On Saturday 23 March at 7pm prompt Captain Mike Blackmun, First Officer Pete Clarke and the crew of HMS St James welcomed 51 well-dressed passengers aboard for a Mediterranean Cruise Evening. . We set sail to the strains of ‘A Life on the Ocean Wave’ and our First Officer ably guided us throughout the cruise. By the time each table had worked out which of their group deserved the table’s only lifebelt, we had arrived at Pireas the port for Athens in sunny Greece. Here we were served Greek Mezze and an opportunity to show off our knowledge in William’s ‘it’s All Greek to me’ quiz.
We moved on Citavecchia in Italy next. (You can tell the first officer used to be a geography teacher) where we ate Lasagne, did another quiz and were serenaded by Martin and Margarete on clarinet and accordian, the cultural highpoint of the evening. We were diverted from Nice, our next destination, to Corsica due to bad weather and shown graphic footage of sliding furniture from the bar of our sister ship on the stormy seas. This did not prevent us from enjoying French desserts and none of us were seasick!
Our last call was Gibraltar where we had our tea, coffee and mints before returning to Southampton, singing along with Rod to ‘Sailing’. A good time appeared to have been had by all and thanks are due to the hard-working crew plus their excellent galley volunteers who helped with cooking or dealt with a mountain of washing up.