Black Prince (II) Moves Berths
With the Venezuelan deal reportedly postponed due to difficulties getting clearance in the country, Black Prince was still docked at the QEII Terminal on the 29th October 2009, thirteen days after she disembarked her last fare paying passengers as a Fred Olsen ship.  They had changed her 'departure' again, this time from the 28th to 29th but still between 9-10am to 49 berth.  It was a miserable old day but we went to Town Quay.  As we got into Hythe, we saw Lady Madeleine on the back of a car carrier.
Due to the Red Funnel, we were quite far off the normal route as we neared and subsequently passed the old ship.  A crane was loading or unloading.  But what?  Meanwhile Lady M tootled back to 48 berth.
The above shows the berth Black Prince would be heading into which is, as far as I know, the first time a ship that size has been docked there, or at least in modern times.  It would be right by the Red Jet and Hythe ferry terminals at Town Quay so you'd pass.  As we were a little early, we grabbed breakfast at the cafe then moved just before 8.55am only to see the bugger already heading in our direction!  No wonder the 9am had been removed from the movements, with only 10am remaining.  It was quite interesting watching as they made unfamiliar manoeuvres.  She was accompanied by Wyeforce, just in case it was needed.
Suddenly she began to go backwards and the next thing Lady M started up and moved away from the dock.  We wondered if she was in trouble, even though Wyeforce didn't attach to the stern.  Turned out Lady M was just in the way and went to her old home in the kennel.
We went to catch the 10am ferry back and as we chatted to Claire, Wyeforce finished her job and returned to her base.  The weather was fairly mild but it didn't look like that cloud would go soon.
At the time of arriving home, she was pencilled in to depart TBA on the 31st.  By the time I finished writing this, that had changed to the 3rd November.  Would she leave?  Watch this space!

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© Patricia Dempsey 2nd October 2009
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