Monday, July 13, 2015

shipping news

That was fun. A few days ago on the way home from a decently long drive and a longer walk we decided to stop by the grocery store - the one that's separated from Pier 21 by some railroad tracks. Looming over the parking lot that day was the Queen Mary 2. As residents of a seaside city seeing ships and boats of all kinds is a fairly routine experience, one never really taken for granted, but you do get used to seeing sailboats, cruise ships and container ships (you wouldn't believe how many containers filled with 'I Halifax' t-shirts leave the port). The ships we always look forward to seeing are the Tall Ships - especially when they arrive in largish numbers. Square rigged wooden sailing ships are a marvel to behold even if they aren't nearly so numerous and magnificent as the ones that sailed the world in centuries past.

Still and all it was amazing to come across the largest cruise ship in the world right here in our own little harbour. Once again I didn't have a camera so the pictures here are from local news outlets.

The first one is of the ship arriving in early morning when it sailed past the container port docks. That's Point Pleasant Park in the distance.

The second is her arrival in Halifax Harbour as she passed the lighthouse on George's island.

The third shows her docked at Pier 21 (taking up at least two spaces). The grocery store is the large grey roofed building in the foreground.

The last one is interesting because it shows the relative size of the QM2 to the Titanic.

From a sailing cruise ship, everyone on board spots a long bearded old man a ways away who is yelling and wildly waving his arms like a crazy fool. “Who is that there?” one of the passengers asks the captain. The cruise ship captain replied, “Sorry, I never figured that out. For the past 10 years when we pass that tiny island, he seems to show off more and more.” 


marja-leena said...

How exciting to see that huge ship! I'm not sure if it has ever been to Vancouver where we do get a lot of cruise ships mostly heading for Alaska and back, and we see them downtown, then heading out to sea at low tide under the Lions Gate Bridge.

Your marvellous title made me think of E. Annie Proulx's book by that name, and the movie later based on it.

The other thing you have reminded me is of the original Pier 21 where the immigrants came in to Canada, such as my family and my husband's family. Now there is a museum. (I wrote about it here:

Continuing summer pleasures to you!

susan said...

Hi Marja-Leena! It's always so good to see you've been by. Yes, Pier 21 is still the same one as long ago with the old Hall made into a museum. From what little I can recall of our own arrival in Canada I'm pretty sure we were landed in Montreal rather than Halifax. I do remember than comparatively leisurely sail up the St. Lawrence after the springtime turbulence of the Atlantic.

I did love that book by Annie Proulx, more than the movie which I liked well enough. Before we came here the movie had me imagining we could take a ferry between Halifax and Boston - er, no. Instead, the ferry to Newfoundland sails from the northern end of NS. Ah well.

The Queen Mary 2 is the only cruise ship that still sails between Southampton and New York. We were very surprised to see her here.

Very best summer wishes to you too!

Sean Jeating said...

It was the title not the ship that I enjoyed. :)

Should Fish More said...

The original QE was quite a ship, I understand this is also.
It seems I'm going on a Med cruise this fall, near Rome to Lisbon, with several stops.
Alas, no cruise ships dock near here, few people even get off the freeway.

susan said...

Well, the ship was pretty amazing to see. :)

susan said...

I haven't been shipboard since we arrived in Canada many years ago but I do love the idea of the older ones like the QE. The pictures I've seen of the QM2 interiors look a bit too spare for my tastes.

It's wonderful to know you'll be cruising the Med this autumn. That will be a marvelous treat for you and the company you keep. I hope you get the time and ease to explore.

troutbirder said...

I followed a link from
Should Fish Mores time travel post & your mention of Paul Wellstone. How much better things might be today if..... Then I cried.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan
Those wooden tall Ships are indeed a delight to see but I agree nevertheless the sheer size of this giant cruise ship that dwarfs the titanic is always a sight to behold. The way they manage to squeeze such a giant into places like your own little harbour is indeed impressive.
I was wondering if that story about the bearded old man was in a bottle that had finally washed ashore and which you discovered on one of your sea side strolls.
Best wishes

susan said...

Welcome, TB. It's a rare thing these days for old blogs such as ours to have new visitors.

I too cried when I heard about the death of Paul Wellstone and his family. You're right that things might have been so much different.

susan said...

Hi Lindsay,
Yes, when it comes down to it I'd far rather see our small harbour filled with many tall ships rather than just one that looks as if it's displaced most of the water. The first sight was more of a shock than being struck by the grace and beauty of wooden ships.
The story about the old castaway wasn't one of my better ones. I'll look for a better bottle next time.
Best wishes

clairesgarden said...

I have kayaked up beside her in port at Greenock and been kayaking out on the Clyde as she sets off on tour. it was amazing to be out on the water with any ships really.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

I note the person is represented by a round blob, which is quite appropriate given the shape of many of the people I have seen waddling to and fro such expensive cruise ships.

susan said...

I can well imagine it's a pretty extraordinary experience being on the water in such a small boat next to the immensity of the Queen Mary 2, Claire. I was shocked when I first saw her from several hundred yards away when I was on dry land.

susan said...

You're right about that, Andrew. I don't know if you ever saw the Pixar movie called WALL-E but there are some great scenes of enormous people who ride around on anti-gravity loungers on a space ship.