At one stage in my youth, I thought of seeking a cadetship in the merchant marine.
I never followed up on it, but my love of ships and the sea has never waned. As I have said before I am ambivalent about cruise liners, but though I have no plan to take a cruise, I reluctantly concede that they are an imposing presence. Yesterday two of them were in Wellington, the Holland-America line’s Oosterdam, and the Dawn Princess, operated by Princess Cruises. Modern cruise ships are far too deep for the old Overseas Passenger Terminal (which is now an apartment complex anyway), so they berth at Aotea Quay in front of the container berths. It is a ten minute walk from there to the shops on Lambton Quay, or a 15 minute bus ride taking account of traffic lights.
Mary was in Napier overnight so I was at a loose end in the evening. Having checked Centreport’s web site, I saw that the Dawn Princess was due to leave at 7:30 pm. A golden opportunity presented itself to get some fish and chips and head out to Eastbourne to capture this evening departure. I was in place a good half hour early and watched other comings and goings. In this case, the Josephine Maersk, a 30,000 Tonne container ship capable of carrying just over 3,000 twenty-foot containers was inbound for a brief stop. I suspect that they were laterally separated, but that poor little local-market trawler looks as if it is being crowded. In the background, Jetstar flight JQ260 climbs out of Rongotai, bound for Auckland.
A few minutes after 7:30, the great bulk of the Dawn Princess (77,500 GT) materialized through the salt haze behind Pt Halswell and was very soon turning to head out through the heads. I was intrigued to see that there was a movie showing on the huge theatre-sized screen just ahead of the funnel. I guess the passengers were too jaded to appreciate the beauty of the landscape around them.
As she progressed down the channel, the dawn Princess was enveloped in a golden glow against the sun. I liked it.
That’s all for now.