Oriana (II), Independence of the Seas & Oceana (II)
The gorgeous ladies were in Southampton on the 16th April 2011.  Oriana was in Ocean, unusually facing out with her smeiley bow, but originally scheduled for Mayflower.  Indy was in the usual City while Oceana (with rumoured engine problems) was holed up in Mayflower.  I had arranged to meet up with friends Rob Whitelaw and Helen Strachan who were going on Oriana.  I also had to put a cheque in, which had become a pain to get around to since Nationwide annoyingly closed all agencies at the end of 2010.  It was misty as I crossed on the ferry but mild.  I had a feeling I was overdressed!  Another unusual occurance was two of the Jubilee Sailing Trust ships, Tenacious and Lord Nelson, were alongside the QEII Terminal.  It was nice to see the former tug tender Calshot in her new home adjacent to the Calshot Spit Light Ship.  All we need now is a cruise ship called Calshot!
After getting off the ferry I was surprised to see Phil on Town Quay.  I'd heard he retired but it seems not, though he doesn't get the hours he used to.  He was so pleased to see me he gave me a hug!  We had a nice natter before I headed off towards the Holiday Inn.  I was quite appalled ABP have let things slide somewhat at the entrance to Dock Gate 8 as I got a shot of Oceana peeking over the buildings.  A few random shots of Indy trying to hide after we'd all run our errands as we headed to Mayflower Park then onto the ferry.
We said our goodbyes before they caught the ferry back and I went home for a couple of hours.  The marina was pretty packed when we got down there.  There was a little boy, maybe five or six, knew his ships.  Even talked to this bloke about Titanic and Lusitania!  It's great the brainwashing still begins at a young age, as it did with my dad, me and numerous others down the decades.  The numerous idiotic fairweathers could learn a thing or hundred, beginning with the names of what's in front of them!  Meanwhile they boy's gran chatted to the bloke about the meeting of "Four Queens" next year, before correcting herself.  The bloke said they should bring the fourth back - and so say all of us!  She also mentioned P&O's Grand Event in July 2012 as an afterthought then caught up with her husband and grandchildren.  Oriana or Indy did muster at 4.10pm but Oriana finally threw her last ropes just before 4.45pm, giving a mere two muffled blasts as she moved forward.  Indy silently slipped from her berth a few minutes later, while Oceana moved about 5.05pm after finishing bunkering.

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© Patricia Dempsey 16th April 2011
Not to be reproduced without permission