There’s One More Thing

“Just One More Thing” was the phrase that Steve Jobs used at the end of an Apple World Wide Developers Conference to announce somthing important and significant before the end of the event.

We finsihed our Tasmanian adventure on Saturday, staying in Geelomg overnight as the ferry was almost teo hours late in arriving. Driving 50 miles home at 10.45 pm wasn’t very appealing.

However, our late arrival had one benefit (the one more thing) – especiallly if you are a ‘ship spotter’ We came though the heads into Prt Phillip Bay at around 7.00 pm and found a procession of ships coming towards us down the South Channel.

The first was the Searoad Mersey II. This ship runs every second day to provide a service between Melbourne and Devonport. It carries general goods, vehicles and livestock. It completes the 437km / 271.5 mile voyage across Bass Strait and through Port Phillip Bay in roughly sixteen hours; departing port at 1600 and arriving at its destination at 0800 the next morning. Built in Germany in 2016, she is the first coastal ship in Australia to use LNG fuel as its primary source of power. .

The second ship had a bit more of a romantic presence. The Viking Orion is a cruise ship operated by Viking Ocean Cruises. She was built by Fincantieri at its yard in Ancona, Italy and delivered to Viking Cruises in 2018. The ship was christened by NASA astronaut Anna Fisher in a ceremony at Livorno, Italy. The ship was named after the constellation Orion the Hunter and has the unique feature of a planetarium on board.

On January 2, 2023, this ship was asked to leave New Zealand waters due to it carrying excess algae and barnacles. The ship was subsequently prohibited from docking in Adelaide due to the same issues, causing passengers to be stranded onboard. Four port stops on that cruise were missed. The contamination was resolved by the cruise line hiring divers to clean the hull whilst it was in international waters.

On this voyage, she seemed to disappear into the sunset without any difficulty.

The third ship in the procession was the Toll owned Tasmanian Achiever 2. Toll is perhaps beter known as a trucking and logistics company but they do own a number of ships. The Tasmanian Achiever II is a cargo ship that is primarily used on Bass Strait between Melbourne and Burnie. It replaced the Tasmanian Achiever I. Along with its sister ship Victorian Reliance II, it was the largest cargo ship registered in Australia when introduced in March 2019.

THe final ship in the procession was the biggest and the best – The Queen Mary 2. It had completed a day vist to Melbourne and was leaving for Sydney.

She is a British transatlantic ocean liner. She has served as the flagship of Cunard Line since succeeding Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2004. The ship was officially named Queen Mary 2 by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 after the first RMS Queen Mary of 1936. With the retirement of Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2008, Queen Mary 2 is the only ocean liner in service in the world. It has a regular service between Southampton, England, and New York City, and an annual world cruise.

She was designed by a team of British naval architects led by Stephen Payne, and was constructed in France by Chantiers de l’Atlantique. At the time of her construction, Queen Mary 2 was the longest, at 1,131.99 ft (345.03 m), and largest, with a gross tonnage of 148,528 GT, passenger ship ever built. 

3 thoughts on “There’s One More Thing

  1. She’s a beautiful ship, QM2 that is.
    What is the criteria for her being the only Ocean Liner?
    It’s been a wonderful end to the holiday

  2. Enjoyed your description of passing ships when returning home.
    Thanks Bruce Ian/Sue

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