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Queen Elizabeth Position

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With QE anchored in the Queensland industrial port of Gladstone to wait out the virus, and QV and QM2 about to lay up in the UK, I'm curious about the composition of the remaining caretaker crew aboard, and what sort of activities still get done.

 

My guess would be that most hotel crew (restaurant, entertainment, housekeeping) have disembarked and the passenger areas closed off.  Remaining crew might be a minimal number of engineering and deck crew for maintenance and security.  Perhaps a bridge watch for security, ongoing painting, rotating operation of the diesels for electrical generation, routine maintenance, etc. 

 

Is this right?  Anyone have any insights? 

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Posted (edited)

Seems there are more crew on than you suggest. Marine traffic shows Queen Elizabeth set sail again at Midnight last night destination not specified. 

Edited by Matelot70

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5 minutes ago, Matelot70 said:

Seems there are more crew on than you suggest. Marine traffic shows Queen Elizabeth set sail again at Midnight last night destination not specified. 

 

Thanks for that. I hadn't been paying attention. Another mystery voyage for QE to keep an eye on.

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11 minutes ago, Matelot70 said:

Seems there are more crew on than you suggest. Marine traffic shows Queen Elizabeth set sail again at Midnight last night destination not specified. 

 

Yes, another mystery voyage.  Last info before going out of range of shore AIS was heading 096 at 14 knots, again "awaiting orders". 

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Well, this is odd. QE's current position received from satellite indicates she has turned around after getting just past Fraser Island and is heading back to the northwest. Current heading 298 degrees at 14 knots.

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Posted (edited)

Currently (20-03-24, 23:50 utc) bearing 96, 14nt. She's closely shadowing the oil tanker Aquarius, doing essentially the same bearing and speed. This might be an at-sea refueling that, for whatever reason, QE could not undertake in Gladstone. And if she is refueling from a big old tanker (30,000 GT) she may be taking on quite a bit of fuel - to go where?

All shall be revealed...

Update: turns out this data on MarineTraffic is some hours old - so post #5 supecedes this, timewise.
Now heading back to Gladstone?

Edited by Canuker

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Based on a further look at her position reported by satellite, my guess is she is returning to Gladstone Anchorage after what will have amounted to about a 30 hour cruise to nowhere.

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12 minutes ago, bluemarble said:

Based on a further look at her position reported by satellite, my guess is she is returning to Gladstone Anchorage after what will have amounted to about a 30 hour cruise to nowhere.

 

Just based on reports I read when the Diamond Princess was anchored/moored off Yokohama, I seem to recall that that ship had to, on occasion, go further out to sea to do some water processing business. Bilge or something?

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QE is back within range of shore AIS, and as bluemarble and Canucker indicated, looks to be returning to Gladstone. 

 

image.png.7670973311f49d9947554be9b9e9a115.png

 

heading 277 at 14.4 knots as at 2pm AEST.

 

As Littlefish1976 said, I recall reading about the Diamond Princess in Tokyo, and how the ship had to go to sea periodically to renew its supply of fresh water.  I think that diesel waste heat is needed for desalination.  Perhaps that was the reason for QE's jaunt.  Or maybe the captain just wanted to go fishing for the day.   

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EDIT - back at Gladstone anchorage at 5p AEST

 

image.png.0cf036d060cffa07af0bd1568184a51b.png

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7 hours ago, sfred said:

QE is back within range of shore AIS, and as bluemarble and Canucker indicated, looks to be returning to Gladstone. 

 

image.png.7670973311f49d9947554be9b9e9a115.png

 

heading 277 at 14.4 knots as at 2pm AEST.

 

As Littlefish1976 said, I recall reading about the Diamond Princess in Tokyo, and how the ship had to go to sea periodically to renew its supply of fresh water.  I think that diesel waste heat is needed for desalination.  Perhaps that was the reason for QE's jaunt.  Or maybe the captain just wanted to go fishing for the day.   

I believe they go out to empty their holding tanks of gray water and to pump the bilge.

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I see QE has been doing another one of those voyages to nowhere again today. Looks like she has turned around now after passing Fraser Island and is presumably heading back to Gladstone Anchorage.

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2 hours ago, bluemarble said:

I see QE has been doing another one of those voyages to nowhere again today. Looks like she has turned around now after passing Fraser Island and is presumably heading back to Gladstone Anchorage.

QM2 has done the same off Durban and Queen Victoria did the same yesterday in the Channel. It is intriguing to see how often the ships are having go to sea for their "housekeeping" operations.

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I don´t see anything intriguing about the process- they hardly can spill their brack water while anchored or in the harbor!

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Germancruiser said:

I don´t see anything intriguing about the process- they hardly can spill their brack water while anchored or in the harbor!

I was not saying the process was intriguing I am well aware that IMO/SOLAS regulations require ships to be at least 12 miles off shore to get rid of waste. 

Edited by Matelot70

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As at 7am this morning, QE had departed Gladstone and was southbound off Noosa heads, heading 197 at 9.3 knots, reported destination Brisbane grain terminal.

 

image.png.4b371cfb5461b65b9e6339795c34c8de.png

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EDIT - at 1.20p AEST, moored at the Brisbane grain terminal. 

 

image.png.55fc310fce061152c7c2196318a2a593.png

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There are  posts that say QE is going to be used as a Hospital Ship, have you heard this or had it confirmed/denied?

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No, I have not heard anything further since your post on Sunday about it becoming a hospital ship, and bazzaw's post that he heard QE could be departing Australia waters in 3-4 days.   Not sure what correlation, if any, QE's relocation from Gladstone to Brisbane has with these rumours.  She is still here at Fisherman Island grain terminal this morning on Tuesday.

 

Apparently too the talks about Queen Mary (the first one) becoming a hospital ship in Long Beach CA are still ongoing.

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13 hours ago, Trevor33 said:

There are  posts that say QE is going to be used as a Hospital Ship, have you heard this or had it confirmed/denied?

 

No, the Queensland state government has ordered QE out of local waters by 11.59pm Wed night. 

 

She is currently in Brisbane taking on fuel and supplies, most likely for an immediate return to Southampton. She is barred from other Australian and NZ ports. Not sure where she will refuel and resupply along the way.

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Posted (edited)

Austcruiser84's post confirmed.  QE has been "kicked out of port".  (Apologies to fans, like me, of the movie "Mister Roberts".)   At 1.30p AEST, heading 007, 18.9 knots, departing Moreton Bay.  Destination "awaiting orders".

 

Kicked out of port: 

 

Edited by sfred

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QE is due in Southampton on 5th June according to Southampton VTS.

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Does anyone know what Cunards plans are? Regular QE was scheduled for cruises from/to Vancouver and should start in October in Tokio again.

 

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The full bench of the Federal Court sits in less than 12 hours' time to decide the fate of all ships. The government might get overruled. QE is said to have no cases of the virus onboard and it is making very slow speed presently with no clear destination. I suspect Cunard has given orders to go slow ahead and see what decision the Federal Court hands down (in relation to an APT ship in Darwin, but a decision will influence fate of all foreign owned cruise ships in Australian waters). If the court rules against the government I suspect Cunard will keep QE in Australian waters.

 

If not, then she will sail immediately for Southampton via South America. Return via South Africa is no longer possible due to total ban on cruise ships in recent days. The Panama Canal is possible if there are no cases of COVID onboard (which is the case presently), but a voyage around the southern tip of South America is possible. There are still many countries that have yet to impose any bans so QE could conceivably dock for refuelling and resupplying. She'd still be able to do the same out of Fort Lauderdale before a southerly course across the Atlantic to Southampton. The June 5 date mentioned in an earlier post would fit with a journey from Brisbane to Southampton via South America. 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Austcruiser84 said:

The Panama Canal is possible if there are no cases of COVID onboard (which is the case presently), but a voyage around the southern tip of South America is possible.

If the polar ice keeps melting, there's always the Northwest Passage.

 

I don't mean to make light of the situation.  It's very sad..

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