Ghost ship - or not?

There's rumors of a ghost ship lurking around the port of Southampton. But what if it's not actually a ghost ship but just a lost ship trying to find her way home?

Rumours of a ghost ship were abound in the port of Southampton. The news spread like a wild fire. First it was the tugs who spoke of the ghost ship and then the news passed on to the ships who called at the port. Very quickly, every ship who came to Southampton heard of the ghost ship.


Tamia was the first to encounter the ghost ship. The tug had left the port early one morning to wait for and assist an arriving container ship. She had been looking out for the arriving ship when she saw it. There, off in the distance, was a dark shape. Tamia knew it was a ship from the general shape. With her captain's agreement and approval, she sailed towards the unknown vessel, only to find that the vessel had disappeared by the time she arrived. 


Tamia spoke to the arriving container ship about the mysterious vessel. The container ship, to Tamia's surprise, had seen the vessel as well. The container ship too had tried to contact the unknown ship but didn't get an answer.




"Its a ghost ship. I'm very sure." Darcia declared one morning. 


"Are you sure?" Luna replied. The tugs were once again discussing the ghost ship.


"Positive. How else would she be able to disappear so quickly?" Darcia replied. Tamia, listening to the conversation, felt a shudder run down her hull. She could only hope that the ghost ship had no ill intentions.




"I'm not leaving after you." Queen Elizabeth insisted. Queen Mary 2 sighed.


"Why?" Queen Mary 2 asked.


"I'm scared of the ghost ship. She may come and eat me." Queen Elizabeth replied, her eyes showed her fear. 


"Who has been telling you stories?" Queen Mary 2 asked.


"The tugs. They're all talking about it." Queen Elizabeth told her eldest sister. Queen Mary 2 didn't know what to say. She had heard the rumours of the ghost ship but she wasn't going to believe them until she personally saw the ship in question. Then again, she didn't want to dismiss Queen Elizabeth's fears. 


That evening, as requested, Queen Elizabeth sailed first. Queen Mary 2 followed. As she sailed, the Cunard Queen kept a look out for the so called ghost ship. She saw nothing and decided that the Southampton tugs had vivid imaginations.




Two weeks later, Queen Mary 2 was sailing up the channel towards Southampton. It had been a rough voyage, with hurricane warnings from the south and iceberg warnings from the north. The ship was glad to get to Southampton and away from the dangerous Atlantic. The few hours of rest she would get were more than appreciated.


A wind had started to pick up, bringing with it a thick fog that made seeing next to impossible. Queen Mary 2 sighed. This meant that she would have to rely her navigational aids on the bridge for find her way. 


Suddenly out of the fog, she saw a dark shape. It was a ship and was heading directly towards Queen Mary 2. She screamed, in the high pitched way that all ships screamed, beyond the hearing range of all but those who spoke to ships.


The other ship didn't stop until she was out of the fog and within viewing range of Queen Mary 2.


Queen Mary 2 suddenly found herself bow to bow with her elder sister, Queen Elizabeth 2. She nearly started screaming again.


"Hello sister." Queen Elizabeth 2 said. Queen Mary 2 nearly screamed again. 


"What in the name of the Goddess are you doing here?" Queen Mary 2 asked, once she had gotten her voice back. 


"I escaped. So I sailed around the world, avoiding people and other ships for the last two years. Until recently I started wondering about you and Victoria, so I came back to Southampton." Queen Elizabeth 2 explained. 


"So it was you lurking around and scaring the living daylights out of half the ships?" Queen Mary 2 sighed. Queen Elizabeth 2 laughed and nodded.


"I wasn't sure if it was worth being seen. So i kept hidden." Queen Elizabeth 2 told her younger sister.


"Do you know how many ghost ship stories the tugs are telling now? Everyday it seems they have a new 'ghost ship sighting' to share. Heck, they scared Queen Elizabeth too. She refused to leave the harbour after me. Was terrified that the ghost ship was going to eat her." Queen Mary 2 said. 


Queen Elizabeth 2 didn't reply. She just laughed at the news.


"So.. will you go into Southampton and stop all the ghost stories?" Queen Mary 2 asked.


"I don't have much of a choice now that I've been seen, have I?" Queen Elizabeth 2 replied, laughing. Queen Mary 2 smiled.




Tamia was once again waiting out in the harbour, this time for Queen Mary 2. It was still dark and thoughts of the ghost ship raced through her head. She really didn't want to meet the ghost ship.


Imagine Tamia's surprise when she saw not one but two ships sailing towards her. Quickly she ran through the list of ship arrivals in her head. Queen Mary 2 was the only ship arriving that hour. 


Tamia looked closely at the two arriving ships. She was shocked to discover that the second ship was Queen Elizabeth 2. Wasn't she retired off in some distant city? Tamia shook her thoughts from her head. Now wasn't the time for contemplation, she had a job at hand.




All the ships in Southampton harbour turned to look at the two Cunard Queens as they sailed up towards the dock. The whispers followed the two ships as they sailed. Most of the observers couldn't believe their eyes. Just a few years ago, many had shed tears as Queen Elizabeth 2 sailed off from Southampton for what was supposed to be the last time. Now she amazingly was back.


Queen Victoria was at the dock when her sisters arrived. After she got over the initial shock of seeing her eldest sister, she quickly advanced onto her and started asking questions.


Queen Elizabeth 2 laughed and answered each and every one of her sister's questions.


"What will happen to you now?" Queen Mary 2 asked.


"I don't know." Queen Elizabeth 2 replied. 


Queen Mary 2 laughed. She was just happy that her sister was back with them. 


"At least the ghost stories will end now." Queen Victoria commented. Her two sisters laughed.


That night, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth 2 was to rejoin the Cunard fleet. Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria couldn't have been happier. Queen Elizabeth was just more than happy that there wasn't a ghost ship. 


And all was well in Southampton.

The End

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