Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Morning of April 14, 1912

On the Sunday morning of April 14, 1912 the dawn broke crisp and clear, the rising sun sparkling off the tips of water making it shine like diamonds. Not a more beautiful morning on the North Atlantic, and for 1635 souls it would be the last sunrise the would ever see. But how could they know, they were on a so-called 'unsinkable'.
Four days earlier 2340 passengers had embarked on the Titanic at Southampton, Cherbourg, and Queenstown. How could you not be excited to travel on the largest liner in the world on her maiden voyage, it was a once in a lifetime thing. Most of all the Titanic! What saddens me is the fact that all of these people, rich or poor, were not prepared or expecting what would happen four days later. 1635 passengers were headed unknowingly to an untimely death, and 705 passenger were going to endure hardships, pains, and miseries, to say the least.
But now it is the 14 of April and the passengers have been enjoying themselves immensely, depending on what luxuries their classes afforded them, relaxing in the sun, or perhaps trying out a mechanical horse in the ship's gym, or maybe enjoying a Turkish bath, or possibly enjoying a heated swimming pool. Whatever they did it was to indulge themselves and to have the time of the their life. Colonel Archibald Gracie said "I enjoyed myself as if I were in a summer palace on the seashore, surrounded by every comfort."
There was a Church of England service that was presided over by Captain Smith in first class, and Father Thomas Byles conducted a Catholic mass in the second class lounge, and then one for third class passengers.
That same morning the wireless operators were swamped with private messages, they were trying their best to keep up, but it was a hard fight, the previous evening the wireless radio broke down and they didn't get it fixed till about 5:00am that Sunday morning, and were trying feverishly to get all the telegrams sent out in a timely fashion. I'll talk about it later more, but this would cause a terrible mistake.
The Titanic was making excellent speed; such as on Sunday her engines were making 75 revolutions a minute and covering 549 miles in one day. That Sunday morning the Captain ordered two more boilers to be fired up, she was cruising along at the break-neck pace of 22 knots, and on Monday they were going to fire the remaining boilers, and try to achieve 24 knots. Proverbs 27:1 says, "Boast not thy self of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."
I'll end this post with what first class passengers had to eat!

{cooks} Consomme Fermier Cockie Leekie

Fillets of Brill
Egg A L'Argenteuil
Chicken A La Maryland
Corned Beef, Vegetables, Dumplings

From The Grill
Grilled Mutton Chops
Mashed, Fried & Baked Jacket Potatoes

Custard Pudding
Apple Meringue Pastry


Salmon Mayonnaise Potted Shrimp
Norwegian Anchovies Soused Herrings
Plain & Smoked Sardines
Roast Beef
Round Of Spiced Beef
Veal & Ham Pie
Virginia & Cumberland Ham
Bologna Sausage Brawn
Galantine Of Chicken
Corned Ox Tongue
Lettuce Beetroot Tomatoes

Cheshire, Stilton, Gorgonzola, Edam
Cammebert, Roquefort, St. Ivel,

Iced Draught Munich Larger Beer 3d & 6d Tankard

I seriously don't think that you could start a morning better off then this.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow... I am so hungry looking at all that good food.

You know, in writing all the stuff I was writing, putting myself in the shoes of just one passenger, I felt sort of happy, expectant as I thought about the day Titanic left Southampton. And now -- not because of anything you've been writing -- I feel sort of sad again.

So many lives lost, and each one of these people had memories of where they had come from, hopes and dreams of where they would be going. Just one more thing to remind us that when all is said and done, our times are in God's hands, not ours.

Anyhow... you're a very good writer, and it's so interesting to step back and see again what was happening to the ship herself, her crew and other passengers. Puts it all in perspective.

Daniel said...

Glad you enjoyed it. I'll be doing a short post at about 2:00, and then at about 5:00, and then around 8:00!!!

Thank you for commenting.


Daniel, the beginning of that terrible day. The meal reminds me of the last meal of the condemned. So, Sad, knowing what lays ahead for them all. Grandma