Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Farewell Queen Elizabeth 2, continued

The wind blew and the cold numbed hands.  The boat I had booked a place on to go out and photograph the QE2 farewell events could not sail, as the sea was so rough.  

Undaunted I made for the shore at Netley, not the ideal vantage point, but better than not seeing her.  

Prince Philip bade farewell aboard the QE2, when he toured the ship and attended a reception with local dignitaries, the ship's Master, Captain Ian McNaught and long serving members of crew. At 11 o'clock a million poppies were dropped on the ship and there were two minutes silence to mark Remembrance Day.  

At 1.40 a Harrier Jet approached the ship, cleaving through the clear blue skies to the delight of expectant onlookers.  It hovered and bowed in stately salute to the Grand Old Lady before zooming off in a cloud of exhaust fumes.

RFA Mounts Bay then sailed past her, with horn blaring, leading a flotilla of small boats braving the swells, all determined to pay their respects.  

In all it was a fitting farewell for a much loved Old Lady.

Tonight she sails from her home port for the final time.  In Mayflower Park there will be a firework display and a recorded address by the ship's Master will be broadcast.  

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