After a lengthy sabbatical, work has recommenced on the project. A few interludes at the start of each day of the voyage will be added.
It's not just historical fiction, but likewise a philosophical work. Currently, we have a bit with Smith on the bridge, reworked since my last visit:
“If I didn’t know better, Mr. Wilde, I’d say it were still last June.”
Chief Officer Henry Wilde wasn’t going to argue with Captain Smith. In terms of weather, one could pass it off as that June morning ten months ago, where the Olympic began her career. The difference being that there were different ships in the harbor. It was also going to be the start of the end of his. Next week, he would no longer be the prolific Edward J. Smith, “the Millionaires’ Captain”, just a well-to-do English gentleman resigned to a private life in Hampshire.
“Good morning, Eddy!”
“Hullo, Mr. Ismay.” His employer, White Star president J. Bruce Ismay approached him from the side. He had quite the upper-crust appearance: waxed mustache, black business suit, and a grey tweed cap on his head. It was a personal tradition for him to embark on the maiden voyages of every steamer that flew the red banner of the line. “Majestic’s moored over there,” Smith pointed out. He chuckled. “Ironic that one of my old charges is here to see me off on my swansong.”
“Well, Majestic’s going to be our prize fighter for the Blue Riband going forward,” Ismay told him. “Titanic and Olympic can’t compete with Cunard on speed, you know.”
“Uneventful, it seems,” Smith remarked, referring to the boarding of the liner. “Uneventful” was a word that had become synonymous with the aging sailor. He used it to describe his career, and, despite an incident the previous year with that cruiser, was considered a safe captain by the British government itself.
“Uneventful” also seemed to apply to the initial crowds down at the dock. Mostly second-class and steerage passengers boarding at this time along with a few well-wishers. It was expected to get busier, though. However, most of the buzz had been seized for the Olympic last year. She was the big talk for White Star, the Titanic would just be seen as a second Olympic. Slightly larger, perhaps, but nothing to lose sleep over.
“You do remember the transfer, yes?” Ismay asked.
“Transfer?” said Wilde.
“You mean the rebooking over the coal strike, Mr. Ismay?” said Smith.
“Adriatic and Oceanic had to be sidelined,” he said. “Their first and second cabins were reassigned to us, degraded to second and third, respectively.”
“How disappointing,” Wilde remarked.
“Not necessarily,” said Ismay. “Second and third on an Olympic-class is comparable to first and second on most other ships. What’s bad news for Adriatic and Oceanic is good news for us. Lost nothing, really.”
“Some rain this morning,” said the captain. “Came and went as the morning went along. Hopefully it doesn’t make up its mind and downpour on us. Still a bit overcast.”
“Well, if our setting out this morning doesn’t check all the boxes, I’m sure there’s going to be a warm welcome for us when we get to New York,” the company chairman said. “The cherry to top your career.”
“And a proud moment for you, Mr. Ismay,” said Wilde.
“And for Mr. Andrews as well,” Ismay added. “Right now, I’m trying to find him. Said he was going to do a quick glance at the turbines and engines before we cast off. Well, cheerio!” He was off, leaving Smith, Wilde, and the bridge crew to prep.