THV Patricia (III), Balmoral & Queen Elizabeth (II)
Just the two and a cutie on the 12th December 2015 as QE was the wrong way round up in Mayflower while Balmoral was the right way round for the first time in City!  Balmoral had a red stripe and was in the process of gaining the new grey hull livery Boudicca already had acquired during her recent refit.  Meanwhile, Patricia had been in 36 since the 10th and was due to depart at 8.30am and as I waited a squall came through.  Patricia left bang on time.  If only larger vessels could be as punctual!  I then went over to Town Quay and Mayflower Park for photos of Balmoral's partial livery change.  There were a few rare vessels in too.  Ems Majestic in berth 49, had been caught in a storm thirteen miles south of Eastbourne on the 6th.  Non-essential crew were airlifted off and the ship towed to Southampton, arriving on the 7th.  Next door in 48 was the Dutch Coastguard vessel Barend Biesheuvel, which arrived on the 11th.  And at Husband's shipyard was the ferry, Codrington Arrow, which had been there since the 27th November and in Southampton since at least May.  I didn't go for the departures because it became very windy again.  Good job too since both 4.30pm sailings didn't happen.  Balmoral went at 6pm, with the assistance of tugs Lomax and Svitzer Bargate while Betty was 7.45pm, but actually sailed half an hour later with Svitzer Sarah on the bow and Svitzer Ferriby on the stern.

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© Patricia Dempsey 12th December 2015
Not to be reproduced without permission