Welcome back to my blog about the RMS Titanic. I took a short hiatus due to moving, but I’m back to posting regularly again. As for writing updates, I’m still seeking publication of my novel about twelve-year-old Titanic survivor Ruth Becker, and I’m in the middle of writing a new novel, based on a true story that took place during the American Revolution. I love hearing from readers, so please continue to comment and share the posts with others.
In 2017, we looked at the new Titanic replica being built in China—the first full-size replica of the ship ever constructed. Designed to be a tourist attraction and not actually sail anywhere, Titanic II (as some are calling it) is situated 930 miles from the nearest ocean, in Daying, Sichuan Provence. It will float, though, in a man-made reservoir to be built around it.
Construction site showing the hull interior, with insert of artist’s rendering
If a 2016 study is correct, now is the time to visit the Titanic wreck site. According to the study, bacteria could dissolve the sunken ship in as little as fifteen years. But for $105,129 per person, luxury travel company Blue Marble Private is offering a tour of the wreck, including a three-mile dive below the ocean’s surface to view Titanic’s decks, grand staircase, and the debris field.
Titanic’s stern, resting on the ocean floor
The first eight-day adventure, beginning on the coast of Newfoundland, will take place in May 2018.
Led by experts from OceanGate Expeditions, travelers will see the ship in a “specially designed titanium and carbon fibre submersible,” according to the company’s web site. Everyone will participate in the exploration, and talks on history, marine biology, and diving will be included.
ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) Hercules during a visit to the Titanic site in 2004
Open to just nine individuals at a time, the tour is already sold out. More expeditions are scheduled for 2019. Aside from the considerable cost, would you like to sign up?
Photo credits: knowledgeseeker.wikispaces.com, imgarcade.com
Dai Bowen and Leslie Williams couldn’t believe their luck. The young Welsh boxers had been chosen out of hundreds of contenders to travel to the United States to compete in a series of boxing contests. An American sports promoter, Frank Torreyson, had paid for their passage across the Atlantic on the Lusitania and would act as their manager.
But Leslie, 24, couldn’t go until his new clothes arrived from the tailor. After all, clothing would be more expensive in America, and he would be gone a year. So, with new clothing and all the good wishes of their families and boxing enthusiasts across Wales, the pair were rebooked on another ship sailing a few days later, the Titanic.
In 1985, oceanographer Robert Ballard located the remains of the Titanic. Beginning in 1987, Premier Exhibitions Inc., the company responsible for the traveling Titanic exhibits, began a 30-year recovery of artifacts. Now, an auction of over 5,000 Titanic artifacts is scheduled for this November.
A Titanic exhibit unlike any other has opened at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. None of the items on display were taken directly from the wreck itself. Instead, items carried off the ship by survivors, objects from the 1985 discovery of the wreck, and those pertaining to the 1997 movie Titanic are part of the 10,000-square foot exhibition. But why the Reagan Library? Was there a connection between the President and the Titanic?
Her father, a cabinet maker, set wood aside to build her coffin soon after she was born. But the sickly baby defied her doctors and survived. And at the age of 27, Edwina Troutt survived the sinking of the Titanic. She later said, ‘I felt I was saved for something.’
Last month in Great Britain, a fur coat that once belonged to a stewardess on the Titanic sold at auction for GBP150,000 (more than $250,000 in US dollars). The coat was worn by Mabel Bennett, a first class stewardess, as she entered Lifeboat 5.
Last time, we began with a glimpse into Titanic’s maiden voyage, beginning with the preparations in Southampton on April 5, 1912. On Sailing Day, April 10th, Titanic departed Southampton on what would be her only voyage, carrying 2,208 passengers and crew.
Titanic departing Southampton April 10, 1912
On this day in 1912, 2208 passengers and crew had five days until their departure from Southampton on the RMS Titanic. They came from 27 different nations and all walks of life. Many of the passengers were returning to the United States following their honeymoons, vacations, or business travels. Most had never been to America, but dreamed of a new life there. For them, these last five days would be filled with preparations, good-byes, tears, and anticipation. No one had any idea of the tragedy that would soon befall them.
On April 10, 1912, the Titanic departed Southampton, England and made its first stop in Cherbourg, France at 6:30 pm. Two tenders carried 281 passengers to the ship, representing 26 nationalities.
Among those boarding in Cherbourg was Joseph Laroche, his wife Juliette, and their daughters, three-year-old Simonne and 21-month-old Louise. Joseph was the only black passenger to board the ship. The Laroche family were bound for Haiti, where Joseph, 25, had been born.
Joseph Laroche and family