Page 199 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 199
If I knew what the mean temperature of that locality was for that month of the year and there was a great variation, then I would certainly think there was some abnormal disturbance in the ice to the North. Of course, that particular night was an abnormal night at sea in being a flat calm; it is a thing that might never occur again. 25064. That is what Mr. Lightoller says. You say apparently it is very rare to get such a flat calm as there was that night? - I only remember it once or twice in about 20 years’ experience - the sea absolutely calm, without a swell, as it was recorded to have been. 25065. And if I followed correctly what you said earlier it would make it more difficult to pick up an iceberg with the eyes? - Decidedly. 25066. If you had this calm sea? - Yes, decidedly so. 25067. Although it was a clear night? - Yes. 25068. There would be no indication of the water breaking round it? - No, there would be none in a condition like that. It takes very little sea and very little swell, with the Northern bergs which are submerged about seven times to one above, for what we call a splash to get up and give you an indication. 25069. We have been told of the phenomenon of the ice-blink? - Yes. 25070. Would that be effected at all by the night we have had described or is it a variable thing? - On a night such as you have described, if there was a big field of ice, the blink would most certainly be seen very, very clearly. If there was really what we call big fields, miles and miles of ice, then you would see the edge, what we call the water-sky, that is where the ice-field ends. 25071. But you would not expect to get the ice-blink with an iceberg? - No, I would not. 25072. Does that mean it does not throw off any of its luminosity? - Well, it does not reflect any light that there may be, one single berg; it takes ice in the mass to do that; it is like a whole lot of deck lights along the side of a ship; they look one glare instead of isolated things. Examined by Mr. SCANLAN. 25073. Just one question, Sir Ernest: Do you frequently find a haze in close proximity to an iceberg? - Generally when the temperatures are different - the temperature of the water and the temperature of the air. Examined by Sir ROBERT FINLAY. 25074. What was the tonnage of the boat you went to the South Pole in? - Two hundred and twenty-seven. 25075. How high was it on the forecastle at the stem above the water? - When we were loaded it was about 14 feet, 14 feet from the forecastle to the waterline. From the crow’s-nest it was about 90 feet. 25076. About 90 feet? - Yes. 25077. Then the comparison you are making is between the height of 90 feet in the crow’s-nest on your foremast? - Yes. 25078. And a height of 14 feet on your stem? - I do not make a comparison. I say from 90 feet, which is the crow’s-nest of the “Titanic,” we will say, which equals our crow’s-nest, and from the waterline, as near as we can get it. If we could have got right down to the waterline we would have done so. The advantage lies in being as near the waterline as possible. You suffered from a disadvantage, certainly, in the “Titanic” by not being able to get as near to the waterline as we did in the “Nimrod.” 25079. If I gather rightly, your view is that if you are near the waterline, it is an advantage in
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