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Holland America Line "S.S. Rotterdam" - (Circa. Feb 2006)
Let me introduce myself, I'm Rob. I have been studying, working and researching the steamships (tramps, liners, cruise, etc.) for a long time now. I have made it a point to get to know a lot about them. This site, will explain and show you just what I mean. As most people know, the ships were not always powered by a steam or diesel engines. These are marvels of a modern age. But, a very long time ago, the only way was by sail. Usually made of a canvas or hide fabric and were very large and often difficult to keep clean. With the passing of time and mechanical engineering, the shipping industry has taken an enormous growth potential. Now, this was not obviously easy. Evolution comes sometimes at a very high cost. For example. Not everyone knows about a ship called the "Great Eastern", she was very big for her day. And nobody, understood, how or why she worked. Because of the newness of her steam engines. She had one steam engine and sails. But, NO propellers. She had paddle-wheels. Because of the difficulties, involved in handling a ship of that size and the lack of training and understanding, in a storm, one night, she had a fire. And now she's a legend. It's sad though, she sank with all hands. The latter "Great Western", did as well. Everyone knows or has heard about the legendary R.M.S. Titanic, right? Or how about the Cunard liner "R.M.S. Lusitania"? Well, I think that we have learned our lessons. You must place a little faith in lifeboats, as well as your religion. Also, knowing where you are and what is in the area, also helps.
In the early years, before the first world war, many steam ship line owners, were starting to build bigger and better ships for their passengers to travel in. Many of these are now famous. One of the most noted of the lines, for their quality and safety, at the time was "Cunard Steamship Line Limited". They were in strong competition with the famous "White Star Line", based in Liverpool, England, Great Britain. These two giants caused a rivalry, that took more than 100 years to settle. In 1951, "Cunard Steamship Line Limited", finally sold its holdings and shares of what was left of the "White Star Line" that they had purchased in 1935. This proves that the rivalry is in big business is strong and the shipping industry has lots of it. This is especially true today. More and more of the big name lines are buying their little competitors out and swallowing them up whole. For those of you who follow the news closely, a recent and good example of this is "Carnival Cruise Lines" has bought "Cunard Line Ltd.". The story of this is somewhat familiar, "Cunard Line Ltd" had bought "White Star Line" back in the 1935. But also in the news (last year) and earlier this year. There was an announcement about someone planning or wanting to build a new "Titanic". Do you have the feeling this author has. The original "Titanic" was removed from active registry in the summer of 1997. Why so long? She's gone and did they wait? How odd... This makes me wonder, how many other wrecks are not un-registered? Are they also possibly famous?
In the industry I am observing a very interesting trend. It would appear, that the "Roaring 20's & 30's" philosophy has somehow returned. The new self confidence, has been rejuvenated and in fact, many of the fears have even been dispelled. It seems to me finally, that the whole shipping business is now in business... The yards have work and the lines have passengers. It's almost too perfect. In history, they say that what goes around, comes around? Can this be true? I believe that it is. Im seeing a nice flow of order so far. The ultimate test will be the new "Titanic". (Feelings of deja-vu)... If she works out... Who knows. If not, then the industry is facing another climactic defeat. Gentlemen, lets not mess this one up. I'm all for it. I rather like the idea of another "Titanic". The world never really got to know the original, so why not? Now, now. All fears aside. That's not very likely to ever happen again. She was sent out with a poorly trained staff and had a rivet flaw. In modern times, that won't be. We'd hope. "Oh, but if only to walk her decks..." There is something to be said, for the romance of the sea. Thoughts of men, women and the far reaching sky's of a distant land. And the love that bonds in between. Remember, the pilgrims knew it. And they did it too. In a time of almost uncertain impossibility and what was a definite uncertainty. "Four bells, sir." Time to relax with a nice cup of tea and some sugar cookies... And watch the evening sunset draw to a sweet low fire...
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