Ventura & Azura
An absolutely glorious day on the 8th April 2011 for the sailings of Ventura, flashing her backside from Ocean, and Azura being ladylike in Mayflower.  Both were due to sail at 4.30pm.  My friend Tracey Britton was aboard Ventura.  Former tug tender Calshot was in her new home looking pretty.  HMS Astute, the new flagship submarine was in QEII and tragically there an been an incident earlier in the day when an abale seaman shot and killed an officer, injuring another.  As we waited there was a hive of activity from various vessels on the water.  Stavros R Niarchos was coming back in and on the tuggy front we had some movement from our temporary boy, Svitzer Bristol who headed up to the container terminal to do things with Lady Madeleine as Sussex returned to base after helping a car carrier.  Also a helicopter circled overhead a couple of times, probably filming the submarine.
Both ships were running late.  Tracey phoned about 4.30pm as there was an announcement then the eight muster bells.  Ventura finally cast off at 5.20pm and up the other end, Azura was moving as well. Ventura had blast mania on the horn while Azura was fairly muted in comparison.  A car carrier, L'audace, and Red Funnel were loitiering the other side of Hythe pier, slowly making their way in as the others (including container ship, CMA CGM Andromeda) headed out.
As we walked back to get the bus, my dad spotted the swans fast asleep and thankfully nothing seemed to disturb them.  Awww.  Soon be cygnet time again, as they introduce their babies to the ships!

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© Patricia Dempsey 8th April 2011
Not to be reproduced without permission