Posted by: Craig | April 29, 2008

Loading cars at a cruise terminal

Passengers for new cruise ships and old diggers for Africa.

As the vessel swings round W Bramble light the pilot talks to the Red Funnel ferry leaving Cowes for Southampton to ensure we pose no risk to each other,  and pass RFA Lyme Bay in the gloom, listening to Southampton VTS try and hail it. The CMA CGM Baudelaire passes us with metres to spare beside the Esso Refinery at Fawley and we begin our slow approach to the QEII berth.

As we move onto the berth, the pilot finds the responsiveness of the ship remarkable and before long we are alongside in the Southampton rain.

So here we are now in Southampton, at the QEII cruise terminal where passengers will embark on their cruises soon. Ahead of us a Hoegh car carrier is berthed, and on the quayside, the now familiar sight of new cars and diggers to be loaded, but also close to the Hoegh vessel a collection of old, second hand heavy machinery waiting to be loaded.

Amazing that here in Southampton we have vessels loading new cars, JCBs and second hand machinery for West Africa at the same berth as passengers will embark on some of the most prestigious cruise ships to visit the port. Sadly from the bridge of Fidelio we look down on the dirty roof of the cruise terminal, from this height in the rain it looks like a giant shed.

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