Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...

08 March 2021

Spring in the south of England 2021

Copper beech hedge
leucojum under the hedge
daffodil family
daffodil family
daffodil family
climbing rose shoots
close up
viburnum bodnantense starting to flower
garden thermometer
last of the snowdrops
Lenten roses - helleborus
soldiers and sailors - pulmonaria
these might be primroses or cowslips
erysimum Bowles Mauve, new growth
snowflakes - leucojum
new growth on the pittosporum
the bay tree
camassia coming along nicely

18 December 2020


Union-Castle Line Dolly 
wishes you a very Happy Christmas 2020
and a safe and healthy New Year.

Dolly is sitting on a piece of fabric that I bought many years ago in Stockholm, in Sweden.  It shows shipping line names, flags and funnel colours  (including Union-Castle Line) that will probably be familiar to many.  

02 December 2020

TUI DISCOVERY 2, Tenerife, Part 9, the final one

Friday 29th September 2017 At 8 a.m. today we arrived alongside in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The sky was again gloriously blue and we had time for breakfast before preparing to disembark at 9.30 a.m. In port I could see the Fred. Olsen Express BONANZA EXPRESS arriving and subsequently offloading her vehicles and passengers. The mountains, both near and far, looked clear and fascinating.
Cruise News - Farewell
On the ship
View from the deck: sky, mountains, and ferry
Bonanza Express
On deck: flags and blue sky
The mountains. After disembarking we had a short walk to the area where passenger luggage was set out under cover, to be collected and taken to waiting nearby coaches. On the way we could see the old ship LA PALMA which is known as a Museum Ship, and she was built in 1912. I loved seeing the counter-stern and the rivets, and noticed that the uncovered Bridge was surrounded by wooden planking.
Going ashore
La Palma Museum ship, built 1912.
TUI Discovery 2.
The ship.
La Palma.
Wooden Bridge surround.
Look at that counter-stern and the rivets. The coach taking us all to Tenerife Airport left at 10 a.m. and promptly joined the traffic held up for 10 minutes by a red traffic light against port traffic. That gave me time to look at the Fred. Olsen Express ship which wasn't far from the coach.
Bonanza Express from the coach.
The top of Bonanza Express. After being driven along the motorway we arrived at the airport, checked in the luggage and ourselves, and headed for a coffee shop for a welcome cappuccino. Then it was time to board another Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
Boarding the Dreamliner. I enjoyed having another aisle seat and also looking at the flight details on the seat-back screen in front of me. I saw that we would be flying at 43,000 feet and are scheduled to arrive at London Gatwick Airport at 5.24 p.m. My diary notes tell me that we landed at 5.20 p.m.
Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
Flight route Tenerife to London Gatwick. After collecting my pull-along suitcase there was time for fond farewells with my travelling companion before I headed for the train station to get home. I had enjoyed an excellent holiday, with Dreamliner flights included, on TUI DISCOVERY 2. Ships seen: TUI Discovery 2, Fred. Olsen Express - Bonanza Express, La Palma

01 December 2020

TUI Discovery 2, Madeira (contd.) Part 8

The ship's clocks were put back last night and maybe this was why there seemed to be few other passengers around for breakfast as we headed for the Glass House. There was time to photograph the Beach Houses in the Snack Shack which looked fun, plus other things, before disembarking from our Discovery 2 and walking along the quayside and round to the other side of the bay.
A restricted first view ashore
A local tug
Ship's pool
Beach huts
One of the beach huts. We found a lovely place for coffee on a terrace, which gave us a good view across to the other cruise ships also in port, enjoying our coffee in the warm sunshine. The sky looked blue and clear in that direction but I noticed there were dark clouds over the mountain sides behind us. That seems normal on an island surrounded by a lot of ocean. The big cruise ships we could see were TUI DISCOVERY 2, the Hurtigruten vessel MIDNATSOL, and then astern of her was SAGA PEARL II, so we looked forward to a closer look on the walk back again.
Looking across to TUI Discovery 2.
Three ships in today
The two ships astern of us
Black clouds
Along a bit further
Porto Marinho model in a shop window Meanwhile in the central area of Funchal, we could walk along the wide pavements and enjoy looking at various attractive buildings or cafes and I noticed The Ritz hotel in particular. It seems this is a favourite venue for certain maritime authors and others with a huge interest in ships, when visiting Madeira.
The Ritz. Nearby was another interesting looking establishment: the Golden Gate Grand Cafe, built in 1841, with the usual outside seating and good menu. This seemed the ideal place for lunch and food was soon ordered. I went to wash my hands in the upstairs facilities and was pleased that I did, as the first floor dining room looked beautiful with its chandeliers, silver and linen. Lunch soon arrived and was enjoyed, as the world strolled past, musicians played in the big square and street traders sold luscious-looking fruit.
Upstairs in Grand Cafe (built in 1841)
An outside table
Nearby fruit stall
Menu, plate with logo
Some of the food
Musicians across the square
Grand Cafe from the other side After lunch it was time to stroll back to the port and our ship, passing a long queue of yellow parked taxis. They were an eye-catching colour but my eye was caught by the delicate pink of the blossom on a tree in the nearby park.
Colourful taxis in a line, with delicate blossom nearby Moments later my eye was also caught by Blandy's Wine Lodge building, which was a nostalgic moment as the Union-Castle Line Mailships carried vast quantities of Blandy products back to the UK from here. I seem to remember that a parental request to buy and bring some home meant that on one voyage home I had to sleep on my bunk bed, knowing that several bottles were safely stored in a drawer underneath me. I suppose that made a change from the occasional bottle of KWV Brandy from the Cape...
Aha, Blandy's Wine Lodge Back on the stroll home we could look up towards the pink building that is Reid's Hotel, another Union-Castle Line connection from way back, and then get back into the restricted area along the quayside for ship passengers. I looked at the ship names painted on the rock and brick wall, and recognised several, including CREOULA. It was interesting to see the bow of SAGA PEARL II, and then the very smart-looking MIDNATSOL from Hurtigruten. I spoke to one of the ship's officers on the quayside, admiring his 2003-built vessel, and cheekily asked if it might be possible to visit the ship please, as is usual for their vessels around the Norwegian coast. He regretted that a visit would not be possible, but told me the ship would be going next to the Azores, then to Lisbon, and then she was off to Antarctica. I thanked him and wished him and the ship well.
Walking back to the ship
Saga Pearl II
Midnatsol of Hurtigruten
Eye-catching poster
Rock tunnel
Looking up towards Reid's Hotel
Local artwork
Bow of Saga Pearl II
Bow of Midnatsol
Madeira island
Stern of TUI Discovery 2. A while later we realised that SAGA PEARL II was about to sail, and we enjoyed watching her leave this bay in Funchal. Dark clouds were overhead as we watched and embarked on our ship.
Saga Pearl II sailing away.
There she goes. Back on board I took the opportunity to photograph the lower levels of the Restaurant, which I find very attractive.
In the Restaurant.
The Restaurant lower level
The Grand Staircase Then it was time for our departure from Funchal at 5 p.m. and as we pulled away from the quay we could see many of the MIDNATSOL passengers watching us; we could also see SAGA PEARL II much further out to sea as we passed the port entrance.
Watching Midnatsol passengers watching us.
Goodbye Saga Pearl II.
Watching our departure. In my mind's eye I could still see local traders coming on board onto an open passenger deck after we had tied up here in Funchal all those years ago, all of them carrying vast amounts of wonderful goods which might tempt us to buy. The little trading boats also came alongside and heaved more baskets of goods up on ropes onto the same open deck, all with full permission of course, and they were fascinating. I remember buying a beautifully made wicker chair once, and its heavy metal frame. Thank goodness my parents came to meet me in Southampton when we docked. I also bought tablecloths with local embroidery and several of these are still in use to this day. Ah, memories...
Back to the here and now, and we realised we had missed Tea Time on board this afternoon but a forlorn look around the top buffet at least gave us a view of a huge apple pie that had been prepared for Buffet passengers this evening. The cheese platter also looked appealing.
Too late for tea, but we saw an apple pie for this evening.
The cheese platter. Drinks and nibbles before dinner soon made up for missing Afternoon Tea, as did an enjoyable farewell dinner on the Deck 5 upper level Restaurant that evening. My notes tell me that napkin waving went on towards the end of the meal, which usually makes for a cheerful occasion. I have enjoyed a good day in Funchal, but the return journey home has to be made and it sounds very organised for tomorrow. Tonight we all have to pack and leave our suitcases outside the cabins if we want them taken ashore tomorrow morning when the ship arrives in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. I usually travel with a carry-on bag too, so I'm glad to have my suitcase taken ashore without effort on my part. Ships seen: a red local tug, Saga Pearl II, Midnatsol, the model of Lobo Marinho in a shop window, Tui Discovery 2 To be concluded...