MSC Opera, Celebrity Eclipse, Grand Princess, Azura & Oceana (II)
A very windy and cloudy day on the 4th June 2011 but surprisingly the marina was chocka, despite the England/Switzerland game being on.  Must have known we wouldn't win!  There were five ships in which is always nice.  Grand Princess was docked starboard in Mayflower while MSC Opera was also starboard in 104 (where the new terminal is going to be), both due to sail at 4pm.  Celebrity Eclipse was in the usual City, listed to sail at 4.30pm while Azura in Ocean, another 4.30pm and Oceana in QEII slated to go last at 5pm.  An American couple appeared briefly with an English friend or relative, having disembarked Crown Princess the day before.  They thought Grand was Crown and Azura was a Princess.  That one's not a shock!  We had a nice little discussion about Chandris as they had sailed on their ships before Royal Caribbean bought them.  Unfortunately five beauties also brought out the annoying fairweathers.  Some are very nice but others are incredibly selfish, not even living in the area and those people should be banned from the waterfront!  There was one bloke in particular with his T-shirt of The Prisoner but more of him later.
I had tweeted about Opera and Grand before I got the bus down, saying Opera would go first and she did!  That's because I know Grand of old and being decapitated has changed nothing.  Not only did Opera leave first just after 4pm but instead of going past Grand to turn at the Upper Swinging Ground, backed up to the Middle Swinging Ground to turn!  I've never seen any ship down that end do that before.  She managed without tugs as well, sticking two fingers (or whatever gesture Italians use) to journalists who won't accept she's okey-dokey.  Once she'd completed the turn, Eclipse slowly moved, blasting as she went while at the other end, Grand did likewise but silently we think.  Couldn't tell with the wind.  And now back to the bloke in the T-shirt, who is not a number but an utter twat.  Not content with getting in other people's way to our right, his partner/daughter/whatever got in my way as I was trying to take a photo of Grand emerging then he joined her.  I asked them to move because I was trying to take photos, he stood next to me and said patronisingly, "Go on then."  When I pointed out I was getting her coming down, he gave me a filthy look then they went and sat on the front, buggering off after Eclipse had!  Silence as Grand passed Azura but thankfully Oceana has manners so she and Grand greeted each other.
Just after 5pm, Azura singled up, giving some blasts as she moved.  Red Eagle parped at something and a bit later went into a horn battle with the Blue Funnel, Ashleigh R, who was on a harbour tour and sailaway trip.  Azura blasted more shortly afterwards as she came out, with more passing Oceana, who then followed, going a little mad on the horn
After she passed the pier, Oceana blasted off again - bitch!  As we walked back towards the village centre to catch the bus, we spotted the swans with their babies - awwww!  She had been nesting the previous day so it was lovely to see the five adorable things with both parents.

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© Patricia Dempsey 4th June 2011
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