Black Prince (II)
Fred Olsen's classic vessel Black Prince made a return to Southampton on the 22nd September 2009 after many years cruising in Liverpool and Scotland.  I had last seen her in 2005.  She had just arrived from a three night repositioning from Liverpool to do her two final cruises before heading to Venezuela for coastal voyages under new ownership.  My friend Peter Knego was on with Mike so we went over to Town Quay to wave them off.  Juanita was also returning that day for a three day conference in Ashurst.  Knowing how she isn't interested in ships I suggested she arrive at the station around 4.30pm, the time the ship was due to sail, then wait at the Hythe ferry part for us.  As we wandered down the pier, Stuart cycled past the other way and said hello.  I wondered if Andy came clean about me not doing a time and motion study?  It wasn't a bad day initially but soon became cloudy and very windy.  On the ferry Phil was training a new recruit.  There was a new girl at Town Quay too.
Rather annoyingly there were three fishing rods blocking the path down the end but their owners weren't with them.  It turned out two belonged to the same imbecile.  The one nearest the end clearly heard my complaining and moved it down so it wasn't in the way and by the time the ship sailed, he hopped into his Jag and drove off.  Five minutes late she began to move, parping three glorious times.
As we watched her come out and towards us we had company.  A bloke who had done the trip down from Liverpool, saying she didn't have many facilities.  Also how she was going to the Caribbean after this.  I said Venezuela to which he replied yes, the edge of the Caribbean.
I was trying to keep the camera steady in the wind and also find Peter and Mike.  Not knowing exactly where they would be I just snapped at all deck space with people!  But I got Peter in the middle of the picture below, taking a photo.  Then my own batteries were about to die - ARGH!!!!  Always the way.  Quickly put in new.
She would return on the 2nd October for her farewell cruise and be in port with Saga Rose, who would be doing her penultimate.  A sad year for ship lovers.  I hope Peter and Mike were having a wonderful cruise anyway.  For more information on Black Prince click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 22nd September 2009
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