Rotterdam (VI), Arcadia (IV) & Aurora
Three ships on the 19th December 2015.  Rotterdam was just disembarking passengers before finishing the cruise in Rotterdam so sailing at 11am.  Aurora was in Mayflower with Arcadia in Ocean.  It was a year since Aurora sailed on her first cruise with the new P&O Cruises livery and Arcadia was now partially done - thud!  Her funnel was blue and Rising Sun on both side of it.  Despite the weather forecasters trying to brainwash everyone into believing we're in winter and it's unusually mild, it was pretty cold in the wind but typical autumnal weather around the equinox which heralds winter's arrival on the 22nd.  Rotterdam was moving when we arrived, having broken away five minutes early.  Autostar was coming in and the deep sea vessel, Siem N-Sea was in 38/9, due to sail at noon.  We went home for a few hours then returned for the departures of the other two.  As we waited it rained for a while and was very cold in the wind.  4.30pm came and Aurora was doing eight bells.  Arcadia's time was pushed back by fifteen minutes but nothing happened.  The container ship, Essen Express, was due to sail at 4.45pm too - and did while the P&O ships still stayed firmly put even after that passed.  Arcadia began singling up at 5.50pm, gaining tug Alma on her bow, and moved silently just after 6pm.  Aurora was delayed until 8pm so we went home to warm up and at 8pm was delayed until midnight then 1.30am.

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© Patricia Dempsey 19th December 2015
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