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Spirit of Discovery blog


21st October, 2019

It was another dark arrival with sunrise at 0830, but fortunately there was little wind and it was lovely to see the Malagan fishing fleet heading out to sea for the morning catch. With pilot boarding at 0700 we were alongside by 0740 and ready for guests to go ashore by 0800 sharp, not that anyone was dashing off in the half light. It was a gentle manoeuvre alongside with me wanting to be gentle with the pods and bow thruster so as not to wake everyone!!

Malaga has an idyllic setting on the Costa Del Sol with the Penibaetic Mountains providing an attractive back drop overlooking the lower terraced slopes which yield olives and almonds. With a population of more than half a million it is the capital of the region.

Despite a very busy morning with inspections I did manage to get ashore for my routine cycle ride – this time along the waterfront dodging pedestrians, bicycles, and people enjoying Alfresco dining.

With everyone on board it's time to make preparations for sailing. Staff Captain Matt is driving out, and with a well-executed manoeuvre we clear the berth and proceed out to sea. Right in the middle of disembarking the pilot the Doctor called to say we have a medical emergency and need to land someone urgently. Well with some swift discussion and teamwork, we request the pilot to re-board as we are going back into the port. Staff Captain Matt swung the ship through 180’ and headed back towards the harbour entrance. With the pilot back on the Bridge I swiftly guided the ship towards the berth and within 20 minutes of being called by the Doctor we were back alongside - we even beat the ambulance’s arrival!!

With the patient landed 15 minutes later we cleared the berth and moved astern at 5 kts to clear then harbour, then swung the ship through 120’, disembarked the pilot and then headed east towards Cabo De Gata on the SE corner of Spain and then turn to the NE for our overnight run up Cartagena.

Captain Julian Burgess

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.