Spirit of Discovery blog
Eastbound across the Atlantic
Ahoy there blog-readers, Captain Kim here again now having taken over from Captain Jason in time to bring Spirit of Discovery back across the ‘pond’ again to the UK from the Caribbean.
We departed St Lucia where I decided it would be nice to cruise past the Pitons, a locally famous pair of pointed hills on the west coast of the island. We even had dolphins escort us into the coast around half a mile or so off so we could get a great view.
The following morning was spent cruising around the coast of Montserrat, the island infamous for its volcano eruption in the 90’s responsible for flattening the main town of Plymouth – the remains of which could be seen during our cruise-past.
After picking up a few crew members and essential technical spares in St Kitts, we set off on our eastbound leg back across the Atlantic. 6 pleasurable days at sea followed, where we made the most of weather-routing for everyone on board to enjoy the best of some sunshine. Our F&B teams put on some fabulous alfresco deck meals by the pool, including my favourite curry spread, courtesy of Kumar…
Our mid-Atlantic stopover was the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. We docked in the capital, Ponta Delgada, a small town on the south coast of the island. These lush Portuguese islands are famous for their green pastures, volcanic landscapes and sea-life including whale-watching, which is exactly what many of our guests chose to do on the day.
I set off for a few hours in the afternoon with a few of my colleagues on a ‘quad-bike’ adventure, up and around the western ‘Caldeira’ (mountain) of Alferes and the pleasant crater lake, and village of Cidades.
Pootling along the coast on our noisy contraptions initially was pleasant-going, with a dry warm breeze and only the odd insect smacking into our faces causing brief concern. However, as we started ascending the mountain, the paths became rugged, the weather closed in and temperature dropped significantly.
By the time we neared the summit, it became obvious why the guide had pre-recommended hats, gloves and waterproof clothing; which thankfully I had packed in my backpack. To my slight amusement some of my younger colleagues had ignored this advice, and one of our braver (Scottish…) deck officers even sported a pair of shorts. Although the views were partly obscured by cloud and rain, a fantastic time was had by all – even those who had to thaw their outer limbs upon return.
Late afternoon signalled time to leave for our final leg towards Southampton, where everyone would be eased back into the great British weather again as we raced storm ‘Eunice’ back to the UK…
Captain Kim Tanner
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