Norwegian Epic & Crown Princess (II)
NCL's brand new ship, Norwegian Epic, had been due to sail on a press and travel agent jolly at 6pm on the 22nd June 2010.  Due to a problem with her propeller, she arrived in Southampton from Rotterdam five hours late instead of 10am.  The jolly was subsequently cancelled while sea trials were scheduled for 1pm on the 23rd.  We went down to the marina and bumped into Andrew Sassoli-Walker who was with his young son.  This was the first time we'd actually met despite often being in the same places.  There were a few people down to watch her sail, including a man who said he enjoyed this site.  Hello!  Epic began dropped her ropes as we began to talk so we had to go to the other side of the lock.  Crown Princess was in Ocean Terminal, due to sail with my friend Julie and her husband Steve at 5pm.  Epic had Bentley attached at the stern and blasted three times when she began to move sideways fifteen minutes late.
Bentley began to release the rope as they passed the QEII Terminal, which was unusual.  Normally when a tug's required from Western Docks they detach around Town Quay.  She escorted Epic down, just like Aurora had been a year ago right up until her December refit after she had engine trouble during the world cruise.
Since we missed the bus I went and did some shopping then we went home for a few hours.  Crown Princess was now leaving at 6pm for some reason.  I'd had a text from Julie saying they had lunch with Liz Dawn (Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street) and a drink with her and her husband.  Jammy sods!  There were a couple of people on the Prom watching as she cast off slightly late, giving three blasts as she moved off the berth.
We chatted to an elderly lady for a few minutes before going home.  Norwegian Epic was due to return at 6am the next day for her transatlantic to New York.  To see photos of that, click here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 23rd June 2010
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