Due 16th 4 PM

Maureen: Thanks for that elucidation. I understand now, and can see that in almost all cases we either meant the same thing using different words, or different things using the same words. ;^)

The Niagara's delay, of course, is understandable -- she's the ship that was holed (twice even?) by ice just a few days before Titanic's encounter, and she basically had to limp in after a patch job. (If the Carmania was also slightly late, same basic cause: she answered Niagara's call for assistance before a second message advised that the ship would be able to proceed OK under her own steam.)

But the others you've mentioned are not nearly as explicable. (There are references in the Times of the 15th to other ships that "got caught" in the ice, but how that affected their arrival is by no means made clear there.)

Actually, this does seem a very interesting study you've brought up! I can conceive of the Lines themselves submitting revisions to the "Incoming Steamships" section, based on intervening news *they* received, but those other puzzles you've brought up are quite intriguing! (Next trip to the library, I'll have to do some additional seeking, for sure.)

Interesting, that observation about the President Lincoln and Cincinatti *both* getting in a day early. It wouldn't surprise me too much to intuit a desire on the part of HAPAG to rain on White Star's parade just a little. (Hmmm.) On the other hand, is it possible that their tentative scheduling, at least for these two ships was *always* somewhat conservative? The President Lincoln, at least, had a service speed of 14 knots, so more initial "wiggle room" might be required than for a fast ship like the Titanic. (And saying you may be late, then getting in early, is always a better marketing ploy than just showing up late. But I'm just guessing at possibilities here.)

It is VERY intriguing!

David: I think Maureen has summed up my thinking here quite neatly already. We all seem to agree that there was a message from the Titanic (assuming no outright hoax was involved), and that its contents are vastly irrational based on what we now know about Titanic's likely positions at various times.

But where it turns speculative, in my mind, is in any direct attribution of this news update to Bruce Ismay, specifically, or White Star corporate. The protocol of the era, according to Franklin and Farrell (and the NY Times article quoted), was simply that the ship's *commander* would relay any change in schedule direct to the Marconi Company. All of these appear to identify the source as the captain himself, with little possibility (and certainly no necessity) for any corporate-level meddling or manipulation.

(I'm reluctant to refer to this communication as an "MSG" per se, though it certainly resembles one -- an official message from the captain himself -- only because it's not a ship-to-ship communication, and may not have been a "freebie".)

I don't think it's so much opinion vs. opinion here, but rather a question of adhering strictly to the factual launch pad versus "blasting off" with an extrapolation. As far as I can see, there's no *evidential* basis for perceiving this wireless as anything more than a fairly fractured message from Smith. (But there's plenty of evidence for that notion.)

Actually, John, it looks to me like a fractured message from Phillips, wearing his Marconi hat. Phillip Franklin said that he received no message from the ship during the voyage but Phillips may well have sent a routine message to Marconi. Marconi and The New York Times were in cahoots, so the message was passed on without reference to White Star.

I've also found the newspapers to be dodgy. While researching another matter, I found that a certain ship reached Liverpool twice in the same voyage from the US. It seems that what we really need is a big pile of port records when looking at these matters.
By protocol, only the captain could send a message regarding the progress of the ship. This does not mean that Ismay did not "suggest" something, a favorite dodge of bosses everywhere when they want to avoid responsibility for something. Frankly, it is foolish to think that any message about Titanic's arrival on the maiden voyage did not go through Ismay first. The trip was obviously his show. But, even before the accident he was careful to preserve the image of being just a passenger...just in case. And, "just in case" is exactly what came to pass.

Reading anything into that one line of type in the New York Times is unwise. We have no second-source evidence that it is official. And, since it was highly improbable that Titanic could have made the Tuesday date, it is either somebody's mistake...or part of some sort of plan that never came to pass because of the demise of the ship.

If you want to speculate, I rather fancy Ismay suggesting that arrival time to confound the Cunard competition. They would quickly see that Titanic would have to have Mauritania's legs to make that arrival come true. It was "common knowledge" that Titanic did not have the horses, but "common knowledge" has a way of being far from the truth. So, Cunard would be left to wonder. And, when Titanic did not make the time, Ismay would blame the ice or weather and hint that "maybe next time."

You see, it could be a practical joke on Cunard. Don't believe me? Neither do I. But, then all I do believe is that the line of type appeared in the paper. I've seen the microfilm myself.

-- David G. Brown
Hey Dave Gittins.

Interesting about your thoughts on Phillips. I wonder if all marconi guys sent ship arrival dates?

But wait....I thought that they were there to send paid messages by passengers and also, how in the world would the marconi dudes know the ship position and probable arrival time? Of course you are a far better ships expert than I will ever be.

Actually, I was thinking that it was the ship who communicated their position and estimated arrival as an official function of the port authority to see to it that there was docking space and room in the harbour and tugs available and they shared it with the papers. And so passenger connections would be aware of their contacts location and arrival times. I would not think that a marconi operator left to his own devices would be responsible for this. But what do I know.

But what you said about the duplicate arrivals for a single ship within days from far off lands. That is true. Venezia arrives on 4/11 and on 4/12. Forgot to mention that one.

That is why I wonder if the papers just got sloppy or if there is something here.

A lot of third...mystery ships to choose from if you ask me. I am running now.....

So, John, aren't you glad that I shared my wild thoughts with you? I thought you would find this interesting. Dave Brown would clobber me over the head if he could reach me. And Dave Gittins probably has a trusted canine hot on the track to locate me and push a custard pie in my face.

Just thought I'd give you something to think about. Enjoy yourself guys!
I wouldn't waste a custard pie! The dog would only eat it, anyway.

Franklin mentions that messages were sometimes sent quite late in the voyage for the sort of reasons you mention. This message seems a bit premature. Rememember that Phillips wore two hats. He might well have obtained navigational information from an officer but used it for Marconi's purposes.
Aaaaah, Phillips did wear two hats. He sent passenger messages as his marconi job and did not need instruction for that, but he did not send Titanic ship related messages unless advised to do so by Captain or crew, right? I mean he did not post the ice messages on the board, the Captain or crew did that, right?

But saying that you are correct Dave Gittins, perhaps the message was sent a tad bit early due to the earlier problems with the marconi equipment and Phillips merely decided to send it early and on his own.

Wait....wouldnt waste the custard pie!?!

Maureen :)
Eh? Nah, I think Dave's pulling our leg with that one. I mean, we know Phillips (or Bride) did literally *send* the message. But would either of them have the 'cheek' to originate it?

I can imagine this: "Say, OM, do you know we're ... er, um ... 1,284 [that's it!] miles east of you right now, and guess what? We'll be arriving in just about 4 hours. Really!!" ;^)

Is that partly what Bride meant by "Many funny things were said that night"? :)
(Make mine key lime, and we've got a deal on the pie.)

But seriously, the message just doesn't add up -- no way, no how, uh-uh. If they had sent it early, they weren't there yet, so they couldn't gauge time or speed against that. Besides, they weren't going fast enough to get there by *then*. And if they were planning on being "there" when they finally did get there, they'd never be able to make it to the other "there" in time for the alternate "then"! Capiche? :)

Hmmmmm, wait. "..in just 4 hours" 4 hours from what?

The "by wireless" section title states that this was "SANDY HOOK, on APRIL 14 (MARCONI)"

Titanic's position at 2:15 am (on April 14th) was 1284 (or whatever) miles east of New York.

2:15am (14th) to 2:15am on the (15th) is 24 hours.
2:15am (15th) to 2:15am on the (16th) is 24 hours.
2:15am (16th) to 4:00pm on the (16th) is 13 3/4hr

That is 61 3/4 hrs to travel 1284 miles.

1284/61.75 equals 20.8 mph.
((1284*5280)/6080)/6 1.75 equals 18 nautical miles per hour

But if it is 61 3/4 hrs to travel 1084 miles, then...

1084/61.75 equals 17.5 mph.
((1084*5280)/6080)/6 1.75 equals 15.25 naut.miles per hour

I know that nautical miles and miles are different but I am not sure how, so hopefully I have done that here.

As far as Key Lime, love that stuff, but I think that Gittins is keeping the pie to himself. Got an email from the dog offline and the dog says that Dave never ever ever shares pie. (SMILE)

And this may sound totally impossible, but I think after my week, I understood what you just said.

When Titanic left its last stop and headed for the open ocean, what were the total number of expected miles to be traveled? How many did they travel each day that is reported? How many does that leave from that last position to get to NY? to get to Sandy Hook? to get to the horizon of Sandy Hook, as dave Brown has said that even sighting on the horizon is counted as an arrival?

What are your thoughts?

Dave Gittins, what do you think and have I figured the nautical miles thingy (difference) correctly?
Hi, Maureen!

Sorry. I was just kidding about the four hours part -- portraying Jack Phillips as a Marconi version of "class clown". (No offense intended, naturally.) Just threw in the "4 hours" as a red herring "explanation" for the 4 P.M. portion of that message.

But the conversion you did above, I would have assumed unnecessary. To my own way of thinking, any announcement from the ship would *already* be expressed as nautical miles, since that's all they used for navigation. (I could be wrong.)

My Great Circle calculator gives about 1623 nautical miles from Fastnet Light to the "corner" (at 42N, 47W). That's in International nautical miles, actually, not U.K. nautical miles, but they're *very* close in definition. From the Corner to Ambrose Light would be around 1084 miles (nautical), and 1090 to Sandy Hook Light.

The problem with the Titanic ("By Wireless") message is that they wouldn't have reached that 1284-mile distance from Sandy Hook until about 12:15 P.M, on the 14th -- 10 hours later than the supposed transmission time. But from there, the required average speed for the remainder of the voyage would have been about 25 knots. Just not do-able.

Titanic's funnels -- rising roughly 84 feet above the navigation lights, thus approximately 149 feet total above the water line, *could* have just come within range of visibility at a distance of about 16-1/2 nautical miles, assuming perfect viewing conditions. But just to cut to the chase, that's only about 45 minutes of travel time for Titanic in open water (at 22 knots).

The best case scenario that can be constructed -- based on her known distances at various times -- just doesn't allow anything close to that arrival time, whatever is meant by "arrival".

Hi Maureen, John!

Adding some of my own thoughts for variety(! :)

You asked: When Titanic left its last stop and headed for the open ocean, what were the total number of expected miles to be traveled?

I'd guess 2,894 miles, as that was Olympic's maiden voyage mileage (or 2,889 miles); the former fits perfectly her average speed. That's from Daunt Rock to Ambrose Light.

How many did they travel each day that is reported?

484 miles (April 11th start until April 12th noon)
519 miles (April 12th noon until April 13th noon)
546 miles (April 13th noon until April 14th noon)
260 miles (April 14th noon until April 14th 11.40)

Speeds are (respectively) 20.5 knots, 21 knots, 22.1 knots and 22.3 knots over the ground. Adding these numbers up we get 1,809 miles for the wreck's location from Daunt Rock (I *think* it was), which I understand has been confirmed by experts. So that would leave about 1,085 miles left.

(The first 386 mile figure commonly reported, e.g. by Eaton & Haas, cannot be correct. If it was, Titanic would have needed to maintain 30 knots from noon April 12th to April 14th 11.40 p.m. to get to where her wreck is!)

How many does that leave from that last position to get to NY? to get to Sandy Hook?

It seems 1,085 from the calculations I've seen, which roughly seems to fit in, but otherwise that's a rough estimate based on Olympic's mileage.

Just some of my own thoughts:

Titanic could have made April 16th 4 p.m. *if* she had made about an average of 22.65 knots over the ground from Queenstown to New York; but the longer they left it to accelerate sharply, the further the arrival time slipped away from Titanic's grasp. I'd say 8 p.m. New York time was possible for an arrival at a good full speed, at Ambrose light. (Olympic once got in at 10 p.m. in 1911.)

If there was an attempt to beat Olympic, it must have been based on her maiden voyage time, because Titanic was lagging far behind Olympic's fastest crossing. As far as I know, Olympic's record for a daily run was 23 knots over the ground westbound when she burned coal, and 24.01 knots over the ground westbound when she was given oil in 1919/20.

Best regards,

Hello Maureen, John, Mark, all!

nice to see all of you again being busy with calculating miles and knots, which is my favourite interest about Titanic.
"Unfortunately" you solved all problems already, so there is nothing left for me. Just some small remark.
John, you wrote: "From the Corner to Ambrose Light would be around 1084 miles (nautical), and 1090 to Sandy Hook Light."
There might some new confusion arise after everything luckily has been clarified about crazy "1284" miles.
Careful, probably just Corner and Place of collision have been switched.

For my own calculations I use the wreckage, 41°44' N and 49°57' W as place of collision. The real place might have been one or two miles away, which we cannot find out.
Thus we have: Corner (42/47) to collision: 133 miles
Position of Ambrose is 40°27' N, 73°50 W
Distance from collision to Ambrose: 1083 Miles.

From Corner to Ambrose we then have 1216 miles.

Another question about Nantucket Lightship:
As I read the liners first passed Nantucket light ship. From there they went to NY, or Boston or any place.
Nantucket is just on the way, and the distance will hardly change, but a little bit.
From a modern nautical chart I got this position of Nantucket Lightship: 40°30' N and 69°25' West.
(There are three more in that region, hope I got the right one, two of them are fare out of the way).

Revised calculation with Nantucket on the way:
collision to Nantucket: 883 miles
Nantucket to Ambrose: 202 miles
Collision to Ambrose: 1085 miles (i.s.o.) 1083 miles.

It's not essential, but it might explain small variations of figures.
Now my final question: Is the today position of Nantucket Light-ship the same as it was 1912?

Best Regards

John, Mark and Markus,

Sorry to drop off like that but been a little busy with things.

Thanks to all of you. John, I think that Mark covered my concern and expressed it better.

Markus, glad you love these mile things. I think it is fun to work at the logic of things.

This whole thread started as a deep look at "who" may have published the idea of the day early arrival and was it possible. I personally am very interested in the thoughts being expressed here.
I *think* the Nantucket Lightship is in the same position but I am not sure.

Hopefully we can continue a good conversation, all of us.

Markus, check the old thread on Olympic's fastest crossing, there's *new* info. there.

Best regards,

Maureen: Thanks for that clarification. I *was* getting ready to pout. (Just kidding.) :)

Markus: Glad you caught that. You're absolutely right, of course. (Boy, did I screw that up!)

OK, that *should* have been -- using an Earth-based (elliptical) Great Circle calulator, mind you (the rhumb line distance would be slightly greater) --

From Ambrose Light (currently at 40º27'39"N, 73º49'36"W):

-- c. 1084 miles to the 90/92 Collision Site
-- c. 1082 miles to the wreck locale

(It's really only about a one-mile difference, but rounding throws it off.)

Sandy Hook Light is roughly 8 nautical miles further than Ambrose Light. (It's along the way.) So it's 1092 Nmi. from the 90/92 position and 1090 Nmi. from the wreck locale.

Another potential source of error comes from the fact that I'm using the current location (from Microsoft Terra-Server's topographic maps) of the Ambrose Light Station, now a fixed platform! Since it was previously a light *vessel*, there may be a slight difference in the present-day location. (Unfortunately, I have no access to the actual 1912 coordinates; wish I did!)