Thursday, 23 of November of 2017

2007 World Cruise – Part 1

QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 

25TH WORLD CRUISE

JANUARY 8 – APRIL 27, 2007

CABIN 5145

Monday, 8 January, 2007 – New York Harbor

After a very wakeful night in anticipation and delayed flight to LaGuardia, I managed to pull my two bags in tandem to the Cunard pick-up bus.  Using the Platinum check-in line and immediate assistance, I was on my way up the gangway to Queen Elizabeth 2, which by the way looks grand in her new coat of white and black paint.  Before entering at Midships Lounge, we had to sanitize our hands!  O what is new?

A steward took my bags to assist, but since he waited for the lift I went on down E stairway, turned aft and was immediately at the side alley with cabin 5145 the first cabin to the left.  It later turned out that Margaret and Eric Lee are in 5153 very near me.  The first familiar face was Gronya from two years ago.

I attended the Lifeboat drill in the Golden Lion Pub, where I met Suzy from the Crèche.  I spotted the PEKING at Pier 17 across the water at the South Street Seaport Museum, and when I expressed excitement, Suzy came over to see what it was all about.  I told her about Irving Johnson and his experience and filming of his voyage on this square-rigger around the Horn.  She kept coming back to me during the drill.  On the way downward, I remembered I had left my handbag in the Pub, so I returned and learned that someone had taken it to the Purser’s office.  I met Stephanie and Edith on the way, and it was a happy reunion.

Among the further re-acquaintances were Evelyn, Doris  McKeller, Marguerite, the Lees, Lillian, and I called on Diane Hertlein in cabin 1001.  Lillian gave me one of her new toothbrushes when I discovered I had forgotten one!

The ship was delayed because of the Coast Guard inspection, so it was after dinner when we left the pier.  Dinner was pleasant with a British couple, Ted and Linda, a dance Host, Jim, and two others traveling singles, Connie and Tom.  By the time I returned to the cabin it was after eight o’clock and I saw the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge pass over the bow – on the TV.  It is rather noisy in the cabin – especially as the engines rev up.  I guess I have been spoiled by the quietness of QM2!  The vibrations feel up and down instead of sideways.

Tuesday, 9 January.

There is very little ship motion.  I settled in more by re-arranging my stuff and putting up the world map and Cunard scarves.  Home decorations!  Mary Mastony invited me to join her by the window in Omar’s section of the Mauretania Restaurant when I went to breakfast.  Mary is the notorious QE2 Diva!  Omar recognized me and why not?  Eric and Margaret Lee were also there and they gave me the marvelous “Ships” magazine, which I took to Port Queens Room to save seats for them.  The smoking section has been reverse from Portside to Starboard!  Gisele came by, and when the Lees arrived I wandered hither and yon, meeting up with Terry Waite, and Perle Coles (at the singles coffee in the Lido aft).  There was no easy access to a chair so I crawled under the tables to an empty one.

It is a bit brisk on deck with a 30-knot wind.  Captain Ian McNaught filled us in on departure time last night.  The Pilot left us at 9:15 p.m. and at nine o’clock this morning we were off Cape Hateras.  The seas are slight and the water temperature is 22˚C – in the Gulf Stream I presume.  Our direction is 108˚ Rhumb Line.  There was so much noise at the Singles coffee, I missed the other noon details. 

The three-piece QE2 Tapestry is back at Boat Deck E Stairway landing – all repaired.

I shared a delightful spaghetti lunch with Australia Valerie (Bennett) and her friend Molly in the Mauretania restaurant, where I checked in with Carmella, the new hostess.  YoYo is now a cruise saleswoman.  By the way, I have booked for the next World Cruise, which will do the Pacific Rim and join up with Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 for the dramatic triple tandem from New York to Fort Lauderdale! 

I attended the lecture on “Making the Titanic” by Jon Hollis.  The video was very interesting, showing the blending of actual films and technical effects.  I also saw the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada” with Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. 

It is still nippy outside, but the sky is that cool sunset appearance of grey-blues and pinky hints.  I gave the gift Champagne to the Lees.  Their cabin is 5153, just like mine with a stool.  We had a different dance host at dinner and Beryl arrived – only her 3rd World Cruise.  She is from the island of Jersey.

I chatted a bit with Lillian and the Lees and left them for the balcony to watch the show, so I could leave when I wanted to.  I did leave after two numbers to return “home,” shower and head for bed.  My shower drain is very slow so will have to ask for a plunger treatment.

Wednesday, 10 January – Fort Lauderdale.

We were docked by eight o’clock after having nosed in parallel to Queen Mary 2 at her quay, and pivoting 90˚ on the bow to tie up nose to nose!  I got some great footage of the process.  Many acquaintances came by to chat during and after the process including Gisele, Stephanie and Edith, Margaret and tablemates Linda and Ted.  The rest of the morning I observed the food loading process, sat on Boat Deck, which has new lovely heavy wooden chairs, and did some reading.

The Caronia Restaurant was open to us plebeians so I joined Stephanie and Edith by a window in there, facing Queen Mary 2.  They will be at Captain McNaught’s table for the rest of their cruise to LA.

I spent the afternoon on Port Boat Deck facing QM2 and the harbor, dotted with trips forward and checking the progress of the provisioning.  Myriad skids of goods at more near the bow are systematically craned to the hold, and transported into the hull with no end in sight.  The ship is supposed to leave at 4:30 but I doubt it strongly!

I had tea with Eric and Margaret in the Lido.  Maria and Frank Sotile have embarked and are in 5147 – in our alley!  We suggested wild parties, Ha HA! 

Basically I spent from 4:30 to 8:15 on deck in anticipation of our dual departures.  Captain McNaught had to come on the Tannoy at least five times to update us on the delays.  QM2 – (paper work re: Brazil Visas – provisioning and no doubt other reasons) – till after eight o’clock when first QM2 slowly backed out to the tune of dueling whistles from each ship.  I got it all on tape!  Yippee!  When we were pulled away and turned out by the apartment buildings, we again tooted and got countless responses of whistles, tooters and sirens from shore.  Fabulous!  I then had two salads and brownie with ice cream in the Lido by myself and returned to my cabin by nine-thirty.  I watched the “Chronicles of Narnia” on television.

While standing on Port Observation I had long conversations with Catherine and John from Sydney regarding the moment, Australia and just plain fun and jokes.  They too wonder what the third word ending in “gry” is after “angry” “hungry” and ??  Marguerite came by for a while.

The answer to the riddle is “puggry” a Hindi word meaning a light scarf wrapped around a sun helmet or used as a hatband.  This was a riddle posed by Jon Hollis in yesterday’s lecture on the Titanic.

Thursday, 11 January.

I was up and out by eight o’clock and shared breakfast in the Lido with Nellie Burns.  I then tried the deck and settled in a deck chair on starboard away from the sun, reading the “Cruise of the Conrad.”  I tried out my new GPS, which takes a long time to locate enough satellites.  Terry Waite’s lecture on negotiating with hostage takers was very informative, emphasizing that talking is better than force.  A young man sitting in front of me had a book called “The Atlantic”, part of a series on oceans and explorer history. Later I learned his name, Gary.

Captain McNaught has cancelled social parties because of another outbreak.  Tonight will be informal instead of formal.  The weather is sunny and warm with slight seas and low swell.

I sought out Vernon’s table across the restaurant and joined him for lunch with Nellie Burns.  Another gent joined us as well.  Mind you, I have known Vernon since 2003 when I sat at his table for the whole World Cruise that year; I still have no idea what his sir name is. Since we are on what they call, a “Red Alert” there are hand-sanitizing stands at the entrance to everything and all foodstuffs are prohibited in the Board Room and bars.  Only drinks are allowed.  Valerie Noonan appeared in the Board Room and we hugged in greeting.  Bless her, she learned about the food prohibition, disappeared and brought me three cookies from the Lido!

At two-thirty I attended the building of Titanic lecture, then hit the deck for over an hour.  The white caps are dotted all around, caused by our westerly wind from which we are retreating.  Nice!  Back to the cabin by 4:30.

I started stuffing the knitted Santa Claus doll, watching television, and went to dinner in the Mauretania with Connie, Beryl, Ted, Linda and another dance host and Marge.  The tables have no salt and pepper shakers.  I headed for the Lees’ usual spot in the Grand Lounge and there were Maria and Frank plus Lillian (to whom I gave the replacement toothbrush which I had bought while in port yesterday.)  The comedian Norm Crosby was the show tonight.

Friday, 12 January.

When I arose to the feel of a pitching ship and a bow picture of gray skies and white caps, I quickly surmised we were going to skip Grand Cayman.  I showered and at eight o’clock, Captain McNaught came on all speakers to announce 25 to 30 knot winds and ten-foot waves, and indeed we are headed for Cartagena, Colombia on a course 151˚ and at 13 knots. 

Lectures were quickly arranged and I attended the one on opera and Terry Waite’s talk.  I had spent some time on deck beforehand, but around noon I retreated to the cabin, not feeling tops.  I tried the movie “Antarctica” at two-thirty but left and spent the rest of the day praying and sleeping.  After a brief stab at dinner in the Lido, I gave up and returned for the night.

Saturday, 13 January.

At breakfast in the Lido I came across Bill Greenwood from two years ago.  He and Richard Clay were at Vernon’s table then.  Anyway, Bill is here for the whole World Cruise and Richard will join him in Singapore.  We talked at length about ships as usual.  I attended two lectures in the morning: 1. on Iran and 2. Patricia Neal.

For a short while I enjoyed reading on Boat Deck, looking to the white caps and active waves in sunshine.  Then I headed for lunch with three Brits and us three Americans.  The gent next to me was very funny and we both put vinegar on our tablecloth spots, his shirt and my trousers with much hilarity!  We were trying to eradicate the spots made by our lunch drippings!

At two-thirty I returned to the Theatre to hear the next Titanic lecture and video, and then went on deck to read “The Cruise of the Conrad.”  The seas are undulating nicely in the wind strong enough to make whitecaps, in short it was beautiful out there!  Toward five o’clock I called Diane Hertlein who let me take a bath in her tub.  She is enjoying the voyage experience.

Connie arrived at our table in Pirate costume and another new Dance Host, Henry, has joined us.  Beryl is from the island of Jersey.  I tried the end of the movie in the Theatre but decided I don’t want to return.  Consequently, I returned to my cabin to work on the Santa doll and watch television.  “Ladies in Lavender” with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

Sunday, 14 January – Cartagena, Colombia.

There was some noticeable motion through the night so I put the plants and water tray on the deck for safety.  We were docked in the container port by seven o’clock, and when I went up to look around you could see the curve of the land on all sides.  This is where Sir Francis Drake slipped in at night, captured the town and plundered all the gold and treasure in the 17th century.  It was a pirate target several times.

I got one-dollar bills from the Purser’s Office and went on deck to film the surroundings of the harbor, the main feature being one hill off our bow, which has a monastery on it.  Although I didn’t know it at the time, I could also see our Pirate galleon tied up for my harbor cruise.

I met briefly with the Lees at breakfast – their first day out of quarantine.  Next, the harbor cruise took us along the cargo area, past QE2, through anchored yachts of all sizes, a huge catamaran, a wooden schooner and so on, and then we came to parts of the extensive wall, forts, cathedral and large church of the old city.  We then returned by the naval yard and quays, more modern city and past a statue of the Virgin Mary in the middle of the channel.  We had dancers, refreshments (by the QE2) and a very detailed account of the history and sights.

Back at the ship, Diane joined me for lunch at a table in the Mauretania.  We talked about mutual friends in St. Louis and CS.  I then spent time on Boat Deck with the Lees by Queens Grill till time to see the movie – “Goodnight and Good Luck.”  I returned to Boat Deck just as the Lees were leaving, so I read my book out there till our departure time when the ship’s whistle startled me big time!  We backed and pivoted on stern with two tugs pushing stern and one on Port bow.  While watching us proceed along and out the bay, I chatted with Bill Greenwood as the sun set.  At dusk we passed the outer round Fort, then we parted to go inside, it having turned quite dark by that time.

At seven-thirty I met up with Marguerite and her friend Geri for dinner in the Lido.  Valerie Noonan met with us for lively discussions about the cabin, good and bad!  We then parted to hear Annette Wardell do her operatic arias to good acclaim.  I then walked on deck in clear, humid air.  A man continues to squirt and wipe off all the chairs.  It appears the shops are remaining open later.

While returning from the harbor cruise, I noticed that on the stern of QE2 the three fantail decks below in other words the docking decks have sturdy metal fences along the open areas, reaching up high to the deck height – very adequate security!

Monday, 15 January – Panama Canal Transit.

I was awake at six-thirty to see we were already in the channel to enter the first of the three Gatun Locks and was on hand above to film us in the second one.  I saw the Chagres River and later the dam, while having breakfast with Madeline the French lady and an English lady.  Gisele joined me when the others left.  I went right outside again to the hot, humid air with no real idea to secure a deck chair.  I eventually found a quiet spot in Crystal Bar to do some reading.  Having noticed the shops were open, I bought a black skirt!  Soon I found the Lees in Crystal Bar, where we talked and I read them the article about the “Umbria in 1892.  We then had to shut up or leave, because the Bridge Lecture was getting under way there.  I read the Conrad book.

When I again went on deck I lingered with Edith and Stephanie through the Galliard Cut and up to the Pedro Miguel Locks.  We had lunch late in the Mauretania with Avis and John.  As we continued through the canal all afternoon, I opted for the movie “Walk the Line” – keeping cool! 

We were clear and going by the Fuerte Amador islands going out to sea, and it was then that Valerie Noonan and I chatted by the port railings and walked to the bow for a while watching the brown boobies soaring in our bow winds till time to dress for dinner.  I wore my new skirt, which I like a lot!  Connie, Marge, Beryl and the two guys were all there as well.  I then sat with the Lees, Marie and Frank for the show.  QE2 Singers and Dancers night.

Again I met up with Valerie and we walked Boat Deck barefoot in oh so pleasant weather!  I was back in my cabin by ten o’clock. Valerie had come with me to take away the torch plant given to me when I embarked in New York.

Tuesday, 16 January – Fuerte Amador, Panama.

The ship went out to sea for the night and returned to Fuerte Amador to anchor for the day..  I could see what I presume was the rising moon in early morning and guessed we had turned back.  According to channel 4 route map we had done precisely this.  We anchored off the two little islands, and afterward I had milk, cranberry juice and an apple with Gisele and a friend.  I headed for a shady spot on Boat Deck facing those islands and the Balboa Bridge in the distance.  A lady sitting in the same section brought me a cup of iced tea, which I augmented when a guy came by offering ice water. – Frigate birds soared by us as did a group of pelicans.  When the sun eventually reached me I went inside to much welcome cooler air.  I browsed in the Library where I noticed Bruce Peter’s book on “Ships of the Scandanavian Style,” as well as the vast nautical offerings.  I read more in the Conrad book at Crystal Bar facing Panama City.

I ate salads, milk and ice cream at the Lido, then spotted the Lees and Lillian by the Port side of the Queens Room aft partition,  so arranged an extra chair to join the conversation.  The movie at two-thirty was “Pride and Prejudice” with Kira Knightly.  I followed that with another hour on deck reading the “Conrad” book, which completed my outside visits till I finished it.

Back in the cabin I watched “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” while working on the Santa doll.  Lido dinner with Valerie Noonan and Betty, and then went to the Harp concert.  It is still humid out but clear.  The Lees dropped by so Margaret could choose a knitting project from my Scottish doll book.  She chose  little doggie pattern.

Wednesday, 17 January.

I had a relatively late breakfast in the Lido; a light one.  Betty the tiny blonde was a tablemate briefly.  Without even checking the deck (I saw placid waters and humidity haze), I headed for the lecture on finding and preserving the “Titanic” followed by Questions and Answers in the Grand Lounge with Terry Waite and Tom Hershfield.

I spoke briefly with Diane afterward.  Previously I had chatted with my young, British friend Gary, who showed me photos he had downloaded from Maritime Matters – of Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 in Fort Lauderdale plus the Queen Victoria.

I have chosen Nathaniel Philbrick’s “Mayflower” from the Library.

Noon Report:  L. 07˚46′ N x 085˚06.4’W – 90 miles off Costa Rica – Wind Force 2 (4-6 knots)  Speed: 25.4 knots – Rhumb Line 284˚  Smooth seas and tiny short swells.

I had a lovely lunch with Gronya, Peter and Jenny – near the Lees.  We shared a barbeque entré three ways including a small corn on the cob.  We had lively discussions about ships, our individual experiences and past lives.  Omar always smiles as he waits on all his clients!  He will leave at LA to head home to Singapore, and he will be missed.

I found Margaret and Eric at the Grand Lounge, which was surprisingly warm by comparison to other times.  Both Margaret and I started our new knitting projects; she a brown doggy and I, Cinderella.

I think I made a mistake by attending “The Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, a nonsensical spoof!  I then wandered aft to the Lido and was heartily greeted and hugged by Sheshank!  He now works in the Caronia Restaurant, but is in the Lido every other day.  I was late, but he arranged for me to have tea, during which he would return occasionally as sanitary “officer.”  [Clocks back one hour.]

Thursday, 18 January.

I went to A stairway by the usual degrees, stopping to admire the schooner oil painting at B Stairway on Two Deck, then reached the Mauretania Restaurant just behind the Lees.  There being no room in Omar’s section, we three ate near the long mural on the port side and were pampered by several waiters who know the Lees as well as Omar!

At ten o’clock I was at Tom Hirshfield’s lecture on Korea, which was most informative, especially the history of Russian relations as well as Japanese occupation till the end of WW II.

I tried reading on the windy deck behind a stack of life rafts till the sun caught up to my legs.  I also saw the swells and white caps on blue water, not realizing we were pitching a fair amount.  Noon Report:  84˚ Fahrenheit – north wind at Force 4 (15 knots) making wind over the decks about 30 knots.  Rhumb Line course 313˚ – slight seas and moderate northerly swells.  Later the seas picked up and white caps sent spume aloft occasionally.

Around one o’clock I headed inside, intending to go to the Mauretania.  However, on the way I freshened up at the Boat Deck ladies room and when I came out, Gregory Dorothy and I met and hugged.  We chatted a bit and parted – he is in Queens Grill still and sports a small beard and mustache!

I actually passed through Mauretania on my way to the Lido.  Since I had already eaten my peanut butter sandwich, all I had was  a tiny salad, tapioca pudding and milk.  Margaret and Eric were by the Library in the sun, so I joined them to knit and chat till time for the two-thirty lecture on “Operation Anthropoid 1942” followed by “Mrs. Henderson Presents” with Judi Dench.  Afterward I went on deck and was nearly blown aft as I walked that way, clear down to the taffrail to watch the wake.  Cabin time followed till my Lido dinner at seven-thirty.  I sat with Marguerite and Geri and checked on the last part of the show before turning in for the night.  I saw Stephanie at the cooking demo on the television.

Jan Christiansen is the Purser on the QE2 now.  I had sat with him at the Commodore’s table with Emily – on the South American Odyssey in 2006.

Friday, 19 January – Acapulco, Mexico

We spent the day anchored in Acapulco Bay, and I stayed on board – reading on Boat Deck, lunching in the Coronia Restaurant with Diane Hertlein by a window, and  then I saw the movie, “Firewall” – a thriller for sure.

I returned to Boat Deck to read and eventually watch the tender shipping process.  I made the acquaintance of Ernie (a fellow Linerslister) and we talked quite a while before QE2 was pushed stern first around to head outward.  As soon as the three whistle blasts were done, I gave up and prepared for dinner in Mauretania.  I changed my table to 255 for the next segment.

Saturday, 20 January.

During the night a special letter from the Captain arrived, stating we all have to leave the ship for the day in Los Angeles in order for them (exterminators) to treat or fumigate the whole ship.  Cunard is offering many full day tours free of charge to keep us all occupied.  I will order a ticket, but if Chris will come I’ll not use it!  Also we will each be given a $25 credit. 

I had breakfast with Jenny at my table, and then searched out the Lees till time for the ten o’clock lecture on Islam.  During the hour following, I came across Faith and Wendell Bishop.

The weather was windy and unpleasant all morning, but by noon the wind had abated enough for me to try the deck, which was very tolerable, and I read till time for lunch in the Mauretania with the Priest, a multi-racial and international man, Shirley, from Toronto, a London lady, and an American lady.  I had earlier taken my two dolls to Marie’s charity table so had to collect them at one-thirty.  A lady saw the Santa and wanted the directions, so we had copies of them made at the Business Center.

Sue Krisman’s lecture on the history of musicals was delightful and I stayed for the movie “HUD” but left after a half hour for tea.  Gronya and I had an animated conversation about Quebec, Gisele and her years in Canada, where she met and married Peter.

Back at the cabin, Margaret showed me how easy it is to use the safe with a credit card.  “Pride and Prejudice” was on the television and this keeps me occupied as I whip off my post cards.  I gave my two remaining wines to Terry Waite (the Yorkshire man).  I had dinner at the Lido with three dance hosts, Bill, Hugh, and Malcolm, and gorged on crèmes caramels.

I caught a bit of the mind reader show, and when I returned to the cabin, another bottle of wine from the Captain in amends for inconveniencing us passengers, appeared on my dresser. [Clocks back one hour.]

Sunday, 21 January.

I awoke very early by the new time, so puttered in the cabin.  QE2 keeps on at her smooth pace!  My cabin is normally very hot, so the added air conditioner is most welcome and does a great job.  This is a good place to describe this cabin number 5145, because the culprit for making it so very hot in here is the fact that the cabin deck must have steam pipes running along it fore and aft.  I quickly ascertained that the very hottest spot was directly under my bed, where a bit of the carpet is curled up.  The space under the bed is almost unbearable, so I moved my two suitcases (emptied of the spare stuff) under there to be a buffer zone.  This actually did make things a bit better for my warm mattress.  Actually, to step on the floor (deck) is almost too hot to linger!  That extra air conditioner on the wall over the other bed, indeed is a godsend!

Leo, my steward is one of the Filipinos due to leave tomorrow, but since the plane doesn’t leave till night, all of them have to participate in the systematic wash-down of everything.  I’ll give him a $40 tip.

I had breakfast with Pam, who turned out to be the one whose husband stood by me in the Fremantle Market last year when my Visa card was questioned.  We discussed the charges for single cabins at one and a half!

At ten o’clock I attended Jon Hollis’ final ship lecture on the “Normandie.”  The most interesting development is that a Priest has made a 22-foot long half model of the ship, which is made with finest details of furniture, fixtures, paintings, sculptures and so on.  It is displayed on the Queen Mary in Long Beach.  I must go see it!

I then opted to read my book in the Grand Lounge and found Betty Thompson there so we read together.  Cabin 3021.  Valerie Noonan came by – cabin 4096.  When the noon report came on we were blasted by the Tannoy high volume so loudly that  we had to cover our ears!

N 27˚ x 115˚ W.  Speed 25.7 knots.  Wind Force 4 (11-16 mph).  Course 324˚ Rhumb Line.  Low swell and slight seas in cloudy and cool weather.

I signed up for the Talent Show and rehearsed the lute song “So Sweete is She” an English lute song from the year 1614.  This is from a play by Ben Johnson called “The Devil is an Ass”!  As I stood on the stage singing it and trying to keep the necessary straight tone, I was greatly hampered in this endeavour because of the vertical vibrations of the stage caused by the rotating propellers way down below. We had the usual range of good and tolerable acts!

Jenny joined me for lunch at table 257 in Omar’s section.  Omar will be leaving us in LA and he will be missed.

Oh yes!  At nine-forty-five the water tight doors were tested and Leo monitored the one by my cabin.  I watched this one being closed by the pneumatic system, revealing a substantial yellow door with black stripes.  Leo pulled down a yellow lever to release it to close.  He confirmed the doors are no longer closed for port entry or departure.

After lunch I spent a few moments with the Lees by Queens Room, also with Lillian.  Then after a brief chat with Bill Greenwood, discussing his having found a light bulb placed on the deck of the Mauretania” model by D Stairway.  It (the bulb) had broken some guy-wires and Bill reported it.

I had to collect the Ships monthly magazine from Edith at 2054, and while there she showed me their posh cabin with walk-in closet.  Their bathroom is very spacious with a tub: they have two portholes and posh fixtures all over.  Their hooks look quite natural although they put them up each time the travel on the ship and leave them.

At my last dinner at 227, Marge told me more about the vandalism two years ago.  Apparently the three stoned guys threw deck chairs into a lifeboat and set of an EPIRB to which the Coast Guard responded by asking what was the emergency!  The Lees said they were held in cabins with security guards at each one till they were taken off in Southampton.  All this escaped me at the time, although I was on board.

I stayed for the show then headed downward to strip my cabin for Leo and the cleaners tomorrow, while we are all off the ship. [Clocks back one hour.]

Monday, 22 January – San Pedro, California.

Te ship was docked near five o’clock, and I was awake to watch the process on my television.  I proceeded to dress and read a bit.   Little after six o’clock I joined the long queue for immigration in the Queens Room, then headed up to Mauretania where I sat by the window for breakfast with Jenny.  I vacated my now bare cabin to join the Lees on Boat Deck for their phone call on my mobile.  I had previously called Cherie and she confirmed Chris and Ben would be coming to visit.

I went ashore to wait over two hours for Chris and Ben, who took me to the Queen Mary.  We looked around and had a nice lunch at the Promenade Restaurant overlooking Long Beach Harbor.  I saw my young English friend, Gary there.  We finally were able to see the twenty-two foot model of the “Normandie” and Jon Hollis’ commemorative coin plus a “Lusitania” model.

Before all this I had a long conversation with Jon Hollis who happens to be from Pembroke, MA.  We talked at length about QE2 and his long years working on board. 

We passengers were allowed back on the ship shortly before five o’clock, and after settling in and knitting, I had my first dinner at table 255 with Carol and Val, two Americans newly embarked.  I returned to the cabin for the night, and didn’t count on watching us depart at ten o’clock.  We’ll see.