Monday, 25 February 2013

Saga Sapphire

As I finished work at lunchtime, thanks to a dentist appointment early this afternoon, I decided to go and photograph Saga Sapphire passing Cowes in the late afternoon. She was due to leave Southampton at 1600, but was a little late. My friends Patricia and Kevin Dempsey were coming over from Southampton to photograph the ship, for a different viewpoint and change of scene. Not only that, they got to sit in my reasonably warm car, rather than freeze in Mayflower Park!
As it happened, the weather was grim. Cold - no, actually it wasn't merely cold, it was bloody freezing - very cloudy and darker than it otherwise would have been and, as I had yet again forgotten to bring a pair of gloves, my fingers froze to the point of severe pain. As I type, they still hurt a bit. I seriously question my own judgement at times!

The photos were passable, no more than that. I tried to bring them out a little with Photoshop and correct a blue cast, but the dull, dark and murky conditions made getting decent shots impossible. Still, it was nice to see my friends again and also to see this ship, which I'd not seen as Saga Sapphire.

Here are the photos which did come out -

After dropping Patsy and Kevin back at the Red Jet, I headed for home via the Cowes chain ferry - with the car heater turned up full!

CMA CGM Marco Polo was back at Southampton today. Unfortunately I had to miss her again, due to work. I was only working three hours today and did half consider ditching work to go and photograph her coming in, claiming toothache (I'd broken a tooth on Saturday but it didn't actually hurt) but, decided to do the honest thing and turn up for work instead. Third time lucky, next time she's in...?

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Hyundai Speed and Autostar

I had thought about going over to Southampton this morning, as there were quite a few ships on the move, but I got as far as East Cowes before deciding to settle for photographing Hyundai Speed and Autostar on their way out of and into Southampton respectively. The main reason was the fact that the weather has turned wintry again, reminding us that it is only February and winter is far from finished. The car thermometer read 2°C but, with the wind chill factor, it felt like -2°C and started to snow as I arrived home. Other ships were on their way in but, because of the cold and the fact they'd be another couple of hours, I didn't hang around, instead going home (via the car wash to give my filthy Renault a much needed clean as it looked as if I'd taken it off-road). My finger tips have only just regained any feeling.

Autostar has stepped right out of the ugly bugs' ball. These have to be the ugliest ships afloat and some of them have the new all-dark blue colour scheme which does them no favours whatsoever.

The ships' details:

Hyundai Speed - Built: 2012, 140979 gt, IMO: 9475698, flag: Liberia

Autostar - Built: 2000, 21010 gt, IMO: 9206786, flag: Portugal

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Ruby saga...

It was a case of 'second time lucky' when it came to photographing Saga Ruby this weekend. After being delayed with more problems yesterday, she eventually sailed from Southampton for her sea trials at 1700 yesterday and spend the night sailing down to Dorset and back.
Her original time of arrival back at Southampton was supposed to have been 0900 this morning but, because of the delays, was put back to 1215. Excellent, that meant I could get to Cowes and see her at a decent time without sacrificing a nice Sunday lie in!
It was a beautiful day and my friends Andrew and Donna Cooke were also at Cowes waiting for the ship, we all commented on how nice it was to be able to photograph a ship in the sunshine. With the birds singing and it feeling pleasant out of the slight breeze (the car thermometer read 13°C), you get the feeling that spring is not too far off and, as a hater of winter, I am very glad about that!

While we were waiting for Ruby to show up, I photographed Carisbrooke Shipping's Lisa-C which was on her way into Southampton.

Ruby was on time, unlike yesterday, and it was not long before she appeared from the east. Unfortunately, so did the WAFIs, doing their usual sorcerous appearing from seemingly nowhere. Honestly, it's like witchcraft. No or few yachts until a ship appears, then they suddenly materialise, their numbers quickly assuming plague-like proportions.

I took 400(!!) photos this morning but I can only use a few of them, so I took 27 which are all shown here. Even 27 seems extravagant but when you think that this ship won't be around this time next year it probably isn't.

That bloody yacht again...

It's quite a sharp turn into and out of Southampton Water and ships often take on a pronounced list

One can only hope that Saga Ruby's future is happier than that of the sister ship, Saga Rose, which ended up at Chinese breakers in 2010. Looking at this extremely pretty ship, it seems criminal to send her to the same fate.

And hands up those who thought Saga Ruby's hull was black...?