Rock and Roll Mary!

Posted by on 24, Feb 2022 in 2022 - USA, Tilly the Tandem, UK, USA

Rock and Roll Mary!

Well, the UK has suffered from some horrendous winds from Storm Eunice. We, sailed through it. To be fair the captain put his toe down and did a runner for the Azores but only managed to skirt the edge of the storm and I hate to think what going right through the middle would have been like.

Our calm departure from Southampton soon turned into a gale force 6 then a severe gale 9 with 84 knott winds. The waves were higher than the restaurants and it all looked a bit like a Hollywood film with the waves being so enormous that they seemed to move in slow motion. They only needed to put a bit of Hans Zimmer on the PA system whilst we practiced lifeboat drill.

The tops of each wave were just blown away by the wind in a mist of spray and the ice blue water shone against the white surf and grey sky. All very dramatic and the QM2 pitched and rolled as she ploughed through it all.

We tried a walk around the deck and you could see the sea fill your entire view as the bow dipped down into the waves then bounced up to reveal the grey menacing sky as we tried to walk forward into the wind and often just had to stand still and wait for QM2 to dip down and give us a hand.

We giggled like school children and hung onto our beanies as they would have been sucked off our heads.

Inside the wind howled through the ship, even with the doors all closed and, whilst we ate dinner one of the ceiling lights and tiles flew out and crashed to the floor as a gust popped it out of its housing. The poor restaurant already had the main doors broken by a recent storm so began to look more like a war zone with hazard tape and holes everywhere. Pasta was excellent though, and being Brits we calmy carried on eating as the staff cleared the debris up and roped off danger areas.

As the winds worsened over night the ship rattled from side to side like train on poor track and you had to hang on to anything to stand up. You could hear the sea crashing through the hull and if you timed going up stairs to when the ship dipped you could almost just float up to the top step! It was brilliant!! Loved it.

But the couple who complained to the captain that he should have sailed straight through the storm as they’d come to experience winter in the North Atlantic must have been a bit disappointed that we didn’t get above a force 9. Does the scale go above 9 we wondered?

Despite all this weather, we didn’t feel ill at all., though some of the staff and other passengers did suffer somewhat, but everything apart from the planaterium continued to function properly. Apparently lowering a 1.5 tonne dome in a force 9 wasn’t thought a good idea. How the staff managed to walk about with trays of drinks I have no idea. A fellow passenger said he’d put pillows at the side of his bed in case he rolled out.

I’ve never been in weather like that and it was certainly an experience to remember and fortunately not a Night to Remember. The power of the waves and winds was truly extraordinary.

But some people weren’t happy. Many people apparently, as the captain had complaints! About the weather. In February. In the North Atlantic. In winter… Honestly…Some people thought when they booked a North Atlantic Crossing in February that they’d get a millpond to sail on, it really beggars belief. I’m not sure what more the captain could do to avoid the storms – all 3 of them, Eunice, Franklyn and Unnamed – other than what he did. Still, we heard lots of complaints about all sorts of things. People generally seemed happy to be unhappy about one thing or another. And rude. No please, no thank you to the waiters. Just “I want soup”, not everyone, but certainly a significant number of passengers, many of whom were Americans who did seem to be the worst considering how few of them were on board. Quite shocking we felt.

Our excitement didn’t end with storm Eunice. The next day, with calmer weather leaving us in a force 8 and every one going oh well that’s lovely after last night thanks, we had to do our covid tests. Being a person who hates queues big time as soon as we woke up at 7.30 we headed down for our tests and within 10 minutes were done and dusted in a very efficiently organised system.

We went for breakfast and a walk around the deck where we didn’t look like mime artists trying to walk through an invisible wall and then came back in and headed to our cabin where we encountered a closed corridor and a steward waving us away and followed at a good distance by an American couple escorted by a man from ‘Plague, the movie ” dressed in all sorts of PPE. Teach them not to say please or thank you. Apparently they’d failed their covid test and were headed to the bilges, or somehwhere but we withdrew at speed. It did now mean half our corridor and two of our exits were now out of bounds and we had to go up to deck 7 to get to deck 6…. Best we don’t drink a lot at dinner as we’ll never be able to figure that one out after a few.

Even though it had now calmed down to a force 8 the evening show was cancelled again and the poor comedian roped in to replace the dancers who were unable to stand up on deck safely. So they got the stand up comedian to stand up instead!

And the storms got worse. As we came nearer to Newfoundland and where the Titanic lay the waves were simply gigantic. They easily passed the windows of deck 4 and the troughs could hide a housing estate.

The ships weather station had gone off line in the last storm and now the camera packed up too. The theatre door had broken free of its automatic closer and was swinging wildly open and closed. The ship rose high on a wave and then crashed down with a thud that reverberated thought out the ship. The walls creaked like a sailing ship. The promenade decks were closed, and we were told we couldn’t use our cabin balconies either. Mind you, you’d have to really shoulder the door to actually be able to open it so I’d imagine most of the passengers couldn’t have got outside if they’d tried and if they did they were there until New York. The captain told us we’d gone past storm force 9 and were now at 11. Linda said she was now feeling a bit frightened and I stood there grinning like a Cheshire cat. It was fabulous!!

To take our minds off the rock and roll we decided to indulge in afternoon tea for the umpteenth time on the crossing.

We had on our previous visit remarked to the manager that having the vegetarian sandwiches next to, and touching the tuna ones didn’t really appeal to us and he said, we have a vegan and vegetarian board specially for you. So we ordered that.

This duly rolled up and turned out to be a saucer with two finger sandwiches on comprised of plain bread with carrot on. I kid you not. Even rabbits would turn their noses up at that! So we did a Maria Antoninette and ate cake…


  1. Love this! So many killer laugh lines!

  2. Great account of your exciting journey. I felt like I was on the ship with you. In fact a little motion sickness feels to be coming on.
    Wish we were with you!

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