THE CUNARD LINER QUEEN MARY II

and in a moment some exciting and unique photography!

In December 2003, my wife and I were lucky enough to witness the arrival in Southampton for the first time of the brand new liner QM II ex-build/sea trials. We met her well down Southampton Waters [River Test] at near Calshot and travelled with her at a remarkably close range all the way to the Ocean Terminal, her berth to be for thirty odd years to come, at least! All aboard our tiny boat [by comparison] were very excited and it made for a Christmas to be remembered for all times.

The following two PDF's tell the story.

QMII DOC 1.pdf

QMII DOC 2.pdf - the private address shown in this file was sold by us in 2007.

Then came a truly magic evening/night when we again returned to the Ocean Terminal to embark in the same vessel, almost touching the stern of the liner at the moment she set sail proper.

QMII DOC 3.pdf

This was on completion of a stunning and prolonged fireworks and laser light display which took place from floating barges mid-stream adjacent to QM II's berth. Then the great ship manoeuvred into position pointing to her exit back down Southampton Waters, and with loud blasts of her fog horns {one, the Port side I believe} taken from the old Queen Mary now a hotel in the USA] and whilst playing loud music [Land of Hope and Glory] - [Rule Britannia] - [The National Anthem] for example, her stern-wash increased and she was off into the night. Her speed was such that the many small boats [ours included] could not keep up with her and there was many a wet eye amongst the thousands of observers. The January night bitter cold air did not seem to dampen the crowds enthusiasm, and we all recognised that we had witnessed history in the making.

That was ten years ago when we were in our mid 60's, and to this day, we want to add a trip in the QM II to our list of cruises done in less famous ships, although we did manage a wonderful cruise in the Liner QE II.

Now, during the QM II's 2014 World Cruise a first occurred involving the ship and its captain [master]. First though, a small script in support of what you are about to see.

At 151,200 tons, Queen Mary 2 is the largest and most expensive ocean liner (donít call it a cruise ship) ever built, with accommodation for 2,620 passengers and 1,253 crew. Since her maiden voyage in 2004, Queen Mary 2 has undertaken more than 420 voyages, including over 200 Transatlantic Crossings, and has called at 182 ports in 60 countries. Remember that for merchant vessels that 151,200 is not her weight - she probably weighs in the order of 250,000 {or thereabouts} tons - but her "gross tonnage". If you have a care, why not read first hand what I wrote back in 2014 by going to this page http://www.godfreydykes.info/bits_and_pieces_volume_v.htm and scrolling down to Section 7 where is says "Whether size matters or not".

Marking the 10th Anniversary of the iconic ocean liner, Queen Mary 2, Cunard captain, Captain Kevin Oprey, agreed to go overboard and pose for these amazing photos from the bulbous bow of his massive ship. To capture the photos, Cunard hooked up with photographer James Morgan earlier this month in perfect conditions about a mile off the coast of Bali as the ship continues her 2014 World Cruise.

Seemingly captains of luxury liners CAN walk on water, but I have seen no evidence that the same can be said of naval captains!

Those  of you au fait with the Far East {particularly} will know of the possibility of sharks, big ones at that {Great White's}, and it appears to me that Kevin is standing into danger, especially in the last shot, or is it me just being a scaredy pants? Come to think about it, I do remember doing 'hands to bathe' in that theatre, so I am perhaps over reacting.

Hope you enjoyed seeing these highly unusual and clever photographs. Well done to all concerned, especially to Kevin.  Good old GB - British captain; born and bred in Southampton and British ship although owned by Americans - shame, but never mind. Now you cannot leave this subject and page without spending time to getting to know Kevin, so feast your eyes of this lovely site http://www.beyondships2.com/queen-mary-2-captain-oprey-interview.html

I personally find this web site nostalgic because of Halifax Nova Scotia. We, in submarine Auriga [stationed there for 18 months in SM6] did the same route trip as shown in the QM II Video of arriving and leaving dear old HFX, many many times, good coming in for I was with my wife and little baby boy, but sad going off to sea - obviously. The naval dockyard berths were further on into the harbour well past where the QM II berthed. My wife and I returned there a few years ago during a cruise from Quebec to New York, only to find the house in which we lived, 6223 Pepperell Street, had been bulldozed. Our baby, Steven, was born in Halifax Infirmary on the 6th September 1963.