Presentation on theme: "Bound for South Australia 1836 Weathering the Storm Week 6."— Presentation transcript:
Bound for South Australia 1836 Weathering the Storm Week 6
Overview Between February and July 1836 nine ships left Britain bound for the newly created province of South Australia. On-board the ships were passengers who over many long months braved the perils of the ocean, including some of the most treacherous seas in the world to begin a new life on the other side of the world. This resource uses the stories from these nine ships as recorded by the passengers and crew in their personal journals.
Introduction We catch up with the John Pirie again this week as it finally clears the English Channel and heads for the Atlantic Ocean. It doesn’t take long for more problems to arise for the John Pirie when it is caught up in a severe storm. This week we take a look at the impact stormy weather can have on sailing ships and investigate what causes storms at sea.
Journal entries Sunday 27 March 1836 John Pirie journal writer, on board the John Pirie wrote: The Gale has cont d since Thursday, from the Westward, and without the least intermission, or abatement, but at 3, P,M, of this Day, it veer’d to S,W, and increased to a perfect Hurricane, raising the Sea, to the greatest possible pitch of Madness, and violent uproar, so that fearing every thing would be washed off the Deck’s, we bore away, right before the Wind, at 4, P,M, hoping by this means, to save them, from destruction, but the Weather has cont d (to the end of this Day) so truly awful, as to baffle all description, indeed the Elements, seem to be engaged, in the most dreadful Warfare, with each other, and violence is the order of the Day, in which the Rain likewise takes a good share, for it is pouring down in Torrents _____ At 10, P,M, the Wind backed round to N,W, and I think (if possible) it blows more terrifickly than ever _________
Monday 28 March 1836 John Pirie journal writer, on board the John Pirie wrote. At 2, A,M, a most tremendious Sea, overlap’d the Vessel, and giving her such a violent Shock, as caused both the Capt and every Soul on board, to suppose She must foun- -der, being for a time completely buried under Water, however, after a few Moments, of the most horrible suspense, the little Vessel again arose out of the angry Deep, when both Pump’s were set to work, and which to our unutterablePump’s satisfaction, very soon sucked her dry, but the loss sustained by that dreadful Sea, is truly lamentable ____ ….
Wednesday 6 April 1836 Captain George Martin, on board the John Pirie wrote: Another account of the same storm was written by the captain of the John Pirie, George Martin: Letter Martin to Angas 6 April 1836 …. On sunday 27th the wind at SWt, at 3 P.M the squalls came on very fast & heavy, no appearance of a favourable change, Bore up much against my will, in company with several other Vessels, stowed all the fore & aft sails close reeft the Fore Topsail, & endeavoured to set it, but by this time the wind had increased to such a pitch, that with the assistance of all the passengers I could not get the sheets more than half home, nor could I take it in again, was glad it was so far set, in order to keep the Vessel before the sea; the wind still gradually increasing, with heavy squalls & very high sea; at Midnight, thought it impossible that it the wind could continuesquallsreeftsqualls
long with such violence, but of which I was mistaken, for the wind & squalls became most terific, the sea rising to a dreadfull hight & running very cross, from the wind veering from SWt to North; but was obliged to keep her Dead before it, fearfull of heaving her too – and as much as three or four men could do to steer her, to keep her from broaching too, at 2 A.M (Monday Morning) a tremendous sea broke on board of us, which complitely overwhelmd her in one solid body of water, I then for some time gave up all hopes of ever seeing her rise again, she being to all appearance at the time going Down, in consequence of the great weight of water on her decks, the long boat also being full of water, but having all hands on deck we with bars & handspikes broke the Bulwark upon, by which means the water got of the decks, & she rose her head again, set both Pumps [to?], which to my great joy soon suck’t, the wind blowing now a most dreadfull Hurrican, & the sea past all possible description, and in fact past all belife, about 3 A.M. the fore yard came down in two pieces, the Fore Topsail split in ribbands, the sea making a complete breach over us fore & aft, & a most horrible sight, the Vessel appearing a a complite wreck, not one on board ever expting to see daylight, all the hatchways I had battend down, so no water could get below ….squallsheaving her tooBulwarkPumpsfore yard
Inquiry Questions How does the language used in the journal excerpts tell us about the severity of the storm? What measures do Captain Martin and his crew take to keep the John Pirie safe during the storm? A reference is made to pumps being used to siphon water out of the ship. Imagine how this pump system would have worked? What other tools and equipment would have been used in emergencies onboard?
” Dartmouth" engraved by J.B.Allen after a picture by C.Stanfield, published in Stanfield's Coast Scenery..., 1836
‘Pumping Ship’ from page 8, The life and adventures of Edward Snell. The illustrated diary of an artist, engineer and adventurer in in the Australian colonies 1849 to 1859. Edited and introduced by Tom Griffiths with assistance from Alan Platt. Angus and Robertson Publishers and the Library Council of Victoria, North Ryde, NSW, 1988.
Glossary of terms Bulwark Sides of a ship raised above deck level to protect objects and crew. Foreyard On a schooner like the John Pirie, the foreyard is the lowest yard attached to the foremast to spread the square sails. Heaving her too To ‘heave to’ is to reduce a ship’s sails and adjust them so they counteract each other and stop the ship making progress. It is a safety measure used to deal with strong winds heave-too. Pump’s Pumps were essential equipment because all ships took in water. They were worked by hand, either by the crew or by steerage passengers who were expected to assist. reef’s Seafarers reduce sails in strong winds so that ships can move more safely and comfortably. Sails are made with rows of small ropes attached to them and these are tied around spars to reduce the amount of sail exposed to the wind. The amount of sail taken in by securing one set of ropes is called a reef. squalls A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed. Return to Journal EntriesReturn to Journal Entries