Aurora, Queen Elizabeth (II) & Spirit of Discovery
Another year as cruising continued following the Covic-19 shutdown in the UK from March 2020 until May 2021.  Three on the 22nd February 2022.  Aurora had been in since the 4th January as she prepared for restart, only popping out overnight on the 14th.  Since the 15th she had played musical berths as she had to make way for turnarounds.  Betty was on another turnaround while Spirit of Discovery was late due to various mechanical issues including portside Azipod, a turbo generator issue they fixed during the return journey and weather.  As she was coming up Southampton Water for 9am, she drifted off course portside, the same side the wind was blowing.  Last time I saw that happen was 2007 when Sea Princess had a propulsion issue which resulted in Princess immediately cancelling the following cruise for repairs.  Saga had the Pod flagged for repair in November and would be sailing to Tilbury for a week-long wet dock.  Due to weather, neither Discovery or Betty sailed.  Discovery attempted to go at 4pm when the wind was over 60mph while Betty had already changed to 8pm the night before then 10pm that morning.  Then Discovery was 4.45pm with Svitzer Bargate and Svitzer Mercurius waiting to attach, but the pilot aborted departure after discussions with the Captain so it was moved to 8.30am the following morning.  Another failure with the pilot on the bridge and tugs Svitzer Eston on the bow and Svitzer Harty on the stern, first deciding to wait for a lull which wasn't coming, then giving up at 9am.  It was so wind in the afternoon, Aurora was using her thrusters to say alongside.  Third time lucky at 4.10pm with the assistance of Svitzer Bargate on the bow and Lomax on the stern and 582 crew.  Betty left at 6.30pm.

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© Patricia Dempsey 21st February 2022
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