Well after a good night’s sleep Debbie & I woke up early and after a quick breakfast went out on deck to see a beautiful morning with the Astoria moored outside St. Peter Port with spectacular views of the island.
The sea was calm and we met up with George and Thelma and the two ladies left George & I basking in the sun outside while they collected the tender tickets for disembarkation. We didn’t have to wait long and we caught the second tender B for the short journey ashore.
This time I managed to take a few photos from the tender of the Astoria and tender C taking on more passengers, you can see how low down in the ship the landing stage was.
Given the nature of our party we didn’t want to walk too far so after being given a map of the island on arrival at the Albert pier, we headed to the tourist information kiosk for some ideas. Alas we just missed a popular round island bus tour given the queues, so we went into a nearby pub and decided to wait an hour for the next bus. It was only £1 each for the entire trip round the coast it seemed to good to miss.
For some reason Debbie’s tea was served in the mug below – I can’t think why!
After about 45 minutes we made our way back to the stop and by some miracle we all just managed to get on the bus, just behind the driver, a Scottish lady who had moved to the island years before and after a little prompting from Thelma took on the mantle of trip announcer as well as driver!
The sea was bright blue and coast very rocky. Dotted around were many German built gun emplacements from the occupation during World War 2, on the way round we also glimpsed the Astoria and we realised that we had an excellent Captain in charge of our safety.
After about an hour and a quarter the bus arrived back at the station and we decided to get some lunch. We dined al fresco on the most amazing tilted table due to the incline of the pavement. How our wine didn’t slide off the table was a mystery to me but having ordered six oysters for a starter, and a half grilled lobster and chips I was well away anyway! 🙂
The meal came to an end and the Guernsey crustacean population gave a collective sigh of relief as we made our way back to the quayside tender. The sun really was quite hot and all 4 of us had really enjoyed our time in Guernsey but the ship’s departure time heading for the Scilly Islands was 6pm.
On this occasion we decided to watch from the stern our progress away from the island, watching the huge catamaran ferry leaving the harbour, a tender being winched back on board and the pilot escorting us safely back into deep waters.
Unfortunately for some passengers the Captain came back on the tannoy a little later with an announcement that due to 2 metre waves in the vicinity of the Scilly Isles it had been decided on safety grounds to call in on Falmouth port instead.
To be honest we weren’t concerned at all, but there were a few passengers grumbling that because it was so difficult (translate expensive) to get there, that had been one of the main attractions of the cruise to them. I really felt for a youngish couple who shared those thoughts as it was a double whammy for them as they lived close to Falmouth and knew it well…
Still after our experience in Stornoway I was quite happy to let our Captain take charge on all matters to do with safety & navigation!
We eventually headed back to our cabin where we got changed again into our formal attire and headed for the starboard yellow room on deck 4a for 8pm where a champagne reception had been organised before our seating for the farewell gala dinner on the Captain’s table by the Hotel Director.
I’m pretty sure that the invite had come from the Liverpudlian young lady called Claire that had taken a shine to Debbie & I when we enquired about other cruises for 2017 that we might be interested in. She and the Swiss Hotel Director called Patrick acted as our hosts and great fun they were too, we both felt rather special at being looked after so well. In fact we were escorted to some reserved seating for the show after dinner, again with complimentary drinks, although by this time both Debbie and I were flagging a little and we got to sleep just before midnight very relaxed!