Day Three

Wednesday, September 10th 2014 – Noon (BST-2)

Position at Noon

Latitude & Longitude  50° 51’ N  / 22° 18’ W
Course & Speed   269°  / 19.0 Knots
Distance Since Noon Yesterday  480 Nautical Miles
Distance From Southampton  825 Nautical Miles
Distance to go to Sandy Hook (NY)  2243 Nautical Miles
Wind Direction & Force  N 3
Air Temperature  17°C  / 63°F
Sea Temperature   16°C  / 60°F
Atmospheric Pressure   1010.4 Millibars
Depth of Water  12,664 Feet
Miles Run in Gym since Noon Yesterday  4 miles
Total Miles Run in the Gym  7 miles

 


Over the last 24 hours, we had commenced our great circle track and were now crossing the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, which is a deep and featureless part of the ocean floor. Here depths exceed 12,000 feet. Later on today we would be heading towards the Faraday Fracture Zone

 


Wednesday, September 10th 2014 – Afternoon

We took lunch in the Britannia Restaurant. Cold cucumber soup followed by roast pork for me and veal Casserole for my wife. We sat next to two couples. One couple “Mr and Mrs Miserable” were from Sussex and were bloody miserable. The other couple were from Virginia in the USA and were absolutely charming. Mr Miserable had actually been a passenger on the Queen Mary in the 1950’s and I even tried to engage him on that, but he remained miserable.

In the afternoon we had a busy schedule. My wife went to the first lesson of a two day flower arranging class. I went to a couple of lectures. One was on the role of finger printing in the Metropolitan Police (given by an ex superintendent) and one was on metabolism.

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I returned to the pub and teamed up with a lovely young couple from Newcastle for the afternoon quiz. We scored 4 out of 20. I gave up on the pub quiz after that.

My wife started what became her daily routine of afternoon tea and biscuits in the Kings Court Buffet. The Kings Court gets a bad press in a lot of the travel forums for its motorway-cafe style. Actually it is not bad at all. The sea views from the alcove windows on the promenade deck are great. The chocolate chip cookies (homemade) are outstanding.

We befriended an Italian who was from Napoli but living in Canada. He was returning from taking his wife, who had been quite ill, to the best doctors in Italy. We chatted for a while about food and Italy. Like many of the people we met and talked to each day we saw him time and time again during the voyage. It is interesting how the little circle of people who you nod and smile at grows gradually as you cross.

I went up to the covered pool in the Lido on the top deck for a swim. This is the only indoor pool on board. It was pretty interesting up there swimming around looking up at that big funnel in the background.

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There weren’t that many people in the pool up there. That was one of the most amazing things about the ship; except for the very busy times (pre-dinner drinks in the bars) you never felt crowded. Sitting in some of the areas one would never know there were 2,400 other people on board.  The space to passenger ratio is certainly very high.

 


Wednesday, September 10th 2014 – Evening

At 7.30pm we dressed (formally again) for dinner and made our way to the Queen’s room. This was the Captain’s cocktail party.   We queued up in the line of people being presented to the Captain and met a French couple from Paris doing exactly the same celebration as us (A marriage anniversary and two big birthdays) we chatted for more than 20 minutes about Paris and London before we eventually made it to the front of the line.

Captain Kevin Oprey was a charming fellow and gave everyone a little time for a chat. We were presented with a free glass of champagne and then we chatted to an officer cadet. He was from Southampton but he had been studying to be an officer on Cunard at the Blackpool and Fylde college at Fleetwood (my mother’s home town) of all places. It was his first voyage on QM2 and he told us that currently the nearest ship to us was 80 miles away.

Captain Oprey (another Southampton lad) finally stopped shaking everyone’s hand and came to the front to make a brief speech. He explained there were crew from 55 different countries on board and 2,400 passengers of 27 different nationalities. He then listed their numbers starting with the smallest number first. It was then we realised that my wife was the only Japanese passenger.

He carried on with the nationalities and the numbers and ended off with the top 3; roughly 300 Canadians, 700 Americans and 1,100 Brits. Finally, he introduced the senior officers who were a mixture of British, Irish and Indians. We clapped and we saved the biggest round of applause for the (British) Head Chef.

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Meeting the captain on RMS Queen Mary

We went straight from the cocktail party to dinner. We enjoyed red pepper soup, Chateaubriand and roast turkey. After dinner, we went to the theatre for an Italian- themed song and dance show. It was truly dreadful. It was really awful. It was like something out of Butlin’s.  We wanted to walk out but felt trapped between several people. Eventually we couldn’t stand it anymore and just made a dash for it.

We ended back in G32. This was one of the most interesting parts of the whole week. By now the sea was at its worst and as we danced, pretty much at the stern of the ship, “Mary” seemed to join in wiggling her backside as she moved through the seas. We had quite a bit of fun trying to stand up straight. Then as she pitched and rolled a bit everyone would come involuntarily rushing towards us laughing and giggling. This time we outlasted the live band and stayed on for DJ Chris.

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We finally left around 1.45am and I did my brief tour of the decks. I looked down on the rough sea and walked right to the flag pole at the back.  I was totally alone there and peered down over the churning bubbling wake thinking about how easily one could jump and be gone.

The clocks went back again at 2am, so we ended up falling asleep at 1am.

 


Thursday, September 11th 2014 – Morning

By the time we woke on Thursday morning the sea was much calmer. It was overcast but not so windy. At 9am we had breakfast in bed. We had ordered the previous night (the service is free) and it was delivered bang on time.

My wife went off to Pilates class and I met her later in the gym. After another 40 minutes or so running she went off to vegetable sculpturing

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RMS QM2
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RMS Queen Mary

I toured the decks once more and watched the dogs being exercised from their special kennel.  After that I listened to another lecture by the police expert. This one on Jack the Ripper. By the time all that was finished it was noon.

The ships bell is rung everyday in the foyer signifying noon.

Day Four