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
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