Layout of the Icefield


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Alicia Coors

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As Dave Gittins points out on his site as well as in the above post, no one involved seems to have known where he was with much accuracy.

Okay, if the ships that reported the ice didn't know where they were, how can anyone say that one or the other of the representations of their ice data is inaccurate?
 

George Behe

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> Okay, if the ships that reported the ice didn't >know where they were, how can anyone say that one >or the other of the representations of their ice >data is inaccurate?

Although the exact latitude and longitude of the icefield is open to question, the general *lay* of the icefield (i.e. the fact that it extended from NW to SE on April 15 as per Rostron) is IMO almost impossible to refute -- especially when Rostron's eyewitness observation is backed up by the Frankfurt's independent NNW-SSE ice-hugging course on the morning of April 15th. (Try superimposing the Frankfurt's course on top of the "standard" Hydrographic ice chart in order to see how unrelated to reality the ice chart really is.)

IMO any ice chart that strays from a general NW-SE lay for the icefield itself is constructed on pretty thin ice (so to speak.) :)

Thoughts, anyone?

All my best,

George
 
Feb 13, 2003
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George:

quote:

Thoughts, anyone?

Californian stopped at eastern ice edge longitude. 50 07W , Titanic encountered eastern ice edge 50 14 W and Mount Temple reached western ice edge longitude 50 38W ( ENE -- WSW )

Collins​
 

George Behe

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Hi, Captain Collins!

It's good to see you here!

I know that you and I disagree on the longitude at which the Titanic struck ice, since you accept the Marconi CQD longitude while I accept the (more or less) wreck site longitude.

If the icefield was oriented in the direction that you have just suggested, though, I can only point out that the Frankfurt's NNW-SSE course would have taken that vessel on a perpendicular course right *through* the icefield instead of on a course parallel to the icefield's western edge (the latter event being what actually occurred.) I honestly don't see any way around that difficulty or Rostron's supporting testimony that the icefield ran from NW to SE.

In any case, though, it's good to see you posting here on the bulletin board. I hope you'll have a great weekend.

All my best,

George
 
Feb 13, 2003
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George:

quote:

If the icefield was oriented in the direction that you have just suggested

I, merely, cite the positions where the three main players encountered the ice. Again, Californian 42 05N, 50 07W; Titanic 41 46N, 50 14W;( the Eastern edge) Mount Temple 41 38N, 50 38 W (Western edge). In the area where the Gulf Stream converges with the Labrador current, field ice (pack ice) very seldom concentrates into one area, but usually spreads over a wide area consisting of *Strips* and *Tongues* with many *Open Leads* and *Blind leads*. It sometimes happens when following (Parallel) the edge of one ice strip there will be another ice strip too far distance, at first, to be observed. Sometimes, a ship following, what is believed to be an *Open lead* finds itself in a *Blind Lead* and has to retrace the opposite lead edge to escape from the ice.

Due to the vagaries of the curents and eddies it is quite possible that the Frankfurt's did follow a NNW-SSE *open lead*, and that Rostron did observe a NW to SE ice *Tongue*.

It should be noted, if you discount the Titanic CQD ( Marconi ) position, then you must discount the positions of the other ships, because ALL were heading for the Titanic CQD position.

Yes! it's good to see you posting here again and to exchange views with you.

Kind regards,

Collins​
 

George Behe

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Hi, Captain Collins!

Thanks very much for sharing your views on the possible lay of the icefield.

>It should be noted, if you discount the Titanic >CQD ( Marconi ) position, then you must discount >the positions of the other ships, because ALL >were heading for the Titanic CQD position.

When the Mt. Temple arrived at the Titanic CQD position early that morning, though, she found nothing there. Do you believe that Captain Moore was mistaken in his belief that the Mt. Temple had reached the CQD position? (If so, and if Captain Moore was capable of making such an error, isn't it just as possible that Boxhall might have made a similar error in calculating the Titanic's CQD position?)

Don't you just love these imponderable questions? :)

All my best,

George
 
Feb 13, 2003
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George:

quote:

When the Mt. Temple arrived at the Titanic CQD position early that morning, though, she found nothing there.

Captain Moore's testimony to the US and British inquiries, by design or otherwise, has many contradictons and inconsistencies. From the corner 42N/47w he ran down to 40W longitude, and then set his course for Cape Sable, NS At 12:30 a.m. 15th he received Titanic's CQD position and altered course N65W true. He estimated he was 49 miles away. His full speed was 11 1/2 knots, although "perhaphs a little bit of the Gulf Stream was with her too." At 3 a.m., he said they began to meet the ice, and at 3.25 a.m. they stopped. According to his calculation, at that point he was about 14 miles off Titanic's position. He said: "I did not stop her altogether; I simply stopped the engines and let the way run off the ship and proceed slowly...I reached the Titanic's position...at 4.30 in the morning." The Mount Temple, however, could not have reached the site of the disaster by 4,30 a.m. At full speed she could only run 11 1/2 knots - 12 knots with the current running with her - and in one hour and five minutes (from 3.25 a.m. to 4.30 a.m. after stopping and proceeding slowly, she could not have travelled 14 nautical miles. In all likelihood, she travelled at most three to four miles. He gives us no information on stellar observations, and his evidence at the British enquiry differs from that given at the US inquiry. Also, it must be noted the field of ice was moving eastward with the currents.

quote:

isn't it just as possible that Boxhall might have made a similar error in calculating the Titanic's CQD position?

Boxhall had a sharp six star position at 7;30 p.m. from which Titanic ran a course of S86W true at a speed of 22 knots. From my calculations, I am satisfied that Boxhall's CQD position was absolutely correct.

Kind regards,
Collins​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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From George's new webpage:
quote:

It is this writer's opinion that, on the night of April 14, 1912, it was the *excellent* visibility (rather than *reduced* visibility) that was one of the primary causes of the Titanic disaster. The Titanic's officers were apparently so utterly confident of their ability to see icebergs at great distances that they maintained the Titanic's high speed in the mistaken belief that they would have plenty of time to alter course and avoid any berg that might appear directly in the path of the ship.
A very good point, George, though one may throw in some other aggravating factors. If memory serves, the number of liners capable of a routine service speed of 21+ knots was a very short one.

Officers accustomed to the sort of responses and thinking that came with handling ships capable of between 15 to 18 knots would be in for some rude surprises when trying to handle a faster vessel when the danger is recognised. Bluntly, the time they were used to having available to work the problem and make a decision was way more then they actually had.

>>When the Mt. Temple arrived at the Titanic CQD position early that morning, though, she found nothing there.<<

Which fact was corroberated by the ever "popular" Californian I might add. They went for the same position with the same results.​
 
Feb 13, 2003
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quote:

>>When the Mt. Temple arrived at the Titanic CQD position early that morning, though, she found nothing there.<<

Which fact was corroberated by the ever "popular" Californian I might add. They went for the same position with the same results

The fact that Californian started from his 10.21 p.m. April; 14th DR position,, after being subjected to Gulf Stream current for eight hours, *worked * his way through the ice with various courses and speeds, it is most unlikely he could have arrived at the CQD position with accuracy. As a matter of fact he (Lord) did not tell either inquiry that he did. As already shown Mount Temple could not have been at the CQD position, and because he passed the Mount Temple at 7.30 a.m., to the Br 7020 he said "I must have passed that position I should say about half-past 7. He continued past the Mount Temple, which was stopped, and proceeded to alongside the Carpathia. There was no corroberation

Collins​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>He continued past the Mount Temple, which was stopped, and proceeded to alongside the Carpathia. There was no corroberation<<

Disagree. While I haven't gone and back checked the Californian's data, the fact remains that she ended up going to where the Mount Temple was, and the Mount Temple \b{Did} check her position in the morning by taking sights. From the Senate testimony;

==================================================================================================

Senator SMITH. (interposing.) Just one moment.
Does the fact that you found no evidence of the wreck when you got to the Titanic's reported position tend to confirm you in the idea that her position was 8 miles farther to the southward?

Mr. MOORE. No; to the eastward.


Senator SMITH. To the eastward?
Mr. MOORE. Yes.

Senator SMITH. That tends to confirm you in that belief?

Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir. My observation was this: My fourth officer took two observations, and of course, he is a navigator, and also, an extra master's certificate is held by him, which is a better certificate than mine, and he took those observations both times, and both of them tallied. One came 50º 9 1/2' west and the other came 50º 9 3/4'. Of course, it proved afterwards when, after coming southward and trying to find some place I could get through, on the way back again - I suppose about 6 o'clock in the morning - that I sighted the Carpathia on the other side of this great ice pack, and there is where I understand he picked up the boats. So this great pack of ice was between us and the Titanic's position.

Senator SMITH. As given by her?

Mr. MOORE. No, sir. I was in that position. I was to the eastward of the position the Titanic gave me, but she must have been to the eastward still, because she could not have been through this pack of ice.
==================================================================================================

Whatever errors were made in the night, by morning, they knew exactly where they were because they did the checks.
 
Feb 13, 2003
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quote:

While I haven't gone and back checked the Californian's data, the fact remains that she ended up going to where the Mount Temple was, and the Mount Temple Did check her position in the morning by taking sights. From the Senate testimony;

Michael; There is no disputing the fact that the Californian went to where the Mount Temple was,and that Mount Temple's navigator took Prime Vertical Sights 7 1/2 hours after Titanic encountered the pack ice. However,it must be noted that during that time Titanic had been under the influence of the Gulf Stream ( 7 1/2 hours), while Mount Temple had been steaming around at different courses and speeds before the Prime Vertical sights were taken. Where Mount Temple was could not possibly have been where Titanic encounterd the pack ice.


quote:

Whatever errors were made in the night, by morning, they knew exactly where they were because they did the checks.

Do you have any idea of the accuracy of Prime Vertical sights , especially over an ice horizon?
I do.


Regards,
Collins​
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Been reading this with some interest, mainly because there are so many experts here disputing the issue. Yet those charged with deciding were like me - totally ignorant, really - Senator Smith, Lord Mersey et al. And somehow, I just don't trust Capt. Moore of the Mount Temple. Rostron may have inflated his heroics (that handy list of instructions ...) and Lord may have pleaded sleep and implicated his officers ... but, for no reason I can determine, I think Moore lied. But what do I know?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Do you have any idea of the accuracy of Prime Vertical sights , especially over an ice horizon?
I do<<

I'm sure you do. I'm sure they did as well and factored that in as well as drift from currents. They may not have been able to get the sort of accuracy one get's with GPS, but they managed well enough with what they had and were reasonably competant with the math.

>>but, for no reason I can determine, I think Moore lied.<<

About what??? (Genuinely curious here since I can't think of any reason why Moore should have done that.)
 
May 1, 2004
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Pacifique du Nord
I apologize in advance is this post is off-topic.

In John Maxtone-Graham's book about Violet Jessop, the author says Capt. Stanley Lord of The Californian remains largely vilified for not coming to the aid of The Titanic. Maxtone-Graham points out that Capt. Lord was doing *exactly* what a vessel's captain should have done when in the reported region of field ice: STOPPED HIS SHIP UNTIL DAWN, when the ice would have been visible.

Maxtone-Graham also points out the Capt. Smith was sanctified for his behaviour the morning of 15*4*1912, but, as the commander, did not slacken speed, post extra lookouts, or, as Capt. Lord did, stop his vessel until morning.

I must say this is an interestin' topic for reflection.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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The Californain is the source of a lot of very heated debate and probably always will be. Personally, I tend to think that he was the most prudent in his own navigation that night in that when he realized he was over his head, he "slammed on the brakes" so to speak and stayed put until daylight when he could better see what he was doing. I would point out, in all fairness to his critics, that the bone of contention that got Captain Lord into trouble was the Californian's non-response to visible distress signals.

I think most historians are realistic enough to know that there wasn't a lot he could have done, (Distance and time were against him.) but are quick to point out that at least he should have tried.
 
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Arguably, the best ice map was produced for the limitation of liability hearings. I believe a reproduction of this may be found in Leslie Reade's book, and probably others as well. The original (large 3'x3' or 4'x4') map is no longer available at the National Archives. There was a note indicating that it had been "removed." I suspect that it became part of a display somewhere.

--Robison
 
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