Did Titanic and Olympic really pass each other at sea?

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Michael George

Member
Hi,
Could anybody tell me anymore Info on when Titanic passed her Sister off Portland on her way to Southampton. That Scene is my favorate Painting by Ken Marschall also.
 
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Nigel Bryant

Member
Hi,

According to the text in Ken Marschall's Art of Titanic- (pg 52) it states that the Titanic was passing the British Isles and swerved from her original course to pass her sister Olympic, heading to New York. In also states from the book, that Marschall can not prove even if the two sisterships passed each other to make a visual contact.

That's all basically what the caption/s says. It too is one of my favourite paintings as well.I surely hope it did happen the way Marschall envisioned it.

Hope this helps,

Nigel
 
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Laura Wilkinson

Guest
Hi Michael, if you don't mind me asking, what Portland are you talking about?
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
Portland is a projecting point of land about 34 nautical miles west of the Isle of Wight. It's been an island at some times. It's notorious for the fearsome tide race off its southern end and ships give it a wide berth.

Unless Olympic altered her schedule and didn't go to Cherbourg, the meeting with Titanic is fantasy. Titanic would have passed Portland in the late afternoon of 3 April, as Olympic was nearing Cherbourg.
 
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Laura Wilkinson

Guest
thanks Dave, this is the first time I've heard about titanic passing portland!
and you're right, portland is notorious for shipwrecks, hundreds of ships have sunk here, especially off chesil beach and portland bill.
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
Laura, at a very crude estimate, Titanic would have passed Portland Bill about 12 miles off. She had to steer a course to pass south of the Isle of Wight, as she couldn't go inshore of The Needles and up the Solent. Too shallow.
 
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Hilary Popple

Member
Thanks for that Dave. My house overlooks Poole Bay (near Hengistbury Head) and I've often wondered if previous residents could have looked out in 1912 and seen Titanic going by (with my great-grandfather aboard) - apparently not!
 
mackmitchell94

mackmitchell94

Member
I’m a big fan of Ken Marshall and his painting of Titanic and Olympic passing each other during Titanic’s voyage from Belfast to Southampton. Did this really happen though ? I’m aware Olympic began a transatlantic voyage from Southampton on April 3rd and Titanic arrived there at midnight on the 4th, how would they have passed by each other as demonstrated in the painting if Olympic would’ve been sailing south to Cherbourg and Titanic would’ve been heading from the west to get to Southampton? I feel Olympic would’ve had to take an alternate route for this scenario to happen. I know the ships sailed through Plymouth as well but I think the Olympic class only did that on return voyages. Can anybody help me?
 
Dan Parkes

Dan Parkes

Member
I’m a big fan of Ken Marshall and his painting of Titanic and Olympic passing each other during Titanic’s voyage from Belfast to Southampton. Did this really happen though ? I’m aware Olympic began a transatlantic voyage from Southampton on April 3rd and Titanic arrived there at midnight on the 4th, how would they have passed by each other as demonstrated in the painting if Olympic would’ve been sailing south to Cherbourg and Titanic would’ve been heading from the west to get to Southampton? I feel Olympic would’ve had to take an alternate route for this scenario to happen. I know the ships sailed through Plymouth as well but I think the Olympic class only did that on return voyages. Can anybody help me?

Apologies that no one has yet answered your question, but the best research I know on this subject is by Paul Lee, Ioannis Georgiou and Steve Hall that can be found here:


In summary, the closest they would have been is 23 miles, complicated by the fact that it was approaching nautical twilight, although "it is possible that the very faint glimmerings of each other mastlights could be seen from the crows nest."

Hope that helps.
 
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