During 40 years at sea, the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) sailed over 5 million miles and called at over 300 ports in more than 100 countries. The information and statistics that can be derived from the QE2’s log books provide fascinating insights into this unique vessel's record-breaking career.
This website is the culmination of over two decades of ongoing research and analysis. QE2 log book records are integrated with multiple sources including the Warwick Family archive (and QE2 book), captain’s diaries, public records and the official Cunard Archive held by the University of Liverpool. It is unlikely that a perfect record of over 16,000 log entries can be established, especially for distances and times. However, the data accuracy is estimated to be in excess of 99.5%.
As the name suggests an ‘Abstract Log’ is a subset of information extracted from a ship’s deck log. The deck log is maintained by the navigation officers and includes data such as the ship's daily location, distance, steaming time and weather. The deck log is distinct from the official log book which is a legal requirement for every vessel. The official log records the date and time of departures and arrivals and is signed by the master.
In the early to mid-20th century log extracts were often published at the end of a voyage and printed on ‘Abstract of Log’ postcards.
At the commencement of her seagoing career the QE2 did not keep an abstract log book. This changed in the mid-1980s when officer Dan Robinson initiated the gathering of date, port and distance information from the deck log books. The log entries were recorded in hand-written foolscap books and kept up-to-date by the navigators.
Quartermaster Stuart Daw was instrumental in introducing the first digital version of the log, initially in dBase and later Microsoft Access. The Access version continued to be used well into the 2000s.
In the final few years of the QE2’s career the electronic log reverted to a basic Excel spreadsheet format. Unfortunately this caused a significant number of data integrity errors to be introduced such as inconsistent port names.
All QE2 officers and crew that contributed to maintaining the abstract log, especially Dan Robinson (Chief Officer), Stuart Daw (Quartermaster) and Othello Ghoshroy (First Officer).
Captain Robin Woodall, Captain Ian McNaught, John Hewison (hotel officer)
Liverpool University, Michael Gallagher (Cunard Historian)