musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Month: April 2013

Southampton Shipwatch 19: Crown Princess

The problem with Crown Princess is that you could substitute either Azura or Ventura for her, and unless you knew where to look you would not be the wiser. I considered that her arrival and departure on the 30th of April would not really be worth documenting, but I decided to have a look anyway, after all, Norwegian Breakaway was also sailing shortly after her.

As you can see, they are more or less interchangeable. A perfect scenario for a conspiracist. I believe there are even more of them out there, so maybe at one point this pic may have an additional vessel added.

Getting back to Crown Princess; she was berthed up at Ocean, and due to sail at about 16H00, but that did not seem to be happening and I was treated to the usual long winded announcements from the ship which were audible even for somebody as deaf as I am. I am glad safety took up most of the announcements too. 
 
I usually watch to see whether the radar is turning, as well as that telltale plume of smoke from a funnel, and of course, the appearance of a little man in the distance wearing a white unform on the retractable mooring platform. It is like an AND gate. If A+B+C=1 then ship is about ready to go. 
 
Eventually all conditions were met and she started to move sideways in the berth and then forwards. No tugs required. The most noticeable difference between these ships is probably the funnel colour/logo. She is operated by Princess Cruises and has the Princess logo on her funnel.
 
I actually think that logo suits her better than the bland buff of the P&O operated ships. 
 
And as more of her is revealed from behind the terminal building you get more of a sense of how big she is, and how she dwarfs little Shieldhall which is berthed at the end of the particular berth. Mein Schiff was moored up at QE2, and even she was almost overwhelmed by this ship, although both would be overwhelmed in turn by Norwegian Breakaway. 
 
Once she has cleared the berth she then has to make a turn to port to clear the ships berthed at QE2 and head down Southampton water, all the while fending off advances by the Hythe Ferry, or the Isle of Wight ferries. Nowadays it is much easier because the ships have bow and stern thrusters and amazing propulsion systems so they do it all unattended by tugs. But up till a few years ago she would have had to have had tugs attached, and many of the older cruise ships still have a tug in attendance when they sail. 
 
At some point she will show us her rear end and then slowly swing onto her new course, I will not comment on their sterns, but at least the carrying handle was removed from them. Once the turn is completed the ship is almost on her way, and she will stick out above the car park for quite some time, and its worth turning around just to take the pic because seeing something this big is always worth it.

Arrival 25 May 2013
I was able to get great images of her on this arrival, the right combination of angle, sun and time were all in my favour.
opera 023
Out of curiosity, when I sailed on the Symphony in 1995, they were talking about building these ships with a GRT of over 100000 tons, and we shook our heads and could not quite see it. Crown Princess measures in at 113000 GRT. Times have changed.
 
And that concludes my shipwatch on Crown Princess, and the last for the month of April. It has been quite a ship watching month for me. The last time I saw so many ships was in Hong Kong in 2008, and that was a mere seven. I will be staying in Southampton till the end of May, so keep watching, there may be more to come.
 
© DRW 2013-2017. Images recreated 03/04/2016
Updated: 12/12/2016 — 20:26

Southampton Shipwatch 18: Norwegian Breakaway

This was the maiden call of Norwegian Breakaway in Southampton, and the lines were abuzz for a long time about her arrival. A last minute change put her here at 07H15, which could mean anything because many times I have gotten to the harbour and the ship was already alongside. For once I was there early. And she was not in sight. I was cold and shivering and the crowd got bigger until at last I spotted her upperworks above the ship berthed at QE2.
 
You could see she was big, at 146000 GRT she has to be. The artwork on her bows makes a strange change, but then everybody seems to be doing it. I don’t know how long that will last though. She looks kind of mundane when viewed foreshortened through the lens. Not a lot of her upperdeck equipment is visible, and even her mast and funnel are much smaller than I expected. There is this odd water slide sticking up above and it reminds me of a giant tentacle monster that has escaped from the pool.
 
She was scheduled to berth alongside at Southampton City and started to swing in front of us as if she was going into Southampton Ocean. It did give a great opportunity to see her full length. 
 
As well as give us the opportunity to see what they have done with the stern, a very contentious area on any ship, and one that seems to have lost any visual appeal. 
 
They then proceeded backwards past us to berth her port side to at City. It was going to take awhile for her to get there so I decided to head down there as well, and to get some shots of her progress past the Red Funnel terminal.
 
By the time I got to City she was almost ready to go alongside, I am sure the crew on board the German naval vessel were happy to get a ringside view. The seagulls were already gathering to feast on the stuff churned up by her bow and stern thrusters.
 
Then she was dropping her lines and it was almost time for me to go. I wasn’t too keen on her originally, but she isn’t too awful, at least they blended in the additional space into the design and did not glue it on as an afterthought the way they did with Norwegian Epic. However I am not keen on lifeboats that dangle outside the hull, there is just something about that which does not seem right, especially when coming alongside or in a rough sea. But, it does seem to be the current trend, and so far (touch wood) no lifeboats have been lost to bad weather. 
 
 
I suspect she will be popular, as new ships generally are. I have seen images of her interiors and she is beautiful inside, but somehow sharing a ship with 4000 passengers does seem a bit too much for me. I prefer smaller ships.  Welcome Breakaway,  smooth sailing and fair weather for you and your crew.
 
Sailaway. 30 April 2013.

After two days in Southampton she was ready to leave, and just after 17H00 she pulled in her lines and pulled away from the terminal. There was a large crowd watching her go too, and over at Town Quay quite a few cameras had been dusted off.  I had my pics from her arrival so didn’t have to shoot as much, but I did. Because I always do.
 

A last glimpse across the parking lot and I was heading off home too. There are a lot of people awaiting her arrival on the other side of the Atlantic, but for two days she belonged to Southampton.

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 03/04/2016
Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:34

Southampton Shipwatch 17: Balmoral

Balmoral, or Crown Odyssey as she was built, is another of the better looking modern cruise ships. Built for the now long gone Royal Cruise Line in 1988, she was acquired by Fred Olsen Cruises in 2006 but has sailed for a number of operators, including NCL and Orient Lines. She was lengthened in 2007, and a new deck was added to her which has somewhat spoilt her good looks. 

Crown Odyssey as built.

Calling on 27 April 2013, she was berthed up at Southampton City, and was one of four ships due to sail at 16H30. As it turns out she was the 2nd to sail out of the four. 
 
And, once again we had odd weather that seemed to favour her departure, and soon was moving through the harbour in glorious sunshine. 

Ventura was berthed up at Mayflower but she was did not seem to be getting ready to leave as Balmoral came past, and she was the last of the four to let go her lines and sail.

 
And then Balmoral was past us and heading for Southampton Water. A very pretty ship, and one that proved that a modern ship need not be a block of flats or have an odd shaped stern and poles holding up her bridge wings.
Unfortunately for Balmoral, she sailed slap bang into the middle of a rain squall and was quickly lost from view, so we turned our attention to departure number three.

More random images from other sailings:

© DRW 2018-2018. Images recreated 03/04/2016

Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:44

Southampton Shipwatch 16: Queen Mary 2

I am probably one of the few people who are not fans of the Queen Mary 2, or I wasn’t until I saw her today. Most images portray her as this huge towering vessel that dwarfs everything in sight, but I saw her for the first time this morning and I have become just that bit more of a fan. I think the trick behind it is to get high up when you see her as she doesn’t tower over you, or hide a building in the way so that it looks like the building is going to sea instead.
 
She was scheduled to arrive in Southampton at 04.30am from her world cruise, berthing up at Southampton Ocean Terminal, oddly enough she berthed bow inwards, everybody else had berthed bow outwards; and is scheduled to sail tonight at 7pm.
 
 
My images from early this morning were not great because of the weather so I returned at 2pm to see if things were any better from a photography point of view. At least now there is some blue sky, later pics in this blog will reveal just what the weather is like at 7pm tonight when she sails for New York.
 

Because of delays in the sailing of Black Watch I changed my original plan and decided to head off to Hythe to watch her sail. Assuming she sailed on time I would theoretically be able to catch the 20.10 ferry and be on her when AIDAstella sailed. Such are the plans of mice and men.  Of course heading to Hythe means you do have a view of her starboard side as well as her pudding bowled bum.

Once Black Watch was out of the way I changed my position in relation to the terminal for when QM2 started to move. And, just after 19.00 there was movement.
There was a lot of ship to get out of that berth, behind me the weather was going crazy. I was just hoping that the storm did not head our way because I was nowhere near shelter.

Her astern movement completed she started to swing her bows towards me, it was perfect to watch, although I was disappointed that there were no sounds coming from her horn. 

I finally had my unencumbered view of the vessel, and she looks best from this angle. She was now ready to proceed on her voyage to New York. How I wish I had been able to see QE2 like this as well.

As she came almost abaft of AIDAstella she let fly with her hooter, and a mighty sound it was. Hearkening back to the original Queen Mary that also plied these waters so many years ago.

Then it was time for me to head off back to the ferry, stopping occasionally to snap a pic of her as she sailed down Southampton Water.
It is hard to believe that earlier this morning she had returned from sailing around the world and had turned around and was now sailing to New York.
As I stood at the ferry pier I kept on watching her until she turned and was once again broadside on, a distant object in a darkening sky. Many ships had taken that exact same path, but tonight, it was the Queen Mary 2, sailing on a traditional route that will see her on the other side of the world next week.

My opinion has changed. She is a beaut. Granted there are things I would change if I had the chance, but she will probably be the flagship of the world for the next few years, or until something else is built to replace her. But like her predecessor QE2, she is a one-off, there is no sister ship, there isn’t anything around that looks like her. I guess that makes her special.  I have managed to capture her on video, so hop across to my youtube channel for a look at one, or another video of her

Arrival 10/05/2013
  

Sailing  09/06/2013

On this particular viewing I was on board Shieldhall  and we were able to watch QM2 sailing from on board this vintage vessel. 
 
Still alongside at QEII terminal. Sailing was still about 60 minutes away. We turned around and headed back to her to wait for her to sail, the 3rd last ship out of four scheduled for that afternoon. 
 
From a distance: the vessel is still swinging to face us where we are drifting in Southampton Water. 
 

And, alongside in Southampton at the Ocean Terminal on 03 August 2013.

City Terminal 08 August 2013
On the 8th of August QM2 arrived at a very early hour to berth at City Terminal, I arrived just after she had turned in the swing grounds and was approaching the berth.
 
That afternoon I watched her sail from 48 Berth, which was not as great a spot as I would have liked. I should have headed down to Town Quay instead.
 
Sailing from Ocean Terminal 02/09/2013
I worked baggage on QM2 on this day and took some very unique shots of her from opposite where she was berthed at City Terminal, this is also the spot where Titanic was alongside in 1912. 
 
From the quayside she is huge, and there was no real way of showing that bulk in a photograph.
 
Once my shift was over I moved across to the other side of the Ocean Terminal and waited for her to sail. It was a long wait, punctuated by spurious bursts of energy to keep my muscles from freezing up after my long afternoons work.
  
 
And then she was past, and I was somewhat shocked at the size of her. You can see the video on my Youtube Channel of this sailing. It is however quite a big one, just like the ship that the video is about.. 
 
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 03/04/2016
 
Updated: 22/06/2018 — 12:52

Southampton Shipwatch 15: Black Watch

Finally! a ship that looks like a ship. I have to admit (once again) that I was never too keen on these vessels when I first started looking at cruise ships. There were originally three of them, built for what was then Royal Viking Line, all had the prefix “Royal Viking” and they were Sea, Star  and Sky. I had seen Royal Viking Sea in 1986, and she was the second cruise ship that I ever saw. She did not endear herself to me. Today she operates for Phoenix Reisen as Albatros.

Royal Viking Sea. Durban 1986

Royal Viking Sea. Durban 1986

The ex- Royal Viking ship that was in port yesterday was the former Royal Viking Star, and she operates for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines as Black Watch. She had arrived by the time I got to the harbour, and was sitting at Southampton City terminal. And, she looked different to everything else I had seen sail from this port. Unfortunately the morning weather was ghastly so all the pics from here are from late in the afternoon when was scheduled to sail at 4.30pm. 

 
But as sailing time approached there was no sign of her actually sailing. In fact there were problems with keeping the ship alongside the quay as she kept being blown off it by the wind (and hail. did I mention it actually hailed while the sun was shining?). The gangway kept retracting as the ship moved away and passengers could not be embarked safely. Her sailing was now put off for 6.30pm, and Queen Victoria would sail as scheduled at 4.30.
  
 
I left for Town Quay just as the Victoria was turning and just after the bunkering tanker had departed. I had to rethink my original plans to watch Queen Mary 2 because it was not viable to go home and then return an hour later. I decided that I would rather go through to Hythe and watch her sail, and then Queen Mary 2 before returning on the 08.10pm ferry, hopefully in time to see AIDAstella sail too.
 
By the time I got to Hythe Marina she was about ready to go, and when I looked again she was moving. 
 
Being somewhat of an oldie she does not have the luxury of stern thrusters too, so a tug was in attendance. Most of the sailings and arrivals that I had seen this past month had not had tugs attending. 
 
She made a nice change from the boxy top heavy modern cruise ships, but I don’t know how much longer she will be with us, given the age of the three sisters (about 40 years old). They were all lengthened during the seventies and have seen very good service over the years.
 
And then she was past and heading towards Calshot. Not a bad sailaway, but the odd weather did mess with lighting. It was nice to see a ship from my past again, even if it is not the exact one, but something similar.
 
04/05/2013 Sailing,
 
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 03/04/2016
Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:45

Southampton Shipwatch 14: Queen Victoria

Another of those “Cunarders” that I have never seen; Queen Victoria is supposedly a better looker than Queen Elizabeth. As I write this she is 45 minutes away from sailing, and so far all pics I have of her are very bad quality ones from this mornings gray weather, and a long shot from Town Quay in the sunlight.

 

From afar she looks almost like Queen Elizabeth, and any other Vista Class clone. However, her design has elements that just make her look much better, it is difficult to quantify though, if anything she is closer to Arcadia than she is to Queen Elizabeth. 

 
She sailed just after 5pm. but turning a ship of her size around at Mayflower takes ages so I was able to walk back to Town Quay while she was turning. Eventually though she started to approach.
 
It is true, she is the better looker of the pair. And I really like her. She has a better “balance” to her looks, and that’s a winner in my book. Maybe one day she will be seen as one of the better looking ships afloat. 
 
And then she was past, heading towards Southampton Water and past the Queen Mary 2 and AIDAstella  that was waiting to sail. The weather had been very odd on this day so this bit of sunlight for her sailing was just what we needed. But would it remain like this? so far we had had rain, sunlight and hail all at the same time, so anything was possible weatherwise. 
 
Chalk yet another ship down as “seen” and I really liked this one. Both sisters are due on 1 May, so that will be a good opportunity to compare them. Hopefully I will be able to get a pic of them together.

Arrival 01/05/2013
  
 
And of course there was the evening sailing…
 
Sadly in 2017 they added in more cabins to those tiered decks, thus taking away the slight difference that made her look better than the Elizabeth. Its all about balcony cabins! 
 
© DRW 2913-2018. Images recreated 03/04/2016
Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:47

Southampton Shipwatch 13: AIDAstella

Of the four ships that were scheduled for arrival on 26 April, AIDAstella was the last to arrive. The ship with a lip.  The weather had turned wet overnight and grey days and white cruise ships do not always work very well.
 
AIDAstella is AIDA Cruises newest ship and this may her maiden arrival at Southampton. It’s just a pity the day was so gray and miserable. She was also running slightly early which put her alongside an hour before she was due.
 
She was also going to berth port side to at QEII which means she had to do a turn around in full sight of the few photographers that were around. It also means we don’t have to stick around till 8pm tonight to see her sail.
 
To me she is too top heavy with too many odd structures on her decks, but then I prefer cleaner lines on a ship. Her characteristic logo is now very familiar as there are 10 ships sporting the lips and eyeballs, and while it is very unique it does look odd, but I expect you could get used to it, eventually.
 
It must be difficult keep that logo maintained. One slip up could be disastrous. The ship is geared for the German cruise market which is growing considerably, and AIDA has two new ships planned for the future.
 
She was almost ready to go alongside and I was almost ready to head off home. Her next call is a month away, and hopefully this time there will be some sunlight. I just hope that the weather improves for tonights sailaways
  
A bit later in the day I went around to check for any developments. and got a better coloured image. She was supposed to sail at 8pm that evening but by the time I got back from photographing QM2 she had still not budged.
 
 

On 19 June she was alongside at City Terminal and I managed a few other shots of her.

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 03/04/2016

Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:48

Southampton Shipwatch 12: Aurora

I missed the arrival of Aurora this morning and when I went to Town Quay she was already berthed at Mayflower. This was to be my first viewing of P&O’s Aurora.

It was a brief viewing though because the weather changed very rapidly this morning and she disappeared from view almost immediately. I would have to wait till 17H00 to get her sailing. The big debate has always raged about which is the better looker; her or Oriana. I was always biased towards Oriana, probably because I did manage to sail on her. Up till now Aurora evaded me. I did consider that the better aspects of her joined to the better aspects of Oriana would make an extremely handsome vessel. I do think she has a better funnel though, but Oriana has a better stern. The debate can rage forever. 
 
At just after 17H00 she blew her horn and started to move,  there was not a lot of light around due to the clouds overhead so the images are gray.  But after seeing her I can confirm that she is a handsome vessel as well. After a horn duel with Mein Schiff I, she came closer, her changing profile as she turned revealed a nice balance between superstructure and hull. She does not have stacks of flats bolted onto her superstructure.
 
Both ships have loyal followings, and it was always felt that she would improve on some of the shortcomings in the design of Oriana. They are similar, but not sisters. 
 
As far as I know both her and Mein Schiff were built in the same yard, quite a co-incidence if you think about it. Meyer Werft have built a number of modern cruise ships and she is one of the better designs. If I am not mistaken she was also ordered before the Carnival buyout.
 
And then she was past and heading out towards Southampton water. It had been a nice sailaway, its just a pity there wasn’t more light around. She is back on the 28th of April and I hope to get better pics of her. 
 
Love those tiered decks, you don’t see that anymore, just heaps of flats all stacked on top of each other. Little boxes made of ticky-tacky.
 
I worked baggage on her at QEII, and it was a bit less chaotic that it usually was with Oriana, although I did not work on board her. She arrived in the early mist.
and she sailed in much better weather 

I also managed some night shots of her sailing.
  qvnight 102 
 
She is one of the few classics still left. I just wish I had managed to get decent images of her.

 

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 02/04/2016

Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:49

Southampton Shipwatch 11: Mein Schiff I.

I have to admit I had no idea that Mein Schiff actually existed, but lo and behold one of them is sitting alongside Southampton City as I write this. Originally built for Celebrity cruises as Galaxy, she was transferred to TUI Cruises and renamed Mein Schiff in 2009. Arrival was for 7.00am. and she did arrive on time, which was just as well because between when I saw Aurora alongside and when she went alongside the weather went topsy turvey, from sunny to mostly cloudy. Even at the point where she went past me at Town Quay the mist was already descending, so I was lucky to get these pics.
 
Overall I am not too enthusiastic about the ships looks, she does look like she is sailing downhill which is probably a result of her bulky underbridge structure, short bow and odd sheer line. But, I believe these ships had very nice interiors when they were built.
 
By the time I had footslogged from Town Quay to Mayflower Park she was almost alongside, oddly enough she is starboard side to which is going to make for a long unberthing.
 

Aurora was sailing at 17H00 while she was scheduled to leave at 20H00, so photography would be limited because of fading light. But I was there on time and she sailed just after 8. My pics did not come out great as I was fiddling with camera settings all the time.
 

The last time I had seen a night sailing was in Hong Kong in 2010. I had forgotten how special they can be with the music drifting over the water and the lights reflecting. And the ship sailing into the darkness.  Maybe it is because the photography is so difficult that I often just stand and watch.
 
Return to Southampton 30 April 2013
She was back in our waters on the 30th, but was moored up at QE2 so she wasn’t too easy to photograph, and she was due to sail at 20H00, so I just shot a few pics of her at long range, but I did hear her horn just after 8 from where I stay as she sailed again.
.
Sailing from Southampton, 23 May 2013
 
Caught up with her as she sailed at 20H00 on the 23rd of May, weather was strange, but lighting was great. Here are some pics from that occasion. 
 
The last time i saw her was on 21/09/2013 when she was up at QEII waiting for one of the AIDA boats to sail. Must admit, she was lit up very nicely, but I did not hang around to watch her sail.
 
 
 © DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 02/04/2016
Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:49

Red Funnel Flip (3)

Go full astern..

Having been taken across the Medina by Jenny boat I was once again back on East Cowes and en route to Kingston Cemetery. East Cowes has a very different feel to West Cowes and it may be one of those affluent vs middle class things. Although given how little I saw on this visit I may be totally wrong. 

The one problem I did encounter was large trucks that were coming and going to the ferry. It was somewhat dangerous for a foot passenger such as myself. It was also not good for photography. 

Once clear of the terminal and having found my bearings I was ready to head off to the cemetery.

I love the houses in these towns, they are much more attractive than the faux “Tuscan Villas” so beloved of yuppies and architects back in South Africa. These old row houses have character! 

Eventually I reached Kingston Cemetery, and it had a very different feel to its neighbour over the river. It was consecrated in 1876 on land given to the people of Cowes by Queen Victoria. 

The Exif data on these images gives the time as being around 13H00, look how the weather has changed. 

And, like Northwood, it too has a mass grave and Civilian Dead Memorial.

It was time to go, I was also feeling peckish so needed to find food or snacks, I had spotted a likely place while I was in town so would pause there and kill some time replenishing my energy levels.

I was also hoping to get to see some water up close and personal, and was able to achieve that once I was finished lunch. 

To be honest I was at a loss as to what to do to kill time, the museum was closed much to my dismay, and frankly I could have spent much more time at the cemetery. I was tempted to grab the next ferry and head back to Southampton, but I really wanted to experience seeing Azura coming out down Southampton Water. Problem number two was that because one ferry was out of commission the sailing times were slightly out of kilter. 

There was one mystery that I wanted to solve but unfortunately I did not get proper pics of it at the time because I was hoping to get better ones when I was on the ground. On East Cowes, just as you enter the Medina, there is a large hangerlike structure with a Union Jack painted on it, and I really wanted to know what the significance of it was because Cowes was also a a place where they built flying boats and hovercraft many many years ago.

Rummaging through my images I found an information board that gives some background to this place and the industry that was once a leader in its field. The structure, built by the firm of Sauders-Roe Ltd is known as the “Columbine Shed” and it was built in 1935 along with its attendant slipway. During the war years many seaplanes were built here, and it was also here where the SR.A1 Jet propelled seaplane (to be seen at Solent Sky Museum in Southampton)  first took flight. it was also at this spot where the 3 Princess Flying Boats came into being, only one of which flew. Hovercraft were built here too including the SR.N1, the world’s first hovercraft and the very successful SR.N4 Mountbatten Class of cross channel hovercraft of which 6 were built,  as well as the smaller  SR.N6 (Winchseter Class) hovercraft, one of which was used to carry passengers between Cowes and Southampton.  

Princess Flying Boat model at Solent Sky Museum in Southampton

Sadly though, there was nothing to see at the site, except for the hull of a yacht inside a frame, and I could not even get close to that. 

Where did all of this industry go to? the flying boat became irrelevant and the hovercraft has been phased out by more efficient means of transport, although there is a hovercraft service between Portsmouth and Ryde.  

It was time to make tracks, I was tired, having been on the go since early in the morning, I really just needed to find my way back to the terminal and catch the ferry back to Southampton. 

 
By the time I arrived at the terminal at 4pm. I was bushed and couldn’t wait to be on my way home again. The weather had turned gray and moody and it did not bode well for photography. We sailed at roughly 4.30, about the same time as Azura would be upping her lines back in Southampton (assuming she did that on time). 
 
 
It would be nice to say “we then turned our bows towards Southampton” when the reality is that the ferry is double ended, and the only difference is which side her funnel will be on when she is at sea. Her Voith propulsion make her very maneuverable, and that is needed when coming “bow” onto the loading ramp. 
And because the ferry is double ended you could read this blog from here back to the top of the page because it was almost a reverse of our trip from Southampton, but in gray weather. It’s true we did get to see Azura close up, but the weather didn’t make for great pictures. 
 
 
We also met up with one of the many car carriers that visit Southampton on a regular basis. 
 
 
And then we were in the harbour, although it was almost empty. This is Shieldhall snoozing at her berth. Unfortunately she no longer occupies this space and can be found very close to the former drydock just past Mayflower Terminal in the Westrn Docks
 
 
The ramps were waiting, as were the vehicles and passengers who were heading the other way. I was almost glad to be home, although I would not have minded going backwards and forwards again.
I was home just after 5.30 and it had been a great trip, and I really wanted to do it, but never did. I would also have loved to try the hovercraft between Ryde and Southsea too. Ferries like the Red Funnel vessels are non-existent back home, so seeing and traveling on her was a lot of fun. Sadly though, even these vessels may one day become extinct, especially if you consider the reduced ferry services that run today. But, as long as there are goods that need moving a vehicle ferry like this has a reason to be.
 
 
And, having traveled on one I now have a better understanding of the service that they deliver to the Isle of Wight as well as a feeling for the route that so many passenger liners in the past had sailed to access the ocean. I just hope it continues that way long into the future. As for the Red Jets? I am not too keen on low flying at sea, but then if the weather was rough it may be fun, but there is no open deck to stand on, just seats, like on a bus.
 

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 02/04/2016, blog post expanded 13/12/2017

Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:56
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