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The ship of dreams

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The ship of dreams As the clock struck 7.00 we could hear the faint sound of the ships horn, dinner had been announced. Anna, Gretchen and I got dressed in our eveningwear, touched up our make up and headed down to the dining room. I remember very clearly what I was wearing that night. A pale blue sleeveless dress made out of very heavy material with embroided roses around the hemline. I was also wearing a matching shawl and pale blue shoes. I loved this particular dress as William bought it for me the very same week he passed away. As we walked down the grand wooden staircase, the smell of dinner was divine. We were escorted to a table next to a window where already a couple were seated. I looked out on the horizon and saw nothing but the great Atlantic Ocean. The dining room was magnificent. The crisp cream tablecloth draped over the wooden tables matched the napkins folded into swans, which matched the curtain ties. The string quartet played lively music in the corner of the room. All the waiters looked extremely smart with gelled back hair and matching tuxedos. The chandeliers overhead caught the sunlight and reflected all the colors of the rainbow and everybody and everything looked so beautiful. The couple opposite were obviously on their honeymoon. Everybody on board, on course recognized the young brides, we had watched them laughing and promenading with their husbands. We offered our congratulations to the couple and they very happily accepted them. ...read more.


At this point there were only upper class people on the decks so obviously the steerage had been told not to come up yet. They started to lower the lifeboats after a lapse of some minutes. It was a drop of fifty feet to the surface of the sea and apparently everybody considered that they were safer on the 'unsinkable Titanic' than in a small boat whose only propelling power was four oars. It was for that reason alone why the first boats were only half filled. I believe there were 20 life boats lowered away altogether. It was after the fifth or sixth boat was lowered and there was a definite slope to the ship that people understood that they were no longer safe and began to panic. When the steerage passengers came up many of them had knifes and revolvers and were stabbing left and right in an endeavour to reach a boat. This brought a lot of fright and terror to the atmosphere. As we were waiting to get into a boat I saw across the other side a steerage passenger being shot as he tried to jump onto a boat. The crowd fell silent with shock and his body was tossed over board. That is an image I could never forget. Anna, Gretchen and I were helped aboard the seventh boat to be lowered, which turned out to be lifeboat 10. There was some problem lowering it so we sat there for a while. ...read more.


As the sun was rising, the sight of the Carpathia in the distance brought such relieve to the group. As we drew closer I could hear moans of disappointed wives waiting for their husbands to arrive. When we were welcomed aboard too much cannot be said for the kindness shown by the Carpathia passengers. They gave up their staterooms for us and let us borrow their clothes. In fact I left the ship wearing garments owned by a very kind middle-aged women, Catherine who was married and had 3 children. I am sad to say though, that although we never gave up hope waiting for Mary and James they never arrived and we never saw them again. I later found out that both went down with the ship. Six months have passed since that terrible night and it has deeply affected me. So many innocent lives were lost that night and for what, so we could make a good time crossing the Ocean. Everybody put so much hope and belief in that wretched ship, as it was said to be unsinkable. What I don't understand though is why they only put enough lifeboats on the ship to save less than half the amount of people. I don't trust anything that is published in the media nowadays and I am certainly not going to be leaving my country again. The Titanic was renamed the Ship of Dreams by many of the papers, and many believed it was when first stepping on. It is that name that hurts the most as the truth is that the Titanic destroyed so many of those dreams. ...read more.

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