Tuesday 8th February 2011

We arrived at No 4 Wharf and joined the queue to have bags weighed. Luckily no problems although there were a few expeditioners seen repacking their bags so that they weighed less than the maximum of 15 kg per bag. All my belongings were put into a cage ready to be lifted onto the helideck. We wandered about until it was time to say our goodbyes.

A large S76 Sikorsky flew overhead and landed on the helideck to be quickly debladed and put into the hanger.

All the expeditioners were marched under escort, single file from the shed to the gangway two hours before sailing where we were checked by customs and given the safety tour of the ship.
At 5 pm we gently moved from the wharf and out into the Derwent while our friends and relatives waved sadly from behind the guardrail just outside the shed. It was a sad farewell compared with the streamers, music and bustle of my 2004 departure. Relatives were then able to stand right at the edge of the wharf and conversations were possible without the need for mobile phones.

Isolated families and friends at the wharf Sunday