Due to the Phoenix Reisen ship Alexander von Humboldt (II) being arrested, they chartered Athena to do some cruises from June to the end of October 2009.  The Phoenix Reisen site listed the arrival for this new cruise as 7am and sailing to Bremerhaven at 7pm on the 9th September.  However someone had other ideas and she was listed on VTS as 8pm.  Don't these people realise how difficult it is taking photos of moving objects in the dark????  I'd last seen her in Tenerife back in January 2008 while on Aurora, and two days before that in Madeira for New Year's Eve so this was an unexpected bonus.  The brief rain shower we'd had in the afternoon thankfully never returned and it was a gorgeous sunset as we got down there at 7.35pm.
As it became darker it was also harder to see if she was moving or not since she was so small she blended into the lights on the dockside.  At around 8.05pm I noticed she was very slowly moving away from the dock.  By now we weren't alone.  A couple of blokes with their other halves as well as a father and son had also turned up.  Disappointingly she was absolutely silent as she moved.  My photos aren't the best for this night.  I even tried adjusting settings to achieve the best results and here they are as taken.  No photoshop on my photos.  I prefer them as they are - good or crap and the most I'll ever do is straighten.
So off she went and it was lovely seeing her again.  I just wish it had been the 9am-9pm when they call in previous years.  During 2010 she will be chartered by Page & Moy as the replacement for Ocean Majesty.  To read more about Athena and see photos of her in Madeira, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 9th September 2009
Not to be reproduced without permission