musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Hullo Southampton

Today, 7 April 2013 I packed my bags and headed for the port of Southampton. Like with London I do feel a connection to this city and its port, probably because so much of my maritime literature featured Southampton very strongly, and of course this is where the ill fated Titanic sailed from. When I did my original planning before coming to the UK I had listed Southampton as the destination where I would go once I left London, 
 
Of course ships will rate very high on my list of things to do/see while I am in this city. In fact, in a short period of six hours I saw two cruise ship sailings already. The first being P&O’s Ventura.

Ventura

Followed shortly thereafter by Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Many years ago, during the 1950’s and 60’s these self same Western Docks would see rows of major passenger vessels, Our own Union-Castle Line would have had at least two ships in port every week.
 

Union-Castle ships in Southampton

So many years later the character of the docks has changed, containerisation has killed the traditional cargo ship and cruise liners now berth where once passenger ships from all around the world plied their trade.
 
And of course the Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary would have dominated every other ship afloat when they were calling. Alas those days have passed and today we have to take what we can get. The two cruise ships above don’t really do much for me, I have seen much better looking. And, by the looks of it there are quite a few arrivals and sailings scheduled for the next month. On top of that is the anniversary of the sailing of the Titanic from these very docks 
 
How long will I be here? till 8 May probably, after that? who knows. I am going to do my job hunting here and hopefully be lucky, or will have to move on. Either way though, I intend to ship watch and visit the Hollybrook Cemetery to pay my respects to our fallen Mendi Men who are commemorated there, and I know that will be a sad occasion.
 
Till the next time I visit my blog, I shall leave you with photograph of SS Shieldhall, a really nice looking vessel that is more up my line. At any rate, it will be a change from cemeteries.
 
Postscript.
I finally left Southampton in October 2013, it had been a fascinating few months for me, and this prequel does not even touch the surface of what I saw and did. Follow the story from here, there is much to see, and much to discover.
 
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