We left Southampton on time on Thursday evening to a firework display, Queen Victoria being the first of the three Cunarders to embark on her World Voyage. It was a wet and windy evening and it quickly became apparent that we would not be escaping the stormy conditions that were engulfing the UK.
On Friday we hit a massive storm with gale force winds reaching 10 on the Beaufort scale and 6 metre waves. At times the Captain had to drop our speed to as little as 3 knots to keep the ship safe and reasonably comfortable for those of us aboard. The storm continued unabated through Friday night and Saturday morning. Many of us calculated that we would not be able to reach Porto Delgarda in the Azores by Sunday morning and the Captain duly made that announcement this morning.
His plan is to take the ship on a more southerly route in the hope that he can avoid the worst of the ferocious storm engulfing the whole of the North Atlantic. It means no ports until we reach Fort Lauderdale on 12 January, but it is predicted that we will see calmer weather from the 7 January. We will see!