Sea Princess (II), Black Watch (III), Arcadia (IV), Aurora & Navigator of the Seas
On the 19th May 2007 me and my dad decided to go over to Mayflower Park to get photos of the five ships which were in.  Originally only four, Sea Princess was still here undergoing repairs a week after limping home.  Aurora was in QEII terminal, Sea Princess in 46, Navigator of the Seas in City Terminal, Black Watch in 104 and Arcadia in 106.  The weather was sunny and cloudy at times but quite chilly when the wind got up.
Then we went home to warm up.  The weather hadn't changed much by the time we went down for the sailings with warm sunny spells or cold and thick dark clouds so I was glad I wore a cardigan and my padded jacket.  All four ships had been listed to sail at 5pm but they changed it.  Black Watch would now go first at the allotted time followed by Arcadia at 5.30pm, Navigator of the Seas at 5.45pm and finally Aurora at 6pm.  From about twenty people down the marina it had grown to around eighty by the sailing times.  But the waiting was amusing.  One woman asked who she was with if Aurora was QM2!  Before any departures, the training ship Tenacious went by and headed out to the Solent.
As usual with ship stalking things rarely run to plan.  Black Watch finally cast off at 5.29pm followed by Arcadia a minute later.  It was unusual for Black Watch to be docked port so once she started moving with the aid of a tug, there was no stopping her even though she didn't blast.
Sea Princess was ignored by everyone, perhaps because there was no main crew on the bridge.  Once Arcadia was safe enough out the way, Navigator cast off at 5.50pm and made her way slowly to the turning circle.  As Arcadia began to pass Aurora she blasted with Aurora returning the compliment.  Much to everyone's amusement, Arcadia's horn set a dog off barking and howling.  A woman behind me (not the same one as before) said to her friend or relative that they have different tones so they could talk to each other at night!  She also said Sea Princess was sick.  She did at least know the problem but where would you put a thermometer on a 77,000gt ship???
Aurora had a few ropes gone by the time 6pm came round but didn't let the final one go until seven minutes later, blasting once as she moved away from the dock with a strange sight - a tug attached!  She also blasted as she followed after the other two.
Navigator of the Seas gave a few blasts as she approached Town Quay and seemed to be speeding up somewhat.  I hope they see sense and start docking her port on arrival.

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© Patricia Dempsey 19th May 2007
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