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Where would the crew sleep while in NY ?

Discussion in 'General Titanica' started by Lili-Marlene39-45, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. Hello everyone,

    Last night while finishing reading the awesome book "On A Sea of Glass" I wondered where the crew used to sleep while the ship was in New-York? It seems obvious that that could be on the ship, but if we push the thought a little further, it becomes far less obvious : in winter time for instance, the ship needs to be heat up, and to get warmth, you need to start (or to let on) the engines, and for that you need the stokers. But the WSL usually stopped to pay stokers as soon as the ship entered in port. And that would be a non sense for stokers to work for peannuts! Now starting from this, my question is relevant : where did crews used to sleep when those steamships arrived in NY? Thanks!
  2. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Good Question!

    If southampton is anything to go by, there were probably very cheap lodgings or hostels where they would stay till they could jump on to or go back their ship.
  3. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    The ship did not shut down in port. There was always one or two boilers in use to maintain all the auxiliaries and produce light heat and power. With the exception of night men, the crew worked days in port. Except in drydock, a ship would have power for her entire life.
  4. I can only go by my limited experience of going to sea. I was on a 10 month WestPac cruise and we only went on shore power one time when we docked in Subic Bay. All other ports we had to anchor out. We did pull into Pearl Harbor but were there less than half a day, in and out so they didn't even bother. My question is - How common was shore power in the days of Titanic?
  5. Dave Gittins

    Dave Gittins Member

    Crews signed on for the entire return voyage, including time spent in port, so they naturally lived on the ship while in New York. In any case, given that many of them only earned about £1 per week, they wouldn't have wanted to waste money on staying ashore in some cheap dive.
    Sauli. and Jim Currie like this.
  6. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    I can only guess, Steven but I would be amazed to learn that shore power was ever used other than during a drydocking shut-down. I know for sure that on the New York run in the early 50's and 60's shore power was never used by us at Pier 54 or any of the piers. We did enjoy runs ashore though. Frequently to Union Square to tease the soap box orators.
  7. I was never involved in that duty but it did look like a lot work. Electrical,Water and Waste water hook ups..ect. I was wondering because I was thinking that with a lot of ships in port keeping their boilers fired up it must have made for some dirty air in the city and discharge of waste water/sewage must have made the ports pretty pungent. I know they weren't very concerned about that back then. Even my ship threw everything overboard and I mean everything. I understand that the carriers of today now have trash compactors and holding/treatment tanks. That's a good thing. We always had watches on the fantail to check whatever was going overboard would sink so the russians couldn't scoop it up.
  8. My service , too, in the Navy was only of limited experience (4 years) half of that of going to sea. (Two cruises to Japan from March to September each year.) Same here for short stopover at Pearl Harbor for a day or two....Going and Returning. We usually we had time for Liberty. Some of us took off our shoes and socks and walked in the sand at Waikiki Beach....LOL

    This was on a seaplane tender which operated at Iwakuni, Japan and was anchored out in the bay for six months each year so I assume there was no shore power and the ship had to supply its own electrical power to all the electronic equipment such as the communications equipment, radar, etc.(I was an ET2-almost an ET1 !....LOL) ,lighting,galley, etc.

    The other six months we were tied up to a pier at the North Island Naval Air Station at San Diego, California.
    I don't know if we had shore power or ship's power there or at the Naval Shipyard at Long Beach, California.
    The ship was always fully staffed, but the time spent there was when personnel were also assigned to shore station training stations or off on Annual Leave.

    Titanic anchored out at Cherbourg and Queenstown and I asume it was on ship's power ?
    How about Southampton and New York ? Oops ! I mean if it had gotten to New York !

    On a vacation trip to the New York World's Fair in 1965 I visited RMS Queen Mary and SS France.
    ( I was a PFC instead of an ET2 at that time - Poor Foolish Civilian......LOL)
    Does anyone know about their shore or ship power then ?
    Last edited: May 15, 2018