Monday, 1 June 2009

Preparations to Sail

3 May 2009, The Port of Venice. We have returned to the ship and spent an hour or so waiting for sailing time up on the top deck. The sun is setting and it promises to be a beautiful sunset.

Whilst there was still a while before sailing time I looked over the side of the ship towards Venice and took this photo. The buildings to the right look like a railway station and the straight strip of land, though bare of lines, suggest that it may well have been once.

We missed all the sights as we sailed into Venice, so we crossed to the other side of the ship - the port side would face Venice as we sailed out, so we wanted to "bag" a good spot!

Parked against the opposite wharfe was Costa Serena, seen above. Behind us was MSC Musica. MSC Musica was the first to move, being pulled by tugs out into the channel and turning to sail majestically away from us.

We shared a wave with a few people lining the decks of Costa Serena. This started Fran going. She waved at everything that moved on the water to make people wave back. Liners, ferries, shuttle boats, tugs, ducks... everything! As time came near to our leaving others joined us at the rail and they all started to wave as well. It was catching...

Two Filipino girls from the crew came up to take photos of each other. The first stood near me with her arms outstretched. It was too tempting. I took hold of her hand and smiled at the camera. They thought this hilarious! The second came straight in for the cuddle and they were squealing with delight at the resulting photo! "Oh, thank you, sir, thank you! she beamed. A bit bemused I said, "No problem... I'll be here tomorrow..." By heck, wife at hand and thinking I was too bloody old to stand a chance with young girls and now it gets easy?!? I must have had my posh aftershave on... And where was Fran's camera? These things don't happen every day - I need a reminder!

Hey up! A little panel on the side of Costa Serena has dropped down and there is a perfect little platform for the Captain to come out to supervise the reversing out of the dock!

Blimey, we brought my mother on a cruise last year and I couldn't get permission to bring a plank for her to walk and now, when it's too late, I find that modern liners have a built in one ready to pop out at the push of a button!

So now we are all on our own in the dock and after a while we cast off and start to move. The long-awaited look at Venice in the sunset is about to start.

The dock looks quite empty after we are towed out to the channel and have the room to swing around to point in the right direction. Reversing out through Venice would be so embarrassing...! We are looking forward to this and in my excitement I forget to keep an eye out for any more girl crew members coming for a photo! Settle down, you sad old fogey, it's not going to happen again!

Large versions of the photos: buildings, Costa Serena, captain's platform, empty dock

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