The Queen Mary II

Liverpool Life The Queen Mary II entered the River Mersey this morning and as the passengers spend the day in Liverpool. It leaves tonight under a hail of fireworks. I’ve never cruised. The closest I’ve been to ships are ferry, to the Isle of Man, across the channel and across the Mersey. I was sea sick one third of the time. There is something very seductive about travelling the world by liner, though it must be something like an extended coach tour, lots of travelling (albeit in this case something related to luxury) then half a day in a destination which must otherwise require much, much longer.

To get the best view I walked the length of the pier head and ended up at what I think was the old landing stage. Freezing cold. The wind nearly blew me and my camera into the Mersey on a couple of occasions, but fortunately barriers and railings and passing photographers were there to grab onto. Descent crowd. A group not that far up from be were phoning someone actually aboard ship, promising to wave to the passengers as they drifted by. I couldn’t see how. The QM2 was surely going to be too far away for that?

Then the liner began to turn. I moved further up the quay and within what seemed like moments but must have been longer, its immense structure was flat in front of us, like a fish in an aquarium moving closer to the as though to let us get a better look. Nothing prepares you to see something that size and human made shifting in spot and creating such a shadow. I took photos. Many of them. I’ve uploaded some of the best (for me) to flickr. Around me, men with longer lenses clambered up as close as they could to get a better shot, at least until a steward warned them to get down. Then Mary sang:

Frightening the life out of all about. Then it was gone. Well, as gone as something that big can be.

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