Schooner Seen by Captain Moore

Julian Atkins

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Sep 23, 2017
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Hi Sam,

Yes, and how Rostron could possible have thought the Carpathia could be pressed to a 17 knots speed (Scribners March 1913) and 17.5 knots speed (at the British Inquiry), and how he still took this view in his 1931 autobiography, and Bissett (16 knots) in his of 1959, suggests quite a lot.

That night, Rostron, and Bissett, who both got up to stay on the bridge after their own watches had ended, and so arguably were sleep deprived despite the adrenalin pumping round due to the excitement of the rescue attempt, ought to have quoted revs per minute reported from Chief Engineer Alexander Johnstone? Alternatively, did the Chief Engineer report a cruising speed way above what the ship was clearly capable of? Or was it an assumption based on a false assessment of the actuality?

The Carpathia had a 'refit' each winter for a month, but it wasn't a new ship by any means. She was of the same vintage as The Californian, The Californian being one year older.

Perhaps Captain Rostron wasn't too bothered about the niceties of engine room stuff. Perhaps he, despite his assertion that he was on the bridge the whole time during the rescue attempt, left the bridge stuff to Dean and Bissett, and concentrated on the minutiae of preparations, as his orders show, which are far more detailed than evidence of speed and navigation!

He certainly didn't see for himself the lights of a ship "one of his officers" reported.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

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Rostron was fully aware of what was asked of him. He also knew that NY was carrying time for the 75th meridian west longitude, and did so since the early 1880s. That table shows LMT for the ambrose lightship, not the time carried on clocks in New York, Boston, or any other location on the east coast of the US and Canada. That table you show is practically useless.
Now as far as where Carpathia would have been at LAN on April 15th, her DR position for when she turned around was at 49° 13'W. This was based on working the given evidence that Carpathia was calculated by Rostron to be 58 miles and bearing S52°E true from the SOS position which was 41° 46'N, 50° 14'W. Apparent time on Carpathia was 12:35am, a time that would have be such that when her clocks reached 12:00pm some 11 hours 25 minutes later, it would have corresponded to local apparent noon. At a reported speed of 14 knots, Carpathia would have covered a distance of about 160 miles. She was heading eastward on the GC to Gibraltar. Down in latitude 41° 10'N, each mile eastward is loss of 1.33' in longitude, or 160*1.33 = 212' = 3° 32' from 49° 13'W yielding a longitude for LAN at:
45° 41'W. LAN at 45° 41'W on 15 April came at 15:03 GMT, which means Carpathia clocks were set at midnight for 3 hours 3 minutes behind GMT.
If she had not turned around for SOS position when she did, she would have discovered that she was running ahead of the DR when a longitude site of the sun would be taken in the forenoon, and any correction to the time would be done at that time. If you work the same problem assuming a speed 15.5 knots, then LAN would have been at 45° 17'W, and clocks adjusted to be 3h 01m behind GMT.
No, Sam, these Tables are not as you declare "totally useless". Otherwise, why was that it was included in every one of the eleven additions printed right up to 1947? Would that be because navigators used GMT Chronometers and not ship time or EST?

As for Carpathia's run to LAN 15th? A ship's run was calculated GMT to GMT. The times were taken from the chronometer, not Apparent Time Ship or local time New York. They were the actual hours and minutes on passage from A to B.
When Carpathia arrived at New York or departed New York, the arrival and departure times would be recorded as per chronometer and EST. However, the chronometer did not show EST + 5 hours, but EST + 4 hours 55 minutes. The 5 minutes added on arrival were not part of the day's run. Nor would they be part of the day's run from the time of departure.

Applying the foregoing:

From Faop at 2 pm EST, on the 11th to first receipt of the CQD at 10-35 pm EST on the 14th is run time of 80 hrs 35 minutes.
From Faop at 18- 55 GMT 11th to CQD at 3-35 am GMT 15th is a run time of 80 hours 40 minutes.

Now consider the run times without any clock alterations...i.e. from 2 pm 11th to 12-25 am April 15. That is a total run time of 82 hours 25 minutes. Subtract the true run time and you get the amount of clock change applied between Faop and the moment the distress signal was received on Carpathia. But what is the true run time? Remember that 5 minutes was added without the ship moving an inch during these minutes.

EST is an arbitrary time. However, chronometer time... GMT was the benchmark.
If you subtract run time EST to EST, you get a difference of 1 hour 50 minutes. If you subtract GMT from GMT you get a difference of 1 hour 55 minutes. It follows that when the distress signal was received, the difference between ship time EST and New York EST was exactly 1 hour 50 minutes. So Rostron said it as it was.
If Carpathia was at or near to 49-13W at 12-30 am, then, since the clocks were advanced by about half an hour before midnight, it had taken about 12 hours to get there from Noon the previous day, April 14.
She must have been reducing her westerly longitude between 18.5 and 20 minutes per hour. If so, then in 12 hours she had reduced it by a maximum 4 degrees of longitude, meaning that at Noon April 14, she would have been near to 53-13'West at Noon on April 14. At that time, her clocks would have been adjusted to being 1 hour 27 minutes FAST of New York EST. Rostron would then decide how much to alter them for the next day's run. This would depend on his average speed during the previous Day's run.

Apart from the foregoing, this is about Mount Temple, do you still believe she was unaffected by the Gulf Stream?
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Hi Sam,

Yes, and how Rostron could possible have thought the Carpathia could be pressed to a 17 knots speed (Scribners March 1913) and 17.5 knots speed (at the British Inquiry), and how he still took this view in his 1931 autobiography, and Bissett (16 knots) in his of 1959, suggests quite a lot.

That night, Rostron, and Bissett, who both got up to stay on the bridge after their own watches had ended, and so arguably were sleep deprived despite the adrenalin pumping round due to the excitement of the rescue attempt, ought to have quoted revs per minute reported from Chief Engineer Alexander Johnstone? Alternatively, did the Chief Engineer report a cruising speed way above what the ship was clearly capable of? Or was it an assumption based on a false assessment of the actuality?

The Carpathia had a 'refit' each winter for a month, but it wasn't a new ship by any means. She was of the same vintage as The Californian, The Californian being one year older.

Perhaps Captain Rostron wasn't too bothered about the niceties of engine room stuff. Perhaps he, despite his assertion that he was on the bridge the whole time during the rescue attempt, left the bridge stuff to Dean and Bissett, and concentrated on the minutiae of preparations, as his orders show, which are far more detailed than evidence of speed and navigation!

He certainly didn't see for himself the lights of a ship "one of his officers" reported.

Cheers,

Julian
Hello Julian.

Rostron would have staid on his bridge and conned the ship. His C/O would be in charge of the deck crew during the recovery process, That was and still is standard practice. You will recall that on Titanic, Smith stayed close to his bridge while his C/O had a roving commission around the decks.

However, Rostron lied in his teeth about the ship's speed and about the position where he found Boxall et al. Within three hours of leaving the wreck sit, he would have known his navigation was way-out. because he would have obtained a good position at Noon that day, the conditions were perfect for it. a simple run back on his morning course would have shown his the error of his ways.
The nonsense about the ridiculous speeds was just that... nonsense. I suspect Rostron did his Hans Christian Andersen bit in an effort to fend off the anticipated awkward question for which he had no answer. Alternatively, he did it as an act of kindness, to save the face of poor old Boxhall who had made a balls of things. neither Lord or Moore were in any way fooled, and said so but were ignored.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Jim,

I agree with your above post. To my simple mind, if Rostron thought the Carpathia was really going 17.5 knots, he risked damaging the Quadruple expansion steam engine bearings - which if they heated up and seized - would have meant a long enforced stop to repair them.

I also doubt whether turning off all ancillaries stated by Rostron would have made a jot of difference to the speed. It would simply have resulted in the safety valves blowing off on the boilers, assuming the Carpathia usually cruised at the working pressure of the boilers or very just below. (The same could be said for Rostron's extra watch of stokers).

As I understand it, again to my simple mind, a triple expansion or quadruple expansion plant on a steam ship has very little leeway to increase it's speed above maximum cruising speed, because everything is very fine tuned, unlike on a steam locomotive hauling a train.

I will have to ask my nephew about all this as he skippers the SS Shieldhall sometimes. My brother spent 26 years in the RN down in the engine rooms, and I recall his odd dismissive comment that the bridge officers didn't have the grasp they ought to have of what went on in the engine room. I can recall a very old late friend of mine, Fred Wills, being on a Liberty ship in WW2, and having to do a bearing repair in the Mediterranean as they headed for Malta. They were stopped for hours with numerous threats from Nazi planes and submarines.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Hi Jim,

I agree with your above post. To my simple mind, if Rostron thought the Carpathia was really going 17.5 knots, he risked damaging the Quadruple expansion steam engine bearings - which if they heated up and seized - would have meant a long enforced stop to repair them.

I also doubt whether turning off all ancillaries stated by Rostron would have made a jot of difference to the speed. It would simply have resulted in the safety valves blowing off on the boilers, assuming the Carpathia usually cruised at the working pressure of the boilers or very just below. (The same could be said for Rostron's extra watch of stokers).

As I understand it, again to my simple mind, a triple expansion or quadruple expansion plant on a steam ship has very little leeway to increase it's speed above maximum cruising speed, because everything is very fine tuned, unlike on a steam locomotive hauling a train.

I will have to ask my nephew about all this as he skippers the SS Shieldhall sometimes. My brother spent 26 years in the RN down in the engine rooms, and I recall his odd dismissive comment that the bridge officers didn't have the grasp they ought to have of what went on in the engine room. I can recall a very old late friend of mine, Fred Wills, being on a Liberty ship in WW2, and having to do a bearing repair in the Mediterranean as they headed for Malta. They were stopped for hours with numerous threats from Nazi planes and submarines.

Cheers,

Julian
Hello Julian.

In my day, by lifting the Governor, the Chief might have squeezed a few knots out of her in an emergency but I doubt very much if that happened on Carpathia. Many a time, as an Apprentice, we fished for sharks in the Red Sea while waiting for the Engineers to change a bearing.
I had a very close friend who ran the gauntlet on the Malta Convoys...no fun at all, especially when there were Stukas around.
 

Julian Atkins

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Sep 23, 2017
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'Governors' on a steam plant on a ship? On a Triple or Quadruple expansion steam engine plant on a ship?

Governors were those balls spinning around to cut off or increase the steam supply to the plant of a far more basic steam plant surely?

I associate them with mill engines and beam engines and Traction engines - not a highly tuned compound steam engine plant on a ship.

Cheers,

Julian
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Hello Julian,
Governors were most certainly fitted to Tripple expansion steam engines. The following is an extract from "survivorlibrary.com/...page 165

"Governor. The governor should be adjusted to meet the differ-ent conditions of speed and steam pressure and the degree of regulation required. As governors differ so much in design and detail of construction, it is not possible to give any general rule for their adjustment. The operator, if desired, can usually obtain instruc- tions from the engine builder for the particular type of governor in question "

As for Marine Triple Expansions... how about this from a book written by Peter Ried named "Haunted Earth"...page 164... concerning a WW2 Liberty ship named the SS Armidale ?

"He could help the Chief extract a regular 15.5 knots from the Armidale's triple Expansion Steam Engine, lift the Governors in an emergency to sqeeze out an extra knot or two."


I suspect the "he", subject under discussion, had the same vivid imagination as did Captain Rostron, since a Libert Ship was hard-pushed to get much more than 12 knots.

Incidentally, Rostron would have had a very good grounding on the operation and economics of a triple expansion steam engine. His certificate would have looked something like this, but in beautiful copper-plate script.
Master Steam 2019-07-01 001.jpg
 
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Apart from the foregoing, this is about Mount Temple, do you still believe she was unaffected by the Gulf Stream?
I never said MT was unaffected by the Gulf Stream. In fact, back in post #9 I had stated:
"I do agree that MT was further eastward when she reached her southernmost point down in lat 41° 15'N and where she was when she turned around for the CQD. But Moore did not know that until they took that PV sight of the sun around 6:52am (when the sun would be on the PV at his location) which showed they were then about 3 miles east of CQD longitude. "
 
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When Carpathia arrived at New York or departed New York, the arrival and departure times would be recorded as per chronometer and EST. However, the chronometer did not show EST + 5 hours, but EST + 4 hours 55 minutes.
Jim, have you been smoking something? Really, the chronometer did not show EST + 5 hours, but EST + 4 hours 55 minutes? Really? On what planet? The chronometer showed GMT. GMT was and is 5h 0m 0s ahead of EST. EST is mean time for the 75th meridian of west longitude. That is and was precisely 5h 0m 0s behind GMT. On WSL vessels, departure and arrival times for ports on the east coast of the US and Canada were recorded for mean time for the 75th meridian; i.e., EST:

Rule 116. Time To Be Kept. Seventy-fifth meridian time must be used for time of arrival and departure from Sandy Hook Lightship, Five Fathom Bank Lightship, and other points of arrival and departure in the United States and Canada. Greenwich Mean Time must be used in Abstract Logs after the English or Irish land is made. When passing points and ships at sea, either eastbound or westbound, Greenwich Mean Time, as well as ship's time must be used.
 
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Jim Currie

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Ship's clock time is kept relative to the equivalent GMT by chronometer until EOP ( End of Passage). Any necessary adjustments to conform to standard time are applied at that moment or soon thereafter. A supplementary correction of time to Zone Time plays no part in the navigation of the ship. The main reason was run time which was calculated GMT to GMT. Additionally, if a ship had a single chronometer, the ship's clock was the next best thing.

The normal practice on arrival at New York...Light Ship was to retard the ship's clock the extra 5 minutes. Then, the difference between chronometer time and ship time was exactly 5 hours and the ship was on Port time...EST.
When leaving, the process was reversed. At the Light Ship, the clock would be advanced 5 minutes and ship time then was 5 hours 55 minutes SLOW of GMT. The GMT of F.a.o.p. (Full Away) was the starting time for the navigation of the ship back to Europe and, since the artificial addition of 5 minutes had been removed, the ship-time could be used in an emergency if necessary.

Ships cannot navigate to the 75th Meridian... not unless they are airships.

Captain Moore was a lying old git! That ENE setting 1+ knot current must have pushed his ship in exactly the same as it pushed everyone else that night, including Carpathia. He obtained his 50-09.5'West longitude after he had been steaming down then back up the western edge of the pack ice for an hour.
At 5 am he was stopped against the ice, about 7 miles to the n'ward of Carpathia. That puts him at about 41-50'Northm 50-04'West. If he was looking toward Carpathia at that time, he would have been looking at her diagonally across the pack ice. He had no idea how wide it was at that point. What should be asked is why it was that at 6 pm he was 4 or 5 miles to the westward of the western edge of the pack ice if he was looking for a way through it.?