Cunard's Queen Mary 2 lent a helping hand to a Canadian rower, Mylène Paquette, in the mid-Atlantic today. Mylène is aiming to become the first North American woman to row solo across the Atlantic, a total of 2,700 nautical miles.
Queen Mary 2, which left New York on Sunday 22 September on a seven-night Transatlantic Crossing to Southampton, England, received the request to assist yesterday and prepared a package of essential supplies overnight as the ship headed out to help.
The rendezvous with Mylène's boat occurred at 46 degrees 49.9 minutes North, 034 degrees 53.1 minutes West at 1300 hours U.K. time. Queen Mary 2 greeted her with three blasts from the ship's whistle and then slowly circled the boat at 10 knots to calm the water before four watertight canisters containing the supplies were dropped into the sea and collected by Mylène.
There were cheers from the passengers who lined Queen Mary 2's rails as the ship's whistle sounded many times more. Mylène spoke with the ship via VHF radio and this was relayed to the passengers by the ship's Public Address system.
Having set out from Halifax, Canada, on 6 July 2013 for Lorient, France, Mylène had been hit by the remnants of Atlantic Storm Humberto and had lost her anchor and a satellite phone, among other supplies.
In response, Queen Mary 2 has donated to Mylène a new satellite phone and two drogue anchors which the ship's crew prepared on board overnight. The drogue anchors hold the boat's position when it is not being rowed.
After 83 days alone in her boat and with about two months still to go, Mylène was also supplied with fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, pastries, muesli, crackers, chocolate, plus bottled water and coffee, English tea, mint tea and hot chocolate sachets.
In addition, the ship supplied a scraper to remove the barnacles underneath the boat, duct tape, soap, shampoo and body lotion. Plus, postcards of Queen Mary 2!
“We are happy to have given assistance to Mylène and help her recover from the damage inflicted by the storm,” said Captain Kevin Oprey, master of Queen Mary 2. “We wish her the very best of luck with her solo Atlantic rowing adventure.”
“This is a dream come true!”, said Mylène. “For me to see Queen Mary 2 in the middle of the Atlantic is something I would have never hoped for. I want to thank all of the members of the crew for making this encounter happen."