A Minute of Time This two-part article attempts to answer the question of why was Titanic's SOS position 13 miles too far west of where she sank. It looks at the navigational methods in use at the time and how a simple systematic error may have crept into the calculation of the ship's 7:30 positional fix which later led to erroneous calculations for two transmitted distress positions. (Published in the Titanic Historical Society's journal The Titanic Commutator, starting in Vol. 29, No. 171.)
SECTION HEADINGS: â€œWhat are we going to do to keep ourselves awake tonight?â€� "What a splendid position that was you gave us." â€œIt is nothing of any great importance.â€� â€œShe was about 20 miles ahead of that, Sir.â€� â€œThey are set at midnight every night.â€� â€œI thought that the course should have been altered at 5 p.m.â€� â€œOne position checks another.â€�
EXCERPT (from Part 2): There were many things that affected the course of events for the Titanic that fateful night in April 1912. Some were caused by nature, while others were caused by man. There were a number things that seemed to go wrong. A possible misreading of a clock, a DR location that was considered as â€œnot of any importance,â€� a possible oversight in forgetting about a clock adjustment that never took place, and a failure to recognize that something may not be quite right when an otherwise perfectly good fix was put down on the chart too far ahead of the DR. For the survivors of the Titanic that night there was some things that did go right. They were very lucky that the Carpathia was at the right place at the right time when she received the CQD position of 4th Officer Boxhall. As it turned out, the Carpathia just happened to pass close to the wreckage and lifeboats on her way to the wrong location.
My Other Publications - 1 Including a list of article sections and selected excerpts
Angles of Trim and Heel This article looks at the differing trim and heel angles presented as the Titanic slowly sank over a period of 2 hours and 40 minutes. It is based on observational evidence of those that were there. Results are compared to the theoretical work of Hackett and Bedford, and a derivation of the initial angle of list to starboard following the collision is also presented in an appendix. (Published in the Titanic Historical Society's journal The Titanic Commutator, Vol. 30, No. 174.)
SECTION HEADINGS: Introduction Angles of Trim Angles of Heel Appendix A â€“ The Initial List to Starboard
EXCERPT: As QM Bright had said, â€œWhat we call the forecastle head was just going under water. That would be about 20 feet lower than the bridge, I should say.â€� Now a list to port of about 10 degrees, producing a 2.5 feet gap between the side rail of the Boat deck and the side of a lifeboat as seaman Frank Evans observed, would bring the port side of the boat deck down by 8 feet while raising the starboard side by 8 feet. This means the port side of the forward part of the boat deck would only be 18' 6'' - 8' = 10' 6'' above the water which supports Lightoller's observation of how far they had to lower Collapsible D. This then puts the port side of â€˜Aâ€™ deck at its forward end about 1 foot above the water at that time lifeboat D was launched, which was about 2:05 a.m. Within a couple of minutes the sea would be up to â€˜Aâ€™ deck, and as Woolner said, "And as we went out through the door the sea came in onto the deck at our feet.â€� They then hopped up onto the gunwale to make a jump for it â€œbecause if we had waited a minute longer we should have been boxed in against the ceiling."
Light on the Horizon This four-part article takes a fresh look at the question concerning the location of the Californian on the night of April 14/15, 1912. Unlike some previous methods used by others that relied heavily on selective subjective evidence, the methods I used were based on a comprehensive scientific approach that took into account several independent analytical methods as well as the now known location of the Titanic wreck site. (Published in the Titanic Historical Society's journal The Titanic Commutator, starting in Vol. 31, No. 177.)
SECTION HEADINGS: â€œI Thought It Might Have Been A Star Risingâ€� â€œI Suppose The Masthead Lights You Would See 7 Or 8 Milesâ€� Titanicâ€™s Navigation Lights Titanicâ€™s Mast Light What Did Groves See At 11:25 p.m.? Where Was The Californian? Calculating the Distance Between Two Stopped Ships Method 1 â€“ Light on the Horizon Method 2 â€“ A Yellow-Funnel 4-Masted Steamer Method 3 â€“ The Geometry of an Icefield Position of Californian From 10:21 P.M. to 2:05 A.M. â€œShe Shut In Her Red Lightâ€� A Few Remaining Issues How Could the Titanic Be Mistaken for a Tramp Steamer? Why Werenâ€™t the Lights of the Californian Sighted Earlier? How Could Californianâ€™s Sidelights Be Seen From Someone In a Lifeboat? How Could Californianâ€™s Lights Suddenly Disappear Before Daybreak? Why Did Californianâ€™s Mysterious Steamer Disappear to the SW? â€œYou Were Under Steam in the Direction of the Titanic for Two and One-Half Hours?â€� Summary and Conclusions Acknowledgement
EXCERPT (from Part 1): It is unfortunate that more time was not spent by the MAIB in researching all the evidence that was available to them, or that they were not given more time to do a more thorough analysis. For example, they both agreed that the rockets seen from the Californian were the distress socket signals being fired from the Titanic. However, there was no reference in the report that they considered that the Californian had to be on 315Â° true line-of-bearing from the Titanic when those rockets were seen despite the separate testimony of two watch officers. When we look more closely at the objections of De Coverly, we find that he came to his conclusions based on several assumptions, something that is very dangerous to do when asked to perform an analytical analysis. Letâ€™s look at each one of these points beginning with what the Antillian message showed.