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