Troubled Waters

We are Safe.

Just wanted to let you all know that, even though the world is crumbling around us, our ARK (Queen Mary 2) seems to be steadily holding her course.

The devastation in Japan is constantly on our minds and on the TV channels, with non stop pictures and commentary, many films being taken directly from the Japanese news feed.  Some of the pictures are so dramatic that we watch them over and over again because we cannot believe what we are seeing.

At this time, more than 1,000 people have been killed, two nuclear reactors are feared to be spewing radioactive material, at least one oil refinery is in flames, four trains are missing or destroyed, and the town of Minamisanriku is now saying that 9,500 of its people are missing.

Since the earthquake on Friday (8.9 magnitude), more than 150 aftershocks have occurred, with most above 5.0 and one that reached 6.8.  One of the geologists showed the seismograph print out for the Christchurch earthquake from a couple of weeks ago and the earthquake in 2008 in Indonesia. They show up as tiny blips as compared with the magnitude of this most recent quake in Japan, which is the largest quake ever experienced here, and the 7th largest in the world that has ever been recorded.

We had 33 people from the ship on an overland trip to Tokyo. Blessedly, we were not among them.  The ship’s agents were able to coordinate their return to the ship, made difficult by the fact that the Japanese authorities had closed all the ports in the country and would not allow the ship to dock in Nagasaki, which was to be our next port of call. We also had to disembark our Japanese immigration officials, who were on board, and replace them with 17 Chinese immigration officials who would facilitate our entry into Chinese territorial waters.  Since we could not dock, the transfers (including an outgoing passenger leaving for medical reasons), were accomplished outside the port using a tugboat to make the transfer of passengers, luggage, and immigration officials onto the Queen Mary 2.  I think the Commodore and his staff put in a full day’s work today to get everyone back “home” and the ship on its way, onto our next adventure.




4 Responses to “Troubled Waters”

  1. Thank goodness you are all safe!!! You have certainly been in our thoughts and prayers along with all of the people that have suffered in this catastrophy!!!! Please stay safe.

  2. Sherry Fooshee March 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I am so relieved to hear from you that you are all okay. Have been thinking of you constantly since the earthquake. It is all beyond comprehension. Sherry

  3. Thank goodness you are all safe! We had been talking about y’all knowing that your next port of call was Japan. What did you feel of the tsnunami (sp?) on the ship? What did you see? Poor Japan! This is a horrible disaster. But I think the Japanese are kind of like worker bees. They just get to work swarming all over and they get it done. The worst is the damage to the two nuclear power plants. Horrible. Thanks so much for the update. We’ve heaved a collective sigh of relief. Where are you off to now? Best to you all.

  4. So glad to learn that you guys are safe. First New Zealand and now Japan. How scary.I love hearing your stories but sure am glad I am not with you.
    Stay safe. Aloha, Linda

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