Lord very clearly stated that the ice was 1 to 2 miles wide. He also said "From the position we stopped in to the position at which the Titanic is supposed to have hit the iceberg, 19 1/2 to 19 3/4 miles; south 16 west, sir, was the course."I made no such claim. The 5 miles came from your champion, Capt. Lord in the report that he filed. In the diagram I drew I stated from whom the width of the ice field came from. Up where Californian was, the field was 2-3 miles wide, the distance that Lord said he had to cross at 6 in the morning. Down where Titanic was it was 5-6 miles wide based on what Capt.Moore and his officers estimated. But Jim Currie says it was only 1 to 2 miles wide because that is what Lord told Sen. Smith on April 26, 4 days after he filed his report in Boston where he said the heavy pack ice 5 miles wide.
Why would anyone in their right mind want to take the longest path when cutting across ice by going diagonally? It was easy to see clear water on the other side. Get to the other side in shortest path possible, and then head down on your intended course to your destination. But what do I know? I fly airplanes, not steamboats.
By the way, after Californian cleared the heavy stuff she turned southward to parallel the western side of the field. (Read Stewart.) Before then, while cutting across the ice, she was seen crossing the field going from east to west, not southward if she was really heading S16W. But that observation came from Capt. Moore, so why should it be trusted? Right?
When you set out for a target which is out of sight, the only way you can ensure that you are heading in the right direction and that you will not miss the target is to maintain your ship's head on the bearing of the target for as long as you can. It's called "the practice of good seamanship."
Jim Currie says the ice was 2 miles wide because Captain Rostron said his ship was about 3 or 4 miles east of the pack ice at 8 pm when he saw Californian bearing WSW from Carpathia on the far side of the ice and that Californian arrived alongside Carpathia at 8-30 pm.
Jim Currie says the pack ice was 2 miles wide because Californian passed Mount Temple at 7-30 pm and on a course of SSE making about 12.5 knots. before turning ENE at 8 am toward the stopped Carpathia, arriving beside her at 8-30am
To suggest that it was 5 miles wide down at the Carpathia completely goes against all the evidence and here is why.
Rostron of Carpathia: "The first time that I saw the 'Californian' was at about eight o'clock on the morning of 15th April. She was then about five to six miles distant, bearing W.S.W. true, and steaming towards the 'Carpathia..The 'Carpathia' was then in substantially the position of the 'Titanic' at the time of the disaster .' This is what that would look like.
If as you say, the ice was 5 miles wide, Californian would have been steaming through it for about 48 minutes from the time she entered the pack ice until she arrived alongside Carpathia. Only if the latter was hard up against the eastern edge would your idea work. But then, we would have heard many stories of seeing the heavy pack ice from survivors and the Californian would have passed to the west, not east of the Mount Temple half an hour earlier at 7-30am. That didn't happen.
Last time I looked, there were no barriers of pack ice way up in the sky. If there had been, I'm sure I would have seen them or one of my colleagues in the Merchant Navy & Airline Officers PF would have told me about it.