Here at Southampton Container Port ships very often seem to berth starboard side to. This means that upon departure, they need to reverse down the water to the designated swinging ground as they are facing the wrong way for the trip down Southampton Water. At Southampton, there are 4 areas designated as swinging grounds. The larger vessels generally use the Upper Swinging Ground and this means there are possibilities to photograph the container ships and the occasional cruise ship from many different angles as they come off the dock, run astern through a narrow gap into the swinging ground and begin the turn until they are facing down Southampton Water. With cruise ships, those coming off the Mayflower Cruise Terminal will swing in the Upper Swinging Ground.
I find it fascinating to watch so last Sunday I watched the container ship Al Murabba leaving for Suez, having watched it arriving the previous day, and I took over 50 photographs, charting the progress from breaking away from the container berth, through the swinging and finally to the moment she began her journey down Southampton Water.
I put the photographs on my web site at http://www.kelvindavies.co.uk/kelvin///categories.php?cat_id=243. There are 48 photos on that page so feel free to browse and "see how it is done" in Southampton.
As usual, there were 3 tugs in attendance, Smit Elbe, Buffalo & SD Stingray.
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