Traveling- Mother Nature
Do we under estimate the power of water? Most of us take it for granted. We drink it, we wash with it, we swim in it, we sometimes abuse it, we nurture living things with it but do we really understand the power of it? I am gaining a better understanding day by day in my journey the true e energy and strength behind water. We have had some very bumpy rides on our first cruise to Liverpool and Belfast and we were only cruising in Irish Sea but now we are in the Atlantic Ocean. The first two days on the Atlantic were beyond bumpy. We were thrown from side to side as we were walking from place to place. When the ship tried to break through the waves it shuttered like an earthquake, and at other times we rode over and dove down the other side. It was a nice addition to a formal dinner where the glasses would rattle and you would quickly hold on to them to make sure they would not fall and break. It truly amazes me that water can leave our ship, such a large object, in the water at its mercy just hoping for it to calm down. Needless to say, to many it did not sit well personally and many decided to stay in the comfort of their cabins. Fortunately we were spared any affect and ventured out into the daily rock and roll ride on the ship.
The ship we are on is a little bit smaller than the Titanic. It is 720 feet long and 43,000 tons with the top speed of 18 knots. The Titanic was 882 ½ feet long and 53,000 tons with the top speed 24 knots. We watch on a daily basis on a monitor that provides the location of the ship in relationship to the world map. There sure is a lot of water out there and we are moving as fast as we can to the memorial site.
The Captain of the Ship
We have found so many different opinions of Captain Smith, the captain of Titanic. The opinion was totally different in Southampton, Liverpool and Belfast. Many of the passengers on board our cruise have their own. I cannot imagine the thoughts that ran through his mind on the fateful night because of his responsibility for the ship, Titanic, and its passengers. I have been very impressed with our captain of our ship. We receive daily messages at 12:00 noon sharp providing location and remaining mileage to the wreckage of Titanic. He also provides the current conditions and forecast for the weather in our path ahead. We had an unfortunate incident the evening on the second day when a medical evacuation had to be performed with the Ireland Coast Guard. The ship had to be turned around in the bumpy sea and return 20 plus miles in the direction we came to meet the helicopter. We could see the hovering helicopter when it arrived a few hours later from our dinner table. While we were moving, the helicopter picked up the patient and soon was on their way to Ireland. We turned around and the captain announced we are back on course (we heard the next day that the patient was in the hospital and doing much better). Once again, we realized the captain’s role is critical, especially in the middle of the ocean!
Entertainment to pass the timeThere were various options on the Titanic to pass the time. There was a Turkish bath, a swimming pool (25 cents) and gymnasium for your daily recreation. In many cases these options were class specific and sometimes gender specific. They could also stroll around deck to enjoy the sea air. There were lounge areas for reading and playing games or perhaps discussing the Titanic’s beauty and luxury. Not only had the first class facilities been embellished for more comfort and luxury, but for the third class passengers it was the first time that meals were served and bedding was provided. It was truly a ship of dreams for everyone on board!
Our ship has all of these options for your pleasure (and more, i.e., communications are much better). Needless to say the costs have changed tremendously for some of these options. The discussions on this cruise have been quite the opposite from Titanic. We are now discussing her 100 years ago from all different aspects. There are formal lectures and interest corners where passengers can tell their stories and share their family memories of Titanic.
I had the opportunity to share Margaret’s story with a scheduled interest corner. It was held in a lounge area and had been announced through the ships Daily Times the night before. The room was packed and I was quite overwhelmed with the turn out. It was standing room only. I think Margaret would of wondered what was the reason for such a great interest. I told her story as a survivor. Not a famous survivor or a heroine but just a survivor. I started my discussion in first person explaining that my story is just one story out of 2,000 stories. My portrayal went about 50 minutes and then opened for questions. The audience had many questions and I finally had to wrap up the presentation due to time constrains. I thanked everyone and told them it was an honor to tell her story. Afterwards, I sat a good 45 minutes giving autographs and hearing personal stories from people of their connection to her. I know her spirit was in the room because the stories where unbelievable. She would have been very pleased. Looking at this picture you can see my red hat in the middle.
Here are just a few of the other lecturers and stories that have been told.
- Susie Millar: The great granddaughter of a Titanic engineer, Tommy Millar
- Alan Hustak: The Canadian Connection to Titanic
- Phillip Littlejohn: Story of Alexander Littlejohn, Titanic
- Senan Molony: The Irish aboard Titanic, the Mystery Ship
- Peter Boyd: Titanic the Ship of Luxury
The Dining ExperienceThe dining on Titanic was of luxury and elegance for the first class passengers. The second and first class passengers had their own dining saloons. The word “saloon” comes from the French word “salon” which means a spacious and elegant room where important people would meet. Specific meals and entrées were served to all the classes from Titanic’s five kitchens.
Our Dining ExperienceThe food and service on our cruise has been fantastic. We have an assigned time to dine as they did on Titanic and enjoy original menus each day for our enjoyment. Each day there is an entrée’ noted as a Titanic Dish of the Day. Here are a few we had the option to choose from:
- Vegetable Soup Puree- served in the third class anytime
- Irish stew with Dumpling – served as main course in second class- “a hearty meal and it will never cease to please”
- Curried Chicken and Rice – served as a main course in the second class
Having this ship experience periodically takes me back in time with my thoughts of Margaret taking her daily walks about deck, enjoying the fabulous meals, reading in her favorite spot on the ship, preparing herself for her dinner evening and all the while still thinking of her ill grandson and how the ship could not go fast enough to relieve her anxiety of his well-being. I am so proud that I could tell her story to the other passengers on this ship. She had a story to tell as do all the other passengers on the Ship of Dreams. Chasing Molly has been very rewarding to me so far. I am getting closer.
We all have one thing in common on this cruise. We have a story to tell; we have an emotional connection to our stories, passionate about the Titanic and most importantly want to pay our respects in a very special way on April 14, 2012 at the memorial site in the Atlantic.My next blog will be the Ship to Remember meeting the Ship of Dreams 100 years later…