Those of you in the UK and maybe even beyond, may have discovered that a grand old lady is being retired. The flagship of the Cunard line and a much loved British icon, the QE2 made her last voyage out of Southampton last night.
Southampton is the home port of the Cunard line and the QE2. Living within walking distance of the river we just couldn't let this historic moment go by without being a part of it. So last night, after madam had been to Brownies, we walked down to the bridge and stood with the crowds to wave her goodbye.
We get many huge and beautiful cruise ships sailing from Southampton, such as the Arcadia, Aurora, Oriana, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. It's always a bonus if we happen to be down by the water and see one of these magnificent ships sailing in or out of port. However, we generally don't follow the shipping movements or go out of our way to see them.
The QE2 is different. There was always a special thrill and a buzz when she was in port. That unmistakable red funnel stood out among the much larger ships in port. She is far smaller than many of the vast and more modern cruise ships now using the port but I think that is part of her appeal.
So, after 41 years and nearly six million nautical miles, this epitome of cruise luxury is on her way to Dubai to become a luxury floating hotel. A most touching part of yesterday's farewell was a fly past by a Tiger Moth that dropped a million poppies over the ship to mark the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice.
Of course, there were fireworks too.
Bit blurry but you get the idea?!
I managed to get one not too blurry shot as she started to leave port.....and just before my camera batteries died!!
Here are a few interesting facts from The Telegraph website:
'In 1995, the QE2 managed to withstand a 30-metre high wave breaking across her bow during Hurricane Luis
In 2001, the QE2 sailed into Lisbon with a 19-metre long finback whale impaled on her bow.
In March 1975, the QE2 made its first transit of Panama Canal, making it the biggest ship ever to travel through the canal. There was less than a foot to spare as the ship made its way through the canal locks.
Beatrice Muller, from New Jersey, has used the QE2 as a retirement home for 14 years, having paid around £3,500 a month for the privilege. Now 89, she is still deciding what she will do after the QE2’s final voyage – but says she plans to remain at sea.'
That's just four of fifty fascinating facts about this great ship. My Minx summed it up last night when she looked up at me with tear filled eyes and said 'But I don't want her to go Mummy...why can't we keep her?'
Aww bless her.
She barely knew the ship even existed before last night!!
After all that emotion, here's some evidence of craftiness.
Presents for Minx's friend's birthday. A pencil case and accidentally rather large zippy pouch:
...and this continues to grow:
I'll be back here at the weekend with news of a bloggy meet up here. I'm running away on Friday and will even be staying in a hotel with Locket and her very bossy BIG sister Ally :-)
Wish me luck ;-)