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Stanley Lord guilty as charged

Discussion in 'Accusations against Captain Lord and Subsequent Di' started by schuylervanjohnson, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Georges G.

    Georges G. Member

    Jim, if you haul the accurate and unaffected Cherub through your own current vectors between the dates plotted, what will be the difference between the Distance Over the Water against the Distance Over the Ground?

    Do we still using Log speed in our time and for what purpose?
  2. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hi Rob.
    The ice around the Californian was loose and very light.
    When Lord turned his ship violently to the right, the swinging bow and stern would displace water and the sea would fill-in the "hole" where the bow and stern had been. Thus, two little currents would be set-up; one acting on the port bow and another one acting on the starboard, stern. As long as there was no wind or sea, the ship would be spun round very slowly. I suspect it all ended just about 3-30 am when the wind started to rise from the northward. Then, because Californian was a center island ship, she would probably have settled down with her starboard side facing northward. I'm sure Georges can elaborate on that. Meanwhile, here's a rough sketch and photograph I took of that kind of stuff from the bridge of my ship way back in 1960. Not much of a photograph of a close call but will give you an idea of what I think Lord was talking about.

    Californian swings.jpg
    Ship pictures 2017-03-09 005.jpg
    Rob Lawes likes this.
  3. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    Cheers Jim. That makes sense.
  4. Georges G.

    Georges G. Member


    8063. You are head E.N.E.?
    - Yes.

    8066. Then you turned round?
    - We slowly swung to port the other way, swinging through to southward.

    8068. Right round this way?
    - Yes to W.S.W.

    Well after being brought dead stop in the water, during the course of the 12-4 watch, the vessel was slowly swinging to port … bow to the left … stern to the right … anticlockwise!

    :D ... back to topic !

    Generally speaking, the center of wind impact is usually behind the ship’s center of gravity. So if you have a black out, the vessel will tend to settle (at the very best) at about 45° bow to the wind. If it would not be the case, a vessel would be brought abeam to the wind and could roll heavily in rough seas. Just like a spanker would be set to bring the bow to the wind. If the wind impact is forward of the ship’s center of gravity, the vessel would swing stern to wind. That situation can certainly happens on a light ship vessel with a strong positive trim with her bow high above sea level.

    E.N.E. by compass is about East True. If the current was setting southerly, which I believe it was, the vessel after being brought dead stop East True, would start to generate its own South relative wind. Logically, she should have started to swing to Stbd (clockwise) until she would settle back on a South-East True heading. But when the North wind picked up, she would have then swing to Port (anticlockwise) until a North-East True heading would be reached. If the turning momentum overrides the wind resultant force, a vessel could cross the wind and settle on a North-West True heading.

    As the wind and current force vary so the swing …
  5. Georges G.

    Georges G. Member

    A mixt of First Year Sea Ice: Not more than one winter’s growth, developing from young ice; 30 cm or greater. It may be subdivided into thin first-year ice, sometimes referred to as white ice, medium first-year ice and thick first-year ice.


    Second Year Sea Ice: Old ice which has survived only one summer’s melt. Thicker than first-year ice, it stands higher out of the water. In contrast to multi-year ice, summer melting produces a regular pattern of numerous small puddles. Bare patches and puddles are usually greenish-blue.

  6. Ajmal, if as you say, Californians message blew his ears off then Phillips would never have read exactly what Evans was sending him. The problem is that Evans was not using the right protocol for sending urgent massages. He simply sent an informal message from one operator to another and apparently didn't bother to listen hard enough to notice that Cape Race was in the process of sending messages to Titanic. Given what Balfour on the Baltic was complaining about the next day regarding Evans' irrelevant messages to Birma and others, Evans' action on how he handled Lord's instructions the night before does not come as a surprise to me. Note that Evans never followed up by getting into contact with Titanic after Phillips' reprimand. If he was given Californian's position to send to Titanic by Lord, he apparently never bothered to make sure it got through. I guess going to sleep more important.
    Ajmal Dar likes this.
  7. A totally inconsistent description. How could he tell Groves, "‘Wireless said he’d only got the Titanic.’ I said, ‘that’s not the Titanic,’ and he said, ‘Oh that looks like a passenger ship to me.’ But I said, ‘She doesn’t to me.'" if he went to the wireless cabin after talking to Groves? He was clearly getting his story confused with his conversation with Groves about 11:45pm when he went up to see this mystery steamer that was stopped on his starboard side.
    Ajmal Dar and Julian Atkins like this.
  8. Georges G.

    Georges G. Member

  9. Of course the wireless message sent to Antillian at 5:35pm NY time (7:25pm Californian ATS) read: "Captain Antillian. 6.30pm ATS [Apparent Time Ship] lat. 42.3 N, long. 49.9 W. Three large bergs five miles to southward of us. Regards. Lord."

    What was put in the logbook, written up the next day, was obviously a little different.
  10. By the way, Titanic used a Walker’s Neptune log, which was the model designed for speeds of more than 18 knots, not the Cherub model mentioned by some sources.
    Georges G. likes this.
  11. Georges G.

    Georges G. Member

    That is correct! But I could not afford a Neptune … :(

    Nevertheless, it suffered from the same handicap as the Cherub and only shows Distances Over the Water, which could be quite mistaking … Distances by RPMs were not really more accurate!
  12. I think Stone was getting things a bit mix up when he said that. Consider this:
    8063. You are head E.N.E.? - Yes.
    8064. She [mystery steamer] is abeam of you? - She is on our starboard beam.
    8065. With her red light open? - Yes.
    8066. Then you turned round? - We slowly swung to port the other way, swinging through to southward.
    8067. You came round that way? - Yes, and brought her head -
    8068. Right round this way? - Yes to W.S.W.

    8083. (The Commissioner.) She [mystery steamer] went across your bows? - It was merely our swinging that brought her across our bows.

    If Californian started out facing ENE and ended up facing WSW, and was swinging through to southward, then she was swinging overall clockwise, bow swing to starboard, not to port; as if she had ported her helm in the terminology used back then, as if to turn to the right.
  13. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    In my day, Georges, ships ran over the water., trains, cars and buses ran over the ground. Here is an extract from a 1914 Log book page:
    ADM 53-37364-017_0.jpg
    Since we plotted the position of the ship on the water, not the land, we worked entirely on distance between points on the water. The Patent Log was not affected by current, it simply measured the distance it had been towed through the water by the ship and consequently recorded the distance the ship towing it had travelled over the water.
    The current affected the ship's position on the water. It slowed her down or speeded her up and/or moved he right or left.
    I believe that after Noon that day, as was perfectly normal on that run, Titanic encountered an ENE setting current which slowed her down to an average speed of 20.95 Knots. Captain Smith had already seen his ship set to the eastward of his course at Noon so was no surprised when the Log reading for 4 pm showed a slowdown. If the ship had maintained her pre Noon speed of 22.1 knots, he would have turned at 5-35 pm. I suspect he allowed her to run on for another 15 minutes then turn her onto to the next course, thus compensating for the current.

    You wrote "Do we still using Log speed in our time and for what purpose?"
    How would I know? I stopped using one almost 50 years ago.
  14. Yes, I agree, distance through the water, not over ground. Just like the airspeed indicator on an airplane. Speed through the air, not speed over ground.
  15. If you think Stone was confused about swinging directions, look at Gibson. My comments are in brackets [ ]:

    7767. You have told us your ship’s head was E. N. E. when you first saw this vessel? - Yes.
    7768. And you saw her red light on your starboard beam? - Yes.
    7769. Did you continue to see her red light? - Yes, it was about 2 points on the starboard bow.
    7770. When the officer told you she was going away to the S. W. were you still seeing her red light? - No, it had disappeared then.
    7771. Did you ever see her green? - No.
    7772. To show you her red light she must have been heading to the northward of N. N. W., on your story? - Yes. [So far so good]
    7773. And your head was falling away; which way? - To northward. [he's starting to get confused]
    7774. To northward and westward? - Northward and eastward.
    7775. You were heading E. N. E.? - Yes - to northward and westward. [changes his mind]
    7776. To the northward it was at any rate, and if you pass to northward you would get to the northward and west? - Yes. [he is now very confused]
    7777. I understand you to say you got to W. S. W.? - Yes.
    7778. What was causing that? - We were swinging round.
  16. Julian Atkins

    Julian Atkins Member

    I totally agree with you Sam.

    I thought it important to quote what Captain Lord said in 1961 in the taped transcript as it includes lots of little details missing from the 1912 testimony, and corroborated by Groves in his 1950s correspondence with Walter Lord.

    But setting aside the confusion you quite rightly point out, it is a primary source of evidence that adds a lot to what we have to consider, with certain caveats due to the passage of time, and the same will apply to Groves' correspondence and meeting with Walter Lord.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  17. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Speed obtained from measured distance the impeller was dragged through the water divided by time was far more accurate than RPM which is theoretical distance through the water that's why we never used RPM except as a back-up.
    So now we all agree. The patent log measured distance through the water. That being so then at 6 pm on Sunday, April 14, it measured the distance Titanic had traveled through the water since noon that day.
    This very clearly showed that Titanic went at least 2 and possibly 4 miles less than she was supposed to do before she turned at 5-50 pm. Because at 5-50 pm the Patent log should have read 124 miles or 126 miles, (depending on what hymn sheet you are using) instead of what it must have read...122.2 miles.
    In layperson's terms, Titanic did not travel through the water as far as she should have done between Noon April 14 and 5-50 pm April 14.
    However, a layperson would be forgiven for asking: "If the Patent log was out by so much at 5-50 pm, why was it that it measured the actual, or near enough actual, distance Titanic travelled between Noon and when QM Rowe read 260 miles on its dial at the time of impact?
    Also: " Why is it that the evidence of a speed of 22.5 knots based on the Patent Log reading of QM Hichens is acceptable but the evidence of a speed of "exactly 20.95 knots" given by 5th officer Lowe (who had a Master mariner (FG) SteamshipCertificate)is totally unacceptable to the "experts"?
    Now back to the problem in hand.
  18. Georges G.

    Georges G. Member

    Hello Jim,

    Muckle Flugga Lighthouse


    «Muckle Flugga Lighthouse bearing 121°T @ 27 miles.» How did you get the 27 miles distance off?

    The Log Book shows;

    Distance run through the water: 183 miles
    Distance made good: 183 miles

    183 miles in 24 hours? You must have been towing something else than a Cherub!

    183 miles run in the North Atlantic just south of the Arctic Circle without meeting any current in the past 24 hours! The current in that area is at least ½ a knot and sets to the NE. Something wrong there. There should have been a difference between the Distance run through the water and the Distance made good. That difference should have been written down in the Current designed box.

    Surprisingly, le Log Book states «Distance Made Good» or Over the Ground. Was that not supposed to be assigned for trains and buses? ;)

    How do we name the distance between two celestial fixes? The Distance Made Good (Over the Ground). If you divide that distance by the elapse time, it will give the Speed Made Good (Over the Ground).

    How do we name the distance made by Cherub against the Time? The Distance run through the water. If you divide that distance by the elapse time, it will give the Speed Trough the Water.

    What is the difference between the Speed Made Good and Speed Trough the Water? The Drift or the fore & aft resultant speed vector acting in opposition or in favor of a vessel progression.


    Vessel Heading: West
    Speed: 20 kts
    Current: East
    Velocity: 2 kts
    Wind: Dead Calm

    After 1 hour top-chrono steaming time...

    Log Distance: 22 nm
    Log Speed: 22 kts
    GPS Distance: 18 nm
    GPS Speed: 18 kts
    Doppler Log Water Track: 22 nm
    Doppler Log Water Track Speed: 22 kts
    Doppler Log Bottom Track: 18 nm
    Doppler Log Bottom Track: 18 kts

    Thense ...

    (Log Distance – Current) = (GPS Distance + Current)
    (Log Speed – Current) = (GPS Speed + Current)

    If the current equals zero...

    Log Distance = GPS Distance
    Log Speed = GPS Speed


    The Distance Made Good = Distance between 2 Fix
    The Average Speed Made Good = Distance Made Good between 2 Fix ÷ Elapsed Time

    If you don’t get the distance between 2 Fix for whatever reasons, you will have no choice but to use the Cherub records, guess the current, search Log Books for previous figures, etc. It will be then Deduced Reckoning Estimated Navigation, nevertheless better than nothing. So wishing to demonstrate navigational discrepancies from deduced Taffrail Log figures and testimonies interpretation looks like multiplying the errors by themselves several times in a row.

    As for the current, you can consult an excellent study made by Samuel; «Where Did the Gulf Stream Go?» Good luck for the ones who wish to find out the exact Set & Drift of the Gulf Stream in April 1912 in that region. The only thing that I believe to know, is that there was a Labrador Current Southerly set. If not, there would have been no icebergs nor freezing temperature in the vicinity …

    Where Did the Gulf Stream Go

    Do we still using Log speed in our time and for what purpose?"

    That was off topic but the goal was to give a modern explanation between water and bottom speed. We still use the Log but currently, we rather use the Doppler Log interface by a time base or integrals electronic calculator that gives instant speed. It can rather be set on Bottom Tracking (Speed Over Ground) or Water Mass Tracking (Speed Through the Water). The difference between them gives the drift cause by wind or current along the longitudinal axis.

    Also, when we use the ARPA on the Radar to determine the CPA or TCPA, we must set the speed parameter from GPS to LOG (Water Tracking). If we don’t, we can have the worst surprise of our your life since the anti-collision calculations will be totally erroneous if a fair current exist.

    Bye ... :)
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
    Samuel Halpern likes this.
  19. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    The problem I have with all this soul-searching about what Lord, Stone, Groves and Gibson said in their evidence is that it seems that the more distant in time from the event such evidence is given, the more acceptable it seems to become. Conversely, the following is totally unacceptable or totally ignored.

    A: Groves alleged that Californian did not seem to swing at all between10-21pm and 10 past midnight. Consequently, the relative beam bearings of the nearby vessel could not have been true if she did. Further: if she did swing slowly during all that time then the ship's head must have been more to the right than ENE by Compass which made the Compass beam bearing proportionally more to the right. This, in turn, would mean that the true bearing of the vessel on the beam would be more to the southward and in keeping with the position of Californian as worked by Captain Lord and relative to the position of the sinking Titanic.
    B: The vessel allegedly seen showing a green light approaching from the east by Lord at or near to 10-35 pm could not have been the same vessel allegedly seen by Groves 35 minutes later and still 12 miles away in the direction of south. If by some magic manipulation or mistake it had been, then she would have to have been the vessel that was close enough to Californian for Lord, at 10-55 am to tell Evans about it and send out a warning to Titanic, then see her green sidelight with the naked eye while up until then, Groves who was on supposed to be watching for other vessels, had yet to even see any vessel.
    C: Californian showed her green starboard light to the nearby vessel from about 10-35 pm when it was first seen until after the penultimate "rocket" seen on her starboard bow at about 1-15 pm. Those on Titanic saw a red light with the naked eye for most of the time and finally showed a white one.
  20. I'm sure it did, but we don't have that 6pm reading anywhere. You are assuming that that was the reading of the log by Lowe in his explanation to Sen. Smith as to how he got a speed of 20.95 knots. In fact, Lowe said that he got that speed by taking the distance from noon to the corner and dividing that by the time from noon to the corner. He also said that he was the one who worked the ship's course from noon to the corner. Now do you really think the ship slowed down to 21 knots through the water between noon and 6pm? Remember, Lowe also said that you will find a corresponding difference in the log for a change in revolutions. So if the ship had slowed from 22 knots the previous day at 75 rpm, to slow to 21 knots would show a corresponding reduction in revolutions from about 75 to 71.5. Nowhere do find that taking place. As I've pointed out time and time again, it seemed that Lowe took the 126 nm that he calculated from the noon position to 42N, 47W, and divided that by 6 hours to get his 21 knots that he told Sen. Smith.
    I also believe that Capt. Smith allowed for a 1/2 extra head current in the run from noon to the corner by setting the time to turn at 5:50pm. That doesn't mean they actually experienced an extra 1/2 knot, only that it was accounted for in setting the time to turn. Worse comes to worse, they would go 2 or 3 miles past the corner before turning for Nantucket, which I b4lieve was the case.
    Looking at the log reading for 11:40pm, 260 nm, that gives a speed by log of 22.29 knots through the water which fully consistent with carrying an average of 75 rpm over 11h 40m.