16th November, 2021
Our three days at sea steaming west across the Mediterranean were pleasant; the first two sunny and warm with only the morning of the 3rd day being marred slightly by a passing autumnal weather front.
Remembrance Sunday was marked by a moving, and well-attended service in our theatre. That evening, after dinner, our Theatre Company presented their own version of a tribute to “Queen” (that is the band, not Her Majesty) with a very lively show called ‘We are the Champions.’ Lots of music, bright lights and energetic dancing.
The following morning I co-presented a behind the scenes tour with Mark our Chief Engineer and Dirk, our German Food & Beverage manager (renowned speciality: Wursts). Basically a ‘Below Decks’ explanation of how a cruise ship works and what it all looks like. In between all this entertainment and various musical recitals around the ship, there were of course the traditional themed lunches, afternoon teas in the dining room as well as on deck, with respective entertainment on the side.
Wednesday morning saw a glorious sunrise on our approach to our stopover this cruise: Almeria, on the coast of Andalucía in Spain. Although not a particularly large harbour (rather pleasantly sized, I would say) it has been a well-established port since the 11th Century.
The Sierra Nevada mountain chain provides an overly adequate visual backdrop for the coastal scene, which is one of golden beaches and palm trees, scattered with the odd gelato boutique and rosy-faced British tourist. A few more British tourists were deposited ashore here today to roam the area, either independently or upon one of our pre-organised trips of course.
Pleasingly, I managed a few hours of freedom from work in the middle of the day to embark on a 25km bicycle ride along the coast. What a perfect day for it, too: a cloudless sky with a fresh breeze from the northeast made for a temperature of 21 degrees which in my books is ideal cycling weather. Riding one’s bicycle is made even more pleasurable when one manages not to fall off said steed, but can also reward oneself with a giant platter of Spanish tapas and ice cold ‘caña’ (a small local beer) afterwards.
The above boxes ticked, I was a happy (although stuffed) Captain when returning to my ship in the early afternoon. Even more pleasingly, I bumped into a number of satisfied Saganauts upon my return who had also undergone their own exploring.
Alas, as the sun neared the horizon it was time to let go our mooring lines for the final time on this particular adventure and head north back to Blighty. Still, there remained 3 full days of food, entertainment and activities for everyone onboard to enjoy before hopefully heading home happily from holiday, in their chauffer driven cars, on the 21st November…
Captain Kim Tanner
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