23/12/1852 - 28/04/1853

Ship Summary




Depart Date

Wednesday, December 22, 1852


Arrive Date

Wednesday, April 27, 1853

Journey Notes

This barque has arrived here under very trying circumstances. The day after she left Plymouth a heavy gale from the westward carried away three topsails. Fine weather supervened till abreast of Tristan d'Acunha, when circumstamces occasioned a survey of the hold, and it was found that seven water casks had leaked out. This discovery determined Captain Harris to put in to the Cape. This was on Saturday, the 19th March, and on the 21st the Marshall Bennett departed thence with the requisite fresh provisions and water. On the 6th April, the ship was found to be making more water than usual, and on inspection of the fore-hold, it was perceived there was water (as much as four feet,) "above the skin." The crew and passengers engaged in working the pumps and the ship was kept before the wind under easy sail until night. The combined efforts of crew and passengers were systematically employed during the night, but in the morning it was found that the water had increased about a foot. On making this discovery, at daylight, a foresail was got over the bows and passed under the ship's bottom, which operation caused the influx of water to decrease so much that in two hours and a half the pumps "sucked." The fore-hold was then cleared away and then "the skin" cut through, when the leak was traced to the "fore foot," which was caulked with oakum so successfully that the working of the pumps was reduced to a five minutes' spell in two hours." The passengers voluntarily proposed to be divided into three watches, and the progress of the ship under sail was resumed with confidence. The leak, however, gradually increased until the 23rd instant, when it became so serious that the ship was "hove to." A sail, thrummed with oakum, and successfully applied to the bottom, again reduced the leak very considerably, and another caulking within succeeded so well that the ship made very little water. On the 24th April, another heavy gale from the N.W. was encountered, and it became neccessary to "heave to" again under close-reefed topsails. it was then discovered that the leak had broken out afresh. Another kind of caulking (with white lead and oakum) was then resorted to, with a pressure contrived by means of shot and chain. This contrivance was so far successful that the pumping was reduced to four minutes' spell in two hours, a state of things which continued up to the hour at which our report was penned. The greatest commendation is due to the captain, crew, and passengers, to whose united exertions (under Divine Providence) may be attributed an almost miraculous preservation.


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