FROM THE HYTHE
In QE2's home port of Southampton, England, there is a
small ferry that takes people to and from the neighboring
town of Hythe, which lies on the opposite (western) side of
Southampton Water. Fortunately for ship lovers and
photographers, the ferry's route takes her past the Queen
Elizabeth II Passenger Ship Terminal. Although QE2
sometimes uses one of Southampton's other terminals, her
traditional berth for nearly 40 years has been at the QEII
Terminal. Consequently, on the days when QE2 is in
Southampton, there are excellent views of her from the
The ferry departs from the Town Quay in Southampton
every 30 minutes and goes down Southampton water a
short distance before arriving at the Victorian pier on the
other side. The pier is quite long and features a train that
takes passengers to the town at the end of the pier.
However, while there are things to see in Hythe, ship
enthusiasts often take the immediate return voyage.
Above: QE2 at the Queen Elizabeth
II Passenger Terminal preparing for a
voyage in July 2008.
Left: Two ferry boats pass QE2. The
larger ferry, at the far right, is the
Red Funnel automobile ferry to the
Isle of Wight. The boat closer to QE2
is the Hythe Ferry.
Looking back from the Hythe pier,
one sees QE2 against the backdrop
On the return voyage, the ferry went
even closer to the great ocean liner.
QE2 dwarfs the fuel barge that is along side. The rounded cruiser stern which gives QE2 such nice lines may be a thing of the past
as studies have shown that a square stern is actually more hydrodynamic.
QE2's long bow enables her to cut through large waves rather
than ride over them. This makes for a smoother ride in rough
weather and also is a factor that allows the ship to achieve
such great speed. (The maximum speed is usually given as 33
knots but QE2 has been clocked at approximately 35 knots).
The sleek streamlining of the superstructure also reduces drag
making the ship more aerodynamic as well. This is important
because the wind as well as the water affect a ship's speed.