Sunday, January 30, 2011
When I ran into him and his wife Kim later, I presented them with a few gifts to take home as keepsakes. What the Commodore did next, though, I did not anticipate whatsoever. He insisted on giving me something, so he took his QE2 pin off his lapel and gave it to me. I was absolutely touched, and thanked him profusely. To say that Commodore Warwick is a kind and generous man is an understatement!
Front row: Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn; Captain Julian Burgess; British Consul-General Dame Babara Hay
Back row: Dr. Scott Gray, San Pedro CVB; Christopher Chase, Port of Los Angeles; James Callahan, Metro Ports; Everette Hoard, Steamship Historical Society
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
That was quite a while ago, however, and is a far cry from the condition of the Doria today. Time and the elements have certainly had their way with the old ship.
An article from the Association of Underwater Explorers explains:
The wreck of the Andrea Doria has evolved throughout the years. Where she once appeared very much as an elegant liner peacefully resting on the seafloor, now she has aged and deteriorated, her hull has fractured and collapsed. Her upper decks have slowly slid off the hull of the Doria down to the seabed below. As a result of this transformation, a large debris field flows out from the hull of the liner. Access points frequented by divers, such as Gimbel's Hole, no longer exist. However, new areas are constantly opening up. The wreck is ever-changing, and presents new options for future explorations.
References: "Andrea Doria: A Wreck Undergoing Both Decay and Rebirth," Association of Underwater Explorers, http://uwex.us/ADwreck.htm (accessed January 28, 2011).
Thursday, January 27, 2011
What's sadly ironic about this cartoon? The fact that the Lusitania would be at the bottom of the Celtic Sea in a mere two months.
I won't go into the issues involved with the sinking, or whether or not the Lucy was a legitimate target of war. This image just struck me in a certain way...so much so that I felt I had to point it out.
We give Thee thanks, O Lord, for this beautiful ship, built by the efforts of people in whom the desire to strive and create has been allowed, through Thy grace, to develop and produce such a splendid result, and we pray that the crews manning her will continue, as we have commenced, to uphold always the highest traditions of the British Merchant Service. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Before anyone gets any wrong ideas, I want to explain my reasons for posting on such a topic. God and religion have both played a major role in maritime history and Captain Sorrell's prayer is a prime example of that relationship. Nothing more and nothing less.
References: Sylvia Duncan and Peter Duncan, The Sea My Steed: The Personal Story of Captain Donald Sorrell (London: Robert Hale Limited, 1960), 155.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
This was not the first tragedy to befall the ship: the Athena was originally launched in 1948 as the Swedish liner Stockholm.
It was under her original name that she collided with the Italian liner Andrea Doria on the evening of July 25, 1956 and killed a total of 51 people. While the Andrea Doria eventually sunk to the bottom, hundreds of survivors were rescued by both the Stockholm and Ile de France, which had steamed to the Italian liner's aid. Once loaded with survivors, the Swedish ship limped into New York with severe damage to its bow.
The Stockholm was never able to live down its involvement in the accident and became subsequently known as a "death ship," and the fatality in September 2006 only added to this reputation. It seems that even under a new name, the old ship is haunted by its past.
References: Alan Feurer, "From 'Death Ship' to Cruise Ship," The New York Times, September 23, 2006, under N.Y./Region, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9506EFDB1E31F930A1575AC0A9609C8B63&scp=29&sq=Andrea%20Doria&st=cse (accessed January 25, 2011).
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
References: Patrick McGeehan, "Cruise Passenger Spending in City Is Up Sharply," The New York Times, January 14, 2011, under N.Y./Region, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/nyregion/14cruise.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=queen%20mary%202&st=cse (accessed January 13, 2011).
Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth, which are docked at Piers 88 and 90, will leave their berths later this evening in order to meet up with their much larger sister, Queen Mary 2. All three will appear together for the fireworks show, which is set to begin at around 6:45 tonight.
References: Kathy Carvajal, "Maritime 'Queens' Dock In New York," MyFOXNY.com, under "Local News: Manhattan," http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/manhattan/maritime-queens-dock-in-new-york-20110113-KC (accessed January 13, 2011).
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
References: "Last know Lusitania survivor, 95, dies." BBC News, January 11, 2011, under "UK," http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-12161194 (accessed January 11, 2011).
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
On March 2, 1940, the Queen Elizabeth, untried at sea, set forth across the Atlantic. She was escorted for a ways by four British destroyers and some military aircraft; then the ship set off alone in the submarine-infested ocean. Captain J.C. Townley commanded a crew of about four hundred. The ship was unarmed except for two guns on each side of the flying bridge. Though the crew did not know it, they were actually acting on an order from Winston Churchill, who had said that the liner must keep away from the British Isles until ordered to return. Indeed, the Germans, who got word of the plans, were even waiting with their bombers over the English Channel at the time the Elizabeth was supposed to come through on her way to Southampton.
Out at sea Captain Townley opened his secret orders to learn that he was to take the Elizabeth to the Port of New York where her sister ship, the Mary, had been caught as the war began. He was to maintain radio silence, but he would be sent important wireless communications by the Royal Navy. He was to maintain a full blackout and take an evasive, zigzag course. Regardless of his course, Captain Townley had a tremendous advantage when it came to running the Atlantic in the ship that a German U-boat crew would most love to sink. His was one of the fastest liners on earth - or at that point without trials, she was supposed to be. As he added miles between the ship and Scotland, the Master of the Elizabeth was rapidly convinced that she was performing as her designers and builders had planned. It would have taken an extremely clever or mighty lucky U-boat captain to sink the new Queen.
The Queen Elizabeth’s secret voyage - both her trials and her unofficial maiden voyage wrapped in one - was uneventful, yet the crew would never forget that Atlantic crossing. The vessel, sleek and new as seen from the outside, was still raw on the inside. Pipes, wires, and other materials ordinarily hidden were exposed, and some not even fixed in place. Moreover, the gigantic ship was virtually empty, and crew members wandering around inside the liner found it a lonely, eerie experience. They made up about an eighth of the numbers the Elizabeth could carry when full. This new, untried hotel of the seas was a gray, lightless ghost ship skimming over the cold North Atlantic in the dangerous early days of World War II.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
This year marked the Cunard Line's debut in the Rose Parade. Their float, entitled "A Grand Celebration at Sea," turned many heads as it rolled down Colorado Boulevard. Although smaller than most floats at 55 feet in length, 24 feet high and 18 feet wide, it was nevertheless elegant and beautifully designed. Cunard's entry won, appropriately enough, the Queen's Trophy for the best use of roses. How can one beat that?
References: "Cunard Wins Queen's Trophy in the 122nd Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade," Cunard, January 2, 2011, under "News Room," http://www.cunard.com/About-Cunard-Line/News-Room/Cunard-News/?art=6560 (accessed January 2, 2011).