September 4th, 2001


On the majesty of Her Majesty

The QE II was in port today. As is her custom, she sailed in on the morning
tide and out on the afternoon - always a too brief turnover before continuing on her way.
Black hull, projecting bow, white superstructure, red/orange band on her stacks.
She is unique in style and elegance, a classic ocean liner, not the last of her kind but rather the best of her kind.
She differs from the newer cruise only ships, those things all white that look like an apartment building turned on it's side and seem to have been laid out by a sheet metal stylist from Detroit rather then a naval architect.I saw her on her first arrival; she had more company then. She's a good and proper liner.
Two tugs nudge her backward from the pier. When she is out to mid stream, they stand aside and she turns down river to go. There is always one,long, very deep blast from her horns, the deepest of any that comes to this harbor, and then she is on her way.
She gathers speed quite quickly, amazingly so for her great size. By the time that she is adjacent to my vantage, about one quarter mile down river, she is traveling faster on the open water then I can in my car in traffic. I've tried to pace her to the harbor, several times, she always wins.
We've watched each other from our own places for many years, each having gotten a bit older then we were. It's not a bad feeling.

I've promised myself, I've promised her. There will be a day when I shall board and we will sail together.
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