Thursday, 23 of November of 2017

2007 World Cruise – Part 6

Queen Elizabeth 2 World Cruise 2007

Durban, South Africa – New York

Friday, 6 April – Durban, South Africa – 29˚ 52.2 S x 31˚ 2 E

We entered Durban Harbor at seven o’clock, turned the corner starboard and halted quite a while as if suspended, but upon reaching topside, it was clearly because we docked at a corner and the next ship forward was at 90˚ to us.  We are at the Passenger ship terminal in the middle section!  A mock Zulu tribal greeting and “war” was taking place with multiple deep drums, spears etc., and agile tumblers.

I sat in the Lido next to Terry Waite’s group; planning their land excursion.  Being Good Friday, I had a “hot cross bun.”  While in the terminal shops, I bought two decorated ostrich eggs, then took the shuttle bus to Ushaka Marine Park, which is a new theme park with shops.  I looked and was back on board by eleven o’clock.  I had lunch on board with the Garringers in their Caronia Restaurant spot by the windows starboard side.  Then I spent the afternoon in my cabin – and even napped a bit.

When departure time came around six o’clock, I went forward to watch us cast off.  There was a small delay to transfer someone to an ambulance, but we did proceed with two tugs pulling us away and back to the dock end, where the bow glided past the corner and into the large “indent” against a strong wind from astern.  The stern was heftily pulled around till we were a little more than 180˚.  We gingerly went around the shallow part of the harbor and turned out the jetty channel where crowds hooted and wished us bon voyage. Of course, we returned the salutes with our wonderful full-toned whistle.  I had hoped to see the pilot lifted from the bow by helicopter, but lightning must have deterred that stunt.  Rain came and we all went in as QE2 turned south for her 30 knot run  (speed that is, not distance!) to Cape Town, ETA midnight tomorrow for bunkering.

I ate in the Lido with Rick, Geri and Marguerite, then joined Paula for dessert clear across to a portside window.  We then attended the hour and a half crew show.  For the most part the acts were well done – singers, dancers, and jokes by Carmela as host.  Two Nepal Security gals danced and the “Male Attraction” also danced.  The very best was the Filipino tenor with falsetto well under control.  I was back in the cabin by ten o’clock.

We are speeding along at over thirty knots, and the fairly calm seas make it easier!

“Sea Diamond” sank after going on rocks in the Aegean Sea.  This is a Greek ship.  All were evacuated safely because they were close to shore.

The Durban harbor control tower is referred to as the “Monk’s Cowl” because that is what it looks like!

 Saturday, 7 April – 31 Knots speed overnight!

I had an itinerate breakfast, flitting to Bill and Richard’s table, then with Golda.  I chatted with the Lees, spent time on deck roaming and watching the agitated seas of waves, swells and whitecaps stirred by a fairly strong wind from astern at 29 knots, thus reducing the rate over the decks considerably.  At eleven-fifteen I attended the last lecture on South Africa, interrupted by the noon report.  People snickered and laughed as Daniel registered impatience from the stage!

I decided not to sing in the Talent Show when I saw so many repeat singers of mediocrity from past performances.  I frankly walked away!  I later heard that Mary M. defied Gun when she tried to limit her aria to one song.  So glad I wasn’t there.  On Sunday, I sang “Lorelei” for my table mates!

I had lunch in the Maury by a starboard window with an Aussie couple, Beryl and Lyn, and Paula joined us later.  The ocean is beautiful blue with those great waves and swells.  Noon fix: 34˚35.5 S x 23˚ 55’E  at 29.5 knots speed with moderate seas and rough swells.

Paula and I met up again at teatime.  We photographed the beautiful ocean scenes outside, and when dinner came I joined my two mates and I ate without Janet’s company.  I went from there to the fun show by String Fever.  They are the ones who ham it up on their five-string viols, always ending with all four of them playing the cello!

We crossed the Agulhas Bank this evening and are headed northerly to reach Cape Town by midnight so we can bunker at the special refueling dock before moving on to our regular space by daylight.  Cape Agulhas is the southernmost point on Africa, not Cape of Good Hope!  We are now back in the Atlantic Ocean!

Easter Sunday, 8 April – Cape Town, South Africa – 33˚ 54.6′ S x 018˚ 26.2 E.

We moved to our dock as I emerged to view the glorious Cape Town scene with magnificent Table Mountain gleaming in the cloudless morning sun, with the city skyscrapers etched clearly on the “backdrop.”  I shared a happy Easter breakfast with Grania and Peter, then spent most of the morning enjoying the deck scene and reading Burning Cold about the “Prinzendam” fire in October of 1980 and the spectacular rescue effort.  Bill had recommended this to me and I am glad he did!

After lunch in the Caronia, I headed for the Victoria and Alfred shopping area – walking, observing and buying a souvenir or two.  There were musical groups, harbor trips and restaurants all around, and being Sunday, the place was crowded with happy South Africans and tourists enjoying the perfect day.

I was back by three o’clock and spent time in my cabin till our last dinner with Golda and Diana.  I visited various friends till Showtime at 9:45.  This was the special local production of African performers dancing and pounding out their distinctive rhythms of their music.

 Monday, 9 April – Cape Town.

I joined Janet, Geri and Sylvia for a delightful red bus tour of Cape Town – for two hours.  I took 12 pages of notes in my new South Africa notebook, and when it was over, I walked around the Victoria and Alfred area again before returning to the ship for lunch after one o’clock.

I then spent the afternoon in my cabin, napping and knitting.  At six o’clock Captain Perkins came on the Tannoy to say we are fogbound so will delay until it clears up.  Can’t even see the narrow exit!  One and a half hours later, after I dined alone, looking outward, the fog lifted.  I sat on deck with Bill and Richard and we watched the tugs come and pull us away from the dock and backward gradually so we could turn 90˚ to the East and slowly forward through the red light on starboard and green on port – a very narrow span.  I was back in the cabin by eight o’clock, ready for the night.

 Tuesday, 10 April.

A beautiful, calm and cool day greeted me as I checked the weather on deck.  I ate breakfast with Bill and Richard, then chose another book to read and sat on deck to read till the eleven o’clock lecture on the life of Nelson Mandela.  Lunch followed closely after that and I joined Paula by the starboard windows in the Maury.  We saw ducks, dolphins and much interest on such as the occasional “cats paws” slightly ripple the water. Movie:  “March of the Penguins” was the movie offering, and lots of us enjoyed this re-showing! 

Janet and I have no new tablemates yet, but that doesn’t bother us.  We headed for String Fever again.  Neil Broadbent.  Clocks back one hour.

 Wednesday, 11 April – Walvis Bay, Namibia – 22˚ 57′ S x 14˚ 29.9′ E

We are docked way away from the entrance to the cargo area with railroad trains moving all around to the large depot.  We had to walk a long way to the gate, where the natives had their usual trinkets of wood necklaces etc. all similarly displayed on the dusty ground.  I bought a hippo, rhino, yak and malachite frog’ all for $25.  It was an equally long walk back, but the sunny air is very pleasant.  I had decided not to take any of the excursions since all that was offered, I had previously done anyway, so I simply remained on the ship looking over the land which is simply the container port in our foreground and the town stretching inland looking very parched and desert-like, which the whole country really is.

I had lunch in the Lido, and soon after, we pulled away directly to the ocean channel.  We could see a low, long sand spit to Port, and also the desert shore clear up to Swakupmund.  The Charity Fayre meeting took place during this departure, so I dashed to the Grand Lounge to join the group then went to the movie “Marie Antoinette”.  I then spent time in my cabin till time for dinner in the Lido with Paula.  We talked in there till ten o’clock.

On my bed was another World Cruise gift, consisting of another commemorative document case and two luggage tags of similar design.  World Cruise stuff is now going for half price in the shops. 

Thursday, 12 April.

I managed to attend the lecture on the history of Terrorism by Mr. Trenier-Harvey, before reporting for the stall set-up session for the World Cruise Charity Fayre day.   I took bids for the 4 dolls with insulting results.  Forget it and never again!  Most people don’t appreciate the work that goes into the details of them.  After lunch with Paula, I reported for my three-hour stint at the fair.

Noon Report:  We are off Angola t 15˚ 30.45′ S  and are traveling at 28.5 knots on a course of 317˚ Rhumb Line with a 22 knot following wing.  Average seas and southeast swell.

I joined Valerie and three of her friends, 2 from Alabama and June, and followed that with a few minutes of listening to the “whizbang” guitarist at the show.  After that, a lot of us headed up to Funnel deck to join the stargazers.  The lights were turned off so we could better see Orion with Rigel and Betelgeuse and Sirius, and follow on down southerly to Castor and Pollux, the Gemeni twins, and then to the Southern Cross!  All these stars in the constellations named help point to the wonderful slightly askew cross, and this will probably be our last chance to see it, because we will soon be crossing to the Northern Hemisphere.

 Friday, 13 April.

This has been a fine, pleasant and very comfortable day on deck.  We crossed the Prime Meridian at 07˚12.5’S and 000˚ before noon at which time  000˚ 42’W was reported.  I ate with Betty, Beverly and Martha (all from the Aegean I world cruise my friend Phyllis Reynolds took in 1997), then went to the fine lecture on Solzhenitzyn by David Aikman.  This makes me want to buy his book on “Six Souls.”  After that, I sat on deck under number 12 lifeboat reading and observing the white-capped slight seas and almost imperceptible swell.  At noon we were going at 28.5 knots.

Before lunch I stopped to chat with George and Ann about Greenwich and the Meridian House, Harrison’s chronometer and alas, some of my compatriots who knew nothing of the ball clock functions.  Paula joined me as usual, and we observed flying fish.  The afternoon saw me attending two more lectures dealing with spies in the sky, and the movie “On a Clear Day”

Dinner with Janet at our table, just the two of us, followed by the Showtime  feature, “Duo Yolba”  delightful display of great folk-type playing on multiple instruments not familiar to most of us.

Saturday, 14 April.

We crossed the Equator at 8:54 a.m. local time, GMT 0754 at Longitude 007˚ 24.7’W traveling at compass bearing 316˚.  Alas, the actual crossing was not on the channel 4 screen till,3′ North, so I missed the immediate switch!

I had breakfast with the two performers of Duo Yolba, the multi-musicians from last night.  The older is married to a Swede and lives there and the younger one is from Cozumel. Both are Mexican.   Janet joined us and gave them the name of the Edinburgh Festival organizers. 

Mr. Aikman’s lecture today was on the Falklands War.  Lunch with Paula as usual, then a talk on the Canary Islands.  It is very hot and humid out so I stayed inside.  However, I did manage a short time under boat 8 before noon.  After the Canaries talk I spent the rest of the afternoon with the television in my cabin.

Janet and I again had our formal dinner together at our “exclusive” table, then when back at the cabin I received a beautiful silk Cunard 25th World Cruise scarf and an invitation to the World Cruise cocktail party for tomorrow.  The scarf will forever be a treasure for me.

Noon Report:  01˚3.6’N x 008˚ 25.7 W, and they said we crossed at 0855 at a speed of 28.3 knots.  Rhumb Line 317˚ True.  Following low swell.  Wind: South at Force 3, and 24 knots on deck.

Sunday, 15 April.

I awoke later than usual and ate breakfast alone in the Lido.  I chased the Lees to their table in the Maury and gave Margaret the next knitted elephant for the embroidered eyes.  I then attended Glenmore’s lecture on the “Second Oldest Profession” (espionage) and read my book in the Grand Lounge till the noon report.  09˚ 5’N x 15˚56′ W. Course: 317˚ and will later to 352˚ off Senegal for a Rhumb Line to the Canaries.  Seas are slight and low swell – Boring as usual.  I chatted with Richard briefly and had lunch on my own by a window, hoping Paula would show up, but she didn’t.

The Nautical Auction took place in the Grand Lounge, and a lot of money was raised for the charity.  However, I didn’t remain long and went to hear a concert in the Theatre. 

Janet and I were at our table for dinner, then we both went to the World Cruise cocktail party, where I sat with Michel and Gisele.  Michel worked for a shipping line in Quebec in the 50s and knew of the Greek Line ships.  We went directly to the Grand Lounge for the pared-down version of the Apassionata production from the QM2.  With the cast usually done for 6 couples, they had to cut don to two or three couples for the dance numbers, but they did it superbly in the limited stage area.

The ship did turn to 350˚ around six o’clock, and I was on hand to see us do it.

Monday, 16 April.

After pancakes in the Maury, I checked the deck and found strong wind from forward and a brisk cool in the air, so the time being near ten, I attended the two lectures in the Theater; 1. Madiera and 2. Modern China.

Noon Report:  18˚ 57’N x 017˚ 59′ W 85 nautical miles off Mauritania; at 27.8 knots.  Course: 005˚.  Northwest wind 40-50 mph over decks.  Lunch was next and Valerie Bennett joined me by a window in the Lido.  I chatted with Margaret and Eric and told them about Michel (of the Canadian Pacific Line, and it turns out Eric worked there as well for a short time.)

I gave Karen of the Travel Office my plane information for more clarification and went to see “The Queen” again in the Theatre balcony.  Dinner and showtime with Joe Yolba and classical guitar.  Ali put two chocolates on my 2 knitted elephants!

Tuesday, 17 April – Las Palmas – 28˚ 8.4′ N x 15˚ 25.5′ W

Gisele and I had a nice breakfast,  and I then went to see about the QE2 Passenger Review and joined the “chorus” in rehearsal.  Lecture on the history of codes by Glenmore.  Before I knew it we were entering the lovely harbor at Las Palmas,  Gran Canarie Island.  We passed the black and white striped jetty lighthouse and glided to the long Terminal Pier below distant surrounding mountains clothed in “sandy” atmosphere and cool air.  The city was spread out right before us. 

After lunch in the Mauretania, I joined my bus tour to Columbus museum, Cathedral, Bandana Caldera and Botanical Gardens, as well as the Grotto of Artiles (caves.)  We were back by five-thirty and I had my dinner in the Mauretania.  We left on time at eight o’clock by backing along the dock and turning stern pivot 90˚ to head out.

By the way, Marguerite told me the QM2 will be heading East on the crossing, while we head West and now we wonder if they will cross each other.  Also, we remembered Ian McNaught will be in command by then.  Yippee!

Wednesday, 18 April, Madeira – 32˚38’N x 016˚ 54.4′ W.

Since I awoke late, I skipped breakfast in favor of a look on deck.  “Boudicca” of Fred Olsen line is also in port, as is the replica of the “Santa Maria.”  I caught a limited glance of that and it was gone when we returned from my tour.  We traveled up and down numerous mountains on very windy roads overlooking deep ravines and affording spectacular views.  Pico das Barceles, Miraduro, Eira de Serrado 1053 meters high, Monte and Toboggan rides down the slopes – a long way!

The tea stop afforded a marvelous ‘elevensies,” with chocolate cake, Madeira cake and Melba toast.  Absolutely yummy!

Back at the ship I spent the afteroon on deck facing toward the beautiful scene of Funchal in clouds of mist up the mountain.  For a while Richard Clay and I chatted and when he left, I took up my book.  The “Santa Maria” replica motored by so I was able to photograph it after all.

We pulled away a little after six, at which time Paula caught up with me and told me of her happy day with Patrick and Julie (her son and daughter-in-law).  They delivered her credit card, which was greatly missed since Cunard would not accept her debit card all during the world cruise time.  I congratulated her on being off the hook!  We spent a long time still on deck watching a lone, confused pigeon flying and landing as the island disappeared. 

After I ate dinner in the Lido (Paula abstained), and I had two crèmes caramels. Marguerite joined us a while facing aft by the sports deck. I returned to my cabin by eight-thirty.  Paula’s cabin 2003 is the smallest outside single I have seen.  It has a fold down bunk, and if used the cabin would be difficult to spread out.

Thursday, 19 April.

I shared a quick breakfast in the Lido with Bill, Richard and a friend.  Bill says “Boudicca” is the former “Royal Viking Sky.”  From there I went to the rehearsal for the QE2 Review we gals have planned.  I copied the melody for “Captain of the Pinafore” for the pianist, attended the cooking demonstration, then became embroiled in the talent show sign-up.  Result:  I pulled out with a bit of an attitude about Mary M. who protested at the thought of her being put out because of so many people who wanted to sign up.

Noon Report:  39˚30’N x 12˚ 48.4′ W: Speed: 28.7 knots from NE: Course: 023˚ Low swell and calm.

I had lunch with Shirley from Australia, Phoenix, New Jersey and elsewhere, and Paula.  We had lively conversations about accents, English language, politics and general fun. I gave my extra Madeira bag to Margaret Lee for £5.00 and my large fan to Paula who phoned to say she could send it to me.  Yes and thanks!

The Talent Show went on without me! My dinner was on my own in the Mauretania, but I didn’t mind since we had the whole Auld Lang Syne song and Baked Alaska with the Lee.  I chatted with the Bishops and Paula before the Show, which was the great arias and duets by the Opera Babes.  Paula and I went to see the Royal Ascot Ball preliminaries and followed that with a visit to the Gala Buffet.  All I had was a Horlicks and returned to my cabin.

Friday, 20 April.

During breakfast I had a short chat with Janet and Marguerite plus Kurt, then checked the air on deck, which is cool as we proceed easily through the low swell of the Bay of Biscay.  We gals rehearsed in the Grand Lounge for the QE2 review, which is really rough – so we will see how it goes this afternoon.  Paula and Australia Shirley lunched with me after I attended the lecture on salesmanship!  Then ensued our anticipated performance of the QE2 Review.  Miracle of miracles, we did well and it went over well!  Bill and Richard plus an Aussie friend of theirs let me join them for tea.

Noon Report:  47˚ 46′ N x 007˚ 6′ W.  We are off the French coastline now in the Bay of Biscay ready to join the English Channel by six o’clock tonight, and we will pick up the local Pilot to the Solent by 0315 tomorrow.  Captain Perkins is to leave and Ian Captain McNaught will return, much to our happy anticipation!  I had dinner alone at 255, and all of us in that lovely nook took photos of each other and said our goodbyes.  I then headed for the Lido to spend the evening with Paula as usual.

Saturday, 21 April – Southampton, England – Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday.  50˚53’N x 001˚23.8W

I surfaced long after we were tied up, already turned around the 180˚.  I ate on my own facing the port and noted the arrival of the “Millenium” of Celebrity Cruises, and eventually watched the brand new “Ocean Village 2” back into a slip astern of us.

I stayed with Paula until we both left the ship after ten o’clock, and I took the Shuttle bus to West Quay, adjacent to the Bar Gate and the precinct shops.  I first went to the Natwest hole in the wall for my £40, and bought stuff at W.H. Smith, Boots etc. as well as sight seeing at the “Titanic” memorial and Palmerston Park.

I returned to Queen Elizabeth 2 for lunch, but returned into town to call the families and returned by four o’clock.  I chatted with the Bishops, filmed our departure and ate with Janet and two new women, Lorraine and Daisy from Wales. At the table for two next to ours, we met Geoff and Richard who are newly embarked.  They are funny!

Sunday, 22 April – Back on the Atlantic Ocean bound for New York.

I returned to my cabin and read a while, falling asleep, so I didn’t go to the movie after all.  Clocks back one hour.  At least I managed to spot the Nab Tower, which I have hitherto called the Shot Tower erroneously.

I received an email from Cherie stating he will be in New York when I arrive.  While there are no rough seas, we experienced lots of fog so the foghorn sounded every two minutes through lunchtime, and occasional rain fell.

I had to work out the bus transport to JFK airport instead of LaGuardia, then I read the Richard Henry Dana book till noon.  Two Years Before the Mast.

At noon we were just south of Ireland traveling at 24.4 knots on a Rhumb line course of 247˚, in three miles visibility (hence the fog horn).  A weather low is ahead but we may go around it.  Slight seas and low swell prevail.

Peter Boyd-Smith of “Cobwebs” in Southampton is the maritime lecturer now, and the first one today was on the “Titanic.”  “Nomadic” was a tender at that era and now will be restored.  I saw most of “Casino Royale” again, and had dinner with Janet only, and we carried on banter with Geoff and Richard next door.  Before the Beatlemania performance I sat with Marie and Frank, then headed to the Lido to locate familiar faces, with only the Bishops, Marguerite and Jim, Michelle and two more dance hosts.  Back to the cabin to retire and put clocks back one hour.   Actually I had to pass by the Beatlemania concert and I held my fingers in my ears, it was so loud!

Monday, 23 April.

We had a little more motion over night, but the storm passed north of us.  I had breakfast with Sheila from Toronto, while we tried to do states that can be incorporated into sentences.  For a while I sat on deck bundled up against the cool winds, reading and enjoying the waves and swells, then warmed up at the two lectures by Brian Hoey on Queen Elizabeth II,  and Nigel West on Ian Fleming.  I then met Diane for lunch at the Mauretania.  She can’t invite me to eat with her in the Caronia restaurant so I kidded her about slumming it!

We continue westward at 25.2 knots with moderate seas, and west south-westerly swell at a Force 5 (strong) wind from west south-west, very strong on deck.

The afternoon lecture by Edward Peck dwelt on maps of different projections and fascinating statistics.  I tried the outside again briefly, but it is still quite cool and windy but clear.  I dined alone and visited the Lido as usual.  The Westenders performed their superb show tunes, while some motion continues to remind us we are happily at sea!  Clocks back one hour.

Tuesday, 24 April.

Last night as I was reading, I realized the moon has again waxed enough to light up the ocean directly along our westward path.  It looks as though it is a road with edges clearly marked.  Two spots on the bow are lit up by the moonbeams.  The swells continued to cause some pitching and consequently there are gentle groans of creaking walls in my cabin – which I love to hear!

I was wide awake around four o’clock so as light dawned, I could see the waves occasionally splashing over the bow, which always thrills me, especially because it has happened so rarely along our way.  Not since the night before Japan have we had this much motion!

Queen Mary 2 docks today in Southampton, and I think that if we hadn’t gone so far south to avoid the storm we might have passed each other yesterday.  Too bad!  All day we encountered moderate seas and swells from the west, so we had some fun pitching, making foam and a beautiful wake with occasional larger waves.

Breakfast was with Gisele, then I chose a book from the Library and had a chat with Sheila.  Three lectures included Nigel West on the special relationship between the United States and Britain regarding shared intelligence, then a great talk on the English language and its Quirks by Ambassador Edward Peck, plus Peter Boyd-Smith’s second talk on “Titanic.”  The Theatre door was damaged so I reported it before lunch in Maury with Shirley (Aussie) and four Brit ladies.

I spent a lot of time videoing the ocean and walking along the deck as well as a sojourn simply gazing at the seas from a deck chair.  Dinner was again alone, but Geoff and Richard being present, we had lively conversations from table to table. 

Some major repair is going on behind curtain walls on the E Stairwell landing between two and three decks. 

I am in the throes of trying to pack everything, a very tight fit.  I’ll leave something behind for sure.  Overnight was a gradual smoothing out process.

At noon we were half way across the ocean with strong winds from the West South West at Force 7, moderate seas and short, moderate, westerly swells.  Thus our glorious pitching!   Speed 23.2 knots on a course of 262.˚ The first quarter moon path shines brilliantly   Clocks back one hour.

Wednesday, 25 April.

Again I was awake very early, just as dawn was beginning.  I puttered at packing and reading till breakfast, which I took in the Maury with a nice Welshman from Barry.  He is involved with a choir so we had a delightful mutual-interest conversation.

The morning lectures were by Brian Hoey on Princess Diana, and Boyd-Smith on the “Four Queens” – ships that is!

Lunch quickly rolled around and I shared it with John Rollinson, the retired church organist, He is agreeable to accompanying me if there is another Talent Show.  The afternoon lecture was “Cultural Shock and Perception” by Ambassador Edward Peck.  At noon we were off the Grand Banks of Nova Scotia with rain, 304 nautical miles off Cape Race, traveling at 24.5 knots. In slight seas and southwest swells in south southwest wind at Force 5.

John and I did rehearse the “Dove Sono” by Mozart in the Yacht Club.  Dinner was with Faith and Wendell Bishop in the Lido and we chatted a long time.  Also Peter and Grania came along and we talked at length.  I was back in my cabin by ten thirty.

Thursday, 26 April.

Smooth is the theme of the day with fog and foghorn sounds as we sail off Nova Scotia.  I met John R. at the Crystal Bar for our rehearsal at 7:15 this morning, and we went through the aria twice, then, Lee my friend showed up for her session on her oboe with him and I listened.  She wanted to know if she was ready to perform and I frankly replied reluctantly in the negative, for which she thanked me!  We had breakfast together in the Maury with Virginia, Lee’s Mom, John and Dave.

The lectures were:  Peck’s “Postulates” and “Intelligence Agencies” by Nigel West, then we signed up for the Talent show.  There were only ten candidates this time, a more possible number.

I had my last lunch by a window overlooking the water and fog able to hear the foghorn.  A Brit couple joined me.  Marie says they will figure the requirements for World Club membership next year á la Carnival, whatever that means.  She is winding up her charity table today!

I went topside to hear the final concert by the Westenders,  and that was followed by the Talent Show in which there were only a few entrants including John Rollinson doing his own song and accompanying me in the “Dove Sono” which got a very good reception!

Janet and I ate together for the last time and we spent the whole time talking with Geoff Woods and Richard Goyette, and also exchanged addresses.  Richard had heard me sing, but Geoff slept through it so missed it.  I said my goodbyes to Omar, hugged Sylvia and took leave of Arjani and others.

When I checked the Lido I sat with Richard Clay and Bill Greenwood till time for the show.  Valerie was celebrating her birthday at a long table with balloons and cake.

The crazy acrobatic Moosenmen did the ladder balance walk, while the other one did a tightrope walk.  The other half of the show was a great vocal concert by Dorothy Bishop, a very accomplished operatic soprano with pop abilities too.  I caught the Bishops on their way to the Purser’s Office so I said goodbyes again.  I delivered my two fully loaded suitcases by 9:30.  Clocks back one last hour.

Friday, 27 April – New York Harbor.

I awoke early enough to see us approach Ambrose Tower and the Verrazano Bridge during a thunder and lightning storm.  I dozed in between but didn’t feel it necessary to go up to witness in the rain.  QE2 docked on starboard and our gangway was set up at G stairway Two Deck.  I ate my last breakfast with Gisele and Valerie Noonan came to update us on Billy’s condition.  I let her telephone her daughter from the Pavilion.

I took my stuff from the cabin by eight thirty and sat with John Rollinson till my ticket Red 2 was called.  I had said goodbye to the Garringers, Valerie and Molly, Gisele and several others, then joined the jam up at the gangway.  The rest of the process was smooth although I again had to drag all my bags to the bus.

The bus to JFK was very slow and took an hour and a half. 

Goodbye QE2 and friends.  This was a lovely and very smooth World Cruise, and I hope to return for the 08 Pacific Rim cruise.   The Westenders were on my bus as well as the Moosmen, and we talked together during the long ride.

 

I met up with Archie Cooer at the airport, as he checked in for his flight back to Australia.  He was a very congenial and interesting man and we ate many a meal together in the Lido as well as Mauretania.