I'll continue to periodically visit this thread for any more news. However, I fear that as even the keel of SS France will undoubtedly have been broken up now and is the sad end of a long a glorious story of a much-loved liner that was once the pride of a nation. This also probably also marks the ending of this thread, which has made fascinating reading.
I agree this thread will soon reach its end. Before it does, we'd like to give everyone a chance to contribute some final memories of our ship, whether you knew her as SS France, SS Norway, or both. Although the thread will close in the next couple of weeks, it will remain viewable for reading. So... let's make this a most fitting tribute.
If its not being too cheeky to 'hijack' this thread - one I've followed since 2006, would it be ok to suggest the very final post, the closing one, has a link to the forum about the SS United States - maybe it would be fitting to end the thread on one ship which wasn't saved with a link to a ship which we might yet be able to save...
Just a thought.
OK....here's kind of an interesting "small world" story. Two weeks ago I played 'sick' and skipped work so I could go to the annual 'Dania Beach marine flea market' down here is South Florida. For those of you that are not familar, Dnaia Beach is basically between Port Everglades and the Port of Miami.
Towards the end of the day my friend and I came across a husband & wife who had a small table with some assorted marine goods...nothing fancy, the usual stuff....old anchors, chain, lights, etc. On the ground, practically out-of-sight under their table were these two unique doors. They were obiviously off of a commerical style vessel because of their two 'dogging' handles on the top & bottom of the door in addition to the regular handle. Also they had two thick panels of glass and were painted a somewhat unique orangish color.
My friend, who was curious, asked the gentleman where the doors were from. The man replied that they were off of the pilot boat 'MIAMI' that had once operated out of Government Cut. My friend, even more curious, asked how he got the doors at which time the man explained that he has been a pilot for the Port of Miami for the past ten years.
I then asked him if he knew retired Miami pilot Capt. Carl Brown at which time he said yes and was now VERY interested in how I knew of him (Brown). I then told him of the story when NCL first purchased the NORWAY and how the Miami port pilots were very skeptical about a ship her size trying to get into the port. And how Capt. Brown was flown to Oslo to meet the ship and see how she really handled in 'real world' conditions on the crossing to New York and then eventually Miami. Capt. Brown went on to explain how he met Capt. Peter Driver who was the French Lines chief pilot when NORWAY was the FRANCE. Capt. Driver basically laughed and told him that she was a great handling ship and that she wouldn't give them (the Miami pilots) any trouble. Capt. Brown went on to say that Capt. Driver was right and rest was history.
Well, to make a long story a little shorter....the gentleman I just met had piloted the NORWAY in and out of Miami numerous times. He too knew her well and how she behaved. The old pilot boat 'MIAMI' had rubbed up against her blue hull many times over the years. It was evident that he shared some fondness for the ship.
I don't know how much he had wanted for those doors but after sharing that story....he gave to me as a gift.
Funny how some old funky colored doors brought together two total strangers who both happened to share some knowledge & love for one beautiful ship.
This is a message thread that has stretched for 4 years, over five thousand posts, and with over a half-million views. Amazing. Other cruise forums should drop to their knees and pay homage to this glorious thread. It certainly gives due honor and glory to the vessel named SS France, and then SS Norway.
Capt.Matt - Thank You for one of the best Seafarer's Yarns about our much beloved Norway to grace these pages. She is but a most found memory nowbut her legend grows ever stronger in our hearts and minds! Thank you from all of us cruise addicts many times o'er!