How calm were the seas on the night of the sinking?

chrismireya

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Apr 7, 2019
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I've read quite a bit about how difficult it would be to see an iceberg given the uncharacteristically calm seas on the night of the sinking. Does anyone know of the phenomenon that might have contributed to this?

I found a video on YouTube that shows just how calm the ocean can get. The video shows a carrier in what is purportedly the Pacific Ocean in which the ocean looks as calm as a lake.

 

Kyle Naber

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Oct 5, 2016
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It was described to be like a pond, so I’d say it was something like that. I think it was reported to be choppier at sunrise though.
 
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Dave Gittins

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Photographs show a definite chop at around sunrise. It's rare for the open ocean to be totally flat but it can happen. I've seen a photo taken by Jessica Watson that shows a glassy calm in the open ocean.
 
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May 3, 2005
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I've read quite a bit about how difficult it would be to see an iceberg given the uncharacteristically calm seas on the night of the sinking. Does anyone know of the phenomenon that might have contributed to this?

I found a video on YouTube that shows just how calm the ocean can get. The video shows a carrier in what is purportedly the Pacific Ocean in which the ocean looks as calm as a lake.
LolMEDIA=youtube]vqJ-_kwVG3Q[/MEDIA]
In my service in the U.S. Navy, I made three "cruises" from California to Japan. The Pacific Ocean was like that shown in the video many times. During daylight hours the sea was so ''glassy'' it acted like a mirror reflecting the clouds above the ocean .

The ocean was like that on the night of the Titanic sinking.Waves would normally be seen breaking on the iceberg so icebergs could be more clearly seen. But the ocean was described as ''a flat calm'' that night making it more difficult .
I have read that the wind came up later in the morning making the sea choppy.
I have also read that an iceberg could only be spotted as a black object blanking out the stars behind it .
 
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Kyle Naber

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Obviously the sinking ship would have caused a great deal of turbulence. I wonder how far it went out to the boats.
 

T Gerard

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Feb 26, 2019
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Apparently the sea was flat calm that night, and that coupled with no moon made it very hard to see icebergs. There's a recording of an interview (I guess on the radio) that 2nd Officer Charles Lightoller did in the 1930s where he mentions a flat ocean. I've talked to modern day mariners who insist that, given what part of the ocean they were in and what time of year it was, the flat seas should have been another warning to the crew about the presence of ice. Waves did start to pick up as the sun was starting to come up and the Carpathia was arriving on scene. My understanding is that those who were on overturned Collapsible B were picked up just in time by other lifeboats, they otherwise would've ended up in the water with ocean swells picking up.