Sunday, 26 of March of 2023

2003 WC – Seychelles -New York, Part 5

2003 World Cruise – part 5

 Sunday, 23 March – Mahé, Seychelles.

The ship returned to anchor by seven AM.  Lido breakfast with Betty and Gemma.  I tried walking Boat Deck, but had to duck back for cool shelter, because of the tremendous humidity and heat.  Tin gave me a fruit punch in the Board Room, and then I joined the Lees for a short time, only to wander a bit more. 

The scene toward Mahé is beautiful with the main island and several small ones to the left and in perspective behind.  The four ships anchored appear in my final analysis, to be fishing boats off loading their fish to the refrigerated cargo ship.  Several smaller boats, 2 schooners, a catamaran and motor boats pass by.  Had lunch by the starboard windows with John and Joan plus Elaine Dickie, then we adjourned for the afternoon.  I went back to my cabin for a nap and preparation for the 4:40 church service.  During the service, in which our little choir sang, QE2 left Mahé.  When I emerged, I saw the islands beginning to recede into the humid atmosphere.

Rev. Uittenbosch asked me to meet him before dinner in the Crystal Bar to choose hymns, so I sang each one in question for him.  When one was chosen, I spent ten minutes in the Board Room before the movie “Remains of the Day.”  Dinner with Holly and Gemma, then attended the opera show “Randazzo Opera at Sea.”  Great job!   I went to the cabin at ten, where an email was waiting for me from Ann.

Monday, 24 March – South Indian Ocean.

The sea routine of very hot, steamy, clear weather goes on, and I am becoming less active.  However, I managed deck time way forward on starboard.  During most of that time, crew boat drill was going on, and the Filipino deck crews and boat crews were standing behind me waiting for orders.  The sun crept to my feet by eleven o’clock, so I went in, had a brief chat with Maria and the Lees, then I attended the lecture on Durban, which sounds a bit dangerous for unwary tourists.  Had a brief chat in the Board Room with Tony, and took the noonday position, briefing and retreated to the cabin till scheduled choir practice at 1:15.

Rehearsal went well and Marion, a Brit and the Australian couple joined me for lunch in the Mauretania.  I headed for the Lido then and had a long chat with Nancy Pelletier, who is again “among the living.”  Checked out another library book “The Floating Brothel!”  Oh yes, Nancy told me that Phyllis was late back to the pier and missed the last tender.  Calls were made and the last tender that hadn’t been raised yet, returned for her and she had to climb up a rope ladder.  Will quiz her later on.

Noon report: Lat. 12º4.7S; Long. 55º7.5E.  300 nautical miles northeast of Madagascar.  170º rum line at 24K, 500 nautical miles since Mahé @26.3K.  493 nautical miles to go to Réunion.  Temp. 32ºC; 90ºF; Wind ESE, Force 3 (8K), 30K over the deck.  Slight seas and low swell.

Ate at the Lido with the Bishops, then went to Boat Deck.  There was a very slight drizzle and lovely forward wind.  I sat a short while under #17 listening to the passing water.  Went to the cabin by 8:30, choosing to miss the show.

Tuesday, 25 March – Réunion.

The ship easily entered Le Port between the two small lighthouses on the jetties, and was slowly pushed parallel to the inner quay.  All was secure by 7:45.  I left via the Port B-C stairway on 4 deck and went directly to the one bus (73) for our tour to Cilaos – way up in the central volcanic mountains.  Cirque = Crater.  Gemma was the host and Mike and Rod joined us way back!  We drove along the western shoreline by lava and sandy beaches first to a Blowhole, then through St. Leu (Louis) up the river valley along the very curvy road of about 400 switchbacks.  The scenery was beyond spectacular, and the views back down the gorge and up and across to the mountains, peaks, tunnels, hamlets, defy adequate description!   Lunch in Cilaos at a chalet-type hotel dining room, a visit to a lace maker, and then back down the valley road – Fantabulous!!!!!   The final stop on the way home was at a lava flume formation, which causes the sea water to boil in and out.  We were back to the ship, near 5 o’clock.  I looked at the trinkets at the quayside, then retreated to my cabin.  Preparation for leaving started toward six o’clock.  I went to dinner at my table, and had an ice cream at the Lido, then retired to my cabin.  Clocks back one hour.

Wednesday, 26 March – Mauritius.

We eased between the breakwaters and slid to the quay portside, very close to the city of Port Louis.  My special Select Traveler tour commenced with three small subs.  We followed a busy itinerary on this order; 1. Citadel, 2.  Marie Reine, 3. Floréal to shop, 4. Extinct volcano – lush, 5. Grand Bassin sacred lake and Shiva temple, 6. Black River Gorges, 7. Lunch at the Domaine de Sainte Denis, 8. charmarel – waterfall, 9. Colored earth, tortoise and 10.  Central Plateau and along shore back to Port Louis by five o’clock.  I bought a couple of dodo souvenirs.

The ship is delayed till nearly eight o’clock, because of late plane arrivals.  The gangway was on 5 Deck C stairway.  This morning it was at 4 Deck. 

I shared dinner with Lilian and Tim in the Lido.  Tim didn’t have time to go through the line, so I gave him my salad and he asked for Lilian’s potato!  Naturally we obliged!  I then went on deck and realized the ship was about to cast off, so I remained on the bow to watch the tugs pull her away from the pier and commence the pivoting turn around on the bow.  The bow tug slackened and stood by, then pushed as the stern was continually pulled out and the bow pivoted as it slid by her own 963 foot length to an anchored ship across the harbor.  Then she headed slowly out between red on starboard and green to port – tooting three plus one as she departed the harbor.  Lovely mild, gentle breezy evening.  I went directly to the cabin by 9 o’clock.  Clocks back one hour.

Thursday, 27 March.

Beautiful, comfortable morning on deck, boat #3 from 9-11, reading and enjoying the beautiful blue, sparkling ocean.  At eleven I retreated from the creeping sun, and spent an hour talking with Perle in the Board Room.  Lunch in the Lido after the navigation information – with the Lees.  Lat. 23º43’S; Long. 51º37.3E.  210 nautical miles west of Madagascar.  Direction rum line 241º at 24.5K.  397 nautical miles from Port Louis, 25K.

Temp. 30ºC – 86ºF.  Wind ENE; Force 4 (12K), same over the deck.  Following, moderate seas and light quartering swell.

Choir at 1:15 had been cancelled because the concert pianist was practicing.  Cashed $60 worth for South African Rand. 

Watched the Theatre movie “High Crimes” then went to Crystal Bar to present my earring case pattern, but when Elaine wasn’t there, I left the pattern with Margaret and departed.  Bought a video for Trevor Jones. Chatted in the Golden Lion Pub with Nelte, then returned to the cabin.

Dinner with my table companions.  Long sit and chat with the Lees – Maria and later Frank.  Randazzo Opera scenes.  They are great!  Piano recital by Allen Schiller in the Theatre.  Late to bed – almost midnight, as I organized for my Trevor Jones visit on Saturday.

Friday, 28 March.

This was another glorious day after an early morning of rain.  Our breakfast table in Mauretania was a lively spot with all places filled and political discussion.  I then went forward on Boat Deck to sit in a 30-knot forward wind.  Stayed there from nine till eleven, then I attended the safari talk, and joined the Lees for lunch after the noon navigation report.

Lat. 28ºS; Long. 40º4’ E. 260 nautical miles southwest of Madigascar.  Direction 257º,  28K  644 nautical miles @26.8K. 1,041 from Mauritius at 26.1 with 520 to go.  Wind S at Force 4(13K), over deck, 30K; moderate seas and long moderate swell.

Had choir rehearsal at 1:15.  Randazzo Opera – “Merry Widow”.  Met with Virginia in Yacht Club and we talked an hour or so outside YC then in Lido with Gemma.  Attended a show and piano recital.  Chatted with John and wife from Glasgow.  Bed by 11.  Clocks back an hour

Toward midnight Phyllis called me from her temporary cabin, 1008.  This was right across the small hallway from 1012 which Aunt Audrey and I had in 1987.  Phyllis’ cabin floor was hot because of a stream pipe bursting.  Several of us went to check out the cabin, which is a Princess Grill cabin and quite posh!

Saturday, 29 March – Durban, South Africa.

I was up in time to see QE2 ease by the jetties with crowds of people to greet her.  I held up my old QE2 Cunard scarf all along the way.  When the ship eased sideways to her quay, the “Saga Rose” was ahead of us.  A Zulu troop was dancing below on the quay at the terminal entrance.  I went ashore a bit past 8 and joined the long queue for screening in the terminal.  I asked for Pat Bukes, the Terminal Manager, who phoned Trevor Lloyd-Jones for me.  We set a time 2:30 to meet at the Royal Hotel, so I took the shuttle bus to Gateway Mall.  Virginia waylaid me to join her and a banker, and local resident, Mark Wenning, who kindly drove us north to see residential areas and shore-side resorts.  We treated him to lunch, and he drove us back to the Royal Hotel by 2:30.  Trevor then picked me up and showed me all over the port and the University.  We watched the departure of “Saga Rose” from the jetties, then returned to QE2.  Great day!  Fabulous shopping in the Terminal. Called Ann and Geoff.

I had Dinner in the Lido with Danny Walton, an entertainer from London.  Zulu show in the Lounge and late night Horlicks with Mike and Marion.  Harbor lights on deck, a beautiful 360º sight, including the lit-up harbor tower.  Located the Southern Cross for sure.  Alpha and Beta Centauri are the pointer stars directly toward 3 bright crux stars and one lesser magnitude star.

Sunday, 30 March – Durban.

Virginia phoned me right after seven o’clock, suggesting we try to go to church, which we did by taxi to Greyville.  Afterward, Ed and Sarah Goltman drove us to Mitchell Botanic Gardens where we had tea and scones.  We then headed north to Kloof where they showed us the C.S. care facility (fabulous view), and the church.  Back in town we drove by the former church building in a black area.  Here we experienced a potentially dangerous incident.  As Ed slowed and pulled partially into a parking spot, Virginia prepared to take a photo from inside the car.  A black man came to the driver’s door and opened it.  Ed quickly grabbed it back and shut it while I reached to lock the other car doors.  It didn’t end here.  Ed started very slowly to pull away, but another black man was placed in front of the car and Ed carefully continued to ease away till the man finally had to back away.  We were all a little disturbed, and Sarah asked that we return to the ship so she can return home.  Consequently we were back at the ship by 2:30.

The choir sang at the 4:30 on board church service.  The pianist didn’t show up, so I played the hymns and filled in during the communion. 

The major excitement of the day was our departure.  Hundreds, and maybe thousands of people gathered as close to the terminal and quay as allowed, to watch us be pulled parallel by tugs away from the quay in fading daylight.  Many boats, from a rowboat, small sailing craft, motor boats, launches, booze cruise etc. waited while we turned around by bow pivot, till it was completely dark and boats had their lights on.  All around the large harbor, lights twinkled as we slowly built forward momentum.  The tugs followed at the ready.  One on port almost got squeezed between our port side and a caisson.  QE2 hooted her three – twice, one as the turn was completing and once at the jetty channel.  Hundreds of people cheered and waved as we passed by, then the crowning thrill was when the Durban port helicopter came up, hovered, moved over the bow and lifted the Pilot off in great style.  It lifted again, went backwards away from the ship, then turned back to the port landing.  I had seen the helicopter close to us on its landing pad earlier.  Green and white.  I noted the lit-up charm of the new harbor beacon.  I truly have a special feeling for this harbor.  I assume Trevor was there, and maybe Mark.

Went to dinner alone in the Lido.  Danny Walton’s show was very good.  He was the first lead in West End production of Fame.  Was in the cabin by 10.

Monday, 31 March.

The day started with winds and rain, with rough seas, but as the day progressed, the sun broke through.  I had breakfast with my tablemates, then briefly joined the Lees and left Trevor’s monograph for them to peruse.  I met Virginia in the library.  Since the crew Boat Drill was about to commence, we headed out and stopped at D stairway to discuss the incident yesterday.  We then parted and I headed to the Board Room where Tony and I compared our activities in Durban.  While there, all the Fire Doors were closed from the bridge and it was up to the local crew to open them.  Apparently something was amiss, because when I was ready to leave the Board Room, the fire door outside it was still closed.  Warren tried to open it like an elevator door, but he needed help of another crewmember.  We were eventually able to cross that threshold and I went to register for the talent show.  After rehearsing “A Capital Ship” with Phil, I departed through the practice rooms. 

Lunch with the Lees.  Choir practice was a fizzle.   Talent show at three o’clock.  Several singers.  My song was amusing!  Each woman received a beautiful Cunard collapsible umbrella!

Dinner at my table, included formal photos because this was Valerie’s last dinner all together with us.  She leaves at Cape Town.  Randazzo Opera:  La Boheme, Sampson and Faust.  Trevor’s cocktail party in Queens Room with the African decorations of giraffes, shields, jungle vines overhead and balloons.  The new ship will be named “Queen Victoria”

A new 2,060-foot ship will be built!  300,000 megatons, due 2007.  QM2 is 150,000 ton.  Keel to funnel 474 feet (32 decks).  OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPPSSSSSS!

April Fool!!!!!!! A little bit ahead of the day!

Navigational Information for March 31: Lat. 34º 17.1S, Long. 25º1.5E 15 nautical miles south of Port Elizabeth.  256 nm from Durban @23Knots, 409 nautical miles to go at 24.1K   21ºC, 70ºF   Wind Southwest at Force 5 (20K) 45K over deck.  Moderate seas, and moderate swell.

Tuesday, 1 April – Cape Town.

I watched our approach by early sunup as we drew in toward the harbor with Table Mountain off our Starboard beam.  Clear and bright.  The pilot boat came speeding to us as we waited, then we picked up slow speed and turned straight on toward the narrow double jetty entrance to the harbor.  Two tugs came out to meet us and escorted us up to the inner harbor and to the long empty space at the far corner.  Two oil rigs were towering at the far north end.

Took the Table Mountain and city tour, and returned for late lunch with Betty.  Spent a couple of hours on Port Boat Deck watching wood loading and girder piles.  Cabin time after a quick glide through Lido etc. and Board Room for a snack.  Dinner with my table mates minus the 2 Margarets.  Marvin Hamlish concert; a one night stand!  A swing around Boat Deck to view the lovely harbor lights.  There is a cricket inside one of the rope ladder covers.

Wednesday, 2 April – Cape Town.

We spent the night in harbor.  My bow picture showed lights and mist blowing by.  Dawn comes after seven o’clock here.  Had a brief breakfast with Frank and Maria, then we all headed forth on Peter Garland’s Fun Charity Tour to places all over the Cape, including Hout Bay (seals), Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Kalk Bay (fishing), fabulous large fish lunch, penguins, Scratch Patch, Cape Point etc. ending at Signal Hill for twilight finger food and champagne.   Back at QE2, I had only ice cream, then decided to call it a day since the local show was on for 9:45, too late for me.

Thursday, 3 April – Cape Town

After my breakfast in  Mauritania, I went to the Lido in search of Valerie to no avail.  I paced here and there through Queens Room as all the disembarking people gathered.  I went to the Victoria and Alfred shopping area on the shuttle bus and came across Valerie twice there, so we said proper good-byes.  I wandered for a couple of hours, then returned to the ship for lunch – at Caronia, the Mauretania being closed!  Virginia came to extract me for a Reading Room visit, but I refused.  Spent time on Boat Deck looking toward Cape Town, then watched containers being off-loaded from “Louis Pasteur” cargo ship and chated with Frank.  Up to 800 are embarking!

I was on deck for our departure, and nothing was happening.  We were delayed at first because some new passengers hadn’t completed the required paper work, then after dinner, (at which we have gained Mark and Ida, from South Africa to England respectively), the Captain announced the Southeast wind was too strong to take us out between the jetties safely (55 mph gusts).  Tugs couldn’t handle our weight when blown. 

The show was painful and harsh.  Chatted with Marion Morgan and Stanley before checking the wind and retiring.  We still can’t leave.

Friday, 4 April.

I saw us leave around six o’clock as I gazed at the television.  We were pulled out of our space backwards, then turned toward the narrow channel entrance.  Slight rocking soon thereafter.  Had breakfast at my table with Mike, Rosemary, Perle, Vernon and Scott.  Although the weather was brisk and windy, I got my windbreaker and spent an hour or so on deck, Port side, reading and getting progressively colder.  Checked in with the Lees briefly, then went to the author’s talks at eleven with Virginia.  Again I tried to read on deck till the noon whistle and report.  A plane flew by at port deck level.  Lunch with Virginia at our table.  A cappella choir rehearsal 1:15.  More deck time after lime pie and the Lido. Movie:  “Men of Honor,” followed by dinner on my own at the Lido.

Saturday, 5 April – Walvis Bay, Namibia.

I was awakened early when the watertight doors closed around five o’clock.  When light came, I could see we had fog, and upon emerging, the fog was very thick.  This continued as we steamed ahead and eventually slowed way down for the channel.  Chatted with the Lees as the buoys slowly passed by, numbers rising.  Jannie found me there and we hugged in greeting, then caught up on all the news.  We by-passed our dock in the fog so had to back up a lot for us to settle into the long outer space for us near moored little boats.    The fog finally cleared up around noon as Jannie and I had lunch in the Pavilion.

My tour to the desert took us (19 four wheel drive vehicles) to the Namib Desert among salt basins, sand dunes, (vehicles stuck) and finally a long drive to the Topnaar people village and a demonstration of the NARA melon, plus their poor way of life.

We left the dock a little after six o’clock, with us being pulled sideways by two blue tugs, and a simple forward motion toward the channel.  Dinner at my table, then Jannie and I joined the Lees for an insipid magic show.  The concert was a baritone and piano duo.  Camomile tea with Jannie, then a quick check out back and bed.  Clocks back one hour 

Sunday, 6 April.

Had breakfast with Hans and wife in the Lido, after practicing the piano in the Yacht Club.

I then attended and directed the choir at the church service in the Theatre.  I also shopped and spent time on Boat Deck reading in the lovely cool air.

The noon information: Lat. 20º 35.1’S Long. 07º52.3E: 265 nautical miles west of Africa. 290º rhumb line direction: 23ºC, 70ºF @ 21.8K Wind: SSE Force 3 (9K). Slight seas and light swell.

Lunch at my table with Mark, Bishops, Virginia, Perle, Marion and Rosemary.  I slept all afternoon.  Allen, my steward, walked me to the A lift and delivered me to the Captain’s quarters for the cocktail party.  Virginia looks great in her newly clipped, short hair and slim black gown.  Rosemary, Betty, Rod and others were there.  Captain Wright is very personable, and we talked about nautical things.  He has read part of “QE2 is Missing.” I was escorted to my place next to the Captain by Muredoch!  Fantastic dinner!  We were done at nearly 10:30.  Saw “Notting Hill” till midnight.  Deck time in between.

Monday, 7 April – At Sea

Cloudy, but pleasant on deck.  I contacted Rev. Hans re: choir, then headed to Boat Deck for an hour or more, conversing with a lady next to me.  Two very tired and ill birds were resting close to the wall.  Talked about landmarks from Cape Town to Lisbon.  Lat. 17ºS, Long. 0.31º West, nearly on the Prime Meridian!  700 nautical miles west of Africa – 290º rhumb line at 21 knots.  507 nautical miles from Walvis Bay. 322 nautical miles to go to St. Helena.  Temp 25ºC. – 77ºF.  Slight seas and light swell.  Very smooth.

Had lunch with Phyllis, the Zimmermans and Phil Hayes.  I typed Phyllis’ journal on the computer while Phil slept and read.  Had my own nap.  Movie:  “Possession” – Lido with Diane Spaziani and a show.  Clocks Back One Hour.  We are now on Greenwhich Mean Time – GMT

Rhumb line is a line on the surface of the earth that follows a single compass bearing and makes equal oblique angles with all meridians.

Tuesday, 8 April – St. Helena

We anchored in the dark.  The island glowed in dawn colors and was revealed in green valleys and sparce mountain vegetation.  It took me till 11:15 to board the tender for the 15 minute ride through moored boats to the landing stage.  I walked up the main street for views back toward the ocean over the houses. The hospital is at the top of this main street.  On the way up I went into the castle gardens for a look at the lovely blooming flowers everywhere, and occasionally I admired the various churches and pastel buildings along the way.  The people seem very friendly.  When I returned to the main square where the big hotel and veranda was accommodating  several QE2 people, I went into a grocery store for a look.  Upon spotting Mars bars, I decided to spend my English money for one of them.  I returned to the ship after a short ascent up Jacob’s Ladder toward one o’clock.

The afternoon was spent on Boat Deck reading and gazing shoreward, eventually linking up with the Lees on port, then Jannie after four o’clock.  We pulled away northward at the end of the day, with 3 blasts of the ship’s whistle.  Watched the sail away dancers.

Dinner in the Mauretania was with the usual people.  I sat a long time with Jannie in the Grand Lounge waiting for the Crew Show.  Vernon joined us.  Jeff Canono sang with his group and danced as well.  There were great acts all around!

Wednesday, 9 April – At Sea

I shared breakfast at my table with the usual suspects and there was much jollity.  Had lunch there too.  I attended Marian Davies’ round table discussion with all of her student and professional performers.  I also sold raffle tickets for the Cinderella doll alongside a couple from South Africa who was selling tickets for a very tall carved giraffe and 2 other carvings.

At noon I was on Observation Deck and heard the whistle very loudly.  I also sat in a cool spot on Boat Deck.  Lat. 8º23.9’S: Long. 9º20’W.  Rhumb line 335º at 27 knots. 495 nautical miles from St. Helena @26.5knots. 2,346 nautical miles to go to Teneriffe.  Temp. 28ºC and 82ºF.  Wind: Force 4 (13K): 15K over decks.  Moderate seas and low swell.  Movie:  “Cookie’s Fortune”  Lido dinner – Italian menu.  Was in the cabin by 9 o’clock.

Thursday, 10 April – At Sea

This was Country Fair Day!  We crossed the Equator for the last time today.  Noon report:  Lat. 1º11.5;North:  13º49.1 West.  316 nautical miles southwest of Monrovia. 335º direction, 26Knotsw.  636 nautical miles since yesterday @26.5K. 1,131 nautical miles from St. Helena @29.5K.  1,710 nautical miles to go to Tenerife.  Temp. 29.5ºC: 85ºF. SSE wind Force 3, (6 knots).  20Knots over decks.  Light sea, moderate swell.  Storms north of the Canaries. 

Choir rehearsal in parts.  Sold raffle tickets, decorated and served at the Fair.  Donna Hartstone won the doll.  Lots of booths and raffles.  We were through after five o’clock.  About &75 collected for the doll raffle.

Dinner at my table.  Sat with Jannie for the magic show, then the Baritone recital.  William Allenby.  Clocks ahead one hour.

Friday, 11 April – At Sea

Today was surprisingly cool and windy.  I went on deck after my usual dining room breakfast, and settled on a deck chair with a towel on my shoulders for warmth – less than an hour, when I went to the shops and bought a skirt on sale.  At eleven, I attended Marian Davies’ lecture on Callas, then Stewart Winslow’s talk on Cunard, using his stamp collection. 

Had lunch with Phyllis and Phil, then typed her journal into Phil’s computer.  Slept the rest of the afternoon, then went to the movie “Sweet Home Alabama”   Lido dinner and the show with Jannie.  Margaret Lee helped me send an email to Louy.

Noon Report:  10º22.6’N, Long. 18ºW. 250 nm south of Dakar.  Steering due north 0º at 16.5k. 607 nautical miles since yesterday, 1,738 nm from St. Helena. 1,103 nm to go.  Temp. 23ºC, 73ºF.  Wind: NNW Force 4, (14knots) over deck 42K.  Moderate seas and swells.

Saturday, 12 April – At Sea

After breakfast at my table with the gathering friends (in early morning sun shining through),  I headed for the Boat Deck (clear, cool and windy) and settled on starboard under boat 13 with the chaise facing away from the water.  I remained here till eleven, reading and retrieving other people’s flying papers.  At eleven, I heard Marian Davies’ talk about Benny Hill.  Sat with Eric.  Back to Boat Deck – same chair until after the noonday very long whistle and navigational report. Lat. 20º35’N.  Long. 18º1’ West – Off Mauritania coast.  Compass 0º (N) 25K speed.  613 nautical miles since yesterday at 15.6 K.  2,351 nautical miles from St. Helena (36.3K) to go 405 nautical miles.  Temp. 18.5ºC, 70ºF.  Wind N, Force 5, 20K.  Over deck, 40K moderate seas and moderate swell.  Storm coming East from Mid-Atlantic. – F9 gales.  We may have to skip Madiera.

Lunch with Phyllis and Phil, followed again by more computer journal typing.

I dressed in my Hong Kong formal for dinner and the World Cruise cocktail party.  Happy greetings with Captain Wright, Ian McNaught, John Duffy and other officers.  Sat with the Lees on the opened up port side and chatted with Jannie and the Zimmmermans respectively.  After the Captain’s humorous remarks regarding his right to decide where the ship goes, (á propos of the itinerary change), and presentation of the Staff Captain Ian McNaught,  the Lees and I left for the movie “1 Hour Photo”.  Because of a storm heading Eastward toward Madiera, we will not call there, but will instead head for Vigo, Spain.

When I returned to my cabin to decorate my hat for the Garden Party Parade (which I ultimately didn’t attend) I found a lovely Wedgewood teapot with Cunard Logo on it.  Now that’s classy!

Sunday, 13 April – Tenerife

At 6:40 the watertight doors closed.  The ship slowly eased into the harbor, deliberately creeping toward the long outer quay with two cruise ships, “Topaz” (formerly “Empress of Britain”) and “A’rosa-Blu” (a huge ugly top-heavy P&O ship).  We nosed close to “Topaz’s” bow and were pushed sideways.  Gangway 5 Deck Port – C stairway.  My tour – Pyramids and Candelaria.

Back on board, I had a Lido lunch then sat on Boat Deck, dockside reading till 3:30 in cool sun and wind.  Church and choir at 4:30.  Thanks all around.   VIRGINIA’S BIRTHDAY.

We were delayed leaving because of bunkering from a huge ‘tanker.”  During dinner around seven o’clock we backed out of the harbor into the Atlantic and eventually turned around in reverse till we could go forward and around Tenerife island.  The seas and wind gradually picked up as we emerged from the lee of the island and the Jazz players played, braced against the rolling.  Surfaces cleared against dropping.

Monday, 14 April – At Sea

When dawn came and the bow picture was visible, I could see substantial spray occasionally sweeping over the bow!  The ship tossed all night.  I headed for fantail deck to watch the ups and downs of the stern and water churning in the stormy waves.  I ate two muffins while sitting aft, then went up to Boat Deck, where I walked against the wind to far forward, where I hung over the rails to watch the deep swells and waves with white foam from the ship’s water-slicing.  Attended the charity auction in Grand Lounge.  Sat out some more in clear weather, then heard Marian Davies’ talk on music.  Noon report:  Lat. 34º3’N:  Long. 41.3ºW.  Very long noon whistle.  187 nautical miles northeast of Santo  Madiera, Compass 022º, 26K – 410 nautical miles since yesterday, 500 nautical miles to go.  Temp 16ºC, 61ºF Wind NW Force 7, 30K.  50K over deck, rough seas, very heavy swells.

Earlier a man told me his closet doors came off their hinges and the safe spilled out.  Lunch at my table.  All afternoon, napping and watching the bow waves and spray up to the bridge window!  Rough!!!   (See Jan.22) Same.  The rains came as well!  Lido dinner, then the 3 Irish Tenors and Dierdre – GREAT!  Madrigals and catches in the Theatre by 3 crew – Medical Officer, Electronics Officer, and Publics Rooms Officer. OK!?  Clocks ahead one hour.

Tuesday, 15 April, Vigo, Spain

We eased to the long quay a little after eight o’clock, when Virginia arrived.  I was finished eating but stayed with everyone.  Spent an hour or so on Boat Deck while the crew drills were taking place.  All the Port lifeboats were out on their davits for the drill. Had lunch with Virginia, then said our good-byes, since she is leaving today, and will be spending time in Europe till August!  She gave me her World Cruise jewelry box, which I am thrilled to have.

Tour to La Toja, Cambados, a manor house and two churches.  Graneries.  Back by 6:30 and we set off shortly thereafter.  We were turned around 180º then sedately headed out the Bay, past the many shellfish platforms, past two lighthouse points to starboard and northward toward our destination – Southampton. Had my dinner alone in the Lido, then sat with the Lees and Jannie for the show by Allen Stewart.  Recital by William Allenby: Victorian songs.

Wednesday, 16 April – Bay of Biscay!

Smooth, comfortable sailing, pleasant on deck.  Lectures on Grace Kelly, English Historical cities.  Talent Show.  Tea in Board Room with Phil Hayes.  Lido closed!

Last show with the Lees and Jannie.  3 Irish Tenors, Irish dancers.  Coral – slinky red, Trevor – Evita and a cleaning lady.  Milk and tea with Jannie.  Full moon and cool outside.  Emails from Ann and Virginia.

Thursday, 17 April – Southampton, UK

We were dockside just before 7 o’clock.  Beautiful sunny, warm day.  Took the train to Portsmouth to meet Louy Lative, who showed me all over the harbour, including a boat tour.  Saw the “Mary Rose, “”Victory” and “HMS Warrior” – all vintage square-riggers.  Back to Southampton in his borrowed car.  We stopped at an aviation museum, and a pub with ship photos.  Louy delivered me to the ship by 4:30.  Left the dock and went down the Solent and around the outer side of the Isle of Wight. Only Dorothy and I are left, but we gained John and daughter Sue from Yorkshire, Leigh, Paul and Hugh.  Turned in early.  Clocks back one hour.

Friday, 18 April, At Sea

Good sailing.  Practiced piano before breakfast, then played for the Good Friday service at nine o’clock.  Time in the Board Room etc.  Lunch with Phyllis and Phil, then typed more for Phyllis.  Lat. 49º26.1’N; Long. 11º2.1’W. 120 nautical miles Mizenhead, Eire.  Heading great circle course 266º 24.5K.  402 nm 23.4K, 2,800 nautical miles to go.  14ºC – 57ºF.  Wind NE Force 4, 10k , 15K over decks.  Slight seas, moderate quarterly swell.

Movie “The Good Girl”.  Lido supper.  Caught a bit of the show, not my interest.  To cabin to read and organize my stuff.  Clocks back an hour.

Saturday, 19 April – At Sea.

Met Helen at the Yacht Club at 7:15 for solo rehearsal.  The early clouds and sprinkles gave way to sunshine, but by noon the clouds had returned.  Breakfast with Rosemary, Perle plus and man from Toronto and a couple from LA.  Attended Ted Scull’s talk on Liner Odyssey, then introduced myself as a linerlister.  Also saw him and his wife in the balcony the next hour when attending the lecture on the history of the Buckingham Palace site.  Gielgud lecture.  Lunch with Phyllis and Phil, then typed for two hours for her. 

The Captain says tomorrow will be rough.  Noon report: Lat. 47º39.1’ N.  Long. 26º3.3’W: 500 nautical miles north of the Azores.  Great Circle, 254º at 25.5knots.  623 nm since noon yesterday: 1,025 nm (24.3K) 2,177 nautical miles to go.  Temp 13ºC – 66ºF.  Southeast by East, Force 4 at 13K over the deck 30 K.  Slight seas: moderate swell.

Perle helped me send an email to Virginia.  5:30 Announcement from Officer of the Watch.  Hold on: extra care on stairs: secure items and doors, etc. “We don’t expect it to be too severe.”  Skipping the Captain’s cocktail party. 78-m big list to Port as we fight strong starboard winds and 21 foot waves.  Several Priority One calls! 

My new steward is Manolo!  Had dinner in the Lido with Paul (Toronto). Tables lurching and food flying.  The ship listed to Port traveling in wave troughs, rising and falling but little pitching.  Sat by starboard windows in Grand Lounge during the show, watching the foam and spew a long time.  Things in the cabin are slipping on the floor and across the bureau.  Fun!

 Sunday, 20 April – Easter

The weather has calmed down to clear and cold and brisk.  Breakfast with Perle and Rosemary, then the Protestant church service at which I sang a solo.  A crew group also sang.  I tried a short, cool time on deck, then read a while at the Grand Lounge, while facing the window scene of ocean.  Found an Easter basket on my dresser, 1. A rabbit, 2. Jelly beans and 3. Two eggs!  Also Phyllis gave me an Easter card.

Had lunch with Faith and Wendell in the Mauretania with Jack.  I spent a short time at three o’clock listening to a Cabaret singer, but soon left!  Packed more stuff.  Noon Report: Lat. 44º23.3’N: Long. 39º17.5’W; 580 nautical miles East of Cape Race, Newfoundland.  Compass reading, 245º True @ 24.5 K.  567 nautical miles since yesterday @23.6K – gone 1,592 nautical miles from Southampton with 1,610 to go: The sea has flattened to nothing.  Movie:  “Blood Work” – Watched a short bit of the “Can’t Stop the Music,” then returned to my cabin.

Priority One = Medical.  Priority 2 = plumbing.  Clocks back one hour.

Monday, 21 April.

It has been cloudy most of the day with rough seas, but there is little movement.  Breakfast and lunch with Rosemary and Perle, plus the Steamship expert and Scott.  Attended three lectures, Judi Dench, The Broadway Show, and Ted Scull’s Ocean Liner Art.  Gave him the Cheevers log and lent him Trevor Jones’ monograph on Durban Harbor.  Finished Phyllis’ journal on the computer and then she took me to the Library to choose a gift book:  “Warrior Queens” I then chatted with Ted outside the Library and there met Richard Smith for tea – which we shared with Nelty and Paul in the Lido.  Richard is very young – from Bristol.

Noon Report: Lat. 40º55.5’N; Long. 51º49.2’W; 40 nautical miles south of Titanic.  “Sea Smoke” (mist), 279 Knots since yesterday, 605 nautical miles @ 24.2K.  Since Southampton, 2,197 nautical miles.  1,005 to go.  Temp. 16.5ºC; 62ºF – Wind: E @ Force 6, 24K.  5K over the deck.  Rough seas, moderate swell. 

Had dinner at my table with John, Sue, Hugh, Dorothy and Leigh.  Baked Alaska parade and Auld Lang Syne.

Attended the Shirley Jones concert, which was well done.  She can belt it out as well as sing quietly.   Peeked in to see the Red, white and blue Ball.  Nansea Pelletier was beautifully dolled up in those colors.  Had a Horlicks with Gemma and Mary Mastony.  Clocks back an hour.

Tuesday, 22 April.

Awoke very early again.  Emerged for breakfast at eight o’clock and on the way to the dining room, I heard the fog horn – it is foggy.  Ate with Perle and Rosemary plus the two English ladies.  At ten o’clock I attended the talent show rehearsal.  “Oh Sleep” Next, I attended Ted’s talk on the evolution of New York and then the talk on Peter Ustinov.  Bought the Dench biography. Had lunch at the Lido with Lorraine and Tony.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Shirley Jones interview, followed by the Talent Show.  Both Mary Mastony and I did the last of our respective song collections, she in her frills and bouquet of roses, and I in plain dress!

Noon Report: Lat. 40º38.6’N: Long. 65º03.1’ W; Cape Race is 70 nautical miles north of here.  606 nm since yesterday, 24.2Knots.  Wind ESE at Force 4, 12K.  13.5ºC; 56ºF.  

Had dinner with Leigh, Dorothy, Hugh, John and Sue – photo.  Last visit to the Board Room.  Said my goodbye to Maria and Frank.  Movie:  “The Importance of Being Ernest.”  Clocks back one hour.

Wednesday, 23 April – New York Harbor

I was awake a little before four o’clock and shortly after, the watertight door hissed to a close.  I went on deck (very chilly and dark) to watch the pilot boat deliver the pilot.  2 Marshalls and eventually the immigration officials came in three boats.  The skyline was lit up as was the Verrazano Bridge, which we eventually went under toward six o’clock, to the tune of Ted Scull’s narration.  The distance between bridge and funnel top is 30 or so feet, but it looks spectacular during the pass-under!  I did my passport inspection at 6:30 (the line snaked clear around the Lido), then headed for Mauretania for breakfast and farewells at seven o’clock.  By this time we were docked, and I missed it all.  Cleared out my cabin and plunked my heavy stuff in the Chart Room. I didn’t need to do the customs.  Disembarked by ten thirty and claimed my stuff.   Arrived home by 6:30 PM.