Researched and Written By

Researched and Written By Aaron Saunders

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Transatlantic Rendezvous

RMS Queen Mary 2 and rowboat Artemis Investments meet
in the North Atlantic on the morning of July 24, 2010.
Photo courtesy of Cunard Line

Passengers aboard Cunard Line's RMS Queen Mary 2 were treated to an unusual sight recently while sailing from New York to Southampton: a close encounter with a rowboat in the mid-Atlantic, and one that has a very personal connection to the famous Cunard liner.

On the morning of Saturday, July 24, 2010, Queen Mary 2 met up with the four-man rowboat, called Artemis Investments, as both vessels were headed for the shores of the United Kingdom.  The men aboard Artemis Investments had set sail from New York City's Battery Park on June 17th and were attempting to break a 114-year old record by rowing across the treacherous North Atlantic to the port of St. Mary's, Isles of Sicily, UK - a total distance of 2,820 nautical miles or 5,223 kilometers.  

The encounter itself almost didn't happen.  Indeed, it seems the entire event was one of complete happenstance.

Aboard Queen Mary 2, a breakfast conversation between Assistant Spa Manager Natalie Rushton and Captain Nick Bates revolved around the crew of Artemis Investments: one of the men rowing, Ray Carroll, had served on the QM2 from her launch until 2005.  Could it be possible for the two ships to meet up?

In the end, thanks to Natalie's information, Captain Bates was able to determine that they were on a similar course to that of Artemis, and that they would intersect some time during the morning of July 24th.  

On that day, the men in the rowboat, who had battled everything the Atlantic could throw at them, watched as the mammoth flagship of the Cunard Line emerged from the fog to greet them.  Ship photographer Michal Grnga was lowered into one of the rescue boats in order to capture the scene as it unfolded, and the pictures can only be described as magical.  

On the bridge of Queen Mary 2, Captain Bates was in constant contact with the team in the rowboat as the massive vessel eased slowly past the smaller craft.  The scale of the two vessels becomes apparent in the excellent video posted on

On August 1st, the announcement went forth: the crew of the rowboat Artemis Investments have achieved a new world record by rowing across the North Atlantic Ocean with a total elapsed time of 43 days 21 hours 26 minutes and 48 seconds - eleven and a half days faster than the previous record set in 1896.  

For more information on Ocean Row Events, be sure to visit their website.  And of course, to set sail on a transatlantic journey of your own - albeit a significantly more relaxing one - be sure to check out the transatlantic crossings aboard Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria by visiting the Cunard site.


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