My Friend’s Return on the Queen Mary II

My friend and naval architect extraordinaire, Bill Garzke, called me to report on his trip to London in September.

“It was even better than I expected,” were his first words about the voyage. “Good cuisine, smooth sailing, and I got a tour of the control room with the chief engineer. I learned that in their operational rules that no craft can get less than 2 miles from the Queen Mary. And, because it can travel at 29.5 per hour, it can outdo most pirate vessels; it also has a mechanism by which to defend against piracy—if absolutely needed.

Convincingly, Bill explained, “You would have felt very safe on this vessel. We’ve learned a lot since the Andrea Doria tragedy.”

The mariner/historian continued, “My presentation in London was extremely well received.” (At London’s Lloyd’s register for the joint Institute of Marine Engineers Science and Technology, and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.)

Bill explained that he had to do the presentation on the Prince of Wales shipwreck alone; his co-presenter, diver Kevin Delay from Australia, was not able to attend. Since Bill frequently does presentations and draws experience from many years of teaching, the prestigious event was not a challenge.

Unexpectedly, he was asked to do a presentation at the end of the return voyage of the Queen Mary II. I teased, “I hope you didn’t talk about the Titanic!” He did indeed talk about the infamous shipwreck, of which she is an expert, but toward the end of the journey.

Then Bill suggested that we co-present on the Andrea Doria shipwreck, of which we’re both authorities. “Who knows, we may even get a free trip!” he said with glee. I agreed that it would be of great interest to me to return to the sea for my second cruise. My last one was in the winter of 2008, on Carnival’s “Ocean of Gratitude” voyage. http://www.oceanofgratitudecruise.com/

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