Beautiful, mysterious, wild and free – you cannot escape the romance of the sea! With February being the month of love, and as we celebrate the stunning Salcombe Gin Start Point in February's Gin of the Month box, we’ve uncovered romantic love stories, straight from the high seas. Pour yourself a G&T, snuggle up next to the one you love and get lost in an ocean of romance.
The Real ‘Heart of the Ocean’
The heart-breaking story of Jack and Rose, the star-crossed lovers whose tragic meeting aboard the ill-fated Titanic captured thousands of hearts, was made famous thanks to James Cameron’s 1997 film adaptation of the real life tragedy.
We all remember the stunning ‘Heart of the Ocean’ necklace that ‘Rose’ throw into the ocean at the end of the film. Well, this detail may be inspired by a real couple whose love story was cut short when the Titanic sank: Kate Florence Philips and Henry, the man with whom she hoped to elope to America.
Henry ran the shop where 19-year-old Kate worked. 20 years her senior, Henry gave Kate a sapphire and diamond necklace set in platinum, which she proudly wore as they set sail.
Unfortunately, Henry didn’t survive the tragedy. The famous steamer sank, and Henry was one of the 1,503 people who perished. Kate, however, managed to get on board one of the few lifeboats available and made it to safety. A few months later, safely back on land, she gave birth to Henry’s daughter.
Together to The End
Kate and Henry’s short romance wasn’t the only tragic love story to emerge from the wreckage of the Titanic.
The owners of Macy’s Department Store in New York, Mr Isidor Straus and his wife Ida, were also aboard the Titanic when disaster struck. As the ship began to sink, Ida refused to leave her husband when offered a place on a lifeboat, saying: "I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die: together.”
Even when Isidor was offered a seat with his wife, he refused to budge, as there were still women and children aboard the ship. Today, there is a memorial plaque for at the 34th Street Memorial Entrance of Macy's Herald Square.
During World War One, British soldier Private Thomas Hughes wrote a letter to his wife, which he sealed in a ginger ale bottle and tossed it into the English Channel. Two days later Thomas died, fighting in France.
The bottle spent 85 years at the bottom of the sea, until a fisherman found the it in the River Thames. Unfortunately, it was too late to deliver the letter to Mrs Hughes – she had died in 1979. However, Thomas’s daughter, who was just two at the time her father died, was alive and living in New Zealand. The note was sent to her to cherish forever.
The Fisherman’s Song
A little closer to the Salcombe Gin distillery is the Cornish village of Zennor. Legend has it that a mermaid was drawn to the shore by the beautiful signing of a local fisherman, who was celebrating the day’s good catch with song.
Enchanted by his beautiful tenor, she pulled herself up to his window. He saw her, and immediately fell madly in love. He carried her back to the sea, and descended into the ocean alongside her. To this day, it’s said, fishermen can hear their song. If a good catch is in store, their tune is lively and joyous. If a storm is coming, they sing a mournful dirge.