So near, yet so far....

Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
Trip End May 07, 2010

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Flag of Portugal  , Azores,
Monday, April 26, 2010

There was a buzz in the air as our ship neared land. After 7 days at sea most passengers were looking foward to streaching their legs on land. As we had just shared 'the best week of our lives' on the ship, Barb and Iwere in no rush to reach land. Barb joked she would be happy to 'disappear into the Bermuda triangle for a bit longer'  - be careful what you wish for!

We woke early to watch the Equinox dock. Or rather try and dock. From our cabin we had a grandstand view of the difficulty the Captain faced in trying to dock. The weather was dreadful - raining, high winds and very rough seas. To make it worse, Ponta Delgada is in the middle of the ocean with a port exposed to the elements. I got a great photo of the lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper looking out at the ship as the captain tried to reverse in. 

I told Barb to phone the captain and let him know our ship was in danger - she replied that the captain might not be taking calls at that moment! After three attempts to reverse park the 330m vessel, we watched the ship pull away from the dock and head back to sea.

Being at the back of the ship we were one of the few passengers that actually got to see Ponta Delgada - albeit from our balcony.The captain sounded totally dejected when he came on the PA system and apologised for not being able to dock - I suggested to Barb (safer than saying it to the captain - they might still have planks?!) that he 'should practice his reverse parking'.

Later in the day we were invited to a cocktail party with the captain (yep more champagne and cake to celebrate our wedding!) and we got to meet Apostolous Bouzakis (the captain) in person. Camera and smile always at the ready, Barb positioned herself between the boys for a group photo. Apparantly, as a blushing Barb reported, the price for a pic with the Captain is a pinch of the lady's backside! 

He apologised to us in person and said it was only the 2nd time in his long career that he had  been unable to dock a ship  - perhaps his reverse parking was not so bad after all!

Docked or not, it was Hola to Portugal and farwell to our week of being lost (blissfully) at sea :)
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