How Far South did the Titanic Reach?

Nov 26, 2016
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about speed, current and log, Lowe 21 knots

For my calculations I assume as point where Titanic stopped 41-46 N and 49-56 W, 132 miles behind the corner.
From noon to corner we have 258 miles to travel. Of course we are not sure whether the turn was made at the corner.
Jim proposed in the skatch he posted a turning point ESE of the corner, 41-57 N and 46-52 W.
The distances will be: noon-corner: 123 miles; corner-stop: 137 miles; Both add on to 260 miles.
The log indicated 260 miles from noon to collision.

The chart which i have on hand shows north atlantic current, 0.4 .. 0.8 knots east of the corner, heading to ENE.
Between corner an longitude 50 it shows a "slope water current", about 0.5 knots, heading to east.
From the chart I should judge we have to estimate a current of 0.5 knots from noon to stop position.
Supposed the log would be able to indicate exact miles through the water it should count 6 miles more, 264...266 miles.
That means a lack of 2...3 percent.

Find attached an excel file which calcaulates speed and courses between noon, point of turn, 7-30 position and stop position.
The green fields allow to fill in coordinates for turning point, stop point and noon position.
The 7-30 position is derived from stop position and elapsed time with or without retardation.

There are two cases at question:

a) No clock retardation:
avarage speed 22 knots
close to speed the day before
turn point 2 miles west of corner, 3 miles south of 42 N
in agreement with Rowe's 45 miles in two hours

b) Clock retardation 24 minutes:
average speed 21.36 knots
21 knots from noon to 7.30 position, 22 knots from 7.30 til stop position
turn point 6 miles east of corner, 3 miles south of 42 N
in agreement with Lowe's 21 knots
not in agreement with revolutions unchanged

-> Hard to say what is more likely.
If we choose case a) no clock retardation
then 1h 33 minutes do not make sense anymore.
Instead we have to use "about two hours", be it 1.57 of 2.02.
This will put the first CQD on 12.25 unaltered time.
But Bride's testimony put's it nearer to 12 than to 12.25
.... To say nothing about rockets seen and fired.
 

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Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Hello Marcus.

Your calculations work out much the same as doing it 'the hard way'.

We can play this game all day. In fact I've been playing it with Sam for years.

The charts and calculations you have made are fine, but for me, the only valid information and the way to use it it is to try and see it through the eyes of the witnesses.

In the case of speed between Noon and 6 PM...Lowe said the speed was " a 'fraction under 21 knots... Twenty-one knots or under; it was really 20.95". That was a definite statement, Marcus. No ambiguity whatsoever. It follows that using Lowe's evidence ,distance to where Titanic actually turned. was not 126 miles. It was 122.2 miles. Now let's look at Boxhall.
If, as he claimed, Boxhall used an engine rpm guesstimate of 75 rpm = 21.5 knots, and that Titanic should have turned much sooner than 5-50 pm then he was not using a distance of 126 miles from Noon to The Corner.
If, on the other hand, as Sam guesstimated, Boxhall was using average speed of 22 knots, and the distance to The Corner was 126 miles then Titanic should have turned at at 5-44 pm, 6 minutes earlier. Hardly a difference which would have resulting in him remarking to Murdoch "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."...and "- I do not remember what time it was but it was some considerable time" The only conclusion we can come to is that the distance from Noon to The Corner was calculated by Boxhall to have been much less than 126 nautical miles.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, if Boxhall used a speed of 22 knots to run from 7-30 pm sights to calculate his distress position, and the reason he gave for using that speed was "it was smooth water and that there ought to have been a minimum of slip" then without a doubt, he was upgrading from a known speed of less than 22 knots. Since he knew exactly where Titanic was at Noon that day and exactly where she was at 7-30 pm sights then he knew exactly what her average speed was between these times and it just had to be less than 22 knots because before dusk, the weather was not flat calm.
This being hard fact, then there is absolutely no doubt that Titanic's clocks were retarded before she hit the iceberg.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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The log was read at 6 pm and indicated 126 miles.
Markus, you will have a very hard time finding anyone in the historical record claiming that the log registered 126 miles at 6pm.

The great circle distance from Fastnet to the corner is 1618 miles. Also, if you actually tracked the great circle route precisely, you find that the initial heading at Fastnet would be 264.5°T. When you reach the corner, assuming you stayed perfectly on track, you would be on a heading of 236.7°T. But, as you know, ships ran rhumb line courses between way points, and were affected by wind and current which is why the distance from Fastnet to the corner would always come out to be somewhat greater than the perfect CG route distance. Obviously, it could never be less than 1618 miles. If we take away the 55 miles from Daunt's Rock to Fastnet and look only at the distance run from Fastnet to the corner (42N, 47W) of Olympic's first three voyages in 1911, we find that Olympic would have ran 1622, 1619 and 1621 miles, respectively. We know that Titanic already travelled 1494 miles if you measure the run from Fastnet to noontime Sunday, April 14. If she had tracked the GC perfectly up until that point, then she would have had only 124 miles to go to reach the corner. However, if the remaining distance was the more realistic 126 miles, which is what I believe it was, then for Captain Smith to have set the turning time for 5:50pm, implies that he expected his ship to make 21.6 knots on the run to the corner, only a 1/2 knot slower than the speed made good from noon Sat to noon Sun carrying the same number of revolutions. Boxhall had to have known that the vessel made 22.1 knots against a North Atlantic current over the previous 24 hours and 45 minutes. Boxhall's claim that the ship should have turned 'some considerable time' earlier than 5:50 is just plain nonsense, leaving me to believe that his mentioning this to C/O Wilde is made up fiction. So too for Pitman's similar claim where he estimated the time he thought the ship would be at the corner as being around 5pm.

The problem with all of this stems from the erroneous distress position that was sent out. If the vessel was anywhere near the corner at 5:50pm or even 6pm, then it could not have reached 50° 14'W only 5h and 56m later, at 11:46pm. More time had to be put into the equation. Look at it this way. At 22 knots, the speed Boxhall said he used, the ship would make almost 1/2 degree of longitude westward each hour; actually about 29.5 minutes-of-arc per hour. Boxhall's position from the corner was 3° 14' west of the corner longitude, or 194 minutes of arc. Therefore, the ship somehow would have to travel 194/29.5 = 6.6 hours to reach Boxhall's position from the time it was at the longitude of the corner. Now go back 6 hours 36 minutes from 11:46pm,Boxhall's collision time, and you would have the vessel at the corner longitude at 5:10pm, a full 40 minutes earlier than the time it altered course for NY, assuming of course that Boxhall's distress position was right, which we now know it wasn't. For me, there is little doubt as to why Pitman and Boxhall would have concluded that the ship must have been a good deal past the corner when its course was altered at 5:50pm. It all goes back to that erroneous distress position.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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For the sake of absolute historical accuracy --

THE PATENT LOG

Bowditch of Titanic's day issues a caution which is generally ignored in discussions of readings taken from the ship's patent log. "It will usually be found that the indications of the log are in error by a constant percentage," the text says, "and the amount of this error should be determined by careful experiment and applied to all readings." To date, I've never seen anything published on the constant error of Titanic's instrument. Bowditch also mentions the need to adjust the length of the log line to achieve maximum accuracy.

TIME OF "THE CORNER"

In reading all the above I see 5:50 p.m. as the time of turning The Corner. Indeed, Boxhall did say that. However, the man who actually made the turn was quartermaster Rowe at the helm. In British questions 17591 and 17592 he said, "We always make a practice of what we call rounding the corner, and the man at the wheel generally takes notice of it." When asked if he remembered that time, Rowe said, "Yes, 5:45."

So, the man who would have had first-hand knowledge of time said it was 5:45 and not 5:50. The difference is really quite slight, but it's still five minutes. Over those five minutes at 22 knots (the speed Boxhall said he used) the ship would have covered 1.8 nautical miles.

Navigators then and now tend to work in 6 minute increments rather than the 5 minute markings on a clock dial. The reason is simple, six minutes are 1/10th of an hour. This simplifies doing Time/Speed/Distance calculations in your head; less chance of error. Could it be that Boxhall rounded 5:45 to 5:48 p.m. to get 8-tenths of an hour? In speaking to the general public he might have chosen to say "5:50" rather than force a discussion of rounding time in navigation. Just a thought. If he did, this rounding of the 45 minutes after 5 p.m. to 0.8 minute would have introduced a 1.01 nautical mile error in his dead reckoning.

-- David G. Brown
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Hi David,

In aviation as well, time is usually taken in 6 minutes intervals for the same reasons you gave. For example, fuel on board is converted to hours and tenths of hours for purposes of flight planning.
As far as the time of the turn, the 5:50pm time was the time written in the night orders book according to Boxhall as well as Pitman. If the turn was to be completed by 5:50 then a J/O, probably Moody, would have been sent to the standard compass platform ahead of time. Maybe it was at 5:45 when he was told to do so by C/O Wilde who was the OOW at the time, and that was time that Rowe recalled. The turn itself was 24 degrees to starboard as seen on the steering compass.

As far as patent log readings, you are correct about a constant percentage error. Unless the log was calibrated, you could be off by the error amount. But, that error is cancelled out when taking the ratio of two log readings in determining a time interval. We were told that the log reading increased by 45 miles in two hours, and read 260 miles from noon to the time of collision. Divide 260 by 45 is a ratio of 5.77. Even if both readings were off by as much as 5%, that percentage cancels out when taking the ratio of the two numbers. The ratio of 260 to 45 is the same as the ratio of the elapsed time from noon divided by 2 hours as long as the revolutions were held constant from noon to the time of collision.

The other thing about log readings is that it does not give you the distance made good, only the distance travelled through the water as calibrated on the log. But I sure you know all that.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello my friends! As you might have anticipated; just a few reminders concerning your posts.

1. Titanic was not on the prescribed track at Noon on April 14, she was to the south and eastward of it. That's why she altered course to 240.5 True at that time...to aim directly for The Corner.

2.
At Noon on April, 14, Captain Smith would have analysed his previous day's run and decided why his ship averaged 22.1 knots at 75 rpm rather than the expected 21.5 knots. He would have credited his extra half knot and his set to the south of the line to the brisk wind blowing from abaft his starboard beam during the period, not to the North Atlantic Current. Lack of head sea and swell together with the four giant funnels acting as sails would easily have added half a knot to the speed.

3. Titanic
was not anywhere near the North Atlantic Current during the period Noon April 13 to Noon April 14. In fact, in the middle of that period, the southern boundary of the current would have been close to 180 miles to the North of her track.

4. Titanic encountered the North Atlantic Current from about 44-30'West to about 47-45'West. Thereafter, the wind dropped to zero and the sea and swell also reduced to zero. After then, she achieved her optimum speed of 22.5 knots while running with her main engines at 75 rpm.

5. The Patent Log would have had an almost zero error. It was brand new and would have been carefully calibrated and set for Titanic's maximum expected draft and speed by either the ship's officers or more than likely, the suppliers. This would have been done during the voyage from Belfast to Southampton. During that part of the voyage, they were always well within sight of land and shore based navigation marks so could obtain perfect position fixes. They could also determine the performance when effected by the very strong, variable direction tidal currents along the entire route.

6. On ocean passage, only the Noon positions would be marked on the chart. All other positions obtained by celestial observations would be marked in Work Books.
Since Titanic had dedicated navigating officers, the use of the Traverse Table would have been very rare. Preference being given to working courses and distances between positions using The Sailings methods. Mental arithmetic would seldom be used. Lightoller used it to guess when Titanic would be up to the ice. He would simply have used a round figure of 30 minutes of longitude change every hour.

7. The time of when Titanic turned The Corner has nothing to do with Boxhall's distress position. Not unless we wish to completely reject every bit of evidence he gave on the subject.


north-atlantic-YYY.gif
 
Mar 22, 2003
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A bunch of definitive sounding statements, but let's look at some realities, especially when and where the ship would encounter the North Atlantic current which is an extension of the Gulf Stream.

For years now, the meanderings of the Gulf Stream and other currents has been tracked by radar imagery from satellites. This allows us to compare what conditions are on a per day basis, and to compare changes for a particular date, such as 14 April, from year to year. A good example is the picture from April 14, 2005 shown below, upon which I overlaid Titanic's course from 1912, including her position at noon 14 April 1912, the position of the corner, and the position of the wreck site, the Nantucket Shoals LV, and the Ambrose channel LV. Note, the color codes on these satellite images are water velocities, NOT temperatures. (The scale in meters per second is shown right below the chart. 1 m/s = 1.94 knots.)
Apr 2005.jpg


Expanded view of the corner area is shown in the next image.
Expandedcorner2005Apr.jpg

If the current was in April 1912 as it was in April 2005, then we easily can see why the ship could have been set to the SE of the GC track line prior to reaching local apparent noon (LAN) on the 14th. The run toward the corner from the noon position would have encountered only a small current component (~0.2 m/s) off the port beam about half way down to the corner, setting the vessel slightly toward the NNW, and essentially zero current in the vicinity of the corner and beyond to the wreck site location. With a wind out of the north during the run to the corner, it would be off the vessel's starboard quarter which would tend to push the vessel opposite to the direction of the current. The forward progress of the vessel would not slow down as one might otherwise expect from looking at pilot chart averages.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Sam,

The statements are 'definitive' because they are based on a careful examination of the evidence of those who were actually there or who have been there and experienced the same conditions. They are not an attempt to discount any fact- based counter arguments or arguments based on academic supposition.

I am very much aware of the satellite imagery in your illustration, Sam. It shows a counter-clockwise gyre in the area of interest but has little bearing on the argument. We are discussing a major transporter here. One that every sailor, including yours truly who has been on the new York Run, knows like an old friend. Believe me when I tell you, the only appreciable impediment to westward progress east of 44 West is the wind...by itself and/or by wind-generated surface current.

I take it you completely repudiate the evidence of Captain Charles Johnston, in command of the revenue cutter "Seneca", which went out on the so called ice patrol off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and covered the very area we are discussing? At the Limitation of Liability hearings, he stated:

"Q. And when the berg get into the Gulf Stream , its tendency is to move in what direction under ordinary conditions, quiet conditions of water, ordinary conditions of water? - East between, longitudes 50 and 49, then rapidly curving to the north."

Or perhaps this learned paper on the subject?
 
Nov 26, 2016
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TIME OF "THE CORNER"
In reading all the above I see 5:50 p.m. as the time of turning The Corner. Indeed, Boxhall did say that. However, the man who actually made the turn was quartermaster Rowe at the helm. In British questions 17591 and 17592 he said, "We always make a practice of what we call rounding the corner, and the man at the wheel generally takes notice of it." When asked if he remembered that time, Rowe said, "Yes, 5:45."

My idea about the difference of five minutes:
When the ship turns it will not flip by 25 degrees, instead it will turn by steering a smooth curve.
Assumed the curve has a length of two miles, we need 6 minutes for the turn.
Supposed 5.50 was the time calculated to reach the 42/47 Position, the turn should start three minutes before 5.50.

Maybe, Rowe remembers 5.45 as the time he turned the wheel. This was a few minutes before passing the Corner.
He had to turn it amidships before the curve was finished, as the ship will finish the turn by its moment of inertia.

There is not necessarily a contradiction between 5.45 and 5.50.
5.50 is the mathematical result of calculation, but the realization in practice starts at 5.45.
 
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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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.
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Sam,
Delayed turn at the corner
For me, there is little doubt as to why Pitman and Boxhall would have concluded that the ship must have been a good deal past the corner when its course was altered at 5:50pm. It all goes back to that erroneous distress position.

Full agreement from my side, there was no delayed turn.

Pitman said in UK the course should have been altered at 17.00.

15174. .... - Yes, I considered we went at least 10 miles further south than was necessary.
15175. Do I understand you rightly that in marking the course at noon, the course was marked 10 miles
further south than you considered necessary? - No. We had a certain distance to run to a corner, from noon to certain time,
and we did not alter the course so early as I anticipated. Therefore we must have gone much further south.

Boxall explained, the intention was to go south at the Corner and go back to the old line going S 86° W instead of S 85° W.
But a course like this does not make sense at all. Ice was reported between longitude 49 and 51. Why should they go south at the Corner 10 miles, and go back to the old track, before the ice was reached, not to mention before it was passed.

Here some pieces of what Pitman said in the USA:
Senator SMITH. Just preceding the sinking of the Titanic, was she on the course commonly taken by ships sailing from Southampton to New York, or was she on the course commonly taken by ships sailing from New York to Southampton?
Mr. PITMAN. She was on the course followed by ships coming from the English Channel to New York.
...
Senator SMITH. You know the latitude and longitude of this ship when she struck the iceberg? - Mr. PITMAN. Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. Did that indicate to you that she was on the true course? - Mr. PITMAN. Exactly. She was right on the line.
...
Mr. PITMAN. We just took a set of them at sunset, or just as it was getting dusk, when the stars were visible. It was about 6 or 8 o'clock that we took them.
Senator SMITH. Do you know how these observations located the ship? - Mr. PITMAN. Do I know what?
Senator SMITH. Do you know how these observations located the ship? - Mr. PITMAN. Yes; right on the track.
...
Senator SMITH. Or did you have a course of speed that took you in a curved direction?
Mr. PITMAN. No; we were proceeding on the track laid down for the Company.
...
If really the ship would have gone south 10 miles as stated in UK, the course would have been 6 of 7 miles south of the track while passing longitude 50. But both 7.30 stellar Position and CQD Position are right on the track.

Now see what Lightoller said in UK:
13498. Can you tell us what was the course of the ship when she was handed over to you at 6? - I cannot remember the compass course. I know from calculations made afterwards that we were making S. 86 true.
13499. S. 86 W.? - Yes.

It would be interesting to know which calculations he made afterwards "what"?
Probably not after the 7-30 position. He had only one point at hand, this is not sufficient to calculate a course.
One has to conclude that these calculations were made after the US enquiry and before the UK enquiry.

The officers found that the distance from corner, whatever the exact place of the turn was, to CQD was unlikely high.
Calculations would turn out a speed of 25 or 23,5 knots (with or without time alteration). So they build up this theory of the "delayed turn" to have a satisfactory explanation at hand in case the members of the UK-board would ask questions about speed. Probably they believed in this "delayed turn" on themselves.

Now, what conclusions can we take for the real position of the turning point?
Boxhall's CQD is one mile south of the track. If corrected as proposed by Dave Gittins it would be 2 miles south of the track.
The latitude of the south track changes 4 miles to south for each degree of longitude.
Positions on the track would be 41-48 N 50-00 W; 41-47 N 50-15 W; 41-46 N 50-30 W.

The calculation of the CQD was based on the 7-30 stellar position. This will put the 7-30 Position 1..2 miles south of the track, if calculated with 265°, and 2..3 miles south of the track, if calculated with 266° as claimed by Boxhall and Pitman in UK.

In my opinion this 266° is a result of Lightoller's calculations "afterwards". In fact they calculated with course 265° in that night.

The turning point must have been south of latidude 42. Otherwise the course to achieve the 7.30 position would be heavy different from 265° or 266°, as the distance between 7.30 Position and turning point is about 38 miles (no time setback assumed).

Two cases:
7.30 position: 41-54 N 47-51 W
Turning point: 42-02 N 47-00 W -> course to 7-30: 258° unlikely
Turning point: 41-58 N 47-00 W -> course to 7-30: 264° Close to 265°

So only the longitude of the turning point is at disposal.
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Jim,

some remarks to your previous posts.

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.
I think it must be 122.2 miles.

It follows that using Lowe's evidence ,distance to where Titanic actually turned. was not 126 miles. It was 122.2 miles.
-> partly agreed, but the turning Point must be south of latitude 42, see my previous post.

Now let's look at Boxhall.
If, as he claimed, Boxhall used an engine rpm guesstimate of 75 rpm = 21.5 knots, and that Titanic should have turned much sooner than 5-50 pm then he was not using a distance of 126 miles from Noon to The Corner.

The distance to corner must have been 124 miles minimum.
55 miles from Daunt Rock to Fastnet, 1618 miles if GC is really approximated by 10 rumb lines, daily runs 484, 519, 546 subtracted make 124 miles.
Two miles less would mean, the turn should have taken place 6 minutes sooner. Would 6 minutes be "much sooner"?
Pitman claimed even 50 minutes sooner, in UK, not in USA.
My conclusion, there was no delayed turn. Details in previous post.
 

Scott Mills

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Jul 10, 2008
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Hello Scott.

'Fraid not. No way did Titanic move after Captain Smith got the bad news 10 minutes after impact.
Jim,

We can establish just from testimony from the crew that Titanic did move after the collision. Once you add passenger statements, I think it is pretty indisputable Titanic made way after the collision. Below is just a small portion of the evidence of Titanic making way after the collision. I could practically right a book going into greater detail and examining the supporting evidence.

So, like I said, it is not a matter of if Titanic restarted her engines after the collision, but rather of for how long.

As I said, leaving aside my thoughts (which I think are strongly supported by the circumstantial evidence), and assuming instead that this resumption of movement was for a very short time, we have to take it into account when trying to determine why Titanic's wreck ended up where it did.

Thomas Dillon said:
3720. Was anything done to the engines? Did they stop or did they go on?
- They stopped.
3721. Was that immediately after you felt the shock or some little time after?
- About a minute and a half.
3722. Did they continue stopped or did they go on again after that?
- They went slow astern.
3723. How long were they stopped for before they began to go slow astern?
- About half a minute.
3724. For how long did they go slow astern?
- About two minutes.
3725. Two or three did you say?
- Two minutes.
3726. And then did they stop again?
- Yes.
3727. And did they go on again after that?
- They went ahead again.
3728. For how long?
- For about two minutes.
Mahala Douglas said:
The vibration as one passed the stairway in the center was very noticeable. The shock of the collision was not great to us; the engines stopped, then went on... then stopped again.
Fredrick Scott said:
5608. And you told us you heard what was going on in the main engine room?
- The telegraph?
5609. Yes, I want you to tell my Lord what it was?
- They rang down "Stop," and two greasers on the bottom rang the telegraph back to answer it. Then they rang down "Slow ahead." For ten minutes she was going ahead. Then they rang down "Stop," and she went astern for five minutes.
5610. (The Commissioner.) The orders were "Stop," "Slow ahead," and then "Astern"?
- No, it was "Stop," and then "Astern." She went astern for five minutes. Then they rang down "Stop."
5611. "Stop," "Slow ahead" - 10 minutes, you say?
- Yes, about 10 minutes.
5612. Then "Stop" again?
- Yes, "Stop"; then she went astern for about five minutes.
5613. (The Attorney-General.) Did you hear the order about "Astern"?
- Well, it was on the telegraph.
5614. What was the order?
- "Go astern" - "Slow astern." Then they rang down "Stop," and I do not think the telegraph went after that.
5615. A telegram came "Stop"?
- Yes, and I do not think the telegraphs went after that.
5616. (The Attorney-General.) The first order you heard was "Stop"?
- Yes.
5617. Did the engines stop before the order came "Slow ahead"?
- Oh, yes.
5618. They did stop?
- Yes.
5619. Then when the engines had stopped the order came "Slow ahead"?
- Yes.
5620. Can you tell us at all what time passed between the order "Stop" and "Slow ahead"?
- I should say about 10 minutes or a quarter of an hour.
5621. "Stop," of course, comes at once?
- It comes at once. They cannot stop the engines at once.
5622. That is what I want. They cannot stop them at once?
- No; they are bound to let the steam get out of the cylinder first, otherwise they would blow the cylinder covers off if they tried to stop them at once.
5623. You would not know how long it would take to stop the engines?
- No, I do not.
5624. I think you said ten minutes to a quarter of an hour "stop," then ten minutes "slow ahead" and then again "stop"?
- Yes.
5625. Then how long between "stop" and "slow astern"?
- I suppose that was a matter of about four or five minutes.
5626. That is between "stop" and "slow astern." And how long between "slow astern" and "stop" for the last time?
- Five minutes.
5627. Did you hear those orders given before you went to the aftermost tunnel?
- Yes.
5628. So that all this which you have told us happens before you go to release your mate?
- Yes.
Alfred Oliver said:
Senator BURTON: Was she backed?
Mr. OLLIVER: Not whilst I was on the bridge. But, whilst on the bridge she went ahead, after she struck. She went half speed ahead.
Senator BURTON: The engines went half speed ahead, or the ship?
Mr. OLLIVER: Half speed ahead, after she hit the ice.
Sentator BURTON: Who gave the order?
Mr. OLLIVER: The captain telegraphed half speed ahead.
Lawrence Beesely said:
[after the collision] the ship now resumed her course, moving very slowly through the water with a little white line of foam on each side. I think we were all glad to see this: it seemed better than standing still...we were much pleased to hear the engines throbbing down below and to know we were making some headway...”
Henry Stengel said:
Senator SMITH. How long after the impact was it before the engines were stopped?
Mr. STENGEL. A very few minutes.
Senator SMITH. Give the number of minutes, if you can. You are accustomed to machinery and matters of this kind.
Mr. STENGEL. I should say two or three minutes, and then they started again just slightly; just started to move again. I do not know why; whether they were
backing off, or not. I do not know. I hardly thought they were backing off, because there was not much vibration of the ship.
Col. Gracie said:
I dressed hurriedly and went up to the Boat Deck. It was a beautiful night, cloudless, and the stars were shining brightly. If another ship had struck us there was no trace of it, and it did not yet occur to me that we might have collided with an iceberg.

I had expected to see some of the ship's officers on the Boat Deck, but there was none, only a middle-aged couple promenading unconcernedly, arm in arm, against the wind.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
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.
Hello Scott! Sorry for the delay in replying to the above. If i may I'll take it point by point.

Thomas Dillon. Dillon stated that the engines stopped, went astern, stopped, went ahead then stopped for ever after. All these engine movements took place within a period of 6.5 minutes. This tells an experienced bridge man that the ship was brought to a halt as quickly as possible. That during this time, the ship started to make way astern and that the stern-way was taken off her. The last kick ahead was to enable the use of the rudder. It did not last long enough for the ship to make headway.

Mahala Douglas: She was experiencing cavitation... the heavy vibration cased by propeller blades running astern ad falling into turbulence and void spaces. She would not have felt any sensation of the engines beginning to run slow ahead.

Scott : His evidence is pure fantasy. During the entire engine movements, he was shut behind the WT doors at the aft end of the main engine room and had no idea what was going on.

QM Olliver: He saw "Half Ahead" on the telegraph. That would have needed to have been the order for sufficient propeller wash to activate the rudder. N bridge parlance, it's called giving her "a kick ahead". It's all to do with steering and nothing to do with forward progress.

Lawrence Beesely:
was on his first trip across the ocean. He took some ladies into the bathroom and had them feel the vibration through the pipes. In fact he was feeling the vibration of the sanitary pump. Triple expansion steam engines do not "throb" they "thump".. very much so, I can assure you.
His sighting of the white 'trail' is very common and meant very little.

Henry Stengel illustrates very well what I mean by adjusting the ship's position.

Col Gracie went on deck within a few minutes of impact. At that time, steam was being vented from the main engines. There is no way on God's green earth that he could have seen a couple walking against a ship-generated wind unless he was on deck minutes after impact and Titanic was still slowing down after the engines had stopped. Engines do not run at full power while venting steam.

Sorry my friend. The principal witness is Trimmer Dillon. If you look at his timing, you get to Stop 1.5 minutes + Astern + 0.5 minutes, + 2 minutes, +0.5 mines Stop, + Ahead 2 minutes, Stop. = a total of 6.5 minutes.
If impact took place at 11-40 pm then the engines finally came to rest at 11-46.5 pm by Dillons's reckoning. 3.5 minutes after that, at 11-50 pm, Captain Smith learned from his Carpenter that his ship was doomed. He was going nowhere!
 
Nov 26, 2016
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Hello Jim, pretty good analysis, very convincing, many thanks.

I went through the testimony of Scott to find some reason for the mismatch.
He was employed in the turbine engine room, this one is located between the reciprocating engine room and the electric engine room. As long as the watertight doors were open, he could see the telegraphs in the reciprocating engine room from his place in the turbine engine room.

Now I will try to summarize his testimony. Some intermediate comments marked in blue.

He felt the shock. Then he saw "stop". The watertight doors went. Two greasers rang back to the bridge. The watertight doors were closed. He and his mate went up to the turbine room and down one of the escapes to let one of the greasers out in the after tunnel. They heaved the door up about two feet to let the greaser out.

5564. Did you do it by yourselves? - Yes, me and my mate on the other side of the engine room.

My understanding, he went via the ladders to the electric engine room to open a door at the afterside.
He was in the electric engine room, his mate in the room behind the electric engine room.


5565. Did you hear any signal given to the bridge? - From the engine room?
5566. Yes? - Yes.
5567. What? - When they rang the stand-by. Is that what you mean?
5568. Yes? - That is all I heard, and then they rang down, "Slow ahead!"

This part is strange. If he was in the electric engine room, he could not see the telegraph, as the door to the
reciprocating engine room was closed.
One question about the telegraphs, do they use different ring signals?
My understanding up to now is, they simply ring, and one has to look what they indicate.


5570. ... After we got the greaser out we came back to the turbine-room again, and the engineer in the turbine-room told us to heave up all the watertight doors. That was after we came back from letting the greaser out of the tunnel.
5586. Did you go right aft again to the aftermost tunnel? - Yes, we went right through.
We opened one up in the afterside of the turbine room, and then went right through them till we got to the after one, which we had opened up about two feet.
5598. After having done that, you walk through again? - Yes, we go back into the main engine room then.

The attorney general repeats the questions about machine commands.

5607. You were standing in the turbine engine room close to the door? - Yes.
5608. And you told us you heard what was going on in the main engine room? - The telegraph?
5609. Yes, I want you to tell my Lord what it was? - They rang down "Stop," and two greasers on the bottom rang the telegraph back to answer it. Then they rang down "Slow ahead." For ten minutes she was going ahead. Then they rang down "Stop," and she went astern for five minutes.
5610. (The Commissioner.) The orders were "Stop," "Slow ahead," and then "Astern"?
- No, it was "Stop," and then "Astern." She went astern for five minutes. Then they rang down "Stop."
5611. "Stop," "Slow ahead" - 10 minutes, you say? - Yes, about 10 minutes.
5612. Then "Stop" again? - Yes, "Stop"; then she went astern for about five minutes.

Scott was in the electric engine room at this time. This is what he said previously:

5565. Did you hear any signal given to the bridge? - From the engine room?
5566. Yes? - Yes.
5567. What? - When they rang the stand-by. Is that what you mean?
5568. Yes? - That is all I heard, and then they rang down, "Slow ahead!"

So he did not hear the "Astern".
After that he was busy opening six watertight doors.
Interesting the discussion between the Attorney General and Lord Mersey (Commissioner):


5629. ...
The Commissioner: Will you look at Dillon's evidence on this point at Question 3718?
The Attorney-General: Yes.
The Commissioner: And 3720? - The Attorney-General: I have it in mind, my Lord.
The Commissioner: I am told by one of my colleagues that it is directly in the teeth of this evidence.
The Attorney-General: I am afraid that is likely to happen more than once in the case.
The Commissioner: No doubt; we shall not get the same story from everyone.

5630. After you had heard all these orders can you tell me how long it was before you went aft to the aftermost tunnel to release your mate? - Well, I should say it was just over the half-hour I should think.
5631. You mean just over half-an-hour from when? - From the time the doors were lowered and we went and let him out.
5632. If that is right it would be very soon after you heard the last order given? - To stop?
5633. Yes. - No, it was about a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes after that.

This is in contradiction with statements 5529 .... 5554:
He saw the telegraph in the main engine room, he felt the shock, and then the telegraphs rang "stop".
The watertight doors were closed.
Then he went up and down the escape to the electric engine room to let one of the greasers out in the after tunnel.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
4,620
519
183
Funchal. Madeira
To answer your questions, Marcus:

The mate Scott rescued from the shaft tunnel would be the Shaft Greaser who was located at least 175 feet away, behind three(3) closed WT doors. To liberate him, Scott had to raise each one of these doors manually for a height of about 2 feet. The whole operations would have taken quite a long time considering that it would have taken a man walking briskly, 30 seconds to get there and 30 seconds to return without stopping. Under such circumstances, the last engine order would have been given long before Scott and his two mates returned the the Turbine Room.

Engine Room telegraphs sounded exactly the same as the bridge ones although for obvious reasons, the former had to be much louder. There was no way Scott could ave known an engine order by the sound of the telegraphs.

In my book, the man Scott was seeking to exaggerate the importance of the part he played in the drama He probably felt that since all the engineers were lost there was no one to contradict his statement.