I was in Southampton last weekend, to take pictures of ships leaving and arriving. (I know, I’m sad.) I was particularly interested in Queen Mary 2 – I’ve never seen her. Other ships leaving on the Saturday were Celebrity Eclipse and Queen Victoria,. On Sunday morning the arrivals were Adventure of the Seas, Crown Princess and Arcadia. The first two of those were due in very early – 4:30am, so blow that for a game of soldiers – but Arcadia was scheduled to arrive at 7 o’clock so I thought I might get some of her.
Well, I got some ship pictures as you see above, but in the event they were the were the least part of the weekend. When I planned the trip I hadn’t realised that it was the first Saturday of Cowes Week. Whenever I go to Southampton to take ship pictures I generally aim to go over to Cowes, and on this occasion that was exactly the right decision.
The weather was perfect – warm and sunny but not too hot, and Cowes was bustling, both on and off the water. I spent a couple of hours just strolling around, enjoying a glass of wine and some nibbles in a bistro, and watching some yacht races. This was just off the Green, in front of the RYS, and there was a helpful commentary describing, for a non-yachtie like me, what was going on. One of the races in particular seemed to be pretty close; it all finished when one of the small yachts failed to go round the marker correctly, and had to swing round and do it again.
Then on Sunday morning, after I’d taken my pictures of Arcadia, I started exploring the plastic rhinos that I had noticed the day before. They’re all about raising consciousness regarding the plight of real rhinos in the wild. Basically, the plastic rhinos (which are sponsored by local companies and organisations, I believe) are each given to individual artists who decorate them as they wish. The result is that each rhino is different, and generally very colourful. There were 36 altogether dotted around Southampton; I had time to find about a dozen of them. Here’s a link to a page about them, and here’s another link to my Picasa page where I’ve put a couple of dozen shots.