Dry Dock Diary – Part 7 – 18th June

This report captures all work on 17th and 18th June.

June 17th:
– UHP blasting progressed inside the vessel, with work concentrated in the lower deck (shaft space and kitchen space) and Queens’ Restaurant
– TS Queen Mary’s new 2D steel lettering was welded in place, undercoated and finished in gold paint; as you can see in one of today’s pictures, the new lettering really is something special
– Work progressed on permanent repairs to the foredeck bulwark
– All external coatings on the hull and superstructure were completed
– Some deck structures were coated, including the large vents (which are now back to a silver finish with blue interior)
– Two dark brown racing stripes were reinstated
– New lettering (recreated by IDL Media, from an early 1950s image) was instated on the stern and finished in gold paint (with a dark brown trim)
– Permanent repairs to the observation gallery (bulwark and deck supports, observation gallery aft) continued

June 18th:
As all of the survey work, naval architecture (laser scanning) and NDT testing had been completed by close of play on June 17th, TS Queen Mary was today able to undock ahead of schedule.

The day started at 0830, with Captain Mark Yeomans getting the ship’s company prepared for the move to James Watt Dock.

At 0900 Captain Yeomans undertook a dock bottom inspection along with Simon Mackay (naval architect, Brookes Bell). As the hull inspection passed successfully, TS Queen Mary’s bilges were pumped of the water amassed from internal blasting, and her stern trim was set at 30cm.

At 1000 the crew went aboard and prepared for the dock to start flooding.

At just before 1100 the dock started to flood up, and Tugs Biter and Battler arrived from nearby Victoria Harbour.

At 1130 shore power was taken off and TS Queen Mary was switched over to her own generator. The pilot came aboard and went to the bridge to liaise with Captain Yeomans.

TS Queen Mary came gently off the blocks, very slightly bow first (this was intentional in order to limit the forces across her hull). Three crew were on the lower deck inspecting both the hull internally and each bilge compartment. All was found to be well and so the flooding process continued.

By 1230 the gates were fully opened. By then the wind had picked up and so Captain Yeomans had to issue a lot of quick-fire commands to the forward and aft mooring crews, as well as communicating with the team on the dockside and the tug captains.

By moving her mooring ropes progressively along the dock’s bollards, TS Queen Mary was very carefully moved astern out of dock. She was clear of the dock gates by 1330.

TS Queen Mary then was towed into the River Clyde, turned by the tugs and then towed astern through the narrow entrance to James Watt Dock. She was berthed starboard side to at 1415.

Upon her arrival and with the ship safely moored, Captain Yeomans and Simon Mackay carefully re-inspected the hull internally (on the lower deck) and each bilge compartment. With all still in order, work alongside was able to re-commence.

We are grateful to Peel Ports for supplying a pilot free of charge, and to Simon Mackay (Brookes Bell) for providing essential support during the move out of dock.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge the kind support of Captain Yeomans, who planned and oversaw today’s move.

Further updates will follow.