Belfast’s premiere attraction is “The Titanic Experience.” It tells the story of the ship that was built with Irish Pride, sunk by English Hubris. But I know the sinking story, I wanted something else. My grandfather had been a White … Continue reading Looking for White Star.
I saw the Queen in Belfast, August 1961. It was not an intimate audience. I was standing on a curb along with thousands of other people, many waving small Union Flags and some wearing orange sashes and bowler hats. The … Continue reading Reflections on the Late Queen.
(Belfast) Shannon wanted to experience high tea, so she booked a table at Belfast’s Merchant hotel. Shannon, Liz, Suzi, Liam, and I went while Brian and Kevin looked after Elias and Fiona (two on two, almost even odds) and arranged … Continue reading High Tea at the Merchant
Here is another guest post, my son, Kevin’s observations on our visit to Belfast with a few of my pictures. Belfast is a city that looks to the past. The gigantic gantry cranes of Harland & Wolff have been still … Continue reading Kevin’s Thoughts on Belfast
In the early mists of myth Celtic people populated the Isle of Man led by the likes of Manannan Mac Lir (son of the sea) who was believed to be the Sea God but may have been a very savvy … Continue reading Norse and Celt
I have a son and daughter-in-law into steam punk. I never understood. Coal driven steam blackened the white stone buildings of London, helped create pea soup fog, and began the trend for the earth to warm. Kevin tells me it … Continue reading Stream Punk
Gory, on the isle of Jersey, is a fishing town settled beneath a castle. Last time I was here 10 years ago someone had pulled the plug on the harbor and all the boats were high and, well, damp. Today … Continue reading Fishermen, Mariners and Barfights
Jersey is officially a “Peculiar of the Crown.” People in the States call our Jersey peculiar too. It means Jersey has the same status as Guernsey being “Separate of, but not independent from” the United Kingdom. It is a historical … Continue reading Jersey, “A Peculiar of the Crown.”
(August 4, 2023) The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has a new ship, the Manxman. It has just made the journey from Korea and is undergoing trials. We see it running back and forth across the Douglas harbor, practicing … Continue reading Ferries Run Late.
This post is a companion to Bailiwick of Guernsey. It is an even dozen gallery of flowers and one bit of seaweed that I thought would fit. Continue reading Guernsey Flowers
The Bailiwick of Guernsey is “Separate from but not independent of” the United Kingdom, whatever that means (to quote its feudal lord, Charles.) It consists of Guernsey and several other islands in the English Channel including Herm, Sark and Alderney. … Continue reading Bailiwick of Guernsey
…you’re bringing me down. That is my earworm today because of our almost accidental visit to Winchester. We got off the QM2 at around 10 AM, we had a scheduled flight to Guernsey at 3:30 so I decided we would … Continue reading Winchester Cathedral
It was a remarkably smooth transatlantic crossing, The biggest seas we took were 3 meters, and that only for a short time. The first three days we had sunshine and, riding with the North Atlantic Drift, following seas, as well … Continue reading Crossing Coda
This post is mostly pictures of the QM2. Just a few notes. In the elevator lobbies Cunard has produced several museum style interpretive placards that depict the history of trans-Atlantic crossings. The midship display on our cabin deck dealt with … Continue reading A QM2 Photo Gallery
When I traveled on Furness (A little younger than Liam) and the United States Line (a little older than Liam) with my grandfather I don’t remember much of an organized kid’s program. We could play shuffle board, quoits (you can … Continue reading Crossing With Kids
This is Suzi’s family letter. With her permission I am posting it to give you her take on the voyage. She says she is not posting pics but I have added a few that I took that illustrate the point. … Continue reading Suzi’s Letter
White Star Service on Cunard includes the use of tea bags. My grandfather, an old White Star man, would not have approved. A proper teapot with a strainer is the way he made tea. Sometimes he would use a tea … Continue reading White Star Service
The traditional mariners’ service was clearly Anglican. The alter cloth was the British Red Ensign, the nation’s merchant marine flag with the Union Flag in the upper left corner of a red field. It was billed as a “traditional maritime … Continue reading O God Our Help in Ages Past
(July 21, 2023) I was wrong. Initially I thought Brooklyn was a terrible place to sail from. You don’t go up the Hudson, see midtown, and get the views that an ocean liner is supposed to get. But the view … Continue reading I Sail with a Sprit
I had used UBER before. Once while staying with a friend in Maryland, she used her UBER app to get me to the airport. It seemed a bit apocalyptic when a message popped up on her screen “Jesus is coming … Continue reading Rich Learns about Uber
I suppose we could Keansburg, New Jersey a pre port of Call. On the 20th we went to Brick, New Jersey for a cousins’ reunion at the Tuscany restaurant, the scene of several earlier reunions. The 6 surviving first cousins, … Continue reading A Poor Man’s Asbury Park
The kids arrived in Newark on Wednesday afternoon excited about getting on the ship. But we were not getting on the ship until Friday but there is plenty in Jersey to keep them interested. First off I had to explain … Continue reading Meetup in Jersey.
In Mid-July it costs less to travel to the United Kingdom in an ‘enclosed’ balcony room on the Queen Mary 2 than it does to spend the same number of nights in an Anchorage hotel (Fairfield, Marriott’s low-end brand) and … Continue reading A 21st Century Crossing — QM2
…And a look at today. I’ve always loved Independence Day. It and Christmas are my two favorites. I love the sense of community that both holidays engender. At Christmas it’s community parties, singing, decorations and a feeling of celebration. The … Continue reading Flashback Fourth…