05 March 2012

A Zealous "Turn-Around"

On this day in 1948:

Fast Work By Big Cunarders

By a New York Staff Correspondent

Atlantic storms have delayed the giant Cunarders, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, so often this winter that company officials have had to achieve record "turn-arounds" to keep them on their weekly express time-table.

Usually the "Queens" berth in New York in the early morning and leave with a favourable tide about two mornings later.

However, when the Queen Mary berthed at 6:30 a.m. on February 4 she was 48 hours late. It had been decided to reduce "turn-around" time to one day in an effort to make up a good deal of the loss and the 81,273-tonner sailed at 6:35 a.m. on the following day.

In the intervening 24 hours and 5 minutes, 1,280 crew members and 350 longshoremen had--

  • Disembarked 1,500 passengers and their baggage, and embarked 900 others
  • Loaded 70,000 pounds of meat, 25,000 pounds of poultry, and 90,000 pounds of vegetables. 
  • Unloaded the vessel's cargo and loaded 3,000 bags of mail and 300 tons of high-tariff goods, which make up the bulk of the cargo
  • Cleaned 1,100 staterooms and 35 public rooms
  • Loaded the 85,000 pieces of linen--enough for the trans-Atlantic voyage--which had been left with New York laundries at the previous berthing.
  • Refuelled the vessel with fuel oil and piped aboard 1,200,000 gallons of fresh water.
Cunard's zeal in maintaining its express time-tables is matched only by its lead over all other shipping lines in the trans-Atlantic passenger trade.

Cunard's North Atlantic vessels are the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and Mauretania (at present doing luxury cruises to the Caribbean), running to New York; the Aquitania, running "austerity" migrant trips to Canada; the Media, running cargo and 250 single-class passengers to New York. (To be joined in April by her sister-ship, Parthia).

The Britannic will return to the North Atlantic in May, and the new Caronia will make her maiden voyage later this year.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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