01 June 2010

Clipping Off The Knots



From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on this day in 1936:

FAST PACE HIT BY QUEEN MARY
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New Speed Record Still Within Reach Of British Liner.
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By Robert Barlow
Post-Gazette Staff Writer.
By Radio From the S.S. Queen Mary.

ABOARD S.S. QUEEN MARY, May 31. - Emerging from a blanketing fog which had slowed her knife-life progress through the gray North Atlantic, the majestic "Queen Mary" was clipping off the knots of her maiden voyage at 33 to the hour today, and a new speed record for the crossing was still within her reach.

The possibility that the new British liner may hang up a new record when she reaches quarantine in New York harbor tomorrow was the chief interest of the passengers aboard her--who, except for the big ship's slight vibration and roll, find it difficult to remember they are at sea, so much like a slice of fashionable New York is the ship.

Slowed Up By Fog.

The fog which brought the ship to half and slow speed at intervals during a 12 hours period, may have doomed them to disappointment, although the "Queen Mary" made full speed ahead once the fog lifted.

Ship's officers say they have no intention to try for a record, and "off the record," they confide that the fog removed the last chance to make one. They have pegged the liner's fifth corssing for an attempt to lower the "Normandie's" standing mark.

But the "Queen Mary" made an average speed of 27.12 knots in the fog-bound run that ended at noon today, and her 32-knot speed now indicates that the last day's sailing to port will be the fastest stretch of the trip.

Stowaway On Board.

As if again to remind the passengers they are actually on the ocean--despite the shops and tennis courts, concert halls and a promenade deck as long as three city blocks--a stowaway turned up today, rousing excited comment. He is an unemployed Welsh miner, 41, and single, and he comes from Cardiff.

One way this voyage differs from the ordinary transatlantic crossing is the peculiar way in which the deck chairs remain unoccupied.

Everyone is off exploring the ship, and there's plenty to explore in this mammoth liner. The main dining room, the largest room ever built between a ship's walls, is the favorite object of admiration.

Tweeds Are in Favor.

Severe tweed sports costumes are what the ladies are wearing, and evening dress tends to the conservative side for men and women alike.

Anita Louise, blonde movie beauty, is the ship's ace window shopper. Ambassador Robert W. Bingham is the swimming pool's steadiest visitor. And everyone on board seems to be posing for a host of photographers, amateur and professional, and always against the background of the ship's life-preservers, on which "Queen Mary" is painted in bold lettering.

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