Artemis, Queen Mary 2 & Queen Victoria in the Solent & English Channel
I was on Arcadia sailing from Southampton to Zeebrugge on a very sunny 30th May 2010.  Artemis followed us out and would be going in our direction en route to Norway.  Sometime after dark, we would be passing Queen Victoria on her way home and Queen Mary 2 as she went to Cherbourg.  Would be see the Queens?  My friends Howard and Patty were onboard Mary so that was the most important one.
Next came the difficult part.  I'd asked my dad to keep an eye on the AIS and let me know when the Queens were close.  Simple enough usually.  Only Arcadia's MCP hadn't been turned on!  Missing QV was one thing but I really didn't want to miss Mary since I had once before three years before and no one from the bridge announced anything.  There were two huge white blobs on the webcam so I hoped until we had a French signal.  My dad said only Mary's AIS was turned on so he couldn't even see where we were!  Finally we and Artemis turned it on at around 12.40am.  Maybe it was something to do with being close to the Dover Strait with all that marine traffic.  Mary was practically on top of us so I dashed down a deck, had to go more than halfway along the ship to find the port door to the Promenade Deck and did my best to get photos with the wind and speed both we and she were going at.  I should have used the sport setting and sod the noise lines.  Didn't think of it with us passing each other so fast.
Back to the cabin and Artemis had caught up fast!  We were in the lane nearest France while she went in the one to our portside, ready to go north.  I thought the lights in the distance heading in the opposite direction was Mary.  It was only when I got home and looked I saw it was QV.  I'd got them both after all!  This time I had used the sport setting and it was so much better.
We returned inside and went to bed even though it would be a lazy day in the morning.  You can see photos of Artemis and Arcadia sailing from Southampton here.  You can read a review of my Arcadia cruise here.
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© Patricia Dempsey 30th May 2010
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without permission