April 14, 1912
yesterday's noon until to-day's she had flown 546 miles across the Atlantic.
Her residents had escorted her over every playful wave and beneath every pearly
cloud. Above all of those contented souls walking her decks, stand but a
handful. Above the toiling stokers, the frantic-paced chef's mates, and the
patient stewards they watch. Forever alert they cast their eyes to the horizon
to keep her path true. They steer her by their knowledge and guide her by their
wisdom. They remain ever vigilant, above that which they hold so very dear.
These few, these strong-hearted and courageous few see that she never falters or wants for direction. These men, her good officers, lead her crew across her decks and across the Atlantic. They are met with respect and admiration, qualities they so richly deserve, for they had proven themselves to lead the aimless and undetermined. They had come of age upon the tall ships of old and in ports a hemisphere away. Each in his own history had charged upon the seas for adventure and wild tales, only to find hardship and challenge. They met the darkest of conditions while still lads. They battled through fearsome gales and eclipsing waves. They lost those they loved to the very sea they dreamt of riding upon. These men, so brave and true, had come to be aboard her with their histories shared.
Day upon day theirs was a life of routine. Watches were kept and reports were passed along. Rounds were walked to see that she was kept in good order. Nothing had escaped their eyes, as they were trained to spot that which could harm her and her guests. Their faces were pleasant, offering smiles to passengers briefly met. Their voices were politely commanding to the crews that they demanded the very best from. Their hands upon her rails and at her telegraph levers had a gentle touch. Above all else their education kept everyone protectively held. Her officers knew her and the sea she travelled upon and they were mindful of dangers and their avoidance.
She steamed ahead on their orders, as they never once asked for a moment's rest. In the sun's light or moon's glow they kept their watch. Not a pause was to be given, not a relaxed thought was to be paid. While tending to duty not an officer's mind would wander or grow silent. Each man was expected to fulfil his responsibility without question or hindrance.
Although their passage was meant for work, they still enjoyed themselves. They dove into novels and puffed away on pipes. They chatted at any off-duty opportunity about past ships and undertakings. Those that had sailed together before had the luxury of reminiscing. Those that had not were creating memories on her to be looked back upon. As strong as their bond to sea and duty was, their bond to one another was even stronger. Each man had left ashore loved ones so deeply missed. For a fortnight at a time there were separated from that which they were so fond of. As a result they found in one another the camaraderie of a family. Through adversity and glory they sailed, with themselves for reliance and others for strength...