Ventura, Crown Princess (II), Celebrity Eclipse, Grand Princess, Balmoral & Artania
The second six ship day of the year took place on the 16th July 2011. This was different to January's in a couple of ways.  Firstly, only five were turnarounds whereas in January they all were and off to various parts of the world for the winter.  Secondly, four of those were larger!  The only thing both days had in common was Balmoral had been involved in both historic days for the port.  Unfortunately I was on Aurora between Greenland and Iceland so it was up to my dad to record it.  The weather was pouring!  Ventura was an early bird, arriving in Ocean for 2.30am.  Crown Princess was next, parking the wrong way round in Mayflower for 5am while Eclipse was the right way in City just after that.  Grand was number four, turning to dock in QEII by the time my dad arrived before 6am and was soaked through.  Visibility was so poor he could just about make out Eclipse but Crown had disappeared into the ether.  Next came Balmoral, docking port in 104, followed by an old friend - Artania, who left on the 26th April as Artemis.  This would be the first call with another late in the year and one during 2012.  She would be bum to bum with Eclipse and docked in 102.
He went back down in the afternoon for five of the six sailings.  Artania was leaving at 7pm.  Despite the mixed weather a crowd turned out, unlike in January.  Grand went first, slipping out just after 4pm in glorious sunshine!
The three for 4.30pm (Balmoral, Eclipse & Ventura) failed to move.  Balmoral left twelve minutes late in a squall followed by Eclipse at 5pm.  My dad dashed back, gaining some shelter from a bush.
Ventura left an hour late with the help of Sussex while Crown finally shifted her identical flat bum fifteen minutes later.
He then went home to warm up and dry off.  Artania left just before 7am with the aid of Apex from Fawley.
The next big day for Southampton are the seven P&O ships in July 2012.  That will be something!  A shame Artemis/Artania won't be part of it though will be back that same month.

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© Kevin Dempsey 16th & Patricia Dempsey 25th July 2011
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