Turning around – 10 – 11 April

Emergency medivac by helicopter, seen from the Lido Deck on the Balmoral

All seemed well as we sailed from Cobh on the 8th, although there were more than a few green gills around the vessel the next morning and suggestions from the Bridge that the weather was unlikely to improve until tonight were not greeted with joy.

Then an unexpected annoucement from the Captain – due to a medical emergency, the Balmoral would be turning back in the direction of Ireland to meet a rescue helicopted sent out to evacuate a passenger. There was a universal understanding that such things have to be accommodated, and as we watched the individual concerned winched to the helicopter by a very accomplished rescue team we could only wish the man the best.

Then back on track again with assurances that we’d still make the wrecksite in time for the anniversary.

There has been the odd muttering about the voyage being accident prone (late depature from Southampton and now this incident), but that’s all part of a crossing. Certainly the crew are managing everything with great aplomb and efficiency.

In the meantime, my days on board have been occupied with lectures, enjoying the food (last night’s Titanic dish was baked haddock with sharp sauce – very tasty) and talking to other Titanic researchers and enthusiasts. I finally had the opportunity to meet  Alan Hustak, the very courtly and interesting author of several works about the Canadians on board the Titanic.

It was a formal dinner tonight with the opportunity to wear 1912 costume. I picked something not stricly period detailed but more a gesture to the era with a gown done by a designer friend, Boudoir Queen, which used Victorian and Edwardian salvaged materials. Then after dinner there was more debate and discussion about various Titanic mysteries and controversies – always stimulating (so much so that it was well after 1.00 am before we all decanted ourselves off into our bunks.

I’m just debating taking a proper turn around the decks before lunch.

Formal dress evening - wearing a reworked Victorian/Edwardian gown with period appliques

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