Royal Princess (III), MSC Opera, Celebrity Eclipse, Queen Mary 2 & Ventura
A busy day on the 8th June 2013 with five ships in.  Only a couple of years ago this was a very rare event, now it's normal.  This day though only four would be sailing as the brand new Royal Princess had been showcasing after her arrival the day before.  So our usual suspects who would be disappearing for a while were Mary in her rightful home of QEII and the wrong way round, Eclipse in her usual City, ousting Opera to the fruit shed which they're still waiting to turn into terminal 5 while Ventura was in Mayflower.  A bloke behind was telling someone he can get great photos of Mary when she went astern to turn.  Nothing's guaranteed, mate, especially when wind's involved!  Meanwhile, I'd missed meeting Vitor Francisco from Facebook and he'd gone to calshot but he told me in a text he heard a lady say to her husband that Mary was QE2!  Of course, it says Queen Elizabeth 2 on her name plate, bow and fat arse, doesn't it(?)  Shieldhall was tootling about and it was lovely to see her sailing.  We had a blast from the past as Les and Gloria, who we'd first met during the original three Queens in 2008, were down from Chelmsford.  I have to confess, I didn't recognise Les but did Gloria and it was nice to see them again even though we talked to Gloria mostly.  Opera left just after 4pm on a sunny but very windy day, blasting as she moved off to turn.  Once she'd passed Eclipse, she moved out, blasting as she went.  A woman behind me said she thought Mary was getting fed up waiting.  They didn't end muster until nearly 4.45pm!  Also, as Opera was well on the way with Eclipse closely behind, it was obvious Mary was going nowhere until they'd safely passed.  You can always tell those who hardly go down.  To our surprise, Eclipse decided to have a horn battle with Mary and easily won.  And then she was off, giving a parp, moving forward so disappointing the bloke behind - hahahahaha!  Never take ships for granted.  They're unpredicatable bitches but which is why we REAL ship nuts love them.  Mary had no tug so her pod issues must have been resolved.  She gave another parp and we could see what was happening - a Princess was about to meet a Queen.  It was quite funny watching my June cruise ship give the Love Boat horn to my July cruise ship!  Now we knew why Ventura was held up and she finally moved almost an hour late.  The Red Funnel coming into Royal Pier stopped in front of us, waiting for Mary to move her bum then Shieldhall decided to give Mary the whistle past the pier, to which Mary eventually responded.  At the same time they had a rematch, Ventura was getting the Love Boat horn from Royal followed by some whooping from Shieldhall's whistle as Ventura passed the marina.
And then we went home.  To see photos of Royal Princess arriving on the 7th June, click here.

Back to Stalking Index

© Patricia Dempsey 8th June 2013
Not to be reproduced without permission