Cruising holds no appeal for me - but the huge liners that come into port are very impressive.
Previously I took this photo of Sea Princess, berthed in Southampton, looking across from the West Quay shopping centre.
QM2 is even better looking than the QE2 in my opinion. It has a more classic line. I still miss the sight of the Royal Yacht Britannia and the accompanying Royal Navy battleship berthed off Cowes during Cowes Week.
It got me thinking about how lucky I am to live so near to the sea. Sometimes living on an island can get me down a bit. Even though I've lived most of my life here, I still like to escape and spread my wings in the wide open spaces of the mainland. Even then it's hard to stray far from the coast.
I had a trawl through some of my archived pics. Here's a couple of Weymouth - around the old harbour area - looking to all intents and purposes as if a tall ship from The Onedin Line is just off shot, about to sail into port. [Aside from the 21st century people walking about of course.] The actual location for the TV series was Bayards Quay in Dartmouth. A bit far west for my daily meanderings.
As a very small child, this cult ocean going TV series of the 1970's had me totally enthralled and 'in lurve' with Peter Gilmore as Captain James Onedin - [must have been those mutton-chop sideburns] He completely rivalled french singer Sacha Distel as my One True Love. There's no figuring out the individual nature of attraction when one is so young and impressionable.
The memorable theme tune to The Onedin Line was Spartacus Suite No. 2: Adagio of Spartacus & Phrygia by Khachaturian. A really great stirring piece of music.
As July races through its final weeks, the preparations for Skandia Cowes Week build, and Cowes fills up with yachty types down for the sailing, spilling out of the pubs onto the pavement, emptying the cashtills and filling the streets with people clad in crew clothing, deck shoes and waterproofs.
When my family first moved over here we begged to be taken to Cowes, but as it was off-season, you could have safely fired a cannon down the High Street and gathered no casualties. Let's just say we were seriously underwhelmed!
Now things are more year-round, and sailing seems to be even more popular. Cramming onto the Parade for the Friday night fireworks is still the big Cowes Week tradition. Not to be missed if you're over for a visit during early August.