How Far South did the Titanic Reach?

Nov 26, 2016
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Hi all,

I went through this thread, and would like to add some remarks for clarification.

1. Steaming back to Harland&Wolff after collision? - No.
If they would have found Titanic well enough to return (1808 miles to Daunt Rock), why not continue the journey to New York (1083 miles to Ambrose), 700 miles less?
If go back to H&W, where to disembark the passengers? Queenstown? Southhampton? Or take them all to Belfast?
I think this turn back to H&W was just smalltalk between Phillips and Bride, before Smith came in and ordered them to sent CQD. I am quite sure they did not turn the ship around first and then found they better would send CQD.

2. Steaming to Halifax? - No.
If Titanic was heading north after the collision this does not indicate at all they intended to steam to Halifax.
The course to Halifax would be North 75° West! The distance 735 miles.

3. Changing course to south 11.30 hours after noon? - No.
Smiths Position is 2 miles south of the track, Boxhalls position is 1 miles south of the track.
But this little difference can not be taken as base to track back for a course change, because we don't know their original results without rounding.
May be Smith found 41°44,3 north, and he made 41°44 from it. Boxhall may have found 41°45,7 north, and he made 41°46.
Hichens said he always steered north 71° west.

4. I want to present another attempt to find an indication whether the clock was set back or not.
Dave Gittins gave a very good explanation what might have gone wrong with Boxhalls position.

First Boxhall had to convert the distance travelled into a portion to south (8 miles equals 8' latitude with course 85°) and a portion to west, 93 miles.
These 93 miles had to be converted into arc-minutes of longitude. The tables for this conversion had two columns, one for 42°, the other one for 48°.
If Boxhall missed the columns he would have found 139 arc-minutes instead of 125 arc-minutes.
Removing this error will put Boxhalls position back to 41°46 N and 50°00 West. This twice corrected position now is 2 miles south of the southerly-route.
Boxhalls latitude was right, just the longitude was wrong. These two positions now indicate a parallel course 2 miles south of the southerly track.
To find Lightollers star position we have to start with Boxhalls wrong position 41.46 N 50.14 W. We go 8' to north and 2°19' to west and find 41°54' N and 47°55 West.
The distance between corner and 7.30 position is 41.3 miles. Average speed from noon to 7.30 position is (126+41,3)/5.5 h = 22.3 knots.
The course from corner to 7.30 position would be 81.66°. But with 22.3 knots the corner would be reached at 5.39 pm. The turn at 5.50 would be done 4 miles behind
the corner, or 2 miles south of the southerly route.
Thus we find everything, the first CQD, the second CQD after beeing transfered 14' to east, the 7.30 position and the turnung Point 2 miles south of the track.

All this fits very well without clock retardation.
Unfortunately Lightoller and Boxhall gave us these 1h33 minutes difference to NY-time.

Hichens said, the clock was to be set back 23 min in the one watch, 24 minutes in the other. He did not say however in which watch. If Lightoller and Boxhall are right, the clock must have been retarded at 8.24 pm, the end of the 6-to-8 dog watch. Otherwise the same watch would have lenghted their hours twice.

If we assume this clock retardation at 8.24 pm, we have to recalculate the 7.30 position.
The distance travelled will increase to 102,3 miles (22 knots * 12.1 h). Without going in to details, the latitude is changed by 9',
the longitude is changed by 137 arc-minutes with right column used, or 152 arc-minutes with wrong column used.
The new 7.30 position with clock setback will be: 41°46' + 9' N, 50°14' - 2°32' W, and we find 41°55' N 47°42' W.
Now we have to find speed and course from noon to 7.30 position.
Distance from corner to 7.30 position: 31,63 miles
Course: 80,9° iso 85°!
Speed from noon to 7.30 position: 21.02 knots ( (126+31.6)/5.5h )
In that case the corner would be reached at 6 pm, but the course was changed at 5.50 pm. This would place the turning point 3 miles before the corner.

Final conclusion: Dave Gittins proposal to explain Boxhalls error works fairly well without clock retardation, but with clock retardation the results are very unlikely.

But why did Lightoller and Boxhall say that the difference to NYT was 1h 33 min? The must have had a reason for that.
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Just a small correction to previous post:
I wrote: The course to Halifax would be North 75° West! The distance 735 miles.
But the distance is 615 miles.
 

Jim Currie

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The time noted by Hichens is the nearest we can get t the actual moment If QM Hichens was truthful and did, as he stated, i.e. noted the time Titanic hit the berg and it was 11-40 pm...then the time of 11-40 pm or around that time was the proper time of impact as indicated by the hands on an official time piece.
If 11-40 pm was unaltered time then fully altered time would have been 10-53 pm. If on the other hand, it was partly altered time then fully altered time was
11-17 am.
The only way we can check which time is the correct one, is by finding a crew member who, as I wrote earlier, lived by the clock' and who would, without doubt have had fully retarded time on his or her time piece. I know you don't like the idea but that crew member just has to have been Assistant First Class Baker John Collins who swore under oath:

"exactly at a quarter past 11 I was wakened up. I had a clock by me, by my bed, and my clock was five minutes fast, and it was exactly a quarter past 11 when the ship struck the iceberg, and it wakened me..."

Collins would have known that his clock was 5 minutes fast by reference to some other clock before he wet to his bunk at 10 pm that evening but his questioner was not convinced.

Q by Senator BOURNE: You are certain from your clock you saw at the time of the accident took place at exactly 20 minutes past 11, not according to that clock, but allowing for the five minutes that the clock was slow?
A by Mr. COLLINS: No; the clock was fast, sir.
Q. by Senator BOURNE: I thought you said the clock showed 11.15, and the accident took place at 11.20?
A> by Mr. COLLINS: No, sir; the clock was 20 minutes pass 11, and the accident took place at a quarter past 11,
if my clock was right. I could not exactly say."

The bold part is mine. When he said "if my clock was right', Collins was simply saying that he did not know if the reference clock he used to check his own clock earlier in the day had been in itself, showing the correct time. Waht we can be absolutely sure of is that whatever clock Collins used to check his own against, it most certainly would not be showing 10-53 am... a difference of 27 minutes.

As for the Cassebeer time published in the book "Death of a Purser"? Such an event never happened if we are to believe the 'Official ' version of her ordeal that night. Because in her official version, she said she had dinner at the table of Dr O' Loughlin, Not the Chief Purser, Frank McElroy. In fact, Ms Cassebeer had, according to the accounts of her life story, a very vivid imagination. Nomatter, it seems that during her stories to the press, she did not mention any time of impact at all.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello there Markus. How refreshing to see another, (other than we old hands) have a go at this time change thing.

I will make a couple of observations on your post if you don't mind.?

1. If Captain Smith had found that Titanic was able to continue in safety, he would have done so. His choice of destination would have depended on the severity of the damage incurred and how much coal he had left. However uppermost in his mind would be the welfare of his passengers and crew. Any continuance would have been at reduced speed. This would expose his ship to the elements which in that part of the world can be frightening.

2. There is no evidence to suggest that Titanic was heading north after she hit the iceberg. That idea comes from the fact that a second helm order was heard by an individual but such evidence was not backed by any other witness. It has also been claimed that the bow section of the wreck pointing northward on the sea bed is proof positive of Titanic turning north after impact.

3. You are absolutely correct. Titanic was not turned south at 11-30 pm that night . I know this for several very good reasons.
When the master of a ship deliberately changes the course of his ship, he does so from a known position or from as near accurate an estimated position as he can get. No later than 10 pm that night, Captain Smith knew for certain where his ship was at 7-30 pm that evening. This would have allowed him to work a fairly accurate Dead Reckoning position for 10 pm. If he had intended turning south he would have done so then. The reason being that the further away he travelled from his 7-30 pm position, the less accurate would be his chosen time for turning.

4. I am familiar with Dave's proposition and indeed, such errors in using the Traverse Tables can often be made. However, I am concerned more by the fact that researchers have completely missed that fact Boxhall used a speed of 22 knots between 7-30 pm and impact time and did so because of the flat calm conditions prevailing after dark. It follows that if he used such a speed from a known position and knew the speed between that known position and the previous known position for Noon, April, 14; the speed before 7-30 pm sights must have been less than 22 knots.

We know that the Time difference between Titanic ship time and Standard Time New York was 2 hours and 2 minutes. If the clocks had been set back 24 minutes before Titanic hit the iceberg then the time difference between the ship and New York Standard Time would be 1 hour 38 minutes, not the 1 hour 33 minutes indicated by Lightoller and Boxhall. There is a simple explanation for this. Lightoller and Boxhall were using a Solar Time for New York which was exactly 5 minutes different from Eastern Standard time.

Captain Smith, his Chief, First and Second Officers did not share in any clock change. Any clock changes were shared between the 8 pm to Midnight (4th and 6th Officers) and Midnight to 4 am (3rd and 5th Officers)Watches. This was and still is , normal practice on board ship. If the total amount of change was an uneven number, then the Junior Watch - in the case of Titanic, the 8 to Midnight - got the wrong end of the stick. Therefore, Boxhall and Moody had to work an extra 24 minutes and Pitman and Lowe, 23 minutes. The clocks were altered in two phases... phase 1: retarded by 24 minutes at Midnight (1st). Then phase 2 when the clock was once again reading Midnight... retarded the remaining 23 minutes.

There is another fundamentral mistake made by researchers who do not understand how a ship behaves at sea...they all assume that since Titanic was heading in the direction from Noon of the 5-50 pm turning position, she passed exactly through that position.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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But why did Lightoller and Boxhall say that the difference to NYT was 1h 33 min?
Nice to have you join in Markus.

The answer to that question comes from looking at the earliest mention of the time difference between Ship's time and GMT. That came on April 15 at about 4pm NYT when a wireless message was sent by Capt. Rostron of Carpathia to Capt. Haddock of Olympic who had asked Rostron to send him details for forwarding to New York and Liverpool. The message read:

"South point pack ice 41.16 north. Don't attempt to go north until 49.30 west. Many bergs. large and small, amongst pack. Also for many miles to eastward. Fear absolutely no hope searching Titanic's position. Left Leyland S.S. Californian searching around. All boats accounted for. About 675 souls saved, crew and passengers; latter nearly all women and children. Titanic foundered about 2.20 a. m., 5.47 G.M.T., in 41.46 north. 50.14 west; not certain of having got through. Please forward to White Star, also to Cunard, Liverpool and New York, that I am returning to New York. Consider this most advisable for many considerations."

Note that if 2:20am ship's time corresponded to 5:47am GMT, then 2:20am ship's time also corresponded to 10:47am in NY as well as Washington. The difference between 10:47pm to 2:20am is 1 hour and 33 minutes. If was this time difference that came up during the American inquiry when Boxhall and Lightoller were asked separately about the time difference between ship's time and time in NY. The issue came up during the questioning of 3/O Pitman when he was asked what the time was in GMT after Pitman told them that the ship sank a precisely 2:20 as seen on his watch. Oitman said he did not know, but Lightoller chimed in with:

Mr. LIGHTOLLER. 5.47 - 2.20 - 5.47 Greenwich mean time: 2.20 apparent time of ship.

Notice that this is exactly the same information given to Rostron which was put in his wireless message to Haddock on April 15.

When Boxhall was asked about the time in New York when the ship struck the iceberg, his response was:

Mr. BOXHALL. At 11.46 p.m., ship's time, it was 10.13 Washington time, or New York time.

Notice that Boxhall took the collision time as 11:46pm ship's time and equated that to 10:13pm in Washington, DC and in NY. Both Washington and NY were carrying mean time for the 75th meridian back in 1912. Furthermore, WSL rules required that mean time for the 75th meridian be used on all arrival and departure times from all east coast ports in Canada and the US. Solar time in NY was never part of the equation, and certainly had nothing to do in determining the GMT time of foundering that Rostron asked about when formulating that message to Haddock.

(As an aside, when NY city and state officially went from mean solar time to mean time for the 75th meridian back on 17 November 1883, the official change in time was 3 minutes and 58.38 seconds, not 3 minutes or 5 minutes as some have suggested. On that day the change took place at 9am, and the "Western Union Telegraph Company’s time-ball fell sharply at the new 12 o’clock, and so gave to mariners and ship-masters an opportunity to set their time pieces on seventy fifth meridian time.")

As I've pointed out elsewhere, a change from 2h 02m to 1h 33m between ship's time and NYT is a change of 29 minutes. At 22 knots heading westward, that would produce a change in longitude of 14 minutes-of-arc. Sound familiar?



 

George Jacub

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The difference between 10:47pm to 2:20am is 1 hour and 33 minutes.
Are you saying that the difference between 10:47 p.m. and 2:20 a.m. is one hour and 33 minutes?

Are you implying that Lightoller, Boxhall and Pitman conspired to mislead the American Inquiry by testifying to the wrong time difference between the Titanic and New York?
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Sam, Jim,

thanks for your posts, of course i don't mind if you make observations.
There are many Points to think about, where to start?

Solar time or EST?
One of my researcher colleages, Susanne Stoermer, once wrote an article in our paper "The Navigator" about that subject.
Therein she quoted from the WSL-regulations: Time to be kept: Seventy-fifth meridian time must be used for time of arrival at and from departure of Sandy Hook Lightship, ...
For me this is sufficient to show that Lightoller and Boxhall did NOT use solar time.
So we are at 1h 33 minutes fast of EST. Supposed, the clocks were set back by 24 minutes at midnigth or any else time before, this would make a time 1h 57 minutes fast of EST. Bride when asked about ships time and NY-time said "about two hours", but unfortunately he did not say "about 2 minutes more or less". So we are left alone about this point.

From mathematical point of view it would be nice if ships time would have been 2 hrs 2 mins fast of EST to meet longitude time of noon position. If we accept the 1h 57 minutes, the officers would have observed the zenith of the sun at 11.55 ships time. If they had adjusted the clocks in that way, who is the one to say they were not allowed to do so? May be they wanted to have finished their noon observations before change of the watch.
We have to take the testimonies as they are.

29 minutes an going back to H&W
Sam, you said:
As I've pointed out elsewhere, a change from 2h 02m to 1h 33m between ship's time and NYT is a change of 29 minutes.
At 22 knots heading westward, that would produce a change in longitude of 14 minutes-of-arc. Sound familiar?
... After the ship struck the iceberg, exactly where Boxhall said it did, the ship's engines were restarted and it was turned around to head back to Harland & Wolff's, just like Phillips told Bride. It only got as far as 13 miles when the flooding forced them to stop the ship again. And that is where she sank.
The reason Boxhall did not change the CQD position is that he was away looking for damage, and nobody told him that they were headed back after he returned. My proof is the position of the wreck site relative to Boxhall's CQD position.
Those positions are hard, cold facts, not suppositions or beliefs.


This does not match at all with the testimony of Hichens. Hichens stayed at the wheel until 12:23.
He does not know whether the clocks were set back or not. So for him, time between collision and leaving the wheel was 43 minutes. Hichens did not utter a word that he was ordered to turn the ship around.
Who else did it turn then?

About 29 minutes. Supposed the clock was changed 29 minutes before the collison, Hichens had to stay at the wheel for additional 29 minutes before the collision. Then he stayed 23 minutes further at the wheel waiting to be relieved. That means, he had to stay two additional periods of time.

Now they decided to steam back to H&W with reduced speed, be it 13 knots. They need a full hour to come back to the place where she sank.
But Hichens was only 43 minutes at the wheel after collision.
If really they decided to go back to H&W with reduced speed, they needed roughly 5 to 6 days to go to Daunt Rock (1808 miles, 13 knots, 139 hrs, 5 days 19 hrs)
They had two days left to go on for NY. I am wondering whether they had enough food for the passengers provided for a five days journey back.
If really the ship was damaged, but capable to travel at reduced speed, they should have gone to Halifax, with the risk to meet other bergs, or to NY.

Sorry, but the more I think about that hypothesis, I have to say I strongly disagree.

Kind regards
Markus
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Marcus.

As I have told Sam before, when he quoted that WSL Rule. The rule your colleague quoted was common to all liners visiting New York, In Anchor Line we had the same rule. It was necessary so that our ship time when arriving or leaving New York coincided with what was going on ashore...docking, tugs, Agents, advertising etc. Easter Standard Time was absolutely of no use to the practical navigator. In fact, barring meal times and change of Watch times, even ship time was of little interest to ship's navigators. These worked exclusively in Greenwich Mean Time since longitude took its base value from the longitude of Greenwich. When the expression 'New York Time' was mentioned, many, myself included, would have thought of or referred to The Tables which I and many before me used when at sea. See attached.

As for the time at Noon April, 14 that is fairly easy to deduce, We can calculate the distance Titanic had to run on her prescribed course from Fastnet Rock in Ireland to the prescribed position where she had to turn onto her final course for New York. We also know courtesy of her 3rd Officer, how far she had run by Noon April 14. Since we know the coordinates of the prescribed turning point, we can work back and calculate a fairly accurate Noon position for April 14. The Longitude of that position which was near to 44 -30 West showed that they would adjust the ship's clocks to the equivalent of being 2 hours 58 minutes SLOW of Greenwich, 2 Hours 02 minutes FAST of New York Standard Time and 1 hour 57 minutes FAST of the New York Time diff Greenwich Time displayed in the tables below. It follows that every officer navigating officer on Titanic would have given a 1 hour 38 minute answer if they had been thinking EST and a 1 hiour 33 minute answer if they had been thinking Table new York Time.

I think Sam's remark about going back was made tongue-in cheek but I've no doubt he will set you to rights.

As I have pointed out ad nauseum to Sam and others.. the evidence shows that Titanic slowed down that afternoon an she was making 21 knots. Additionally she had to be making less than 22 knots before 7-30 pm sights. Otherwise why would Boxhall have said he used that speed since the weather had become calm? It follows that if she slowed down, she ad to run for a longer time to cover the same distance between Noon and where she hit the iceberg

Reed's Times 001.jpg
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Jim,
thanks for the table. I am still unhappy with the solar time assumption.

Boxhall said: At 11.46 p.m., ship's time, it was 10.13 Washington time, or New York time.
If really he intended to use solar time, he should have given two different times based on the table, which indicates 4 h 55 min for New York and 5 h 6 min for Washington (I used Baltimore time, because Washington was not in the table).
But he gave two places and one time, this makes sense only if EST is used.

Lightoller used in his statement Greenwich time:
Mr. LIGHTOLLER.5.47 - 2.20 - 5.47 Greenwich mean time: 2.20 apparent time of ship.
That means, ship's time is 1 h 33 min fast of EST, not solar time.

Your statement, When the expression 'New York Time' was mentioned, many, myself included, would have thought of or referred to The Tables ..., does not necessarily apply for Lightoller and Boxhall.
GMT time in England was introduced in 1880. At this time Lightoller was six years old and Boxhall not yet born. So both grew up with the custom to use zone time and not solar time. As navigators at sea they worked, as you say, exclusively in Greenwich Mean Time since longitude took its base value from the longitude of Greenwich.
Why on earth they should use New York solar time to explain the difference between ships time and New York time?
If there was a clock set back of 23 minutes, ship's time during the day would have been 1h 56 mins fast of EST.
Obviously they did not bother about five or six minutes difference between ships time and local apparent noon time. The passengers won't care about, and the officers knew that they had to take their noon observations some minutes before noon.

So what?

Markus
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Marcus.

Both Boxhall and Lightoller were Extra Masters.They were navigators who dreamed, ate and slept navigation. Besides being excellent mathematicians, they would, unlike the modern person who cannot move without a computer or calculator, have been experts in the art of mental arithmetic. Boxhall did not 'intend' to use anything. Neither he nor Lightoller would normally think in terms of Standard or what is now known as Zone time while at sea. They thought and worked their entire working lives in terms of ship time and Greenwich Time. In fact. I have never heard of anyone except someone to whom Zone Time is important, ever talking about it.

The following illustrates the thought process.

There is absolutely no doubt that at 12 o' clock Noon Solar Time on April, 14, Titanic's clocks were 2 hours and 2 minutes FAST of EST New York and 1 hour 57 minutes FAST of Solar Time New York at Noon on April 14, 1912. Consequently, every Officer on Titanic's Bridge and in her Wireless Room knew that.
If the evidence of QM Hichens to the effect that the clocks were to be changed 47 minutes during the next Day's run then Captain Smith expected Titanic to have increased her westerly Longitude by 11 degrees 45 minutes and be at 56-15'West at Solar Noon on April 15, 1912 and to have covered a distance of about 545 miles from Solar Noon the previous day. Since the day's run during the period, Solar Noon April 13 to Solar Noon April 14 was 546 miles, this tells us that Captain Smith Did not plan to increase speed before Solar Noon, April 15. The Solar Noon Longitude for April 15 means that they expected the ship's clocks to be to be 3 hours 37 minutes SLOW of GMT, 1 hour 23 Minutes (not 1 hour 33 minutes) FAST of EST and crucially, 1 hour 18 minutes FAST of New York Solar Time. I say crucially, because it would be Solar time Captain Smith and his officers would use to calculate distance to the pilot station at New York...not EST.

From the foregoing, the practical navigator who was used to using Solar Time would not automatically think in terms of Zone Time.

You ask "Why on earth they should use New York solar time to explain the difference between ships time and New York time?"

I counter your question with a question: Why on earth would an expert in mental arithmetic give a time difference of 1 hour 33 minutes when they would, without doubt, know they should have said 1 hour 38 minutes?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Very cute Jim. It's very easy to make up whatever numbers you want in order to get any result you want.

I happen to fully agree with Markus. Boxhall gave two places and one time, this makes sense only if mean standard time for the 75th meridian was used. The other fact that I keep pointing to is that the first time this erroneous 1h 33m time difference came up was in the message from Rostron to Haddock on April 15. In that message we see the equivalence of 2:20am ship's time with 5:47am GMT, which implies 1h 33m difference between ship's time and mean time in NY and Washington.

The Solar Noon Longitude for April 15 means that they expected the ship's clocks to be to be 3 hours 37 minutes SLOW of GMT, 1 hour 23 Minutes (not 1 hour 33 minutes) FAST of EST
Really? Jim, you said that Boxhall and Lioghtoller "would, unlike the modern person who cannot move without a computer or calculator, have been experts in the art of mental arithmetic." They were also individuals who made mistakes, just like you or I. For example, the time of solar noon on April 15 at 56° 15'W would have been 3:45pm GMT, and ship's clocks (set to read 12:00 noon) would therefore have been 3h 45m slow of GMT, not 3h 37m slow which you obtained somehow.

 
Mar 22, 2003
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But back to the question of that 1h 33m time difference. Markus, you asked, "But why did Lightoller and Boxhall say that the difference to NYT was 1h 33 min? The must have had a reason for that."

In post #66 above I quoted the message sent from Rostron to Haddock on April 15th that equated the foundering time as 2:20am ship's time with 5:47am GMT, thus giving a 3h 27m difference in ship's time from GMT, or 1h 33m difference from mean time in NY. This is straight from the PV of Olympic. Now, if you look at the message sent from Rostron to Haddock just 45 minutes before that one, you will find the following:

"Capt. Olympic. 7.30 G. M. T. Lat. 41.15 north, long. 51.45 west. Am steering south 87 west, true. Returning to New York with Titanic's passengers. Rostron."

This was then followed by a message back from Haddock to Rostron asking for particulars of the disaster that he could forward to offices in NY and Liverpool. It was 45 minutes later when Rostron replied to Haddock with the message containing the foundering time in ship's time and GMT as well as Boxhall's distress coordinates that I had previously quoted.

Look carefully at the longitude sent in that 7:30pm GMT position for Carpathia in that earlier message, 51° 45'W. This longitude is 51.75° west of the prime meridian at Greenwich. Mean solar time for that longitude is precisely 51.75°/15° per hr = 3.45 hours slow of GMT, or precisely 3h 27m behind GMT, or 1h 33m ahead of mean time for NY and Washington. I find it very hard to imagine that this was just a coincidence.
 

Jim Currie

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Very cute Jim. It's very easy to make up whatever numbers you want in order to get any result you want.

I happen to fully agree with Markus. Boxhall gave two places and one time, this makes sense only if mean standard time for the 75th meridian was used. The other fact that I keep pointing to is that the first time this erroneous 1h 33m time difference came up was in the message from Rostron to Haddock on April 15. In that message we see the equivalence of 2:20am ship's time with 5:47am GMT, which implies 1h 33m difference between ship's time and mean time in NY and Washington.



Really? Jim, you said that Boxhall and Lioghtoller "would, unlike the modern person who cannot move without a computer or calculator, have been experts in the art of mental arithmetic." They were also individuals who made mistakes, just like you or I. For example, the time of solar noon on April 15 at 56° 15'W would have been 3:45pm GMT, and ship's clocks (set to read 12:00 noon) would therefore have been 3h 45m slow of GMT, not 3h 37m slow which you obtained somehow.
Now why am I not surprised that you agree with Markus"

Yes. I did make a mistake. No excuse for it...and yes, you do keep punting the Rostron story about time but I have to tell you, simply repeating something over an over again does not make it become true. You write:

"In that message we see the equivalence of 2:20am ship's time with 5:47am GMT, which implies 1h 33m difference between ship's time and mean time in NY and Washington."

No it most certainly does not, Sam. Imagine the scene on board Carpathia. Imagine how Rostron got his information.

Rostron asks Lightoller and Boxhall when she sank. Lightoller hasn't a clue. Boxhall replies"2-20 am sir".
Rostron then asks: "What was your time difference from New York". Note, not from New York Standard Time, simply New York.
Boxhall replies: " 1 hour 33 minutes, Sir."
Rostron jots the two values on paper. He subtracts the 1-33 from 2-20 pm and gets a New York Time of sinking equal to 00-47 am. To this he adds 5 hours and gets 5-47 am GMT. Et Voila!
You know as well as I do Sam, that if there had not been a clock change, and Boxhall gave Rostron the difference between ship time and EST, his reply would have been "2 hours 2 minutes , sir" or "1 hour 57 minutes, sir".


I did not make up the numbers, Sam, I simply used Boxhall's evidence and that of Trimmer Dillon. The only number that is suspect is the GMT of the 7-30 pm star sights and assumptions concerning Boxhall's actions. The principal one being that in the anxiety of the moment, Boxhall, who had unaltered time on his watch and knew that impact took place after Midnight, simply made the same mistake you do and assumed that clocks had not been retarded at all. However, he also made the mistake of a applying the full amount of the planned set back.
The time 'used' by Boxhall was 11-46 pm. The mistake you and others have made is in assuming that Boxhall used 11-46 pm for the time of impact. If you carefully read his evidence, you will note that he did not say that he believed 11-40 pm was the time of impact. her simply said, and I quote:

"15639. So that what you had to do after the disaster had occurred would be to take the position on the chart at 7.30, take your course, take your speed and calculate where you would be?
- Yes, from the 7.30 position I allowed a course and distance which gave the position. I worked it out for 11.46 as a matter of fact."


Boxgall used the time of 11-46 pm to indicate where potential rescuers should head for...not the position of the ice berg. That would be plain silly.

Another fact which you consistently ignore is the speed used by Boxhall and his reason for using a speed of 22 knots. If you care to work back from my guesstimated position for 7-30pm star sights to Noon April 14,, you will get an average speed of just over 21 knots.

Why don't you just accept the truth, Sam? If Boxhall used a speed of 22 knots for the reasons he gave then he knew for certain that before 7-30 pm sights, Titanic was making less than 22 knots. It is simple logic and I know you are well versed in that subject.
You persistently refuse to accept the evidence of 5th Officer Lowe yet my little experiment with Boxhall's evidence shows very clearly that the man Lowe was speaking the truth when he said Titanic had lost a knot of speed after Noon that day.
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Sam, Jim,

About your statement, Sam:
Look carefully at the longitude sent in that 7:30pm GMT position for Carpathia in that earlier message, 51° 45'W. This longitude is 51.75° west of the prime meridian at Greenwich. Mean solar time for that longitude is precisely 51.75°/15° per hr = 3.45 hours slow of GMT, or precisely 3h 27m behind GMT, or 1h 33m ahead of mean time for NY and Washington.
I find it very hard to imagine that this was just a coincidence.


There is the question what is the hen and what is the egg?

Haddock sent this telegram to Rostron. But why should Rostron do any calculation about mean solar time of Haddock's position? He did not need the solar time of longitude 51.75° for anything.
45 minutes later Rostron sent his telegramm to Haddock. He had to ask Boxhall or Ligtholler before to get the relation of 2:20am ship's time with 5:47am GMT.
This was April 15.

Boxhall made his statement "At 11.46 p.m., ship's time, it was 10.13 Washington time, or New York time." at day 5 of US enquiry, that is April 29.

Lightoller made his statement 5.47 - 2.20 - 5.47 Greenwich mean time: 2.20 apparent time of ship." at day 4 of US enquiry, that is April 28.

Supposed you are right, and Rostron mixed up the longitude time of Olympic with the information he had obtained from Boxhall or Lightoller before, how can it be that Boxhall and Lightoller gave the same Information two weeks later without thinking to Senator Smith?
I do not think they had a copy of Rostrons "wrong telegramm" available at this time.

Now look at this very exciting dialogue between Senator Smith and Pitman. The senators are thinking in solar time, not Pitman. Pitman says: There is five hours difference between Greenwich time and New York time.

Senator SMITH. Captain, we were given the ship's time and the Greenwich time. Are you able to give the New York time, as to when this vessel sank?
Mr. PITMAN. Take five hours from the British time.
Senator SMITH. That would bring it to 12.47.
Mr. PITMAN. There is five hours difference between Greenwich time and New York time.
Senator SMITH. Will you figure it out? I want this definite in the record. Give me the New York time.
Mr. PITMAN. Give me the Greenwich time, please?
Senator SMITH. You can take your time to do that.
Mr. PITMAN. (after making calculation) 11.47 p. m., Sunday.
Senator BURTON. That is not quite right, is it?
Senator SMITH. It would be 12.47 a. m.
Senator BURTON. The difference in solar time is 4 hours and 57 minutes, if you want to get that exactly.
Senator SMITH. I would like to have the record as complete as possible.
Mr. PITMAN. It is 12.47 Monday morning.
Senator SMITH. Give the ship's time from which you make the deduction.
Mr. PITMAN. I am working through the British mean time. That is 5.47.
Senator SMITH. You are working from -
Mr. PITMAN. The Greenwich time.
Senator SMITH. The Greenwich time?
Mr. PITMAN. Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. And assuming it to be what time?
Mr. PITMAN. 5.47 a. m., Greenwich time.
Senator SMITH. It would be 12.47?
Mr. PITMAN. 12.47 a. m., Monday morning, New York time.

Final conclusion:
The 1h 33 minutes difference is stated by Titanic officers, and it is definitely related to EST,
and it is not derived from Olympic's longitude.

Kind regards
Markus
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Sam, your post #51, Lowe's evidence about 21 knots

If, as the evidence clearly shows, Titanic slowed down by a full knot due to a head current between Noon and 6 pm on the afternoon/evening of April 14, then all the other arguments about conflicting witness evidence concerning watch times of sinking and impact are simply distractions. If the evidence of her 5th officer is accepted then she covered 6 x 21 = 126 miles up until 6 pm on April 14.

I would like to add some remarks about speed estimation. The evidence is not as clear as it looks.
Lowe said, the noon position was 126 miles before the corner. He also gave the course to the corner, from this one can calculate precisely the noon position. He was on duty from 12 to 4 and from 6 to 8. During the 6 to 8 watch he was working on slip tables, and he worked out a dead reckoning position for 8 p.m.
There was a diskussion between Sen. Smith and Lowe, where he got the speed from. Senator Smith suggested to refer to the revolutions, but Lowe said he calculated the speed from the time elapsed between noon position and corner, and he used 6 hours. But as we know from Boxhall and Pitman, the turn at the corner was made at 5.50.

From Saturday noon to Sunday noon Titanic made 546 miles in 24.7 hours, this would make 22.1 knots average over ground. The map which I have shows a gulfstream of 1 knot near longitude 50, and 0,5 knots or less near longitude 30.
So the speed over ground migth have varied e.g. from 22.5 knots at saturday noon to 21.7 knots at sunday noon.
As the time for the turn at the corner was determined as 5.50, the estimated speed used for calculation was 21.6 knots.
Maybe they used 21.5 knots for calculation and found 5.51, and made 5.50 from it as time to turn.
Up to know everything is nice and consistent.
Lowe, when ordered to work out the DR position simply took 6 hours instead of 5h 50 mins and found 21 knots.
Generally one can say that Titanic slowed down after noon and the corner turn, but the way Lowe calculated is somewhat rough. Maybe sufficient for dead reckoning.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
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Funchal. Madeira
Hello Marcus.

Lowe used the Patent Log Readings. He came on Watch at 6 pm. He would receive these for 6 pm from the Quarter Master on duty at the stern. As I have pointed out to Sam previously, Lowe was very decided about the ship's speed. :

" Her speed from noon until we turned the corner was just a fraction under 21 knots.
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 6pm to 8pm], from 12 to 6 o'clock, from that average speed. You have six hours in there to take a mean on.

But you had means, had you not, of ascertaining definitely how fast the ship was going? A: m- In what way, sir? We have the log -...
6258. (interposing). Between 6 and 8 o'clock. A: - We have the log.
And you are able to say that the speed at that time was 21 knots? A: - Twenty-one knots or under; it was really 20.95, about. "

If as it seems, Lowe used the patent Log reading at 6 pm and got an average speed from Noon of 20.95 knots then the log reading at 6 pm was 125.7 nautical miles.
Furthermore, if Titanic was making an average speed of 20.95 knots then at 5-50 pm when she turned, the Patent Log would have read 122.2 miles and she had another (260 minus 122.2 miles =)137.8 miles to run by Patent Log on a course of 265 True before she hit the iceberg.
If she hit the ice berg at 41-45'North, 49-56'West, then when she turned at 5-50 pm, she did so at 41-57' North, 46-52'W, about 6.5 ESE of her planned turning point, The Corner. In other words, the head current forced her back and to the southward of her intended course for The Corner.

We know that Titanic was making 22.5 knots after 8 pm that evening. If the clocks had not been touched before impact, then from 8 pm until 11-40 pm...3 hours 40 minutes... she would have covered a distance of 82.5 nautical miles. Since she had 137. 8 miles to run when she turned at 5-50 pm, this means she had to cover a distance of 137.8 minus 82,5 = 55.3 miles in 2 hours and 10 minutes. To do that she would have needed to increase speed after 5-50 pm to 25.53 knots and we know that is totally absurd.
Now consider the situation if the clocks had been retarded by 24 minutes at Midnight April 4 and the ship had run-on for another 4 minutes before impact took place. If this had been the case, then Titanic would have run 12 hours and 4 minutes from Noon that day before she hit the ice. It would also mean that instead of running for 3 hours 40 minutes at 22.5 knots, from 8 pm that evening until 11-40 pm, she ran for 4 hours and 4 minutes at 22.5 knots.
In that time she would have used-up 91.5 nautical miles of the total 137.8 mentioned above. This would leave 46 .3 miles to be divided by the 2 hours 10 minute period between 5-50 pm and 8 pm. The result is an average speed from the turn until 8 pm of 21.4 knots.

To summarise:

The evidence clearly shows that Titanic's average speed between Noon April 14 and 6 pm that evening fell to 20.95 knots. This indicates that her forward progress was being hampered by a 1 + knot current. During the run from Noon toward the planned turning position named The Corner, the head current that hampered her also pushed her to the southward of her intended course. The result was that at 5-50 pm., when she turned onto her course for New York, she was about 6.5 miles ENE of The Corner.
Between 6 pm and 8 pm. her speed began to build so that between 6 pm and 8 pm in the evening., her average speed increased to 21.4 knots. After the conditions became flat calm, her speed increased to 22.5 knots and she maintained that speed until she hit the iceberg.
There is absolutely no doubt that Titanic's clocks were retarded by 24 minutes before she hit the iceberg.