|Adonia alongside at Seville|
You don't expect to come across a large ship parked in the middle of an inland City; but the Guadalquivir is a very substantial river, and Adonia, the smallest of the P&O vessels can get right in.
|A room with a view: Seville|
Support team meeting some of the Officers
|After the evening Mass on Sunday - the main Dining Room|
Next morning the Captain invited me to assist him in leading the ecumenical service for the passengers, saying some of the prayers and giving the Blessing. The same evening I celebrated Sunday Mass for the Crew.
Seville was an unexpected pleasure; I had a little time free on the second afternoon in port and got as far as the Cathedral. What an amazing complex of buildings that is! Not perhaps the sort of Church you would want to attend every Sunday, but for a special occasion, Wow!
|Among the Orange Trees of the Cloister - the Cathedral Tower started out as a Mosque's Minaret|
On the site of a Mosque from the time of the Moorish invasions, the interior of the Cathedral is witness to the richness of South America - a silver Altar, and a reredos entirely covered in gold leaf. No wonder Drake wanted to intercept the Spanish Treasure Fleets.
|Cathedral High Altar in Seville Cathedral|
|The Crews' private oratory behind the Mess TV|
Equally well-loved though, and prayed in, is the little chapel created by the crew from a small space in their Mess. The crew members are mostly from Goa or the Philippines, and the devotion of these hard-working men and women puts us to shame. The ministry of the Apostleship of the Sea (Stella Maris) is greatly appreciated. Having served as Chaplain on Adonia at Easter I was welcomed back like a long-lost brother on my return. The few devotional cards I had been able to take with me at such short notice were seized eagerly; and I said a little to some of them about Our Lady of Walsingham, and her patronage of us members of the Ordinariate. [You may spot OLW on the right of the picture].
The next port of call was Tangiers. I did not have time (or inclination) to do any sightseeing - but it was interesting to catch a glimpse of Gibraltar; I had last seen the Rock when I went to Malta and back as a young child. On that occasion my mother had saved up twenty pounds to pay the fare - no 'accompanied postings' then, unless you paid for it. She had earned this princely sum by scrubbing floors.My father was a submariner at that time. I think I was two years old when we came back to England a couple of years before the war..
|Crew at work setting up the gangway ashore|
|Vigo Airport - no 13.45 flight|
|Support team from Carnival enjoying Vigo Airport|
So if you DO go to Spain by air at any time, try to avoid Vigo airport - and the ministrations of Iberia airlines.
it was bus to Woking, train to Brockenhurst and taxi home - and eventually bed for a little recovery time. But I would not have missed it all. A great experience, and I was glad to be invited to undertake this by the Apostleship of the Sea. It is a Catholic Charity well worthy of your support, So many seafarers are away from home and family, church and sacraments, for such long periods. The care given by Port Chaplains around the world, and by Chaplains (when they are permitted to function on board ship) are greatly valued.