Friday, August 25, 2017

Historic Waters

As we sailed from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland in July, we sailed past the wreck of the Titanic.  The Titanic sank in April 1912 after hitting an iceberg.  Coincidentally, the last port of call for the Titanic was Cork, Ireland….more about that in another post.

Another focal point in history that was relative to our course as we neared Ireland was the wreck of the Lusitania.  The Lusitania was a ship similar to the Titanic and had made many trans atlantic voyages.  The fateful day came in May 1915 just outside Kinsale where it was torpedoed by a German U-boat.  The Lusitania had left New York and was headed to Liverpool with almost 2,000 passengers aboard.  The boat sank in less than 20 minutes and there was only a small percentage of survivors.  The significance was that prior to the Lusitania sinking, the US had taken an isolationist strategy in WWI but with hundreds of Americans aboard a cruise liner (leaving from NY), the Germans had demonstrated an act of war against our country and we had no choice but to become involved.  

The yellow circle is the wreck of the Titanic.  The yellow dotted line is our course up to Newfoundland.  The red arrows are the Labrador and Laurenthian currents as they come down into the Atlantic from the Arctic Sea, bringing icebergs with them.  As you can see, our course was more in line with ice than the Titanic...but we were there in July - they were there in April.

The green circle is the wreck of the Lusitania.  The numbered circles are our course from Spain to Cork (the jog between #5 & #6 is due to oil rigs off shore).  There is a lot of controversy regarding the Lusitania - more about that later.  

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