My Relationship with Titanic: Ship and Movie
A couple weeks ago, my dad and I were watching Titanic, not the whole thing mind you--we were just flipping through the channels, trying to find something decent to watch, and found James Cameron's epic love story. It was at the part where the ship was sinking (vague, I know, but specifically...) when Rose was being lowered into the icy water in a lifeboat and she sees Jack at the top looking down upon her beside her evil fiance and then she leaps back onto the boat.
Dad: Why is she so stupid?
Me: The heart wants what the heart wants Dad... and, let's be honest here, it's Leonardo DiCaprio.
My dad just shrugged.
You might not know this about me, but at one time I was super, duper obsessed with Titanic. The ship and the tragedy itself, not the movie; however, we will get into that later. This recent conversation I had with my dad inspired this blogpost. Funny side note, even though he got mad at how stupid Rose was... he kept watching the film with a deep intensity.
I saw bits and pieces of this film when I was younger and heard a lot about this incredibly famous ship during my childhood. And I was very intrigued by it. At eleven-years-old, I could tell you anything about the Titanic, literally anything. I bought and borrowed several books on the subject and on every April 15th (which, interestingly enough, is my dad's birthday) I'd get all excited, not because it was the anniversary of my dad's birth, but because that's when the Titanic sunk!
April 15th, 2012 was the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking. Remarkable, isn't? (And just between you and me, I rarely say the word "remarkable").
I hardly remembered anything I learned about the ship when I was younger, so I thought I'd do a little bit of research for you.
Here are some cool facts about this awesome ship:
- Canceled Lifeboat Drill
Originally, a lifeboat drill was scheduled to take place on board theTitanic on April 14, 1912 - the day the Titanic hit the iceberg. However, for an unknown reason, Captain Smith canceled the drill. Many believe that had the drill taken place, more lives could have been saved.
- Only Seconds
From the time the lookouts sounded the alert, the officers on the bridge had only 37 seconds to react before the Titanic hit the iceberg. In that time, First Officer Murdoch ordered "hard a-starboard" (which turned the ship to port -- left). He also ordered the engine room to put the engines in reverse. The Titanic did bank left, but it wasn't quite enough.
- The Titanic's Newspaper
The Titanic seemed to have everything on board, including its own newspaper. The Atlantic Daily Bulletinwas printed every day on board the Titanic. The newspaper included news, advertisements, stock prices, horse-racing results, society gossip, and the day's menu.
- Lifeboats Not Full
Not only were there not enough lifeboats to save everyone on board, most of the lifeboats that were launched off the Titanic were not filled to capacity. For instance, the first lifeboat to launch, Lifeboat 7 from the starboard side) only carried 24 people, despite having a capacity of 65 (two additional people later transferred to Lifeboat 7 from Lifeboat 5). However, it was Lifeboat 1 that carried the fewest people - only seven crew and five passengers (a total of 12 people) despite having a capacity for 40.
- Only Two Bathtubs
Although most passengers had to share bathrooms (only the two promenade suites in first class had private bathrooms), third class had it rough with only two bathtubs for more than 700 passengers.
- Another Boat Was Closer for Rescue
When the Titanic began sending out distress signals, the Californian, rather than theCarpathia, was the closest ship; yet the Californian did not respond until it was much too late to help. At 12:45 a.m. on April 15, 1912, crew members on the Californian saw mysterious lights in the sky (the distress flares sent up from the Titanic) and woke up their captain to tell him about it. Unfortunately, the captain issued no orders. Since the ship's wireless operator had already gone to bed, the Californian was unaware of any distress signals from the Titanicuntil the morning, but by then the Carpathia had already picked up all the survivors. Many people believe that if the Californian had responded to the Titanic's pleas for help, many more lives could have been saved.
- Two Dogs Rescued
With the order for women and children first into the lifeboats, plus the knowledge that there were not enough lifeboats for everyone on board the Titanic to be saved, it is a bit surprising that two dogs made it into the lifeboats. Of the nine dogs on board the Titanic, the two that were rescued were a Pomeranian and a Pekinese.
- The Fourth Funnel
In what is now an iconic image, the side view of the Titanic clearly shows four cream and black funnels. While three of these released the steam from the boilers, the fourth was just for show. The designers thought the ship would look more impressive with four funnels rather than three.
- A Royal Mail Ship
The R.M.S. Titanic was a Royal Mail Ship, a designation which meant the Titanic was officially responsible for delivering mail for the British postal service. On board the Titanic was a Sea Post Office with five mail clerks (two British and three American). These mail clerks were responsible for the 3,423 sacks of mail (seven million individual pieces of mail) on board theTitanic. Interestingly, although no mail has yet been recovered from the wreck of the Titanic, if it were, the U.S. Postal Service would still try to deliver it (the USPS because most of the mail was being sent to the U.S.).
- Corpses Recovered
On April 17, 1912, the day before survivors of the Titanic disaster reached New York, theMackay-Bennett was sent off from Halifax, Nova Scotia to search for bodies. On board theMackay-Bennett were embalming supplies, 40 embalmers, tons of ice, and 100 coffins. Although the Mackay-Bennett found 306 bodies, 116 of these were too badly damaged to take all the way back to shore. Attempts were made to identify each body found. Additional ships were also sent out to look for bodies. In all, 328 bodies were found, but 119 of these were badly damaged and thus were buried at sea.
Link: Interesting Facts
I am constantly having nightmares that involve the sinking on the Titanic. They are always incredibly scary. I always, always, always dream about being on the Titanic. I wonder what this means???
When I first saw the film, I was at a friend's house and definitely wasn't old enough to see the super naked part, but I did and it terrified me, even though I am a girl. I was just like: HOLY CRAP! Those are some big...
When I got older and watched the film again with a more mature mind, I decided I didn't like it because it wasn't realistic. Rose and Jack could not have gotten together. Plus, I was a huge Tom Boy when I was younger and I thought that if I liked anything remotely close to Titanic my title would be taken away and I would be deemed girly.
Now, I'm ok with being both girly and a Tom Boy. I'm ok with the fact that this movie is cheesy and that it isn't perfectly realistic. It's a movie for crying out loud! And I love Leo.
That's my Titanic rant.
Blog to you later!