musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: Oceana

Heading back from Ryde

Carrying on where we left off….

There was one thing I needed to see and that was the Portsmouth Naval Memorial at Southsea, it was designed not only as a memorial, but also as a leading mark for shipping. In the image below the memorial is the white tower with the greenish ball on top of it. It is a very impressive memorial, and one of three similar memorials that were erected to the casualties of the Royal Navy.
 
Shieldhall was now heading back to Southampton at a leisurely pace. The weather was hot and cloudy in places, and the water was calm. Perfect cruising weather really. The sun had discovered that there were areas of me that needed attention and I often had to head to a shade deck just to cool off.
 
My presumption as to why we were dawdling along was twofold. There was a small tug dredging in the approach channel, and we had to wait for her to finish, or the master was waiting for the cruiseships to emerge from Southampton so that he could regale them with the siren. Any cruiseship is fair game and often some merchant ships get the siren treatment too. It must be quite odd to be on the bridge of your sparkling cruiseship to be accosted by a small steam powered ex-sludge carrier with an often obscene siren. Cruise ship sailing time is around 16H30, and we were not quite ideally placed by the time they started unberthing and moving. Get a move on Smit Buffalo!!!
 
We also passed a few smaller vessels going about their business, and a host of power boaters and assorted water craft. Sand Heron was being followed by 3 of those water scooter type machines that were using her wake as a launching platform. I had seen this vessel in Weymouth awhile ago, and photographed her sister transiting the Itchen Bridge.
 
By now I could pick up the movement in Southampton at the further-est extent of the lens of my camera. (which reminds me, the lens extending mechanism does not sound very good). The leading vessel was Independence of the Seas, and I expected that because they are quite prompt in their departures, unlike certain other vessels……
 
And then we were waiting, siren at the ready… but would they catch the hint?
 
Independence of the Seas is a real beauty, she exudes size and efficiency and I have never seen her looking shabby or run down. She is also prompt, but her master chose to ignore our plaintive bleatings, parps and belches. 
 
I was fortunate enough to catch her as she turned into the Western Solent, and with the sun on her.
 
Emerald Princess on the other hand wanted to play along and we exchanged salutes with her (much to the amusement of everybody on board).
  
And finally Oceana also exchanged salutes with us.
 
As we passed the mouth of the Hamble I spotted a strange contraption festooned with lifeboats. I suspect it is some sort of training facility for ships crews, or maybe for scouts? it may be worthwhile finding out more about it. (Apparently this is part of Warsash  Maritime Academy)
 
Somebody was missing from the sailing list, Azura had also been in the harbour and she was not amongst the sailings. We had left her at Ocean Terminal when we had sailed, although she was berthed bow first instead of stern first like she usually does. Hopefully as we got closer we would pick her up. 
 
We picked up Whitchallenger on her way downstream, she is a bunkering vessel and may have been heading to top herself up as she was riding quite high.
 
We were also overtaken by two separate members of the Red Funnel fleet, and the Red Jets really left us rocking in their wakes, although Red Osprey just made us wobble a bit.
 
As we got closer to the harbour I spotted Azura being swung in the turning basin and soon she was bearing down on us. This was actually the second time I had seen her like this, the first being on my Cowes trip. 
 
You only get a sense of how big these ships are when they go past you, sadly though they do not really appeal to me, although I do recall that both her and Ventura were easy to work onboard from a baggage handling perspective.
 
and then we were alongside Hythe Pier
 
and I got to wave at Challenge, she is looking very lonely in that corner of the harbour. I really wish they would have her at a better spot because she is liable to be forgotten where she is now.
 
And then we were ready to come alongside, our trip completed. Shieldhall and her crew had brought us home safely.
 
I still had to get to the station and catch my train back to Salisbury, and I was tired. But it had been a different trip and I had enjoyed it. My only gripe was that there weren’t more ships to see on the trip. My next cruise will probably be one of the short harbour voyages that they have during the Maritime Festival which is being held on the 22nd and.23rd of  August. I will see you then Shieldhall. 
 
 
© DRW 2014-2018. Created 27/07/2014, images recreated and links changed 19/04/2016
Updated: 30/12/2017 — 20:37

Southampton Shipwatch 41: Emerald and Dawn Princess

I detoured on my way back from Portsmouth on the 12th of July to grab some pics of Emerald and Dawn Princess that were both in Southampton. The former at Ocean Terminal, the later at QEII. Unfortunately they are not really unique ships, Emerald  is one of the “Grand Class” clones and was launched in 2006. Her sisters are Crown Princess and Caribbean Princess. So technically I have seen her before. 
  
She was due to sail at 16H00, but as per usual the concept of time keeping was missing from her sailing, she finally started to drop her lines at 16H25, which was problematic because there were three others due to sail at 16H30 (Independence of the Seas, Oceana and Balmoral). There was quite a crowd of rubber neckers, fishermen and the occasional shippie watching her leave. 
 
 
Somehow though I cannot get much enthusiasm for these ships, I was considering that 30 years down the line these may be considered to be “classics” but I know I will really struggle to ever consider them that. 
 
 
And then it was time to head to the other side of Town Quay to catch Indie. Leaving the Emerald Princess to sail past her fleetmate Dawn Princess at QEII. I have to admit to a certain fondness for this big vessel, she is quite an attractive beastie and she is very prompt about her departure.
 
She was followed by Oceana, another ship for which I do not have much affection. 
 
One of the reasons I remained behind after watching Emerald Princess leave was to see Oceana alongside Dawn Princess.
 
Unfortunately QEII is an awkward place to photograph ships, it is too far away from Town Quay and unless they back the vessel into the Itchen or turn her when she arrives you only really get stern shots. These are the only pics I have of this 1997 built vessel. Her sisters are Sun Princess and Sea Princess, as well as Oceana. Incidentally the flat vessel alongside her is probably the slowest vessel in Southampton. I can walk faster than she can sail. Dawn Princess was due to sail at 21H00 (which probably means 21H30)
 
 
Then I turned my attention to Balmoral that was still being turned, unfortunately, being a bit of an old lady (and a classic too), she does not have stern thrusters so still needs a tug, but soon she too was heading down the channel. 
 
 

She was definitely the prettiest of the 5 ships in the harbour, but I could not really hang around as I had to get to the station by 17H36 for my train (which only arrived at 17H40). It was fun to do shipwatching again, and there are a number of unique arrivals scheduled for September that I will go down to Southampton for, so watch this space!!!

Emerald Princess 26/07/2014.
 
On the return to Southampton on Shieldhall on 26/07/2014 Emerald Princess was in the harbour too and I managed to get other pics of her. 
 
 
 
© DRW 2014-2018. Created 13/07/2014, updated 27/07/201, images recreated 18/04/2016
Updated: 30/12/2017 — 20:44

Southampton Shipwatch 02: Oceana

This was the first time I have seen Oceana, and she does seem to be a regular caller. Again I think she could do with a redesign, especially around the bow area, but that is my opinion.

She is operated by P&O Cruises, and she is one of 4 similar ships built for Princess Cruises/P&O. I also think one of them called in South Africa in the period shortly after Oriana entered service.

However, if anything Oceana seems to be one of those ships that doesn’t really leave an impression. Maybe next time she is here I should go out to Hythe and see what she is like from the front.

Sailaway 07 June 2013

I never did get to Hythe to see her from the front, and she kept on evading me or sitting at QEII where I could not get decent pics. Until today.
Supposed to sail at 16H30, she only started moving after 5. The weather was overcast and not really great lightwise, but I did manage to shoot some video and get some pics. She does not impress from this angle either. 
  
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 30/03//2013
Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:17
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