Queen Elizabeth 2 Penultimate Call To Fremantle
The final ship of my latest Australian holiday on the 24th February 2006 and the reason for the extra two weeks, which saw Pacific Sky as a bonus.  How could I not see that other Southampton girl the other side of the world?  My little piece of home nearly 10,000 miles away!  The arrival time was wrong again.  It wasn't 6.30am at all.  because the Fremantle Ports website changed it from 8am we were there for 5am in the cold and wind.  She didn't come into view until about 7.15am then docked at the original 8am and the Cunard (Or 'Canard' as I heard someone call it) site said all along!  I overheard an Australian man tell someone he saw her at 6.15am from his window just waiting outside the port so thought he'd go to the docks.  Why not come in then if Lizzie was already there?
On the way back to Perth (and an even later breakfast than after Pacific Sky!) we stopped off in a car park near a railway bridge so I could get some pictures.  It was starting to warm up so I wish I'd taken the cardigan off.
Juanita was so good to me when we went back for the 6pm sailing by driving the scenic route - i.e. the way I could see Lizzie a lot!
The weather had warmed up considerably but it was still quite breezy.  True to form, she left late even though the tugs had been around her for ages.  I had told Juanita after Seven Seas Voyager that Lizzie was sure to be late because always is and being so far away she didn't change the habit of a lifetime although as a couple of her bow mooring ropes were off at 6pm I thought for a minute she might!  It was fairly crowded but not as much as at home.  She finally began to pull away from the dock at 6.25pm and she gave three short blasts of her whistle between three long ones which she never does at home.  Talk about showing off!  The tugs left go after she was pulled out but escorted her most of the way towards the point, giving their own salutes as she went into the sunset and headed towards Exmouth before returning to the docks.
The sailing ship Leeuwin II returned at that particular moment creating an image of past and modern vessels in Australian waters.
So that was the end of my Australia ship stalking and I beat Lizzie home by nearly two months!  It was good seeing her arrive back safely on the 23rd April, especially after the security scare she had just a few weeks from home.  If I get the chance to make another return visit to Perth I hope there's some more ships in and, more importantly, the Fremantle Ports website is more accurate with timings!  For pictures of Lizzie back in Southampton after the world cruise, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 24th February & 20th May 2006
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