Day One

Day One

 

DAY ONE

Friday, April 12th 1912 dawned bright and sunny. Calm seas with very little winds other than what Titanic caused as she sailed at a brisk 21 knots. Passengers in all three classes were out and about early taking in the fresh Atlantic air. What a difference in air quality.

On shore there was a constant smell of coal smoke in the air of Industrial England as the factories belched out thick black clouds in the course of running their machinery. Granted, Titanic ran on coal as well, but her great speed and the height of her four huge funnels guaranteed that the smoke and soot's generated by her twenty five massive boilers would be expelled far above the open decks of the ship.

After a brisk walk around the various open decks, passengers sat down to a sumptuous breakfast in the three dining rooms. First Class had the most to chose from on their gilded menu printed fresh each morning. The Second Class had it a bit less glamorous but still there were many wonders to try out. Many things were new to the palate of both the English and American passengers.

Third Class had a set menu for breakfast every morning. And while the choices were a bit limited there were still many items that these immigrant passengers had never tasted before in their lives. The food was plentiful and additional helpings were allowed. The greatest item on the Third Class menu was fresh milk.

A pure luxury, especially for the many children on board who had never had such abundant access to this item that those in First Class (and Second Class, too) took for granted.

At 10 am Captain Smith met with the heads of each department and his Officers and the ship’s doctor to receive their reports. After this was done they all started a complete inspection of the entire ship with the captain leading the way. From top to bottom, nothing escaped their observant eyes. All public rooms were visited and inspected for cleanliness. All companionways and corridors were inspected and any defects or deficiencies noted for correction.

They traveled through the First Class section of the ship then continued on to Second Class and finally, Third Class was given their full attention. This section of the ship was, perhaps, the biggest revenue earner of all the three class on board Titanic. It was the tickets of the steerage passenger that generated the largest amount of income for the White Star Line or, any other passenger ship company then sailing the Atlantic routes to the new world.

The immigrant transportation business was still big business in the first decades of the twentieth century. Titanic, when full, could carry well over 1.500 Third Class passengers. A nice tidy bit of revenue for any steamship company to contemplate. After inspecting the passenger accommodations the Captain and his leading Officers next went through the Crew’s quarters to make sure all was clean and ship shape.

Finally, Captain Smith and his Chief Engineer, Mr. Bell, descended into the vast engine, machinery and boiler rooms. This was the dirtiest and hottest part of the ship. Coal dust was everywhere, the heat almost unbearable as the stokers tossed shovel after shovel of the black stuff into the twenty double ended boilers. The Captain and the Chief Engineer then conferred about the firing up the additional five single ended boilers in the after boiler room. They both agreed that this would be done on the following Monday morning.

This would give Titanic a better daily run at a slightly higher speed. She would set no records at 22 knots as she was not built for speed. Rather Titanic was built for size and comfort. She would be the biggest gem in the White Star fleet. A seven day ship between England and America. Let the Cunard line spend all that money on their Mauretania and Lusitania. They were the fastest ships on the Atlantic. But with speed came high costs of coal and maintenance after the ware and tear at these excessive speeds.

Let them race to keep the speed record in England. Let the Germans race them for the records. White Star Line would be the holders of the largest and most beautiful ocean liners.

After the inspections were completed Captain Smith went back to the bridge and conferred with his Officers, passing along the notes taken during the ship’s inspection. Any corrective action would be handled through the various heads of departments. At noon all the officers gathered on the port side bridge wing to shoot the sun to ascertain the correct ships position. It would also give the number of miles the ship had traveled since her departure from Queenstown the day before.

Once the position was established it was revealed that Titanic had covered 389 miles in the past twenty-two hours. Not a bad showing for a brand new ship. Tomorrows position would reveal a much better mileage. It was now time for luncheon. The daily routine was getting established. All was running smoothly. There were no major problems on board. The seas remained relatively calm with very moderate winds. There would be no seasickness on board this ship.

Passengers settled down to another wonderful meal. Perhaps in the afternoon another walk around the deck then a visit to the smoking room for brandy and cigars for the gentlemen. The ladies would retire to the writing room and and catch up on correspondence to those at home. There was much to write about already. The wonders of this magnificent ship. The excellent foods and service. The wonderful weather and calm seas.

We won’t write about that near collision in Southampton harbor. That was so long ago and everything was running so very smoothly now...


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Morning - April 10, 1912

11:45 A.M.: The Titanic blows horns and signals imminent departure.
12:05 P.M.: Lines are cast off and Titanic began her maiden voyage and sails for Cherbourg, France

April 10 - 5:30 pm

Arrives Cherbourg, picks up more passengers

April 10 - 8:30 pm

Picks up anchor and sails for Queenstown

April 11 - 11:30 pm

Arrives Queenstown, picks up more passengers

April 12 & 13

Travels though calm waters

April 14

Warnings of Icebergs Ahead

April 14 - 11:40 pm

Hits Iceberg

April 14 - 11:50 pm

Water had poured in and risen 14 feet in the front part of the ship

April 15, 1912 - 02:20 am.

Titanic fully submerged and sinking down to eternity

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