Oriana (II) & Grand Princess
On the 19th June 2008 my friend Neville, who I'd met on the flight to Los Angeles back in March and was going on Island Princess with about half the passengers, was sailing on Oriana.  Unfortunately we were unable to meet up but I could still wave him off on his journey.  The weather changed throughout the day so I wore a raincoat and took my half-dead umbrella just in case.  We did get a few spots of rain but nothing too drastic thankfully.  Oriana was in QEII while Grand was in Mayflower and annoyingly docked starboard.  Neville told me later first sitting on Princess is 5.45pm!  That's ridiculous.  The marina was practically deserted as we watched Oriana's flags being taken down, people coming and going but not staying.
A car carrier was on its was in to Ocean Dock meaning the view of Oriana would be ruined.  The only good thing about it was our favourite, Lady Madeleine, was bringing up the rear.
Quite a few people turned up now to see off people they knew on Grand.  Neville phoned just as Oriana's ropes were being cast.  They were off while up the other end there was no sign of movement from the Princess.  Once far enough out, Oriana blasted three times.
I was trying to see Neville and he was trying to see me.  I got him in the end waving his Union Jack as he sailed by me.  He got out his binoculars to find me as I was waving a white bag over my head.  He did which was a relief as I could rest my arm.
Finally the Princess blasted and headed towards the turning circle.  What is the obsession with starboard this year?  They do like to torment but it makes it fun except when you have to wait so long while they turn.
I let Neville go as he was nearing Fawley and we'd get cut off anyway.  No idea why it does that but it's maddening when you're in the middle of a conversation.  He could go and see some better scenery once free of the refinery.
Oriana was long gone and we went home once Grand had passed the pier.  The weather became really cold and quite windy again.  At least Neville is off to warmer climes.  Bon voyage, Nev!

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© Patricia Dempsey 19th June 2008
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