Oriana (II), Saga Rose & Saga Ruby World Cruise Sailings
On the 7th January 2007 we had three ships in loading up for their annual world cruises.  As the City Cruise Terminal was undergoing a major refurbishment before Navigator of the Seas arrived in April, Saga Rose and Saga Ruby were in the QEII, which was probably the only time they would be so close to me.  Oriana was in the usual Mayflower.  The weather was foul.  Gales again.  The Saga sisters weren't due to leave until after the 9.30pm fireworks so we braved the weather for Oriana who was down to go at 5pm.  Despite a little brief drizzle at 4.45pm, it was mainly dry and fairly mild.
5pm came and went while the rain returned in force half an hour later and it got much colder.  6pm also passed with no movement.  Already one container ship had sailed out and as another was on its way in we called it a day and went home.  She eventually began moving at 6.50pm.  We returned just after 9pm and the weather had got worse.
The fireworks began on time at 9.30pm and lasted the ten minutes advertised.  It was really difficult trying to keep the rain off the lens and I gave up on the umbrella in the end as it made no difference due to that wind.  The following are the best of the bunch.  So many were so bad they had to be deleted.
Saga Rose cast off at the appointed 9.45pm time.  Disappointingly they had turned her funnel light off.  She was led to the turning circle by two tugs and once straightened, turned her name sign off too. They blasted to each other as Saga Rose passed her sister and headed off.
Saga Ruby was due to cast off half an hour later but instead began moving about five minutes earlier.  Her funnel light was still on but she didn't blast.
Despite the weather it was worth going down and getting drenched for our final marina trip of the 2006/7 season.  Last year we were the only ones there but I couldn't get photos.  This year a few people had gone but, like Tuesday, most left after the fireworks.  This seems to be an annual event though next year they'll be back down the end.  For more photos of the Saga Sisters, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 7th January 2007
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