Arcadia (IV) & Grand Princess
It was looking at Southampton's cruising future on the 22nd June 2007.  Arcadia was docked in the QEII Terminal, which her near sister for Cunard Queen Victoria will be using from December while Grand Princess was in Mayflower Terminal where also her near sister for P&O Ventura will be based from April 2008.  This was the first visit by the 109,000grt Grand Princess.  The first of the Grand Class for what was then P&O Princess, she was originally due to call en route to America from the shipyard in 1998 but wasn't complete so once she left a week late went directly to America.  Both ships were down to sail at 5pm.  Despite conflicting weather forecasts of rain or dry it was actually quite warm in the sun as we waited at the practically deserted marina but gradually more people arrived.
Despite a couple car carriers on the move, Arcadia started casting a few ropes.  Once the last of them was safely gone, she started blasting when she was slowly moving away from the dock.
As it began to get darker with the thick clouds, colder and windier as Arcadia passed us, Grand Princess finally decided to move.  She blasted (as far I could hear with the horn being so quiet from a distance) three times with another short.  Before the sun disappeared for a bit she looked lovely with it shining on her against a dark grey backdrop.
Right about now there was a couple of loud claps of thunder before the heavens opened and our fellow ship watchers vanished fast.  It was so difficult fighting the umbrella in the wind and trying to take photos so these are the best of the rest.
And so we went home to dry and warm up and we noticed a few breaks in the cloud uncovering blue sky.  Why couldn't it have done that sooner?  Sometimes I think I should get a warmer, drier hobby with better timekeeping but then if I did I'd miss all this fun!

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© Patricia Dempsey 22nd June 2007
Not to be reproduced without permission