How Far South did the Titanic Reach?

Jim Currie

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Jim, I think one can not conclude from 47 minutes that a slow down was exspected. The clocks are changed by integer number of minutes and the 47 minutes are the result of round up or down. I think Smith calculated that way:

22 knots, 24,8 hours, 545,6 miles to exspect.
Starting Point: 43-02 N 44-31 W
Monday noon: 41-23 N 56-20 W
Difference of longitude: 11°49' * 4 = 47 minutes 16 seconds, round down 47 minutes.

Other possibility:
21,5 knots, 24,7 hours, 532,1 miles to exspect
Starting Point: 43-02 N 44-31 W
Monday noon: 41-24 N 56-02 W
Difference of longitude: 11°31' * 4 = 46 minutes 4 seconds, round down 46 minutes.

1 Minute of time represents 11 miles more or less.
The Input value for result 47 minutes will be 543 miles plus/minus 5.
They intended to alter the clock by 47 minutes, so most likely they exspected 22 knots for the next day.

Boxhall obviously thought the ship had over-shot. Otherwise how could Titanic have been 'right on the track' at 7-30pm sights and make good a course up to then of 266 True? If anything, she should have been gradually making a course to the southward of the intended track as the local Magnetic Variation reduced.
What is the tolerance zone for "right on the track"? You are native speakers, I am not. But based on my stomach feelings I should say if the star position is found one or three miles south of the track after a run of 170 miles after the last fix this is a fairly good result, the term "right on the track" still may be used.

Boxhall's CQD has been calculated either with course 265 or 266. It is located one mile south of the track. That means, the 7-30-or-40 position must have been 1 mile south of the track if calculated with 265°, or 2.5 miles south of the track if calculated with 266°.
This is just the first uncertainty. The second uncertainty arises by the error of Boxhall's CQD. If only he made a speed or time error, the correct CQD would be one mile south of the track, but if he switched the 42/48 columns in the traverse tables the latitude would be the same, the longitude would be 50-00, the correct CQD would be 2 miles south of the track. Smith's wrong CQD is 2 miles south of the track! At least these two would coroborate then!
Thus we have four possibilities to relocate the 7-30-or-40 Position:
1 / 2.5 / 2 / 3.5 miles south of the track.

The 265/266 uncertainty:
Pitman said in USA "South 84 or 86 west would be the true course we were making after 5.50; south 84 or 86, I am not quite certain which, was the true Course...
May be we can take this as evidence for 266. He knew they were 1 degree deviating from the prescribed course, he just could not remember which side. What bothers me however is Boxhall:
15671. The effect would be she would have run a little bit further on the old course and then on the new course she is gradually making back to the line?
- That is my impression of the idea which Captain Smith had in altering that course and setting it to that time."

He explained immediately before that 265 was the prescribed course, and 266 instead was steered to compensate the late turn.
This was his "Impression".
But was this "Impression" based on a calculation "afterwards" to find a turning Point at 5.50 which would match his wrong CQD Position?

Such turning point could have been:
41-55:30 N 47-10:30 West
Distance to 41-46 N 50-14 W: 137 miles; Course 86°
Speed with/without clock retarded: 21,3 / 23,5 knots
The way it was done, Markus was that if Smith thought his ship would make the same 546 miles distance between Noon April 14./15 as she made between Noon April 13/14, he would first have subtract from 546, the number of miles he had to run from Noon to The Corner...47-00'West. By calculation, that amount was 124 miles. the resultant would be 546 -124= 422 miles to run from 5-50 pm until Noon the next day on a course of 265 True. Over that distance, Titanic would change her longitude by 9 degrees 26 minutes giving her a DR Longitude of 56-26' west at Noon April 15. That longitude is 3 hours 46 minutes SLOW of GMT.
Since the longitude at Noon April 14 was 2 hours 58 minutes SLOW of GMT then. if Titanic did cover a total of 546 miles, the clocks would have required to have been altered 48 minutes, not 47 minutes. However, since Captain Smith ordered the clocks to be adjusted by 47 minutes, he must have expected to increase his westerly longitude by 9 degrees 11 minutes, not 9 degrees 26 minutes. 15 minutes of longitude in latitude 42 north on a course of 265 True equates to a distance of 11 miles, so in fact, Captain Smith did not expect to cover more than 534 miles between Noon April 14 and Noon APRIL 15.

As for the expression "Right on the Track". That is exactly what was meant. There was no tolerance. It was all done by calculation and not plotted on a chart.
Here's how: Since the Track was 264.75 True from The Corner at 42-00'North, 47-00' West, if the calculated bearing of the corner form a fixed position was North 084.75 East True, then that position was "Right on the line" (yes, Sam, I did notice in that last post... told you I can't count.)

I agree with you that Boxhall's course of 266 True could only have been from a DR position which was southward of The Corner, thus confirming his belief that Titanic had over-shot it before she turned. He made the mistake of thinking the ship passed exactly through the planned turning point...I do not believe that it did.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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He must have obtained a fix before 8 pm because he also said the ship was right on the track.
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.
he also said the ship was right on the track
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.




 
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.
 

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?
 

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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By the way, Sam, you've often dispelled Boxhall's claim that the 8 pm Dr was in error by 20 miles and that that was the reason for the error in Captain Smith's distress position. It cannot be denied that Captain Smith's DR distress position was 20 miles west of the true distress position. On the basis if no smoke without fire, I have done a little digging It was you, reminded me of the following evidence given by Pitman that switched-on the light"

"15215) "I thought she had gone for three-quarters of an hour longer on that course than she should have done."

If Pitman did believed that Titanic had continued for 45 minute on her course of 240 True after The Corner and, since he kept quoting it, he used a speed of 21,5 knots, then he would have used a turning point 16 miles SW of The Corner at 41-52'North, 47-18.7'West when calculating a DR for sights at say, 7-38 pm. For the purpose of making my point, I will use Longitude only and a course of 265 true hereafter
At 21.5 knots Titanic would have covered a distance of 38.7 miles between 5-50 pm and 7-38 pm and the DR longitude for sights would then have been 48-10.5'West. This would be the DR Longitude by 5th Officer Lowe who calculated the 8 pm DR using a speed of 21 knots. Consequently, 22 minutes later, at 21 knots, Titanic would have covered 7.7 miles and the DR Longitude worked by Lowe for 8 pm would have been 48-20.8'West
However, we are told that longitude was 20 miles too far west, so the proper DR longitude for 8 pm would have been 47-54'West. If the clocks had been retarded by 24 minutes before impact, then the run time from 8 pm to the time of impact would have been 4 hours and 4 minutes. We are told Titanic was making 22.5 knots from 8 pm therefore between 8 pm and impact she would have travelled 91.5 miles. On a course of 265 True, she would therefore have changed her longitude by 2 degrees 2.7 'West. his would make the impact longitude at 49-56.7'West. The longitude of the wreck is almost the same.
We can also check Captain Smith's thought process from the foregoing.
If the false 8 pm DR used by Captain Smith was at 48-20.8'West and Captain Smith's distress position was at 50-24'West, then Smith calculated that Titanic and changed her longitude by 2 degrees 3.2 minutes and travelled 92 miles a distance of between 8 pm and where Titanic stopped. Not only that, but he must have used then patent log speed of 22.5 knots and a run time of 4 hours 4 minutes.

To summarise;

Pitman seems to have used his assumption of a 3/4 run past The Corner at 21.5 knots before Titanic turned and used his resulting 5-50 DR to calculate a DR for 7-30 pm sights. It also seems that, his assistant Lowe, did not check his boss's work but simply extended Pitman's 7-30 pm DR to obtain the 8 pm DR... the DR used by Captain Smith.
Running at 22.5 knots on 265 True from the corrected 8 pmDR for 4 hours 3 minutes arives at the position of the wreck.
Running at 22.5 knots on 265 True from the erroneous 8 pm DR for 4 hours 4 minutes arrives at the distress position sent by Captain Smith.

There was most certainly a 24 minute clock change and Pitman made the mistake that in turn made the mistake in Captain Smith's distress position. Had Pitman not done so, than Captain Smiths's distress position would have been right on the money... that's why he was the captain.

Sam, please check my work, it was done in haste, If correct then come back and say so.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Re: post 305 above. An interesting speculation of what Smith knew, when he knew it, and what he did as a result.
However Captain Smith would not do as you see above because he would know from experience...
Yes, from experience he would know that it would be extremely rare for a vessel to precisely track the GC route. He would know that the actual travel distance between points on the GC would be a little greater than what the perfect GC tracking distance would show. Based on four voyages of Olympic alone, we know that the travel distance from Daunts Rock to the Corner would be from 1674 to 1677 miles. Subtracting the 55 miles of travel from Daunts Rock to Fastnet, the Fastnet to Corner mileages would range from 1622 to 1619. Furthermore, there was no reason for Smith to subtract 1494 from the perfect 1618 GC mileage to get the distance to the corner since he had good noon sight at LAN on the 14th which would have shown him what the actual distance and course to the Corner was that day. In fact, it was 5/O Lowe who said that it was he who calculated the course and distance to the corner that Sunday afternoon. (He was on duty from noon to 4pm.)

Smith set the time to turn at 5:50pm. We were told that. We were also told that the ship was carrying an average of 75rpm since noontime Saturday. You said "he [Smith] would have visited his bridge and noted the patent log reading and the sea temperature readings." Again, the patent log readings would only confirm that the speed through the water was consistent with the revolutions carried. It would not tell him the vessel slowed down, speed up, or stayed the same as far as the distance-made-good was concerned. From the data available to him it seems that he accounted for a 1/2 knot of extra head current in setting the time to turn at 5:50pm. (I get this by dividing 126 miles by 5.83 hours and comparing that to the 22.1 knots speed-made-good of the previous day). Smith would not know exactly how his ship was being affected by the current and wind until some sight verification could be taken.

Now at 4pm Boxhall and Moody came on duty, and according to Boxhall's account, if you are willing to believe him, he spoke to C/O Wilde "between 4 o’clock and 6 o’clock" after seeing it in the night orders book, "that I considered the course ought to have been altered some considerable time before 5.50 - that is, if it was meant to be altered at the corner, 42 N., 47 W." So, what would make him believe that, assuming this was true?

I have put forth the proposition that a sun sight taken after he came on duty may have shown that the vessel was running ahead of her DR and would pass the corner earlier than expected. It is obvious to me that in setting the clock adjustment to be 47 minutes, someone expected the ship to make about 22 knots after turning the corner. Keeping to a speed of 21.6 knots after the corner turn would require a 46 minute clock adjustment, not 47 minutes, to reach LAN the next day. (I can supply proof of that.) So if any slow down was expected at all, it would have been only between noon and the corner turn, and then only a 1/2 knot at most.
 
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Jim Currie

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Re: post 305 above. An interesting speculation of what Smith knew, when he knew it, and what he did as a result.

Yes, from experience he would know that it would be extremely rare for a vessel to precisely track the GC route. He would know that the actual travel distance between points on the GC would be a little greater than what the perfect GC tracking distance would show. Based on four voyages of Olympic alone, we know that the travel distance from Daunts Rock to the Corner would be from 1674 to 1677 miles. Subtracting the 55 miles of travel from Daunts Rock to Fastnet, the Fastnet to Corner mileages would range from 1622 to 1619. Furthermore, there was no reason for Smith to subtract 1494 from the perfect 1618 GC mileage to get the distance to the corner since he had good noon sight at LAN on the 14th which would have shown him what the actual distance and course to the Corner was that day. In fact, it was 5/O Lowe who said that it was he who calculated the course and distance to the corner that Sunday afternoon. (He was on duty from noon to 4pm.)

Smith set the time to turn at 5:50pm. We were told that. We were also told that the ship was carrying an average of 75rpm since noontime Saturday. You said "he [Smith] would have visited his bridge and noted the patent log reading and the sea temperature readings." Again, the patent log readings would only confirm that the speed through the water was consistent with the revolutions carried. It would not tell him the vessel slowed down, speed up, or stayed the same as far as the distance-made-good was concerned. From the data available to him it seems that he accounted for a 1/2 knot of extra head current in setting the time to turn at 5:50pm. (I get this by dividing 126 miles by 5.83 hours and comparing that to the 22.1 knots speed-made-good of the previous day). Smith would not know exactly how his ship was being affected by the current and wind until some sight verification could be taken.

Now at 4pm Boxhall and Moody came on duty, and according to Boxhall's account, if you are willing to believe him, he spoke to C/O Wilde "between 4 o’clock and 6 o’clock" after seeing it in the night orders book, "that I considered the course ought to have been altered some considerable time before 5.50 - that is, if it was meant to be altered at the corner, 42 N., 47 W." So, what would make him believe that, assuming this was true?

I have put forth the proposition that a sun sight taken after he came on duty may have shown that the vessel was running ahead of her DR and would pass the corner earlier than expected. It is obvious to me that in setting the clock adjustment to be 47 minutes, someone expected the ship to make about 22 knots after turning the corner. Keeping to a speed of 21.6 knots after the corner turn would require a 46 minute clock adjustment, not 47 minutes, to reach LAN the next day. (I can supply proof of that.) So if any slow down was expected at all, it would have been only between noon and the corner turn, and then only a 1/2 knot at most.

Sam, The Patent Log tells how far the ship has travelled in a given time. It does not follow speed by RPM of the ship's propellers but rpm of the rotor being towed behind the ship on the end of the log line. It was governed to rotate at about 900 rpm. Like the ship's propellers, It simply counted the number of revolutions made in a given time. Unlike the ship's propellers which were turned by the ship, it told the ship how many turns it, the rotor, had made. If the ship speeded- up over an hour, it registers a greater total number of turns than it did in the previous hour. Conversely, it the ship slowed down, it registered a fewer number of turns than previously. As far as propeller speed is concerned... if the engine speed is neither reduced or increased, the speed by propeller rpm would be the same. That's why the use of engine rpm to determine speed is very seldom, if ever, used and fell out of fashion. Yet patent logs of the type used by Titanic are still in use to this day.

No self-respecting sailor would base an argument on the performance of another vessel over the same route.. even if the two were like peas in a pod. There are too many variables to be considered, least of which is the conditions met with during a voyage. I grant you that it is highly unlikely that Titanic would have followed the perfect Track...in fact she did not. She was to the south of her prescribed track at Noon on April 14. However, you have based your previous arguments concerning the distance from Noon to The Corner based in exactly the same way as I did. You used a total GC distance of 1620 instead of 1618.
We are talking a difference of 2 miles which, with regard to how Captain Smith determined his planned clock change, is of no practical importance.
The only person who decided on the amount of a clock change would be the Master. He would do that immediately after he knew where his ship was at Noon. Apart from the performance details of his ship, he would, for obvious reasons, also need to inform all heads of departments regarding the planned mount of change. He would do so as early as possible.

Taking a late sun observation by itself, am or pm is of very limited use to the practical navigator. If Boxhall had done as you suggest, it would have been done in the same way as did Stone on the Californian. He would have carried forward the Noon position and plotted the ship's position by a running fix.
I suggest to you that Boxhall got his idea of "the ship was away to the southward and to the westward of that 42 N. 47 W. position when the course was altered [at 5-50pm]" from the man he took over from at 4 pm that afternoon... 3rd officer Pitman. If as you claim, the distance from Noon to The Corner was 126 miles and Boxhall used the Noon speed of 22.1 knots then in 5 hours 50 minutes, Titanic would have covered 128.9 miles i.e., 2.9 miles farther than necessary. At 22.1 knots, Titanic would have covered that distance in just under 8 minutes. I' sure thatr you'll agree that 2.9 miles could not, by the widest stretch of imagination be construed as "away to the southward and to the westward ". However, Pitman belief that the ship had over-shot the mark by at least 16 miles and should have turned at 5-05 pm would most certainly be well within the realms of "away to the southward and to the westward ".
In fact, Boxhall and Pitman must have used a speed less than 22 knots to calculate the run from Noon to The Corner. Otherwise, why would the former use 22 knots to calculate his distress position?

Finally;: Captain Smith would most definitely expect a 1+ knots head current in the vicinity of "The Gulf Stream", not half a knot. in fact, he would have expected to meet strong south westerly winds and/or fog. That was one his reasons for ordering extra boilers. He might be even more delayed and, despite the nonsense about record breaking, he was running to a schedule. All passenger vessels do and did.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I was wondering why you were only concerned with longitude? Having worked out your scenario, and using the times and speed changes that you chose, I find the longitudes work out fairly well, as I expected. However, all the latitudes fall too far south. I is quite obvious to me, that choosing the speeds, courses and times accordingly, you can get whatever result you want. There is no surprise that backing the Smith CQD by 20 miles will get you to the wreck site. That is simply because the Smith CQD is located 20.3 miles from the center of the wreck site boiler field. But your starting premise was that the 8pm DR was 20 miles ahead of where it should have been. So no matter what the run between the incorrect DR and Smith CQD position was, you will always wind up near the wreck site longitude by backing 20 miles from the Smith CQD. That's a no brainer.

The problem solution needs to work in both latitude and longitude. The 20 mile DR error came from Boxhall 50 years after all these events took place. And what he said was that the ship was 20 miles AHEAD of her DR. You believe he just got things mixed up, and the DR was 20 miles ahead of the ship, which makes sense since the Smith CQD was further west than his CQD location. But I simply do not believe any DR was 20 miles off. Twenty miles is almost an hour's worth of steaming. Nor can I believe Pitman's times for the ship being at the corner. As you rightfully pointed out, he was waffling all the time. Honestly, how could anyone place the ship near the corner only 5 hours after noontime sights were taken, or 5h 05m after, or even as early as 5h 22m after noontime sights (10 miles steaming at 21.5 knots before reaching 5:50pm), knowing that the ship had only run 1549 miles since departing Queenstown at noon that day? At least Boxhall was unwilling to quantify how far the ship ran past the corner, only that he felt it necessary to make some mention of it to Wilde, assuming he was telling the truth.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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The Patent Log tells how far the ship has travelled in a given time. It does not follow speed by RPM of the ship's propellers but rpm of the rotor being towed behind the ship on the end of the log line. It was governed to rotate at about 900 rpm. Like the ship's propellers, It simply counted the number of revolutions made in a given time.
The patent log is obviously an independent measure of distance travelled. But it measures distance travelled through the water. It has no means of measuring how fast the body of water itself is moving relative to a fixed point on the earth's surface. Quoting from p.130 of Nicholls Seamanship and Nautical Knowledge that you had posted, the log "indicates the distance travelled through the water, not the distance made good." Why do I always have to remind you of this?
 

Jim Currie

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I was wondering why you were only concerned with longitude? Having worked out your scenario, and using the times and speed changes that you chose, I find the longitudes work out fairly well, as I expected. However, all the latitudes fall too far south. I is quite obvious to me, that choosing the speeds, courses and times accordingly, you can get whatever result you want. There is no surprise that backing the Smith CQD by 20 miles will get you to the wreck site. That is simply because the Smith CQD is located 20.3 miles from the center of the wreck site boiler field. But your starting premise was that the 8pm DR was 20 miles ahead of where it should have been. So no matter what the run between the incorrect DR and Smith CQD position was, you will always wind up near the wreck site longitude by backing 20 miles from the Smith CQD. That's a no brainer.

The problem solution needs to work in both latitude and longitude. The 20 mile DR error came from Boxhall 50 years after all these events took place. And what he said was that the ship was 20 miles AHEAD of her DR. You believe he just got things mixed up, and the DR was 20 miles ahead of the ship, which makes sense since the Smith CQD was further west than his CQD location. But I simply do not believe any DR was 20 miles off. Twenty miles is almost an hour's worth of steaming. Nor can I believe Pitman's times for the ship being at the corner. As you rightfully pointed out, he was waffling all the time. Honestly, how could anyone place the ship near the corner only 5 hours after noontime sights were taken, or 5h 05m after, or even as early as 5h 22m after noontime sights (10 miles steaming at 21.5 knots before reaching 5:50pm), knowing that the ship had only run 1549 miles since departing Queenstown at noon that day? At least Boxhall was unwilling to quantify how far the ship ran past the corner, only that he felt it necessary to make some mention of it to Wilde, assuming he was telling the truth.
Thanks for your input, Sam. Glad to learn I did not make any mathematic boo-boo.

The problem does not need to be worked in latitude as well as longitude. The latitude change on the course of 265 True is minor compared to the longitude change on such a course and would make little or no significant contribution to the outcome. When you are on an east-west course for more than 1 day at the same speed, the change in longitude is emblazoned on your mind and you use it continuously when estimating your position
I did not chose any of the ingredients... they are all there in the evidence and I used them all. Lowe, with his 20.09 knots speed. Pitman with his 21.5 speed and Boxhall with his 22 knots speed, as well as the common course of 265 true and Pitman with his 45 minutes over-shoot of the turning point.
I don't think Pitman got anything mixed-up. I believe that he believed what he said he believed simply because there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. Why he said that the turn should have taken place at 5-05 pm is of minor importance, he said it. The most important part of his evidence is the 45 minute over-shoot of The Corner because that leads us to the creation of the 20 mile error.
There is and always has been, since day 1, a 20 mile error between Captain Smith's DR distress position and where Titanic really was. We didn't need Boxhall's 1962 BBC interview to reveal that.

I have to say, you seem to be obsessed with the idea that everyone was lying. Now why would they do so? In my experience, witnesses always have a reason for lying. Only one aforementioned witness would have any reason to do so and that would have been Boxhall and he would do so after he had to admit to himself that he had made a mistake in his navigation.
 

Jim Currie

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The patent log is obviously an independent measure of distance travelled. But it measures distance travelled through the water. It has no means of measuring how fast the body of water itself is moving relative to a fixed point on the earth's surface. Quoting from p.130 of Nicholls Seamanship and Nautical Knowledge that you had posted, the log "indicates the distance travelled through the water, not the distance made good." Why do I always have to remind you of this?

Because I ignore it, Sam and because it bears no relationship to what happens in real life. The distance made good does not exist in isolation... it is the distance made good in a fixed direction in this case about 234 True.
 
A

Aaron_2016

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Does anyone know what was medically wrong with Boxhall? He gave a lengthy session on Day 3 of the Inquiry but on Day 6 he did not appear. Does this mean his testimony on Day 3 should be regarded as questionable owing to perhaps an inability to remember details correctly? On Day 6 Lightoller was asked:


Senator Smith - I would like to know if Mr. Boxhall, the fourth officer of the Titanic is present?
Mr. Cornelius - He is not here, sir. He is in bed.
Senator Smith - I want to know, officially, that he is. Can you give any announcement as to Mr. Boxhall, Mr. Burlingham?
Mr. Burlingham - Mr. Lightoller says that he is still sick in bed, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Smith - And unable to be present this morning?
Mr. Burlingham. He can not be here today. We hope he will be able to come tomorrow or the next day, at the latest.
Senator Smith Officer Lightoller, you know of the illness of Mr. Boxhall?
Mr. Lightoller Yes, sir.
Senator Smith Your fellow officer?
Mr. Lightoller. Yes, sir.
Senator Smith. You have seen him this morning?
Mr. Lightoller. Yes, sir.
Senator Smith. And you say he is unable to respond to the call of the committee this morning?
Mr. Lightoller. As far as I know from the doctor; yes, sir.
Senator Smith. That is all.



.
 

Jim Currie

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Does anyone know what was medically wrong with Boxhall? He gave a lengthy session on Day 3 of the Inquiry but on Day 6 he did not appear. Does this mean his testimony on Day 3 should be regarded as questionable owing to perhaps an inability to remember details correctly? On Day 6 Lightoller was asked:


Senator Smith - I would like to know if Mr. Boxhall, the fourth officer of the Titanic is present?
Mr. Cornelius - He is not here, sir. He is in bed.
Senator Smith - I want to know, officially, that he is. Can you give any announcement as to Mr. Boxhall, Mr. Burlingham?
Mr. Burlingham - Mr. Lightoller says that he is still sick in bed, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Smith - And unable to be present this morning?
Mr. Burlingham. He can not be here today. We hope he will be able to come tomorrow or the next day, at the latest.
Senator Smith Officer Lightoller, you know of the illness of Mr. Boxhall?
Mr. Lightoller Yes, sir.
Senator Smith Your fellow officer?
Mr. Lightoller. Yes, sir.
Senator Smith. You have seen him this morning?
Mr. Lightoller. Yes, sir.
Senator Smith. And you say he is unable to respond to the call of the committee this morning?
Mr. Lightoller. As far as I know from the doctor; yes, sir.
Senator Smith. That is all.



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I think he was suffering from pleurisy, Aaron.
 
A

Aaron_2016

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I think he was suffering from pleurisy, Aaron.
Thanks. His first testimony lasted about 3 hours and he was asked around 900 questions that day. He must have been absolutely exhausted. The Senators asked him twice to speak up.

Senator Smith - "A little louder, please."
Senator Newlands - "Will you speak a little louder!"


No wonder he did not attend the next time he was called. I can well imagine Lightoller telling him he did well, and told him to take it easy, and vouched for his illness when the Senators asked where Boxhall was on Day 6.


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I would be more surprised if none of the survivors got sick, to be honest. Between the stress of the ordeal and the cold, I imagine a lot of people would have gotten sick in the days after the disaster.
 

Harland Duzen

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I would be more surprised if none of the survivors got sick, to be honest. Between the stress of the ordeal and the cold, I imagine a lot of people would have gotten sick in the days after the disaster.
Funnily enough, in George Behe's Voices From The Carpathia, the 3rd Class Hungarian Doctor noted none of the survivors had any illness related to the cold!
 

Jim Currie

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Pleurisy is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Being out in the cold would have simply aggravated a developing condition. It is probable that Boxhall had a lung infection when he left Titanic but it did not manifest itself for a few days until he got the severe chest pain...that was the pleurisy.
 

Jim Currie

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Sam, you do not seem to understand the principal of the Patent Log. In your post # 281, you wrote:

"Anyway, the log doesn't measure current, only distance travelled through the water. If the ship was making say 22 knots at 75rpm through the water, and if there was a head current of 1 knot, the log would still measure an advance of 22 miles each hour"

No it would not Sam. The rpm of the propellers is constant because the engines are turning at a constant speed at 75 revolutions per minute. On the other hand, for the patent log to registered 1 nautical mile it had to revolve 900 times.
In one hour, the propellers would turn 75 x 60 = 4,500 times. At 22 knots, the rotor of the Patent log would revolve 22 x 900 =19800 times.
If the ship was making 22 knots carrying 75 rpm on the engines and met with, say, a 2 knots head current; after 2 hours, the rev counter on the engines would register 2 x 4,500 = 9,000 revolutions. If there had not been head current, the engines would still have registered 9,000 revolutions.
If the ship was making 22 knots and no had current; after 2 hours, the patent log rotor would have turned 2 x 22 x 900 = 39,600 times and the taffrail register would show 44 miles. If however, the ship met with a 2 knot head current, she would slow down to 20 knots, cover a distance of 40 miles and the Patent log rotor would only turn 40 x 900 = 36,000 times and the taffrail register would show 40 miles, not 44 miles.

The patent log revolutions decrease with speed. The engine revolutions are constant, regardless of speed.