R. M. S. QUEEN MARY

Witnessed for MariPHAW by Maritime Historians

J. Fred Rodriguez Jr.

The R.M.S. QUEEN MARY has led a very interesting life in the 000 000 days that has transpired from when she was first keeled down at John Browns until this posting on 30th March, 2018 / Through the darkened days of a world war to the triumphant departure from the Port of New York and the grand arrival in Long Beach, the QUEEN MARY has become a symbol of a ship’s endurance in the maritime industry / Back in the day, the 1930’s, she was amongst the largest things that could move under its own power / Today we can watch the tube and let our imaginations wander into the vast unknowns as we see Commander John Sheridan in charge of the s.s. [space station] BABYLON 5 making important decisions that’ll will scriptedly affect many in the future of way out there, wherever that is / Throughout the years I’ve gained many accesses to her decks both in New York and Long Beach and even all the way up to her crow’s nest, way up there / Once on board, most visitors will be immediately be affected by a little known and quite rare condition known as shipitus / Not to worry for its long–term remedy is always to be ON DECK more often / Keep in mind that “Cunard taught us what a ship should look like” / And if you know a little bit of educating maritime history and can enjoy a bit of wacky humor woven, then you can sit back and enjoy the third segment of this on–going series / ON DECK has been rated ‘E’ for excellence in the art of seafaring education and wackiness /

Continue to scroll down as MariPHAW gives you a glimpse of this classical trans–Atlantic luxury passenger liner that mostly ruled the North Atlantic but had been seen in many other worldly places both in war and peace during her proud thirty–one years under Cunard’s enduring houseflag / There will be several more segments to come that will cover the rather interesting and colorful continuing story of the R.M.S. QUEEN MARY /

Please be so kind and realize that all the DigiPics in this article have been photographed by J. Fred Rodriguez Jr., copyrighted and have been watermarked for added protection / If there is a copied DigiPic that is not owned by MariPHAW or JFR, then it will be noted / They too are not to be copied either for they are from private collections as noted / Thank you for your understanding and Enjoy!, Enjoy!, Enjoy! /

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Love those flags / To see them blowing in a gentle breeze on sailing day meant that the QUEEN MARY was fully dressed and about to go / However, not before a Maritime Historian accessed her weathered teak decks /

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Embarkation was always a great time to visit the passenger ship / It was festive and educational with lots of ‘Bon Voyage’ parties going on all over the ship / Many times, as you passed through countless public rooms, you might have been invited to join in and share a canape or two, or three or maybe even four and a smidgen of the bubbly stuff / Ginger ale I’m talking about / Then at 60, 30, 15, 10, 05, and 02 minutes before she was to get underway, three mighty steam horns on her two forward funnels were sounded for all to hear and then some /


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You certainly didn’t want to hear that dreaded one long blast followed by three short blasts of those horns a short time later for that meant that all the gangways had been hauled in and the heavy mooring lines had been dropped and were being hauled on board and stowed down below for sea /

Along with the ship’s master there were two well experienced pilots, one an undocking pilot from Moran, usually Captain Grover Sanschagrin, the other a Sandy Hook Pilot, perhaps Captain George Seeth Sr., who would be on the navigation bridge wings to get the QUEEN safely off the dock and thence out to the open sea /

Captain Grover, Moran’s undocking pilot, would check on the currents and make sure that the MARY was cleared of the dock / His pre–positioned powerful tugs would then help guide the then massive 81,237 gross ton liner as it backed itself out into the river under its own power using the tugs only for additional steerage and guidance if necessary /

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Once cleared of the pier and straightened out in the river, the Sandy Hook harbor pilot would then take over guiding the QUEEN safely out of port to the sea buoy where he’d get off to an awaiting launch and stand by for another inbounder / Perhaps it might be the inbound Norwegian America liner STAVENGERSFJORD from a northern European port arriving tomorrow morning at pier 45 on the last of the flood / If you had somehow missed all those endless announcements of ‘All Ashore’ and the last of the five gangways being hauled in, a Moran tug might have taken you off the vessel from the shell doors on the Jersey side for a fee / If you were reluctant to get off the ship in time and said ‘yuk’ to the tugboat ride back to the pier then you would undoubtedly had faced a crossing of peeling potatoes and washing the countless dishes where the finest of steaks and the best of caviar had been on only moments before / Did I mention that you stateroom would have been the ‘brig’ located down below within the crew area / Of course you did have an escort so that you would be assured of finding your right cabin / And then there is the Brits customs regulations to deal with when you had finished crossing the pond /

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Hey my yacht is so big and this looks like one of the four engine telegraphs that I have in the wheelhouse aboard the STAATEN EYELANDT / Nah, they wouldn’t do such a thing, would they /

[DigiPic photo by Master Photographer Donald Hoffman] Copyrighted by J. Fred Rodriguez Jr. [0327098498]

Regulation then were that the mandatory ‘Fire and Boat Drill’ would take place on the first full day at sea / Today, it seems that we’ve fine–tuned maritime safety through our mistakes and the diligent efforts of S.O.L.A.S. [Safety of Lives at Sea], the United States Coast Guard, to name a few /

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The diner of thirty–two courses in the main dining room was wonderful and then it was perhaps twenty times around the open boat deck up topside to walk off all that extra tonnage around the waist, the ship’s waist I meant /

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Dam, my floors, err decks I meant, don’t shine like these back on board my super yacht STAATEN EYELANDT / Perhaps I just might remove from the deck cleaning locker on board a waxer, a buffer, several pads and I wonder if there’s anything else that I can borrow from her / Help me out here guys, I’ve got to make my list complete so that I can get it off easily in Southampton when we dock /

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Hey Captain Treasure Jones, sound the noon whistle again, I missed the steam coming out of her trumpets / What? / You’re saying that I’ve got to wait for 23 hours and 58 minutes before it sounds again / Rubbish, wake up the Chief and tell him it’s for me / He’ll do it again / Oh well, I’d better get back on board before he realizes that I’m over the side and sounds the ‘Man Overboard’ alarm and she starts doing the Williamson’s Turn for me /

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Thanks Sailor for the line and the lift / I’ll remember to throw you a line should you go over the side while trying to fish for Jaws 3 / Oh by the way, they’re already making a new Jaws 4 movie / Yes, its’ being filmed in Miami, not Yurami, as you read this / Mark my words on that / Honest injun! / Now where is that cleaning gear locker? /

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She may have ten million rivets holding her together but do you think that if I pulled just one little teensie weensie white rivet out from her that she would fall apart? /

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Why don’t you try it buster and see where you’ll wind up? /

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I think that it’s time to do what all good four legged animals do / Run for the hills, err I mean the next wave /

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Perhaps a nice stroll down the portside Boat Deck will reinvigorate my thoughts /

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Ah, the North Atlantic is so nice and peaceful this fine Saturday morning, what could possibly go wrong today? /

DigiPic of movie advertisement poster for ‘Assault On A Queen’ on board the QUEEN MARY in Long Beach in 2009 from the collection of J. Fred Rodriguez Jr. [0327098543]

This is the Captain of the QUEEN MARY, who are you? / Your name and rank sir / ……. ……. ……. You want me to stop my ship in mid ocean so that you can board and rob our gold bouillon / Are you insane? / ……. ……. ……. Eric, I can sink her now with just one torpedo / ……. ……. ……. Stop that madman, do you read me / We’re not going to sink that ship! /

Copyrighted by J. Fred Rodriguez Jr. [031118–9543]

Too much Hollywood / I think that I need to go down this original ladder right about now and look deeper at Cunard’s wonder ship of yesteryear /

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Maybe I should go down even deeper into the very bowels of this ship for perhaps some peace and solace /

DigiPic of an illustration for ‘Ghosts & Legends of the QUEEN MARY in Long Beach in 2009 from the collection of J. Fred Rodriguez Jr. [0327098418]

Oh Lord, What have I gotten myself into? / I don’t really think that I’m ready to go this deep into her /

Copyrighted by J. Fred Rodriguez Jr. [031118–9543]

“Captain Robert at your service / You can go back any time you want to / Your wish is my command / When you’re ready please put your lifejacket on and be prepared to leave lunch back aft as I take you back to reality at WARP speed / Are you ready for Scotty too Hottie to beam us through? /

Nah / [Song going through my head] Is that all there is, Is that all there is my friend then bring on some more / Let’s break out the booze and have a ball / I’m supercharged and ready for some more of antics / ……. ……. ……. Be careful of what you want for I might just roll the ship over like a doggie for you off Crete / Oh my gosh! / Where did that voice come from? /

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Chef, I think I’m ready for some of your finest tastings that you have to offer on board this classic ocean liner / The salad is a wise choice for a starter / Since it will be picked freshly along with all the herbs from the after section of the ship, can I suggest the house’s, err I mean the ship’s freshest creamy dressing straight from the ranch? / Wise choice /

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They’ve certainly did a nice job in renovating the ‘R Deck’s’ dining room windows / ……. ……. ……. / Sir, you’re eating in the brand new dining facility on the enclosed ‘Promenade Deck, starboard side amidships /

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This salad dish looks very good and I think that my mind needs a good rest momentarily and I’m ready to take on some fuel / Wise choice / The dressing was just mixed in moments ago in the galley / If you need more I sure that the waiter can get it in a jiffy / ……. ……. ……. Ah Chef, perhaps the agent can alter the ‘ship’s papers’ just a tad so that the crew can have an overnight in port as we lay in alongside / We must be cleared of the berth with the morning tide and be gone before the record breaker is due in at around 08:00 / And she’s never late for William Francis still watches her pass his office window like clockwork /

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Everywhere you look on board the spacious QUEEN MARY, you’re bound to see endless pieces and varieties of magnificent artwork of hand carved woodwork along with masterful creations in the art of marquetry /

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No matter where you are on board a ship, day or night, take time to really absorb and enjoy the unique atmosphere of being at sea / And if, when you walk back down that gangway at voyage’s end with a heavy dose of shipitus, don’t let it worry you / You’ll long for the precious moments when you can walk back up another gangway, maybe even as a repeater / Trust me, you’ll like it and the memories will last you a lifetime /

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So helmsman, when the pilot says hard a starboard you turn the starboard wheel to the right / When he tells you to go hard a port you turn the left wheel hard over to the left / ……. ……. ……. / But Captain what if the pilot says to go hard a starboard and hard a port at the same time on both wheels, then what do I do / Hmmn, Ya know helmsman, I don’t know / I’ll have to look that one up / Give me a day or two and I’ll get back to you on that / OK Capt., but they’re slacking all the lines right now to get underway for sea, Sir! /

Copyrighted by J. Fred Rodriguez Jr. [0311180000]

Sure he didn’t, and I suppose that you also saw a big yellow submarines out there with four little Beatles aboard / Hey Deckie, I think you need to be ashore for a good long spell / After all they do tell me that dry land does cure seasickness and whatever else ails you /

I do sincerely hope that you’ve ENJOYED!, ENJOYED!, and again ENJOYED this little ON DECK–THREE comedy sketch of DigiPics and the wild but historical thoughts from the decks of the real QUEEN MARY / The treasures and pleasures from my vast archives and the wacky wacky world of a real Merchant Mariner for 31 years will re appear again shortly again, for the ENCHANTMENT of the SEA shall never end for me /

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