News from 1931: Retirement of Capt Davies

Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
[MAB Note: The rescue of Northern Light, mentioned in this article, is addressed in this thread.]

The New York Times, 6 December 1931

Two Veteran Captains Make Last Trips Here;
Davies of Baltic and Jensen of Minnekahda

Two veteran sea captains closed their careers during the past week so
far as the port of New York was concerned. Captain Evan Davies took the
White Star liner Baltic out from her North River pier on Friday night,
knowing that on arrival in Liverpool he would be placed on the retired
list because he had reached the age of 60. Captain John F. Jensen,
formerly of the Atlantic Transport liner Minnekahda, on Wednesday
assumed command of the Baltimore Mail liner City of Hamburg operating
out of Baltimore.

The thousands of passengers who have traveled on the Minnekahda recall
Captain Jensen as the genial skipper whose custom it was to gather all
of his passengers together on the first night out of port. Addressing
them in his Danish accent, he invariably would end with the announcement
that the ship was theirs to do with as they liked. He probably has
received as many gifts from passengers as any man who ever entered the

Captain Davies estimated that in his forty-seven and one-hall years as a
sailor he had traveled about 2,200,000 miles. In all that time he said
that he never had been aboard a ship unless he was a member of its crew.
He has not visited even the two newest White Star liners, the Laurentic
and Britannic, companion ships of the Baltic.

"Most ships are alike," he said, adding with cautiousness, "I feared
they would think I was spekkin' if I went aboard other people's ships."

Spekkin', it was explained, meant spying or speculating. Captain Davies
has spent twenty-eight and one-half years with the White Star Line. He
started his career as a deck boy on a ketch in the coasting trade.

Captain Davies obtained his first command with the White Star in 1917 on
the Delphic, which later was torpedoed in the Bay of Biscay. Then he was
captain of the Athenic, Canopic, Regina and Baltic. He rescued the
captain and five men of the crew of the schooner Northern Light on his
first trip on the Baltic. The boat had drifted helpless for three days
in the Atlantic. For this rescue Captain Davies received Lloyd's life
saving medal, the medal of the Liverpool Humane and Shipwreck Society,
the medal of the New York Life Saving Society and illuminated addresses
of the Liverpool Society and the government of Newfoundland. Captain
Davies will spend his years of retirement in gardening at his birthplace
at Nevina, North Wales.

Taking his last command to her home port, Captain Davies retains the
enthusiasm for her that he had when he first went to her bridge.

"She's the finest sea boat ever built," he says of the Baltic.
"Everybody knows that."

Captain Jensen has not yet had opportunity to judge his new command. The
Minnekahda, with which he sailed for nearly ten years, has been laid up
for the Winter and is said to be slated for junking.


Inger Sheil

Dec 3, 2000
Brilliant, MAB - Lowe sailed under Davies, so this article, which is entertainingly illustrative of the Captain's character - is particularly useful to me.

Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
this article ... is particularly useful to me.

Had I known, I would have tried to negotiate a suitable fee before transcribing and posting.


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