It has been some time since I contributed here but on reading the previous posts on this thread, I felt I just had to say something.
If I am classed as a member of any CLUB then it has to be the one that includes members with over 50 years experience at sea. I make no apologies for knowing what I'm talking about so expression like ' Know-all and Lordite will be lost on me.
First, let me say categorically that the vessel seen from the bridge of Titanic that early morning was most certainly not and could never have been, the SS Californian. There are several facts which back this up. Principal among these are:
1. The vessel seen by Boxhall et al was approaching Titanic and did so for at least half an hour before it turned away.... Californian was stopped throughout the time Titanic was sinking.
2. The vessel seen from Californian was viewed entirely from Californian's starboard side except for when those on the bridge of Californian saw the last pyrotechnic 2 points...22.5 degrees on Californian's port bow. This means that right up until just before the last signal was seen from Californian, she was showing the other vessel her green side-light and two white masthead lights. When that last signal was seen, Californian was showing the other vessel her red sidelight and two white masthead lights. At no time did Californian show the other vessel a single, bright white light. Yet, there is overwhelming evidence to prove that the vessel seen from Titanic showed a single, bright white light from the time Boxhall embarked on Lifeboat number 4 until until that vessel finally disappeared.
"A ship of Californian's hieght from the water, would be physically unable to see anything at all on the horizon at a distance of 15 plus miles in daylight.".
Only true if the anything had no height, shape or colour. With a pair of good binoculars, an object with height, shape and a highly reflective surface or dark colour would easily have been seen at a much greater distance than 15 miles. The only limiting factors would have been the height, degree of reflectivity and/or colour of the object and the quality of the intervening atmosphere. i.e. was it dusty or unpolluted - humid or dry?
For example, on a clear, sunny, dry day, sharp eyes on the bridge of the Californian would have been able to see a 100 ft high iceberg at the extreme distance of very close to 20 miles.