Azura, Oceana (II), Saga Pearl II/Quest For Adventure & Saga Sapphire
Saga Sapphire was back on the 6th May 2012, having had the new shortened maiden voyage curtailed on the 12th April by engine failure.  The ship had been due to arrive on the 18th April but instead passengers were flown to Marseilles on the 25th to join the ship for a now eleven night cruise instead of eighteen.  She was due to be berthed with her fleetmate, Saga Pearl II, on her final call under that name.  When she sailed she would be Quest For Adventure, sailing under their Spirit of Adventure banner.  Azura and Oceana were also gracing us with their presence.  So a VERY early start to walk down since there are no buses either way until around 9am.  Oceana was due first for 6.45am, Azura 7.30am, Saga Pearl II 8am and Saga Sapphire 9am which was then changed to 7am Azura, 7.15am Oceana, 8.45am Saga Pearl II and 9am Saga Sapphire.  The wind was bitter and it drizzled.  My back would be killing me by the time Sapphy got here!  A fishing trip was organised by Bells of Hythe of two of the crew tried plugging P&O's Grand Event until I said I was on Oriana.
After freezing and getting wet for over an hour, finally a funnel came into view - or was it a mirage caused by the wind?  My whole body was shaking with cold, skin burning, back agony caused by my aching joints plus taught muscles and I wished they'd get a bloody move on!  No, it was something - Saga Pearl II.  As Pearly passed, the wind blew the smoke from her funnel in our direction.  Cough, cough, splutter, choke!  One down, one to go but by the time Sapphy deigned to put in an appearance, there was no way she'd make 9am.  I suppose having no passengers helped!  After she passed Azura, Arabian Breeze decided to block my view!
We didn't bother waiting for Sapphy to dock because we were so cold so got a taxi home to defrost, have some breakfast and a bit of a kip before heading back out for the departures.

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© Patricia Dempsey 6th May 2012
Not to be reproduced without permission