Distance to the Iceberg when sighted, and questions about the lookouts.


Jim Currie

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Jim: your lack of Titanic knowledge is once again in evidence. This photo was taken during a press tour around 10:30 am on April 10, 1912 by a photographer from Illustrations Bureau. Leaves and plant trimmings can be seen on deck at his feet. These were from palms and other greenery set there by florists the previous night prior to distributing them throughout the public rooms of the ship. You need to just stick to seamanship. You are out of your depth with Titanic history.
Thank you for that earth-shattering revelation, Bob. It "leaves" me breathless at the breadth of your Titanic knowledge. I'ts a great pity that you couldn't explain the missing men in the nest.
 
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Bob_Read

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"PS. The ship did not commence her service until the passengers began to board. But then you knew that too.
Snipe-nipe-snipe..."
The photo of Captain Smith was taken at 10:30. Passengers began boarding at 10:00 am. When the hole you are digging for yourself keeps getting deeper, put down the shovel.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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They are only boring if a contributor becomes entrenched in a pre-conceived notion and refuses to respond to dissection or criticism of that notion.
We know, don't we Jim?

As George Harris wrote in post #140, some us can learn interesting little pieces of information in all of this, like why there were leaves at Smith's feet at 10:30am on departure day. What any of that has to do with the distance to iceberg is obviously irrelevant, but interesting in itself none the less.
So what is he holding in his left hand? A pair of Gloves? And where does that port hole behind his left foot lead too? Ioannis, Bob, anyone?
 
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Bob_Read

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Hi Sam: That “port hole” at Smith’s feet is a “skid light”. They supplied light and air to forward interior cabins on A deck.
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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So what is he holding in his left hand? A pair of Gloves? And where does that port hole behind his left foot lead too? Ioannis, Bob, anyone?
Yes it is a pair of gloves. It is better visible at the photos taken a few feet forward outside the Navigation Bridge on the port side.

The port hole at the bottom is a skid light which would provide light to the cabin on A Deck. As we see they are round while on Olympic they were elliptical.
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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I see Bob already gave the answer to the port hole question.

However for those interested here is the other photograph showing Captain Smith outside the Navigation Bridge of Titanic by the photographer of Newspaper Illustration Ltd.
In the enlargement the gloves are visible.
E.J.S. Glove Titanic Bridge.jpg
 
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Mike Spooner

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Seeing the photo of Smith with his gloves. On the right hand side on the floor. Can one tell me what it is? As it looks like lose rubbish?
Not one would expect to see on a brand new ship.
 

Seumas

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Yes you would.

Really, you wouldn't expect to see litter on deck of a brand new ship during last minute preparations for a voyage ?
 
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Mike Spooner

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It is the loos end of a rope/fall which is running from the left side into the navigation bridge.
Thank you for a positive reply. I would agree decks bellows would be a certainly amount of mess as there is work to be completed.
But not insight of the captain on the bridge area.
 

R.M.S TITANIC

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It's possible they didn't realize it until after taking the photo. Not to mention, if they did take notice of it an were trying to make sure the photo looked good, they would of cleaned the area around the captain. I can see some dust / dirt on the walls of the bridge.
 

Bob_Read

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This was in the officers’ promenade area. The Captain was no doubt more concerned that everything was as it should be in the passenger areas than in making a scene because he had a little foliage underfoot which would shortly be cleaned up.
 
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I am forever debasing the cozy myths and legends about some of the accepted, embellished and actual balderdash about the night of the sinking. One favourite balloon burster is that the ship was just proceeding ahead at a comfortable 22.5 knots and JUST SUDDENLY! OUT OF THE DARKNESS! A lone iceberg appeared! I believe it was The Night Lives On [but I cannot be certain as it was around 25 years ago] that clearly stated the ship was dodging ice bergs for a good hour before the collision.

The second is doing the math BUT NOT VINDICATING CAPTAIN LORD. Say the first distress call reached the Californian. That would have been around midnight. Remember, the Californian was shut down for the night AND wedged into field ice and unable to go anywhere due to the very real possibility of damaging her rudder [a fate wh. befell S.S. Frankfort the day before]. But, for argument's sake, let's say the Californian rec'd the distress call. 30 minutes to muster the crew and get moving [I believe it would've taken longer but I'm not an expert on revving up a vessel that's shut down for the night]. So, the Californian finally gets underway at 0030 Monday April 15th. Say it takes an hour to reach the Titanic. That puts us at 0130. At this point we have lifeboats that contain between 12 to 70 passengers. These lifeboats must be rowed out to the Californian, and evacuated as soon as possible. Those individuals occupying the lifeboats were civilians. I figure one minute per passenger in each lifeboat to get out, grab a rope and get hauled up to wherever. 70 minutes. Not including the time it takes the lifeboat to row out to the Californian. That puts us at 0240, twenty minutes after Titanic foundered. Where those who survived the sinking and were physically able to tread water going to swim to the Californian in 28 degree water? As the saying goes, "Let's not and say we did."

The above is just my educated guess after following this incredible event that never should have happened, was a freak accident, and the odds of everything being in order for it to occur again being so remote, it's folly to consider it.

But the motivation behind composing my first [and more than likely last] position of opinon about the sinking is this: Lightoller toed the line [VERY big toe, Charles] that proper navigational procedures were followed the night of April 14, and that what happened to RMS Titanic would more than likely have occurred to any other vessel traveling that route under those conditions. Because the unwritten rule for steamship navigation was to proceed at pace until the danger was seen with the naked eye. For 52 years I concurred with Lightoller. Until a couple of weeks ago. Something hit me. How in the name of Mick Jagger's lips is anybody, from the lookouts in the crow's nest, to the men on the bridge, to the officer patrolling the back of the ship, going to see ANYTHING if there is no moon? And, if these officers were so experienced, wouldn't they have foreseen that the absence of moonlight would decrease any chance of seeing foam around the base of the ice? So, given that it was a known fact the ship was sailing directly into field ice, field ice so massive it too most of Monday for the Carpathia to sail south around it and begin heading the New York. How could safe navigation be practiced without any ability to see the ice they were sailing into?

I am not an anally retentive factoid warrior. If some of the information in this post is not 100% accurate I would appreciate a correct. But don't get on a high horse because you know more about the facts about this than I do. I don't care, and neither does anybody else, except maybe your therapist. I've noticed a knee jerk reaction on the part of site members of other interests to self-exalt when they are able to call another site member out on an error.

I don't come to these sites to exchange sharp words [and the sharp words I do throw into the mix are entirely annihilating and only fired out when I'm provoked], I come to learn.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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How could safe navigation be practiced without any ability to see the ice they were sailing into?
The full extent of the icefield they heading toward was not known beforehand. Besides, they actually struck the berg a few miles before reaching the pack ice which was not seen until it became daylight.
I believe ... the ship was dodging icebergs for a good hour before the collision.
But then you asked: "How ...is anybody, from the lookouts in the crow's nest, to the men on the bridge, to the officer patrolling the back of the ship, going to see ANYTHING if there is no moon?"
You can't dodge what you cannot see.
 
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R.M.S TITANIC

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But then you asked: "How ...is anybody, from the lookouts in the crow's nest, to the men on the bridge, to the officer patrolling the back of the ship, going to see ANYTHING if there is no moon?"
You can't dodge what you cannot see.
I mean, even with the stars that night, the iceberg was also really black too. You wouldn't be able to win if I told you to spot the black dot on a black piece of paper.
 

Georges Guay

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I was driving my 4x4 yesterday in heavy snow shower, thinking of that Crow’s Nest Canvas. The light snowflakes were naturally driven by the airstream created by the generated wind. At low speed, the snowflakes were deflected upward by the front end, flying over the hood but falling and melting on the windshield. At higher speed, the airstream was driving the flakes totally over the top of the truck, keeping the hood and windshield dry and clean. But I can assure you that if I would’ve taken the windshield away, I would’ve needed goggles to watch the cockpit being filled. Since «Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed»; due to a plan against a breeze, the airstream is compressed, accelerated and is partly transformed by a void turbulent airflow.

At low ship’s speed, the air flow was driven upward and above the nest in the exact same manner. You just had to back up in the nest to not feel the wind too much. But at higher speed, backing in the nest was not sufficient. The lookouts had to rig a canvas air deflector at the rear of the nest. It would then bring the air flow higher and produce a larger void that gave better protection against the breeze. On a ship’s bridge wing not equipped by wind deflector, you just have to back up a bit if you don’t want to feel the wind too much; far from rocket science.

Light shade canvas would’ve been unnecessary since a lookout didn’t have to scan the horizon more than 2 points abaft the beam. Any type of vessels approaching from a direction of more than 2 points abaft the beam is considered by the Rules of the road as an overtaking vessel, which befalls as the giveaway vessel and must keep clear from the stand-on vessel.

Sorry but, I personally found the lookout duties as the most boring job on earth and steering a vessel by hand on a straight course not much more exiting; but an experience required if you wish one day to command a vessel.
 

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