Albatros (II) Southampton Debut & Queen Elizabeth 2
It had been nineteen years since I had last seen Albatros, back then under her original name of Royal Viking Sea.  I'd always had a soft spot for the Royal Viking Sisters and was looking forward to seeing her again in Southampton on the 31st July 2007.  Her original arrival time on the Phoenix Reisen site was 8am but VTS had her as 10am.  Typically things went awry and it was changed to 1pm then 12.45pm. The weather was glorious for once and there a few people at the marina with cameras, mainly taking photos of the QE2.  One man even thought she was leaving for Dubai this year.  At 11.35pm we sighted her off Calshot in the haze and as she came up to Fawley had to slow down to let a tanker dock before picking up speed again and heading our way.
Meanwhile the Jubilee Sailing Trust tall ship Tenacious was returning from another trip and passed the QE2 on the way to dock at 47.
As she passed us we heard an announcement in German.  Perhaps they were telling the passengers about the QE2 on the starboard side or that they'd finally arrived.  As she passed the QE2 both were annoyingly silent.
Once Albatros was in port my dad and I decided to go over to Mayflower Park to get photos.  On days like these a ferry ride across to town is much better than a sweltering bus and both turned out to be packed anyway.  An elderly lady sat beside us and thought we were tourists!  Because some people were stood in my view, when I tried to get the first photo between them and the ferry she told me to wait until we'd got nearer and we would even be able to see the name sign.  Ooh the excitement!
Boat Show preparations for the annual September event.  Although as not all of it is removed every year, I don't know why they bother rebuilding.  Either take it all down or leave it all up.
Long shot of Albatros in front of the Boat Show works.  And I'd just like to thank the topless young fisherman for giving me another excellent view here as well.
Just like her sisters, Black Watch and Boudicca, the old gangway was in use as they board lower than the much larger ships.  It was strange seeing a similar ship where the other two usually are in different colours.
As we made our way back past the QE2, we saw another section for the boat show was being towed to Mayflower Park.
For a photo of Albatros back in 1988 as Royal Viking Sea, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 31st July 2007
Not to be reproduced without permission