Oceana (II), Independence of the Seas & Grand Princess
We had an unplanned stalking on the 29th May 2010.  Due to going on Arcadia the following day, Rowan arrived from Plymouth for 4pm.  She's only ever seen photos of Independence of the Seas, which she called a floating tower block, and wanted to see her in the flesh.  So we caught a taxi from the station and headed for the marina where we passed my dad who was walking down the path towards the front.  The weather wasn't that great, since it had already rained during the day, but we had brought the umbrellas as usual in case.  As we waited, it became squally over in Western Docks and we couldn't help wondering if it would head our way.
Then we saw something we hadn't since the 11th November 2008 on QE2's final day.  HMS Blazer, which was one of the little ducklings following Mounts Bay to Portland for exercise, came up the water.
Despite Grand Princess being changed to 4pm, it ended up being 5pm instead, which is annoying when they're the wrong way round up there.  Oceana was the usual 4.30pm with Indy fifteen minutes later. Just before 4.45pm, Oceana threw her ropes then gave muffled blasts to signal going astern.  I told Rowan that was where we would be sailing from on Arcadia.
Umbrellas up as the rain came down!  Indy gave a pathetic blast to tell everyone she was on the move, while Grand slipped her moorings quietly and heading for the turning circle.
Since Grand gave us a fait accompli, we waited for her to emerge rather than going home as originally intended.  Indy then decided to blast after she passed the pier - grrr!  Still at least Rowan heard her and quite liked the horn while admitting she wasn't as bad as she thought but was still a floating tower block.
Then we called for a taxi to take us and Rowan's luggage home.  It had been a good afternoon, despite the rain, which subsequently stopped as we waited.  Typical!

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© Patricia Dempsey 29th May 2010
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