Queen Elizabeth 2 & Maxim Gorkiy
A Bergen reunion in Southampton on the 31st July 2008.  Those two legends Queen Elizabeth 2 and Maxim Gorkiy!  This is the last season for both these classics who began their careers in 1969.  Maxim began her life as Hamburg and had her maiden voyage on the 28th March while Lizzie was the 2nd May.  It was only natural that other 1969 girl (me!!!!) went to witness their arrival.  The first bus isn't until after 6am and as Lizzie was due for 7am and Maxim an hour later (originally 9am on the itinerary), there was plenty of time.  Or so we thought!  Lizzie was early!  The bus was late so we were still at the stop when she passed here.  By the time we got to the marina and she came into view halfway along the path she was almost turned.  If things had gone to plan she'd have been around the pier instead.  It also rained on and off, starting with the odd spot then needing the umbrella, stopping as quickly as it started - just like the arrival in Bergen!
As she was docking, who did I spy emerging around Fawley - yes Maxim and she was another early bird!  They keep you on your toes these ships and I hadn't even had breakfast!
It was just like Bergen the month before - Maxim following Lizzie in, Lizzie docking and Maxim sneaks in!  Of course this time, rather than being elusive, there was no escape from photos!  Also I was on the shore rather than onboard Lizzie.
The tug Adstream Surrey moved in front of us after finishing with Lizzie to await Maxim then reversed as Maxim grew closer.  We wondered what she was up to!  It didn't attach, just escorted to the dock.
Then here it was, the moment we'd been waiting for when Maxim passed the slightly younger Lizzie.  It was great seeing them together properly.  Unfortunately there was no blasting between the two.
She was docked at 7.30am and the rain still came and went despite the sun trying to break through the cloud.  Flipping weather.  After a bite to eat we went to Mayflower Park.  By now the fuel bunker
Whitchallenger was alongside her thus ruining any chance of good side view shots.  We weren't deterred though, even by the damn weather which rained on us briefly again during the crossing.

Shieldhall was in as usual plus Tenacious of the Jubilee Sailing Trust.  The weather was changing yet again but for the better - it was beginning to warm up!
As we chatted to a bloke a container ship came out of the container terminal and I saw it had Lady Madeleine on the stern!  Trust that little beauty to get in on the act.
We headed to Dock Gate 8 as many German tourists came the other way.  It had clouded over and got chilly again by now so we decided to head back home afterwards.
Originally due to sail at 9pm, it was changed to 9.30pm and she left ten minutes after that.  She sailed past the house all lit up looking beautiful.  To see Maxim Gorkiy in Bergen, click here.  For a photo of Maxim Gorkiy in 1998, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 31st July 2008
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