The Jewel of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship to visit St. John’s in 2011 and this morning I wanted to see it come in from Signal Hill. I had my alarm clock set to 5AM, but as it went off I was completely confused when I did not find Marije next to me in bed, this prompted me to decide it wasn’t a good idea to get out of bed, let alone drive anywhere, and I went back to sleep again.

The second time I woke up I was much less flustered and I checked the local webcams to see if the ship had indeed safely made it into town, it had, so I made plans to photograph it leaving through the Narrows during sunset, which could possibly be almost as good as the morning arrival shot.

The venue for my departure shot was Deadmans Bay Path, which proved to be quite a climb for my out of shape legs and lungs. I made it up top anyway, well ahead of departure time, so I set up my stuff and waited for the ship to announce itself. After a while I heard some people shouting at the Queen’s Battery, I saw they were preparing for their musket salute, something I’ve seen them do last year too.

A musket salute for the Jewel of the Seas - Queen's Battery

A musket salute for the Jewel of the Seas – Queen’s Battery

I watched them closely because I knew the ship was right around the corner and then I heard them shout ‘ready, aim, fire’. Only from where I was standing, they fired the shots between me hearing the words ‘ready’ and ‘aim, fire’, because of the considerable distance between us.

After the salute was given, the Jewel of the Seas sounded its massive horn, which was truly impressive. Unfortunately the horn also marked the arrival of a thick cover of clouds and as the ship left through the Narrows the landscape was cast into deep shadows. Gloomy departures seem to be the theme of my week. Here’s the ship’s departure as I saw it from the trail, obscured by the tree line:

Jewel of the Seas departing St. John's - Deadman's Bay Path

Jewel of the Seas departing St. John’s – Deadmans Bay Path

Here’s a wider view that’s actually not all that bad:

Jewel of the Seas departing St. John's - Deadman's Bay Path

Jewel of the Seas departing St. John’s – Deadmans Bay Path

And here’s the ship at sea:

Jewel of the Seas - Atlantic Ocean

Jewel of the Seas – Atlantic Ocean