Jan 9-10 The grand adventure has begun. We’re bouncing around on the VIA train that left Kingston (on time !) about an hour ago. Heading to Pearson airport, overnight flight to London. We board the Queen Mary 2 on Wednesday afternoon for our trip to Sydney, scheduled to arrive there on March 11, with lots of interesting stops along the way.
Travelling equals patience. Car, taxi, train, train, plane, bus, taxi … door-to-door all in 25 1/2 hours. Our plane was late departing by 2 hrs (incoming flight had a medical emergency) & our bus from Heathrow to Southampton was 45 mins late due to construction & other issues. Luckily the older we get the more patiently sanguine we get about it all. But just to try our patience, our hotel listed me and “Mrs Tarjay Story” OMG that’s zero for three :-/
Jan 11-12 We arrived at the Queen Mary 2 (QM2) at the appointed time. It was then a 2-hour snaking queue. Luckily, we were just in front of an English couple from Windemere who are sailors so our conversations helped pass the hours. This is the 100th anniversary of the first world cruise done by Cunard. Queen Victoria was also docked at Southampton, about to embark on a world cruise. There were fireworks in the harbour, in celebration. QM2 left at around 8pm heading to the English Channel. We left the English Channel late this morning Force 9 – Severe Gale with 60 kts of wind over the deck. The decks are closed, and we are happily staying inside!
Thursday was the first Gala Night; the theme was Black & White. Bob wore his tuxedo and I wore my one and only LBD with a white lacy scarfy thing. We chose to do the 6pm dinner slot and asked for a table of six. We got the same setup as on the transatlantic crossing last fall. Three tables of two in a row, the tables very close to each other. Myra and Norman are from the Isle of Bute in Scotland and Caroline and Keith are from the Isle of Wight. More on them as the days go by.
We went to see that evening’s show, a pair of Scottish brothers, one playing fiddle, the other one guitar and accordion. It was a good show. As we left the show and were walking back towards our state room, we heard the distinctive sound of our captain’s (Aseem Hashmi) voice talking behind us so of course I turned around and asked if he’d do a photo with us. He has a great sense of humour, I’m sure he is in hundreds and hundreds of pictures. He got staff member to take the picture and told us we’d be getting his bill the next day. According to a staff member Tarja overheard telling another passenger, “He is the best captain”.
Jan 13 – The winds and waves stayed high until mid afternoon so we both spent our time lower in the ship, Tarja hung out in the Grand Lobby reading her book, reading newspapers online etc. We went – to our favourite bar the Chart Room for a pre- dinner drink and could feel the waves had reduced in size and we could even see a bit of blue sky. We are still walking like we’re a bit drunk. It’s fun walking behind someone as they weave along.