Sea trial route?


Aug 23, 2018
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I’m looking for details on the geographical route taken by Titanic during her sea trials on 2nd April but have been unsuccessful so far. Can anyone offer any help? I’m trying to confirm or refute family stories about spotting Titanic off the coast of Ayrshire on that day.

There seems to be conflicting reports on how long the sea trials lasted, contributing to the conspiracy stories but ultimately creating a sense of urgency which may mean that full, rigorous tests were not completed. Again, any insights on this would be appreciated.
 
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Harland Duzen

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Jan 14, 2017
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Hello Moira, Welcome to ET!

I been trying to map the route as well but unfortunately the Officers never mention any towns or landmarks they passed.

Harold Bride does mention Titanic "lying off Linton when we came around Belfast..." 1 possibly mispronouncing or referring to "Ballyquintin" (but don't quote me on this, I could be wrong).

Also 5th Officer Lowe 2 and others say they spent 2 hours steaming down the Irish sea (South I assume) before turning around and steaming 2 hours back up North to Belfast so we very crudely know the trials took place at least 2 hours steaming distance from Belfast or at the opening of Belfast Lough.

Hope this makes some sense and helps.

1 TIP | United States Senate Inquiry | Day 2 | Testimony of Harold S. Bride (Junior Marconi Officer, SS Titanic)

2 TIP | United States Senate Inquiry | Day 5 | Testimony of Harold G. Lowe (Fifth Officer, SS Titanic)
 
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Aaron_2016

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My understanding is the Titanic went south during her sea trials. My parents watched several ships conduct their sea trials down the Irish coastline.

5th officer Lowe was asked:


Q - When the turns or circles were made were they made in the open sea, or were they made inside?
A - Just inside, under the Copeland.

Q - When the maximum speed was obtained in the trial tests, was the ship in the open sea?
A - Yes, between the heads. I think it is Copeland Point, or Copeland Head. Between that and I think, mind you, I do not say that it is, I think it was Black Rock Lightship, somewhere between; because I do not know the coast.
Q - I do not ask you to guess at anything; I just ask if you know.
A - I just state to the best of my knowledge.


The Titanic appeared to be somewhere between the Copeland islands (near Bangor) and Blackrock lightship (near Dundalk).


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Aug 23, 2018
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This is very helpful, thank you!

Another Titanic ‘mystery’ solved, I think. At least as far as my family’s claims to have seen her go! :)
 
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Aaron_2016

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This is very helpful, thank you!

Another Titanic ‘mystery’ solved, I think. At least as far as my family’s claims to have seen her go! :)

Google images provides other locations for 'Black Rock'. Although it is possible that 5th officer Lowe may have mistaken Blackrock for Blackhead. There were a number of locations by that name with possibly their own lightship protecting the coastline back in 1912. This could mean the Titanic went up north or towards Scotland for her sea trials.



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Harland Duzen

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That wrecks my old draft for the route but better to be accurate than wrong.

Perhaps there might be some designated route done for all Harland & Wolff Sea Trials or the Olympic's sea trials might have followed a similar path?
 
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Aaron_2016

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This is very helpful, thank you!

Another Titanic ‘mystery’ solved, I think. At least as far as my family’s claims to have seen her go! :)

During the sea trials 2nd officer Lightoller said the Titanic was also put on a 4 hour speed test on "a comparatively straight course and back again....Two out and two back."

A two hour straight course would mean the Titanic either went down the Irish coast, or straight towards Ayrshire.



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