Queen Mary 2 & Grand Princess
Well despite the intention of not bothering with Grand Princess until her last call in September, the possibility of passing QM2 was too big a temptation.  QM2 was in 38/9 starboard for the third time out of the past four calls.  Grand Princess was port and both were due to leave at 5pm.
Hearing lifeboat drill at 4.15pm on QM2 gave us hope as it's always one hour before departure.  We also heard it begin on Grand Princess shortly after QM2's eight bells had finished.  It began to get cloudier, breezy and cold but the marina was once again packed with about 200 people.  The sailaway party was in full swing on QM2 but then she decided to spoil ours by casting her first ropes at 5pm.  ARGH!!! Why are these damn ships never cooperative??!!  Nothing for a while then her last ones went five minutes later and she blasted as she started to move out.  It appears they've cured her laryngitis at long last. One woman behind asked this bloke (who had been educating her about ships all the while we waited) why she wasn't using tugs and he said he didn't know!  So much for his knowledge!
At 5.30pm, QM2 had straightened and gave another three blasts on her healthy horn.  It is so good she's stopped sounding strangulated.  A slight overlap during the last one as up the other end Grand Princess was also blasting.  Very impatient to get out having been kept waiting by a QE2 wannabe, especially as she now had a container ship up her backside.  Someone clearly hasn't told Mary that only her older sister is allowed to be difficult.  When she's as old then she will have earned it and can be as awkward as she likes.
As Grand Princess neared the marina, she gave the onlookers who had stayed after QM2 had passed some more blasts on her horn.
And so that was definitely our last Grand Princess stalk until the 2nd September.  I'm still hoping she will make up for so many disappointments this season by cooperating on her last call until 2008.

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© Patricia Dempsey 9th August 2007
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