Norwegian Jade, Independence of the Seas & Oceana (II)
On the 26th July 2008, Norwegian Jade was in QEII for the first time.  It reminded me of when her slightly younger sibling, Norwegian Pearl, called in December 2006 en route to America.  Someone in their infinite wisdom had decreed Jade would be starboard and she had been thus far.  The other Southampton newbie, Independence of the Seas, was in 101, hence Jade being moved, while veteran Oceana was in the usual 106.
As they had been reversing certain sized ships into the Itchen to turn for about six weeks (though not QM2 so far so maybe she's too big), we hoped, as they had with the longer Queen Victoria, they would with Jade so decided to go and see.  The weather was boiling!  Summer had finally arrived this week and the marina was packed with a few locals and many tourists.  It was unusual to find hardly anyone there to wave friends and family off.  Jade was meant to go at 4pm with Indy 4.45pm and Oceana at 5pm.  Jade was late but began to move, blasting once, as Indy did her eight bells shortly before 4.15pm, followed about a minute later by Oceana.  Would she go backwards?  Would she hell!  Grrr!  She moved out and forward to the turning circle.
Not many people were on Indy when her departure time arrived while within a few minutes, Oceana's bow ropes were all gone and we wondered if she would leave first but didn't budge.  Just before 5pm Indy finally lost hers and began to move followed not long afterwards by Oceana.  When she was in the channel she gave six short parps while Oceana gave the usual three long and two short.  One old bloke behind us kept insisting to whoever he was with Oceana was Oriana.  Quite a refit she had in April!  Others were reading out info about the various ships in.
Once Oceana was passed the pier it was like a mass exodus as everyone got up and made their way either towards the path or back to their cars.  A shame Jade wasn't backed up like Boudicca, Oceana, Braemar and QV have been but it was a lovely day nonetheless.

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© Patricia Dempsey 13th July 2008
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