The set : LUSENET : TitanicShack : One Thread

Here's a little story I wanted to share with all of you (my regular visits to anti-Titanic sites limit me somewhat in regards to what I can share with the visitors). I hope you don't mind.

I spent Christmas before last (1996) in San Diego with one of my sisters. I'd never been any farther west than Texas before, so I wanted also to see Mexico if we could. Well, the last night I was there we drove down to Tijuana, bartered for cool stuff for a bit (got a GORGEOUS blanket for $10), then drove farther down the coast to Porta Rosa to get fresh lobster ($11.00 for a lobster and a half ...right out of the sea...and all the tortillas and margaritas you want!!!). On the way down, we're driving on a highway that hugs the ocean (basically we're driving on the edge of a cliff; scary). No street lights, so black you couldn't see your hand in front of your face or the ocean to your right. In fact, my sister's boyfriend says, "Well, you can't see it, but there's the ocean!" :) So...I'm alternating looking at the amazing star-filled sky and trying to catch at least a reflection off the water. No such luck. But suddenly, out in the middle of what I THINK to be the water are the lights of a monstrous ship, their angle making it clear that the thing was in the process of sinking. My heart was IN MY THROAT, and I starting screaming, "You guys! You guys! There's ship sinking out there! What do we do???" I'm realizing we are miles from nowhere, we don't have a phone (cellular or otherwise) to call for help, and we hadn't passed another car in an hour. Then, somewhere in the haze of my panic, my brain registers the sound of giggling and the words, "Darci...that's the set from 'Titanic'." I look at my sister and her boyfriend, who are QUITE amused with me, and notice the gigantic grins on their faces. Here's me in my disbelief: "Are you sh---in' me???" I hadn't even heard that they were filming the movie, and here we are, less than half a mile from our car to the set. He continued, "Yeah...Leonardo DiCaprio's supposed to be in it." My sister goes, "And Kate Winslet." I say, "Who's that?" She reminds of "Sense and Sensibilty", which I hadn't seen yet.

Anyway, my sister's boyfriend had pretty much slammed on the brakes when I started howling (probably almost killed us as close to the edge of the cliff we were), so we were driving very slowly past it at this point. At that moment I really LOOKED at it. You could hardly make out the outline of the ship; all you could really see were the lights at that sickening angle. My sister and I rolled down our windows and tried to get a better look, but it didn't help. But all three of us were silent as we slowly drove by. There wasn't a sound outside. If they were filming, we couldn't hear it. It was like we were part of a funeral procession. We craned our necks to see it for as long as we could, and then it disappeared behind us around a bend, gone forever.

I share this story with you to tell you that as much as I loved the movie, NONE of the special effects in it affected me as much as seeing the set that eery night in Mexico. I swear to God I thought I was witnessing the real sinking of a ship, and my horror was paralyzing for several unbearably long minutes. To see what seemed to be Titanic's ghost firsthand, safe in a car in 70 degree weather on January 2nd, 1997, made me thank God that I wasn't on those decks in the middle of the Atlantic on that bitterly cold night in April of 1912. I was sobered to say the least.

I just reread this and it sounds sort of fantastic and unbelievable (I'm a writer...I tend to make EVERYTHING I write a short story!). It's all true, every word. If you don't believe me, please e-mail me. I'd be glad to converse and try to prove it. Thank you for letting me share this experience with you! :)

-- Gilded Age Junkie (, August 02, 1998


Gilded, very interesting. I don't know if I would have realized it was the set of Titanic either. I didn't know about it being in Porta Rosa until January 1998, when I read it in some movie literature.

-- BobG (, August 02, 1998.

I think living out there makes you privy to Hollywood's information before the rest of the world. Both my sister and her boyfriend are actors (and are now actually living in L.A.). I guess it's their job to know, so to speak. All I can say is that I was RELIEVED that they did! :)

-- Gilded Age Junkie (, August 02, 1998.

Hey sweetie. Can you imagine how the story would have ended differently if they didn't know about it being the set? All three of you would've been yelling, "Oh my god" and wondering where to make that phone call. Maybe you would have found an exit and driven toward the ship. As you approached, your horror would have increased exponentially as you saw women jumping into the water. Then, as the crew and equipment gave it all away, you trespassers would have been told to get the *%#! out of there, you would have hated Cameron and anything Titanic, and we would have never met. :(

-- BobG (bobg@titanic.freak), August 02, 1998. dear, sweet man! Are you for real??? You're sounding too good to be true... :)

-- Gilded Age Junkie (, August 02, 1998.

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