Category Archives: Titanic

An Italian Princess and an English Lord for International #BathDay

It’s International Bath Day!

I used to write travel articles — one of my favorites was a story I wrote about European bathrooms — and oh, the tubs I found in such exotic places as the shared bath in my pension in Paris near the Boulevard St. Germain . . .

Or the bath with the century-old pipes and no heat in Passau, Germany . . .

And the most fabulous bath I’ve ever seen in my hotel in Venice, Italy! The shower was a waterfall coming down from the ceiling. Bellisimo!

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I promised you an English lord in a bath, too, so here is Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn:

TITANIC and the Loo

Today April 10, 1912, the Titanic set sail from Southampton, England with a handsome gentleman gambler aboard. Here we meet Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn:

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A funny thing happened to my heroine, Katie O’Reilly, on the way to the loo when she boarded the Titanic. She couldn’t believe what she saw in the stateroom of Captain Lord Blackthorn (Jack):

“I’m still waiting for you to remove your clothes,” Jack  said, agitated. She was not listening to him, marveling instead at the modern appointments in his elegantly furnished cabin. She seemed especially intrigued by the bathroom with its double sink and commode.

Had the girl never seen an indoor toilet before?  

I’m sure you’re wondering why his lordship asked Katie to remove her clothes. I’ll tell you this: it’s part of his plan to hide her from the captain and the ship’s officers during the crossing. Kate is reluctant to do what he asks:

“I’m leaving me homeland to be rid of such frippery and do fine and proper work.” Katie started putting her clothes back on. She wasn’t set on going to America all blushes and roses only to be pushed back into service. “No, me lord, I’ll take me chances with the captain.”

“Then you won’t change your mind?” 

“No.”

“Too bad,” he said with a smug attitude. “The countess’s stateroom has its own private bathroom.”

Her eyes bugged out. “You wouldn’t be fooling me?”

What Katie is about to find out is that Titanic’s first class passengers enjoyed such luxuries as an electric heater in their bathroom, linoleum tiles and pure Vinolia Otto toilet soap smelling of lemon and spice. The captain enjoyed his bath with a choice of fresh or seawater, hot or cold.

Third class or steerage had plenty of lavatories, but they didn’t wash much if the number of tubs on board was any indication, as Katie found out:

He shook his head. “I hear there are only two tubs in steerage for seven hundred passengers.

“Two tubs for all them people?”

“Rather cozy, if you ask me.”

“And you call yourself a gentleman?” Katie said. A girl might be convinced to take off her clothes with that kind of talk. That and a private bathroom. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you were like them gents who took advantage of a lady and kissed her full on the mouth.”

He smirked. “The ladies I’ve met have never objected.”

Captain Lord Blackthorn is quite a rogue and finds Katie more than he can handle. Can this plucky Irish lass win the heart of a titled British gentleman?

Or is it just a shipboard romance he’s after? After all, he’s used to a life of privilege and entertaining the most beautiful aristocratic ladies.

Wealth came with its own set of rules and the first passengers played it for all it was worth…will Captain Lord Blackthorn see that his world is coming to an end before it’s too late?

Before he loses Katie?

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Check out my Titanic novel, “Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon KINDLE & KINDLE UNLIMITED

*The Denver Times was the afternoon edition of the Rocky Mountain News, which ceased publishing in 2009.


Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon.

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A Prom Queen wannabe sells her soul to a hottie devil to get thin…the story behind the story

Every story has a backstory.

Crystal Girl started out as a one-act play and was produced at the Malibu Stage Company Theatre in Malibu, CA

At the time, the director cast a wonderful actress as a female devil and we had an “all-girl” cast. It was amazing.

Over the years, I’ve seen more and more how girls and women are often caught up in the roller coaster ride of having to be “thin.” It’s maddening.

I decided to take my one-act play and turn it into a YA novel with a new twist: the heroine falls in love with the hottie devil! The bad boy with the rock star looks, Mr. Gorgeous who can not only make her thin, but win her heart, too.

Okay, so he’s not totally bad. That wouldn’t be cool. Luke is a fallen angel who got mixed up with the wrong crowd and now he has to do the Devil’s dirty work. My heroine, Kaylee, is his latest assignment.

Then Luke falls in love with Kaylee . . . and well, you’ll see what happens n Crystal Girl!

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Ever wanted to be Prom Queen?

Kaylee is tired of being bullied and when the Duchess–the most popular girl in her class–eggs her on with fat jokes, Kaylee can’t take it anymore.

She makes a deal with the devil to get thin . . .

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CRYSTAL GIRL is  *** FREE *** Sunday and Monday, June 3 and 4th…let me know what you think. Reviews are welcome. This isn’t an easy story to read. You’ll feel for Kaylee, then want to shake her when she makes wrong choices and Luke…never has there been a devil so hot! You’ll see why Kaylee falls in love with him.

And because I like stories that give you hope and touch you in some way, I will tell you it has a HEA and you’ll never guess how…

~Jina

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My other projects:

Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

The Royals of Monterra — 5 books! from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Royal Magic http://bit.ly/2aQ7Z0n 

Royal Dare:   http://bit.ly/1sAkoKJ

Royal Bride https://amzn.com/B01N3U44OH

Royal Kiss:   http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY91GBM

Royal Noel: http://a.co/65GYfHH

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My Kindle Scout Winner:

LOVE ME FOREVER is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Women Soldiers in the Civil War from “Love Me Forever” from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Love Me Forever is now available in Print for $19.99
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Southern Belle and Spy: Excerpt from LOVE ME FOREVER from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Featured Image -- 2069If you love Civil War romance and time travel and TWO hunky military heroes, check out my Kindle Scout winner:

LOVE ME FOREVER

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.

 

 

RD_KindleWorlds

Royal Dare: It ain’t easy getting clean…even for a princess from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

ROYAL DARE It ain’t easy getting clean. Even for a princess.

I first met Princess Violetta in Sariah Wilson’s story, ROYAL DATE.

I fell in love with the Monterra family, especially Violetta. I call her the “misunderstood princess.” She has everything—looks, money and a title—yet she fell victim to the seductive power of drugs. Why? I wondered. What led her down this path?

I was intrigued to answer that question, but more importantly, I wanted to know what happened to Violetta when she went to rehab.

How hard is it for a princess to get clean? And will she find her prince when she does?

I answer this question and more in my Kindle Worlds “The Royals of Monterra” story, ROYAL DARE. You can meet see what happened to her afterward in rehab in ROYAL DARE.

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TITANIC and SOS: #MorseCodeDay: what’s the real story?

 

What if you found yourself on the Titanic today?

The ship sinking…seawater coming higher and higher on each deck. What would you do?

Grab your cell phone. Call or text for help.

If wasn’t that simple back in 1912.

The wireless was the only means of long distance communication between Titanic and other ships (the Morse lamp was used for ships within visual range as well as rockets) as well as land.

Much has been written about the Marconi wireless and how novel it was to the passengers on the ship.

Who can forget the scene when operator Jack Phillips “yells” back to the operator on the nearby Californian, “Shut up, shut up! I’m working Cape Race.” (Cape Race was the first wireless station in Newfoundland and the only land station to receive the Titanic’s distress signal.)

Frustrated, the operator shuts down his wireless and goes to bed. No further communication with him was possible that night.

He didn’t hear the “CQD” or the “SOS” after the Titanic hit the iceberg.

The Californian didn’t know until it was late the ship was sinking.

According to newspaper reports at that time, CQD was the British landline operators’ signal (“CQ” for “all stations”) with the addition of “D” by the Marconi company for added emphasis (danger).

“SOS” was adapted because of its distinctive Morse Code pattern of three dots…three dashes…three dots.

The Titanic had a first rate wireless room and could receive signals as far as 400 miles during the day and seemingly unlimited range at night.

Which meant they weren’t the only ones sending messages back and forth (the Titanic had sent 250 messages during the voyage).

According to the NY Herald, April 18, 1912, something had to be done to regulate the wireless lest more disasters at sea take place because their distress signal wasn’t heard. “Wireless meddlers” crowded the airwaves with messages and a Senate bill was drawn up to set up to regulate operators with a license.

No post about Titanic and the wireless would be complete without mentioning the two Marconi operators and their dedication to duty.

J.G. Phillips, 25 years old, was the chief operator and had served on the Mauretania and the Lusitania. He had been with the company for seven years and did not survive.

Harold Sydney Bride, 22 years old, had only been with the company twelve months and did survive. (He was on the same overturned lifeboat along with the hero in my romance novel,  “Titanic Rhapsody,” Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn.)

It was Phillips who sent the famous wireless message to Harold Thomas Cottam, the sole wireless operator on the Carpathia:

“It’s CQD, old man. Distress call.”

Mr. Cottam was off duty and had not gone to bed when he heard the distress call. He insisted on waking up Captain Rostron. Because of his actions, 705 people survived that cold, bitter night.

Why was Mr. Cottam listening to the wireless if he was off duty?

He was hoping to catch the Saturday night football scores broadcast from Cape Race.

His alertness was a touchdown.

————–

Check out my Titanic novel, “Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon KINDLE & KINDLE UNLIMITED:

US: http://a.co/1wSE0rb

UK: http://amzn.eu/hGXYjfa

 

Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

 

TITANIC Week Day 7 Bonus: Titanic Trivia Quiz: How many can you get right?

TITANIC Week here on “Once Upon a Story.” Day 7: Titanic Trivia Quiz

We’ve seen the films, read the books, but what do you know about the Titanic, really?

Take the quiz and find out!

(answers at the bottom of the page)

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 Titanic Trivia Questions:

  1. You’ve just spent your honeymoon in Paris with your handsome husband and it’s time to return to America. He surprises you with first class tickets on the Titanic. From what French port do you sail?
  1. Marseilles
  2. Cherbourg
  3. Calais

 

  1. The Titanic has just arrived in Queenstown  and you see several bumboats with vendors hawking their wares. They come aboard ship with their Irish souvenirs. When John Jacob Astor buys his new bride a souvenir, your husband buys you one, too. What did Colonel Astor buy his bride?
  1. a set of china
  2. a Celtic brooch
  3. a lace shawl

 

  1. You’re thrilled to find fresh flowers in your cabin when you and your new hubby come on board the ship of dreams. You’re also excited to find out you’re one of several honeymoon couples sailing to New York. According to reliable sources, how many honeymoon couples were there on the Titanic?
  1. 8
  2. 11
  3. 13

 

  1. You hear heated whispers in the first class dining saloon when American millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim arrives with his latest mistress. Everyone’s curious, who is she? And where is she from?
  1. Mlle. Aubart, a Parisian entertainer
  2. Madame de Villiers, a Belgian cabaret singer
  3. Miss Annabelle Pearl, a British fashion designer

 

  1. You’re late for dinner in the first class dining saloon and lost in the maze of dead end corridors when you run into that handsome gentleman you met last night. He shows you the way to the dining room, then sneaks a kiss in the elevator. How many first class elevators are there on Titanic?
  1. one
  2. two
  3. three

 

  1. While you were waiting to board the ship at Queenstown, Ireland, you couldn’t resist flirting with the handsome lad who helped you carry your traveling bag. He whispered in your ear he’ll sneak into the single women’s 3rd class quarters to see you later. Where are the women’s steerage cabins on the ship?
  1. fore
  2. aft
  3. amidships

 

  1. You want to look alluring when you meet that handsome gentleman for dinner later in the first class dining saloon on D deck, so you pamper yourself in the Turkish baths. The bath stewardess insists you try out the latest beauty treatment:
  1. an electric bath which tans your skin with ultraviolet lights
  2. a face peel
  3. an exercise machine where you walk in one place

 

  1. Tonight you’re dining in the exclusive À La Carte Restaurant some first class passengers call the Ritz when you hear the ship’s musicians playing a lovely waltz. Later you hear them playing that same musical piece when you’re getting into a lifeboat. Some say it may have been the last song the musicians played as the Titanic foundered. What was the name of that waltz?
  1. Autumn
  2. Emperor
  3. Vienna

 

  1. It’s 10 p.m. on Sunday night, April 14th, and you can’t resist a stroll up on deck with your husband. It’s misty and getting colder. Even with his strong arms wrapped around you, you can’t stop shivering. How cold is it?
  1. 45 degrees F
  2. 29 degrees F
  3. 32 degrees F

 

  1. It’s 11:40 p.m. and you’re in bed with your husband enjoying a night of wedded bliss when the ship hits an iceberg. You want to cuddle up next to him in your warm bed, but he insists you get dressed and get into a lifeboat. How long do you have before the ship sinks?
  1. 1 hour and 45 minutes
  2. 2 hours and 40 minutes
  3. 2 hours and 10 minutes

 

Answers:

  1. (Answer: B Cherbourg)
  1. (Answer: C a lace shawl)
  1. (Answer: C 13)
  1. (Answer: A Mlle Aubart)
  1. (Answer: C three)
  1. (Answer: B aft)
  1. (Answer: A an electric bath)
  1. (Answer: A Autumn)
  1. (Answer: C 32 degrees F)
  1. (Answer: B 2 hours and 40 minutes)

————

 

 

===============

Check out my Titanic novel, Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…

Titanic Rhapsody is available on AmazonKINDLE & KINDLE UNLIMITED


Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon.

My Titanic romance “Titanic Rhapsody” is available in the US and the United Kingdom:

US: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://a.co/1wSE0rb

UK: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://amzn.eu/75Lw9NS

 

TITANIC Week Day 7: Today we honor the Titanic victims and share some of their stories

TITANIC Week here on “Once Upon a Story.” Day 7: Titanic Victims’ Memorial

On April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.

Today we honor the victims.

Amen.

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, no official passenger list for the Titanic exists, but the U.S. Senate Inquiry Report compiled what they considered to be the most comprehensive list of those who survived and those who didn’t. Now that you’ve lived the experience of Titanic, here are some stats to put it in perspective for you.

The numbers speak for themselves.

First cabin ladies and children had the highest survival rate with 11 lost out of 156. First class men didn’t fare well with only 54 saved out of 119; second class men had the lowest survival rate of both passengers and crew percentage-wise: only 15 out of 157 men survived. Second class women and children did better: 24 were lost out of 128 on board.

And what about third class? A total of 710 steerage passengers boarded the Titanic at Southampton, Cherbourg and Queenstown. The women and children numbered 224 and the men 476. Less than half the women and children were saved: 105 survived compared to 119 lost, while the third class men suffered great losses: 69 men saved: 417 lost to the sea.

The male members of the crew suffered the most as far as sheer numbers: only 194 male crew members survived with 682 lost. Nearly all the female crew members (20 stewardesses, 2 cashiers and one “matron”) survived: 20 out of 23 on board.

But the stats don’t tell the whole story. Here are stories of passengers and crew whom we know were lost. Some you’ll recognize because their fame precedes them, while others share the distinction of having been aboard the Titanic when she sailed.

In first class, Colonel John Jacob Astor was the wealthiest man aboard. He was worth more than a hundred million dollars. He went down with the ship after seeing his pregnant young bride into a lifeboat; Benjamin Guggenheim and his valet refused lifebelts and dressed in their formal attire for their final hour. Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Strauss of Macy’s fame stayed together until the end. The artist Francis Millet and Broadway producer Henry B. Harris were lost, along with Walter Porter, who was in charge of sales for his manufacturing company in Massachusetts, Richard Smith, who worked for a British tea firm and was considered a tea expert, and author Jacques Futrelle who had just celebrated his 37th birthday in London.

First cabin ladies lost include Miss Edith Evans, who had been warned by a fortune teller to beware of water, Miss Ann Elizabeth Isham, whose father founded a law firm with the son of Abraham Lincoln, and Mrs. H.J. Allison and her young daughter Loraine—Mrs. Allison refused to leave the ship without her husband and little son Trevor (who was saved by his governess).

Second class men who didn’t survive include Jakob Birnbaum, a jeweler carrying diamonds from Antwerp; John and Sarah Chapman, a honeymoon couple from Cornwall, England; Harvey Collyer, who had his life savings on him when he died: $5,000 (his wife and daughter survived), and Reverend Robert James Bateman, father of seven children. And what about J. Dawson? A stone in the Halifax cemetery marks his grave. No, it wasn’t Jack, but Joseph Dawson, a stoker from Dublin who body was identified by his National Sailors and Firemen’s Union card.

Second class ladies lost include Henriette Yrois, traveling with filmmaker William Harbeck (he had five cameras with him)—it was speculated she was his mistress; Mary Corey and Claire Karnes (married ladies returning from India without their husbands); and Mrs. Mary Mack, a recent widow who was wearing her gold wedding ring and a fur boa when her body was recovered.

Third class or steerage male passengers who didn’t survive include James Flynn from County Mayo, Ireland—he was traveling with a group of fourteen from the same parish in the county—eleven perished; Johan Andersson, who was originally from Sweden but he had become a U.S. citizen—he was returning to Connecticut after visiting his parents; and Jovan Dimic, a farmer from Croatia on his way to Montana.

Third class ladies lost include: Cordelia Lobb, traveling with her husband—her body was identified by the initials on her wedding ring before she was buried at sea; Kate Connolly, 35, who boarded in Queenstown—ironically, another Kate Connolly, 23, also boarded in Queenstown but survived in lifeboat no. 13; and Margaret Rice with her five sons. Mrs. Rice, a widow from Ireland, had a photo of her and her boys taken before she left which has only recently resurfaced.

Crew members who lost their lives include many firemen and stokers like Henry Allen, Walter Jarvis and Patrick McGee—men who shoved coal into the Titanic’s 162 coal-burning furnaces with back-breaking work.

Stewards as well died in the sinking, including Harry Bristow and L. Mueller from Germany who was an interpreter for steerage German passengers; and waiters like Signore Angelo Mario Rotta and seamen like Frank Couch from Southampton and Harry Holman from Belfast. And stewardess Mrs. Lucy Violet Snape.

And the brave eight Titanic musicians who played until the end, including their leader, Wallace Henry Hartley. When his body was recovered, it was rumored his violin was found strapped to his body and given to his fiancée, though the authenticity of the instrument which has resurfaced hasn’t been substantiated as of this writing.

Here are stories of survival as recorded by newspaper stories or by their own hand:

First class gentlemen who survived include famous celebrities such as J. Bruce Ismay, chairman and managing director of the White Star Line (he was vilified by the press and the public after the sinking) and Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff-Gordon. He gave five pounds each to the seamen in the lifeboat with him as a good will gesture, but he was haunted by rumors for the rest of his life that he had bribed them to row away quickly from the ship to secure escape for his wife and himself. One seaman called the lifeboat carrying Sir Cosmo the “money boat” when questioned by authorities in New York.

First class gentlemen saved who were not as famous include Samuel Goldenberg, who was coming to New York to judge a dog show, Frederick Hoyt, who owned three racing yachts, Pierre Marechal, a French aviator known for sporting a monocle, and Algernon Henry Barkworth, a justice of the peace from Yorkshire, who used his fur coat and briefcase to keep himself afloat in the water before finding his way to a lifeboat.

First cabin ladies who survived include the elite society of New York like Mrs. Arthur Ryerson,  Mrs. George Widener and Lucile Polk Carter, a descendent of President James K. Polk; but none as famous Margaret Brown, labeled “unsinkable” in the years to come. Mrs. Brown insisted her friends call her “Maggie” (Molly was invented by the Hollywood press years later in the 1930s). Mrs. Brown founded the Survivors’ Committee aboard the Carpathia and is famous for standing up to the quartermaster in her lifeboat and telling him that she and the other ladies could row as well as any man.

And then there was first cabin film actress Dorothy Gibson, who was in Europe on vacation with her mother when she was called back to the U.S. by her employer to start a new film. She never expected she would later make a film called “Saved by the Titanic,” which was released a month after the sinking. In the film, she’s wearing the same dress she wore on that fateful night.

Second class gentlemen who survived include Lawrence Beesley, who studied at Cambridge and was a science teacher. He wrote the most comprehensive accounting of the sinking. Albert Caldwell was a missionary in Siam who first heard about the Titanic in Naples—he was returning home to the U.S. because of his wife’s health (she also survived along with their little boy) and Sidney Collett, who had already received two cancellations on his travel plans to study at a seminary in Missouri. The Titanic was his third choice.

Second class ladies who survived include Mrs. Jane Quick and her two little girls. She was traveling without her husband—they were reunited in Detroit after leaving the ship in one of the first lifeboats; Kate Buss from Kent, England, who traveled on the Titanic in April with her trousseau (she was to be married in San Diego) because she was superstitious about a May wedding. And Maud Sincock from Cornwall, England, who jumped into a lifeboat wearing only her nightdress and lace-up boots and no stockings.

Third class male passengers who survived had to overcome major obstacles to save their lives: Victor Sunderland, a farmer from London, couldn’t find a lifebelt anywhere and jumped overboard before swimming to overturned collapsible B. Carl Jansson from Sweden only had time to grab his watch, but not his shoes before his cabin filled with water; he jumped overboard and swam to collapsible A. Patrick O’Keefe from Ireland had a premonition about the crossing and jumped into the sea; he also made it to collapsible B.

Steerage women also had to prevail through the worst of circumstances. Those who survived include sisters Kate and Margaret Murphy from Ireland. They secretly bought tickets on the Titanic through the help of their neighbors so they could escape an overbearing brother. Sarah Roth from London, England married one week after arriving in New York on the Carpathia with fellow passenger Emily Badman as her bridesmaid. Anna Katherine Kelly barely got off the ship and suffered from shock and exposure afterward. She was released from the hospital wearing only a nightdress. She believed her rescue was a miracle and became a nun known as Sister Patrick Joseph Kelly, known affectionately as “Sister Pat.”

Crew who survived: stewardesses Mrs. Annie Martin from Guernsey and Miss Mary Gregson, who earned approximately 3 pounds 10 shillings a month (the stewardesses were married as well as single ladies). Half of the ship’s eight officers who didn’t perish either commandeered a lifeboat and found their way to a collapsible.

Seamen who survived include James Anderson from Newcastle; Edward Brown, a first class steward from Wales, who was washed overboard trying to launch collapsible A and found his way to the lifeboat. Fireman John Pearce from Southampton survived in lifeboat 15. The five postal clerks perished, but all six lookouts survived that fateful night.

And finally, we all grieve at the thought of so many lives taken too soon, but perhaps more so the 55 children who died on the Titanic. Nothing has garnered more interest at the cemetery in Halifax than the unknown child, identified in 2011 as Sidney Godwin, nineteen months old. Sidney’s entire family (mother and father and five siblings) all died in the sinking.

The Godwin family was traveling third class from England for a better life in Niagara Falls. Only through the heartfelt intentions of a Halifax police sergeant to give the tiny leather shoes to the child’s family were they saved. No one claimed them and the shoes remained in his drawer for years. When he died, his family donated them to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, part of the Nova Scotia Museum in Halifax. With the aid of modern DNA technology, the shoes solved the mystery of the unknown child. Today those shoes sit near the gloves of a millionaire in the Titanic exhibit in the museum.

I pray you have embraced all I wanted to share with you about the Titanic, felt the joy and pain of the passengers and crew, and come away with a better understanding of the tragedy.

I pray also that when someone mentions “Titanic,” what we’ve discussed here will ring in your ears and you’ll be able to tell them the real story of what happened on that starry night, April 15, 1912.

Because you’ve been there.

Jina

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Check out my Titanic novel, Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon KINDLE & KINDLE UNLIMITED

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon.

My Titanic romance “Titanic Rhapsody” is available in the US and the United Kingdom:

US: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://a.co/1wSE0rb

UK: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://amzn.eu/75Lw9NS

 


Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

TITANIC Week Day 6: Titanic and the Iceberg: Part 4 Steerage Class Irish Family

TITANIC Week here on “Once Upon a Story.” Day 6: Part 4 Steerage Class Irish Family

Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.

Would you have survived?

What were your chances?

Find out in my posts today (4 total throughout the day) as we experience what it was like that night through the eyes of a first class lady, a second class gentleman, and an Irish family in steerage class.

You might be surprised.

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Steerage Class Family

It is time to speak of the steerage passengers, who until now have waited patiently for a steward to bring them up on top to get into the lifeboats.

Well, not all the third class passengers have been patient.

How could you be if you’re a good wife and mother and your family’s lot depends on you getting to the lifeboats?

Holy Mary, you’ve had time of it since you boarded the Titanic at Queenstown. Getting the two little ones, Mary and Bridget, settled in their bunks with Danny, a lad of ten, wanting so to follow his da around the ship.

And then there’s Patrick, your man. A strong, blustering bloke with strong hands and a big heart. Him always ready to enjoy a pint after a hard day’s work and eager to give you a hug and a kiss when you’re weary from toiling from dawn till night.

“You’ll have a better life in America,” he promises you, after buying passage on the grand ship. And now look at the lot of you. Huddling in the stairway down here on E deck like drowned rats after the seawater came flooding into your cabin. The ship hit an iceberg, they say, split her open where you’re quartered in the fore part of the ship in the married couples section.

And would you believe the likes of them stewards shouting and hollering to put on lifebelts that don’t exist? Only through the help of the good Lord did Patrick find belts for you and the children. And now they won’t let you through the gate to go topside?

“Have you no heart, man?” Patrick yells to the steward, asking him to let his family through. No, he tells him, you have to wait. Then you put your hands over the girls’ ears when Patrick lets go with a barrage of expletives and his fists. He pushes the steward aside and bangs on the barrier. With help from the other men, down it goes with a loud crash.

Then Patrick picks up the girls, one in each arm, and orders you to grab Danny and go ahead of him. Up the stairs you go, the companionway taking you up to the next deck. Then someone says go through the second class door and somehow through Divine grace you find your way up on top.

Oh, such chaos you’ve never seen. People yelling and rushing about like frightened mice with their tails caught in the jaws of a hungry cat. Patrick, good man that he is, doesn’t stop. From boat to boat he goes until he finds one that will take you and the girls. And Danny.

But not him.

Women and children first,” orders the ship’s officer, shaking his head. Patrick nods. He knew all along there’s no place for him, but he didn’t let anything stop him until his family was saved.

God bless him.

A kiss to you, lass,” he says, brushing your lips with his, then he tosses you into the boat and it’s lowered away. You huddle in the lifeboat with your children close to you. The sea is so calm, so smooth, the piercing screams and pitiful pleas for help sound sharp and clear in your ears, but you can’t cry. That will come later. Now you have to be strong. For the girls and Danny.

Patrick would want it that way.

————

And there you have it. A trio of passengers and how they fare on that fateful night. Then at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the Titanic breaks in two and sinks into the North Atlantic, a pale gray vapor hanging like smoke over the spot where she disappears.

For the passengers and crew, cold and freezing in the lifeboats, it will be hours before the rescue ship Carpathia reaches them. Then it’s on to New York. Between twenty and thirty thousand people crowd Chelsea Piers when the Carpathia steams into New York Harbor around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 1912.

Even the aftermath of the Titanic is dramatic. Reporters hire their own tugboat to try to get to the passengers first and buy their exclusives stories; the newspapers blast the headlines for days about the society folks on board (third class passengers don’t fare as well—they’re sent to homeless shelters and their names don’t appear on the survivors’ list); and the U.S. Senate subcommittee holds hearings at the Waldorf-Astoria, interviewing first class passengers and crew.

We’ve come to the end of our journey on the Titanic and a grand tale it is. Before I go, I want to take one last look at the ship of dreams, though I shan’t walk her decks or open doors to her cabins.

No, I want to take one more walk down her sweeping Grand Staircase with the great glass dome overhead like Katie O’Reilly, my heroine, does in Titanic Rhapsody. We see the stars peeking through, heavenly witnesses to all that is elegant and romantic. A place of enchantment where everything is unique to this time, this place. Katie can’t believe she’s really here and neither can I.

I quicken my pace and leave the ship, knowing the Titanic will stay with me always.

Tomorrow I will pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the Titanic and answer your questions.

I pray you will join me.

Jina

 

Coming up tomorrow: TRIBUTE to the TITANIC and its passengers

===============

Check out my Titanic novel, Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon KINDLE & KINDLE UNLIMITED


Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon.

My Titanic romance “Titanic Rhapsody” is available in the US and the United Kingdom:

US: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://a.co/1wSE0rb

UK: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://amzn.eu/75Lw9NS

 

TITANIC Week Day 6: Titanic and the Iceberg: Part 3 Second Class Gentleman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TITANIC Week here on “Once Upon a Story.” Day 6: Part 3 Second Class Gentleman

Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.

Would you have survived?

What were your chances?

Find out in my posts today (4 total throughout the day) as we experience what it was like that night through the eyes of a first class lady, a second class gentleman, and an Irish family in steerage class.

You might be surprised.

————

Second Class Gentleman

You’re anxious to get to New York and start your new job—and thrilled to be on the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Who would have thought you’d find yourself walking the second class promenade deck late at night, your hands in your pocket, your mind on the pretty girl you met earlier in the day? Still, you’ve no time for romance. You’ve got family back in England needing the money you’ll send home to them. It’s nearly midnight. Time to turn in for the night.

You head for the second class staircase when—

Wait, what was that? Did you feel a bump?

You rush to the starboard side—good God, was that an iceberg? Did we hit it? you wonder. No alarm sounds, though you don’t find out until later the Titanic has no PA system and relies on the three hundred stewards to alert the passengers to put on their lifebelts and go topside.

You wait, noting the other passengers seem calm and no one is in a hurry to get into the lifeboats. Then you spy the pretty girl you had your eye on over on the port side. She’s trying to convince her aunt to get into a lifeboat. She’s grateful when you charm the older woman and talk her into getting into a boat with her niece following her. Then you see the girl waving at you as the boat is lowered over the side. She’s smiling. Tears in her eyes.

You’ll never forget that smile.

No time to waste. The chap you share a cabin with finds you and tosses you a lifebelt. The grim look on his face tells you that you’ll both need more than a lifebelt to make it. No men are allowed into the boats here on the port side, so you do your duty and assist the women and children getting into the boats.

It’s been more than two hours since the Titanic hit the iceberg and she’s listing heavily.

The last few minutes are chaotic. Men rush the lifeboats, then a shot rings out—they’re pushed back. You help a woman get into a boat, then someone hands you a baby. You give it to the woman before the boat is lowered.

No more wooden lifeboats left.

You try to help the ship’s officers launch one of the four collapsibles when suddenly there’s a thunderous explosion. You’re blown clear of the ship, but after swimming long, hard strokes, your hands swell up, your legs go numb and your back feels like it’s breaking in two.

Cries, screams ringing in your head, people clinging to you, clutching you around the throat, dragging you down underwater. You can’t breathe, you’re choking. Then the cold . . . the bitter, freezing cold . . .

The last thing you remember is the pretty girl’s smiling face . . .

 

But what if you can’t get topside?

Coming up next: Irish Steerage Class Family

===============

Check out my Titanic novel, Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon KINDLE & KINDLE UNLIMITED


Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon.

TITANIC Week Day 6: Titanic and the Iceberg: Part 2 First Class Lady

TITANIC Week here on “Once Upon a Story.” Day 6: Part 2 What Really Happened that Night…

Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.

Would you have survived?

What were your chances?

————-

First Class Lady

If you’re a first cabin lady, you’re most likely asleep in your cabin where it’s cozy and warm with the electric heater going, the lights dim, when suddenly something jolts you awake. Strange, you think, but nothing to be alarmed about. You try to go back to sleep until you realize the engines have stopped. Here, in the middle of the Atlantic?

You’re curious, but not worried since everyone says the ship is unsinkable. You throw a heavy coat over your nightdress and peek outside, running down the corridor in your soft satin slippers. Others are about, gossiping, yawning, until the bedroom steward in a very nice manner tells you to put on your lifebelt and go up on deck.

In this cold? you ask him. Yes, he tells you, though he assures you it’s merely a matter of precaution. Begrudgingly, you tell your lady’s maid to help you put on your corset, then fasten on the lifebelt made of six squares of cork. All the while the girl frets about, saying you’re all doomed. At the last moment, you grab your gloves and hat and scarf and join the other ladies and gents on the Boat deck.

Ah, there’s nothing to worry about, you decide, relieved. The ship’s musicians are playing a lively ragtime tune and everyone is chatting about the chunks of ice on the forward well deck—then a ship’s officer orders you into a lifeboat. Yes, orders you, like you’re a common servant. Why, the nerve of the man.

Women and children first, he says. What about the gentlemen? You hear someone whisper men are being allowed into the boats on the starboard side, but not here. Why get into the boats at all? you wonder, believing you’re safer on the ship than that small boat.

Then someone says the Titanic is sinking . . .

It can’t be that serious, can it? you wonder, not believing it possible You wait with your maid on the port side of the ship, watching the ladies being separated from their husbands and put into the lifeboats. Boats not even half-filled. No need to hurry. You hear someone say they’ll be laughing about this over breakfast.

Really? You start to shiver from the bitter cold…frosty puffs of air come out of your mouth when you speak. Unbelievable noise fills your ears. From the boilers, someone says. Ladies screaming as they’re pulled from their husbands’ arms. Then you notice the ship is listing heavily to one side. Well, what are you waiting for? Get into the damn lifeboat!

You don’t protest when a seaman tosses you into a boat. Then your maid. After all, you’re the lucky ones, you realize as the boat is lowered over the side and hits the water. The lifeboat pulls away from the ship so as not to be pulled down by the suction when the ship sinks . . . yes, it is true. The Titanic is going down.

You put your shoulder to the oar and row . . . listening to the whispers that a rescue ship is on the way…the Carpathia. Will it arrive in time?

Will it?

Not if you’re a gentleman in second class.

 

Coming up next: Second Class gentleman…

===============

Check out my Titanic novel, Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon KINDLE & KINDLE UNLIMITED


Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon.

TITANIC Week Day 6: Titanic and the Iceberg: Part 1 What Really Happened that Night…

TITANIC Week here on “Once Upon a Story.” Day 6: Part 1 What Really Happened that Night…

Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.

Would you have survived?

What were your chances?

Find out in my posts today (3 more following throughout the day) as we experience what it was like that night through the eyes of a first class lady, a second class gentleman, and an Irish family in steerage class.

You might be surprised.

————

Crossing the English Channel has always held a wildly mystical attraction for me, whether it was war-weary soldiers returning home from battle or long-suffering French aristocrats escaping Madame Guillotine. There was something brave and noble about standing on the deck of a ship with a fierce wind blowing in your face, angry waves crashing against the hull and sea spray wetting your lips with a briny taste.

Or so I believed. I had my own narrow escape from the ravages of the cold sea on such a trip. I never forgot it.

Boarding the ship at Oostende, Belgium with only my naïveté for company, I was eager to get to London to visit a friend studying there. So what if the ferry was overbooked and the weather was stormy? I was tough, I could take it.

I nearly froze to death when I lost my balance as the ship rolled on the swell of the sea and I slid across the deck like a greased seal. I ended up cold and wet and hanging onto the rail for dear life.

I never forgot my youthful folly and many times while writing about the sinking of the Titanic, I pulled up those emotions to try to understand what my characters were experiencing on that fateful night, April 14, 1912, when the ship hit an iceberg.

Bitter cold, calm sea and freezing water.

Let me recreate the scene for you at 11:40 p.m. that night.

Contrary to what some films and TV shows have depicted, most passengers were asleep or reading in their cabins when the Titanic hit the iceberg. They were not enjoying a party-like atmosphere in the dining saloons drinking champagne and dancing. The public rooms closed down around 11 pm in all classes. It is true that diehard poker players like my hero in Titanic Rhapsody, Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn, were busily engaged in a game of poker or bridge whist in the smoking room.

The Titanic glided as smoothly as a haughty swan over the sea on that starlit night. No moon. Which is why it has been speculated that the two lookouts didn’t see the one-hundred-foot tall iceberg until the last minute (they had no binoculars—a ship’s officer was transferred at the last moment and took the key to the locker with the binoculars with him).

“Iceberg right ahead!” shouted the lookout into his telephone to the bridge. He rang the bell three times.

For thirty-seven seconds the two lookouts waited as the ship appeared to be heading straight for the iceberg. The ship’s first officer tried to avoid the berg and ordered the ship turned to port (left). What happened next no one saw coming . . .

The Titanic was cruising close to top speed in spite of the iceberg warnings. This was not unusual. According to the thinking of that time, Captain Smith was justified in getting through the ice region as quickly as possible. What he didn’t know was that the ship was on a direct collision course with the berg, a huge mass of ice that had traveled farther south than was ever thought possible.

The cold Labrador Current swirled around the iceberg to form a protective layer, which insulated it from the warming effects of the Gulf Stream and prevented it from melting.

Pushing the iceberg into the shipping lanes.

The Titanic never had a chance.

The White Star Line ship smashed into the iceberg along her starboard (right) side, slashing open a 295 foot gash that doomed the ship. The passengers snug in their beds or enjoying a hot whiskey and water in the smoking room had no idea that five possibly six of her sixteen compartments were flooded.

Or that the mail hold down on G deck was rapidly filling with water. Or that down in the boiler rooms the air was heavy with steam as the engineers tried to pump out the water in boiler room 5, praying the bulkheads would hold. (The hull plates of the Titanic were held in place with 3-lb. rivets—three million rivets total.)

Thomas Andrews, the ship’s designer, did a quick assessment of the damage—the Titanic could float with two, three, even four of her first watertight compartments gone, he said, but not five. The ship had an hour, no more than two to survive.

After conferring with Mr. Andrews, Captain Smith ordered the wireless operator to send out the distress signal CQD (the British landline operators’ signal “CQ” was for “all stations” with the addition of “D” by the Marconi company for added emphasis—danger ). He added an “SOS” (adapted because of its distinctive Morse Code pattern of three dots . . . three dashes…three dots) with the Titanic’s call letters: “MGY.”

Where are Katie and Jack, my heroine and hero in Titanic Rhapsody, when first class passengers feel a “jar” in their staterooms? Or when the steerage passengers are tossed about in their bunks only to find seawater seeping in under their cabin doors?

I wish I could tell you…but I can’t or I will spoil the romance. I will say that Katie and Jack experience all the fear and dread of the passengers that night when the Titanic hits the iceberg.

To give you a feeling of what happened during those last hours, we’ll go through what a first cabin lady experienced, then a second class gentleman, and finally, a family in steerage.

Coming up next: FIRST CLASS LADY

===============

Check out my Titanic novel, Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon KINDLE & KINDLE UNLIMITED


Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon.

TITANIC Week Day 5: Where have all the lifeboats gone?


TITANIC Week here on “Once Upon a Story.” Day 5: Where have all the lifeboats gone?

Today April 13, 1912, the Titanic is enjoying another day at sea . . . as passengers stroll along the decks, they pass by the lifeboats. What they don’t know is, there aren’t enough for everyone. Tomorrow April 14th, we’ll begin a 2-day look at what happened when the Titanic hit an iceberg. How each class of passenger fared: First, Second, Steerage.

Here is the backstory why there weren’t enough lifeboats.

————–

Women and children first

This was the cry heard on that cold, bitter night of April 14, 1912. Earlier that Sunday morning passengers of all classes had attended divine services and offered prayers for a safe crossing.

At 11:40 pm the Titanic struck an iceberg and she was sinking fast.

Everyone scrambled to get to the lifeboats.

“Women and children first,” called out the ship’s officers.

Why then, when lifeboat number 5 was lowered (capacity 40), were there only 2 women and 10 men aboard?

If the call was for women and children first, why were gentlemen permitted to get into the boats on the starboard side?

While no male passengers were allowed to enter a lifeboat on the port side of the ship when there were women and children about?

And who can forget the look of pain on faces of the Irish family–the da, mum and three children–who fought their way up from the bowels of the ship only to discover there were no more lifeboats?

No more lifeboats.

With only a rosary and prayer and their arms wrapped around each other, they faced the end bravely.

Still, the question, persists, why were there not enough lifeboats?

Some put the blame on J. Bruce Ismay, the Chairman and Managing Director of the White Star Line, who insisted the number of lifeboats be cut from 48 to 16 (in addition, 4 Englehardt or collapsible lifeboats were stored on the Boat deck) because they “cluttered” the deck.

For the record, Mr. Ismay escaped the sinking in collapsible lifeboat C.

The White Star Line argued that it had followed the British Board of Trade regulations that dictated for a liner the size of the Titanic (using a specific formula based in tonnage), sixteen lifeboats was more than the number of boats required.

Here is a model of the Titanic decks and lifeboats showing rigging and funnel so you can get an idea of what the upper deck looked like.

Here is a model of the Titanic decks and lifeboats showing rigging and funnel so you can get an idea of what the upper deck looked like.

This rule was hopelessly outdated when the Titanic was launched.

But no one seemed to notice.

Until it was too late.

It does me heart in, as my heroine Katie O’Reilly would say, to write this post, knowing so many more passengers could been saved if they’d had more boats. As it was, several lifeboats were lowered half full or less. (The first lifeboat left with only 28 people–it could hold 65). Again, there is some confusion as to why this happened. The lifeboats had been tested and could hold forty to sixty-five people, but the captain decided to lower them half full, then fill the boats with passengers from the lower gangways.

That never happened. The doors were never opened.

As the lifeboats rowed away and the horrified passengers in the lifeboats watched the horrifying scene. I wrote about it in Titanic Rhapsody:

The Titanic sinking into the black, calm sea as smoothly as if a Divine hand parted the waters to ease its descent into a lasting grave…the wild explosions shattering the quiet night… then the harrowing distress calls…the unbearable moans in a chorus of shouting and cries that lasted more than an hour then became feeble until they died out…then silence. As cold and still as the sea surrounding them.

God rest their souls…

 ~Jina

===============

Check out my Titanic novel, Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon KINDLE & KINDLE UNLIMITED


Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Titanic Rhapsody is available on Amazon.

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