Mar 22, 2003
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Perhaps the little pause between Bower's question and Smith's answer was during the time a bearing of the approaching warship was being taken. That is the only way Smith could have been sure there was going to be a collision.
Prior to all that the Hawke and Olympic were on what appeared to be parallel courses. Smith was out on the starboard wing. Bowyer was by the helmsman on the forward part of the bridge. It was soon after Olympic steadied on her course having turned the West Bramble buoy and her engines were ordered to full ahead again. (The port engine having been going full astern while rounding the buoy with the turbine disconnected.) The Olympic was accelerating at the time. According to Smith's testimony:

"For an appreciable time we seemed to run about even speed some little time. Then we gathered speed , drew ahead a little, or she dropped astern...She seemed to drop astern, or, in other words, we gained on her in speed, and immediately after her bow came to port, as if she had starboarded, she turned very quickly, and struck us on the quarter-apparently to me, a right-angled blow almost."..."When she commenced to fall in, I called out to the pilot that 'He is starboarding and he is going to hit us.' "

Bowyer's account of the exchange between himself and Smith is what I quoted in my previous post above.

When Hawke first started to turn in, Smith thought that she was being maneuvered to go under Olympic's stern. Hawkes stem was in line with Olympic's amidships point between the 2nd and 3rd funnels when she was seen to first start to turn in. According to Smith, "I thought they were going under our stern, when they had gone far enough astern and had the distance between us to come round under starboard helm, that was my idea...my idea was that the captain had dropped back as far as he required and had his distance between us, and knew just what his ship could do and could come round under my stern."

He was wrong, but he left it all to Bowyer, who could not see what was happening from where he stood, to give orders.
 
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Doug Criner

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The wake looks as if Titanic 'raced' her. By that, I mean that the rules dictated that a vessel under power should keep clear of one under sail. The wake shows that Titanic did not stop for that vessel;
The rules of the road make a powered vessel burdened when encountering a sailing vessel. This makes sense when they are in a crossing situation and both able to freely maneuver. But, when a 100,000-ton aircraft carrier (or probably the Titanic) comes into a port, it is common for small sailboats to flit around all over the place. In practice, then, the rules of the road are suspended.

A couple of years ago, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a nuclear-powered carrier, entered the Solent for a scheduled port visit. The local authorities issued instructions in advance prohibiting any boat or ship from approaching within a certain number of meters of the carrier. So, in essence, all vessels, other than the carrier were burdened.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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The rules of the road make a powered vessel burdened when encountering a sailing vessel.
The exception is a large vessel operating in confined waters. It is encumbered for small and sailing vessels to stay out of way of a large vessel in a narrow channel simply because they can, while the large vessel is confined to navigate within the channel because of their draft.

"RULE 9 Narrow Channels (b). A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway."
 

Doug Criner

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OK, that clarifies it for me. I knew that was how it actually worked, but didn't know the rules. In the case of USS Theodore Roosevelt's visit to the Solent, the instructions issued by the local authorities were perhaps icing on the cake? Or maybe to guard against any terrorist attack?

The problem is that some of those small sailboats violating the rules have scantily clad girls, waving to the navy sailors.
 
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Georges Guay

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What brings you to believe that Smith charged into a known ice-field in the middle of the night, Georges? Where is the incontrovertible proof that he did so?

I think that Capt. Smith was such a good BoT Certified British Deck Officer that if he would’ve received a steam message warning him that there was an iceberg at an exact DGPS-WAAS position, he would have hit another one 20 nautical miles away!
 

Harland Duzen

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Re analysing the photo, I noticed the ketch actually has the letter W stamped on it's sail. Could this identify it? I going to continue searching.
fc18f3b5595309e67f14c0e21691dd34--titanic-history-portsmouth.jpg
 

Harland Duzen

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We did it! We solved the Mystery! Woo hoo! :)

(Starts Punching Air and Whooping around room.)

I definitely going to use this in my book! Thank You!
 
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Yes I can not make out the word "Pilots" on the other picture. I think the "No. 1" at the bow was also added. We see it is now missing at the sail which (in 1912) had "No. 1" on it and below it the letters "I W".
 
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Unfortunately I can not find the high quality version of that photo, not sure where I have placed it.
Have try to work on one with a less resolution and have add what is on the sail visible.

Pilot1.jpg
 

Rob Lawes

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I wonder if any of those boats survived?

They're rather beautiful in a functional way. They are the sort of vessels that find their way into small maritime museums as surviving examples of their type.
 
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Rob Lawes

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Further to my last, it seems that not only did a large number of these vessels survive but every year around the UK there is a pilot cutter regatta featuring these vessels racing.

Who knew?
 

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