Queen Elizabeth (II), Saga Sapphire & Queen Mary 2
The annual 10th January Cunard world cruise fireworks was happening in 2015 with Mary and Betty in along with Saga Sapphire, who was only going to the Canaries and Morocco.  Betty had been delayed by bad weather so arrived for 3pm, new departure scheduled for 10.30pm.  We went to Calshot with Barbara the dog.  It was very windy and cold.  During the night, apparently the Höegh Osaka had dragged her anchor 100 metres in the 72 knot wind as Mary was arriving.  Vortex and Lomax were keeping guard and had been joined by Ginger, owned by Iske of the Netherlands, had arrived on the 8th to assist with the salvage operation.  Wilventure II was also out there.  Betty appeared on the horizon, following the ferry, Mont Saint Michel, which was going to Portsmouth.  A few people turned up while Barbara wasn't the slightest bit interested in the ship or letting me take photos of her with it behind.  Then we headed to Hythe for Sapphy's departure.  The fireworks for the Cunarders were still up in the air but VTS said they were going ahead, just not what time.  It was pretty empty just how we like it as Sapphy sailed at 4.15pm with the aid of Wyeforce on the bow and the brand new Svitzer Bargate on the stern.  As it got closer to the original 5.15pm firework time, the crowds built up so we buggered off to another place.  No one knew Betty was late arriving and assumed everything was running as advertised, including 5.30pm departures.  The fireworks began half an hour late then everyone buggered off!  We gave up in the end since Whitonia was still filling Mary up at gone 6pm.  Unlike all of them, we'd been out the best part of six hours, which is no mean feat with a diabetic dog and dad who feel the cold more.  It was so bitter by then we decided to get her from the house.  She left after 6.30pm, passing at 7.05pm.  Meanwhile Betty's departure time was changed to 2359 and they did muster at 10.30pm.  Whitonia, fresh from delaying Mary, now delayed Betty as she finished bunkering at 11.55pm - 55 minutes later than planned then not shifting until 12.20pm, resulting in Betty sailing at 12.30am.

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© Patricia Dempsey 10th & 11th January 2015
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