Thursday, December 30, 2010

"The Green Goddess" & Captain Sorrell

Captain Donald Sorrell was utterly amazed when he saw the RMS Caronia for the first time. He noted her huge funnel, sleek lines and unique green livery - which would soon earn her the nickname of "The Green Goddess." It was "the proudest moment of my career," her master noted. "To me had been entrusted the charge of this 34,000-ton luxury liner, which was insured for over four million pounds."

With her maiden voyage at hand, Captain Sorrell marvels at the Caronia's many sophisticated features:

Not a penny had been spared in her building; to Britons, still struggling under Sir Stafford Cripps's austerity régime, she was magnificent. Some of the younger members of my crew, all of whom were hand-picked, had never seen anything like it. There were six 45-foot motor-launches for cruising and two outside swimming pools. She had ten decks with thirteen public rooms and two restaurants, a cinema with seats for three hundred and a first-rate gymnasium with a qualified instructor. There was also a laundry large enough to cope with all passengers' washing, and the white uniforms of the crew which needed changing at least once, or sometimes twice and even three times a day in very hot weather.

There was only one refinement I didn't appreciate. Cunard had done me a special favour. Mine was the only bathroom on the ship to be fitted with fresh water. And I was probably the only person on
the ship who preferred salt-water baths!

With the bath aside, however, Captain Sorrell seems to have been pleased with his new ship and her amenities.

References: Sylvia Duncan and Peter Duncan, The Sea My Steed: The Personal Story of Captain Donald Sorrell (London: Robert Hale Limited, 1960), 151-152.

No comments:

Post a Comment