Saturday, 22 of June of 2024

2007 World Cruise – Part 3

Queen Elizabeth 2 25th World Cruise – Part 3

2007 World Cruise – Hawaii to Tasmania.  

Tuesday, 30 January.

I ate breakfast with Marge and others on portside of the Mauretania Restaurant, then headed directly up to Boat Deck, having already determined that finally the weather and wind would be conducive to a nice long stay in a deck chair.  I found a shady spot midships behind a davit on starboard side and stayed there reading Blue Latitudes till the noon whistle and report.  N09˚12.8′ x W124˚44.3′  Speed: 29 knots – short swells and light seas.  Temp: 79˚ F   Wind: Force 4 from the East.

At twelve thirty or so I headed down to check on the Lees, but came across Paula Bell from King’s Lynn and we decided to eat together in the Mauretania by a window.  We lingered about an hour and a half eating and sharing travel experiences.  A couple joined us, but they didn’t have much of a chance to get a word in edgewise.  Lemon sponge with custard and ice cream.  Yum!

I saw “The DaVinci Code” movie and sat with Diane.  Rain outside.  Dinner in Formal attire as usual with Wendy Furman.  Peter and Grania were acting up with laughter as Peter arose to accept anchovies from the couple across from them.  Lillian was threatened with a “red card” from our Manager, Jamie, because she was taking lots of chocolates!  More laughter from us all.

Jean Burns came to sit with me and behind the Lees as we all chatted and waited for the show to begin in the Grand Lounge.  The Royal Cunard singers and dancers did a great European show with very elaborate costumes, and they will leave us in Auckland to join QM2.  I walked the deck in very brisk headwinds.  My dangle earrings really flapped!  I’ll start the countdown to 0˚ Equator and hope to see the change from North to South.

Wednesday, 31 January – Equator.

I kept awakening through the night to check on the progress toward the Equator.  At 6:15 we are presently at 01˚ 41.8′ N on a course of 169˚.

I skipped breakfast in favor of the morning on deck in anticipation of the Equator crossing.  I read Blue Latitudes and alternated with the GPS countdown.  Just before the 10:21 time the officer of the watch warned us the moment would be marked by the ship’s whistle.  I watched the N change to S in a flash.  The reading was N/S 00˚00′ and W 152˚ 59.30′   When I went inside, I met Jean B. at the shops and we looked at stuff together.  Meanwhile, I discovered my arms had salt crystals all over!

Jean, Margaret and Eric had lunch with me in the Lido, while the initiations were going on outside on the Fantail.  The Neptune and Pollywog ceremony took place aft – without me!

I spent the entire afternoon in my cabin knitting and watching the television movies till time to dress Formal for dinner – with Wendy.  Halibut, minestrone and butterscotch sundae!  The natural segue followed as we went to join Jean Burns and the Lees for the show, which consisted of four wacky men singing and being silly.  Casablanca steps – bass, guitar, piano, trombone and various buzzy- blowing instruments.  Silly antics.  “Splendidly Spiffy Musical Fun and Frolics from the 1920s and 30s.   I was back in the cabin by 9:30 for more leisure before bed.  By the way, the lone dot on the GPS was Christmas Island!!

Thursday, 1 February.

After breakfast in the Mauretania portside, where I met a nice British lady also interested in Captain Cook, I headed topside for the rest of the morning under boat 13.  I read more in Blue Latitudes and gazed toward the ocean.  I figured there was an eastward swell as well as an East wind – corroborated by the noon report.  Stats:10˚36.3’S by 150˚ 58.3 W.  The nearest land is 54 nautical miles away.  Speed: 25.2 knots (29 mph).  Rhumb Line 169˚ as has been the last four days from Hawaii.  Wind East Force 5(21 knots) 35 knots over the decks.

I had lunch with the Lees in the Lido then found Paula walking to the Grand Lounge, so we sat to chat and exchange addresses.  She is contemplating train trips in New Zealand and Australia.  I saw the movie “The Producers,” which was hilarious!  Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, and Uma Thurman were the actors.  Then ensued a brief sojourn on deck under boat 14 and return to my cabin.  I sent the email to Norma Hoad.

I went to the Lido for dinner at seven thirty and joined Wendy in the dark starboard window side and, alas, missed Paula.

The balcony was a great spot for viewing the ventriloquist and Sally Jones’ last song.  When I went on deck the full, brilliant moon was shining between passing clouds, making a varied light path on the water’s surface.  I sat a while gazing upward and outward.  The moon appears to be north of what I am accustomed to in 40˚ north.  The air was pleasantly warm and forward motion wind quite brisk.

Friday, 2 February – Papeete, Tahiti – 17˚ 32.2S x 149˚ 34.2 W.

I awoke in time to be on hand with my video camera as we entered Papeete harbor.  We slowly passed between the narrow opening in the surrounding coral reef, having lined up the short and tall red and white markers on land.  We slowly turned with the help of tugs to sidle up to the protruding dock.  The ship is so big the lines have to be placed on a long extension bridge-like device.

Back at the ship after wandering along the harbor shore to the green park, and strolling through and videoing the market, I found the crew were going through the complete process of abandoning ship, including entering and lowering the lifeboats, engines running as they were being lowered.  I panned the whole city and harbor, then found the Lees on starboard under boat thirteen.  We chatted till nearly noon when I left them.  I checked out “The Voyages of the Discovery” the 1901, three-masted square rigger associated with Scott expeditions. It is now saved and on display in Dundee on the River Tay.  I remember seeing it there when I went to Aberdeen on the bus.

I had lunch with Bruce and Martha Garinger in the Caronia Restaurant.  Sheshank beckoned me to sit at his table, but I was committed elsewhere.  When finished we parted and I headed for the movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia.”  I nearly froze in the Theatre, because the air conditioning is so efficient in the balcony. Terry was there as well, and he has heard our departure schedule will change and wonders why.  We’ll see if it comes to pass.

Since the Board Room was nearly empty, I joined Geri to chat and share teatime and chocolate chip cookies, then we parted to prepare for dinner, which I ate alone!  With so much to see outside, including the “Europa” which had backed into the berth across the way, I spent time in a deck chair analyzing the deck configuration of that ship.  There is no Boat Deck per se, only two tenders on each side, lots of balconied cabins, closed in public rooms and little shade offerings.  I watched the moon over the bow, then had a long chat with Marguerite on portside.  I convinced her to try starboard so we could look at the city lights and “Europa.”  There is a roller skating rink for the kids on shore!

Finally at nine-thirty I changed to more comfortable clothes and taped a good deal of the special Tahitian show.  I returned on deck to “cool off” then had a Horlicks in the Lido before heading downward for the night.

At 2300 QE2 backed and turned ever so slowly as the bow traced more or less a straight line along the dock as the stern swung around to port.  I could see the green marker lights and eventually the green on the left and red on right marker lights designating the exact narrow channel between the shallows on either side.  We will spend the rest of the night at sea before returning toward Moorea in the morning.  We went north past the Tetiaroa Islands before heading back south towards Moorea to our anchorage off Baie D’Opunohu.

Saturday, 3 February – Moorea.

This was a specially hot and humid day at anchor.  During the night we literally made a rectangular course north then south to dally at sea before reaching Moorea for anchoring at seven o’clock.  I awoke as we approached.  I ate with Jean in the Lido, since neither of us planned a tour.  I did, however, ride a tender two ways to the landing and back, where I videoed the hexagonal church and bought two lava lavas to use as tablecloths.  I had hoped to film the stern of QE2 to show the metal fences or railings on the docking decks, but I was faked out when the skipper passed by the bow both ways!  Grr!

At noon Gisele and I enjoyed lunch in the Caronia with Sheshank serving us.  He made me a very nice entrée salad and talked me into having a lovely mango crème brulée.  Yum!   I read my book on Discovery in Queens Room till time for the movie “The Illusionist” – the balcony is the coolest place on the ship!  When I emerged I wandered to the Board Room, on deck, and to the cabin for my cameras, and stayed on deck enjoying the scenery, the water breaking on the reefs and noting the two white aligning posts, well into D’Opunohu Bay.

By six o’clock we had only just raised the last tender and hauled up the anchor.  Wendy and I had our dinner with the regular surrounding friends at the neighboring tables. 

During my nightly visit outside, I gazed at the stars and listened to the quiet sounds of passing water and foam, while finally recognizing Orion, Pleades, Tauris, Aurega, etc. all very high in the sky as I gazed northward – down here as opposed to ecliptic somewhat southerly back home.  I was back in the cabin by eight o’clock.  Clocks ahead one hour.

Sunday, 4 February.

I was awake very early by the new time, and had my own church service, including articles in the January Journal.  The day is bright and clear.  Jean Burns was eating in my section so I joined her.  I then spent the rest of the morning on deck reading in warmth and gazing seaward to low swells and no seas to speak of.  When I headed inside I was reminded that today is Super Bowl day and the Golden Lion Pub was arranged for many fans and a long buffet was set up along the alley by the Theatre and people were lining up well ahead of the game.  The Theatre is also open for spectators.  I passed it all up in favor of the Mauretania by a window.  Wendy joined me.

I returned to the deck for a couple more hours.  With the ship on a 259˚ Rhumb Line course, almost due west, the sun was over us from stem to stern.  Noon: 19˚175.’S x 157˚ 36′ W, heading to the International Dateline tomorrow.

I availed myself of Diane’s bathtub noticing how quiet and smooth the forward parts of the ship are.  It is really quite a contrast! She is in cabin 1001.

The movie:  “The Lake House” with Sandra Bullock.  My dinner was consumed on my own in the Lido and I followed that with a lovely sojourn forward on port Boat Deck, listening to the pulsing of waves pushed aside the ship.  Also, the orange moon rose over our stern.  Beautiful!  I was back in the cabin by nine o’clock.  The sea is glassy smooth.

Tuesday, 6 February – International Dateline.

Sometime today we will have crossed the International Dateline.  The certificate was delivered last night.  The bow picture shows windy, cloudy and rainy, 165˚ West.  I shared a nice breakfast with Gwendolyn.  We both had eggs Benedict and had a lively conversation regarding our jewelry bought at H. Stern in Rio.  I checked out the handbag display of 50% off, and bought a black, leather, multi-compartment bag for $42.  I then came across Jenny in the Golden Lion Pub and we chatted a while before I headed for the Theatre for two lectures; Princess Margaret’s jewelry at auction, and Ron Jones’ career as an Hotelier.  I saw Marguerite by the travel office.

Noon Report:  168˚ 21.8′ W x 20˚49.2S, Course: 262˚ – rain – slight seas and swells.

I had lunch in the Mauretania with Jenny, James (an organist with a Ph D.) and a friend of his who joined us as we finished up.  We had very good discussions re: current events.  At two-thirty Charlie flew through a good lecture on Tonga and Fiji.  Tonga was burned by young protesters.  The movie was “Man of the Year” with Robin Williams.

The wind and rain had cleared up but it still was “blowy” on deck.  Again I had dinner on my own and went on deck.   I chatted with Pam and her husband Arthur, and another couple.  I turned in early to watch television and prepare for the tour tomorrow.  We are about ten degrees away from the 180˚ West to East point.

Wednesday, 7 February – Tonga.

Tonga is very flat!  I took the tour, which included the King’s Villa, Plantations, Prison, Captain Cook landing place in 1777, Royal Tombs, Stonehenge-like astronomical calendar and King’s wooden Palace made in New Zealand – cultural show (pitiful) and back to the ship.  I had lunch with Gwendolyn, saw the movie “Flyboys” and wandered on deck. Prepared for dinner alone since Wendy told me she would eat across the way – soufflé with raspberry sauce.  Yum! I watched a spectacular sunset unfold on deck!  Baby blue and baby pink on Zig -zag streaks and perpendiculars of pink.  Clocks back one hour.

Thursday, 8 February – Fiji.

At 0200 o’clock the Longitude changed from 180˚ West to 180˚ East and I watched!!!!  Latitude was 19˚ S.  I watched us come to the dock by seven.  My tour began early, bound for the Arts Center and Firewalkers, a one- hour ride.  During the show very heavy showers came along and even though we were under a high-roofed shed, the first few rows were so wet we had to retreat upward in the bleachers while the dancers continued their performance in the increasing splashes and mud.  We could see their giggles as they finally had to wind up!  There wasn’t much else to do but head for the buses, arriving thoroughly soaked!  Once back at the ship I hurried on board for a late lunch and the movie “On a Clear Day” (Scottish).  Wendy and I had tea together.

I worked on the doll, then had dinner with Wendy, Elizabeth and Paula in the Lido.  The tablecloths are back, adding to the evening ambiance, and candlelight graciousness missing during the austere period since before Los Angeles.  The show included a fine performance with emphasis on Argentina, complete with Tango, men’s Gaucho dances and bolo, which gave great rhythms or cracking with drum accompaniment. It seems strange to have this ethnic representation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, docked in Fiji!

Friday, 9 February.

Today was very ordinary for a sea day; breakfast on my own in the Lido, followed by the whole morning on starboard Boat Deck where the sun caught up with me, but I endured it a while, eventually dragging my deck chair to the next boat in the shade to continue the Discovery book till after the noon whistle and report:  Lat. 24˚5.1’S x 176˚55.6′ E:  25.5 knots speed: Course: 188˚ with slight seas and swell.

Jenny and I shared lunch with another lady by a window in the Mauretania.  Charles Urbanoweicz’s lecture on New Zealand and Australia kept me alert and in the Theatre, after which I returned on deck to read till four o’clock and teatime in the Lido with Wendy.  A slight transition from one “meal” to dinner with Wendy followed by the show with Gerard Kenny, a singer was the order for the evening.  I was in the cabin by 9:30.

Saturday, 10 February.

The three little ladies, Martha, Beverly and Betty, shared their breakfast table with me, followed by a short period on deck, then in order to warm up I attended the tours lecture.  Eve Jones’ talk on “Hanky Panky in the Country House” was very entertaining!

Noon Report:  32˚18.5’S x 175˚37.3E:  Speed; 17.3 knots: course 188zk true – slight seas and moderate swells.

Lunch of Shepherd’s pie at the Lees’ table with Paula Bell, then we compared notes on our tour choices.  I finished the “Discovery” book and returned it to the Library.  Movie “The Last Kiss”  Formal dinner: curry soup and a nice salad.  Clocks ahead one hour!

 Sunday, 12 February – Auckland, New Zealand

Beautiful dawn entry – bright lights.  Breakfast with Pam and Arthur, who had brought an angel puppet with them.  They have several thousand puppets and a fair collection with them on this world cruise!  My activities for the day in port took me to the Maritime Museum for most of the morning.  I watched the entire video of the ENZA round the world race, which Robin Knox-Johnston as skipper, won. This boat is a catamaran.  A Brazilian family came in to watch it also.  They were on their way from Puerto Rico to Sydney by sailboat, and stopped in Auckland before their last long trek across the Tasman Sea.  Their crew is the three young sons ranging from 12 on down to about nine. 

I returned to the ship for lunch with Martha Geringer then walked into town to browse in the souvenir shops – bought nothing!

This being the night of the Gala 25th World Cruise dinner at the Sky Tower Convention Center, I showered and dressed in my best formal gown.  Needless to say, there was a very long line-up of buses for this affair, so I joined one of them for the ride up the hill where we were greeted by Maori torches and ushers who showed us the way up the escalators and to our first venue for cocktails.  I sat at table 41 with Engineer Martin Hepple, Gisele, Perle Coles, a retired Captain, a Doctor next to me, a Chinese young man and others.  The centerpieces consisted of very tall shell-filled vases and white flowers.  Captain David Perkins and Carol Marlow, Cunard CEO gave toasts and a talk.  The menu included lamb, gorgeous colorful vegetables and for dessert, a scrumptious Pavlova!  I was back at the ship by ten o’clock, ready to leave around one in the morning.

On my bed was a beautiful glass commemorative World Cruise 2007 paperweight.

Monday, 12 February.

I slept till after eight o’clock, a first for this voyage!  My breakfast was late and I shared it with Joan and Liz (a nice Brit), then I joined Gisele by the starboard Lido windows. The rest of the morning I was on Boat Deck reading Blue Latitudes and making notes on New Zealand shoreline we were passing – in sunshine.  Noon:  37˚4’S x 178˚ 41.9′ E.  Speed: 18.9 knots – average 21.7 knots.  Rhumb line 180˚(due South) with moderate seas and long medium swells.  Wind: Force 5 (17knots) with 25 knots over the decks.  Presently we are passing East Island.

Wendy and I had lunch at our own table in Mauretania with Toronto friend Eleanor.  Grand Lounge was my next venue for some reading and work on a doll.  Movie:  “Click”.  Formal dinner at 255 followed by a World Cruise party.  I talked with Faith Bishop and Jean.  The show was Black Tie, a group consisting of a cellist, pianist and two singing baritones – a family affair and very enjoyable.

Tuesday, 13 February –Wellington, New Zealand. 41˚16.4′ S x 174˚47.3′ E.

This was a highlight day!  The sun shone all day and the temperature was in the 60s.  I had breakfast with Jenny then set out on the shuttle bus to the Kirkaldie and Stains stores on Brandon Street.  I mailed three postcards at a Post Office behind another store, next to the Cable Car (didn’t go up it, but there were scads of QE2 passengers waiting in line to do so).  I tried again to phone home with no success.  I then found “The Spirit of New Zealand” tall ship and the Maritime Museum.  Beverly Hull. former passenger and tablemate from years past, had left a message for me at the museum and the girl there heard me ask about the “Pamir” or “Passat” and assumed I was the “Martin” Bev had mentioned.  Beverly came to me after I phoned her and we went to the big Maori Museum, had lunch there and returned by bus to Lambton Quay and up to a church to hear two concerts: 1. a Korean ensemble, and 2. Maori music by students using ethnic instruments.  After a bookstore visit, we parted with hugs, and I took the shuttle back to the ship.

As the ship backed away from the dock and headed out of the harbor, we had a pretty good tour of the area, tooting at the various boats hovering about; a ferry of a sort waited in the middle for us to go by, and we wended our way around a large island, and exited by the heads on the north side of that island.  I had dinner with Wendell and Faith (Winkie) Bishop.

Wednesday, 14 February –Lyttleton, New Zealand. 43˚ 36’S x172˚ 43.7′ E.

It is exciting for me to be here because of the fact that the famous Scott expedition to the South Pole did the final preparations here on the “Discovery,” about which I have just been reading, took place. 

I had breakfast by a window with an Aussie friend, than I joined those on the Alpine Train trip with a stop at Homebush Sheep Station.  We saw sheep shearing demonstrations, the house and store, plus I bought a very soft Possum-Merino wool sweater.  I sat with Joe from England on the lunch train ride through the mountains, gorges and plains back to Lyttleton.  It is also here where the most interesting Timeball clock still operates at one in the afternoon to give the ships’ timekeepers the proper time to set their chronometers.

When we left Lyttleton harbor, Captain Perkins informed us that we would be honoring the steam tug “LYTTLETON” by sharing salutes on ship’s whistles.  QE2 tooted three plus one as we were pulled away by two tugs, then when we proceeded slowly forward; hundreds of spectators watched us all lined up on the rising roadway.  Then eventually, when we caught up with the tug, the whistles blew long and frequently plus the inevitable one “boop,” first QE2, then “Lyttleton” in response.  It is always a real thrill to hear our beloved Queen Elizabeth 2 bellow her deep tones, but when other significant ships or boats reply, we appreciate over and over again, the marvelous chest reverberations and listening thrills!  This never fails to excite us all!

At dinner, we ladies were presented with roses as valentine greetings.  Martha and Betty had felt hearts and gave me one.  I headed to the cabin for the night.

Thursday, 15 February. 

When I awoke it was clear that we had headed south toward Stewart Island at the southern tip of New Zealand.  When we do round that, we will be heading 238˚ true then 288˚ true, directly toward Hobart, Tasmania.  [Banks Peninsula across Canterbury Bight, Stewart Island into the Tasman Sea.]  The weather is rainy and cold.

I had only cereal in the Lido with Gisele, then knitted most of the morning in Grand Lounge on my own.  We did pass only 29 miles from Stewart Island at a speed of 21.4 knots and headed 270˚ true in moderate seas with short moderate swells.  There is a warning of port swells and possible rolling!

I attended the lecture on Tasmania followed by lunch with Linda Bland, then Marguerite.  The second lecture was on Afghanistan, and I went to knit in my cabin.  Dinner with Wendy at 255 was livened by the usual banter from table to table, and we then went to the Grand Lounge to continue the conversations with the Lees.  Lillian took yarns from my stuff to continue her knitting projects.  Clocks back one hour.

 Friday, 16 February – Tasman Sea

We have to do immigration by getting our Passports and filling out a landing card.  It is still brisk but sunny outside, although we went through fog in the morning, while I was knitting in the Grand Lounge.  Before that, however, I had breakfast with Joe, Marilyn and two others at their table.  I repaid Joe $5.00 which I had borrowed from him during the Alpine train ride.

Charlie Urbanowicz gave his last rapid-fire lecture and then I ate a late lunch with Jenny.  I returned to the Theatre for more punishment in the form of the Afghanistan lecture followed by Passport collection at G stairway, then cabin time knitting.

Oh yes, After breakfast this morning I chatted with Connie and Marge and looked at Connie’s scrapbook on QE2 twenty-five years ago.  She had a photo of Crawford, named JACH.  I explained that he was a close friend for several years. And told her how he left working on the ship in 1994.  I also had a nice chat with Pam’s husband, Arthur in the Board Room.  David (a Brit) and Archie Cooper also joined the active conversations.  Archie is a delightful Aussie.

I watched the movie “The Queen” – dinner in the Lido with Wendy.  Clocks back one hour.