Month: September 2013

Southampton Shipwatch 36: AIDAsol

Following on with my day of frustration (24 September),  I finished work at 5 and headed down to Salisbury station, hoping that my train (which was always late), would actually be on time. It wasn’t. In fact I got to Southampton almost 30 minutes after I should have. It was still daylight, but we were loosing light fast. I hadn’t even stopped at home but had come straight from the station.  
As I arrived at Town Quay, a container ship; Viland, was arriving and I managed a quick shot of her before she headed towards the container berths. 
The real reason for my being there was sitting alongside at Ocean Terminal. The light was fading fast and AIDAsol wasn’t lit up much, it was still roughly 15 minutes before she was due to sail, and I hoped that she would leave while there was still light.
Berthed at QEII was Mein Schiff I, that I had seen before, and she was scheduled to sail at 20H00. I had ended up waiting for her to sail twice before and I was not going to be caught out this time. 
AIDAsol was very similar in looks to AIDAstella that I had photographed in April on her maiden arrival, I seem to think they are sisters, and they really do look quite jaunty with their lips and eyeballs. I could not see much of these though as the ship was riding very low in the dock due to the tide. 

4night 218


And of course the one part of the ship that really intrigues me.

19H00 came and went, sailing was delayed till 19H30.  Another vessel; Palanpur, sailed from 101 with some of the boat show displays on board. Why didn’t they just sail those overpriced boats instead of lugging them around on board a ship anyway? 
Why did I think this delay was going to happen? because it was that sort of day. As the light failed so the ship became more lit up. 
The 19H00 sailing became 19H45, apparently they were waiting for some passengers who had been delayed.  
Even Mein Schiff was getting impatient, smoke was coming from her funnel and I am sure that their bridge crew were as anxious as I was to see AIDAsol leave. 
By 19H45 she started to move from Ocean Terminal, a multi-coloured lit up ship, with matching eyeballs. 
I was shooting video of her and no sooner had she cleared the berth when they turned off most of her lights, and she became a mere pool of lights moving across my field of vision. There was a long interchange of hooters between her and MS as they passed.
And then she was turning to port to exit the harbour, leaving Mein Schiff to get herself sailed, and myself to head off home while I still was awake.
It had been a long day of late trains, late sailings, and poor photography. From a shipwatching perspective it had been a good one, and is probably the last good one I will have in a long time.
Not satisfied with my pics I returned to see her sail on the 8th of October, she was berthed at City Terminal and theoretically was due to sail at 19H00. It is getting darker earlier now, and by the time I got there the light was fading very quickly. However, I was very happy with my pics.
Roughly 18H45

Roughly 18H45

Unfortunately, a Grimaldi vessel had arrived slightly before sailing time and was berthing astern of AIDAsol, so it looked like sailing would be delayed until she was alongside.

Then we heard it over the radio, sailing was delayed till 19H45. I decided to sail myself and grabbed my camera and headed off home. I knew how these things could drag out, and I was already late for supper.

I heard her blow her hooter at roughly 19H35 from my place, so I guess she really just waited till I left.
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 11/04/2016. 

Southampton Shipwatch 35: Vision of the Seas.

Frustration is the best description I can think of when I try to describe this arrival (and probably the whole day). Because I am working I am no longer able to do my shipwatching the way I used to, and early arrivals are generally too late for me as I am already on my way to Salisbury. However Vision of the Seas was due to arrive at 05.15 on the 24th of September, and with luck I would be able to catch her before I headed off to the station. However, it is still dark at 5.15, so any pics I took would be night shots, and those are not my favourite type to take. 
I arrived at Town Quay as she was arriving, but was unable to get anything decent picturewise, I did however get some decent blurs. Like all ships at night she is darkened forward of the bridge, so any pics really won’t show the forepart very well. She was also not very well lit either, so it was more like watching a collection of ship shaped lights moving past in front of me. 
Once she was past me it became easier because there is more light in this area, so at least I could see some sort of silhouette, although the darkness also revealed how badly my lens was scratched, or were those spectral orbs? I may have to apply some effects. 
Problem number two was heading my way too. The ship was due to berth alongside at City Terminal, but access to Mayflower Park was no longer possible because of the remnants of the boat show that was being broken up. Had I been able to access her from there it is probable that I would have had some great pics as she came alongside. All I could really do was shoot from Town Quay and hope for the best,.
The brightest part of the ship was that funnel logo, and it stood out like a lighthouse shining across the quiet waters of the harbour. 
In daylight I can usually get a good shot across the harbour towards City Terminal, but with the differing light sources and intensities all around, and trying to get the camera to stay still long enough I was not as successful as I would have wanted to be. 
At this point I decided to head down to Mayflower to see whether I could see her amongst the tents, boats, fences, and other detritus from the boat show. But even a ship her size was not visible. The closest I could get was from the entrance to Dock Gate 8 (which was closed). 
That ended my session with her, and I still had 40 minutes to kill before I had to leave for the station, so I headed back to Town Quay, hoping to catch one of the other arrivals before I ran out of time. 
This was MSC Opera, and she is a regular caller here, and was lit up like a Christmas tree. 
I think she was scheduled to berth at Mayflower, but I could not hang around to confirm it as I had to head off to the station. Sadly I would not be around to see them sail, but was hoping to see Aidasol sail later that evening, assuming my train was on time, (turns out that it wasn’t). 
I turned my own bows away from the harbour that I was soon to leave, I would miss these early morning arrivals, there is something special about a ship arriving in the dark, and only those who witness it can really appreciate it. For those that are curious, this is what Vision of the Seas looks like in the daylight. The image I found on the internet and would really like to have permission to use it. If you are the owner I hope you do not mind. 
And these are amongst my last shipwatch images, and each one of them was special to me. 
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 11/04/2016

Random Churchyards: Holy Trinity Church Weston.

A turn in the wrong direction led me to this beautiful church with attendant churchyard in Weston. It is roughly half way to Netley Abbey, and of course almost in view of Southampton Water. 

I have not been able to get into the church itself, in fact I thought that I would only visit there once, but it turns out I had to make a return visit as there is a CWGC grave in the churchyard as well as a Titanic related grave

The churchyard may still be in use because I saw a number of new headstones, and there is a portion laid out as a Garden of Remembrance. It is however a nice shady and peaceful part of this area, and it is well worth the detour away from the shoreline. 
As usual there is no real way of knowing how many graves there are, or when they started using this as a burial ground. The foundation stone for the church was laid on March 17, 1864 and it was consecrated on the 26th of  July 1865. (  
It is very possible that the founder and first vicar of the church are buried in this churchyard, certainly the third vicar is.
The grave of the third vicar of the church, George William Walter Minns (1879-1914)

The grave of the third vicar of the church, George William Walter Minns (1879-1914) 

Leaving behind the church, it is a quick walk back to the shorefront with its views along Southampton Water and the cruise ships berthed at the terminals, or down towards the Isle of Wight and Calshot.
DRW © 2013-2018. Images recreated 11/04/2016