Day Six

Saturday, September 13th 2014 – Noon (BST-3)


Position at Noon

Latitude & Longitude  45° 02’ N   /   57° 55’ W
Course & Speed  248°  / 20.6 Knots
Distance Since Noon Yesterday  487 Nautical Miles
Distance From Southampton  2291 Nautical Miles
Distance to go to Sandy Hook (NY)  787 Nautical Miles
Wind Direction & Force  North / North West 4
Air Temperature   16.5°C   / 61°F
Sea Temperature  18.3°C    /  64°F
Atmospheric Pressure  1025.45 Millibars
Depth of Water  328 Feet
Miles Run in Gym since Noon Yesterday  4.2 miles
Total Miles Run in the Gym  20.7 miles



Today we would set a Rhumb line course to a position north of Sable Island.

Sable Island is a narrow crescent shaped sandbar believed to have been formed from large quantities of sand and gravel deposited on the continental shelf near the end of the last ice age.


Saturday, September 13th 2014 – Afternoon

Lunch was in the Britannia Restaurant. We had white onion soup followed by turkey escalope and pork Milanese. We had a lovely clear view of the ocean from our table and it was clearly rush hour in our bit of the North Atlantic.  We spotted yet another container ship off the port bow heading eastwards.

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After lunch my wife disappeared for a lecture on acupuncture whilst I toured the decks yet again. I bumped into the third officer (a lass from Liverpool) and one of the engineers on the promenade deck and we chatted for a while. I had assumed that the gas turbines were never used these days as the ship rarely cruised above 21 knots.

I stood corrected. Actually one of the turbines was on as we spoke and I was told that QM2 quite often reaches over 24 knots and made 28 just on the last voyage. I was told that the ship burns 1,000 USD in fuel an hour. The gas turbines love fuel but the Chief Engineer loves the gas turbines.

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At 3pm we headed (on a reduced rate day pass) into the Spa.   The RMS Olympic was the first ship to have a gym and spa. The Canyon Ranch Spa on the QM2 is run as a concession. We spent a happy two hours in the spa pool, sauna, steam baths and foot baths. We met the only Japanese staff member and we chatted in Japanese to her for a while.

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After all that relaxation there was nothing left to do but to relax in a steamer chair and observe the maintenance people painting the superstructure, read and just watch the ocean.

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Afternoon tea included hamburger and chips, cookies and coffee. One of the many things I loved about the service on QM2 was the lack of rules forbidding things.  Nobody minded if you took the glasses and pots from the Kings Court buffet outside even though it probably presented a bit of a health and safety hazard. The whole atmosphere was a feeling of really being treated like an adult. Commonsense ruled OK.


Of particular delight to me was the ice cream machine. One could go up and do the twirling motion and get your own cornet, eat it and then go back for another one.

By now I knew that my waistline was taking on more that I was burning off.   I was getting my second cornet when I spied Celia Imrie getting hers. She was obviously following me.


Saturday, September 13th 2014 – Evening

We went up to the front of the ship as they had just opened the observation deck on Deck 11. We took some photographs there.

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We had a glass of wine in the cabin and dressed for dinner. Tonight was a formal night and we headed for the Commodore Club. We stopped on the way for a fashion show photo shoot on deck 12.

After a dinner of surf and turf (still thinking about the solo grill chef) we went to bed early. We briefly walked past the masquerade ball being held but we just couldn’t keep awake.

Luckily the clocks went back 1 hour at 2am and we got an extra hour in bed.


Sunday, September 14th 2014 – Morning

The day began with a on the door at 7:45 and another breakfast in bed. My wife went to pilates and then joined me in the gym. I ran for almost an hour. During which time I managed to spot a container ship and a fishing vessel out of the front window. I had completed a full marathon in the gym since leaving Southampton.   I finished off with a final celebratory run around the deck 3 or 4 times.


On my way back to meet my wife in the Kings Court I popped my head into the Sunday church service being held by the Captain in the Royal Court Theatre. It was quite atmospheric. I just caught the end of it and it was rounded off with that classic hymn with the chorus “For those in peril on the sea…..”

Several more circuits of the promenade deck and then eight bells sounded in the foyer,  it was Noon.

 Day Seven