Southampton Shipwatch 33: Nautica.

Another long awaited vessel, I last saw her in Hong Kong in 2008 when she was sailing from Kowloon.

And, I did not really get good pics of her. However, since being in Southampton I have seen two of her sister ships; Azamara Quest and Adonia. I was also fortunate to take a quick stroll around the latter and she was very pretty inside.  However, Nautica arrived at some strange hour of the morning on 20 June 2013, and was due to sail later on the same day. When I went down to see her I was shocked because there was a blanket of fog on the harbour and visibility was almost zero. And, alongside at City Terminal she was also under the care of two smaller bunkering and service vessels so there was not much to see. 

Operated by Oceania Cruises, she is one of the three similar sisters that they have (Regatta (“R2”) and Insignia (“R1”) being the other two), and they also operate the Marina which called in Southampton on 11 June. Strangely enough it was also murky and foggy the day she arrived. Nautica is the former “R5”  Due to sail at 19H30, I was at Town Quay at 19H10, and the sun was blinding. Any sailing photography was going to be difficult. I decided to head off to Mayflower Park to see what it was like there.  The Western docks run East to West so at this time of the afternoon the sun is starting to get very low.

What a difference between my 09H45 pic and my 19H20 pic. Light was equally blinding at Mayflower so I decided to rather head back to TC, however, Nautica was already singling up so I had to stand my ground and do my best.

She was berthed starboard side to, so it was really a matter of backing and turning and then going forward while turning. Theoretically an easy maneuver, we do something very similar when we park a car, but doing it with a ship  is a totally different story. Yet, it is now becoming increasingly routine. No tugs required. 

Then she was turned and a slight pause and she started moving slowly across in front of us. Steadily going a little bit faster all the time.

But, an interesting encounter was ahead. As she neared the Red Funnel terminal the Red Eagle decided to sail too and the pair both attempted to occupy the same space at the same time, Red Eagle facing almost at 90 degrees to Nautica.

Red Eagle stopped, and then rotated about her axis until she was facing in the same direction as Nautica was. She can do that quite easily as she is a bi-directional ferry. She probably slipped in behind the ship, and followed her down Southampton Water. Nautica was gone; she is scheduled to call again in early July, and if I am still here I will try get more pics of her. A very pretty ship, and it was nice to see her again. These small ships really are great to see because they are so much more than a block of flats on a hull. 

Sailing 15/08/2013

That tug just wouldn’t go away!

DRW © 2013-2022. Images recreated 08/04/2016

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