Tasmanian Coasters in the 1850's
Here is an anecdote about some of the Tasmanian Coastal Ships around the time of the 1850's. The barque Harriet Nathan was commanded by Captain Lindsay in 1852. The Harriet Nathan was a three-masted barque of 126 tons, built as a whaling ship in 1844 by William Williamson of Hobart. She was 81 feet long and had only one deck and a square stern. She was bound for Melbourne with general cargo. Crew were given a wage of ten pounds per month. In these colonial traders, crew received good food, good treatment because of the desertions to the goldfields by sailors. The Harriet Nathan nearly drifted onto the St George Rocks(north of Eddystone Point on Tasmania's north-east coast) in a calm and was narrowly saved by a light breeze.
The Alert was a two-masted schooner of 91 tons, She was built on the Bellinger River in New South Wales by George Brown in 1846. The Alert left Launceston(on the River Tamar) on 24th March 1853 to get a cargo of palings from the Leven River. The mate's name was Mitchell and him and the cook and doctor were alcoholics. The bar at the mouth of the Leven River had only ten feet of water on it at high tide. The Alert grounded coming back out and despite trying to warp off the sandbar they were stuck there for nine days. The crew amused themselves with fishing and swimming until one hand nearly lost his life to a shark. In August 1854 the Alert was reported lost.
The Sword Fish was a 168 ton wooden two-masted brigantine, built in Hobart by John Watson in 1850. She was captained by her owner, Captain John Clinch.
The Sword Fish was 86 feet long with one deck and a square stern. The Sword Fish left Hobart on 26 May 1853. William Lyon was the master. She arrived in Melbourne on June 7th with passengers and assorted cargo.
The crew on these Tasmanian coastal traders received good wages but were not the most pleasant of berths because there was frequent bad weather in Bass Strait and wrecks were common on this iron-bound coast. There was also not much chance of saving the crew in the eventuality of a shipwreck.
The 100-Gun Ship Victory (Anatomy of the Ship Series) -
Forever associated with Nelson's last battle at Trafalgar, Victory is one of the most famous ships of all time. An example of the ultimate sailing warship--the three-decker First Rate--Victory was the most popular and successful 100-gun ship of the period, the flagship of half a dozen famous admirals.
NAVAL CUTTER ALERT: New Edition (Anatomy of the Ship) -
The Alert was one of many armed cutters that were used to supplement the British fleet between 1763 and 1835. These small swift vessels were generally employed in minor roles such as conveying dispatches, routine patrol work and reconnaissance. Alert was constructed in Dover in 1777 and was captured by the French in July 1778 while acting as escort for Keppel's fleet off Ushant.
Baudin & Flinders
Sir Robert Seppings