Trinity House Vessel Patricia (III), Saga Rose & Braemar (III)
Fred Olsen's Braemar returned from her stretch on the 4th July 2008 but wasn't departing on her first cruise until the 13th.  She docked in 104 to wait.  VTS listed her being moved to 38/9 between 10-11am on the 10th where she would now remain until the Sunday.  The 2500grt Trinity House Vessel Patricia was already using the dock, having arrived a couple of days earlier.  This little buoy/passenger ship from 1982 is an infrequent visitor to Southampton's shores and it's always nice to see her when she calls.  I first saw her in 1988 when she escorted the Royal Yacht Britannia.  She was due to sail at 9am.  Saga Rose disembarked her passengers in her usual 101 and prepared for the repositioning trip to Liverpool at 10am where she would do three cruises, returning to Southampton on the 29th August.
The weather was absolutely glorious and we were overdressed in winter woollies.  A container ship crept out and Patricia had to wait until that was past before she could go.  When she did move off she really went!  At the same time the car carrier Autotransporter slipped out from around the corner to head to the container terminal.  That wasn't supposed to move until after 10.15am but they probably thought things would get busy with Braemar.
So off she went to Jersey.  Hope she's back soon.  She's so cute.  At nearly 10.15am Rosie finally began to move.  It had clouded over by now but still nice and the forecast had said no rain.  There was an elderly couple who said they had a friend on her and the cruise ended on the 18th!  Refused to believe it's a repositioning, she's doing a cruise out of Liverpool tomorrow then a few after that.  Their friend made no mention of Liverpool, we were told, as they were convinced this was a sailaway.  They also believed the last cruise had the dead crewman until I corrected them.  To our surprise and delight she blasted three times!  No idea if they did it to Braemar or was saying, "I'll be back".  The tugs were out in force apart from Lady Madeleine who was confined to the kennel.  I refuse to call her Svitzer Madeleine because, as it was pointed out to me, you can change a letter in Svitzer to make it rude.  Besides, she's been Lady M for 12 years and here a good part of that so too late to change now.
At 10.30am Braemar was slowly pulled out backwards.  It's quite undignified but not as bad as the QE2 had been in Los Angeles, maybe because Braemar is still a fraction of the size and she was only being moved, not departing.  As she arrived in the middle of the night the previous week, now would be my first proper look at her before sailing past the next day on Norwegian Jade.
A few spots of rain turned into a windy deluge!  Southampton all but disappeared, as did the ship!  So much for it being sunny and dry today.  My umbrella continues to live but I have no idea how.
We were getting soaked so didn't stay to see her dock and went shopping.  Afterwards, as it had stopped raining again, we popped over to the Prom and I got a quick photo there.
To be honest, as I've barely seen Braemar I couldn't see any difference.  I expect I will when I'm closer as we were really near passing on Artemis back in May. To see photos of her before she sailed to be stretched in May, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 10th July 2008
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