Author Topic: QE2 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008  (Read 539 times)

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Online Michael Gallagher

QE2 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« on: Oct 22, 2018, 07:39 AM »
QE2 arrived in Southampton after her final crossing of the Atlantic 10 years ago today, 22 October 2008.

This call was notable for several reasons:

Final QE2 and Queen Mary 2 Meeting

At just before 1300 hours on Wednesday 22 October, after crossing the Atlantic together and arriving in Southampton earlier that morning, QE2 and Queen Mary 2 met for the last time while QE2 was in service when Queen Mary 2 left her berth at the Mayflower Terminal and passed QE2.

It was a lacklustre farewell. Queen Mary 2 saluted QE2 several times as she headed downriver and while she passed the older ship but, apart from two very short blasts from QE2 from the two Officers on Watch (who remained inside the Wheelhouse), QE2 did not respond properly. Captain McNaught was not on the Bridge (he was embarking his wife and mother in law) and not many QE2 crew members bothered to be on deck.

Berthing

It would be the last time QE2 would berth port-side to at the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal. Most of her Southampton calls saw QE2 berth starboard-side to.

River Itchen First

Given the above a few weeks earlier the pilot Noel Beckett pointed out to Captain McNaught that if 22 October was a quiet day then they should attempt to manoeuvre QE2 stern first and tow her backwards to make a 180º turn off the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal and enter the adjacent River Itchen rather than taking the vessel upriver to her normal swinging basin.

This is what was done on 22 October – the first time ever QE2 had undertaken this procedure in Southampton. Captain McNaught would later call the turn a “nice manoeuvre” and highlighted the fact that there was indeed more room to turn QE2 (by about 50 metres) than there usually was in the traditional swinging basin and how this turn was much better for crowds who would gather at the docks to see the ship off as she swung right past them.


« Last Edit: Oct 24, 2018, 07:35 PM by Rob Lightbody »

Online Alex Tarry

Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #1 on: Oct 22, 2018, 08:21 AM »
My wife and I were on that final transatlantic, her 806th I recall?  Here are photos of the final day, with QE2 flying her paying off pennant, the two ships drew close and exchanged whistles and we could just hear QM2’s passengers’ excitement over the gap. 

That evening we stayed up late and photographed the ship on what was our last night aboard.  We also got up early and nipped under the barrier to watch a ghostly arrival into the Southampton gloom, from the area below the bridge...
« Last Edit: Oct 22, 2018, 09:18 AM by Rob Lightbody »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #2 on: Oct 22, 2018, 09:15 AM »
During the afternoon of Tuesday 21 October – the last day QE2 would spend on the Atlantic both Queen Mary 2 and QE2 closed to within a short distance of each other for a final salute. QE2 was flying a ‘Paying-Off’ pennant.

After multiple and extended whistle exchanged Commodore Warner on Queen Mary 2 asked passengers to give three cheers for QE2.

“Give her three cheers for the greatest liner of our generation, the QE2, as loud as you can so she can hear us”.

He repeatedly referred to the “beautiful” Queen Elizabeth 2.

Online cunardqueen

Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #3 on: Oct 22, 2018, 10:45 AM »
That ship had dogged us all the way to New York and had dogged us all the way back, personally l was glad to see the back of it and just wished she would clear off and leave us alone 

My own plans were that l should be leaving QE2 by hired car and dropping a dear friend off at Guildford, this had already been organised the month before and l opted for the largest car they had, l really didnt relish the thought of driving upto London and parking at the hotel.However during the homeward crossing it became very clear that the car l had booked wouldnt be enough, even with the seats folded down after much discussion over the phone (at Cunards phones rates )  it was felt the only option was a Ford transit, Hence my departure from QE2 was in a white Ford Transit Van. A late evening drive  upto London  with the idea the roads might be quiet and trying to navigate a one way system at the hotel at Kings Cross and arriving to find a space large enought right outside the front door. The van unloaded, and an early morning drive to the vehicle drop off point hoping to avoid any serious traffic
The trouble with QE2 was after spending 3 weeks onboard the luggage at the end was insane , cases packed    with all manner of items. Iv never been able to travel light , excess baggage is a way of life for some of us.

The last Dinner for me, l struggled with , having taken the seat where the host usually sat , the wine preordered out table toasted Her Majesty The Queen and then l toasted "QE2 for her many wonderful memories" , chinked glasses, and in memory of Erma from the previous crossing said " And once again with feeling" we chinked glasses again. Personally l found it very sad thinking back over the years to my time in the Tables of the World with Paul Hopley the Cruise director The Memories of the various hosted tables  in Mauretania, the upgrade for a crossing to the posh Columbia  The great and the good and the sad times onboard QE2  and knowing it was all over. I understand why QE2 was sold, But l will never forgive Cunard for selling QE2. 
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #4 on: Oct 22, 2018, 10:27 PM »
Alex and Myles, it's great to see what my parents, a few relatives, and I experienced a decade ago but from the opposite view. I remember us coming together and it was a bittersweet moment, the second such moment after seeing you pass us and leave New York for the last time. A decade ago today was the last time I saw QE2 in person to date - here's hoping to see her again sometime next year if things go well.

Here are a couple more of my Dad's videos from this final tandem:


First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #5 on: Oct 22, 2018, 10:49 PM »
Mesmerising videos Thomas, fabulous.  If only she'd been running at her service speed... But unfortunately there were no other ships to film her over the decades when she did 28.5 knots all the way.  I wish they'd let them both speed up on those crossings.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Rod

Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #6 on: Oct 22, 2018, 10:53 PM »
Mesmerising videos Thomas, fabulous.  If only she'd been running at her service speed... But unfortunately there were no other ships to film her over the decades when she did 28.5 knots all the way.  I wish they'd let them both speed up on those crossings.

I cannot remember which Captain it was, but in the early days of the ship one of the Captains used to speed up to get to the head of the docking Queue. This basically was so that everything would go on time or earlyish and the crew could get a decent break. When the office discovered it he was hauled over the coals.!

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #7 on: Oct 22, 2018, 11:08 PM »
When the office discovered it he was hauled over the coals.!

By "office" in this context, I take it you mean the accountants...?



...there was indeed more room to turn QE2 (by about 50 metres) than there usually was in the traditional swinging basin and how this turn was much better for crowds who would gather at the docks to see the ship off as she swung right past them.

I have the thought that as it was almost the last visit to Southampton, it was a bit darn late to discover that she fitted better turning that way!
« Last Edit: Oct 22, 2018, 11:11 PM by Peter Mugridge »
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #8 on: Oct 22, 2018, 11:19 PM »
Mesmerising videos Thomas, fabulous.  If only she'd been running at her service speed... But unfortunately there were no other ships to film her over the decades when she did 28.5 knots all the way.  I wish they'd let them both speed up on those crossings.

I will pass your kind words onto my Dad  :) What's interesting to note is the cargo ship crossing in the opposite direction to us in the second video of my Dad's - what a rare sight they would've had, something my Dad remarked on at the time (I think) and has since.

We averaged 25/26 knots on this 6 night crossing and at times went 27/28 knots (potentially also when running parallel and not just swapping between ahead and astern positions) according to Barumfox, something that cannot be said today with QM2 on the 7 night crossings at an average of 21 knots despite being designed for the 6 night crossing - 28.5 knots all the way being at or beyond her limit and not practical as we know. I understand and would've liked what you've said above though...being on QE2's bridge at that speed was very special (July 2005 with the children's club)!
« Last Edit: Oct 22, 2018, 11:24 PM by Thomas Hypher »
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #9 on: Oct 22, 2018, 11:22 PM »
Berthing

It would be the last time QE2 would berth port-side to at the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal. Most of her Southampton calls saw QE2 berth starboard-side to.

Didn't QE2 normally dock Port-side (left side) at QEII terminal and therefore facing out down Southampton Water, the Solent, and out to sea?
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #10 on: Oct 23, 2018, 02:52 PM »
Thanks, Thomas, for sharing the awesome videos !  They are so very good, and seeing QE2 in open water is marvelous.  Everything about her says "speed" !   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online cunardqueen

Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #11 on: Oct 23, 2018, 09:43 PM »
Quote
  Mesmerising videos Thomas, fabulous.  If only she'd been running at her service speed... But unfortunately there were no other ships to film her over the decades when she did 28.5 knots all the way.  I wish they'd let them both speed up on those crossings. 

I was always aware that we were crawling over the Atlantic and this 6 day crossing really felt slow. Compared to the days when l was sailing over in 5 days you were aware that you were going somewhere and at speed. the wake showed us that fact.   
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Andy Holloway

Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #12 on: Oct 24, 2018, 12:08 AM »
Didn't QE2 normally dock Port-side (left side) at QEII terminal and therefore facing out down Southampton Water, the Solent, and out to sea?

Not every time Thomas, if there was MCA inspection requiring the port lifeboats to be lowered or some work needed to be carried out on the Stbd side then she would berth Stbd side to. She was Stbd side to when Margaret Thatcher visited for the Falkland 25th Anniversary lunch.

Online skilly56

Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #13 on: Oct 24, 2018, 02:09 PM »
Thank you Thomas!

I thoroughly enjoyed your video clips. Could easily have watched an hour or two more!

Cheers

Skilly

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: 10 Years Ago: 22 October 2008
« Reply #14 on: Oct 28, 2018, 05:36 AM »
Thank you Thomas!

I thoroughly enjoyed your video clips. Could easily have watched an hour or two more!

Cheers

Skilly

My Dad still has the footage on the HD tapes that his Canon XHA1 video camera uses, the trouble lies in having to use Firewire to capture the footage onto a computer for further use. Firewire is a legacy connection now as it is not supported anymore in recent software and on computers in the past few years -  it wasn't used for long before it was dropped annoyingly! Longer edits of the tandem footage probably would be possible bearing in mind the above though.

I will pass all your kind feedback to my Dad!
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2, in her new life, in Dubai back in January 2020.