IN NEW YORK
16 OCTOBER 2008
At the close of her last day in New York, QE2 embarked on
her last transatlantic voyage. It was after five on a grey afternoon
and heavy rain showers held down the number of well-wishers
that had come down to the Hudson River to wave good-bye. In
addition, most people had planned on gathering at the Battery in
lower Manhattan a few miles away so that they could see QE2
rendezvous with Queen Mary 2. Still, there were some 50 people
who had braved the rain and gathered at Pier 84, a former ocean
liner pier that has been converted into a park.
Ships leaving the Passenger Ship Terminal must make a 90
degree turn in order to head out to sea. By the time they reach
Pier 84 they have made the turn and normally just present their
side to Manhattan.
QE2 left her traditional New York home at Pier 90 and
backed into the Hudson. However, the current is very strong
here, making it difficult to execute the turn even on good days
and since there had just been a heavy rain, the current was
flowing faster than normal. As a result, even with two tug boats
working, QE2 drifted sideways down stream past the USS
Intrepid Museum and to the park at Pier 84. She was facing
Manhattan as if to take a last look at the City she had visited
hundreds of times during her career.
By the time QE2 reached Pier 84, the tugs were starting to
make some progress in turning the great ocean liner. Since the
pier extends so far out into the river, the crowd waiting at Pier 84
were treated to an up-close 360 degree view of the departing
liner. As she made her turn, the ship's horn sounded saluting the
crowd in farewell.