Cruise ships and the Japan earthquake

We left the Queen Mary on Thursday in Osaka, Japan. It was only a short cruise for us and we were sorry to say goodbye to our new friends – and the glorious Queen, but we were looking forward to a couple of days in Osaka and Kyoto before returning home to Sydney. We were in Kyoto, in a Japanese restaurant when the earthquake struck. The building shook and we knew that we had just experienced a tremor, but it was not enough to stop anyone. Very different to the horror and destruction that was taking place elsewhere on the Japanese coast as the massive earthquake and tsunami wreaked havoc. It was not until we reached the airport in Osaka that we began to be aware of the size of what had happened.
The only cruise ship we saw was the Asuka II in Guam (picture). The Queen Mary 2 docked in Osaka the day before the earthquake but was at sea when it struck and cancelled a port call to Nagasaki as a result.
Another ship that has altered her itinerary is Oceania which will visit Okinawa but not Hiroshima or Kobe this week. It will be necessary for cruise lines to re-assess their itineraries in the light of the Japanese disaster.
We are home now and like everyone else listening and watching as events unfold in Japan. While we were on board Queen Mary 2, one of the highlights was, ironically, the fascinating lectures by oceanographer Prof. Denny Pritchard on earthquakes, tsunamis and rogue waves!
One of the things we learnt during the lectures on the Queen Mary 2 is that one of the safest places to be during a tsunami is on a large ship at sea. The sea rises and takes the ship with it, often without those on board being aware that anything has changed , but a tsunami is not a rogue wave which is a completely different event. One of the other things we learnt from Denny Pritchard was that the wave that featured in the destruction movie Poseidon was a total fabrication and could not possibly have happened!

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