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Queen Elizabeth at the Firth of Forth

August 16, 2012


Posted in: Guest Stories, Special Guests

Guest Blog – William Dundas, Cunard World Club Member and Shareholder

Queen Elizabeth recently sailed around the British Isles on an 11 night voyage, taking in 8 ports along the way. She was calling at the Firth of Forth and I decided to review a third of the Cunard fleet in the form of QE. I wanted to show her off to two chums, Sheila and Valerie.

QE was at anchor at Hound Point between the towns of North and South Queensferry. Hound Point is a mid-river berth where oil tankers load and unload their cargos from and to local refineries. South Queensferry is on the side of the river where passengers were disembarked by QE’s tenders. North Queensferry on the other side of the river, is in Fife, and affords the best views of visiting ships from various locations along the Fife Coastal Path.

I have witnessed, and participated in visits by all four of the recent Cunard Queens to the Firth of Forth: sometimes on board QV and QM2, sometimes on the water QE2 and QM2 and at other times from the land QE2 and QE. This time it was from the land.

Valerie drove us to North Queensferry. She was not amused when she was not rewarded by stunning views of QE from the main streets or even the pier. However once we headed up the hill of the coastal path QE could be seen looking impressively grand in the bright sunshine. The girls were bowled over by her and now aspire to a voyage on board a ship of the Dundas, I really mean, Cunard fleet.

QE framed by trees and one of the piers of the Forth Bridge as viewed from the beginning of the Fife Coastal Path from North Queensferry. The infra-structure of Hound Point can be seen in the background. 

QE framed between the grass, gorse and flat-bottomed clouds

QE with Edinburgh in the background. The white buildings on the left are in the Port of Leith and the large hill on the right is Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park.

QE at anchor with views of the Firth of Forth from the Forth Bridge down to Inchkeith Island on the horizon. Inchkeith is situated between the Port of Leith and Kirkcaldy.

Perhaps we can all share one stateroom to make it affordable in the short term. Sheila asked me if the value of my shares might represent the floor space of a stateroom. I replied that it would be more likely that my shares could buy only one link of the anchor chain!

She asked if that would be the bitter end. This is a nautical term: I will leave you to enjoy finding out what it means.

  1. we enjoyed this experience on queen mary 2 enroute to her 1st norwegian cruise in 2004. it was the 1st time i had ever trod on scottish soil.

  2. Tom & Carol says:

    Enjoyed the panoramic photo.
    I had to look up Sheila’s nautical reference: ‘The inboard end of a chain, rope, or cable, especially the end of a rope or cable that is wound around a bitt’.
    Happy cruising.

  3. Judith says:

    Excellent photos William, nice weather too.

  4. To answer your quiz, a bitt is a post fixed to a ships deck. Ropes and cables are attached to it. When a rope is let out to the point where there is no rope left, it is said to have been played out to the bitter end.

  5. I had the pleasure of sailing on that voyage, teaching watercolor painting. Beautiful weather, scenery, and sailing guests!

  6. William James Dundas says:

    Thanks to all above for your interest and comments.

  7. Anthony jr says:

    Hahahaha, that was a funny nautical pun :) Marvelous blog Mr. Shanks

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