Ship's time and the Californian


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NICKY BIRD

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I am a new boy. And thus crave indulgence if I do not know or follow the correct form.

I am a publisher of PLAYING CARDS. We are producing, with the Titanic Historical Society, a deck of commemorative playing cards featuring 54 images of the Titanic, her crew, passengers etc.

To accompany the publication I am putting on my website an essay analysing some of the popular facts and myths about the sinking. But I am a military historian and writer, not a marine expert. Thus I would appreciate some expert advise.

I attempt some analysis of Californian's position on the night of the 14th. ...but it would be more stringent if I was certain of the relevant times and discrepancies in time - do you or any of your members happen to know the difference in ship's time between what Carpathia records at the wreck site the morning of the 15th. and the position of Mount Temple some 11-13 miles or so to the west? [the CQD site]

Mount Temple's Captain Moore seems to have quoted both ship's time and New York time when logging wireless messages or reporting sighting Carpathia - I assume a time difference of 1 hr. 46 mins. between NY time and that of his position west of the iceflow. I am assuming also that Rostron quotes his ship's time for sighting Californian on the 15th. But is it calculated for his actual position or that of Titanic's CQD site, where he probably assumed he was? It is generally calculated that the time difference between Titanic's actual position on the night of the 14th. and Californian's presumed position to the north is 15 mins approx. I have assumed the same time difference between the CQD position and that of the Californian as she steamed through the ice and was seen by Mount Temple. Is that right? The latitude may be similar but not the longitude...

In my reading of various sources, times given are never clearly designated as ship's time, or how they differed from other ship's time. It is a consistent weakness of Titanic writing, and a rather crucial one when it comes to assessing positions and thus Lord's culpability.

Can you elucidate?
 
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NICKY BIRD

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Sam,

Thank you very much indeed for your most helpful comments. I will access your articles. Perhaps I could come back to you when I have digested the contents.

Nicky Bird
 
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