How Far South did the Titanic Reach?

Alex F

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That's why you cannot simply trust what people say without a way to verify it somehow.
...and verification of the corner point were "brilliant" stellar observations afterwards.

If Boxhall said (afterwards) that the Titanic passed the corner 23-50 minutes before 05:50 it means the stellar observations confirmed (verified) his point of view, doesn't it?


15672. If she was going 22 knots and ran past the corner for 50 minutes that means she?
- I did not say 50 minutes.

15673. No, I know you did not?
- I do not remember what time it was but it was some considerable time; the difference I make between my time and the time that was given in the book - well there was such a big difference that I considered it worth mentioning to the senior Officer of the watch.
BR
Alex
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Sam,
Markus, you will have a very hard time finding anyone in the historical record claiming that the log registered 126 miles at 6pm.
I am not sure whether you got my point right.

Lowe said, he calculated the Course from noon to the Corner, and that noon position was 162->126 miles before the corner.
This 126 miles were found by noon observation. So 126 miles are out of question (At least I hope so)

In the discussion with Senator Smith he said: "I used the speed for the position at 8 o'clock, and got it by dividing the distance from noon to the corner by the time that had elapsed from noon until the time we were at the corner."

Smith wants to know where Lowe got his estimation of 21 knots from.
The dialogue is irksome. In some way Smith and Lowe seem to talk at cross-purposes.

Mr. LOWE. If you take the average speed from 12 to 6 - that is giving her a run of six hours - she will not jump up in two hours, from 12 to 6 o'clock, from that average speed. You have six hours in there to take a mean on.
Senator SMITH. Suppose the captain of your ship between the hours of 4 and 6 o'clock on Sunday, when you were off duty, had, because of information which had come to him from the steamship Californian, that he was in the vicinity of icebergs, ordered the ship to slow down, then would your point of figuring be accurate?
Mr. LOWE. He ordered the ship to slow down, you say?
Senator SMITH. No. I am not going to have you get confused. I will have the reporter read that question.
(The reporter read the question as follows "Suppose the captain of your ship, between the hours of 4 and 6 o'clock on Sunday, when you were off duty, had, because of information which had come to him from the steamship Californian that he was in the vicinity of icebergs, ordered the ship to slow down, then would your point of figuring be accurate?"
Mr. LOWE. The junior officer that I relieved would have passed on the word to me before I relieved him, before I relieved the ship.
Senator SMITH. But you had means, had you not, of ascertaining definitely how fast the ship was going?
Mr. LOWE. In what way, sir? We have the log -
Senator SMITH. (interposing) Between 6 and 8 o'clock.
Mr. LOWE. We have the log.

Lowe says two times "we have the log". Admittedly, he does not say he got 126 miles reading the log at 6 pm.

Later on he makes the calculation for Smith, he finds 20,95 knots, dividing something by 6 hours. This "something", which easily we can calculate back must have been 125,7 miles.

At this point we can start a lively discussion whether the 125,7 miles is simply the accurate result of noon observations or the reading of the log at 6 pm.

If Lowe did not get this 125,7 miles from the log at 6 pm then his calculation is nothing else than slackness.

If really he found 125,7 miles from the log reading at 6 pm then we have to accept his statement about the ship going at 21 knots.

In that case either the log was slow, or a strong wind (not current!) was heading against the ship's course, or the revolutions were decreased.

For me I would say, the log was slow, but I can not prove. I just can line out various possibilities.

So far my thoughts.
 

Jim Currie

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About the bells,
Think about it. If at 11-30 pm, the bridge sounded 7 bells and this was immediately followed by the men in the nest sounding 7 bells on that massive thing they had up there, and/ or by the forecastle lookout doing the same on the anchor bell, that's 14 or even 21 continuous sounding of very loud bells. Then. shortly after, there there three more loud rings, followed shortly after that by 16 or 24 continuous rings.
I wonder whether passengers really would mind the bells. They are on a ship and not in a hotel, so they have to accept that the ship has engines and bells under working conditions. People living in the center of a city hear the bells of clock towers from the churches. These strike every quarter of an hour the number of the quarters, and at full hour four strikes for the quarters followed by the number of the hours twice, firstly with a high tune, secondly with a lower tune for those who did not manage to count the first time because they were in a doze. Nowadays they switch off the church bells after 10 pm., but not in 1912. Happy new year to everybody.
Hello Markus.

I can only speak for my own experience and I never heard them ring after dark. But if tyhey were4 sounded after dark on Titanic, what would the purpose behind a lookout declaring:

At 5832. & 5833...."- I do not think we struck seven bells. I believe it was just after seven bells... We never, generally, ring bells up in the crow's nest every half hour; we generally miss it."

There is one thing that many researchers consistently forget and that is that all the Lookouts survived the disaster. There were 5 other Lookouts against which to test evidence. In fact, that very thing was done concerning the presence of mist on the horizon. For that reason, it would be rather silly to make a false statement about common practice when on Watch,

 
A

Aaron_2016

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1st of 3 additional rockets seen at 3:32am
Wasn't that about the time the Carpathia began firing rockets? She was a few miles further south and this made the crew on the Californian mistakenly believe the original steamer had just moved south and was continuing to fire more rockets. The Californian then moved west through the icefield at daybreak. Also at daybreak the Mount Temple saw the Carpathia to the east and also the Californian to the north of the Carpathia and they watched the Californian still moving west through the icefield, so there is (in my opinion) no doubt that the Californian was close to the Carpathia and therefore much closer to the Titanic. So close that Boxhall said "you could see the lights in her portholes." The survivors watched the Californian slowly swing round and show her stern light, which she did, and then she steamed west just as the Carpathia was approaching from the south, which made everyone in the lifeboats turn around and row the opposite way towards the Carpathia. Captain Rostron actually saw the Californian that night. He said:

"We saw masthead lights quite distinctly of another steamer between us and the Titanic. That was about quarter-past three.....and one of the officers swore he also saw one of the sidelights. The port sidelight. About 2 points on the starboard bow. On my starboard bow; that would be about N. 30, W. true."



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Jim Currie

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Pitman also stated that the vessel ran over 10 miles beyond where she should have turned at 5:50pm. He also said that the speed of the vessel had been increased continually since departing Queenstown by only 1 knot, from 20.5 to 21.5. Here's the exchange:

Senator FLETCHER. How much had you increased your speed Sunday night.
Mr. PITMAN. To 21 1/2 knots.
Senator FLETCHER. What increase was that over the speed you had been making prior to that?
Mr. PITMAN. Only about a knot.
Senator FLETCHER. You had been making about 20 1/2?
Mr. PITMAN. Yes, 20 1/4 and 20 1/2 first, after we left Queenstown.
Senator FLETCHER. How long did that continue?
Mr. PITMAN. The next day, 21.
Senator FLETCHER. And you kept increasing up to 21 1/2, so that at the time the iceberg was struck you were traveling at the highest rate of speed at which you had been going during the trip?
Mr. PITMAN. Oh, no; the same speed we had been traveling for the last 24 hours.
Senator FLETCHER. The same speed?
Mr. PITMAN. The same speed.

Yet Pitman knew full well that the vessel made over 22 knots from noon Saturday to noon Sunday. In fact, the memorandum that he later handed over to Sen. Smith clearly shows this despite a number of numerical errors in it.

Once again, the log is not effected by current, it measures distance traveled through water. I quote what you said Jim: "Current does not significantly effect the Patent Log." If the ship really faced a 1.1 knot head current, and her speed made good was only 21 knots, then her speed through the water would have been 22.1 knots, and in 6 hours the log would have registered 132.6 miles.
Pitman said many things, Sam but when asked specifically about ship's speed at the time of celestial observations he said:

"4427. Can you tell what speed the ship was making at the time of these observations? A: - About 21 1/2."

As for your remarks about speed through the water. Are you seriously suggesting that the patent log was so inaccurate as to have accumulated a 6.7 mile error in the 6 hours from Noon to 6 pm? really? Because if you are, then you have another problem. If, as you suggest, the patent log was reading 6.7 miles too low at 6 pm that evening, then, if the error did not accumulate from that time, that same log had the same error at the moment of impact and the distance run from Noon by log was actually 266.7 miles, not 260 miles.
 

Jim Currie

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By the way, the Navigators of Titanic had no part in the decision as to when and where the ship was to be turned. That was the sole responsibility of her Captain. He too just had to be very much aware of that 22.1 knot average speed between Noon April 13 and Noon April 15. Yet, while the pleasure of that knowledge was still fresh in his mind, he completely set it aside when he set to work to calculate the time of when he wanted to turn onto the final course for New York. He had the April 14 Noon position so knew that the desired turning point was either 124 or 126 miles from that position. Since he ordered that his ship was to be turned at 5-50 pm, there can be no doubt whatsoever that he decided that Titanic would be slowed down during her run for the turning point. We can be pretty sure that the reduced speeds of 21.25 and 21.5 knots figured largely in his decision as to when to turn onto 265 True.
 

Jim Currie

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All far too deep for a simple sailor like me, Scott. However, very interesting.

I might be way off base here, but I think that what David was pointing-out was that to understand an action or actions taken at the time of Titanic, including human interface, we must not be blinded by pre- judgement based on our updated knowledge of science, engineering and basic attitudes of present day human attitudes toward each other.
 

Rob Lawes

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Forgive this piece of nonsense speculation but I still can't understand why a day working ships barber would feel the need to partially set his watch back when he had absolutely no discernable need to. I started to imagine any scenario where it mat have been likely and could only come up with one.

What if Barber Weikman had agreed to cut a member of the crews hair after they came off watch. This would explain why he would need to know crew change midnight and why he was sat in his barber shop so late on a Sunday.

Obviously, the crewman in question would have had to have beeb able to access first class areas without getting into trouble and had to be a member of the 8pm to midnight watch.

Anyway, just a little fun speculation.

Regards

Rob
 
Mar 22, 2003
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There is one thing that many researchers consistently forget and that is that all the Lookouts survived the disaster. There were 5 other Lookouts against which to test evidence. In fact, that very thing was done concerning the presence of mist on the horizon. For that reason, it would be rather silly to make a false statement about common practice when on Watch,
So you believe all this crap about passwords?
17536. Yes, that is what I mean? - All that was handed over to me was, “Nothing doing; keep a look-out for small ice.”
17537. You did hear it at 6 o’clock “Keep a look-out for small ice”? - Yes, but I believe it is the usual password in the nests in these ships.
17538. I do not understand what you mean by that? - I do not believe they got it from the bridge at the time.
17539. Never mind where they got it from. You got it from them? - Yes.
17540. Who gave it to you? - Fleet and Lee - I think Lee gave it to me.
17541. You say you believe it is a usual password. Had you ever had it given you before, a password of that kind? - Sometimes.
17542. But I mean on this voyage? - Yes. I believe I did: I would not be quite sure. It seems a password there from what I can see of it.
17543. (The Commissioner.) I do not understand what you mean by a “password.” What do you mean? - A joke, Sir. I should think.
17544. (The Attorney-General.) A joke to the look-out men to keep a look-out for ice? - This is what is passed on to one another.

17545. Have you any recollection of their doing that to you on that night at 6 o’clock in the evening? - At 6 o’clock in the evening: “Nothing doing; keep a look-out for small ice.”
17546. (The Commissioner.) I am not sure that I understand you when you say you regarded that as a joke. What do you mean? - Well, as I say, it seems a password.
17547. Do you mean by “a password” a mere matter of form? - That is what they always seemed to say to me, Sir.
17548. What? - “Keep a look-out for ice” as we relieved each other.
17549. But I suppose they do not say that to you on board ship when you are going through the tropics? - No, there were no tropics there at that time.
17550. It is not a message that you get on all voyages at all times? - I never heard it before.
17551. (The Attorney-General.) How often had you heard it, if at all, before 6 o’clock that evening? - I heard it several times before that.
17552. How often had you heard it before. You say several times. Do you mean half-a-dozen times? - I have no idea how many times it was.
17553. But several times? - Several times.
17554. Several days before? - We were only out about three days.
17555. I know. - A couple of days before.
17556. Do you mean that every time you went and relieved them they gave you that password, as you call it? - Yes.
17557. Daytime or nighttime? - Any time they would pass it along to one another.
 

Harland Duzen

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All far too deep for a simple sailor like me, Scott. However, very interesting.

I might be way off base here, but I think that what David was pointing-out was that to understand an action or actions taken at the time of Titanic, including human interface, we must not be blinded by pre- judgement based on our updated knowledge of science, engineering and basic attitudes of present day human attitudes toward each other.
Among many things we should remember in April 1912:

  • Of Titanic's maiden voyage population of 2000 people, with the exception of just 1 or 2 passengers* (that we know definetly from resources ), the majority Ethnicity was white British and Americans.
  • Of her crew of over 850, only 23 were women.
  • Attitudes to passengers and crew of other nationalities was very negative with several stories including Lowe testimony referring to mischievous passengers as ''of the Latin Nations''.
  • As a result of the class divide of the times, 3rd class were likely to reach the lifeboats due to their sections being heavily segregated by their positions, gates, stewards etc. For those on F-Deck or G-Deck, their was sometimes only 1 stairway to the next deck because of the watertight compartments.
  • The culture of the time for ''Women and Children First'' and the masculine view of men sacrificing themselves for the safety of others meant the men that did survive (like Arthur Godfrey Peuchen who was abandoned by his friends despite saving an tangled lifeboat from the rigging) were harshly treated by the press and society.
  • Knowledge on the effects of metal under stress, sudden forces and the stain the ship faced wasn't fully known at the time (such as the inquiries believing one long gash doomed the ship instead of several small holes and tears).
  • The effects of mirages, sea currents and different weather fronts creating false horizons (as suggested by Tim Maltin) making the Californian see rockets and not Titanic (if it was Titanic or even a 3rd ship).
Essentially, the whole disaster at the time to the public and inquiries did not have the vast amount of data and info we now have from exhaustive searches internationally and from wreck dives in 1985.


*I refer to 2nd Class Joseph Laroche and 1st Class Passenger's Henry Sleeper Harper's ''manservant''
Hassab Hammad based on witness accounts that he was avoided by passengers despite being handsome possibly due to his natural complexion (he came from Cairo Egypt).

(this statement doesn't take into accounts passengers travelling from various other countries due to no visual images or evidence to be certain. no disrescept or offence is intended.)
 
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Jim Currie

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Aaron. Here's a few facts.

When Stone and Gibson saw the rockets at 3-30am that morning , they were, according to them, on Californian's port beam. and right on the horizon bearing South. At that moment, Carpathia was SE of Boxhall in boat #2.
If these were standard distress rockets of the day rising to about 500 feet above the sea then the ship firing them was 33.5 miles away from Californian.

If Stone and Gibson were actually seeing the rockets of Carpathia right on the horizon at 3-20 am that morning and had made a mistake about how Californian was heading, then at that time, Carpathia was about 33.5 SE of her and 10 miles SE of Boxhall. This means that 22.5 miles separated Titanic and Californian.

For Californian to have been 16 miles or less from Titanic;s position at that time, the rockets would have been seen well above the horizon... not on it and if Stone and Gibson were telling the truth that Californian was heading west when they saw the rockets on her port beam, then these rockets could never have been fired by Carpathia because her rockets would have been seen to the SE, not to the South.

When Rostron saw that ship 2 point on his starboard bow, Carpathia was heading directly for Boxhall and heading North 52 West. If the Californian had been North West of the sinking Titanic and Boxhall was a mile to the NE of where she sank, then Californian would have been about quarter a point on Carpathia' starboard bow bearing North 44 West. and 32 miles away
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Jim, you quoted all subjective estimates. Note, that according to Symons, the first thing heard from the Bosun was "All hands standby..." Afterwards, came the order to get to the boat deck. It was his observation that as they were on their way to the boat deck when 8 bells was struck up in the nest. I assume that that specific event nails the time that they took to the boats as 12 o'clock, twenty minutes after the ship struck.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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so in fact, Captain Smith did not expect to cover more than 534 miles between Noon April 14 and Noon APRIL 15.
I have to disagree with that statement. Smith set the time to turn the corner at 17:50 ATS on the 14th. He expected to reach LAN on the 15th 18h 57m later. If following 264.75°T, the charted course from the corner according to Boxhall, the ship would reach 41° 22'N, 56° 16'W at LAN on April 15th. This if only the ship was making 22 knots from the corner. LAN for that longitude occurred at 15:45 GMT, 47 minutes later than it did at LAN the previous day which was 14:58 GMT. The total miles run, if things would have followed this way, is 126 miles before the corner plus 417 miles after the corner, for a total of 543 miles from LAN to LAN. That's just 3 miles less than the previous day's run. Yes, by setting the time at 5:50pm to turn the corner, Smith allowed for a slight slow down from noon to the time they turned when he set that time.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Rob, I've had similar thoughts, although not about cutting the hair of a crew member. Weikman should have been keeping passenger time throughout the voyage. This would have been true even for a haircut involving one of the senior officers who all had time during the normal work day -- if they chose -- to go to the barber's shop. All of the deck an engine crew below those men worked watch-and-watch, so would have undoubtedly preferred their bunks to a barber's chair. There was time at each end of a voyage for things tonsorial.

The question is not what was the basis for the famous 11:40 time of impact. That is stare decisis -- it was crew time set back 24 minutes from unaltered April 14th time.

Even so, I've noticed is a pattern within recorded times of impact. They fall into two major groups. The first is 11:40 per the crew clocks. And, the second is 11:40 per time based on April 15th projected noon. There is a third group which can be extrapolated backwards from their observed time of the sinking based on April 14th unaltered time.

Things aren't that simple when you look at the 11:40 time quoted by most passengers. It just does not make sense for those people to have been keeping crew time. But, if they had been keeping unaltered April 14th time they would have testified the accident took place at 12:04 and not 11:40. Thus, their recollections (if accurate) could not have been in time based on either April 14th or crew clocks. The only solution is that they recorded not the moment of impact, but rather the time when stewards began waking passengers and sending them on deck in life vests. Certainly, for most people that would have been the definitive time of the night.

At precisely "midnight" per crew clocks the watch would have changed and all of the clocks in the ship would have been reset to -11:37 April 15th. That allowed the fresh Port Watch to work off its extra 23 minutes before true midnight (0000 hours) marking the actual start of day/date Monday, April 15th. It was at that precise moment when the crew's change of watch became an "all hands" evolution of evacuating the sinking ship. And, it was just shortly after that when stewards began awakening passengers.

If we look at the midnight per crew time (12:24 in unaltered April 14th hours) we find that equates to (minus) -11:37 in April 15th hours. The minus indicates that while the time is based on noon, April 15th it indicates a moment prior to the official beginning of April 15th. So, it appears the 11:40 of groggy passengers was not in unaltered April 14th time, but in negative April 15th hours.

The use by passengers of "tomorrow's" time is easily explained. It was tradition then (as now) to adjust timepieces before retiring for the evening. That way, a person's clock or watch would have been displaying the correct time upon awakening in the morning.

At this point we have a general explanation for the various times recalled by survivors. The only thing that's missing is why passenger clocks displayed crew time at the moment of impact. This is evident in the actions of the men in the first class smoking lounge who were gathered to await the resetting of clocks to April 15th hours. If the smoking room clock had been displaying unaltered April 14th hours, it would have indicated midnight had taken place some four minutes earlier than impact. Yet, the survivors gave exactly the opposite impression, that the clock had not yet displayed "midnight." If the smoking room clock had been reset to April 15th hours, it would have read 11:17 which was much too early to gather to observe the official resetting to Monday time. (Also, if it were already displaying April 15th time, there would have been no reset at midnight for the men to anticipate by their presence in the smoking room.) So, the 11:40 on that clock could only have been in crew time. Why?

There is no logical reason for passengers to have ever been aware of crew time except for one possibility. Passenger time could only have been kept separate from crew time through the use of two separate and distinct master clocks. Titanic, indeed, was to have been fitted with two Magneta master clocks. But, if one of those clocks either malfunctioned, or was not yet fully installed, then it would have become necessary to use the remaining master to serve both crew and passenger spaces. Throughout most of the day the crew and passengers observed the same time. The only confusion from using one clock would have come during the hours when the crew was working off the extra time of a westward passage. Because of log keeping and other requirements the crew time would have taken precedence over passenger convenience during those few hours. So, at the moment of impact all clocks (including the one in Weikman's barber shop) would have been showing crew time -- the famous 11:40.

There is no definitive proof of what I have just suggested about a missing or broken Magneta master clock. It is based only on the testimonies about the time of impact combined with logic and the need of the crew to conduct an orderly voyage. Even so, we do have one curious hint that what I wrote is true. There is that story about the clock dial in the main grand staircase never being installed and instead replaced by a circular mirror. Again, there is no definitive proof of this substitution. However, it is the only logical explanation as to why nobody recalled ever using that clock during the voyage. And, we even have testimony from people within easy eyeshot of the staircase clock who instead chose to use their pocket timepieces. This tends to support that the clock dial was never installed, and that seems evidence of an incomplete Magneta clock system aboard Titanic.

-- David G. Brown
 

Jim Currie

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I do not believe he obtained a fix before handing off the problem to Boxhall to complete. I do believe he did the preliminary work like calculating the DR for the time of the fix, correcting all the observations for sextant index error, dip and refraction. Correcting the chronometer time by its loss or gain rate. Things like that. I believe he left the actual working out of the LOPs for Boxhall to do.

Yes Pitman said that. But I do not believe he was trying to be very precise about where the ship was. By the way, although he mentioned that he thought the ship should have turned at 5pm at one point, at another point he said (15215) "I thought she had gone for three-quarters of an hour longer on that course than she should have done." Working that back from 5:50pm places the vessel by the corner at 5:05pm. More waffling! And as we both know when he said "I considered we went at least 10 miles further south than was necessary," that would place the vessel near the corner as late as 5:22pm, or thereabouts. He was shooting from the hip as they say.



"Senator SMITH: After making these observations, what did you do? It was then about 20 minutes to 8.
Mr. PITMAN: After that I started working out the observations....In the chart room; in the chart house. I was there alone until 8 o'clock."

20 minutes is a long time, Sam. The error of the chronometer and the index error of Lightoller's sextant would already be in his Work Book. Since he would be using DRs continuously, the calculation of DR would take about a minute.
Pitman would work in twos...a latitude and a longitude. If the pole star was used for latitude, that would have taken no more than 5 minutes. The two would take no more than 15 minutes including the plot. Any more than that and he was in the wrong job.
Pitman had 20 minutes to play with before he went off Watch. How long do you think he would have lasted in his job if Captain Smith had arrived on the bridge at 8 pm and found that his navigating officer had been twiddling his thumbs for 15 of the 20 minutes after receiving "a bunch of sights" to work out? After all, he had an assistant to do all the other donkey-work for end-of-Watch.

He clearly indicates in his evidence that he started work on the sights but did not finish them. What grounds do you have for thinking that he did not calculate the first set of 2 sights taken by his boss?
 
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Very good Statement! Full agreed!
BUT: I know that you plead that ship's time was adjusted to local apparent time of noon position and clocks were not altered before collision. That means, time of collision is 11.40 ship's time which is 2 hrs 2 minutes fast of EST.
In that case the first CDQ received 10.25 by Cape Race must have been transmitted at 12.27 unaltered ship's time, 20 minutes after "All hands standby..."
Are you convinced of this being the case?
 

Jim Currie

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I have to disagree with that statement. Smith set the time to turn the corner at 17:50 ATS on the 14th. He expected to reach LAN on the 15th 18h 57m later. If following 264.75°T, the charted course from the corner according to Boxhall, the ship would reach 41° 22'N, 56° 16'W at LAN on April 15th. This if only the ship was making 22 knots from the corner. LAN for that longitude occurred at 15:45 GMT, 47 minutes later than it did at LAN the previous day which was 14:58 GMT. The total miles run, if things would have followed this way, is 126 miles before the corner plus 417 miles after the corner, for a total of 543 miles from LAN to LAN. That's just 3 miles less than the previous day's run. Yes, by setting the time at 5:50pm to turn the corner, Smith allowed for a slight slow down from noon to the time they turned when he set that time.
You say: "Smith set the time to turn the corner at 17:50 ATS on the 14th".
He certainly did, Sam, but do you know when he did that? I can tell you now, without fear of contradiction it was not until well after Noon sights.
Then you say "He expected to reach LAN on the 15th 18h 57m later." I have to say it, Sam; that's nonsense.
Having done it more times than I care to remember, let me tell you exactly what happened on Titanic's bridge shortly after Noon sights on April 14, 1912.
In all probability, Captain Smith would have got out his sextant and joined the seniors just before Noon. The navigators would then have calculated the results and produced the latest voyage data which would include:
Noon position.
Present course.
Distance traveled from the previous Noon.
Average speed from the previous Noon.
Course made good from previous fix position.
Distance travelled from previous fix position.
Average speed since previous fix. Total distance travelled.
Course and Distance to the next alteration position. (The Corner)

In other words, they would present the captain with a situation report.

When he received this, Captain Smith would retire to his chart room and review the report.
it is obvious that he did not plan a speed run before Noon April 15. Now this is where you and I differ.

By calculation, and you can, if you wish, check it yourself, the Great Circle distance from 1 mile south of the Fastnet Rock to the position of The Corner in 42 North, 47 West is exactly 1, 618 nautical miles. Since Titanic had clocked-up 1,494 miles since she started on her Great Circle course; at Noon on April, 14, she had 124 miles still to run before she turned.
At Noon, April 14, Captain Smith was told that his ship had averaged 546 nautical miles for the previous day's run and therefore had averaged 22.1 knots of speed. Now the first thing the captain would do would be to determine where he thought his ship would be at Noon on April, 15. From this, he would then issue an order for a clock change to be completed at Midnight April 14.
If the captain had thought that his ship would repeat that speed performance for the next day's run until Noon, April 15, and cover a distance of 546 miles, he would simply have deducted 124 miles from 546 and to get 422 miles to run on his next planned course of 264.75 True from 42 North, 47 West. Not only that, but he would calculate his ETA turning point and get a turning time of about 5-35 pm , not 5-50 pm. Using the Traverse Table, he would enter with 422 miles on a course of 265 True in latitude 42 North and get a longitude change of 566 minutes or 9 degrees 26 minutes, giving him a DR Longitude for Noon April 15 of 56-26'West. The LMT for that longitude is 3 hours 46 minutes SLOW of GMT therefore at Noon ship time, the equivalent GMT would be 15d 15 hours 46 minutes. Since the Noon GMT April 14 was 14 d 14 hours, 58 minutes, he would have had to alter his clocks by 48 minutes so that solar Noon on April 15 coincided with ship time 12 o'clock.

However Captain Smith would not do as you see above because he would know from experience that his ship would encounter what was then thought to be The Gulf Stream, so he would expect it to set against his ship for at least 6 hours at about 1+ knots. He would therefore estimate that his ship would be 422 minus 7 = 415 miles west of The Corner at Noon April 15 and that he would increase his westerly longitude by 558 minutes - 9 degrees 18 minutes, giving him a DR Noon 15 Longitude of 56-18'West. The LMT for that longitude is 15d. 15 hours 45 minutes. therefore he would issue an order to alter clocks 47 minutes at midnight.
At 2 pm and 4 pm on the afternoon of April 14, he would have visited his bridge and noted the patent log reading and the sea temperature readings. These would tell him that his guesstimate was pretty accurate and that his ship was now being held back by the expected current. He would make an educated guess at it's direction and calculate where he thought his ship was at 4 pm. Then, and only then, would he fill-in his order book with the instruction to alter course at 5-50 pm
 
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Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Hello Marcus.

As one who grew up calculating the same was as did Lowe. I can tell you that his mathematics were not in the least slack as far as 1912 practices were concerned. The Patent log was graduated in nautical miles and tenths of a nautical mile. When the QM at the stern read it, he would have noted the reading to the nearest tenth of a mile. The number 125.7 was probably the exact reading at 6 pm. When Rowe got the reading, he would divide it by 6 and get his average speed of 20.95 knots. He would have recorded that exact speed in his work book but would have rounded it up and noted it in the log book as 21.0 knots.

You are right about the confusion. Lowe clearly told the Senator that he did not use engine revolutions speed to calculate the 8 pm DR position.
When he used the expression "We have the log"... he was explaining to the Senator that they had another method of determining speed. In a confused way, he told the Senator how he worked the 8 pm DR. If he had explained it properly, he might have done so as follows:

" I first obtained the average speed from Noon by dividing the 6 pm patent log reading by 6. This gave me a speed of 20.95 knots. I then needed to know the coordinates for where the ship turned at 5-50 pm. To get this position, I multiplied the Run time of 5 hour 50 minutes by 20.95 and got a distance of 125.7 miles. The course from Noon was S 60 1/2 W. I therefore applied the course and distance from the Noon position.
Having found the DR Position for 5-50 pm...where she turned, I applied to it, the average speed found at 6 pm and the new course of 264.5 True, I used the average seed found at 6 pm because I did not think her speed would have increased much between 6 pm and 8 pm.
"

I think you are probably correct about QM Rowe's memory concerning the time of turning.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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From PV Coronia:
6.16 [GMT] firing rockets – there - 'we are firing rockets' from unknown station 'here lookout for rockets'. ---> 3:06am Californian time.

From PV Mount Temple:
1.25 [NY time] M.P.A. [Carpathia] sends: 'If you are there, we are firing rockets.' ---> 3:15am Californian time.