Ponta Delgada (3)

Today Tuesday, Captain Peter Philpott, in a Q&A session in the theatre, was asked which storm was the worst that he had ever experienced at sea. He said that in his 36 year career he had encountered the worst on the first leg of the 2014 World Cruise.

Jane and I were on that voyage. We remember the first 6 or 7 days being wild, but had not realised how wild. Certainly we missed Ponta Delgada that time as well (although the Captain didn't mention that today!). What he did say today, which I had forgotten, was that for a time on that voyage, he had to 'heave to'. In other words, for the safety of the ship and those of us aboard, he had to turn the ship into the wind and waves, riding out the storm.

On a different topic, Queen Victoria is having a fairly major refit after the 2017 World Cruise. As many of you know, I have a number of pieces of Cunard memorabilia, exhibited on the ship in Cunardia on Deck 2 close to the Queens Room. My recollection is that I lent them to Cunard for 10 years (the documentation is at home!). It will be interesting to learn whether or not the exhibit is to be continued.

The most important piece is the original first logbook of RMS Queen Mary (now in Long Beach, California). It covers the voyage from Clydebank to Southampton after she was completed, the visits to the ship by King George V and Queen Mary (after whom, of course, the ship was named) and her first five voyages. It is handwritten by the various officers of the watch, hour by hour, day by day.

Erratum! Earlier on I said that our dinner table companion John was in plastics. Wrong! Further cross examination has revealed that he built up very successful companies in the furniture trade, eventually selling them and reinvesting in property.

Talking of 'Johns', on this trip are John and Pat Thompson from Sheffield who were our dinner companions when we first met. They were also on the 175 celebration cruise with us last year when a Baltic cruise also took in Liverpool and a meeting of the 3 Queens.

Rosie and Simon Claxton are also aboard. We have bumped into them many times on ships. Rosie is a Cunard fanatic. She seems to know nearly all the Officers and crew and all the gossip. We had lunch in the Veranda Restaurant with them a day or two ago.

I see the blog had a problem with too many photos truncating the narrative yesterday. I have republished the words without the photos and hope that has done the job.

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