Remembering the time we sailed the ocean

Today marks the 175th anniversary of the Cunard crossings of the Atlantic Ocean. There has been a special ceremony in Liverpool where the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 all sailed together into the harbour.  It’s the Day of the Three Queens. Wish we could have been there to see it.

Three years ago, Mummy and I sailed across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2.

IMG_5138I had to stay in the kennel as pets, unless you’re a service animal or if you’re Pudsey, were not allowed anywhere else. IMG_5147I was a little upset at first when Mummy left me but then realised I have a few other companions. In fact there were 10 of us!Kennel ClubOne is missing in this photo.

Every day Mummy and the other owners came to visit us – four times a day.  IMG_2637We would all get excited whenever we hear anyone coming through the door.IMG_2640_2We waited for their arrival eagerly.

During visiting hours we would either sit on the deck when the weather permitted (which was not usually the case.)IMG_5150 And we would all carry on with our businessIMG_5173 Like thisIMG_2604 And we had conversations with each otherIMG_2485 Getting to know each otherIMG_2484_2When the weather wasn’t very good, we would sit in the visitor’s room.IMG_5201And playIMG_5197I had a different hair style then! LOL!  Or it was probably the salty sea air that made me look like that.KC 1Jojo, the Kennel Manager who took care of us outside of visiting hours.JoJoHe fed us and cleaned up after our poos, etc, etc.

The views from the deck were dramatic indeed …IMG_2471 IMG_2490 But after a while the only difference was the colour of the ocean, IMG_2542the shapes of the clouds,

IMG_2506 And how the sun came through them.IMG_2518 IMG_2527The strength of the waves caused a little bit of excitement IMG_2558Otherwise, nothing much happened on the deckIMG_2600It was a very long journey and reminded us how big the world is.  And how vast the oceans.

Eight days later, we finally could get off the ship.IMG_5232 We all went down as a groupIMG_5234Ahhh, back onto land and back to England!

May’s comment: After a very long and stressful flight over to New York in the hold, I decided I did not want to put Darcy through that again.  It was a good excuse but it was also a significant “departure” for me – closing of a chapter. And I had the time to spare. IMG_2437I wanted to wave goodbye to the lady in the harbour along with the new love of my life, Miss Darcy.IMG_2464Obviously crossing by sea requires a lot of time. Eight days of sailing seems like a lifetime when one is used to whizzing across oceans. Though at first a reluctant participant in any of the programs, because I could not  “relate” to the demographic of the other passengers, I learnt a few lessons on this journey. The most important one being – not be an ageist.

It was a couple of days into the crossing when I got into a lift with an elderly gentleman in his wheelchair.  He wasn’t strong enough to push himself so supposedly it was a member of his family pushing him along.  He was all spruced up, jacket and tie going off to breakfast.  I was a little taken aback and smiled at his attire for that time of day.  And then I saw in his face, the simple delight as that of a child, so pleased to be there at that moment in time. Probably eager to dress up “appropriately” to partake of activities for the day.  After all, it was the Queen Mary 2 and it was not an everyday occurrence.

At that instance, it was as if “fish scales” had fallen off my eyes.  I began to see this vessel was one for fulfilling the dreams of many to travel – whether it was a once in a lifetime journey that they had saved up for, or simply the only way they could physically do so. I was so consumed by my own expectations that I failed to see the goodness of all that was around me.

From that moment on, I began to look at the journey differently. I looked at the people on board very differently. I had been all self-consuming.  I also realised that one of the reasons there are many elderly and some disabled passengers on board was because this was the only way they were able to travel. This could very well be the last time for many to be travelling the distance. But for whatever reason, they were making the most of the years they had left.  So I stopped being a schmuck!  🙂

If not for that “enlightenment” I might have missed some magical moments of listening to classical guitar in the planetarium – for example.

And then how can I forget, this was surely a better way for Darcy to cross the ocean. It was less stressful and we were mostly together except for the fact that she could not sleep in my cabin.

We met other dogs owners who were travelling by sea because of their dogs.  Some were just doing their regular crossing between continents. Others were moving to a new life in Europe.  We got to know each other  over the course of the eight days and because we all loved our dogs, we had that in common.

Would I do it again? Time permitting – it’s YES! IMG_2436Next time it will be the three of us! And I would probably appreciate it a lot more.

1 Comment

  1. Laura cordovan

    Love this post May! I too made the crossing on the QEII and treasure the experience. On board happened to be a friend who was there with her whole family celebrating the birthday of a great grandparent. What a wonderful way to get the whole family together… If you can afford it! I bet the dogs slept like babies… I know I always do on a ship. So enjoyed your share. <3

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