Saga Ruby & Saga Sapphire
Saga Sapphire returned to Southampton a day late on the 22nd January 2013 due to bad weather only we had an unexpected port dweller in the shape of Saga Ruby.  She had developed a crankshaft issue, resulting in her world cruise on the 7th being postponed 7-10 days.  She was moved from 101 to 40 on the 8th, to make way for Black Watch and Rotterdam, and was listed as returning the 18th, before that was removed on the 15th.  Her world cruise was subsequently cancelled, replaced by a 66-night South America and Africa trip departing on the 20th February.  This led to an unscheduled meeting of the new flagship, something which hadn't happened in Southampton, nor was due to, since Sapphy arrived in 2012.  Sapphy docked for 6.30pm with the assistance of tug, Wyestorm.
Sapphy's original 4pm departure was put back an hour so we went down in the sleet and freezing cold to get this meeting.  The weather was just horrendous, wind changing direction with sleet often returning to just rain.  Occasionally, it would appear to stop for a while before coming down heavy again.  My trusty umbrella was given a very quick burial in the nearest bin as we tried to stay in as much shelter as possible while waiting.  With help from the tug, Wyestorm, Sapphy moved twenty minutes late.  Rather annoyingly, Sapphy and Rubes saluted each other when Sapphy was still by Town Quay rather than much closer and they didn't do it again.  By now, the wind had changed direction again, coming right off the water so the freezing sleet was battering my face and hands, causing my fingers to become as numb as they had in January 2009 when Rubes was last with Rosie for their world cruise departures.  That night at least it wasn't raining but I still managed to develop mild hypothermia and frostbite so hoped I wouldn't again.  Oh well.  Some things are worth suffering for although many would think I was mad.  No argument from me there!
And so home to warm up, dry off and have a nice cup of coffee!  It was great getting them together at last, despite the weather.  A shame Sapphy's funnel light was off though and she hadn't gone in daylight.  Rubes was moved from berth 40 to the City Terminal at 2pm on the 23rd as they continued with repairs.  She sailed the 20th February as scheduled.  To see photos of her departure, click here.  In July, I went to see her and Sapphy in Dover with my friend Fay, and you can see those pictures here.

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© Patricia Dempsey 22nd January 2013
Not to be reproduced without permission
5th July 2013