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  • Writer's pictureEllen Frazer-Jameson

INSIGHTS: A Mariner, Author & A Cellist

DAY 49- 28 February 2023


Queen Mary 2 World Centenary Voyage

102 days, 31 ports, 18 countries.

Ellen Frazer-Jameson reporting live from Queen Mary 2

Pete Goss, MBE, British Yachtsman, Adventurer Entrepreneur and Author

As he prepared for his much-anticipated Cunard Talk in the Royal Court Theatre, former Royal Marine Commando, Pete Goss took time to meet up with Queen Mary 2 passengers.

“Wow. 100 days on Queen Mary 2. You’re going all the way around world. That’s amazing,” he told them. “I can’t imagine what that must be like. Well done, you.” From a man who has sailed more than 250,000 nautical miles, completed 27 major maritime projects, designed and built world-class ground-breaking boats, led and managed teams of up to 100 in pioneering business ventures and sailed non-stop, single handed around the world, this was praise indeed.

Watching his videos of cyclone and hurricane lashed boats, crew being thrown wildly across the vessel, masts crashing down and upside-down boats in the middle of the ocean, it was difficult to see the similarities between a luxury voyage on the most beautiful liner in the world and his brand of daredevil death-defying ocean-going sailing.

In 1996 Awarded the Legion d’Honneur, as a finalist in the Vendee Globe Challenge where only six of 16 starters finished the gruelling race, Pete was placed fifth – and though he was the only sailor on board he credits his huge on-shore and on-radio team as being a crucial part of the accomplishment. “To win that race, the criteria was simple, “ he told a hushed audience, “you just had to finish.”

Pete finished and also helped save the life of rescued yachtsman, Raphael Dinelli. Pete lists his attitude to the ongoing adventure of his life as, amass the knowledge assess the risk, raise the funds.

A proud Cornish man, Pete states, “If you are not committed, you can’t expect anyone else to be. After two years of planning and preparation, I was mentally and physically fit, excited and confident as I sailed out of harbour to a great fanfare and goodbye from well-wishers and family and friends.”

Whatever challenges Pete imagined he would face; the reality was off the radar. A May Day from a fellow challenger in the race reached Pete, who was already bruised and battered and on the point of exhaustion, having suffered the same conditions that had capsized the boat of the French competitor in distress.

“He was 1,200 miles away and absolutely desperate, floating on a life raft. I never questioned my decision to turn around and go to his aid. You don’t ignore a cry for help but I was devastated as I contemplated the outcome and watched my life and the years of planning and work roll away from me like tumbleweed. ”

Pete turned his boat around and spent two days sailing into hurricane force winds to find the yachtsman in distress. There followed a dramatic air/sea rescue in which the Australian Air Force dropped a life raft to Raphael as his boat sank.

“He lost everything, “ says Pete, “ but, typical Frenchman, he came on board waving a bottle of champagne.” The happy ending is that he and Pete became best friends – and on the day of his rescue when Raphael proposed to his girlfriend, they insisted Pete be the best man at the wedding. A year after the rescue, Pete and Raphael crewed a two-man racing yacht.

Pete tells the story of the incredible race and rescue in his best-selling book, Close to the Wind (Published by Headline)

Pete’s advice to those contemplating a challenge or life change, “Go for it. Today. Do not delay. You can do anything if you set your mind to it. Do not take life lying down.“ Pete admits he is at his happiest, completely in his element and fulfilled, on deck tethered to the wheel, face whipped by sea and wind, with Tina Turner’s “Hero” blasting out full volume. “Doing life.”

This supremely brave man is a true “Hero”, and inspired by Pete’s powerful message, it’s time to go forth into the future.

“Go to it, you QM2 heroes.”


Ellen Meets Virtuoso Cellist

Andrei Cavassi

If you happen to be in London rather than on Queen Mary 2 on the March 1st, you had the opportunity to hear virtuoso cellist Andrei Cavassi who became an audience favourite during his recent concerts on QM2. A Greek, Italian mixed with a couple of other nationalities this classically trained musician gave up the life of a professional orchestra member to find artistic freedom. Andrei moved to Japan and enjoys a life combining aspects of oriental music with classical favourites and pop standards.

“Playing for audiences on a World Voyage gives me a chance to present all kinds of music to an appreciative audience and also for me to play with the amazing musicians in the Royal Court orchestra. I am reluctant to leave the ship, but I guess many people feel that way when it’s time to move on. I would ask one thing of you all, when you leave the ship please continue to support live music, during the covid pandemic, everything was done on line but it is vital we keep music live. Music is the international language.”

Andrei has recorded a special CD and all proceeds go to help people in the Ukraine. Already he has raised over $20,000 dollars for charity.

“The theme of my music and my life is “Freedom” says Andrei. “I urge you all to continue the life of freedom you live on this beautiful voyage. I hope to meet some of you again – somewhere in the world.“


Andrei Cavassi is a musician with an incredible cultural heritage, his bloodline including Greek, Italian, Hungarian and Romanian decent. He hails from a long line of classical musicians, marking the 4th generation of artists in his family. Andrei started studying cello in Bucharest, followed by Zurich and Hamburg but his most inspiring pedagogical influence came from Maria Kliegel from whom he received lessons in Luxembourg. Through the years, his performance mesmerized audiences on three continents, from the Berliner Philarmonie, till Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires or Blue Note in Tokyo staging along world class artists including Misha Maisky and Serghei Polunin. Andrei is the winner of the Gold Medal at the Vienna International Music Competition in 2019. Since 2010 he moved to Japan to pursue his career, often coming back to Europe to perform upon request. Andrei’s incredible gift is to transpose the audience into a higher dimension, taking the public into a breathless and amazing musical journey from the very first touch of the strings. His music is considered to be as versatile as the voice of his cello. He has created and produced several music events in partnership with Tokyo Metropolitan City Hall as part of the official program of Tokyo Olympics, Unplugged by Andrei Cavassi (100 years of diplomacy between Romania and Japan anniversary event in 2021) as well as covering the music programs for Harry Winston Tokyo (2021). As a vivid expression of his artistic versatility, Andrei Cavassi was appointed World Ambassador for Maison Christian Dior for the last two years and elected Best Dressed Men at Elle Style Awards in 2018. He was featured in Elle Magazine, Harper’s Bazar, Tokyo TBS Television, Rock FM, Luxury Magazine, Business Magazine, Kanal D Television, Smart FM, Tokyo NHK Television, Bravo! Magazine, We Love Music, Romanian National Television, Antena 1 Television, A List Magazine, Viva Magazine, Digi 24 Television, Aleph TV etc “I invite you to sit and have a glimpse of life’s grandeur through the cello’s vibrancy of this amazing artist. “ Andrei Cavassi’s music moves easily onward into the listener’s souls revealing a magic realm where sound meets vibrance creating an absolute bliss.

* * * * *

... The Journey continues... Ellen




Current position of Queen Mary 2: Under way from Bali to Darwin

  • Departure was 2 d 1 hrs 14 min ago. (at 20:00 h local time)

  • Arrival will be in 1 d 8 hrs 16 min. (at 07:00 h local time)

  • Traveled distance since Bali: 567.95 nm (1,051.84 km)

  • Remaining distance to Darwin: 385.62 nm (714.16 km)

  • Traveled distance since Singapore: 1,592.24 nm (2,948.83 km)


Photo of the day (from the archives of JD Schwartz)


Further updates will be posted as soon as we get them from Ellen onboard Queen Mary 2.

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