Since the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 arrived in Dubai at the end of November 2008, only her owners, her crew and contractors have been on board. No visitors have been admitted, and no photos have been released, reports Rob Lightbody of TheQE2Story.com.
Last month, Mr Lightbody was granted full access to the legendary ship, exploring and documenting her current condition. Mr. Lightbody was hosted by QE2 Project Manager Scott Clegg and QE2’s Captain William Cooper.
“There was a lot of speculation out there that she was not in a good condition inside and I wanted to correct that, because I knew it was untrue”, says Lightbody.
“I have been a huge fan of QE2 since my father first took me on board as a boy” he said, before continuing, “it was a dream come true to step back on board again, exactly 24 years to the day after I first did so.
Lightbody explained in his own words, “I was pleased that my request was granted, and last week I became the first person since QE2 arrived in Dubai, to be allowed to go on board and to take and publish photos and videos.
I spent most of 2 1/2 days on board, meeting and dining with her captain and live-aboard crew, and seeing many parts of her that I never saw when she was in service. I am pleased to say that she is in simply tremendous condition, and her crew are doing a fantastic job.
I decided that doing a ‘video diary’ from on board was the best way to clearly demonstrate what she is now like – and I have spent days putting them together and online. My favourite event during my time on board was suggesting the idea for, and then recording, their first ever crew photo and recording a video of them all letting out a big proud cheer.
All the information about Rob’s trip, videos and (shortly) the photos are all within the ‘QE2 News’ section of TheQE2Story’s discussion forum – please visit http://www.theqe2story.com/ for more information.
Special thanks to Rob Lightbody and TheQE2Story.com for permission to introduce this story and these images from QE2
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.