Welcome aboard on this glorious spring day. I’m Edward John “E.J.” Smith, captain of RMS Titanic, and commander of White Star Line’s impressive fleet. You’ve arrived on a very special day: April 10, 1912. We’re about to take this fine lady to sea on her maiden voyage.
My officers spent the night on board, but I stayed home with family — wife Sarah and our 12-year-old daughter, Helen. At 7 a.m. I climbed the gangway and prepared for inspection by the local board of trade and other officials; ships require permission to sail, which Titanic easily received.
We’ll cast off from Southampton, England at noon and cross the channel to Cherbourg, France. Tonight we;ll cross back to Queeenstown, Ireland, and from there we’ll steer a course across the pond to New York City. Should take seven days but could be earlier if weather and other conditions permit.
Once Titanic and I are back home in Southampton, I’m retiring. At age 62, I’ve been a seaman nearly 50 years, 32 as a valued member of the White Star Line family. It’s been a fantastic life –mastering some of the finest ships ever built, while hobnobbing with the rich and famous. I’ll surely look back on this final voyage as the highlight of my career.
Special Edition – True Titanic Stories- 1st Class Maid Jaynee tells the story of Captain Smith on Video. Click Here.