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Queen Mary 2

There’s More Than One Way To Cross the Atlantic

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

Hotel Manager

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!

Photographer: Michal Grnja

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.

Photographer: Michal Grnja

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.

Photographer: Michal Grnja


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.

Photographer: Michal Grnja

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

  1. Alice Ridley says:

    The National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for people affected by autism, is the offical charity parter of the Artemis Investments North Atlantic Row Challenge. To support the team please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/oceanrow and donate what you can. Thank you

  2. John S Bolin says:

    The You Tube video and other information from the Queen Mary 2 are wonderful! Great to see the Queen in all of its size and power from near sea level. Thank you for sharing this material!

    John S. Bolin

  3. carol kane says:

    what a great meeting , wish I had been there, these boys are so brave crossing the Atlantic in such a small craft, what a thrill finding them. great footage, well done Cunard.

  4. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Thanks for a great video from mid Atlantic.
    It must have been a great experience for both the rowers and the passengers on QM2

  5. mary murdoch says:

    Alister, Down at river Forth this evening to see Queen Victoria sail down the river is it possible for Captain Wright to give a blast of the Whistle while passing Kinghorn, that would be great. Blog on antlantic crossing brilliant.

  6. I was very proud to be on deck and to see the Artemis as she emerged from the fog along side QM2. These 4 young lads are truly brave souls and I was able to make a small contribution to their causes. Well done boys! Captain Bates and his navigation officers truly did a remarkable job in finding Artemis in the fog. I was even able to get some great pictures from deck 7 of the Artemis and the rescue craft. Many congratulations to the crew of the Artemis and to the Captain and crew of the Queen Mary 2 for helping us to experience this moment!

  7. Beryl Moss says:

    What a great video from mid Atlantic. Would like to have been on QM2 to witness this historic event and what courage they must have to do this challange.

  8. Neil Osborne says:

    Hearty congratulatios all round ! The Artemis crew are a great bunch of lads, and their record-smashing effort is truly inspirational! I am now a semi-retired yacht broker in New York / New Jersey, and Artemis Investments was prepared for the crossing at the marina where I have my office. I was pleased to be able to help them with a few bits and pieces here and there, and took some of the photos in the photo gallery at http://www.oceanrowevents.com. I was specially pleased to learn of their rendezvous with QM2 as I am an ex-Cunard deck officer, and was Cunard’s Operations Manager in New York for eight years. I sailed on many of the company’s cargo ships, cruiseships and liners including QE2 from November 1970 until July of 1975 … back in the mists of antiquity ! Nick Bates had been a shipmate at one time. The Artemis rowers’approach, apart from their obvious competence, focus and dogged determination was their refreshingly wry sense of humour … e.g. as Leven, the team leader, asked .. ” How hard can it be ? Row out under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and then head East. I mean, what could possibly go wrong ??”

  9. Lindy says:

    Crikey, talk about goosebumps…

  10. Neil Osborne says:

    What a magnificent, and truly inspirational achievement ! The Artemis team, under the highly capable leadership of Leven Brown, are a great bunch of guys. I was fortunate enough to have them prepare the boat at Liberty Harbor Marina where I have my yacht brokerage office. I was pleased to be able to help them here and there with little bits and pieces. As a former Cunard deck officer, and then Cunards’s New York Operations Manager, I was particularly pleased about the rendezvous with QM2. Kudos all round !
    A keen sense of humour is key in such a feat of endurance. As Leven said … “How hard can it be ? We just have to row out under the Verrazano Bridge then head East. I mean, what could possibly go wrong ??”

  11. Excellent read, I must say. You’ve researched the topic very well

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