Silverline... Wish us luck!

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.

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