Sea Princess (II) & Saga Rose
After the delayed cruise due to propulsion problems on the 12th May and subsequent cancellation the following day, Sea Princess underwent repairs.  Her proposed refit from the 6th-13th October had also been brought forward so they did all the work at the same time.  She was due to leave berth 46 in Eastern docks at 5.45am on the 25th after Artemis had passed on her way to 106.  Sea Princess finally was pulled out by tug at around 6am and headed for the English Channel to undergo sea trials.  She passed me twenty minutes later in the haze.
As they had her listed to arrive back at 7pm, we decided to go down as she would be due to pass Artemis on the way in.  After it was reverted back to 9pm we changed our mind.  She passed my view around 8.20pm and I noticed she was without tugs which was a good sign.  She docked on 106 where she spent the night.
And so the big test of the repairs arrived.  Would Sea Princess go off on her seven night cruise or be back the next day?  Saga Rose was in 101 with both due to leave at 5pm.  Then they moved Sea Princess forward fifteen minutes.  Great for passing shots!  Well it was until Saga Rose was changed to 4.30pm!  Neither left on time.  Saga Rose cast off at 4.43pm.
Saga Rose gave three loud blasts on her whistle after she straightened then headed out to Falmouth via the Needles.  As she is one of the few vessels small enough to go that way so I hope her passengers enjoyed the different view.
Sea Princess cast off just before 5pm and as she took her time moving out and forward we wondered if anything had gone wrong.  Eventually she blasted six times and then followed Saga Rose down Southampton Water.  She wouldn't catch her though.  Saga Rose was like a bat out of hell!
Once Sea Princess had got this far we decided to make our way back to try and get the bus and get her passing from that angle instead of the usual one.  As she emerged we heard the song, Time To Say Goodbye in a pop version.
And so off she went, due to return on the 2nd June.  For photos of her arrival on the 12th which led to her cruise being cancelled click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 25th & 26th May 2007
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