14th November, 2019
The plan went swimmingly well - the full speed run from Gran Canaria to get into the lee of Fuerteventura. We managed to keep the ship reasonably stable for dinner and the show last night and by 2300 we rounded Morro Jable, at the southern tip of the island, and came into the lee. The wind was still vicious but the swell was slight on this, the sheltered shoreline.
I adopted a close-to shore approach for the port entry. The wind, having not let up, was running obliquely across the harbour which dictated a stern-in approach; and enabling a swift departure in the evening. It was the first time I had to hold the ship up to the wind and simultaneously go astern. The Spirit of Discovery is a marvel to handle, for sure, this would have been an aborted port for the Saga Sapphire.
Safely alongside, it was the hottest start to the day this cruise. By 1100 it was 25 Celsius, very nice indeed. It felt odd to be in blues uniform when we should have been in ’whites’, heyho! The Guest streamed ashore as soon as the gangway was landed at 0800, must have been an early breakfast, or was it the last ‘shopping’ opportunity because La Coruna port of call had been cancelled?
Anyway, what a lovely day and the last of the Plaque exchanges. These ‘exchanges’ are done a symbol of partnership between the shore authorities and agents and the ship on an inaugural call. Clearly, the Spirit of Discovery will have many in this inaugural year. This was the first cruise to the Canaries for this fine ship and so we had a Plaque exchanges in each port. I have included a few pictures.
A fabulous Island, no high-rise building and the only Canarias Island to have natural white sand beaches. I have not taken a holiday here, but it’s on my to-do list. Lots of positive feedback about the Island.
The day drew to a close and we set our sights on the four sea-day passage back to Southampton. La Coruna had to be cancelled with forecasted 8 meters seas running into the harbour making it untenable and there was not a chance in heaven that the ship could plough through that sea and get there on time. So with regret, we had to drop the port and make the best sea-passage we could to the English Channel, the long way around! Even going out to the west and allowing the storm to run east of our passage plan and then south, we were in for a bumpy ride home!
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.