Arcadia (IV) & Seven Seas Voyager
It was a miserable day on the 9th September 2008.  Cold, wet, windy.  Regent's Seven Seas Voyager was in City, along with Arcadia in Mayflower.  I hadn't seen Voyager since February 2006 in Fremantle, Western Australia, when she was still owned by Radisson, so despite the weather I had to see her again.  We headed over to Town Quay, passing the new terminal and checking its progress.
Arcadia was due to sail at 4.30pm with Voyager at 6pm.  During that time, at 5.30pm would be the paddle steamer Waverley, who was in 104.  Originally she had been meant to go in the morning.  We waited in the dry until it was time to go out for Arcadia.  When we were crossing the road she blasted three times.  It was absolutely chucking it down and the wind was coming from all directions.  We managed to get to a decent spot but it was hard fighting the wind with the umbrellas and taking to take photos and video as we tried to stay dry.
As we made our way back towards the dry the rain stopped.  Typical!  Still at least, despite my poor umbrella using up another of its many lives, it survived another day and I was able to get more shots of Arcadia.  What with the weather and wash from the larger vessel, it sent Great Expectations pitching more than usual.
We decided to go and get a picture at least of Voyager in case the rain started again.  Mayflower Park was closed as they prepared for the boat show and you couldn't even get to Dock Gate 8 for the same reason.  So I aimed my camera over the railings but the Red Funnel vehicle park and pressed.  It appeared to be brightening up so we opted to risk it unless it poured again then we'd get the ferry home.
The little 693,13gt paddle steamer Waverley left on time.  She was built in 1947 and does trips out of Southampton a few times a year.  She is so cute.  She went all the way up past the Upper Swinging Ground before re-emerging and sailed off.  There were a few spots of light rain but thankfully nothing drastic.  It was the wind which had now become the problem.  Meanwhile Town Quay was becoming slightly crowded despite the weather.
Watching her was a nice way to pass the time as waiting when there's a long gap can be incredibly boring.  By the time Voyager left bang on time, we'd been invaded by the Regent Seven Seas workers, whose UK office is at Town Quay.  They'd come to wave the ship off but one said, as she sailed towards the turning circle, she was going the wrong way!  You'd think they'd know!
ARGH!!!!!!!!!  The view was about to be ruined by a container ship!  Voyager slipped behind so we took the opportunity to move to the other side of the car park.
Au revoir, Seven Seas Voyager.  They have scheduled several calls in 2009 so it will be nice to see her again.  We went home, frozen and wet, but at least for her departure the rain held off.

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© Patricia Dempsey 9th September 2008
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