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The Elephant has never set sail.

The Queen Mary 2 was in Halifax yesterday. I went down to the harbour to see her depart. This was not made easy by the fact that another huge Cruise ship was berthed right behind her. Initially, all I could really see were her  orange funnels. However, the time came and the tugs approached and she started out into the harbour. She was berthed with her bow facing the ocean, so there would be no turning in the harbour. I had to be satisfied with a more distant view of her sailing.

While waiting for her initial departure, I listened to other people on the dock.  One man recounted how he had been on a voyage of the first Queen Mary, in 1956. Although he was more than willing to talk, I was also willing to question him. He had sailed from New York to Southhampton in five days. He was not of the high society set, but he said he quickly learned to walk around ship with "A pretty girl on each arm." He was accepted everywhere. He was eighteen at the time. They had two days of rough weather where, at times, the waves were so high, " the screws (propellers) of the ship came right out of the water. As they turned in the air, they made the whole vessel shake."

As he was drawn away by his companions, I realized I was actually too close to see the QM2 depart. I quickly walked to another dock which jutted out more into the harbour. I was further away, but could now see past the other cruise ship. As I finally watched her depart, a middle-aged woman sitting by her companion, said that she had once sailed on the Queen Mary 2. It was a "liner" and not a "cruise ship". A beautiful experience. Magnificent food. All the entertainments you could desire (for which you paid extra). Plus you paid extra for the drinks. And you paid extra for your meals if you ate in the finest of the dining rooms. She didn't pay extra and didn't miss a thing.

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Queen Elizabeth

Hi Dale,
Saw your comments on the QM2 and thought you might enjoy my book Churchill's Queen. It was written to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Queen Elizabeth's heroic maiden voyage in 1940, and also the launch of the new Queen Elizabeth later this year. Although it is a thriller based on fact, anyone interested in the great liners would find it stuffed with detail - a techno-thriller of 1940. If interested you can sample 25% of the book on Smashwords. The paperback is available from Amazon.