15/10/1938 - 08/01/1939

Ship Summary

Vessel

Journey

Origin

Depart Date

Friday, October 14, 1938

Destination

Arrive Date

Saturday, January 7, 1939

Journey Notes

Loading at Port Victoria (2 Feb). Departing from Port Lincoln (15 Mar) for Glasgow (16 Aug) via Falmouth (2 - 13 Aug). Returning in 140 days.

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Ordinary Danish seaman Laurids Karl Anthonius passed the equator and received this certificate written in Swedish – the language of command onboard. My translation: ”I Neptun, the ruler of the seas, has today admitted the former peasant thief Laurids Karl Anthonius into our register. And he has today onboard S/V LAWHILL crossed the equator line and passed the tests required by our law. This certificate signed by me personal and with my seal is his proof of being a deepsea seaman. The equator 18.november 1938 signed by Arthur Söderlund”

Arrived in Australia, 17 year old, Danish ordinary seaman Laurids Karl Anthonius wrote a letter to his parents – my granparents. In my translation from Danish it says: 10th of January 1939. Dear father and mother. I have finally arrived in Australia after 85 days, from October 15th to January 9th. We were supposed to go to Port Victoria for orders, but on the last day, the wind changed, and instead we went to Port Lincoln, which is a bit larger city. We are at anchor 10 nautical miles out, so when we are going ashore, we have to sail in a lifeboat, and when the wind is fine, it doesn't take long to sail in. If we get orders to load here, the ship will go in to the harbour, but no orders have yet been received, and the captain does not believe that he will get any the next 5 weeks. There are many different guesses as to where we will go; some say we should go back to Finland empty, others say we should have a cargo guano to New Zealand, and others again that we should get guano in Chile, but we do not know anything until we get orders. We have had a good voyage down here. The first 10 days after we left Birkenhead, we had a lot to do both day and night, because we had to beat up against the wind through the Irish Sea, and there was quite a strong wind. But when we got down to the trade winds, we got on well, because they blow so evenly, so we hardly had to ajust the sails for a long time, and as we are 9 men on each watch, there will not be steer or lookout duty for everyone on the watch. In the trade winds, only 7 men were on each watch. We have had the traditional equator linecrossing ceremony. The highest speed we have had is 16 knots, and it is a great speed with a ship like LAWHILL, that is a little broad built. That was the day we rounded Cape the Good Hope. The captain was drunk, and therefore he sailed it hard; a galant sail was ripped up. It is tiresome to take in a broken sail, and the shreds lashes ones face. When the weather is fine and we are off duty, we fish sharks, but we have only had two inboard, and we have had 3 albatrosses on the deck. And we have boxed, and trained in a trapeze, and for lack of Danish reading material, I have read English crime novels. We also danced with each other on the deck, and shot birds with a saloon rifle. We have had a death on board, and it was the ship dog Alice who fell overboard, otherwise we have had no illness or anything on board. On the route from Cape the Good Hope up to Australia it can get quite cold, and it was there that the school ship KØBENHAVN disappeared. The icebergs sometimes come right up there. Here in Australia it is very hot, and South Australia is almost a desert, so when there is wind coming in from land, it is glowing hot. By the way, I have written a little diary that you can see when I get home. I like being on a sailing ship, so if we go to England from here, I'll probably take one more voyage. After all, it is really seaman's work here on board. And it is not a small rig. The mast is 49 meters from the deck, so you can get a little tired in the knees if you in oilskin and rubber boots in rough weather have to take in the main top galant sail. The skipper is a strange man, at times he sails the ship hard, but suddenly he feels that a storm is coming, and then he orders all big sails taken in. The ship is heavy to stear in rough weather. One night we were 3 men standing at the helm, and yet the first mate had to come and help us when turning. The first and second mates are good, but the third mate is the biggest idiot that has ever walked on two legs. That man have given us a lot of trouble on the voyage, but now we have become so used to him that we do not take notice of him at all. We are here together with the two 4-mast barks S/V MOSHULU and S/V PASSAT, and it is the world's 3 largest sailing ships lying here side by side. The food on board is bad, but when you're just hungry it tastes good. I think I'll end with the most loving greetings to all of you and the whole family. Laurids

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