Ocean Village Two, Queen Elizabeth 2 & Millennium
Boy it was cold on the 21st April 2007.  Only a few days earlier when Ocean Village Two arrived it was glorious.  How things change fast.  So this was the plan.  Millennium was due to return from refit for 9.15am, brought forward from 10.15am.  Meanwhile Ocean Village Two was going to be moved from 106 to 46 in the Ocean Dock between 9-10am for the naming ceremony on the 24th.  Both she and the QE2 had arrived by 6am.  Well Millennium appeared off Calshot slightly later than scheduled at around 8.20am.  Could still make her berth in the revamped City terminal (the first to use it) before they moved Ocean Village Two.
No sooner had Millennium turned than she stopped in the turning circle.  It was now 9.15am and they decided it was time to move Ocean Village Two!
The tugs stopped at the entrance to Ocean Dock while Millennium slowly edged her way towards 101 at the same time a small car carrier came out.  Both the car carrier and Millennium ground to a halt for several minutes before continuing on their way.
Before the car carrier was safely out the way, Ocean Village Two began to turn so she could be pulled stern first into Ocean Dock.
We returned in the afternoon to a packed marina and it was even colder.  I was glad I took my cardigan.  I needed it!  Ocean Village Two looked strange in the dock.  We're more used to small car carriers in there.  QE2 was meant to leave at 5pm with Millennium an hour later.  For the QE2 to leave on time would be a miracle, bless her.  First of all as she was still being loaded up at 4.45pm, two tugs came along to attach.  Next thing, the stern one returned to Ocean Dock and was replaced by Lady Madeleine.  5.43pm she finally cast off.
Millennium cast off after 6pm.  She took her time moving away from the dock and then didn't appear to move for ages.  We didn't think anything of it until the Isle of Wight ferry coming in also slowed to a crawl just past Hythe pier.  The Red Jet and Hythe ferry had no such speed problems and after they had set off Millennium and the Red Funnel ferry gathered speed.  Disappointingly Millennium was silent as she made her way out of Southampton to Barcelona for the summer.
For photos of Ocean Village Two's arrival click here or of her maiden voyage, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 21st April 2007
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