Finding the Titanic Location Coordinates: How Artist Jim Clary Solved a 71-Year Mystery

One of maritime artist, Jim Clary’s paintings of the Titanic

One of maritime artist, Jim Clary’s paintings of the Titanic

I was seventeen years old when my father returned from the adventure of his lifetime. And even after all these years, I recall his face as he watched mine watch a videotape of the unmanned submarine moving along the floor of the Atlantic ocean. I remember the extreme darkness pressing hard against the lights of the sub. I remember the particles floating through the water that reminded me of insects at dusk. I remember asking him what the scraping sound was. And then I remember the sudden jolt as the camera swung in the opposite direction and the boulder that came into view.

“Do you see that? Do you see that boulder?”

“Yeah I see it.”

Then his signature chuckle and the way he hunched his shoulders and leaned forward like he was about to tell you the plan that was going to get us all sent to the principal’s office. “Well...that’s not a boulder, Todd. That’s a propeller blade. When I saw this, I realized we found her.”

“ 1:40 a.m. Titanic Time, April 15, 1912” | 1980 | Original: Sold | Print edition: Lithograph | Size: 32 1/2” x 25"

1:40 a.m. Titanic Time, April 15, 1912” | 1980 | Original: Sold | Print edition: Lithograph | Size: 32 1/2” x 25"

Now, I already knew they’d found her because that was the first thing he said when mom and I picked him up at the airport — fresh off the expedition and 20 pounds lighter thanks to seasickness. But hearing him say it and seeing the look on his face, I now realize I was looking at a lifetime of passion fully bloomed.

Titanic Painting

He was a lot more childlike and animated at home than his public persona, Cap’n Jim (aka Jim Clary). That is, unless the topic was the Titanic. If that was the conversation, you’d experience the side of dad that completely upended his usual reserve. Because when it came to his lifelong passion for all things nautical, nothing arrested his attention like that ship. And by the time he put brush to canvas on his now-famous Titanic painting, she’d become a part of our family’s daily diet. He then seized my mind and painted the scene, the mood, and the setting of the things leading up to that moment: how he couldn’t sleep the night before the expedition and decided to go for a walk. How the fog rolled in and enveloped him to guide his blind steps to the Titanic Memorial Graveyard on South Street. How the dolphins didn’t follow them out of port to signal the first of many bad omens. How the captain of the search vessel protested the entire adventure because ‘you don’t disturb a graveyard.’ How the Atlantic declared the attempt to locate her a holy violation and abused the vessel for four days with seven low-pressure systems over the search area.

Titanic Location Coordinates

As the expedition artist, Jim Clary secured his position aboard the search vessel by convincing the sponsor of the expedition he could portray what they would find in strategically released illustrations and paintings depicting the discovery. And though he was a welcome addition he made sure to keep himself out of the way of the scientists and technicians. That is, until their time was up and they’d decided to return to port empty-handed. It was then that dad decided to offer a hypothesis on the Titanic location coordinates he’d formed during his years of personal research into that tragic night.

R.M.S. Titanic - 1988 | Print edition: Lithograph | Size: 12 1/2'“ x 11"

R.M.S. Titanic - 1988 | Print edition: Lithograph | Size: 12 1/2'“ x 11"

In short, there was a single claim that after she’d struck the iceberg, she came to a complete stop. But then, shortly thereafter, restarted her engines and sailed at full steam for approximately 45 minutes. It was mentioned only briefly during the hearings  and summarily dismissed as inconsequential — but now recorded for all time. And for some reason and entirely true to form, dad catalogued the bit of information having no idea its significance.

Except that the search was a failure. The Titanic was not where she should have been according to the prevailing data, the weather in the North Atlantic was making it very clear that the season was at an end and time to return safely was of the essence, and worst of all, the lines of one of two the three-million dollar unmanned subs had snapped and plunged it into oblivion.

Jim Clary was nothing if not persistent. And, making his way to the leaders of the expedition, he explained his theory, suggested they were likely looking in the wrong place, and convinced them they had little to lose by putting it to the test. Hours later as the sub sent video images to the lab onboard, he’d decided to wiggle his way between bodies going over data and found his hands accepting and then passing one photograph after another.

Titanic Behind The Scenes

Maritime artist, Jim Clary

Maritime artist, Jim Clary

“You should have seen it! Computers whirring, scientist analyzing everything coming over the monitors, engineers passing one photograph after another as every few seconds the printer spit out images from the sub. The sonar device was also scanning the ocean floor in search for her. Then...all of a sudden someone hands me a photograph of a boulder. Except it wasn’t a boulder. They didn’t realize it but I did. I was stunned. My whole body went stone cold. I said it to myself but others heard the words. ‘...oh my God. We found her.’ Then everyone stopped. You could hear the systems and printer and other equipment still working, but everyone had stopped talking. ‘Who said that? Found what? Who said that!’ Then all eyes came to rest on me and boy was that a moment. I knew they thought it was just a big rock. But I know this ship. Like the back of my hand, Todd. ‘I did.’ I held up the photograph. ‘We found her. This isn’t a rock. This is a propeller blade. We found her. We found the Titanic.”

He went on to say that at that very moment several things happened at the same time. First, as the technicians fed the image back into the computers, the system analyzed the picture and concluded it was an exact match to the known dimensions of her propeller blades. And second, at the same moment, the sonar equipment began to draw. Something unmistakable and impossibly large. This intense real-life drama was what it was like to search for the Titanic behind the scenes.

And there it was on videotape after seventy-one years cloaked in total darkness.

And there he was, smiling with total satisfaction. After a lifetime of love for the sea, he’d help locate the final resting place of the most famous ship ever to sail.

How Were the Great Lakes Named?

Great Lakes art

The Great Lakes are five freshwater lakes located in the central-eastern part of North America. Most people know this, but few also know the origin of their names.

Lake Superior

Its name is merely a reflection of its huge size - 82,100 square km and 12,100 cubic km, but probably also of its position, north of Lake Huron (“lac supérieur” in French means “upper lake”).

Lake Michigan

Its name comes from the Ojibwa Indian “mishigami”, which means "large lake." Lake Michigan is actually only the third largest of the Great Lakes, but its size is still impressive and it also has an unusual water flow.

Lake Huron

Lake Huron shares the same body of water with Lake Michigan and is the second largest (59,600 square km) of the Great Lakes. It was named after the Hurons (Wyandot Indians) who lived there.

Lake Ontario

In the language of Wyandot Indians, “Ontario” means "lake of shining water". Located at the base of Niagara Falls, Lake Ontario is the smallest of the five lakes (only 18,960 square km), but it is deep and holds about 1,600 cubic km.

Lake Erie

Its name comes from “erielhonan”, which in the Iroquoian language means "long tail". It has to do with the lake`s shape. Although it is slightly larger than Lake Ontario, it has the smallest water volume of the Great Lakes (only 484 cubic km).

Look for beautiful Great Lakes art created by Cap’n Jim Clary at Cap’n Jim’s Gallery in St. Clair, Michigan.



Common Themes of Maritime Art

maritime art

 Maritime art is a category that includes various creations where the sea is the main character. Maritime art has a special atmosphere in which the sky and the water are the most important elements.

Exquisite maritime art has appeared since the Middle Ages. It was very popular especially in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The subjects of this genre are landscapes that include ships in estuaries, beach scenes, storms, boats in their fight with huge waves, or boats on quiet waters, predisposing to calm, meditation and relaxation.

In the Romantic Period there was a reorientation in the style of maritime painting. Representative for this period is Le Radeau de La Méduse, created by Théodore Géricault between 1817-1819. The very large painting (491 cm x 716 cm) represents the moments after the shipwreck of the French frigate La Méduse, on July 5, 1816. Of the 147 people saved on rafts, only 15 survived during the 13 days on the sea, until they were found.

One of the great 19th-century marine art creators was the Russian Ivan Aivazovski, who really loved the sea, and this is obvious in each of his approximately 6,000 paintings. His favorite themes are sea storms, but also historic events, such as the Battle of Navarino in 1827, which he transposed into a painting in 1846.

Celebrating Mother's Day at the Great Lakes

Happy Mothers Day!

If you plan to take your mom on a trip for Mothers Day, the Great Lakes are a wonderful destination providing many outdoor opportunities to enjoy your time together.

The Great Lakes offer hiking, diving, kayaking ,boating, gorgeous hiking trails, silent forests, pristine waters, and a wide variety of wildlife.

If you prefer a more formal way to celebrate mom, you can visit some of the towns on our lighthouse-peppered islands, exploring cities like Chicago or Milwaukee, with their superb architecture, beaches, shopping, restaurants, dynamic museums (The Automotive Museum and the Henry Ford Museum are just a few examples) and a vibrant nightlife. And don’t forget to visit the many art galleries to find exceptional pieces of nautical artwork!


Awesome Spots and Sights You Need to See Around the Great Lakes

From cities to beaches and from islands to hiking trails that span for miles, the Great Lakes have just about everything you’d need for an entertaining and relaxing vacation. Some of the following spots will definitely dazzle you, while others will outright amaze you and make you want to plan all your vacations on the beaches of the Great Lakes: 

·       The beach on Lake Michigan will offer you one of the most incredible places in the world for viewing the sunset. Here you can visit with your spouse for a memorable and romantic time spent watching the sunset and enjoying the hospitality of the locals. You may also want to bring some water colors and try a hand in creating a piece of Lake Michigan themed nautical artwork.

·       The Sleeping Bear Natural Lakeshore is one of the best places to go to if you enjoy solitude and long walks. Here you can definitely lose yourself on the 65-mile long shoreline, and you can take some breathtaking photos as well.

·       Finally, the shallow waters of Copper Harbor are a great place for fishing. If you want to relax and avoid the world for a few days, this is just the right place to do it. Even though Lake Superior’s water is not the warmest in the world, you can’t really find a more pristine and eye-catching, naturally beautiful place in the entire area of the Great Lakes.

nautical artwork

Learn About Geography the Fun Way: Great Lakes Trivia You’ve Never Even Heard

Geography is one of the most beautiful subjects on earth, and it definitely doesn’t have to be boring if you know how to look at facts and how to find unique facts about common geographical places like the Great Lakes. The following trivia facts about the Great Lakes will make you wonder whether you should rewrite your children’s geography textbooks yourself: 

·       Driving around the lakes would take an enormous amount of time to complete. If you’re looking for a fun and extremely long road trip, then this is it. Going around the Great Lakes by car will provide you with an impressive 6,500 miles of fun on the road.

·       An unlikely fire that started in 1969 on the Cuyahoga River was actually the catalyzing trigger that spawned a new movement towards clearing up the waterway responsible for feeding Lake Erie and starting a series of environmental reforms that have transformed the way we look at the Great Lakes today.

·       Do you know how many islands the Great Lakes contain? The actual number is even higher than 35,000. The biggest of them is Manitoulin in Lake Huron, which is considered to this day to be the largest freshwater island in the world, measuring 1,068 square miles.

Find wonderful Great Lakes art at interesting galleries found throughout the Great Lakes area.

Great Lakes art

The Creative Way to Learn About History: Start Painting It!

If you were like me in school, you probably thought about history as a pretty boring subject. However, as everything, history can show its true value if it’s regarded through the right “lenses.” And there are no better ways to see something than through the eyes of an artist. 

When we look at the figures and dates associated with a battle like the Battle of Hastings, we can’t really imagine the actual scenes and the brutality of war. Also, when we read about kings, treaties and pacts between various allies, it’s hard to imagine how everything went down and where the meetings took place. So history can get boring pretty fast if all you have is information. 

historical paintings - marine art

However, when you start repainting some paintings depicting famous battles, scenes or personalities from history, things will start changing pretty fast. Not only will you feel like you’re actually there, taking part in a historic scene that came to life, but you’ll actually start getting addicted to that feeling. 

Also, painting historic scenes can help you learn the facts and figures a lot more easily too. When the painting is suggestive enough and tells the story of a certain battle or scene quite faithfully, then it’s easy to associate the scene with the information you’ve read in your history book.

Painting historical marine art, illustrations of famous ships, shipwrecks, or battle scenes will also give you historical references and timelines.

Exploring the Art of Painting: Why Are Ships so Popular Among Painters?

If you walk into a pub or a restaurant by the port, chances are you’ll find a painting with a large ship or a boat showing right in the middle. However, if you walk into a painting class or walk in on one of your family members practicing their painting skills, then you might actually find the very same scene. So, why is it that maritime art and ships are such a popular topic among painters? 

maritime art

From an artistic standpoint, the sea and the ships that navigate it actually carry a lot of weight. The uneven motion of the sea and the smooth edges of a ship’s contour makes it possible to almost capture the movement of the waves and the ship that passes through them in even a beginner’s painting or drawing. Simply put, ships look very artistic almost regardless of who is drawing them. 

Another reason why maritime art is so popular has to do with symbols. From a symbolic perspective, ships carry even more weight. They can be regarded as symbols of life and of the artist’s journey through the troubled ocean of life. They can also be seen as a person’s willingness or determination to take charge of their life and navigate that ocean despite the fact that they are constantly faced with agitated waves and the peril of being lost at sea.