July 29, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Mary 2
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 74 days
I’m writing this week’s Blog from Trieste where we are giving the world’s press a preview of our new Queen at the shipyard where she will be leaving in less than ten weeks time. While we are here we will be making some more Video Blogs, the first of which will go up next Thursday. Meanwhile Queen Victoria is nearing the end of her first round Britain voyage and you see more about that in a special President’s Blog tomorrow. Queen Mary 2 is continuing her Transatlantic season and today we have a Guest Blog about her last remarkable crossing, from Queen Mary 2’s Hotel Manager, David Stephenson, after this week in Cunard’s history from the week of 30 July to 5 August:
July 30 1951
Caronia makes her maiden call to Glengarriff, Cork, Ireland
July 30 2006
A traditional bagpipe procession signalled a jubilant send-off for Commodore Ronald W. Warwick following the conclusion of his farewell Transatlantic Crossing in Southampton
August 1 1840
The Britannia leaves Boston for her first eastbound Transatlantic service to Liverpool
August 4 1840
The Acadia (1,154 tons) makes her maiden voyage as one of the first four Cunarders built in Glasgow
August 5 1992
QE2 makes her maiden Call to St. John, Canada
On Saturday morning 24 July 2010, Queen Mary 2 made a rendezvous with the Boat Artemis Investments. The 23 foot purpose built rowing boat is manned by 4 young men who are attempting to beat the world rowing record between New York and England. The team left New York on 17 June and are braving some of the most horrendous weather the North Atlantic can offer. In addition to creating a new record the rowers are raising money for the following charities: The National Autistic Society/Jigsaw (Young Peoples Health in Mind Ireland), In support of Help for Heroes (those effected by various conflicts around the world) and Aware (A charity helping to defeat depression). David Stephenson takes up the story.<br>
Guest Blog: David Stephenson
Queen Mary 2
Following a chance conversation over breakfast with Natalie Rushton, the Assistant Spa Manager, Captain Bates, the Master of Queen Mary 2, learned of a heroic attempt by four young men to row across the Atlantic in less than 55 days and beat a record that had stood for 114 years. What made this valiant attempt more interesting to Captain Bates was one of the team, Ray Carroll had served on Queen Mary 2 from when she came into service until 2005. Natalie managed to convince the Captain that a chance meeting could perhaps become a reality on Queen Mary 2’s return form New York.
His appetite whetted our intrepid Captain rushed off to do his research. Contact with the Artemis’s headquarters found them on a similar course to Queen Mary 2 with a calculated meeting time mid morning 24 July!
Don Lennox, Livar Nysted, Ray Carroll, and Levin Brown had braved capsize, inquisitive whales and some appalling weather to travel the 2,200 miles they had already covered at the time of the meeting. It must have been quite a sight for them as they saw Cunard’s flagship appear through the mist.
The Bridge Team lowered a Fast Rescue Boat to allow Michal Grnja – Queen Mary 2’s Photographic Manager to record this unique meeting on film. Captain Bates chatted over the radio to the team on the 23 foot craft as Queen Mary inched her gigantic superstructure carefully past the tiny craft.
Stefan Engl, the Food & Beverage Manager, had wanted to send across a hot lunch for the rowers to enjoy, but the rules of the competition were that their crossing should be unaided so sadly “lunch was off” and our rowers had to settle for the waves of all Queen Mary 2’s Guests that lined the open decks to witness the meeting and of course the occasional hoot from the Whistle of Queen Mary 2 herself.
After half an hour with the rescue boat recovered and Queen Mary 2 was on her way with another hoot or two of encouragement from the ships whistle. All the Guests on board felt perhaps that they had witnessed history in the making and perhaps a record that had stood for 114 year was about to fall?
Thank you David for such a great story, and those great pictures and video; what an amazing event to be a part of and we were lucky enough to receive this great video from Queen Mary 2’s photo team which captures the spirit of the occasion:
That’s it for the moment from me, but I’ll be back soon with a President’s Blog from Queen Victoria’s maiden round Britain voyage, and of course some new pictures from Queen Elizabeth on Monday. Cheers for now, Alastair
Images and video kindly provided by Image Photo Services