Captian Smith boarded the Titanic
the morning of 10 April
After a somewhat leasurly day and a half sailing time from the yards at Belfast - Titanic further tested her engines, steering manoverability and all onboard equipment, she arrived at her home port of Southampton, England shortly past midnight on April 4th 1912.
The new ship was riding high out of the water due to not being fully loaded with coal, provisions, passengers and a good portion of her crew. The balance of the crew would be signed on during the following week in port. Titanic would also receive a full load of coal as well.
There was a severe coal strike going on at this time and J.P. Morgan's International Mercantile Marine Company - owners of the White Star Line and Titanic were forced to lay up several of their vessels due to this severe shortage of coal.
Five vessels of the IMM fleet were in Southanpton at this time tied up awaiting the settlement of the strike. Titanic would receive the coal from these laid up IMM liners so she could sail as scheduled on April 10th.
The early evening of April 3rd saw the Olympic and Titanic passing off the southern coast of England. Olympic had just sailed on another voyage to New York. It would be the only time the two sisters would ever meet while both were in service.
After Titanic's arrival at Southampton she was turned around and backed into the new White Star Dock (built for the three new liners). She was tied up to the same pier that Olympic had recently vacated. Forward of Titanic's bow is the White Star Liner Oceanic and the American Lines' New York.
On April 10th, the New York would be involved in a near collision with Titanic when the much bigger ship's suction pulled her away from her position moored next to Oceanic. Had this collision happened - Titanic would have been delayed on her maiden voyage and possibly would not have encountered the iceberg that ended her short career.
Titanic's story is full of many different incidents and "what if's". Incidently, while Titanic received the coal from other ships - during transfer some of this coal ignighted in one of the bunkers next to the most forward of her boiler rooms.
Before it was finally put out, this fire would burn for the next six days and was constantly being doused with water by the Engine room crew.