June 29, 2007

Ahoy from the High Seas!

The sunset from my balcony!

Ahoy from somewhere in the North Atlantic aboard the Queen Mary 2! This amazing ship was launched in 2004, at a cost of $800 Million, and boasts a long list of "Firsts" and "Bests". Here are some facts: The QM2 is 1,132' long (4 city blocks), 135' wide, weighs 151,400 tons, carries 2,620 passengers and a crew of 1,253. She features 10 restaurants, 4 swimming pools, a spa, gymnasium, 500 seat theater, a casino, ballroom, shops, bars, lounges, a library and a planetarium! She is fast, steady, commodious, luxurious and a thrill to be aboard.

We departed Southampton on Tuesday under sunny skies and calm seas and have enjoyed two beautiful days (if a little breezy) cruising westward toward New York. Yesterday in his noon address, the Captain announced an impending storm caused by a severe low pressure system. His forecast proved correct and starting last night the seas became rougher and the gentle rocking turned into a pronounced roll. By midnight this became a real pitch forward and back and this morning we cannot open the balcony door and the waves are big and angry. We are in the middle of an Atlantic gale with 60-80 knot winds and high seas! Fortunately I have a strong stomach and am rather enjoying the spectacular vista and the great adventure. Of course, I am snug in a very comfortable stateroom and have just finished breakfast in bed!

In this age of jet travel, the idea of taking 6 days to cross from Europe to America may seem like a waste of time and money. But it is far more than getting from one point to another. The peaceful pace, the civilized surroundings, the accommodating, almost coddling, staff and the elegance of formal dining continue to attract a particular traveler. The Golden Age of ocean liners may have passed, but the lure of a transatlantic crossing is very much alive.

This has long been a dream voyage of mine and Captain Rynd and his fabulous crew have fulfilled every fantasy. Signing off at 09:45 aboard the Queen Mary 2, "The Most Famous Ocean Liner in the World"!

The storm tossed Atlantic outside my balcony this morning

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