Queen Mary 2
This review is written by Amy Blume.

On March 8th 2006, I headed to San Pedro with my friend Alex to watch QM2 arrive in the dark hours of early morning.  We arrived at 3A.M. determined to beat her down there, since the last time she came in (and we were aboard her) we got in very early.  This time she was arriving from her round trip to Hawaii and she was on time.  At four thirty, while other cars started pulling up at Land's End around us, we stepped out of the car to discover her, a blazing set of lights already just entering the breakwater.  I don't have any pictures of this because I was video taping, but perhaps Alex will give me a few of his to put up at a later date.  She came in the breakwater and pulled her nose up to the pier where the port pilot boats dock.  Helicopters were flying overhead in a great show of security for the beautiful queen, and several security boats surrounded her.  She began her slow three-point turn then, her back end swinging toward us as she began to back down the channel.  She was too big to turn inside the port and this maneuver was something to see.  The first pictures below were taken as she backed into port.  It is too dark for my digital camera but they are sort of spooky.

That afternoon I returned to the port with my mother and father.  My parents had never seen the QM2 in real life yet because they couldn't make the three day cruise we were all supposed to go on togther.  My dad was very ill, but we had seen the Queens together most of my life and wanted to see QM2 together.  They were letting the cars pull into a viewing area again very near the ship.  We pulled up very close so my father could see without getting out of the car.  He said that the view was beautiful.  These pictures are from that part of our visit.
She sailed two hours later into the setting sun at around 6P.M.  That was the last time my father and I saw a Queen together as he died seven days later.  I will never forget him getting out of his sick bed to see her with me.  I will never forget what those beautiful ships meant to him and how they brought us together.  Ship stalking is not just about ships, it's about sharing something beautiful with the people around you.  It is about the possibility  and the fantasy of exploration and the vessels that make it not only possible, but also imbued with the ingenuity of mankind and an aethetic grace.  That is why we love ocean liners, and QM2, regardless of the concessions they made to modern cruising when they designed her, she still fulfills the wonder.
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© Amy Blume 8th March 2006
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