Day 1 of my vacation…in 1912.
8:46am – White Star Dock, berth 44, as it reads on my heavily creased ticket. I’m here. I’m actually here. It smells like rotten fish and gasoline but I’m here. No one seems to notice me which is a good thing. Blending in nicely in my Edwardian attire and Victorian haircut. Too much pomade. If I’m going to stand out, I’m hoping it’s because of my fancy duds and not the fact I’m from the year 2020. I’m standing on a first class passengers only walkway high above a massive crowd on the pier below. We’ll board the Titanic in 45 minutes. Then we set sail for a six hour cruise to Cherbourg, France at noon, afterward it’s a quick stop in Queenstown, Ireland then off to New York!! My god, these people have awful teeth. Better keep my mouth shut lest I draw too much attention.
9:13am – Got a kickass selfie me boarding the Titanic. Can’t get a good WiFi signal to post it. Will try another spot.
9:14am – Duh!! Stupid me. No WiFi on any pier in 1912!! LMAO!! 🤣
9:18am – Trying to get WiFi signal from further up the dock. No luck yet.
9:25am – Ok. For the life of me, I can’t find a WiFi signal. WTF 1912??!! Hoping once I’ve checked into my room on the ship I’l be able to post wicked pix I’ve been taking. But for whatever reason I seem to be able to post text. Will have to suffice. Boarding Titanic in 5 minutes. Sooooo excited!!! Man! I’ve used 60% of my iPhone’s battery already and it’s not even mid-day. Will charge once on the ship.
10:53am – Boarded without incident. Tried to make small talk with the ticket taker guy. VERY brief conversation. Ended immediately after I joked with him about all the sexy ankles I’d been seeing walking onto the ship. 🙄
11:43am – All the passengers are on board. I’m leaning over the port side on Promenade Deck (deck A) looking down at the envy on the faces of people below on the pier, sending us off. Man, if only they knew what I know. 😞
12:00pm – Wow! Talk about keeping a tight schedule. Leaving EXACTLY when we’re supposed to.
12:08pm – Whoa!!! Near miss of two ships near the Titanic. We pulled away from the dock and when the engines started up it created a massive wave jarring loose the SS New York and the SS Oceanic which were tied together. The New York almost drifted into our ass end but a tug pushed it out of the way just in time. I caught it all on my iPhone. 28% battery left!! Argh!!! Too bad I can’t show anyone her the sick video I just recorded. I’d likely be burned t the stake.
It’s ironic to think, that had the SS New York hit the Titanic’s stern it likely wouldn’t have caused much damage. But it’d be enough to put the Titanic out of commission for a few weeks while they assessed and repaired the damage. Avoiding… Yeesh!!
6:39pm – Arrived in Cherbourg ten minutes ago. France smells like ass. This ship is soooo BIG and punctual!! Quick stop to pick up some French folks then heading to Queenstown, Ireland a little after 8:00 tonight. Do they make Guinness in 1912? Gotta get something to eat. Starving!!
I came across a couple of newlyweds in the Reception Room. I asked the gentleman if he was had a chance to jump on his WiFi yet. He looked at me like I’d just grabbed his wife’s left tit before they both stormed off. In retrospect I guess “wife” sounds a lot like “WiFi”.
Dinner at 7 then I’m gonna tour the ship. Took literally hundreds of pics. Won’t be able to sync them to the Cloud till I figure out. Weird, No one replying to my emails either. I’ll call Apple when it’s created 65 years from now. LMAO!!
7:33pm – Having dinner, watching a fair-skinned twenty-something redhead dressed to the nines. Keeps looking over at me from across the dining room. This could get interesting. She’s stunning. I must draw her… like one of my French girls…
iPhone battery 1%.
Day 2 – A Titanic Vacation – April 11th, 1912
09:33am – Ugh!! What a night!! Woke up late, missed breakfast (which I heard consisted of cold oatmeal, runny eggs and undercooked bacon). Last night was a hoot! Spent the night hobnobbing with society’s best and brightest. I doubt that. Get a man drunk enough and they’re instantly stripped of any measurement of class. A Rockefeller turns into a stoker so quickly after a four or five glasses of brandy. After having enough of them, I wandered *staggered more like it) down to the dining saloon on F-Deck to hang out with folks more my style. I drank pints with some young gents from Liverpool (took everything in my power NOT to discuss The Beatles) and by the end of the night I was even speaking fluently in the vernacular of the peasantry. For example, “I had a batty bash with me mates until I was out of scratch!” – I had an insane time drinking with my friends until I was out of money.
10:06am – Forgot about those stupid British power outlets. Had to MacGyver my iPhone charger to fit it. Still no WiFi. I’ve been asking the ships staff about it since yesterday but I get the same screwed up expressions. I asked one guy about the “Internet” and he brings me to the cargo hold under the Forecastle Deck (near the boiler rooms) and shows me a huge net suspended from the ceiling, filled with trunks and suitcases. I give up!
11:36am – I’m on the Boat Deck. It’s as high up as you can get without climbing into the crow’s nest (which I tried and got told off by one of the ships surlier Able Seamen. Ha!! “Seamen”. I should have used that in a joke but it would have been lost on him. No one seems to understand what I’m saying on this boat! It’s like I’m speaking a foreign language. Is it that different in 2020 from 1912? Apparently yes.
12:12pm – A kid taught me how to play a game of quoits. It’s kinda like horseshoes. You throw three small hoops made of rope at an X on the deck. There are five pegs on the X. The centre peg is called the jack. Highest points given for the jack. I threw one quoit with a little too much enthusiasm and clocked a noble French heiresses in the head. She looked at me with French daggers in her eyes and I cocked my head twice to my left toward the child who had taught me the game. I slowly walked away as she screamed at the boy and his father.
1:33pm – We’re leaving Queenstown now. Heading to New York. My gut churns knowing what’s ahead for these people. It’s 50 degrees (10 celsius) and a strong wind from the north-northwest making it feel a bit colder than that. Getting lots of great pics!! Young Indian boy saw me taking pics with my iPhone. I just winked at him and stuffed it into my breast pocket. Don’t wanna change the future by showing the people of 1912 twenty first century tech. I mean, show a guy my iPhone in 1912 then BOOM, goodbye Netflix, goodbye Tiger King!!
2:29pm – Sat on the poop deck, trying to chat up a British journalist named Bill Stead (who insisted I call him “William” if not “Mr. Stead”. My “poop deck” joke seemed to go over his head. I swear these people have no sense of humour!! Bill is on his way to America to give a talk at Carnegie Hall. He reminded me seven times that his presence was requested personally by none other that US President Taft. Whoopity doo.
4:29pm – My god, some of these first class passengers are obnoxious rich buffoons. I know the outcome of every fucking sporting event from now until April 2020. I could buy and sell their asses a hundred times over if I were willing to place any bets of said sporting events. Which I haven’t. And won’t!!
5:53pm – A couple of well-timed whiskeys before dinner. Placed a bet on the 1912 FA Cup Final. I put $50 on a tie between Barnsley Tykes and West Bromwich Albion. They don’t play till the 20th of this month. Maybe I should have chosen a sporting event prior to everyone’s demise?
6:52pm – Goddamn watch started talking to me at dinner as I was commenting to passenger at my table about the how the quickly fog can role in when on the sea. I said “Hey, it’s erie!” then continued to ask for the salt shaker. My watch piped up saying “I can’t find what you’re looking for. Try using your iPhone for more information”. Thankfully the table erupted in applause and laughter for my brilliant act of ventriloquism. I’m a hit! Must remember to leave my watch in my room.
7:36pm – Nothing says first class like a Turkish Bath. Meeting my mates from Liverpool afterward in the third class saloon again. Luckily both are on the F-Deck. Shit, can’t go in a robe. Wait, yes I can. It’s Third Class!!! Score!!
iPhone battery 1%. Jesus, must be the salt air draining it faster!!
Day 3 – A Titanic Vacation – April 12th, 1912
6:13am – I’m on the Forecastle Deck leaning over the bow. Not feeling anything like Leonardo DiCaprio or the king of the world. Was tossing and turning last night thinking of what lies ahead for these people. It’s hard living with the knowledge of what’s going to happen in a couple of days and knowing I’ll be the only one who’s life isn’t in danger. I’ll be going back to the year 2020 before Titanic goes under.
I got up early and came down here to clear my head. It’s currently 34 degrees fahrenheit. I don’t care about the cold and I have no appetite at the moment. I may dine in 2nd class this evening. I hear they’ll have curried chicken and rice. Also the roast turkey and cranberry on their menu caught my eye. But for now I’m frozen in body and thought, standing on the nose of the Titanic.
7:00am – A ship hand told me the Titanic is 882 feet from bow to stern. That’s roughly the length of three football fields. It took me just under 5 minutes to walk from the bow to the stern (with stairs and no crowds to walk through). I’m not counting steps as I left my Apple watch in my room after yesterday’s mishap at the dinner table. I want to talk to people. I want to get to know them before my time here is done, but the more I talk the more people get suspicious because of the way I sound. I should have done more to learn the parlance of the time before I left 2020.
Last night I actually met a MacRAE although he spelled it McCRAE. His name was Gordon McCRAE. A lean, pale-skinned man, early thirties, with a pleasant face and light brown hair. He had what I thought at first was a British accent but shortly into the conversation I realized he wasn’t British at all. He was Australian. Apparently I suck at detecting accents. He’s originally from Adelaide but now lives in Chatswood (Sydney). He’s worked gold mines in West Africa and most recently Siberia where he was co-managing a copper mine there. I was shocked to learn he was on his way to visit some pals in Canada. I didn’t discuss my links to Canada and kept up my cover as an American journalist who’d been paid by my editors to cover Titanic’s maiden voyage. I joked that I’d cashed the check prior to boarding. He didn’t get it.
McCRAE was kind and a good conversationalist who didn’t seem to notice, or care, that I lacked 1900s language structure and slang. But something had gnawed at me since the moment he introduced himself. There was something familiar about him. Something that went beyond a link to my own MacRAE family name. I had this odd and persistent feeling we’d met. Of course being that he’s from the early 20th century and I from the 21st, there’s no way our paths could have crossed. Especially when he died fifty-seven years before I was born. But all at once it struck me… like… an iceberg? I was certain I saw his name somewhere and I turned my back to him for a moment while he was speaking with a Second Class Bedroom Steward about a missing bedpan in his room. I carefully took out my iPhone, keeping it tucked into my heavy tweed topcoat I’d purchased along with my other 1900s garb in Southampton. I searched through my phone’s photo album of pictures I’d taken from past summer vacations. I stopped thumbing through the images and inhaled deeply as I gazed down to my phone at photos of the summer I spent in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I had visited Fairview Cemetery, in particular, the Titanic Victims section of said cemetery. I looked in shock at one of several photos of headstones I’d taken. I felt the color drain from my face when I looked at the photo of a headstone engraved with the words, “In loving memory of Arthur Gordon McCRAE, B.E. – University of Sydney, NS Wales, Australia. Who lost his life in the wreck of the Titanic, April 1912 Aged 32 years…” . I HAD “met” Gordon before, in the summer of 2002. My mouth went dry and my throat tightened. It felt as though I was trying to swallow a grapefruit whole.
The Bedroom Steward had sauntered off in search of a spare bedpan when Gordon turned back to me with a look of surprise. “You look as though you’ve seen a ghost, Douglas”, he said with a pleasant Australian tongue. I assured him it was nothing more than a mild case of sea sickness. He laughed it off and touched my shoulder offering, “It can take a man more than a few days to get his sea legs.” I smiled and told him that I enjoyed our conversation and hoped to catch him later. He looked at me puzzled and mildly frightened. He didn’t like the sound of what I’d said or how I said it. I shouldn’t have winked. He tipped his straw Boater hat with a trembling hand and set off into the 2nd Class Smoke Room simultaneously pulling a small clay tobacco pipe from his breast topcoat pocket. I stood there thinking, why couldn’t I have taken my vacation in 2020 Cuba instead.
9:29am – After a breakfast of Yarmouth bloaters (smoked-herring), bacon and some hot hominy (kinda like grits) in the 2nd class dining room on D-Deck, I warmed up from the early morning’s chill with a swim in the heated saltwater swimming pool (or swimming “bath”), located on the starboard side of the ship at the forward end of F-Deck. It was a 1st class perk but as most of 1st class passengers have a bug up their asses about being seen in a bathing suit in public, I swam alone. For a ship of its size, the pool was tiny. About 12-14 feet wide and looked like about 25-30 feet long. In its defence, Titanic was the first “cruise” ship I’d ever been one, so I have no sources with which to compare. Just for bragging rights, I released my bladder climbing out. How many people in the 21st century can say that they’ve peed in the pool on the Titanic?
11:am – A Steward just handed me an envelope. It was addressed to “Douglas McFadden”, the pseudonym I’d adopted for my secret vacation in the past. You won’t find the name on any records or passenger lists associated to the Titanic. I took special precautions in 2020 before I left for 1912. Can’t leave any evidence of my being here.
I tore open the envelope and to my surprise it was filled with… evidence. I flipped the envelope over to re-examine the addressor. It was from Father Browne, an Irish priest I’d met earlier yesterday when I’d gone out for a smoke. Browne had only been an overnight passenger on the Titanic. He boarded in Southampton and departed the ship in Queenstown. Not before taking a lovely photo of a kid I was admiring playing with a spinning top on the Promenade Deck. You might not think it’s evidence of my presence on the Titanic and I’d agree if it weren’t for the fact that I’m IN the damn photo (that’s me to the right)!!! Luckily I’m back on to the camera and you can’t see my face. My identity is safe and I have a nice souvenir from the past.
I had spoken to the boy’s father, Frederic Spedden, briefly that morning,. He was out with his son, Douglas and their nanny (who was in front of me but I’m blocking her in the photograph). I later learned from Titanic info I’d saved on my iPhone that little Douglas Spedden and his family would survive the Titanic disaster, but sadly Douglas would perish three years later when he’ll be run over by a car after chasing a ball out into the street. Cruel fate.
I slipped the photo back into its sleeve as a I fought back tears. Coming here was a bad idea.
1:53pm – Sitting in the Reading and Writing Room on the Promenade Deck. The whole damn ship reeks of new paint. I’ve been drawing pics of various passengers. The portly guy sitting across from me looks a lot like Fred Flintstone, which I can’t joke with him about for another 48 years. He’s soooo easy to draw. Looks like a cartoon.
6:39pm – Seated with different 1st class passengers that before in the Dining Room on the Saloon Deck (about halfway between bow and stern). I couldn’t get into the 2nd Class Dining Room because the seats were filled and I’m apparently SUPPOSED to eat dinner in 1st class with a 1st class ticket. But it’s cool cuz suddenly, I can’t believe my eyes and ears! The famous Mrs Margaret Brown (Molly Brown) is seated at a table next to mine. My god, the woman is loud but hilarious. I’m really enjoying watching how uncomfortable she’s making the other guests at her table. I’d love to pick her brain but I’m too afraid to talk to her. She seems smart enough to tell a fraud when she sees one (me).
8:33pm – Suddenly, super depressed. I can’t go on like this. I’m strongly considering pulling the plug now and heading back to 2020 a little early. The stress of knowing what’s to come is pulling me apart!!
I met a young Swedish woman after dinner named Alma Paulson (Pålsson). She’s a lovely 3rd class passenger travelling with her four young children. They’re all heading for America to live with her husband, tram conductor Nils Paulson in Chicago. Like Gordon McCRAE, her name struck me as familiar. Another quick scan through my photos and BANG, there’s her goddamn tombstone!! But she has company in the hereafter; her four children will perish with her.
I know in my heart I have to do something. But at what cost to the future?
Day 4 – A Titanic Vacation – April 13th, 1912
6:50am – I’ve walked the yellow pine floorboards of the Boat Deck so often that I think I’ve begun to wear a groove. Another sleepless night. Likely won’t eat this morning either. I’m a mix of so many emotions but mostly fear, anger and sadness.
I haven’t written about how I, a man from the 21st century, ended up travelling to 1912 as a passenger on the world’s most talked about ill-fated ocean liner. Let’s just say the technology that allowed me to travel backward in time was not my own. I didn’t engineer it. I didn’t build it. I was just the man who chose a date and pushed a button.
It’s obvious to me now that I hadn’t put nearly enough thought into my journey here. I’ve been a Titanic enthusiast since early childhood. I remember in grade seven we were reading Walter Lord’s “A Night To Remember”. My teacher conducted an experiment to show us how cold the water was at the time the Titanic sunk. He filled a large bucket with water and ice to bring its temperature down to around 28 degrees fahrenheit (-2 celsius). We’d each take a turn standing barefoot in the bucket for only a few seconds. I remember even for those few seconds my feet began to ache. I was glad to step out of the bucket. Most of these people won’t be so lucky. There’s thing called the 50 rule. In water that’s 50 degrees fahrenheit, 50 people will be dead in 50 minutes. The water tomorrow night when the Titanic sinks will be about 28 degrees, which basically means for those doomed to the water, hypothermia will set in in about 15 minutes and death will follow in about 30. I’ve read that people with hypothermia will become dazed and confused and can even appear intoxicated before finally losing consciousness and die. I could think of worse ways to die. I imagine for a moment myself slipping into the fridge Atlantic, confused, blabbing on about nonsensical things then finally falling asleep and sinking slowly into the waiting arms of the deep dark sea. Sounds peaceful but for me, it ain’t gonna happen.
I snapped out of my morbid fantasy, more focused than ever. I was given an opportunity to experience what no man had ever been given before. I made a decision right then and there that no matter what happens to my own future, I need to make things right.
I started to think of all the time-travel movies I’ve seen. “Back to the Future, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Time Bandits, Hot Tub Time Machine, Time Cop, The Terminator, Avengers: End Game to name but a few. All of those stories seem to have had adopted the same theory: you change the past, you change the future. But the way I figured it, Just being here in 1912 has already changed the future. I could show up in 1912 inside my room on the Titanic and stay there the whole trip, with no human contact at all, and I could still have altered the future. Just by touching a bed sheet that would later be changed by a chamber maid who, in touching the sam bed sheet, contracts some microbial disease I may have carried from the future that they’ll have had no chance of curing in the past. My god, COVID-19 was a thing in 2020 when I left for this trip. What if I was an asymptomatic carrier of the disease. COVID-19 in 1912 would make the Spanish Flu look like chapped lips. OK, OK, I’ve gone off on a tangent again. Gotta focus.
I felt as though the Back To The Future theory was best. I change the past, I create a new timeline which only affects my own future. Everyone else in the 2020 that I left will be fine. The new 2020 that I create by altering the past will be my new future when I return. I know that can mean a lot of changes but I accepted the responsibility and started to hash out a plan.
My god, where to start? Do I warm up to Thomas Andrews, the Titanic’s designer, and show him my 21st century tech to convince him that I’ve come from the future to save the Titanic with his help? Do I play up to the vanity of Bruce Ismay, managing director of the White Star Line? Perhaps I could give him my iPhone and tell him it’ll make him worth billions. Do I kill Captain Smith?? A murder of such a high level official would require lots of official attention. Maybe they’d have to stop the ship? But that idea went as quickly as it came. There’s no way I could kill a man. Even if it prevented the deaths of 1500 people.
I sat down on a beechwood deck chair on the port side of the 1st class promenade A-Deck, watching people out for their morning stroll. How do I prevent a 52,000 ton ship from hitting a 50 million ton iceberg? Trying to be systematic, I began to think of all the things that I won’t be able to change. I won’t be able to add more lifeboats. I won’t be able to change the fact that Titanic’s 16 watertight compartments only go up to E-Deck, ergo no stopping the flooding of the compartments. I can’t push the iceberg out of the way. Then there were the things that would be UNLIKELY to change. Unlikely I’ll convince the Captain to slow the ship down. It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to spot an iceberg with my binoculars before they… Wait!! I brought my binoculars!! My 21st century binoculars!! I read an article once that the ship’s binoculars were locked up and the staff didn’t have a key so the crewmen in the crows nest had to eyeball any icebergs in the ship’s path, which by the time they did, it was too late. There’s a full moon on the 14th!! If I gave them MY binoculars maybe they’d see the iceberg in time to avoid it. It’s too slim a chance for it to be the one and ONLY solution but it’s a start. Got to think harder!
Sabotage?! If there was some way that I could stop the engines with enough time to slow the ship before it hits the iceberg. No, that’s crazy!! What the hell would I know about stopping the engines on a ship? It took me two hours just to change ONE wiper blade on my car! OK, the Titanic has 29 boilers. Maybe if I was somehow able to flood just the boiler room? Jesus, this is impossible!!
The Quartermaster! Maybe there a way to… no, that’s stupid!! Even if I convinced him through physical force or otherwise to bring the ship to a full stop, the command to stop the ship doesn’t happen immediately. The order has to go down to the engine room via the engine order telegraph (EOT) where the crew has to execute the command. It takes time. Once Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee, the two crewmen in the crow’s nest, see that iceberg tomorrow night, I read that they had 37 to 39 seconds to stop the Titanic or avoid it all together. Stopping a ship of this size travelling at 21knots (41kph) would take over three fucking minutes!! Plowing straight into the iceberg might mean that even if the Titanic were to absorb the impact, it would likely result in many deaths as crew and passengers wouldn’t have proper warning to brace for the impact. Plus, she might still sink, albeit more slowly.
I’d read that the wireless room’s operator Jack Phillips, didn’t pass along as many ice warnings to the Captain as he should have due to him being behind in transmitting the passengers’ messages out to the closest telegraph station, Cape Race, Newfoundland. Rather than getting this vital information to the Captain, Jack was busy tapping his brains out with “wish you were here” messages going to god knows whom. Maybe he’s worth paying a visit. Maybe I can somehow convince him to get the messages to Captain Smith more promptly.
And on top of all of that, I need to figure out when this tub is gonna hit the iceberg. According to Second Officer Charles Lightoller, the Titanic struck the iceberg at 10:07 pm (EST) on April 14, 1912. She sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 12:47 am (EST) on April 15, 1912. By Lord Mersey’s historical recollection (he headed the inquiry commission into the sinking of the Titanic), the Titanic struck the iceberg at 9:50 pm (EST) on April 14, 1912 and sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 12:30 am (EST) on April 15, 1912. What? Do I flip a coin?? Either way, at some point around 10pm tomorrow night this ship is going to have a 300 foot gash torn into its starboard side. Oh shit! Do I need to calculate daylight savings time??!! ARRRRGH!!!! Then it hit me. Those times are land time zones. We’re on a ship in the middle of the ocean. The ship’s time differs from land time. I know that Jack Phillips sent out the distress call stating the Titanic struck ice at 11:40pm. THAT’S the key element. It doesn’t matter what time it is anywhere on land. The time on this ship is all that matters and I have an Apple watch!! It’s gotta be more accurate that any timepiece on this ship. So, if the ship is travelling at 21 knots and it hits the iceberg tomorrow night at 11:40pm, at how much of a distance will crewman Fleet and Lee see the iceberg? Even if they use my 21st century binoculars. The uncertainty is almost tangible.
8:33am – Looks like all that thinking gave me an appetite. I’m enjoying a breakfast of oatmeal, omelettes and bacon in the 1st class dining room. Again, the smell of fresh paint and varnish from the newness of the ship is giving me a headache!
10:10am – I found out that seaman David Blair was reassigned to another ship on April 9th. He was the crewman who left Titanic and took the one and only key to the crow’s nest storage locker with him. A locker which contains the binoculars that Fleet and Lee won’t be using to spot a large iceberg that they won’t see until it’s too late. I spoke to a crewman who said that Fleet is off duty right now. He won’t start his shift until tonight at 6pm. I didn’t want to raise suspicion by asking the crewman where Fleet’s cabin was. I’ll be at the Forecastle below the crow’s nest tonight at 6 to chat up my new friend Freddy Fleet.
12:19pm – I’ve managed to skulk around the engine room. Is there no security on this ship?? I’ve seen the engine order telegraph and it’s totally NOT what I though it would be. I figured it would look like a small telegraph tapper thingy but it’s a large brass post with with what looks like a clock on top but instead of numbers on the dial face it has commands like, “Full, Half, Slow, STOP, etc”. The crewman moves the handle attached to the dial face to the desired position. If I could be sneak onto the bridge week enough prior to 11:40pm tomorrow night (when the Titanic hits the iceberg) and somehow change the order to stop, it’d take Titanic just over three minutes to come to a standstill. But two things crossed my mind: Will I be able to incapacitate the entire bridge crew long enough to send the STOP command to the engine room and even if I do, will I know HOW to work the damn engine order telegraph? I mean, I’ve seen it a thousand times in the movies. God, my kingdom for an Internet connection right now!!!
1:18pm – I’m standing outside the Navigating Bridge on the Boat Deck. I’m floored at how easy it is to get near such security sensitive areas on this ship. I feel like I could just walk onto the bridge and light up a cigarette and no one would notice. I can see the engine order telegraph from here. Captain Smith is nowhere to be seen. I assume he’s in the 1st class dining room having lunch with the upper class douchebaggery. There are only three officers on the bridge. I assume the handsome gent with the moustache is First Officer William Murdoch. Another officer just called him “Bill” and judging by the lack of “yes sir, First Officer Murdoch” he must be Henry Wilde, the ship’s Chief Officer. I dunno who the third guy is. My attention is on the engine-telegraph. I’m waiting for one of the three gents to pull the handle so I can see it done that I might do the same tomorrow night. Waiting… and waiting… and… Jesus, can’t someone give the engine room a command?
1:53pm – Still waiting.
2:26pm – Still waiting. Ready to pull out my hair.
3:17pm – This is getting stupid!
5:53pm – FINALLY!!!! A crewman just handed Wilde a piece of paper. I can hear him saying something about the Captain wants them to increase their speed. Wilde barks the order, Murdoch repeats the order, and a crewman carries out the order by cranking the handle back and forth to the “FULL” position. Bells ring out and… nothing yet. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy. I look to my watch and hope that Siri keeps quiet. I’m timing how long it takes between the given order, the wracking of the handle on the EOT, the bell and the change in the ships movement. Whoa! 43 seconds later and there’s a sudden vibration under my feet. Smoke billows a bit blacker from the four stacks above. We’re picking up speed and I have my answers. I’m hungry now. Time to change for dinner… and find my binoculars.
Tomorrow’s the BIG day. I think I’m gonna puke.
Day 5 – A Titanic Vacation – April 14th, 1912
3:47am – Can’t sleep. Just like every other night since setting foot on this ship. And to think it all started as a joke. I thought it would be fun to travel back to the year 1912 and take part in Titanic’s maiden voyage then return home to the year 2020 right before the ship sank into history. But now I lie here in my bed on the Titanic, staring at the ornate hand-carved border on the ceiling. I try in vane to suppress my guilt and shame. The odour of fresh paint in the room competes with the scent of citrus detergent used on the bed linen. I was wrong to come here. My mind races through the items on the most important To-Do list of my life. I’ve no choice but to succeed in all that I do today if I’m to stop the Titanic before it slams into an iceberg. One misstep and 1500 people will lose their lives. I’m trying to convince myself that it won’t be my fault… but it kind of is. I came to 1912 for purely selfish reasons; to satisfy a want that I’ve no right to satisfy. I should have taken the scientist’s advice and gone back in time to July 16, 1969 to see the launch of Apollo 11 from the Kennedy Space Center. And now I’m solely responsible for saving the lives of a ship full of strangers. This is the last time I will lie in this bed. Tonight is the night.
My time, and theirs, has almost run out. I have the semblance of a plan but nothing that could mend my broken confidence. Usually I’m an incurable optimist, but no part of this plan has me thinking that everything will be ok. Today is the day this 882 foot long ship carrying 2,208 people will collide with a southbound iceberg. Only 705 of those people will survive. Well, 706 if you include me. But history won’t count me. My time in 1912 is set to expire when the bell chimes at midnight tonight. Apparently, I’ll just fade away and wake up in 2020. For this reason it’s imperative that I’m alone when that happens. There can be no eye witness reports of the Titanic passenger who disappeared into thin air in front of an already horrified congregation. I chose midnight because I wasn’t one hundred percent sure when the Titanic would hit the iceberg and I figured if it was indeed what history recorded, 11:40pm tonight, then I wanted to experience that much before heading back to my own time. I’d spare myself of bearing witness to the deaths of so many men, women and children. My thoughts betray me. As hard as I try, I can’t disassociate “men, women and children” from the faces of Gordon McCRAE, Alma Paulson and her four young children and all the other passengers and staff I’ve met since boarding the Titanic. They’re counting on me and they don’t even know it.
Last night, I kept my “appointment” on the Forecastle below the crow’s nest just before six o’clock. I intercepted Lookout crewman Frederick Fleet as he started his shift. I pretending to be interested in his job on the ship and asked him all kinds of questions that he seemed all too cooperative in answering. I broached the subject of a Lookout’s use of binoculars in the crow’s nest hoping to get him to confirm that they had none due to having no key to unlock the storage locker where theirs were kept. But he didn’t. I handed him mine regardless, bragging about how superior they were to anything he’d ever used, which was most certainly the truth. Turning over my binoculars to Fleet was like giving an iPhone to a caveman. I half expected him to put them in his mouth. Fleet took a long curious look at them, turning them over and over in his hand. Then he lifted them to his eyes and pulled back with a violent jerk as if they had sent a high voltage shock through his head. “Bloody powerful!” he barked. “Aye.” I agreed, proud of the vernacular I’d finally gotten the hang of. I told him to keep them, figuring how much technological advancement could the world experience by having 21st century binoculars in the early 1900s. As I walked away from Fleet a voice in my head whispered, “Lots!”. He’ll probably lose them anyway. But I don’t care anymore. I’ve accepted the risk in altering the past and creating a new future timeline.
7:23am – Over the past few days I’ve noticed that there doesn’t seem to be any more than three men on the Navigating Bridge in the evening. It made sense they’d go down to a skeleton crew during uneventful night shifts. This would make incapacitating three men easier than the seven I’d observed on the day shifts. Incapacitating? I sat up all night with knots in my stomach conceiving a plan that would possibly involve injuring three Bridge officers. Who was I kidding?! I had never been in a fight in my life. Never thrown a punch and never taken one either. And tonight I’ll need to take out three, full-grown, healthy and likely trained in some manner of self-defence, officers… all… by… myself. It’d be so much easier had I brought a taser.
8:23am – On the Poop Deck leaning over the aft railing next to a big red sign attached to it (facing out the ocean) that reads, “NOTICE: This vessel has triple screws. Keep clear of blades.” The “Keep clear of blades” part I get. The rest of it is lost on me. And why is the sign facing out to sea? Do people tailgate in the 1900s?
8:40am – I’ve found Alma Paulson and her children on the 3rd Class Promenade on the Poop Deck. She’s got her hands full but there’s a kind gent offering her some assistance. I assume that could only be August Wennerström. History remembers him as a 27 year old Swedish journalists who met Paulson and her children on the Titanic. Alma was late getting to the lifeboats and Wennerström carried two of her four children. Sadly, as the ship lurched further into the sea he lost his footing on the heavily sloping deck and as a result lost his grip on the children. They were separated in the water. Wennerström was able to swim to a nearby lifeboat. He would survive to live his days out as a gardener in Indiana. I can’t imagine having that night on your conscience for the rest of your life.
10:53am – For reasons I can’t explain, I made my bed and packed my belongings back into the Louis Vuitton leather Gladstone bag I bought before we left Southampton. I bought it to “blend in” with the other 1st Class passengers but now I want nothing to do with them. I hung around with mostly 3rd class passengers on F-Deck the majority of my trip. They’re my kind of people. I look into my suitcase one last time, examining the contents to ensure I leave nothing behind. I won’t be bringing home any souvenirs short of the photograph Father Browne had left for me and all the pics I surreptitiously took with my iPhone. My mouth is dry, my stomach empty and my heart is pounding in my chest. I’m going to have to force myself to eat something. Lunch may be my last meal on the Titanic as I’m near certain I won’t be able to hold down a final dinner.
11:27am – I decided on a slightly early lunch in the 1st Class Dining Room. I took great advantage of the buffet. My last lunch (and likely my last meal in 1912) included shrimp, roast and spiced beef, veggies and a variety of cheeses I’d never heard of. I sat alone on the port side of the dining room next to my own window. As I cut into what was left of the spiced beef I made the mistake of looking carefully at my Apple watch. The time read 11:40am. I set my fork and knife down heavily on the cobalt blue and gold dinner plate loud enough to draw the attention of those seated near me. In precisely twelve hours the ship and her icy companion would meet and destiny would be fulfilled. I felt numb at first and then all of a sudden a wave of panic came over me. I’d never had a panic attack prior to today and still there was no mistaking it for anything but. I jumped from my table knocking over a pint of Munich lager. In the blink of an eye a waiter was sopping it up with a rag. I offered no apology as I dashed away with no real destination.
1:03pm – After my performance in the dining room I thought it best to keep a lower than usual profile. I’m slouched in a beechwood deck chair on the 1st Class Promenade again just watching, waiting. I really don’t want to talk to anyone anymore. I just want it to be over.
1:12pm – Holy shit!! Where’s my phone???!!!
1:40pm – I’ve retraced my steps up to the last time I used it. I took a photo of the starboard side of the Titanic looking toward the bow. I’m sure I put it back in my coat. I’ve checked my coat 600 times since and nothing!! This is all I need!!
1:59pm – I ‘m tapped on the shoulder by a handsome, young black-haired Italian man. His name was Mr. Carlo Fey (Fei), a 19 year old scullion (dishwasher) from London. It appears that he found my iPhone on a plate just as it was about to go into a tub of hot soapy water. It occurred to me that I had the phone in my lap when I got up from my chair so abruptly earlier. It must have fallen into the food that remained on my plate. He handed it over to me and I waited for a million of questions that never came. His English wasn’t the best but he kept nodding with the biggest of grin as he backed away from me, looking like a child who knew he’d just made his father very proud. I stood there thinking how lucky it was that I had the “Raise to Wake” feature switched off on my phone so when he picked it up, the screen didn’t activate. For all he knew, he had returned a thin black shiny cigarette case to a grateful passenger. It’s funny. Had I switched this feature off, he most certainly would have seen the bright and brilliantly coloured screen showing my lock screen photo of swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker smiling back at him. Then I’d have some serious explaining to do.
2:20pm – I sat again with passenger Gordon McCRAE probably for the last time. We talked about Canada and how he was looking forward to meeting up with his friends there. In keeping with my alter ego’s backstory, I lied and said I’d never been to Canada. I was a workaholic and hadn’t only taken the jobs that would have me traveling within the borders of my own country. I told him this was the first time I’d been abroad. He made me promise to look him up if ever I made it to Australia.
2:53pm – An odd calmness has come over me. Although I’m alone on the Boat Deck again, it’s like someone I know, I love is standing with me. It’s comforting. Mentally, I’m in much better shape than how I was when the day started. I know what I have to do and right now I have the courage. But for how long?
3:47pm – My God, I just had the epiphany of epiphanies!! I’ve conceived a brilliant plan. And what’s even better is that it involves me NOT having to injure anyone or have my ass kicked by Bridge officers. I’ve walked the Titanic enough in the past few days to know exactly where all of the lifeboats are, even with my eyes closed. In particular the two Engelhardt type collapsible lifeboats located on either side of the Navigating Bridge on the Boat Deck. The key ingredient in my newborn plan is the fact that while the Titanic’s 14 clinker-built wooden lifeboats and 2 wooden cutters were made of wood, the two collapsible lifeboats were made of kapok and cork with an outer shell of canvas. If I were to douse the fabric in gasoline from one of the many gas cans I’d seen in the forward Cargo Hold, the blaze might call the attention of the Bridge crew long enough for me to send the STOP command down to the Engine Room. With only three officers on the bridge, they would likely be the closest to the collapsible lifeboats and the first to respond to the fire. The skies will clear up this evening and the wind will calm. A perfect night for a fire!
6:34pm – As I figured earlier today, I’ve no appetite for a final dinner. Instead, I made my way to the forward Cargo Hold where I “borrowed” one of the twelve tin gas cans there. I removed my tweed topcoat, wrapped it over the can, tucked it under my arm and made my way back to my room. I may have to transfer its contents to a several smaller containers. I certainly can’t walk around the ship with a gas can in my hand. .
Once in the privacy of my room, I rummaged through the cabinets in search of adequate ANYTHING that could hold gasoline. I emptied a three-quarter full bottle of Rowland’s Macassar Oil hair tonic and filled it with gasoline. I found two empty wine bottles and one small bottle of Lavender Water. I have no idea what Lavender Water is or what it’s used for but I found out the hard way that it’s NOT for drinking. I figured the four bottles I now have should suffice to start a large enough fire in a collapsible canvas lifeboat. Then the thought hit me. If this doesn’t work and I fail to stop the ship from hitting the iceberg, I’ll not only have robbed passengers of a much needed lifeboat, I’ll also likely have added to the death toll. But I bury the thought as quickly as it appeared. This has to work!!
8:16pm – I’m trying my best to enjoy a cigar in the 1st class Smoking Room to the aft of the Grand Staircase on A-Deck. I can see the orange and red sky glowing through the port side windows. I still have a couple hours before I have to head back to my room to grab the bottles and make my way up to the Boat Deck and get into position near the Bridge.
Only now do I notice the smell of gasoline on my fingers. I shake my head and release a poorly restrained laugh at the thought of me accidentally setting myself on fire in the Titanic’s 1st class Smoking Room.
8:50pm – I exit the Smoking Room and find myself in the presence and the spectacular opulence of the Titanic’s Grand Staircase. I’ve taken many secret photos of this amazing handcrafted work of art with my iPhone late in the night when no one was around. It’s one thing to be standing here in a crowd and quite another having it all to yourself.
9:29pm – A little over two hours away from our arrival with destiny. I have four bottles filled with gasoline tucked away across my body, in the least visible way. I can’t sneak one bottle of gin into a Bruce Springsteen concert but I can walk around a ship full of passengers undetected with four bottles of gas.
10:10pm – The air is freezing and my earlier weather report rings true. The skies have opened up and the winds have died down to a faint breeze. I can’t recall a time when I’ve seen this many stars. With absolutely zero light pollution I swear you can see every one of them in the Universe.
I can hear the ship’s band playing from somewhere inside. History says they’ll be coming up to the Boat Deck soon to play for terrified passengers in an effort to keep everyone calm.
They say Nero played the violin as Rome burned.
11:00pm – I can feel every hair on the back of my neck standing straight up. It’s like my Spider-sense is tingling and all I can do is let it. I can taste a hint of copper in my mouth from the bloodied lip I’d been biting for the past 30 minutes. I feel as though we’ve crested the top of the roller coaster where we pause for just a moment and then drop down the other side. I fucking hate roller coasters. What if my timing’s off? What if history is wrong? If I set the fire too early they’ll put it out too quickly, arrest my ass and then continue on course and get back up to speed (given they slow down at all to deal with the fire and me).
I can only assume Frederick Fleet has and is using the binoculars I gave him last night. I’ve no choice but to have faith that he’s using them tonight. Can he see any further ahead than his naked eye? Or even if he’s using my 21st century binoculars, is it too dark ahead to see the ice? So much uncertainty. So little time.
11:10pm – I’m shaking from head to toe and it has nothing to do with the freezing temperature on the Boat Deck. My head is filled now with “what ifs”. What if I’m too early? What if I’m too late? What if I should have gone ahead with my first plan to incapacitate the Bridge Crew? What if my binoculars make no difference? FUCK IT!!!
I walk up to the collapsible lifeboat suspended just outside the starboard side of the Bridge and pull out the first bottle of gasoline. I struggle with the cork as my hands shake like the worse case of Parkinson’s you’ve ever seen. I’m terrified and yet simultaneously exhilarated as I pour its contents over the lifeboat. A part of me feels like a college prankster pulling one over on the neighbouring campus. Bottle number two makes an appearance from my lower left topcoat pocket. I splash the gas against the lifeboat’s canvas shell. I reach inside my right topcoat pocket for bottle number three, the first of the two wine bottles. I fumble the bottle in my hands as it goes end over end in the air like I’m Tom Cruise in the film “Cocktail”… only I DON’T catch it. The wine bottle of gasoline crashes to the yellow pine floorboards within earshot of the Bridge crew. I’m seize with fright awaiting the thundering chastising from First Officer Murdoch. But nothing. I apparently have quite the mighty horseshoe up my ass. But there go my nine lives. I can’t afford another slip-up.
Bottle four is emptied. The three surviving bottles will have to do. I reach inside my right breast pocket for my lighter. Then I reach inside my left breast pocket for my lighter. Then I reach inside my right pants pocket for my… you see where this is going? In an unbridled panic I look to the right and left as though some magical creature would appear in thin air holding a box filled with lighters. No such luck. I run like a mad man aft along the Boat Deck asking anyone and everyone I see for a lighter. Nothing. Jesus, does no one smoke in 1912?? I spin around to the bow and I’m face to face with a middle-aged German gent pointing a gun right at my face. In an act of involuntary muscular response, as though my body was on cruise control and my brain had already left the car, I drove my fist square into the man’s bottom lip as hard as I could. His feet launched from the deck like Apollo 11 (I REALLY should have gone to see that) and he flew backward in the air as though he were lying on an invisible bed on wheels. First time in my life I’d ever punched anyone. He hit the floorboards with with a defining smack. His wife looked at me wide-eyed and white as a ghost, then to her unconscious husband, then back to me, then back to him. I’m staring at my fist half expecting to see smoke rising from it. People are beginning to gather as I stand there feeling like George McFly after he nailed Biff (but no pride be found). I don’t remember what the German man’s wife was screaming or what others who had congregated were saying but I picked up the gun and stood silently staring at the words embossed on its side: RONSON PISTO-O-LITER. I pointed it away from my face and squeezed the trigger. A tiny blue and yellow flame appeared at the muzzle’s tip and danced in a slight breath of wind. There was really nothing I could say that would make that situation better so I simply turned and shouldered my way through the crowd.
I made it back to the collapsible by the Bridge, surprised that no one came after me. The mild breeze carried the smell of gasoline to my nose. Looking around to ensure my privacy, I lit the canvas with my new PISTO-O-LITER. Three bottles of gas was not only enough to do the job, it was a bit too much. I’m not sure how different gasoline is in 1912 from 2020 but it’s crazy flammable. The flames reached effortlessly at least ten feet into the sky with a little help from a light northwest wind.
As I expected the Bridge crew was the first to notice. First Officer Murdoch barked inaudible orders as he looked with a single raised brow at the fire. But instead of grabbing an extinguisher he picked up a large brass phone and ordered crewman to the scene immediately. Within seconds several large, burly men arrived carrying fire extinguishers that resembled large red megaphones. They dowsed the fire along with my hopes of stopping the Titanic. I stood there dumbfounded, acting like I was looking for the person responsible for this treacherous act.
11:23pm – Annnnnd, cue the angry mob. Funny how things go from bad to worse when you think they surely can’t. Looks like Adolf woke up and is pissed to high Hell. Leading the surly congregation directly toward me, I turned to First Officer Murdoch and confessed to the fire, turning both my wrists up to his face in anticipation of my new bracelets. I figure they’ll cart me away to the brig before the crowd tears me apart. He slapped away my hands prompting me to demand he call the Master at Arms to arrest me forthwith. Murdoch backhanded my shoulder to move me out of his way so he could address the approaching passengers.
I don’t know what to do. We’re on the precipice of disaster and all but me are oblivious to it. I’m expecting screams from the Crow’s nest any second now. The phone in the Navigating Bridge will ring any second now with warnings of an ice berg straight ahead!
For the second time today a calmness comes over me. My heartbeat slows and my breathing to match. I look at all that’s playing out before me as if it’s in slow motion and with out sound. Slowly, with my left hand on the rail beside me, I spring over the edge toward the waiting sea. As I fall, the lights from each deck I pass reminds me of driving by street lights after I’d fallen in asleep in the back of my mom and dad’s car. Bright, dark, bright, dark, bright, dark. Ten decks later I’m in the water. I don’t remember the splash or the pain of contact with the water. Maybe I’m in shock, but I’m not sure I’d know it if I were. Everything is still in slow motion as I watch the massive hull of the Titanic pass by as though I’m the one moving and not the ship.
I hear horns and bells as the Titanic’s stern passes me. I’ll never know why, but I thought it was funny when it passed and I could read the red sign on the aft rail that read, “NOTICE: This vessel has triple screws. Keep clear of blades.”
11:33pm – Weighted down by my English tweed suit and topcoat, I’m simultaneously trying to stay afloat while doing the 50 Rule math in my head. In water that’s 50 degrees Fahrenheit, 50 people will be dead in 50 minutes. The water that surrounds me is 28 degrees. Hypothermia will set in in about 15 minutes and I’ll be dead in 30. I attempt to set the timer on my Apple watch but every time I stop treading water I sink bellow the surface. I’ve been in the water for only seven minutes and it’s already like I have battery acid racing through my veins. I’m aching all over. I remember my mother telling me to move my limbs to keep warm while on a family vacation to Cape Cod. Dear mom, it ain’t work’n. But what I can see are the brilliant white lights of the Titanic about 1000 feet (a little over a quarter of a kilometre) away. Bad news is, I can see the brilliant white lights of the Titanic about 1000 feet. Good news is, she’s at a full stop and sitting motionless in the water. Even when she starts up again Fleet will most certainly see the iceberg in time to alert the bridge officers to navigate around it. Or even if the Titanic DID collide with the iceberg now, at such a low speed it would be tantamount to dinging another car door in a parking lot. I’ve done it. Titanic will make it to Pier 59 in New York on the morning of April 17.
Day 6 — A Titanic Vacation — April 15th, 1912 — Destiny Avoided
12:03am — It’s midnight. I’m still here? How am I still here? I was supposed to fade away at midnight. I’ve now been in the water for exactly 30 minutes. Death is imminent, although I’m really surprised I’m still able to move my limbs to keep me afloat. Was my grade seven teacher’s bucket experiment wrong? Perhaps that pee I had a few minutes ago warmed the water around me enough to give me that extra time. I can’t hear anything but I can still see the lights from Titanic sitting there… barely. I wonder what she’s waiting for. Did they run out of coal? Are they looking for me? What rhymes with “orange”? I have to rest now. Give my arms a break for five or ten minutes then I’ll tread some more.
I just want to sleep but they won’t let me. Everybody bugs me. I feel an upward tug on the shoulders of my coat. My eyeballs are nearly frozen over but I see “Liverspots” in black lettering on the side of a boat. No, wait… “Liverpool”. It’s the cutter number 1 lifeboat. They’re trying to fish me out of the water. I was never good at fishing. It’s OK boys, don’t worry about me. I can’t get words out. Why am I still here? Oh shit! Daylight Savings Time? Can’t lift my arm to look at my Apple watch. Going to write a letter to Apple and tell them they’re watches work great in 1912. I’m going to sleep go to sleep now. You boys go on home. Thanks for trying. Tell Adolf I’m sorry I… punched… him… in… the…
12:36pm — April 15th, 2020
Slept like a baby. I rolled over to find my iPhone in a sandwich bag half filled with rice on top of my nightstand. I reached for it, unzipped the bag and surgically removed the phone, careful not to spill any rice in my bed. Dead! My iPhone had breathed its last breath. I sat up in bed and looked to my digital clock. “12:37pm”. I ran my hand through my pomade-free, good to have my regular ole hair back, then grabbed my iPad from inside my nightstand. Success!! I remembered to charge it. I thumbed through the photo albums and hoped to God they… DID!!! All the pics from my vacation uploaded to the Cloud before my iPhone died. I opened Google and with one finger hunted and pecked away at the letters “R-M-S-T-i-t-a-n-i-c” then held my breath in anticipation as the spinning beach ball teased me. It spun on as waited for the evidence of my efforts of the past week.
The beach ball disappeared and I felt a wave of euphoria rush over me. Every hair on my body stood on end. In 21st century, with its 21st century technology, it’s pretty easy to fake a photo from this era let alone one from the beginning of the 20th century. I sat up on the bed dropping the iPad between my legs onto the mattress. I rested my head on my knees and stared down at its screen bearing an aged yellowy photograph of the Titanic moored to Pier 54 in New York along what is now Hudson River Park. I stared inquisitively at the photo recalling that the Titanic was meant to pull into pier 59 off 18th Street and not pier 54. Had the timeline I changed created this anomaly? Then I read the caption below the photo, “Titanic at Cunard’s pier 54 on her last of many visits to New York before heading back to South Hampton where she’ll be withdrawn from service then onto Inverkeithing, Scotland to be dismantled at the Thos W Ward ship breaking yards.” The photo was dated June 1939. I’d spend the next three days, morning to night, looking through any and all material I could find on the great ship and her 27 years of infallible service.
Looking back on my life I took note of the many things I hadn’t done and the many things I’d done but at which I’d failed. With coffee in hand, I sat on my deck looking up to a pale blue sky as the early morning sun warmed my face. I won’t go into what’s changed in this new timeline, that’s a story for another time, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of what I’d done. Yes, I changed history but I inadvertently made a legendary ship just like any other ship. I somehow robbed it of its greatness. The Titanic that you knew became famous for its disastrous end and the 1500 lives it took with her. The one I know sailed on through what became a fairly uneventful history. It held the title of the largest ship in the world until 1939 when the RMS Queen Mary stepped onto the scene. It made several voyages to various destinations between North America and the European continent, none of which were really all that noteworthy. Many of the passengers that I’d saved no doubt went on to bigger and better things while others may have lived their lives with the absence of the motivation to do great things that a near death experience could give them.
Because of what I’d done, Titanic had become like any other ship. And the way I saw it… there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with that.