12 January 2013

Timing the Tides


THE QUEEN MARY
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VOYAGE TO THE SEA
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Two Tides to be Used
Engineers in charge of the Queen Mary have prepared sectional plans of the bed of the River Clyde to facilitate the navigation of the great liner on her 15-mile journey from the fitting-out basin at Clydebank to the Firth of Clyde. 
Two tides will be used. Between them she will lie at an old Admiralty wharf at Old Kilpatrick, which is to be extensively reconditioned for the purpose.

It is expected that the voyage will take five hours. On the assumption that high tide will be at 7 a.m. on the morning of the liner's departure--provisionally fixed at March 23, when the tides will be higher, the following rough schedule has been drawn up:--

5 a.m.--Ship afloat in fitting-out basin, ready for canting.

6 a.m.--Canting completed, the four attendant tugs will begin to tow the liner
downstream.

8 a.m.--After negotiating Old Kilpatrick bend--one of the most difficult manoeuvres of the voyage--the liner will close into the Old Admiralty Wharf to await the next tide at 7.15 p.m.

5.15.--The lines will move again.

6.30 p.m.--Passing Dumbarton: progress will be slowed to negotiate moving sand banks caused by the outward flow of the Riven Leven.

8 p.m.--The last obstacle--Cockle Bank at Port Glasgow--will be negotiated.

At the Old Kilpatrick bend it is estimated that there will be only about 10ft. clearance between the river bank and the blades of the liner's propellers. The liner will be flooded for the journey to draw about 44ft. aft and 40ft. forward.

To make her as light as possible all her lifeboats save two will be towed down to the tail of the bank and swung aboard there. Pilots Cameron and Murchie, who supervised the canting of the vessel into her fitting-out basin immediately after her launch, and who will be in charge of the operation, are confident that the river will be navigated without mishap.

The Cunard-White Star Company have placed an order with the Vacuum Oil Company, Ltd., for the whole of the lubricating oil requirements for the main propelling machinery. The first delivery, of over 20,000 gallons, was made on December 23.

Captain Sir Edgar Britten, Commodore of the Cunard White Star fleet and now in command of the Berengaria, has been appointed to the command of the Queen Mary, which is scheduled to make her maiden voyage to New York from Southampton and Cherbourg May 27.

Sixty-one years of age, Sir Edgar Britten was appointed commodore of the fleet last year. He first went to sea in 1892, in a sailing ship, and is one of the few captains who has taken a master's certificate both for sail and steam.

He joined the Cunard Company as fourth officer in the Invernia in 1901, and in 1913 secured his first command.

Throughout the war Sir Edgar Britten was engaged in transport and hospital ship work. During these years he acted as staff captain of the Aquitania, and commanded, among other ships, the Lycia, the Tuscania, the Pannonia, and the Kursk.

- The Sunday Times, Perth, Western Australia, January 12, 1936

www.queenmarystory.com 

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