Saturday, 25 of March of 2023

2003 World Cruise, LA-Sydney Part 2

World Cruise, 2003, QE2 Part 2.

Just left LA.

Sunday, 19 January

It was chilly on deck when I checked around lunchtime.  During the morning, I sat with the Lees for awhile, and encouraged by Margaret, I went to the Cruise Staff Office to ask Elaine if she had extra balls of yarn. Sure enough, she opened two large sealed boxes with all sorts of colorful balls and I found the brown and white I needed, and returned to chat with the Lees.  Eventually, I saw Jean Burns approaching from the Lido.  We greeted and she presented Margaret and me with beautiful round crocheted doilies, made by her friend.

I went to the singles party at Yacht Club, where I met a lovely Scottish lady from Stirling, who is an avid walker. (Betty)  We compared experiences and decided we had something in common.

Tim has been assigned to another table, and he encouraged me to join him, which I have done – Table 321.  Lunch in Lido with two gents, then I sat in the Board Room a bit knitting before attempting the movie – “Rush Hour 2.” Ugh.  Returned to my cabin to rest.  Had dinner in the Lido with Jean and eventually Tim.  Joined him for the show, which was an American comedian.  Didn’t much care for him.

To the cabin just before ten o’clock.  Seas gentle all day – somewhat cool as we trace a “great circle” course toward Hawaii.  The new Select Traveler guide,  Nancy Pelletier left a letter and a zipper bag for me.

Monday, 20 January

Cloudy and rainy morning.  White caps.  Breakfast with Irvin.  Knit at the Lee’s stronghold.  Chatted with Terry W. and others in the Board Room, then spotted the other Terry from England about train spotters and ship spotters etc.  Attended a lecture on China then lunch with Madeline, the French lady from Hawaii.  Fog came around us – Movie “All at Sea.”  Saw Tim afterward and he was still laughing.  Brief visit with Eric and Margaret in Lido.  None of us has seen Jean yet.

Sat at my new table (321) tonight with Tim.  Margaret Cole from 2 years ago, Shirley, Joanne, Dorothy, Tim, Vernon and Pearl representing England, Wales, Canada and USA.  Called Jean (1080) to see how she is.  She has been quiet and in her cabin except for short trips to the Lido.  Okay.  Jack Jones presented a good show, which was well received.  Sang with a film of his Dad, Allan Jones – then “Donkey Serenade” with Jeanette McDonald.  His daughter sang with him too!  Had a Horlicks with the Lees before going to the cabin.  They have moved to a better cabin on 4 Deck. 

There is a fair amount of motion tonight.  Walking a straight line is not possible.  I put paper in my door to stop the rattle, but a door in back of the outer cabin banged all night.  I later learned it was the open safe door next door, and the steward closed it in the morning.

Tuesday, 21 January

Awoke very early to banging door in outside cabin next to me.  The ship is still tossing but seems to be calming down.  Took my letter to Jack Jones to Purser’s Office.  Then eventually I emerged to see still cloudy, wet skies.  At breakfast I sat with Anne France, an American widow of a Brit – living in Virginia.  We found a lot in common; discussing canals, books and experiences.  The most thrilling news she shared was that the ship will bypass Russell’s Bay and head for Hobart, Tasmania.  I later found Jean eating late in the Lido, but we soon parted as I wanted to attend the port lecture on Hawaii.

I have wandered on deck, trying to find a non-windy and dry spot to linger, but I was largely unsuccessful because rainsqualls came and went (or better, we went in and out of the squalls).  I eventually settled in a deck chair just next to the Observation Deck stairs on Port, but rain came again.  Crystal Bar offered a quiet haven.  At noon Capt. Warwick came onto the tannoy with the noon position report – after the noon whistle.

943 nautical miles to go to Honolulu.  Rain, sun, rough seas – lots of white caps on waves and swell.  Winds Force 7.  Our forward motion makes it 50 knots heading with 50-knot gusts!  Barometer 1004 milibars and rising.  Hopes for clearing in the evening.

I met Jean for lunch at the Lido and we ate with Stanley (Pendlebury) and two ladies.  From where I sat I could see the stern rise and fall radically in a might pitching motion!!  At  2:30 I tried out the film but left within 30 minutes, headed for Crystal Bar to watch the huge waves, spray and white caps while reading Darwin – on Tasmania.  Feeling drowsy, I returned to the cabin where I knitted and watched the Monty Python – “Meaning of Life.”

The ship occasionally varies the pitching motion with a sense of rumba bumps sideways.  I imagine side waves tend to slap back at the hull as the stabilizers gyro away.

I received invitations to the Captain’s party for World Cruisers at 7:15, but I won’t be going.  Another invitation to the Select Traveler party tomorrow evening.  That I’ll attend.  Meanwhile, I puttered in the cabin, skipped dinner – but did attend the Captain’s party and saw the ice sculptures and food.   Ship still tossing a bit.  To bed early!  Clocks back an hour.

Wednesday, 22 January

I did my progressive deck walking on the way up to breakfast in Mauritania and sat next to the Lees.  At 2 Deck just past D stairway, I came upon the closed zone 5 water tight door, so had to go to the port side.  At E I crossed back to see what was wrong and found three buckets placed to catch a persistent trickle of water and door hanging from the ceiling!  Very wet carpet too.  On 2 Deck I went forward to see 2007 and was reminded how very far forward it is.  Lots of motion.

Although there was no sun, I sat quite a while on a deck chair under Boat 4.  Cloudy with light patches; wind still strong but abated to sprayless white caps.  Swell going broadside from Starboard to Port so the pitch is minimal and the stabilizers are doing their work well.  Mild air.

After a while, with wild blown hair, I went to find the Lees in Queens Room.  Knitted a while, then got more yarn from Elaine’s office.  Lecture on Northeast Asia – then checked out the shops.  Then the legends of Hawaii before lunch.  Ate with Jean Burns then Irvin joined us.  More knitting afterward, then returned to my cabin.  Marilyn knitted with us.

Spent most of the afternoon in my cabin.  Attended the Select Traveler cocktail party in Queens Room where we met Nancy Pelletier our hostess.  Elaine and other cruise staff came by to greet us, and after the announcement, I slipped out to join my new tablemates for dinner.  Tim came later.  Saw most of the movie, a thriller “Don’t Say a Word.” Back to my cabin by 8:30.  Since I couldn’t sleep, I got up and knitted eleven of the twelve required roses for the Cinderella doll I am making, then ran out of pink yarn.  At least I don’t have to search out more pink.  Seas have flattened out significantly.  Clocks back an hour.

Thursday, 23 January – Honolulu

I was awakened  to the tune of pneumatic sounds and clunk of the watertight door at my bed-head.  Peered into the corridor and greeted Betty on her way up to observe.  Eventually I too emerged to watch us enter Honolulu Harbor at dawn.  The Fireboat spouted its welcome, QE2 blew her whistle 2 times, then in the harbor, blew three times.  We zigzagged to position for entering the dockside on starboard.  Aloha Tower is dwarfed by myriad taller buildings and our ship.  A band played and a single hula dancer did her stuff to the accompaniment of 2 singers.  Called each family and left a message for Ann.  Breakfast.

Took the free bus to Hilo Hatties- then Ala Moana Mall and back.  Movie “The Rookie”

Evening – Nansea escorted our Select Traveler group for dinner at Moana Surfside Hotel – Cocktails on the 6th Floor Verandah overlooking Waikiki Beach.  Saw the little museum before dinner in a special function room downstairs right next to the beach and encroaching water.  Sat with Stanley and Phyllis Reynolds on either side.  A Hula dancer and three piece band, provided the entertainment.  As we returned to the ship we did a tour of the historical highlights, Iolani Palace, Kamehameha statue (3 made – one sank and retrieved, one here, and one in Smithsonian), Missionary church (coral) houses, (wood).  We were back on board the ship by ten thirty.

Friday, 24 January – Honolulu

I wandered around the Aloha Tower market, and went up the tower to photograph the ship from above.  Made some purchases. Jean, Burns and I had lunch and then we took the yellow trolley to the International Market Place via a very circuitous route – it became comical!  Rather than figure out the return trip we took a taxi back.  Movie “Planet of the Apes.”  Dinner in the Lido with Terry and later Marion Morgan and Valerie.  Captain Warwick,  Kim and family were all there.   Hawaiian show.

At departure time the tugs did exactly as I predicted, namely, one at each end of the ship pulled her away from the dock and QE2 slowly backed out with stern leading to port.  The aft port tug pulled harder than the bow one, thus affecting the bow pivot.  They had to pause, however, before all this happened to wait for an incoming Matson barge to pass by.  Meanwhile, both tugs held her next to the dock, then the process described above began again.  When well away and stern to the channel, the port tugs eased off and starboard aft tug took over to nudge the ship and keep her in control as forward steerageway was slowly gained.  This tug, went a fair distance pushing and remaining at right angles to the hull of QE2 – rudder hard to port.  A lady near me was glad to hear my explanations.  The decks and railings were wet after rain. I was back in the cabin before one o’clock.  Watertight doors are still closed!  I sang “Lorelei” for Terry and Marion at the Lido dining table.  Laughter.

[This must be included here for my own reference, and has nothing to do with the ship.  At noon I met Faith Bickford’s namesake by name, Faith Bishop.   This woman’s mom and dad were married by Father Bickford and stayed in the Trumpet Shed many times, plus the Foster Homestead, which I knew as Elder Brewster Homestead.  Mrs. Bickford’s parents were Fosters.  The couple, Wendell and Faith, re related to the Bickfords of Brewster, MA.]

Saturday, 25 January

Around eight o’clock I greeted the gray day and had breakfast with Madeline in the Lido, then as she headed for her deck chair under the eves outside Yacht Club, I continued up to Boat Deck, where I sat a while reading on a hard deck chair under boat 13 in the shade.  There were two deck hands repairing the aft crane with weights and WD40.  When finished one of the heavy weights was rolled across the beam deck.  I read more of the Cook Journals till eleven, when I went to the Theatre to hear Des Cox’s lecture on his life at sea, complete with video and slides.  Was back on deck in a cushioned chair under boat ten in the shade of wind and lifeboat.  Noon whistle test of all tones. 

Our noon position today:  Latitude 17º North; Longitude 156º57′ E, 262 nautical miles south of Honolulu.  Direction 108º straight for next 4 days.  2150 nautical miles to go to Papeete.  Wind 24 knots; Temp.  28º C.  82º F.  Took my sandwiches from Board Room to eat on deck.  Dessert at Lido with Marion and two men, Tim and John (English), then Bob from New York.

At 2:30 I joined Eric for the showing of QE2 by Rob Rombout and Louis-Philippe Capelle in the Theatre – followed by tea with Eric and Margaret.  Washed my hair and knitted till dry.

Not wanting to eat so early, I opted for dress up and dinner in the Lido.  While waiting for 7:30 I struck up a conversation with Holly Hennicke.  We discovered her growing love for QE2 and shipping in common, so there was never a dull moment in conversation as we sat way aft in the Lido.  Crème caramel.  The show in the Lounge was unique – with two lovely lasses playing harp and ‘cello (both acoustic and electrified) from Cheetham boarding school in Manchester.  Joy Smith (Harp), Kirsten Spencer (‘cello). Was back in the cabin before ten o’clock.  Found a tan QE2 bag on my bed – World Cruise perk!

Sunday, January 26

This sunny, warm windy day for me was mostly spent inside.  Watched “Chocolate” first thing in the cabin.  I next went straight to the Theatre for the port talk on Tahiti, then quickly to Grand Lounge for a narrative and musical treatment on Gauguin’s life by two actors,  David O. Frazier (singer) and Joe Garry.  Sat in front row with Tim.  Next I went back to the Theatre to hear Rob Rombout and Louis-Philippe “Men at Sea.”

Lunch in Lido by starboard windows with Madeline and another couple, Fritz and Maryann. Upon emerging to test the air, which was comfortable and windy, I sat under boat 10 for a couple of hours reading and knitting till near teatime.  Ducked into the Board Room and out again to head downward.  At G stairway One Deck, I stopped to converse with Rob and Louis-Philippe about ships.  They will be on QE2 for the tandem Trans Atlantic and mentioned there will be filming maneuvers – near passes and a reverse passing like the old ships used to pass mid-ocean.  They also want to interview me.  Back at the cabin Thomas called me for an appointment tomorrow.  Will buy their DVD.

Formal dress for dinner in Mauritania with Margaret, Shirley, Pearl, Dorothy and Vernon.  New host.  Tim got moved!    Saw “Remains of the Day” film, then the comedian in Grand Lounge with the Lees.  Later saw “Emma” in my cabin.

During the day the sky was clear and beautiful with tropical blue waters and slightly wavy.  White caps were generally visible in the Force 6 – 24 knot winds.  Noon readings were:  370 miles north northeast of Christmas Island.  At 6 PM we will be abeam 210 miles west.  Heading 168º – gone 559 miles at 23.29 knots.  1556 nautical miles to Tahiti.  Temperature 29º C., 84º F.

Monday, 27 January –   Equator  Crossing.

We crossed the Equator today.   I had breakfast in the Lido with Stanley, Mary Ann and Fritz; then I joined Jean briefly before heading for Yacht Club to meet Rob and Louis for my interview.  Rob asked me a couple of questions and took notes.  Meanwhile there was interference by a lecture there and we had to relocate to a nook aft of the Chart Room in Queens Room.  There they filmed the interview.  I had to sign a release.  Terry was right after me. This finished at nearly eleven, so I checked out the shops a moment and found Eric already sitting in the Theatre to hear Des Cox present his rare, restored films of past ships.  Took notes furiously!

Wandered a bit till time to meet Jean, and we decided it would be nicer to eat in Mauritania, so we went to Lee’s table by the window and enjoyed a very peaceful lunch together.  We parted there and I checked the Board Room, where Peter was doing his script editing.  We chatted briefly, then I attended the movie “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”  Sat with Doris in Queens Room for tea, then rudely abandoned the former in favor of an animated conversation with Phyllis about ships. esp. QE2 and the “Norway.”  I think there is a good friendship there.  She is an agronomist  and gardener.  We went to the bookstore where I purchased the DVD and 2 ship books. 

I joined Jean for dinner at the Lido.  Evenings are always quiet with tablecloths and linen napkins.  Afterward, we attended the electric strings duo (cello and harp) concert, which again was fascinating with classical and modern rhythms.  As is my regular habit, I walked a bit along the decks and tried locating stars.  Orion is directly above at 9:30.  Light pollution hinders any angle vision, so I gave up and was in the cabin before ten o’clock.  Seas are quiet with strong forward wind.  Pleasantly warm and humid.  Peter reported he saw the GPS indicate the equator crossing by going from north reading to south reading.  Knit small components of the doll well past midnight.

Tuesday, 28 January

This was nearly a lost day, because I didn’t feel well.  Knitted with Margaret and Eric then later Phyllis brought her quilting cross-stitch.  Eric and I went together to hear Des Cox’s film screening “The early Years of Cruising,” followed by cabin time and a short rest till time for lunch at table 205 with Jean.  Still feeling lousy I slept away the rest of the afternoon.  This being the evening when the Select Traveler group was to eat together in the Mauretania, ten of us gathered at the round table my family used on 1998-9 Christmas cruise.  We were given 4 metal and leather coasters with a wooden base.  I gave my gift to Stanley, who was glad to add to his set.  I was in the cabin near 8:30 to stay.  Someone says we avoided a waterspout last night.

Wednesday, 29 January – Papeete, Tahiti

I was on hand to see the ship pass between the narrow channel markers to the harbor.  Beyond the channel are surface coral reefs with waves breaking in long lines a long way out.   The ship was turned 90º with bow close to the Papeete shore and stern just clearing the quay extreme end.  We are now quayside with bow pointing outward with starboard side access.  I wathed my watertight door opening process.

I took my tour on Tahiti with the highlights being Point Venus where Captain James Cook did the observation of the Venus Transit on June 3, 1769.  I wandered by the transit monument, photographed the tall, distinctive lighthouse (white brick, with tiered storeys and a single window in each of the square sides.)  There is also a monument in memory of the missionaries.  Next was the Tahiti museum way the other direction and back through Papeete.  A Bougainvillea bust is in a local park.   There was a very large anchor purported to have been one belonging to the “Endeavour.”  After lunch back at the ship, I returned to Papeete to wander in the Marché, where I systematically walked along every aisle of the trinkets offered for sale.  The fish market also made itself pungently known!

I cooled off in the Theatre of the ship with the film, “Sabrina.”  Afterward I decided to have a look at the Bridge, so I photographed the full sweep of the ship aft and the Mast, which has always intrigued me.  Inside, I made note of the magnetic compass, which is mounted outside and above and is seen by a periscope over the wheel.  Some of the instruments had signs indicating they are not to be used.  “Men aloft.” – The GPS appears quite small for such a big ship!  But serviceable.

I next had a quick tea in Queens Room with Doris and the Lees.  Jean called me in the cabin, and we met aft in the Lido for dinner.  I went to Heli Deck to film the barbecue, received a lei from Thomas, then headed back for Jean.  We ate at her table in Mauretania with her British “mate.”  Spent some time on deck watching the harbor and city decked in the vibrant lights, then joined the Lees for the long wait for the Tahitian Show.  Actually, there were parties on helideck and bow deck simultaneously.  The crew part forward certainly out-sounded that aft!

I wandered a bit after the show, caught the end of “Sabrina”, and then had a bite in the Lido midnight buffet while watching the stern tug pull us away from the quay.  On deck again, I watched the very long and deliberate pivoting of bow and swing of stern with the help of the tugs.  When the two green lights on the hill were finally aligned, we were able to go straight out the channel, right next to the barrier reef and breaking waves.  Very dramatic!  To bed after one o’clock. 

Thursday, 30 January. – Moorea

We were still feeling our way into the Opunobu Bay between the opening channel of the barrier reefs when I turned on the bow television channel, but soon thereafter I noticed the black ball was hoisted into place, indicating we were fully anchored.

I ate my breakfast in the Mauretania and met my Select Traveler group in Crystal Bar Portside, soon thereafter to head to Queens Room and down to 5 Deck G Stairway.  The tender went a way around the island to the landing at Papetoai.  The octagonal church is right there.  The tour included Belvedere lookout down to Opunobu Bay and Cook Bay.  Saw QE2 and “Wind Star” in both bays respectively.  Then back down and around shoreline of both bays to Viare – the Ferry Port and back to the Sheraton for entertainment and lunch by the aqua lagoon and reefs.  We were back at the ship by 3:30.  Very warm and humid.  We were under way by 5:20.

I tried the movie “Unfaithful” but eventually walked out.  Dinner in Lido with Jean.  Show – Tony Marsh – a Liverpudlian-  In cabin by ten o’clock.

Friday, 31 January

Very hot and humid early.  Breakfast with Phyllis and the English couple from Eastbourne near Chichester.  Knitted with the Lees.  Des Cox talk re: Queen Mary’s maiden voyage.  Cabin – knitting.  Lunch at Mauretania with Zimmermans.  “Black Island” the documentary about life on an oil rig was playing on the television.

Noon position:  106 nautical miles east of Mangae Island.  Great circle course 233º – 24.5 knots, 440 nautical miles from Moorea – distance to go 1,758 nautical miles – Wind NEbN Force 5 – 20 mph.  4 nautical miles over deck – not enough following for comfort.  Dinner and cocktail party – formal.  Chatted with Jean in Grand Lounge then we both headed for our cabins.              Clocks back one hour.

Saturday, 1 February

Partly cloudy.  I spent most of the morning with the Lees.  Margaret kindly did the blue trim on the Cinderella ball gown.  I attended the New Zealand slide show, and after the noonday whistle and navigation report, I attended the “Queen Mary 2” filming lecture.  I feel more kindly disposed toward her after hearing the designer assured us (Stephen Payne) she will be a British ship!

Comfortable on deck – Deep nautical blue water with white caps.  Noon report:  Lat. 24º41′ South – Long 165º6’W. 418 nautical miles SW of Raratonga.  Direction 237º great circle.  Gone 1,040 nautical miles from Tahiti – 1,158 to go.  26º C and 79º F.  NE Force 4 – 16 mph.  Lunch with Jean at table 265.  Movie:  “Simone” – Tea – Boardroom.  At Queens Room I talked with an Aussie about America’s Cup.  Not started yet.

I attended John Duffy’s part at Yacht Club with Jean.  There is a bit of motion up there, not to mention at Lido afterward.  Trevor did his act at the show, singing and doing the cleaning woman act to the tune of “Don’t  Cry for me. . .bathroom cleaner”!!!  Starting to sew the doll components.

Sunday, 2 February really Monday the 3rd.

We crossed the International Date Line so we lost February 2 – Sunday!   I did my usual morning activities of Mauretania breakfast at my table.  There was a nice Scottish lady there with Rosemary, Vernon, Joanne and “Howard.” I am now finished with the knitting and have started the doll assembly process, so I sat with the Lees till I needed the stuffing.  I sat in the cabin an hour or so doing the detail bits, only to emerge by noon so I could glean the navigational information:  Lat. 32º.5′ S.  Longitude 174º52′ W.  250 miles southeast of Marie Is.  compass 242º  23.5 knots – 586 nautical miles since noon yesterday – 24.41 nautical miles from Moorea 1,628 nautical miles – 570 nautical miles to go.  Noon Pilot    Temp 21.5ºC ; 71º F  Wind SSE Force 6 = 24 knots   40 k over decks!

Attended the lecture on basic navigation – then met Jean for lunch port side in Mauretania.  On my way back to the cabin via A stairwell, I went to 6 Deck on F stairway and found out why my cabin floor is so warm.  The SPA is directly under 5181.  The girl in attendance turned on the turbulence for me to take a photo.  She also confirms the alley is also next to the spa on 6 Deck.

Movie, “Ice Age” Tea with Phyllis Reynolds and Betty in the Board Room.  Dinner in the Lido with Jean, and Show – Geraldine Doyle – Viennese Ball.

Tuesday, 4 February – Auckland, New Zealand

The day dawned partly cloudy with a strong headwind and white caps.  At breakfast I sat with a lovely Australian lady, Margaret Patterson.  She visits friends near Boston, so we discussed her visits to Concord and Wareham.  Also she suggested various ideas for traveling across her country and a visit with her.  She lives on Sydney Harbor shore.

Attended the Yacht Club sailor’s meeting, then spotted land on both sides as we approached New Zealand.  I stood on top deck for a while, enduring the strong wind, then watched an hour or so of “Lord of the Rings”.  Emerged at 12:30 to watch us enter the harbor and dock.  Caught a brief look across to a sailboat in the Hauraki Gulf.  Lots of sailboats under power, moored and a few reefed or only on jib.  One very long black sloop motored circles behind us. 

After a Lido lunch I set out to walk along the waterfront which was very rewarding, except that all the America’s Cup syndicate boats have either gone home or are under wraps.  There was a big delay in re-boarding, because the gangway moved away from the ship.  Called Chris, and we worked out that I am three hours ahead of him yesterday!  It boggles the mind to think about it.  I had dinner in the Lido with Jean then we saw the Maori show in the Grand Lounge.  I walked the deck and took photos of lots of the public rooms: Queens Grill, Mauritania, Britannia, Pavilion, Lido, and 1 Deck and 5 Deck.

Wednesday, 5 February – Auckland

I was off the ship most of the day.  The morning tour took place first by a walk to the Maritime Museum quay with two yellow water taxis waiting for us.  We toured Viaduct Harbor and the syndicate sheds and docks waterside.  On the way out we saw both “Alinghis” being towed out for practice. We continued on to the huge marina with 2500 boats, through to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron where we viewed the America’s Cup itself and had tea.  We then returned to the museum in the water taxis, where we were escorted through the museum exhibits.  Saw the boat used in “Onedin Line.” 

After lunch I called Geoff and Michelle, then headed out to shop and go up the Sky Tower.  This was a rather long walk up the rising incline from the harbor, but ever so well worth the effort because of the absolutely fabulous views!!!  People were lined up to do the controlled parachute jumps off the platform back down to the street.  Back at the QE2., I spent a long time watching large sailboats milling around, waiting for I don’t know what.

At the last minute I decided to eat in my dining room where my tablemates enthusiastically  compared our tours of the day.  I returned to my cabin (watertight doors closed) and decided not to watch our departure.  She simply backed out of the slip and turned stern to 90º and headed back whence she came yesterday.   Clocks back one hour.

Thursday, 6 February

I sat with the Rabbi and his wife at breakfast and Margaret Patterson joined us for lively conversation.  I joined the Lees in the Queens Room as usual assembling the doll parts and talking with the various passersby who stopped to watch the handiwork.  At eleven I took notes on the Hobart tour talk followed by an hour under boat 12 tucked between the pile of safety stuff and the davit railing.  Sun peeked over the funnel, rendering shade and sun alternately as the ship pitched slightly on the swells.  Noonday readings:  Latitude 35º 19′ S – Longitude 169º.52′ E.  146 nautical miles WSW of  Rabga – Compass 245º in Tasman Sea.  388 Nautical miles from Auckland at 24.2 knots.  Wind ENE Force 5 = 20 knots – angle following.  Lifeboats in different davits 9 in 10 davit, 13 in 14 davit, 12 in 12. 

Jean and I met for lunch in the Mauretania restaurant at one o’clock, table 257.  More Boat Deck 2 – 2:30.  sun and cooling – clouds.  I had tea with Lilian Kenny, and she opened up.  She was a military wife in San Francisco; now lives in Florida.  Comes to dance only.  In Board Room..  Chatted with May and Doris in Lido.  May’s husband was a POW in Burma.  Back to the cabin at 5:30.  Movie “Moulin Rouge” not the same plot by any means as the one based on Toulouse Lautrec way back.  Show:  Gerard Kenny.  Clocks back one hour.

Friday, 7 February

The highlight of the day was simply trying to go through Australian Immigration, which was set up in Midships Lounge on 2 Deck.  The two largest restaurants were scheduled for 9-12 and the line snaked all around and back again for hours, so I waited till the last minute, only to be told the line was closed for lunch.  During the whole morning, after breakfast in the Lido with Margaret P. and an Australian lady, Mary from Perth, I settled in the stitching corner ahead of the Lees who had been nearly the first people to be checked into Australia.  I did more doll assembly between queue checks. 

Jean and I met for lunch in Mauretania, then we parted.  I read a book on Boat Deck before attending the movie for today, “Hope Floats” a tear jerker.  Tea in the Board Room with Perle and an American couple, followed by a brief shop check and return to Boat Deck on sunny side in the sunny, cooling breeze.  I returned to the cabin a little before six o’clock.

Noontime maritime navigation report:  Latitude 39º 33′ S;  Longitude 145036′ E – 406 nautical miles ESE of Cape Howe.  Compass 245º  23.5 Knots  Day run = 519 nautical miles 979 from Auckland and 568 to go.  Speed 23.5 knots  23.99 knots average.  Temp. 21º C, 70º F.  Sea same, wind 26 nautical miles NE Force 2 – 5 knots.  20 knots over the decks.  Slight seas and low swell.  

Lido dinner with Jean, then Lynsey Simon show.  Good soprano show biz!

Saturday, 8 February – Hobart, Tasmania

During breakfast with Betty from Scotland and Phyllis, we spied land to Starboard, which is a very high-cliffed island off the coast of Tasmania – with a tall white lighthouse.  Past that we turned more south past a river inlet and along the high and rolling coast.  I attended the Tasmania history lecture and when I emerged to Boat Deck after it, we were already well into the large Storm Bay surrounded by many forested and settled hills.  Sailboats were everywhere, enjoying the 60’s weather and us.  Tugs came out to meet us; pulled us 180º and pushed the rest of the way to the quay where a red-clad children’s choir was welcoming us in pre-recorded sound and their own voices.

I had a quick double dessert lunch in the Lido,; then went off to my tour to Port Arthur and Bush Mill steam train and wood mill.   This was a rather long ride along inlets, through dry rolling hills, farmland and gum tree forest.  The penal colony is vast and we wandered around a small part of it among ruined prison buildings, governor’s house, military barracks, the English garden and church and harbor vistas.  I bought a stuffed Tasmanian Devil.  On to Bush Mill for tea and small guage steam train ride among the tall gum tree forest.  Back through farmland outskirts, a low causeway and rising bridge across the Derwent River – viewing QE2 resplendent alongside the quay.  Tent shops were set up on the dock.

Dinner with Jean in the Lido, then we joined the Lees for a hilarious magic and comic show by Neal Austin.  Cabin by 10.

Sunday, 9 February

We left the dock in Hobart at 6:30, and headed out the River Derwent through Storm Bay before turning north back along the Tasmanian coast, past Port Arthur peninsula, Tasman Island with lighthouse cliff, through Bass Strait.  I was aware of our port turnings at 2 different times as I sat on Port Boat Deck right after breakfast.  Margaret Patterson joined me in the Lido.  Spent a little time with the Lees.  Margaret did my four cross stitches for the doll’s bodice, then I attended the Bush lecture. (Australian bush that is.)

At noon I went to 7 Deck at Stairway B for the “Frühschoppen” German lunch.  Didn’t want to stay there long, so after a few bites I retreated upward and joined Phyllis and the Zimmermans for a real lunch at the Mauretania.  Wandered a bit, checking the breeze over decks and finding it a little cool and windy, I watched the movie “Entrapment” with Sean Conry in Kuala Lumpur – the tall building.  Tea in the Board Room with Tony and Lorraine, then I talked with a man about France and QE2.  Beautifully clear with low swells and blue water.

John Duffy hosted his traditional cocktail party in the Yacht Club, where I finally caught up with Marjorie Cullen who has been on since Auckland and will disembark in Sydney.  I eventually migrated to the Lido to join Jean and Stanley at the aft corner table.  Marjorie came later and we four lingered in good conversation.  The Lido is being decorated for the Gala Buffet at 11:30. “Of Human Bondage” on TV.

I was prepared for star gazing and the midnight gala buffet, but fell asleep, so when I did awake after one o’clock I simply prepped for bed and slept through to daylight when we were already entering Melbourne channel.

Monday, 10 February – Melbourne, Australia.

QE2 was backed into her slip at the large ship dock. (“Welcome to
Melbourne” on the terminal roof.)  There was a jazz group to greet us.  Bus tour to Ballarat – Sovereign Hill and Animal zoo.  Saw the usual native animals.  The gold mining town reminds me of Old Tucson.  I noted the Cobb Coach Company – related to the Cobb brothers Elijah and Freeman Cobb from Brewster – They brought the Concord coach to Australia and to this day the company still operates under the name Cobb and Co.   I was back on board after 5 o’clock.

I went to Boat Deck to watch us depart and was rewarded with a fantastic tug pull – away sideways and slow acceleration forward with a perfect straight line with the two tall white line up light blinkers exactly in line.  Two loaded excursion boats kept pace on starboard and other smaller craft tacked and motored as best they could.  I took a photo of Kim and Capt. Warwick on the Bridge Wing, then passed by the nearly empty, breezy observation deck and down to Boat Deck from whence I heard the three very individually long farewell blasts!  The nearest excursion boat pitched in wake waves, wetting passengers who cheered when the boat whistled continually the three blasts..  When we were a few miles away, I ducked into the Board Room before attending tonight’s movie “The Importance of Being Ernest.”  When I emerged and looked out, we were still in a ceaseless channel and between islands and mainland.  Had dinner with Jean.  We then sat outside looking aft at Lido level watching the line-up beacons and various nautical lights as we continued past a large island and along a channel.  We all of a sudden realized the props had stopped and I suspect that the Pilot Boat was trying to keep up for pilot transfer.  We even altered course, presumably to lessen the wave action.  Eventually the pilot boat dropped back, and QE2 accelerated once more.  Met a gal named Gemma who lives in West Harwich.  Abel introduced us.  Am informed I will be required to get a Yellow Fever shot.  Ugh!

Upon looking at a Melbourne information book, I found a map, which explained the whole previous account of the long channel -marked route.  We were in Port Phillip Bay and emerged from a narrow opening at Point Lonsdale and the “Rip” into the Southern Ocean.  Glad I didn’t miss this!  All this took several hours.

Tuesday, 11 February

Had breakfast with Gemma from Cape Cod via Ireland.  Discussed the yellow fever controversy and wrote a note to John Duffy re: my protest.  Worked roses into the Cinderella doll ball gown – attended the talent show rehearsal, lunch with Jean in front of the Lilly pond mural – dressed for the show – sang “Old Mother Hubbard”  to amused clapping.  Tea with May and Doris.  Earlier I spent a little time on Boat Deck reading.

Doris called me to say a lady named Dolan wants to contact me.  Later in the evening we linked up by phone and she is a C.S.

Attended the movie “My Big Fat, Greek Wedding” then met Jean for Lido dinner.  We then caught the Lynsey Simon Show.  Said good-byes to Marjorie Cullen and Jean.  I then washed my hair.  Set the clock for five o’clock alarm and left the television on so I could see any beacons that would herald our approach to Sydney Harbor.