Oceana (II), Oriana (II) & Queen Elizabeth 2
What a glorious morning for the arrivals of Oceana, Oriana and QE2 on the 8th July 2007 after practically having non-stop rain over the past few weeks.  I had been unable to sleep so got my camera ready for them to pass by.  Unfortunately I missed Oceana but did manage the other two as they followed her in.
The weather was rather hit and miss but that didn't stop the crowd down the marina building up.  It started sunny with some wind but quite warm.  QE2 was in her usual berth while Oriana was in City and Oceana in Mayflower.    
Despite the odd spot of rain it did stay mainly dry as we waited for the 5pm departures but the cloud and sea became very odd.  Half sun, half ominous dark clouds in the sky while the sea was half blue and half green.
We noticed while it was dry where we were, a squall was starting to cover Oceana before spreading to Oriana as she was pulling out just after 5pm and QE2 until it finally reached us.  Oriana blasted but we had trouble seeing her.  Then QE2 started being pulled out at around 5.05pm.
Oriana stayed as she was while QE2 straightened despite her bad starboard list.  It seemed to be taking longer than normal.  Once she began to move she gave three long and loud blasts.  I'm really going to miss that when she's gone.  Oriana then got herself in the correct channel while Oceana blasted but still didn't appear to be moving.  Hoping for a reply from Oriana?  If she was she was unlucky.  The wind by now had come up and the rain was heavy though visibility improving.
Finally once Oriana was a safe distance Oceana came out and blasted some more while Oriana, still ignoring her fleet mate, gave more blasts as she approached Eastern Docks.
As the QE2 and Oriana headed towards the still blue sky at Calshot with the rain clouds following, Oceana brought us dry weather as she neared.  How we loved her!  Such a shame it didn't last but remained at least until we headed back into Hythe.
The end of another entertaining stalking day.  It's always guaranteed no two stalkings, even with the same ships, will be alike.

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© Patricia Dempsey 8th July 2007
Not to be reproduced without permission