If you want to ride “really South” on Santa, you have a choice.
Even 30 years later, the Santa ships were going strong. If you’ve got time to kill, here’s cruise line footage, probably the closest I’ll ever get to taking a cruise.
Summer ends next week, and Halloween will follow, and the next day begins the holiday season. We all know it will pass quickly, as it does each year, and soon we will complain of ice and frigid temps. In any event, most of us will be itching to disembark the burning ship of 2020, whether or not we have life vests like the fellow above.
This particular image was taken from a lifeboat by one of the 1500 passengers aboard the British troopship Empire Windrush. On the last leg of her voyage from Japan, steaming past Algiers, an engine room explosion sent flames and smoke throughout the ship. Lifeboats carried away all women and children, and 750 men were left to crawl down (or in some cases, jump) into the water. Rescue ships soon arrived and picked up every single crew man, save the four who were killed by the actual explosion. No other lives were lost, and it became one of the most successful sea rescues of all time.
The ship did sink after all, but here we see her in better days, in June of 1948, arriving at Tilbury Docks from Jamaica, with 482 Jamaicans on board, emigrating to Britain.
Ooh-la-la! Très exclusive. Only for the interesting people! Why, you’ll find novelists, actresses, professors, and big-game hunters on French Line! Only the best and brightest are allowed aboard, where they serve table wine complimentary. Much fancy! The servers even speak the English because that’s civilized.
One wonders how the French ever got pegged with a rep for snobbery.
Even the captain can sense it, although his smirk seems to endorse it, rather than condemn it. I doubt Captain Stubing would have approved.
The 1949 ad is for Lurline cruises, part of the Matson Lines. Nope, never heard of them. But isn’t the artwork lovely? Lurline sounds like the name of a girl in a gabardine dress, brewing sweet tea on a window sill, if you ask me. You can bet the narrow-waisted girl in the chartreuse dress here was not named Lurline. Lurlines do not go on cruises with older men. Or do they?
This all sounds inviting: shuffleboard, dancing, listening to a radio because there were no televisions on board, having a gay evening under the Pacific moon. Maybe she does know what she’s doing after all.