Queen Mary 2

Having got myself started on passenger liner photos in An Evening in the Rocks, I just happened to find the Queen Mary 2 in Adelaide a couple of weeks later.

I own a 5 metre runabout style boat so popped it in the water near Outer Harbor (where Adelaide’s passenger terminal is located) to combine an afternoon’s crabbing with a spin over to see the Queen Mary 2.

But yet again while photographing the Cunard Queens, the lighting was rubbish with thickish middle level cloud producing a dull, cold and contrastless light. That’s three out of three times I’ve struck these conditions photographing the Cunard Queen liners. Grrrrr… And the crabs weren’t very cooperative on the day either. At least the sea was calm.

So, hopefully having not put you off entirely, some images of Queen Mary 2.

Queen Mary 2 , Outer Harbor

Queen Mary 2 towering over Adelaide’s underwhelming passenger terminal.

In total contrast to the location of Sydney’s passenger terminal slap bang in the absolute heart of Sydney, Outer Harbor is 22km from the Adelaide CBD in a rather ordinary industrial area at the end of a long sand spit. Passengers are bused or chauffeured to and from whatever tourist activities they wish to undertake. No popping off the boat here for nearby swish dining or upmarket shopping.

Many post World War II immigrants to South Australia arrived by ship from the UK and Europe. The terminal you see here was built in the 1970’s just as the post-war immigration tailed off and the introduction of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet spelt the end of shipping as a means of international travel. Not great timing and it sat unused as an embarrassing white elephant for several decades. The recent rise in the popularity of cruising now sees a number of ships calling into Adelaide during the Southern hemisphere summer cruising season, finally giving the terminal a reason for existence . Most of the time though the wharf and surrounding area is used to disembark and store imported cars, and annoyingly, no longer accessible to the public. The wharf was once a rather popular fishing spot.

Queen Mary 2, Outer Harbor

Queen Mary 2 is one big mother and at 345 metres (1,132 feet) long, the largest by far of the three Cunard Queens.

Queen Mary 2, Outer Harbor

To put her size into perspective, the trees here on the right are fully mature Norfolk Island pines that would be well over 100 feet tall. Coincidentally I happen to own a Norfolk Island pine of about that size in one corner of my front yard.  I believe it was planted in 1925 to mark the building of the house I now live in, a tradition of the time.

Queen Mary 2, Outer Harbor The sky was more threatening in looks than in reality. The clouds were being produced by an upper level trough which, in Adelaide, tends to produce somewhat humid but windless conditions.

After the above shots, I left the harbor and headed out to sea for a few hours crabbing. Although I moved to a spot several miles away from the Queen Mary 2 , there was no missing the sound of her horns when she signalled her departure at 6pm. There was a small flotilla of pleasure boats following the Queen Mary 2 out of harbor and out into Gulf St Vincent. With the crabbing having proved underwhelming, I up-anchored and shot over to the deep water channel leading out of Outer Harbor to join the escort. Queen Mary 2, departing Outer Harbor
At last, a hint of the sun to provide some interesting lighting and painting a golden glow down the length of the hull. The small boat up close to her stern is a harbor boat coming alongside to take off the pilot.

Queen Mary 2 was probably travelling a sped of around 12 knots at this point, but you can see she puts out a remarkably small wake for her immense size. This is a sign of a ‘clean’ hull shape – a hull that is efficient moving through the water and low in drag. Which is indeed the case – the Queen Mary 2 is designed to be a true trans-Atlantic liner and has a noticeably faster turn of speed than cruise ships. At full power, she can hit 30 knots (ie 35mph or 55km/h depending on your preferred measurement system). That’s fast enough for a moderate weight person to barefoot ski behind. And at that speed, she’s moving aside 75,000 tons of water in order to move forward one boat length. All you need is a lazy 100,000 horse power at your command!

At this stage I was several miles offshore and, for my more modestly sized watercraft, time to turn around. So it was farewell to Mary and back to the boat ramp for me.


Camera Gear

Pentax K-3 plus Tamron 17-50 F2.8 zoom. I suspect I was using a polarising filter, but it’s been a little while since these photos were taken and my memory is a little hazy.

Where was I?


Related Posts

An evening in the Rocks


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