The Nomadic Sister
- July 3, 2015
From the Titanic Museum, we walked across the street to find a ship sitting in a dry dock, looking strikingly familiar. This was the ship, Nomadic, that the ticket guy had referred us to. Come to find out, Nomadic was built by the same company, White Star Line, as Titanic. In fact, it was built at the same time as Titanic, in a neighboring dry dock right there in Belfast!
Nomadic is considered to be the last “living” vessel made by White Star, and therefore, on display at the museum after being restored back to its original fittings. The ship was used as a tender, a sort of taxi from ports to larger ships, such as Titanic. It was also used in both WWI and WWII to carry troops. There was a great picture from WWI, showing Nomadic filled with American soldiers heading back to the states after the war.
We opted to take a guided tour of the boat, thinking that we would be able to learn more information than just browsing on our own. It was well worth the hour it took. We moved from First-Class areas to Second- and Third-Class areas. It was amazing to see the way ships were fitted for the different classes. First -Class, as you can imagine, was fitted out to its best. Ornate moldings and plaster work on the walls, floors with intricate designs, as well as enclosed beams in the ceilings. There was a large bar that offered complimentary drinks to passengers, such as Molly Brown and the owner of Titanic.
We also explored the areas of how the crewmen were living on the ship. Most of the crew and staff aboard Nomadic were French. Working between the floors of where passengers stood, crew members were not allowed to be visible to passengers aboard. They ducked down and squatted through the hatches and along the boards from boiler rooms to funnels. It was fascinating, and hurt my back just thinking about squatting for that long.
At the end of the tour, we ended up on the top deck, where we were able to take in some beautiful views of the mountains in the distance, as well as the masts of the tall ships. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we were excited to be enjoying the inviting weather. Andy and Kieghan were excited to find the wheel, and take an opportunity to stand beside it.
What a great time on a ship that has seen so much history through its years. We felt honored having stood where so many First- and Second-Class passengers stood before boarding their fated journey on the Titanic. It was a humbling experience.
After our time on Nomadic, we headed over to the dry docks and pump house where Titanic was built. By the time we arrived, the tours were unfortunately closed. We were able to follow the gates around and catch a few glimpses at the enormous dry dock where Titanic once stood. It is quite difficult to imagine a boat so large, that it would fit in such a dock with such depth and length. It was simply incomprehensible.
We had experienced just about all that Titanic could offer, so we bid adieu and headed to the hotel. The hotel was an amazing place to stay. It was more of an apartment styled hotel. We had two bedrooms with two bathrooms, a full living and dining area, and a small kitchen. If needed, we also had our own washer/dryer unit. It was lovely! The view, though, was the best! Looking out of the floor to ceiling windows in the living room and in each bedroom, we were able to see the tall ships in the river just outside our windows. The boys LOVED it!
We were able to get a good night’s rest before heading out to The Causeway Coastal Tour.