Anthem of the Seas, Queen Victoria, Balmoral, Queen Mary 2 & Queen Elizabeth (II)
The Cunard 175th anniversary celebrations began in their home port of Southampton on the 3rd May 2015.  My friend, Oskar Osmundsen, and I were on the brand new Anthem of the Seas, returning from our cruise which we had booked especially to see them from the ship.  This year, Cunard had decided they would just have a normal arrival instead of the three bow thing they did for the Jubilee and in 2014 and it would be a daylight sailing like 2008 and July 2012, probably because of the main celebrations in Liverpool four weeks later.  Anthem led as suspected and she was followed by Vicky, Balmoral, Mary and Betty in rain and wind which made it difficult to see them until we were all closer then lighter.  As we turned to dock, Oskar and I were hit by a horrendous wind which blew the rain right at us.  Anthem doesn't have a decent observation area that's not locked and rubbish Prom deck so we snapped, sheltered and got drenched from the outside part of the Windjammer after being awake all night just for this moment.  Lomax assisted Balmoral.  One man came out as Mary was turning and called her Queen Elizabeth.  We got breakfast rather than watch Mary finish docking but all ships were berthed time wasting starboard, which was unusual.

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© Patricia Dempsey 3rd May 2015
Not to be reproduced without permission