Mein Schiff 1 (I), Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth (II) & Oriana (II)
Now the big Cunard 175 celebrations were over in Liverpool, the fleet began their return to Southampton on the 27th May 2015, beginning with Mary and Betty.  Oriana was in too with her Union Jack, which had been done a few weeks earlier while Mein Schiff 1 was back again.  Oriana arrived at the ridiculous time of 5am and I couldn't be arsed going out that early since Barbara the dog needs light to help her limited vision.  So we headed out when it was better for her.  Mein Schiff 1, was due for 6.45am but led the way, quite some way ahead of Mary who was 6.15am and Betty 6.30am.  Barbara protested as usual to this break in her walkies and kept trying to escape so would get tangled in her lead.  Silly sod!  We didn't stay to see them finish docking since she was being a bugger.
Thanks to Oriana being a cow in the morning, it was time to go down for the sailing to see her Union Jack bow, which she FINALLY received a few weeks before.  She and Betty were due to sail at 4.30pm, Mary half an hour later and Mein Schiff not until 8pm.  The Trinity House Vessel, Galatea was in 48.  The cutie yacht, Shemara, sailed by, heading to Empress Dock.  I'd missed her last time she was in so glad to get another chance.  She was built at Thorneycroft & Company (later Vosper Thorneycroft) at Woolston in Southampton in 1938, rescued in 2007 and completely rebuilt in 2014.  She reminds me of the Royal Yacht belonging to the Norwegian royal family.  A few funny things were said in the course of the stalking such as one girl told whoever she was with, "It's not starboard.  It's starboard board."  Brilliant!  Then there was someone saying Oriana was Britannia.  Ooooooookay!  Betty left almost on time.  Oriana was still being juiced.  The new Hythe ferry, Uriah Heep, had surprisingly been given a passenger licence by the MCA but this day was buggered so they'd hired Waterside coaches again.  They worked to fix whatever it was then took her out on a trial before resuming service.  Mary left also virtually on time while Oriana was delayed a bit longer thanks to the car carrier Autoprestige moving from 105 to 31, which she followed out.  Then we went home as Mein Schiff wasn't leaving until around 8pm.

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© Patricia Dempsey 27th May 2015
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