Date: *31st May 2015
- Weather:* Mist and Haze at first, then clear and sunny 25c no wind.
- Latitude: *36 deg. 9 min. N *Longitude: * 5 deg. 22 min. W
To start this blog off, a few days ago on the (29th) and 40 miles off the coast of Algeria, at 10 o`clock am we had a bit of an maritime incident. We started to feel the ship leaning to one side, then it went back the other way, and this continued to do this for a while, so it was out on deck to see what was going on. Also we noticed a near-by tanker making some strange manoeuvres by circling around us, come to find out that either us or the tanker had spotted an up turned kayak in the water, so as per maritime law it is the duty of ships in the area to do what they can to help any -one in distress. Bringing our ship more or less to a stand- still we were all able to see the Kayak, as it went by very close to our shipside. It was then the captain made an announcement to say that craft was part of a beach rescue boat that had blown out to sea, as they could read some letters written along the side of it relating to a resort. They could not see any -body in or around the craft, so it was crisis over and we and the tanker continued along our respective route .
Our stop in Gibraltar was a half day one, and with the delay in leaving Corfu it was changed from a morning to an afternoon. Some people were a bit concerned as to what would be available during our stop-over as it was a Sunday, but the captain had been assured by P&Os agent that 80% of the town would be open, this sort of situation often arises during a cruise but it doesn`t seem to make a lot of difference.
The approach by sea from the Mediterranean is always a good sight, but not this time because from the time we had woken up to our arrival at the rock there was a thick mist all around us, and with no wind it was an eerie situation. But just as we were off Europa Point, the southern- most point on the rock the sun started to break through. This was good, because we had had information the previous day that “ Queen Victoria” the Cunard liner was leaving as we were arriving, being that Cunard and P&O have the same parent company a sail pass was arranged between the two ships, this is always a nice treat, as when you`re at sea it`s always good to see another ship or a piece of land. But on this occasion when the two ships passed with everyone out on deck waving there Union Jacks and the singing of “ Rule Britannia” , “ Land of hope and Glory” ( a touch of the last night at the Proms”) which made for a good atmosphere for our arrival, Plus the Gibraltarians love it when we do it.
For our run ashore we walked from our berth to main town, which is about ¾ of a mile. You first arrive into a big square full of pavement cafes, and you are at the bottom of Main street, Gibraltar is a duty free port so there are lots of choice for the likes of Jewellery, cosmetics, cameras and alcohol. We didn`t want anything particular, so it was a gentle amble through the street window shopping. On our walk in we had noticed how hot it was, and this was confirmed by a flashing sign with the temperature on it saying 25c, I know this doesn`t seem that high but with no breeze around it made it feel hotter. So our next stop was a street café with a shaded courtyard to have a cool drink, then suitably refreshed we walked back to the ship at a slow pace.
This is always a sad occasion when you`ve completed your last port, but still we have to remember there more days to come on our holiday. So for a pre-dinner drink we went to the “Crow`s Nest” bar which gives you a fantastic view of what`s in front the ship. So tonight we had the coast of Morocco on one side and the coast of Spain on the other as sailed out from the Mediterranean out into the Atlantic, so with a Gin & Tonic and a cocktail pianist playing what else could you wish for on your holidays!!!!
So folks this will be my last blog on this cruise, so I hope you`ve enjoyed the journey with us.
Bye for now Colin & Angie