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

26 July 2020

ORIANA 28th June 2019 Part 9 Guernsey, the final one

Thursday 4th July 2019
This morning ORIANA anchored off the Channel Island of Guernsey, at St. Peter Port. I took a few photos after breakfast, before most of us took a tender ashore. 

Today's port

Under the atrium

The top of the atrium

 Our ship's tenders were being used as well as a local vessel that usually takes visitors to the nearby island of Herm.

Oriana from the tender

View of Oriana

Harbour entrance

Once ashore, a group of us headed inland a little way to see the Shell Chapel.

It was substantially the work of one man (Brother Deodat Antoine) who arrived there in December 1913 and wanted to build a grotto similar to one in Lourdes. It is a truly miniature Chapel and is decorated with glass fragments and shells. It is beautiful and eye-catching too, looking up at it on the gently sloping hillside. 

There is a nearby shop selling lovely glass ware and other items. 

Confronted with three doors, we enjoyed the signs...

The nearby fields were peaceful in the heat and it was a delightful area to visit.


Back at the harbour we had to wait to get back to our ship as the enormous-looking CONDOR LIBERATION arrived and needed time and space to get into her berth. It gave us the opportunity of photographing her. Many of us preferred the pictures we could take of the ORIANA. 

The Condor Liberation ferry approaches

Condor Liberation preparing to berth

Condor Liberation going astern

She's in her berth

It had been another interesting day and in fact our last full day on board as tomorrow we are due back in Southampton at an early hour.

Ships seen: Oriana, Condor Liberation

Friday 5th July 2019

Commodore Gibb's sword



We arrived back in Southampton waters, having picked up the Pilot in the early hours. We berthed at the Mayflower Cruise Terminal and our cruise on the lovely ORIANA had come to an end.

It was named as a Farewell Cruise and indeed it was as the ship is soon to be handed over to new owners and sail off to faraway places. It was strange to be part of this event, even in such a small way, but it felt as if history was being made and we were glad to have participated.



20 July 2020

ORIANA 28th June 2019 Part 8 at sea

Wednesday 3rd July 2019
Today we are at sea, sailing north this time, towards our next port of call in Guernsey tomorrow. I had a chance to get a better deck plan picture of the ship.

Daily News Sheet - Farewell cruise

Deck Plan of Oriana

I visited the big Library on board and was happy to find the wonderful book "Waterline - Images from the Golden Age of Cruising".

Front cover

Inside the front cover

This was compiled by John Graves, a curator at the National Maritime Museum (https://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum) in Greenwich, and published in 2005. When the book was in preparation I was invited to visit John and discuss my Union-Castle connections and memories of my wonderful job as a Purserette at sea. Many of these were quoted in his book and I was happy to be on his list of Contributors. It has so many wonderful photographs and is still available to order (and enjoy) from your favourite book supplier.

There are coloured and black and white photographs, some in a double-page spread, some on one page, and all with notes. It covers the years 1925 - 1970. Acquired from the Marine Photography Service (MPS) in 1996, The Waterline Collection is one of the Museum’s finest and most extensive collections of historic photographs. MPS was set up in the 1920s by Gilbert Morgan Morris, a self-employed photographer based in Colchester. Its many photographers captured scenes for a variety of shipping companies until the service closed in the 1990s.

One of the many photographs inside: Arandora Star and Letitia at Malta

Notes about the Malta picture


P&O's Orcades in Hong Kong

Lisbon, Portugal

Cunard's Franconia in Sydney

A few years after the book was published, during the winter of 2010/2011, the National Maritime Museum put on an Exhibition of some of the Waterline photographs, and John invited me to write nine pieces about various pictures on display, and these were subsequently put on their website as blog pieces. You can see these by going to the NMM website (https://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum) and in the Search box type in "Waterline Exhibition 1925 - 1970". This will bring up the page with various articles about the pictures.

There are eight of the pieces on the first page, and one on the second, with the relevant pictures. I'm sure that many of us have personal memories about the National Maritime Museum in London's Greenwich, and I felt very pleased to be asked to participate in a small way with the Waterline book and Exhibition.

Today at sea on the good ship ORIANA however, this is to be a relaxing day for our group, with many talks or other activities on board to enjoy, culminating tonight with a Black Tie dress code and dinner, when I note that medals may be worn. There was also to be a Chefs' Parade through the Restaurant, which is always enjoyable.

To be continued...

16 July 2020

ORIANA 29th June 2019 Part 7

Tuesday 2nd July 2019
This morning we arrived in Ferrol (El Ferrol). I see that I took several pictures on board ORIANA this morning before a group of us left the ship to go ashore. The sky looked grey and menacing so there was no rush.

El Ferrol on the map

Welcome to El Ferrol

Entrance to the Crows Nest

Part of the Crows Nest bar area

Treasures on display

Deck plan

Pool and deck

The blue funnel

Naval Vessel

Oriana details

After visiting the ORIANA Library on board I managed to find an Admiralty Chart on display in the Crow's Nest Bar. I had previously asked about this in Reception and they didn't know there was one on board, so I could let my chums know now.

Off the ship some of us headed for the Ferrol Naval Museum, on a route through an ancient part of this old naval town with its steep cobbled streets, up to the church of St. Francisco. Outside were flower beds with a wonderful display of Gaura bushes. I think these ethereal looking summer-flowering plants are a rewarding treasure to grow, and unknown to many gardeners. Lovely to see them here.

Walking in the cobbled streets

Interesting to see

And another

Naval Museum


I enjoyed looking at this

Fascinating view ahead

The remains of the Magdalena (1773-1810)

The buildings in the Naval Museum and the Museum of Naval Construction housed a wondrous collection of treasures, from vessels of so many different ages. There were various tableaux and I was interested to see one of a shipyard forge (looking rather large and clean), creating items for the ships. My paternal grandfather was an engineer in Chatham Dockyard all his life, and I know that when he married his marriage certificate stated his father's name and occupation, which was said to be Blacksmith, in Chatham Dockyard. I always enjoy visiting that Dockyard too!

The lure of coffee called and we found the Cafe Derby, and spent a happy hour there with wine, tapas, liqueurs and discussions about what we had seen and enjoyed.

Oriana seen from one of the streets as we headed down

Back at the quayside I could hear and then see 8 Galician musicians playing for a growing audience. I found the music very interesting as the timing was 5 beats to a bar in one particular piece they played, which was quite unusual to my ears.

The musicians on the quayside near Oriana

We had a late lunch on board and then it was time to prepare for departure; we'd had a fascinating visit here to El Ferrol. Later we met for dinner and I was invited to join a group to meet a lady who had sailed with her parents in 1952, aged 19, on the cruise ship CHUSAN from Tilbury to Norwegian ports. The ship was then just 2 years old.

Ships seen: Oriana, Spanish Naval vessel F105

To be continued...

08 July 2020

ORIANA 28th June 2019 Part 6 Santander, Spain

Monday 1st July 2019
Today here on board ORIANA we are due in Santander, Spain. This brought back memories for me of visiting there in the early 1970s with my late husband, when we stayed in one of Spain's Paradors, in the castle on the mountain top, looking way down to the flat coastal beaches. It was a wonderful place to stay overnight, one of the many similar on a route following the west coasts of France, Spain and Portugal. We could look out at the oceans where we once travelled in Union-Castle Mailships, all those years ago, but from the land side this time and visiting lighthouses, promontories etc. on the way.

Before going ashore I took some photos on board.

Santander on the map


Juan de la Cosa in port

The terminal tent beside our berth

Stern view

"Hello Sailor"

Tiers without tears

Deck and funnel


Wonderful glass in Tiffanys

Entrance to Sindhu Restaurant

Part of the interior

Inside outside

"The Story so Far"

"Eight stunning ships"

Chaplins Cinema entrance

With the photos taken, reality for me today was taking the shuttle bus to town from ORIANA's ship side, knowing the Plymouth/Santander ferry was due to arrive later today.

Welcome to Santander

I loved seeing this in the ferry terminal

Our first visit was to the Cathedral, walking around the cloisters and admiring the various sculptures to be seen. . I liked seeing the carved dogs at the feet of their owners, which immediately shows the status of the dead. We see similar sights of course at home in local churches and cathedrals.

View of the Cathedral

In the cloisters

Old crane on the waterside

Oriana in the distance

Walking along the promenade brought us to a coffee bar, away from the big crowds visiting the port like us. An old dockside crane was still in place alongside the water, as we admired the views on our walk. In the terminal building before going back to the ship we enjoyed seeing the model of a Brittany Ferries vessel with many little vehicles beside it.

Back at the ship we could enjoy lunch on board, and I located and admired again the beautiful glass ceiling in the Tiffany bar at the top of the atrium.

Later we could watch the Brittany Ferries vessel PONT AVEN arrive from Plymouth in the UK, turn and come astern to allow her vehicles and passengers to disembark here in Santander.

Pont Aven arrived

She turned ready to berth

Ships seen: Oriana, Juan de la Cosa (Instituto Social de la Marina, registered in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), Pont Aven

To be continued...