Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cunard's Newest Commodore

Commodore Bernard Warner's successor was named on April 21, 2011: Captain Christopher Rynd.

He began his career in 1970 at the age of 17 and earned his Master's certificate nine years later. Commodore Rynd served several years with the P&O Line and Princess Cruises before joining Cunard. He joins an elite group of mariners that include such illustrious names as Sir Arthur Rostron (who steamed the Carpathia to the Titanic's survivors on April 15, 1912), Sir James Bisset, Geoffrey Marr and Ronald W. Warwick.

Although I've never sailed under him, I have had the pleasure of meeting Commodore Rynd twice: both in February 2011.

The first was aboard the famous Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. I met him and his wife, Julie, in the ship's Main Hall. I presented them with a few gifts and then offered to show them around the After Engine Room for a bit. They agreed and both seemed to enjoy themselves tremendously. Then-Captain Rynd was even so kind as to autograph a photo for me (see above)!

The second time was aboard the Queen Victoria about a week later. One of my co-workers was able to get both of us aboard through a contact with Cunard. I didn't expect to run into Captain Rynd at all, actually. We were shown all around the ship - and oh what a beauty she is! We were even invited up to the bridge at the end! The officer met us on Deck 3, I think it was, and took us up. As we walked through the corridor of offices, I noticed the Deputy Captain in his office and thought it'd be funny if we happened to run into Captain Rynd. As it turns out, his door was opened and he asked our guide what was going on. He said he was giving some guests a tour.

"Oh really? Who've you got?" I peeked my head around the door. "Oh Zach! It's so good to see you!" I could tell he was pleasantly surprised. We chatted for a few moments, then told me to stop back by his office after our tour. We did so, and he presented my friend and I with "White Star Service" pins, but also gave me a watch that was only available to Queen Victoria crew members. I thanked him tremendously for this great gift.

I sincerely wish the best of luck to Commodore Rynd in his new role! Cunard has made an excellent choice.

References: "Cunard Line Announces New Commodore: Captain Christopher Rynd joins the elite group of Cunard Masters,", April 21, 2011, under Cunard News, (accessed April 28, 2011).

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