Green Sea Shipbuilding Establishment

Wednesday, August 29, 2007



For the first and (hopefully not) last time, the Radio Controlled Ship QUEEN MARY travelled to Long Beach California for an incredible voyage WITH THE REAL QUEEN MARY! The occasion was the celebration of my 30th birthday. My wife took me to the Queen Mary museum and hotel in Long Beach, CA. I grabbed the R/C Queen Mary, heartset on an incredible voyage with the real ship. Here is how it happened...

Before I arrived in Long Beach, I had spoken to a lady who works on the ship and has some connections, about sailing inside to Queen Mary's breakwater. She said 'no promises' but that she'd do what she could. When I got to the ship, I had given myself 2 options; sail my QM across Long Beach harbor, with the real QM behind her giving me some good broadside pictures of the 2 with the real thing in the distant background. The problems with that are: the deeper harbor water is unprotected from wind, and can be dangerous for a boat with a non-waterproof superstructure. Also, with those huge boulders lining the shore, it is doubtful I could have launched my QM without falling, hurting myself and probably destroying the ship anyway. BUT, it was public property and no one would prevent me from doing it.

The other option was to sail inside the harbor breakwater where the real QM is housed. This would provide a safe launcing area (a tiny boat dock over by the real QM's stern), and the water would be MUCH calmer. The problems with this were: I would need someone working for the QM to let me inside the fenced area, and I couldn't get distance shots of the real QM with mine in the foreground.

By Friday evening, I had decided that the latter was the better option. So, I had to begin the task of begging. :o

The lady (Katherine of Trans-Oceanic) said she would contact the Manager on Duty named John Adamson. To my great disappointment, on Saturday morning, John's voicemail said he was on vacation. So, I shrugged it off and got my stuff and headed for the other side of the harbor.

I was LITERALLY walking off the gangplank when Katherine called out to stop me. Turns out by chance she learned that the Manager WAS aboard, but was just so busy he was telling people he was on vacation. Not only that, he LOVED the idea! (and he had the keys ;) )

So, with profound relief, we went down to the rental van and grabbed the R.C.S. Queen Mary.

It is said that we are all our own worst critics, so I am constantly suprised when people are suprised by my models. I keep expecting someone to say "that's it???".

Anyway, in a couple of minutes, the Mary was in the water at the stern of her namesake, making her way towards the bow under the maze of girders and hoses connecting the ship to the shore. I saw people from the gangplanks looking down saying "hey, look at that!".

There was one heart-stopping moment when I returned to the railing (I was on land) and the Mary was GONE! I knew she had drifted under the concrete dockside, but I couldn't see where. Katherine on the ship was telling me where, but I couldn't see! I asked her if the bow was pointed towards the open water or away from the open water. She told me and I ran the motor full astern, hoping that the signal would make it through the concrete. I few long seconds later, the ship bolted into view, full astern!

Then we made our way past the russian foxtrot submarine, and finally reached the bow. I hardly used any battery power during the short voyage and I began REALLY taking pictures!

John let me out on the rocks to service the Mary (switching batteries) and taking pictures. I heard some lady on the PA at the Catalina boat dock. I think she was talking to me telling me to get off the rocks! LOL :rolleyes:

Then I saw some security lady walk up to the gate where John was, and he promptly PWNED HER ASS! (young people talk for putting someone in their place) and she left! My Queen Mary officially has clout!

When I felt I had gotten enough pictures and video, I began the march back to the stern where the boat dock is. As we passed the foxtrot again, I watched people point and gaze at my Mary as her floating oddity passed serenely.

Then it was out of the water and immediate washing off with half a gallon of fresh water. The prop shaft was removed as a precaution and the rudder area was scrubbed with a toothbrush. Then I put vasoline all over the area.

I obviously can't bore you all with 82-100 pictures, but here are some of the highlights. Please enjoy!

Barrett Hochhaus