Final Sunrise

Final Sunrise


The Final Sunrise - Titanic at sea.

Sunday morning, April 14th, 1912 - sunrise on the North Atlantic. R.M.S. Titanic is on her course for New York. On board breakfast is being served in all three classes. The passengers have settled into a very nice daily routine of early morning brisk walks around the open decks followed by a hearty breakfast. The weather is sunny but now, there is a noticeable drop in air temperature.

At 9:00 am, the Cunarder Caronia sends Titanic a wireless reporting ice and large bergs in their path. This message was delayed due to the problems with the wireless equipment on Saturday. This ice report was now two days old and the position reported was no longer valid. The currents would push this ice further south and directly in the path of the westbound Titanic. This message was delivered promptly to the bridge. Both wireless operators were back into their daily routine of sending and receiving messages. The backlog of traffic was slowly being handled.

Morning church services were conducted for passengers in the First Class dining room at 11 AM, conducted by the ship's master, Captain Edward J. Smith, the Commodore of the White Star Line. This would be the only time the Third Class passengers would be welcomed into the exclusive First Class section of the ship. After the services were concluded they were escorted back to their quarters on board. In Second Class there were two ministers traveling to America. They volunteered to lead services in the Second Class lounge. Attendance was very good and everyone enjoyed singing hymns including “For Those In Peril On The Sea”. Little did anyone realize how poignant that hymn would become in just a dozen hours! This being a Sunday, the Captain would not hold a full ship’s inspection.

1:45 pm Titanic relays a message from the German liner Amerika to the Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C. that ice was spotted north and south of Titanic’s plotted course. This message was never brought to the bridge. Other steamers who had wireless equipment also were now reporting the sighting of icebergs and large flows and patches of slush ice.

Since these were all relay messages between these ships and not addressed specifically to the Titanic – they were set aside for delivery to the bridge at a later time. After all, the Marconi operators had an obligation to handle the outgoing traffic. By mid afternoon those passengers strolling the decks were definitely feeling the drop in air temperature. It was now close to 45 degrees and the wind was picking up as well. The seas still remained very calm and the seasoned ship travelers on board later would remark that they had never seen the Atlantic so calm.

Titanic was in mid-Atlantic having completed nearly four days of her voyage to America. Her speed would be increased steadily as the engines were broken in and those extra five boilers would be brought on line and fired up. By Sunday night, Titanic would be cruising at over 22 Knots (25 miles an hour). Not a speed record as Titanic was never built to be the fastest - only the largest and most luxurious ocean liner in service.

Mr. Bruce Ismay, the managing director of the White Star Line, aboard on this maiden voyage as the line’s representative along with Mr. Thomas  Andrews, Titanic’s builder from the Harland & Wolff yard. They both thoroughly inspected the ship on their own and took pages of notes. There were things that needed attention and improvement. One of the biggest changes would be the addition of more First Class cabins in the large alcove of the Writing Room on portside B deck. The larger main room was more than adequate for the ladies and that extra space would bring in more revenues in the First Class.

They both would recommend many improvements to be made for the third ship now under construction at Belfast. The Gigantic would be not only larger but far more luxurious than her two sisters. There would even be a grand pipe organ installed adjacent to the main First Class entrance staircase on B deck! No other ship had that. The Café Parisian would also be expanded along with the very popular Ritz Restaurant.

At this time Mr. Ismay  met with Captain Smith and “suggested” that with the increase of of Titanic’s speed that, perhaps, they could arrive in New York on Tuesday night and thus set a speed record over her sister Olympic’s sailing time. Captain Smith, having the safety of his ship, passengers and cargo keenly in mind, politely declined this suggestion. The engines were not broken in sufficiently to allow the high speeds of nearly 24 1/2 knots that would be required to achieve this earlier arrival.

Mr. Ismay was not pleased with this answer and he next went to the ship’s Chief Engineer, Mr. Bell, and asked the same thing. Mr. Bell also related exactly the same reasons that the Captain gave for not trying this on new engines and turbines.  It would be most embarrassing if something went wrong and the equipment broke down. Poor Titanic would have to be towed into New York harbor. Finally, Mr. Ismay reluctantly agreed. Titanic would stick to her pre-arranged schedule and arrive in New York on Wednesday morning.

It was now time to dress for dinner and Mr. Ismay hurried topside to his luxury four room suite that included a private 50-foot promenade. This was one of only two huge suites o board Titanic and, as was his due as director, Ismay felt it only proper that he have one of these deluxe suites for his sole occupancy.


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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