Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas is based on a true story about an elephant seal – an animal that normally prefers the wilds of the Southern Ocean – who defied the odds and gained fame when she persisted in returning to Christchurch’s Avon River, time and again, to make herself at home on the banks of the river and to bask in the sun in the middle of busy roads. Of course, this attracted a lot of attention and people lined the banks of the Avon to see her. The people of Christchurch thought there was something rather special about this elephant seal. She was strong and powerful and regal like the Queen of England, so she became known as Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas. A number of years ago long distance, open-water swimmer Lynne Cox travelled to New Zealand to swim across three lakes near Aoraki/Mt Cook. During a walk along the Avon River, she happened upon a couple of children standing on the bank – Michael and his sister Maggie. They were waiting for Elizabeth. On inquiring further about who Elizabeth was, Lynne spent the rest of the day talking with Michael and Maggie about the famous elephant seal.