Captain Kevin Oprey, master of Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2, lent a helping hand to a Canadian solo woman rower, Mylene Paquette, after receiving a request for assistance and supplies on Sept. 26, 2013.
Paquette set out from Halifax, Canada, on July 6, 2013, for Lorient, France, she had lost her anchor and satellite phone among other items in the remanants of a storm. In response, Queen Mary 2 donated a new satellite phone and two drogue anchors as well as fruit and vegetables, bread, pastries, muesli, crackers, chocolate, plus bottled water and coffee, English tea, mint tea and hot chocolate sachets. But it was not posible to place a blanket that Paquette had needed for the boat.
Paquette went on to achieve her dream of becoming the first North American woman to row solo from Canada to France - after 10 capsizes, four broken oars (out of eight) and a total of 130 days at sea.
On Dec. 15, when Captain Oprey and Paquette finally met aboard Queen Mary 2 in Southampton, the captain presented her with the missing blanket.
“I have been assisted mid-Atlantic by the biggest ocean liner in the world and I have now been on board the ship and met a fellow seafarer to whom I owe a great deal,” Paquette said. “This blanket represents the goodwill and spirit of kinship which helped me achieve my dream.”