Celebrity Eclipse, Crown Princess (II), Ventura, Queen Mary 2 & MSC Opera
Another cold, windy early start on the 25th May 2013, but at least it wasn't raining!  There would be five ships in, which was becoming the norm these days, and was the second day running with that number.  First up was the usual early bird, Eclipse, who I just caught as she was going through.
Then we headed out.  Crown Princess would be leading the rest, docking the wrong way round in Mayflower, her P&O sister, Ventura, would be in Ocean, Mary in her rightful home of QEII while Opera back at the fruit shed.  Mary had the tug Ferriby meet her in the Solent and attached firmly to her stern, which was unusual.  She had stayed overnight in Stavanger due to a pod issue, arriving in Hamburg with tug assistance many hours late on the 23rd.  She left there at 1am that night, also later than scheduled.  She made good time, though was later than her 6.30am time, turning at Dock Head before going astern.  A lady walking her dog who we'd met the day before asked which ship it was as Mary was passing Hythe pier.  Even though she's local she had no idea what Mary looked like!  Opera was due at 7.30am and passed Mary as she was still docking.
So we headed home to warm up rather than wait for Opera to dock since it was too cold.  We didn't go down for the departures once Mary was changed to 6.30pm so would be two hours late.  As it was, only Opera had left more or less on time so I was glad I stayed at home since my poor back and knee couldn't take much more after the past couple of days.  Mary left just before 6.50pm with the assistance of tug Sarah which is unusual.

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© Patricia Dempsey 25th May 2013
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