12th November, 2019
It was a lumpy overnight passage with the swell running up the stern, probably the least favourite direction for the Spirit of Discovery. Running westerly toward the port, beam on to the swell, we persuaded the Pilot to embark in the lee of the outer breakwater. Las Palmas, the harbour-city, is probably the largest port of the Canary Islands and has outer and inner breakwaters. By embarking inside I could leave the stabiliser fins deployed and keep a reasonable speed, negating any ‘wallowing’ motion normally associated with a slow ship in a large seaway.
Embarking the Pilot at 0715, we made our way up into the harbour. Our berth, which is handy to Las Palmas town and the shopping Mall, is located at the northern end of the harbour. A brisk wind blew from the North east but well within the capabilities of the manoeuvrable Spirit of Discovery.
Alongside promptly at 0800 I could almost feel the excitement of the crew, yes the crew! There are number of advantages of coming to Gran Canaria, a great destination with lots to offer Guest both those doing the ‘independent’ footloose thing and those taking up Explore ashore options, good ship services and resources, Tugs are available and the crew love to go to the ‘Chinese’ for lunch. It’s just their thing. It’s great to keep everyone happy!
Nat and his team put together a fabulous complimentary Explore Ashore option which had, probably, the best feedback ever in my time at Saga. The ‘tour’ offered a bit of everything, sightseeing, eating, drinking, marvellous, well done Nat. With all back onboard after a lovely day, very windy, but with blue skies, we made ready for passage to our next port - which was Fuerteventura, but this wasn’t always the case. We had considered going directly north from Gran Canaria to toward the Azores, ensuring we could go far enough west to avoid the brewing storm running across the Atlantic.
With good fortune on our side, the storm was running south faster than originally forecasted thus limiting the distance I required to ‘go-west’ and hence Fuerteventura call was re-confirmed. So, at 1700 we slipped our moorings and proceed out on an easterly passage, initially at full speed. The passage to Fuerteventura takes us around the southern tip, Morro Jable, after which we would be in the lee of the south-eastern shore line, calmer water. So lumpy until 2000, then a bit of peace and quiet, well, that was the plan…
Let see how the night roll out.
Captain Stuart Horne
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