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Jul 14, 2000
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Could there have been ice building up on the Rudder for a short time before the collision?
If so, would ice build-up have an effect on the performance of the rudder?

Also, isn't it true that the Titanic would have suffered from a lot of ocean spray coming up from the bow? If so, could this cause any significant ice build-up on the rails and rigging of the forecastle area?

You may see where I'm leading with this.

Yuri Singleton
 
Jan 31, 2001
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Yuri,

I am not sure about ice on the rudder, but ice on the rigging is a very strong possobility. I have even heard it suggested that the ice that supposedly came from the iceberg that was found on the Well Deck might have actaully been knocked off the rigging, as it has been claimed that some passengers put tiny pieces of it in their drinks. Although I do not know from personal experience, icebergs are said to have a distinctly vile odor, and would not be something that anyone in the right mind would want to place in their drinks.

-B.W.
 

Joshua Gulch

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I remember reading somewhere that the ice had to have come off the rigging. Logic being that had the iceburg been close enough to drop ice unto the well deck, it surely would have sheared off lifeboat 1, which was hanging over the side.

Josh.
 
Jan 31, 2001
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Josh,

That was probably the same source from which I got the information I posted above. I have also heard that had the iceberg been that close, then not only would it have sheared Lifeboat No.1 off, but it would have also did considerable damage to the starboard bridge cab.

-B.W.
 

Mike Bull

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Robin Gardiner says in his laughable book 'The Ship That Never Sank' that the berg must have missed the ship because otherwise it would have torn the lifeboat off etc, and guesses that the ice on deck came from the rigging. Of course, he was trying to prove that the Titanic had hit another ship, not an iceberg!
 
Jul 9, 2000
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FWIW, I don't think ice would have had much of a chance to form on the rudder. The temperature was low enough to freeze fresh water, but the Titanic was cruising through salt water.

Ice in the rigging? I rather doubt that one. The ship was cruising through a flat calm on a clear night, not storm tossed seas and freezing rain. Some moisture may have condensed and frozen depending on the humidity, but not in signifigent amounts. Certainly not enough to dump tons of shattered ice onto the well deck.

Likely as not, the ice was broken off from a spur, overhang or outcropping already on the verge of giving way. The Titanic's bump and grind was mearly the straw that broke this camel's back. It wouldn't have sheared the lifeboat away because in wouldn't have been there any more, or the pivoting motion of the ship in her turn to starboard would have been enough to carry the boat deck away from the berg even as the forward part of the bow is turning into it and the hull is being carried off by it's own momentum.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Oct 28, 2000
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Michael has pretty much hit the thumb on the nail. Salt water spray does not build ice on ships the way spray from fresh water does. The night of April 14 was too warm for the formation of ice on the ship.

Every time I look at the mechanics of the accident, I come to the conclusion that the berg must have come alongside the ship about the aft end of the well deck. This seems to be confirmed by the presence of ice there. So, until proven otherwise, I am of the opinion that interaction of the ship and iceberg resulted in the depositing of pieces of ice on the well deck.

Unfortunately, I can't be more specific about what happened because the evidence is too slim. However, the berg and ship must have been parting before boiler room #6 came onto the ice. Otherwise (in my opinion) the fatal damage would continue too far aft and the ship would sink too quickly. I see the starboard emergency boat as escaping destruction by a hair's breadth as the two behemoths parted.

But, as Robert W. Service once said, "The northern lights have seen queer sights..."

-- David G. Brown
 
Jul 14, 2000
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Hmmm. So the ice seen on the well deck couldn't have come from the Titanic herself in the form of glazed sea ice. The air temp. wasn't cold enough and spray in calm water wouldn't reach over the bow. Right?

Ok. I know I've never seen any mention of ice being present on the lifeboats, or davits by witnesses' testimony. So maybe there wasn't any ice on Titanic. But for a moment it seemed like a possibility to me.

There goes that theory,..blub...blub...blub.

blub.


Thanks for the comments everyone.
Yuri Singleton
 

Erik Wood

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Fellas,

I doubt very very very very seriously that any ice impared the rudder during the intiail collision. Ice is not know for blocking the rudder of a ship moving at 22 knots. With a three screws to chew it up.

Erik
 
Feb 21, 2005
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Sorry, I know this thread is ancient, but there was something said in a post above that caught my attention that I have to ask about.

>>Although I do not know from personal experience, icebergs are said to have a distinctly vile odor<<

Is that true? I'm not doubting the poster who said they had heard that said, but am curious as to if anyone knows this from first-hand experience. What sort of smell, and why would an iceberg have an aroma of any kind? That thought just never occured to me until now.
 

Paul Lee

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Don't know about vileness, but storekeeper Frank Prentice reported the smell of ice (a "keeness" as he put it) in the air.
 
Feb 21, 2005
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Hmm. Doesn't sound like it could be that vile if both men couldn't actually "smell" it. I just found that little "vile" quote very interesting and thought I'd ask. I even googled some information up on icebergs and I have yet to find anything that refers to a particular smell. But, I've only got about 10,000 more pages to read with info on icebergs so maybe I'll run across something within the year.
happy.gif

Now I want to go find an iceberg and smell it just to know for myself. LOL
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I suspect that the "Vile odor" part comes from what happens when you have sea life dashed against the ice. How much truth there is to that, I can't say though my hunch is that it's something of an exaggeration.
 

Paul Rogers

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I seem to recall reading that the 'vile' smell associated with some icebergs relates to rotting vegetation. The vegetation in question would have originally been entombed in a glacier prior to the calving of the 'berg itself. As the 'berg melts, the vegetation would be released from the ice and would begin to rot; hence the smell.

I make no claims re: the accuracy of the above explanation, BTW.
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Yes, I've heard that theory too, Paul. And I knew someone who visited Greenland in the summer who said there was quite a distinct smell near the glaciers when the sun was on them. She didn't describe it as rotting - more as slightly pungent. You would think, though, that it would take quite a bit of pungent ice to fill the night air so that someone would recognise it as such. Either that, or there's an iceberg right alongside! Either way, it might set alarm bells ringing in those who recognised it for what it was, unless they were too low down the Edwardian pecking order to dare to comment...

Your neat tag line reminds me of travelling on one of the first Jumbo jets. I was at the back and stared in astonishment as the far-away nose rose in the air on take-off. A very nervous man next to me said, "At this rate, first class will have landed at Kennedy before we've got off the ground." Sounds silly now, but at the time it was quite impressive, and I was quite relieved when we followed the nose into the skies. People wandered around chatting to each other during the flight, just surprised at the comparative freedom of movement. I think they put in more seats after a bit.
 
D

David Ornsby

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Have you ever looked at the bow of the Titanic? Theres no way that the sprey from her bow-wave would reach anything like the fo'cstle ad well deck areas, haha. There would not have been any ice formation on the upperworks of the Titanic. It just doesnt happen there, thats why those shipping lanes were made there. Theyre not in an arctic fishing vessel! (my grandfather can tell you a thing or two about that ("cables were as thick as my arm!! ice!!" etc...) You need the moisture to get ice in air thats freezing. You get what they call 'black mist' or something, where if you run into fog in those temperatures, thats when you start to panic. That causes the ice. The night they hit the berg was clear as a bell, mid atlantic. The rudder obviously wouldnt have been effected by ice. What is interesting is how the rudder, on that special mild steel mounting, would react to the freezing temperatures of the sea in the lower half, and the air temperatures on the upper half. And when you take into consideration that the rudder was not all one piece, and was mounted onto the mild steel, could there be any binding in the hinges with the cold steel, contracting in the cold that could hinder the steering? I'm sure that this would have been taken into consideration when the ship was built though. Nah, its an interesting idea, but no ice, and the stearing was as good as it could have been in its design.
 

Dave Gittins

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I've never met an iceberg, but I have been downwind of a seal colony on an island. There was more than wind filling my sails! I can imagine some ice floes would get rather ripe if they were popular meeting places for seals.

In southern waters, those cute penguins can create quite a pong too.
 
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