THEY say every cloud has a silver lining.
It certainly did for Kirkburton couple Ivan and Margaret Shaw.
They were “victims” of the volcanic ash cloud that grounded flights across Europe.
But instead of being stranded in an airport, or forced to find a hotel bed, they enjoyed an extra two weeks’ cruising on a luxury ship.
But the Shaws did not escape scot free – they had a scary encounter with armed Somali pirates!
The retired couple, from Kirkburton, finally made it home on Sunday, two weeks after they had been due to fly back from Egypt at the end of a two-week cruise around the Indian Ocean on the ship Discovery.
Their holiday adventure had seen the ship being circled by a boatload of armed gunmen off the coast of Somalia – notorious as a hotbed of modern-day piracy.
Crew members warned passengers to stay off deck and to stay away from cabin windows before the pirates finally sailed away in a boat.
Mrs Shaw, 68, said: “We had flown to Mombasa to join the ship for the cruise to the Seychelles and around the Indian Ocean.
“We thought it was strange when we noticed razor wire around some of the handrails and early the following morning when I got up I saw a boat alongside the ship.
“There were several men on board and I thought at first they were fishermen, then realised they had guns.
“They circled the ship a few times and then a warning came over the tannoy telling us to stay away from windows and the deck.
“Someone from the crew fired a flare pistol into the sky and the boat sailed away. We later heard there was a much larger pirate ship a few miles away.”
Mrs Shaw and her 74-year-old husband enjoyed the cruise but when they docked in Egypt on April 15 were told they could not fly home because of the Icelandic volcano.
“There were no flights at all but the travel company were wonderful. The next leg of the cruise should have been taken by passengers flying in on the plane we were due to go out on, so they offered to keep us on board.
“We had a lovely time, sailing up the Suez Canal, across the Mediterranean and into the Black Sea.
“We were very lucky as we read stories about people stranded all over the world and having to fend for themselves”.The couple finally managed to fly home from Bodrum in Turkey at the weekend.