OK, you said you wanted an honest appraisal - I thought it was a great article. Well researched, and very interesting.
One thing I would quibble with, although it doesn't affect my above comment. In one footnote, you indicate that you accept the boat's log as factual. The deck logs of that day were kept on a slate, or log, by the Officer of the Deck. He wrote down the happenings that took place during his watch. But that was not transcribed into the actual logbook (that is, the book you find today in the National Archives) until those entries were approved by the Captain. Which is why you will never find an entry like "The captain got drunk and drove the boat into a tree on the bank." My point being, the actual entry in the book was approved by the Captain (or in this case, the acting Captain), and therefore is not necessarily gospel truth; but is more like an official report such as you find in the Official Records, which have on occasion known to have been self-serving.
But this is beside the point. It's a great article. Keep up the good work.