Queen Mary 2 cruises past Pt Cartwright about 10pm on Thursday night. Picture:  Ian Ward
Queen Mary 2 cruises past Pt Cartwright about 10pm on Thursday night. Picture: Ian Ward

Queen Mary 2 cruises by Coast

UPDATE: THE Queen Mary 2 cruised past the Sunshine Coast last night with light blazing, providing a spectacle for hundreds of people who gathered along the coastline.

Coast photography buff Ian Ward snapped this picture as the grand vessel made its way past Point Cartwright about 10pm last night.

He said there plenty of of people on the seafront at all vantage points and  a "really good atmosphere''.

Meanwhile, Geoff Dawson and Chris Gallagher were spent yesterday afternoon after what was literally the biggest job of their lives.

The marine pilots were charged with guiding one of the world's largest ship, the Queen Mary 2, into Brisbane.

They boarded the ship four-and-a-half miles east of Point Cartwright at 3.30am for a four-hour journey to Fisherman Island, where she docked at the grain berth because of her size.

The QM2's maiden visit to Brisbane was the result of more than a year's planning, which took into account everything from tide times and likely wind speed and direction to other vessel movements.

Mr Dawson and Mr Gallagher spent four days in a simulator and were also briefed by a retired Queen Mary captain in what turned out to be perfect preparation.

"The conditions that we experienced today were just about the exact conditions that we had experienced and used in the simulator. The pre-planning was spot on," Mr Dawson said.

Mr Dawson said although the Queen Mary, at 345m long, was the largest ship he had piloted, she had not necessarily been his most high-pressure assignment.

"It's one of the higher profile jobs but being on a ship can always produce some exciting moments at times," he said.

It was early to bed for Mr Dawson and Mr Gallagher last night while their Brisbane Marine Pilots colleagues Peter Liley and Ross Nicholls guided the ship out of Brisbane.


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