Superior mirage and the Californian

Mar 22, 2003
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The Deviation error of the steering Compass is not the same Deviation error as experienced by the Standard Compass. Magnetic Compasses are individual units with errors specific to each and the compensating elements are located at different distances relative to the compass needle.
I agree with everything you just said Jim. But I'm sure you have to agree that the deviation error on a given compass is not likely to change by any significant amount over the course of a 4 hour period under normal conditions. But speaking about deviation error, Boxhall discovered that the ship was following a true course of 266° when in fact it should have been on a true course of 265°. I suspect that was after he obtained a correction to the deviation error of the standard compass that night. This of course was done after the ship had altered course at 5:50pm, and so it would sense to check the deviation while on that new course. Which brings me to what I wrote several posts earlier. It seems Murdoch was more interested in seeing an update to the deviation error than having an extra pairs of eyes out on the bridge as they were about to enter the ice region.
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Absolutely! No deviation change unless some clown banged one of Lord Kelvin's gonads or hung something ferrous on them or the QM was wearing a Bowie Knife.

Boxhall's determination of True course cannot be accepted as fact since he was not starting from a fixed location. He must have been assuming a 5-50 pm DR turn position which was bearing 086 True (reciprocal of 266 True) from his calculated 7-30 pm sights position.
However, the Variation reduced by 0.5 a degree between The Corner and 50 West so the true course being steered was nearer to 265.5 True.
Having said all that, despite the conditions, no ship...not even Titanic in flat calm conditions would have made good the course being steered.
 

Jim Currie

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I believe Boxhall started from that 7:30 star fix. He found out she was actually making 266T after that fix was ascertained.
He did, Sam. However, the only way he could have determined that would have been by calculation from the DR position he used for 5-50 pm. If that DR position was, as I believe, wrong, then the course being made good could not have been 266 True. Whatever he used, he must have, by the same method, discovered that the average speed from the turn was less than 22 knots. Otherwise, why would he have used that speed when calculating his distress position?
 

AlexP

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The Californian was not an IMM ship and certainly under the IMM Ship's Rules and Uniform Regulations that were in effect at the time. Leyland Line was partially owned by IMM, who had controlling interest, but Leland had her own management and rules that were being followed.

Nonsense Tim. If she was swinging to the right under hard-aport the berg would not have stayed along the starboard side as vessel continued going forward.depositing ice through several open ports and getting the windows on the Cafe Parisian wet. It could not have passed within 10 ft of the strn as witnessed by QM Rowe.

I can easily prove that if Titanic was seen by Lord when she was 22 miles away heading 266°T and one hour before the collision, then she would have been 0 miles away at 11:40 and the collision would have been with Californian, not an iceberg.
Sam, If the Titanic's course was 266°T, should not have Mr. Groves be able to observe almost the whole length of her?
Thanks.
 

Jim Currie

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Sam, If the Titanic's course was 266°T, should not have Mr. Groves be able to observe almost the whole length of her?
Thanks.
Hello Mila.

I am sure that Sam will answer this himself in due course. However, you are correct. If a vessel like Titanic was approaching the Californian as described, her starboard side would be very clearly visible as a blaze of light, a considerable time before the former stopped.

There has been a great deal of unconsidered nonsense written about this part of the Titanic story. Consider the following facts:

If both Californian and the Titanic turned exactly at The Corner as planned and had maintained their planned courses, then when the latter was in the direction of SE from Californian, stopped at 42 North, 50-07'West, they would be about 17 miles apart and Titanic would have steamed 127.5 miles in a time of 5 hours 50 minutes (no clock alteration) and a total of 251.5 miles from Noon that day. This would have given Titanic an average speed of 21.86 Knots from 5-50 pm and an average speed from Noon of 21.3 knots.
Additionally, if she was making 22.5 knots just before she hit the berg, as indicated by the Patent Log reading, then 30 minutes before she stopped, Titanic would have been over 25 miles from the stopped Californian. and invisible from the latter.

However, It has been stated that Californian stopped at 42-02'North, about 3 miles farther south from where her captain said she stopped and 2 miles north of the above example. That being the case and if Titanic did turn at The Corner as planned, then the separation distance between the two vessels when stopped would have been close to 20 miles and 30 minutes before that, nearer to 28 miles.
No way did Groves or Lord see Titanic's lights 30 minutes before she stopped.

Furthermore; if those on Californian could see the lights of Titanic, then Fleet, Lee and Murdoch would most certainly have seen Californian's lights Murdoch's eye were 20 feet higher that those of Lord and Groves and the latter had the help of binoculars.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Lord first saw Titanic at 10.42pm Titanic time, when she was at least 22 miles away from Californian.
I can easily prove that if Titanic was seen by Lord when she was 22 miles away heading 266°T and one hour before the collision, then she would have been 0 miles away at 11:40 and the collision would have been with Californian, not an iceberg.
Sam, If the Titanic's course was 266°T, should not have Mr. Groves be able to observe almost the whole length of her?
Thanks.
Proof:
1572713222105.png