Captain Richard (Dick) Farrell (1897 -1993)
Log of Barque JORDANHILL Third Passage – HOMEWARD BOUND
Thursday August 10th 1916
Tug ‘Racer’ towed us out from Hobson’s Bay anchorage (Melbourne) at 5 p.m. At daybreak we set all fore and aft sails, but there was no wind. When we got outside the Heads we set, six topsails, three t’gallant sails, main royal, foresail, mainsail and spanker. When the tug cast off we were doing about four knots under our own sail, very fine weather. We are wheat laden homeward bound. I took the wheel from 4 to 6 p.m.
Set mizzen royal and washed down, took both anchors aboard and lashed them, sent down fish tackle and stored it away. Rigged up lifelines, either sides of deck. Doing about five knots. My 4 to 6 p.m. wheel. Steering W. S. W.
Took in mizzen royal, mainsail main royal, fore and mizzen t’gallants. Got up a cask of pork, rove off a midship fore buntline. Rainy weather, shipping a little water. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel, steering S. W. ½ S. Doing about five knots.
August 13th Sunday
Set mainsail, two t’gallants and main royal. Fine weather. Unshackled the cables off the anchors and plugged up the hawse pipes. Squared the yards. My 8 to 10 a.m. wheel and 4 to 6 p.m. lookout. Steering E. by S. Doing about five knots.
Let the yards go a little further ahead on port tack. Put two long splices in a mizzen starboard clewline. Seized on two fore crane lines and made fast inner jib as it is not drawing. Going along fine today doing eight knots. Steering E. N. E. Rigged two lifelines over the crossjack braces. We have now got all our lifelines fixed up in preparation for Cape Horn.
August 15th Tuesday
Set main royal, but took it in at night. Made a new fore port t’gallant lift and sent it up as the old one was chafed through. Send down fore port upper topsail foot rope and put a new stirrup on. My 6 to 8 a.m. wheel. Steering E. N. E. Doing about five knots. Braced yards sharp up and set the spanker and inner jib.
August 16th Wednesday
Took in mainsail and three t’gallants. Hauled the yards around on port tack and again on starboard tack, there is no wind and the sails are only flapping against the masts. We pulled the foresail up also and let it hang in its gear. Sent up upper topsail footrope, put wire seizings on fore port t’gallant lift and made a new for’ad guy for port boat. My 2 to 4 a.m. wheel. Steering N. E. by E. Doing about ½ knot. We put some extra rovings in the sails today.
August 17th Thursday
Braced yards sharp up on the starboard tack. Head wind. Made foresail fast and three t’gallant sails. Wore ship at 12 p.m. and again at midday. Not much work doing today, just standing by, very heavy sea running, shipping some water. My 6 to 8 p.m. wheel. Steering ‘by the wind’ making E. N. E. Unshipped ventilators on the poop and plugged holes up.
August 18th Friday
Wore ship at 4 a.m. and again at 12 a.m. Blowing pretty hard, plenty of water aboard. Rove off a new jigger staysail downhaul as the old one carried away. Standing by all day. My 4 to 6 p.m. wheel. Steering ‘by the wind’ making S. S. W. Pretty cold today. Took in mizzen topsail.
August 19th Saturday
Set mizzen upper topsail. Passed extra gaskets on the spanker. Lengthened the pennant of the fore t’gallant halliards to keep the fall clear of the starboard lifeline. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel and 12 to 2 a.m. lookout. Steering ‘by the wind’ making S. by E. Doing about three knots. Very heavy sea running. Position Latitude 46 degrees 52’ S. and Longitude 141 degrees 43’ E. True course N. 25 degs. E.
August 20th Sunday
Set the foresail, mainsail, inner jib and spanker. No work doing today. Good breeze today, wind has hauled a bit further aft, just doing our course. Steering ‘by the wind’ doing about four knots.
August 21st Monday
Set three t’gallant sails, finished splicing a guy for one of the lifeboats. Spliced an eye in one end of a foresheet and served the other end then rove it off, starboard watch made another one for starboard side. Steering ‘by the wind’ making N. E. by E. Doing about two knots.
August 22nd Tuesday
Set crossjack, main and mizzen t’gallant sails this morning. Wind freshening, fine clear day. Position Lat. 48 degs 25’ S. Long. 157 degs 14’ E. Took in crossjack in first dog watch.
August 23rd Wednesday
Took in main and mizzen t’gallant sails, second dog watch, also mainsail at eight bells. Began to blow so took in three upper topsails. We are very short handed, two men short and amongst the rest are four boys off the Victorian Training Ship “John Murray” who are no good on deck. We went to see the ‘Old Man’ about putting back to New Zealand on account of our poor crew but he refused. We have refused to do ordinary work on deck except sailing the ship. Shipping tremendous seas, stove in donkey room door and starboard boat, also shifted the port boat and washed the bell over the side. Steering N. E. by E. My 6 to 8 p.m. wheel. Doing about three knots.
August 24th Thursday
Winds and sea moderating, cleared decks. Passed the wreckage of some ship’s running gear and a sail and spar. Repairing sails aloft. My 4 to 6 p.m. wheel. Steering N. E. ½ E.
August 25th Friday
Rainy today, lashed the two lifeboats in their chocks. Set the main upper topsail. Big sea running but not much wind. Shipping heavy water. We have turned to again having come to an agreement with the ‘Old Man’. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel. We squared the yards this morning.
August 26th Saturday
Damp misty day. Big sea running and shipping some water. Set the mainsail, washed the poop down. Repairing sails up aloft. My 6 to 10 a.m. wheel. Steering N. E. ¼ E.
August 27th Sunday
Fine clear day, steady breeze, wind right aft. Rolling heavily, sea abating and shipping very little water. Set main upper topsail and main t’gallants’ Reefed the foresail in the dog watch and set it. Doing about four knots. My 4 to 6 p.m. wheel. Steering N. E.
August 28th Monday
Set mainsail and mizzen t’gallant’s. Sent main and mizzen royals down to be repaired. Rove off new fore and mizzen t’gallants halliards, new mizzen topsail spilling lines. Set spanker let yards go a bit forward on port tack, doing about six knots. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel E. ½ N.
August 29th Tuesday
Took in mainsail, fore, main and mizzen t’gallant sails. Got two fingers of my right hand caught in the fore t’gallant sheet block when throwing it off the pin. Did not do any work for the rest of the day. Pretty strong breeze today, not very cold for our position. Doing about seven knots. Position Latitude 48 degs 21’ S. Longitude 170 degs 31’ W. Course 88 Degs E. Distance 190 miles.
August 30th Wednesday
Blowing stronger today, took in fore and mizzen topsails in the morning but set the fore again as wind moderated a little towards midday. Squared the yards. Making gaskets and rovings today. Hauled down, jibs main and mizzen t’mast staysails. Doing on average seven knots. Course E. by N. My 2 to 4 a.m. wheel.
August 31st Thursday
Set fore t’gallant sail, heavy sea running, wind right aft. Squally weather, took in fore t’gallant sail at four bells, second dog watch. Getting colder, position Longitude 158 degs 35’ W. Latitude 47 degs 59’ S. Course N. 80 degs E. Distance 200 miles. Doing on an average of 8 ½ knots my 10 to 12 p.m. wheel.
September 1st Friday
Squally weather, strong wind, took in fore upper topsail, shipping heavy water. Set fore topsail again at night as the wind abated. My 6 to 8 p.m. wheel, steering N. 80 degs E. Doing about nine knots. Took in foresail at 6 p.m.
September 2nd Saturday
Very heavy hail squalls, mountainous seas running, typical Cape Horn rollers, decks being swept all the time, pooped a sea today. Took in fore topsail during a heavy sleet squall. Getting colder every day. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel steering N. 75 degs E. Doing about nine knots under three lower topsails.
September 3rd Sunday
Seas as high as yesterday, shipping very heavy water, pooped two seas, one sea tore the wedges, battens and tarpaulins off the main hatch and the battens were twisted all shapes, some like the letter Z. We got them on again after some trouble. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel, steering N. 75 E. Doing nine knots. Set reefed main upper topsail.
September 4th Monday
Seas and wind moderated, shook reef out of main topsail, set reefed foresail, fore and mizzen upper topsails and fore t’gallant sails. Wind hauled a little ahead. My 4 to 6 p.m. wheel. Steering N.E. ½ E. Doing ten knots.
September 5th Tuesday
Took in fore t’gallants and mizzen upper topsail, set fore and aft sails. Made two new fore upper topsail wire spilling lines and rove off new tackles. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel, steering N. E. Doing about nine knots.
September 6th Wednesday
Set fore t’gallant sails, wind right aft, squared the yards, lashed the gangways on the midship house. Fine weather again, shipping a little water. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel, steering N. 88 degs. E. Doing about eight knots. Position Longitude 132 degs 11’W. Latitude 147 degs 38’ S. Distance 224 miles.
September 7th Thursday
Steady, moderated breeze, wind tight aft. Fore t’gallants carried away, we made it fast at 7 p.m. inner starboard buntline carried away. Steering N. 85 degs. E. Doing about eight knots. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel.
September 8th Friday
Unbent fore t’gallant sails and bent another one, rove off a new buntline. Got coal up for the cook. My 10 to 12 p.m. wheel. Position latitude 48 degs 5’ S. Longitude 121 degs 30’ E. Course S. 85 degs E. Distance 210 miles.
September 9th Saturday
Wind dying away, took in main t’gallant sails, at midnight the wind shifted over to the starboard beam, braced the yards up a little, not much wind. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel. Steering N. E. ½ E. Doing about four knots.
September 10th Sunday
Braced sharp up. Set mainsail, main t’gallant sails and mizzen topsail. Very fine day. Checked the yards in a little at 12 p.m. My 10 to 12 p.m. wheel, steering N. E. by E. Doing about six knots. Position Latitude 48 degs. 47’ S. Longitude 112 degs. 24’ W. Set fore and main t’gallant sails and mainsail.
September 11th Monday
Took in two t’gallant sails and mainsail also mizzen topsail. Squared the yards and hauled the staysails down. Seized on a fore topmast staysail tack, wind increasing a little, sleet squalls now and again. My 6 to 8 p.m. wheel. Steering E. N. E. Doing about seven knots.
September 12th Tuesday
Took in fore upper topsail, rove off new wire spilling lines on the sail, rove off midship fore t’gallant buntlines. Let the yards go a bit further forward. A few sleet squalls now and again. My 4 to 6 p.m. wheel. Steering E. N. E. Position Latitude 50 degs 7’ S Longitude 104 degs 1’ W.
September 13th Wednesday
Wind drawn further ahead. Braced sharp up on starboard tack. Set fore main mizzen t’mast staysails, my 12 to 2 p.m. wheel. Steering ‘by the wind’ making N. E. by E. doing about three knots.
September 14th Thursday
Breeze freshening, wind has hauled so that we can make E. by N. Set fore and mizzen upper topsails and main t’gallant sails. Very cold weather occasional snow and sleet squalls. My 8 to 10 a.m. wheel steering E. ¾ N. Doing about eight knots.
September 15th Friday
Took in main t’gallant sails, heavy sea running, very cold. Wind S. W. Put rovings in fore lower topsail and mizzen upper topsail. My 4 to 8 a.m. wheel. Steering E. N. E. Doing about seven knots.
September 16th Saturday
Wind freshening but abated again towards midday. Set main t’gallant sails. Rove new midship buntline off on the foresail. My 12 to 2 a.m. wheel. Steering E. N. E. Doing about six knots. Got soaking wet on the main braces today.
September 17th Sunday
Took in main t’gallant sails at 2 a.m. At 4:30 a.m. we were called out to shorten sail, it was our watch below. We made three upper topsails and foresail fast, we got below again by six o’clock. Blowing pretty hard and bitterly cold, with sleet squalls. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel, steering E. by N.
September 18th Monday
Very big sea running, shipping very heavy water. Braced sharp up on the starboard tack. No work doing, just standing by. My 10 to 12 a.m. wheel, steering E. by N. Doing about seven knots. Position Latitude 54 degs 14’ S. Longitude 83 degs 25’ W.
September 19th Tuesday
Sea abated, shipping a little water. Checked the yards in a couple of points. Set all the staysails. Very heavy fall of snow, the decks, masts, yards and ropes are all covered in snow, we had a snowball fight today port watch V starboard watch. My 6 to 8 a.m. wheel. Steering E. by N. Position Latitude 54 degs 16’ S. Longitude 82 degs 24’ W. True course N. 86 degs E. Distance 48 miles today.
September 20th Wednesday
Set foresail and three upper topsails and mainsail, big sea running, not shipping much water, several showers of snow and hail, very cold. Set mainsail. Braced sharp up, steering ‘by the wind’ three points from her course. My 2 to 4 a.m. wheel. Position latitude 55 degs 6’ S. Longitude 80 degs 9’ W. distance 92 miles today. Worked out a Mercators sailing and found ship to be 432 miles from Cape Horn.
September 21st Thursday
Took in foresail, mainsail and mizzen topsail. Still a head wind. Wind freshening. Put some rovings in fore lower topsail, squally weather, heavy showers of sleet. My 6 to 8 dog watch wheel, steering ‘by the wind’. Doing about three knots.
September 22nd Friday
Set foresail, mainsail, mizzen topsail and main t’gallants’ come up to her course. Checked yards in a bit, made mainsail fast in second dog watch. No water on deck today for the first time since leaving. My 4 to 6 dog watch wheel. Doing about six knots. Position 56 degs 35’ S. latitude and longitude 76 degs 40’ W.
September 23rd Saturday
Squared the yards, made mainsail and main t’gallants fat, very little water aboard, a few showers of snow now and again. Not much wind, doing about five knots. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel. Position latitude 56 degs 4’ S. Longitude 72 degs 42’ W. Course S. 86 degs. E. Distance 130 miles.
September 24th Sunday
Wind hauled ahead, set all the staysails, fore and main t’gallant sails, not much wind, very fine day, no water aboard, no work doing today. Position Latitude 57 degs 2’ S. Longitude 29 degs. 40 W. Course S. 84 degs E. Distance 99 miles today.
September 25th Monday
Wind hauled further ahead, rain and sleet nearly all day. Passed Cape Horn today, very cold weather. My 4 to 6 a.m. wheel. Steering ‘by the wind’ making N. E. by N. Position 57 degs 30’ S Longitude 67 degs 2’ W.
September 26th Tuesday
Sent up the main and mizzen royals and bent them, squared yards today but braced up a little at midday, set fore and main t’gallants main royal mainsail, inner jib, fore topmast staysails and jigger staysail. Position Latitude 56 degs 38’ S. Longitude 64 degs 45’ W. Course N. 56 degs E. Distance 90 miles today. My 6 to 10 p.m. wheel.
September 27th Wednesday
Set mizzen t’gallant sails and crossjack but made crossjack fast at night. Let yards go a little ahead. Steady breeze, a few snow squalls. My 4 to 6 p.m. wheel, heading N. 50 degs. E. Doing about six knots.
September 28th Thursday
Wind hauled ahead, broke off a couple of points from our course. Squally weather with occasional showers of sleet. Made mainsail and main royal fast. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel. Steering ‘by the wind’ making E. N. E. doing four knots.
September 29th Friday
Still a head wind, made fore and mizzen t’gallant sails fast. Wore ship at noon, bent the gaff topsail, set it and made it fast at night, put two long splices in port fore royal buntlines. My 8 to 10 a.m. wheel, heading about W. N. W. doing about two knots.
September 30th Saturday
Head wind, set fore and mizzen t’gallant sails three royal, mainsail, outer jib and spanker. Very little wind, wore ship at 4 p.m. with all hands, fine day, dry decks, heading E. by N. My 4 to 6 a.m. wheel, doing one knots. Position, Latitude 54 degs 44’ S. Longitude 60 degs 38’ W. Course N. 58 degs E. distance today 19 miles.
October 1st Sunday
Breaking off still more took in three fore and mizzen t’gallant sails and mainsails as we are only driving to southwards. We passed through whaling grounds, immense spouts are visible all around the ship. My 6 to 8 a.m. wheel, at 7:30 a.m. a large sea lion came up by our stern and hung around for several hours but we could not catch him, he left us about 4 p.m.in the afternoon. Sighted steamers light at 6 a.m. but could not see it at daylight. Heading E. N. E. doing about two knots.
October 2nd Monday
Set mainsail and fore t’gallant sails, coming up to her course. Sighted a Norwegian whaler in the middle watch and signalled him, gave our name and destination, he morsed back ‘Skjold’ which is the Norwegian for ‘good luck’. At midnight the fore t’gallant sails carried away and starboard watch took it in. At 12:30 we ran into a large whale which got under our bows, he shook the ship from stem to stern. My 4 to 6 dog watch wheel, checked in the yards a little steering N. E. by N. ½ N. Doing about three knots.
October 3rd Tuesday
Sent down fore t’gallant sails and bent a new one. Set crossjack fore t’gallant’s and main royal. Made crossjack fast during a heavy snow squall, very cold. Squared the yards, my 12 to 2 p.m. wheel, steering N. by E. doing about seven knots.
October 4th Wednesday
Took in the three royals, fore main carried away, also took in fore and mizzen t’gallant’s, big sea running, shipping some water, wind right aft. My 8 to 10 a.m. wheel steering N. ½ E. Doing about six knots. Took in fore and aft sails and mainsail fast.
October 5th Thursday
Weather same as previous day, big sea running shipping a little water. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel Steering N. by E. Doing six knots.
October 6th Friday
Wind abated and sea gone down. Set fore t’gallant sails, unbent fore and main royals and repaired them. My 10 to 12 a.m. wheel, steering N. E. ½ E. Doing three knots
October 7th Saturday
Fine weather. Set mizzen t’gallant sails and mizzen royal, set gaff topsail and spanker and fore and afters. Steering N E. ½ E. average speed 4 ½ knots. My 6 to 8 a.m. wheel. Towards night took in mizzen royal and gaff topsails, breeze developed into a strong wind. Doing ten knots. Decided change in the atmosphere, warmer.
October 8th Sunday
Strong breeze blowing, braced sharp up on port tack, steering ‘by the wind’ heading N. E. My 2 to 4 a.m. wheel. Squally weather very dull and wind freshening. Speed ten knots.
October 9th Monday
No change in the weather, started to sand and canvas the woodwork on the poop, charthouse and skylights. My 10 to 12 p.m. wheel. Steering ‘by the wind’ heading N. E. by E. Doing seven knots.
October 10th Tuesday
Strong breeze blowing, head wind, sand and canvasing the poop, ‘by the wind’ N. E. by E. ½ E. My 6 to 8 p.m. wheel. Doing five knots. Towards night wind increased took in three t’gallant sails, mizzen upper topsail and foresail at 4 a.m.
October 11th Wednesday
Wind abated, checked yards in a couple of points, fair wind and a big swell on, set foresail, fore and main t’gallant sails, rainy miserable weather, sand and canvasing the poop. My 4 to 6 p.m. wheel, steering N. E. by E. Set mizzen royal.
October 12th Thursday
Nice steady breeze blowing, set crossjack, gaff topsail, fore and man royals, outer and flying jibs, all sail set, steering by the wind, heading N. E. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel. In the afternoon we caught a big fifteen foot blue shark, skinned him and took his fins, tail and backbone, caught four albatross and a cape hen.
October 13th Friday
Strong breeze blowing, head wind, steering by the wind, speed eight knots, still sand and canvasing on the poop. Took in royals crossjack, gaff topsail and flying jib, wore ship at 12 p.m.
October 14th Saturday
Mizzen t’gallant sheet carried away, sail got torn, sent it down and bent a new one, sand and canvasing mizzen fife rails, strong wind blowing, big sea running. My 8 to 12 a.m. wheel, heading N. N. W. Position; Latitude 37 degs. 16’S. Longitude; 35 degs 30’ W.
October 15th Sunday
Wind abated, setting sail all day, fore, main and mizzen t’gallant sails, mainsail, crossjack gaff topsail and spanker. My 4 to 6 a.m. wheel, heading N. N. W. Doing three knots.
October 16th Monday
Weather dull and misty, raining, catching fresh water, strong breeze, fair wind. Steering N. by E. ¾ E. six knots, set three royals. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel.
October 17th Tuesday
Unbent the main t’gallant sails and bent another one, set it, also gaff topsail, wind on port beam but hauled aft about 4 p.m. scraping woodwork on main deck, fife rails etc., made a new fore tack. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel. Position Latitude; 33 degs 24’ S. Longitude; 30 degs 59’ W. Distance for day 133 miles. Course N. 37 degs E.
Set flying jib and gaff topsail, wind on port quarter but shifted over to starboard quarter, seized on new mizzen t’mast staysail tack, hauled down gaff topsail. Course N. E. by N. average speed four knots, warm weather, sighted some whales. All hands including apprentices and boys put on wheels and lookouts. My 8 to 10 a.m. wheel and 8 to 10 p.m. wheel.
October 19th Thursday
Fine weather, fine breeze, steering ‘by the wind’ heading N. N. E. My 12 to 2 a.m. lookout.
October 20th Friday
Fair breeze, steering ‘by the wind’ just making course, speed five knots. Unbent main lower topsail and bent a fine weather sail which carried away, we sent it down and bent another one. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel. Course N.E. by N. took in gaff topsail at 10 p.m. also flying jibs and three royals later in the same watch.
October 21st Saturday
Strong breeze blowing, steering “full and by” sand and canvasing the taffrail on poop, speed seven knots, washed poop down. Position; Latitude 27 degs 30’ S. Longitude 27 degs 57’ W. put roving in fore lower topsail.
October 22nd Sunday
Good steady breeze, just sailing free, set flying jib in the forenoon but made it fast during the squall in first dog watch, made crossjack fast at 4 bells. Very warm weather, doing about seven knots. My 8 to 10 a.m. wheel and 8 to 10 p.m. lookout. Steering N. by E. ½ E. In the middle watch the island of Trinidada was sighted on the starboard bow. It is a Brazilian possession, consisting of only rocky barren land, uninhabited except by monkeys and birds.
October 23rd Monday
We are 76 days out today. Wind hauled further ahead, broke off two points. Fine weather but very squally, steering ‘by the wind’ heading North, speed about two knots. At 12 p.m. main t’gallant sails carried away during a heavy squall, made it fast also the crossjack and fore t’gallant sails. My 6 to 8 p.m. wheel. Steering N. ½ W. Abreast of Trinidada all day but lose sight of it towards evening. Position; Latitude; 20 degs 18’ S. Longitude; 27 degs 15’ W.
October 24th Tuesday
Fine weather with occasional squalls, unbent main t’gallants and bent fine weather one also set it, also fore t’gallants, bent flying jib also, steering ‘by the wind’ heading N. ½ N. speed about four knots, sujying the bulwarks and poop half round.
October 25th Wednesday
Good steady breeze, still ‘by the wind’ heading N. ½ W. Speed three knots, sujying the deck houses all day. My 6 to 8 p.m. lookout.
October 26th Thursday
Very hot weather, slight rain squalls, wind still ahead. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel steering ‘by the wind’ heading N. ½ E. doing about three knots, unbent and bent a fine weather foresail at eight bells in the afternoon with all hands.
October 27th Friday
Typical tropical weather, head wind heading N. N. E. coming up. Unbent fore lower topsail and bent a fine weather one. Tarred down the fore royal t’gallant t’mast and lower rigging. Starboard watch started on the main, set the main royal and gaff topsail.
October 28th Saturday
Very slight breeze, still ahead heading N. ½ E. doing two knots. Tarring down the mizzen and jigger rigging also all the footropes. In the afternoon we sighted a Norwejian three masted barque on the starboard bow, we hauled our crossjack up and brailed in spanker intending to get some coal from her as ours is running short. We hoisted signals to that effect but she kept on her way, when she was astern she signalled ‘cannot make out your signal’ we were all disappointed as we expected to board her. I was one of the boats crew, the boat was all ready for going away too. The ship’s name was the “Alfred” and had not been more than a few weeks out by the looks of her. Of course he did not want to give us any but he may not have had much himself. My 8 to 10 p.m. lookout. Old man expects to sight more ships soon. Position; Latitude; 14 degs 54’ S. Longitude 33 degs 6’ W. Course N. 15 degs. W. Distance 72 miles for the day.
October 29th Sunday
Very slight breeze, splendid weather, plenty of flying fish around but no large fish. Sighted a steamer on port bow going the opposite way to us. Steering ‘by the wind’ making N. ½ E.
October 30th Monday
Started painting down finished jib boom and fore royal yard. Sighted Cape San Roque, we immediately wore ship. Sultry weather.
October 31st Tuesday
Head wind, a few showers, had to knock off painting down. Very hot weather. Steering ‘by the wind’.
November 1st Wednesday
Sighted a steamer from fore t’gallant yard at about 8:30 a.m. we were told to bring our paint down and get the lee life boat swing out, when the steamer drew abeam we signalled her, she immediately altered course and headed for us, she proved to be the “Alkaid” of Rotterdam bound from Rosario to her home port with grain. Our watch being on deck, we manned the boat in charge of the second mate, when we got aboard the steamer, the Captain told the second mate to send us to the steward, who gave us a drink of Dutch Schnapps, we then loaded the boat with coal, we also wanted some packing for our condenser, her chief engineer came aboard the ‘Jordanhill’ to have a look at the condenser, he brought six bottles of Schnapps and a small keg of claret aboard. The watch below took the coal from us and we went away a second time. The next time we got more coal, two large sacks of flour, some yeast and cigars for our ‘old man’ we also got cigars for ourselves, the officers and men proved very obliging towing us to our ship, when the ship got a bit apart. When they towed us up the second time all hands on the ‘Jordanhill’ gave the Dutchmen three cheers which they answered back, then our boats crew comprising of six of us gave the steamer three cheers, they then gave us three more, they did not get under way until they saw us safely aboard, then they gave three blasts on their siren and left us, promising the report us at Tenerife their first call. When we had finished clearing away the coal, our old man called all hands aft and gave them a drink of claret. The “Jordanhill” looked very well from a distance, only the rust is beginning to show on her sides. I missed my wheel being away on the boat. Steering ‘by the wind’
November 2nd Thursday
Sighted coast of Brazil about ten miles on our lee, can be seen quite plain as it is very clear weather, sighted a lot of Brazilian fishing boats which came quite near, also a large liner at night time, think she was one the R.M.S.P steamers. Painted down fore upper topsail yard and fore yard. My 6 to 8 dog watch wheel, making N. by E. ¼ E. ‘by the wind’. Very hot weather.
November 3rd Friday
Land nearer today, sighted a schooner, very warm, not much wind, finished painting foremast also white bulwarks inside, she looks splendid. Set three royals today. My 10 to 12 p.m. wheel, making N ½ E.
November 4th Saturday
Fair wind, heading N. E. by N. Land out of sight. Finished painting the mainmasts and all the mizzen except crossjack yard. Sighted the P.S.N.C’s steamer “Orona” outward bound, promised to report us. Steering ‘full and by’ doing five knots. About 5 degs S. Washed down decks.
November 5th Sunday
Very warm weather, steering ‘full and by’ going along fine, doing about five knots, heading N. E. by N. My 10 to 12 a.m. wheel and 10 to 12 p.m. lookout.
November 6th Monday
Painted jiggermast, spanker boom and gaff. Crossed ‘the line’ about four p.m. fine weather, good breeze, no doldrums so far. Steering ‘full and by’ heading N. E. by E. Doing about six knots. Rigged up sails over main and after hatches with which to catch rain water. My 4 to 6 p.m. wheel.
November 7th Tuesday
Hauled down flying jib and gaff topsail, a few light showers, painting white bulwarks rigging screws and houses. Checked in yards a couple of points, steering course N. E. ½ E. Going along fine about seven knots. My 10 to 12 a.m. wheel.
November 8th Wednesday
First day of doldrums, hauling yards around all day very heavy rain, catching water all day, got over 400 buckets of water, we expect to have enough to fetch us home. Washed all our dirty gear on deck, nobody wore any clothes as oilskins are practically of no use. Rain stopped at night, wind dropped sighted a steamer at 6 p.m. hauled crossjack up. My 10 to 12 a.m. wheel square yards heading N. E. ½ E.
November 9th Thursday
Very warm today, becalmed. Got a rain squall towards evening, rain did not last long. Sighted a four masted barquentine, she was trying to make us but we left her behind in that squall, painting white under the t’gallant forecastle also part of the rail on forecastle head. My 10 to 12 a.m. wheel, heading N. E. ½ N.
November 10th Friday
Heavy shower of rain at night, did not last long. Painted some of the port chess trees grey, four boats and poop whaleback. I was painting out the mate’s room today, white and cream colour. Caught two large bonita from the boom. My 10 to 12 p.m. lookout, doing three knots. Position Latitude 4 degs. 45’ N. Longitude; 30 degs 48’ W. Course N. N. E. Distance 44 miles.
November 11th Saturday
Raining nearly all day, I am still painting in the mate’s room, braced up sharp during a rain squall at 11:30 a.m. not much wind today, plenty of bonita around but could not catch any scraping teakwood on forecastle head. My 10 to 12 p.m. wheel, steering N. by E ½ E.
November 12th Sunday
Very warm day, calm all day until about four o’clock when a breeze sprang up which we thought were the N. E. trades but were mistaken, braced sharp up. Plenty of fish around but could not catch any. I got one dolphin up to the boom but he got off again. My farmer tonight. Steering N. by E. ½ E.
November 13th Monday
Got the North East trades today, pretty strong wind, everything on her including gaff topsail and flying jib. Doing about ten knots. Steering course N. by E. ½ E. My 8 to 10 a.m. wheel and 8 to 10 p.m. lookout.
November 14th Tuesday
Painted down main, mizzen and jigger lower masts, seizings on stays and poop rails, also scraping t’gallant pinrail, rook in three royals, flying jib and gaff topsail. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel and 2 to 4 a.m. lookout. Steering ‘full and by’ heading N. by W. Doing about nine knots.
November 15th Wednesday
Scraping t’gallant pinrail, blacked down weather jigger rigging, good strong steady wind, doing about nine knots, steering ‘full and by’ heading N. by W. My 10 to 12 p.m. wheel.
November 16th Thursday
Painted poop rails around, scraping doors of donkey room. Very strong t’gallant breeze, doing about nine to ten knots, steering ‘full and by’ heading N. by W. ¼ W. My farmer tonight. Position Latitude 14 degs 45’ N. Longitude 35 degs 38’ W. distance 205 miles.
November 17th Friday
Painted under forecastle head, set up the lee lifelines. Doing about ten knots, put a man in irons for refusing duty, he is being fed on water and biscuits. Heading N. by W. speed 8 knots.
November 18th Saturday
Good strong breeze, steering N. by W. Sent down main t’gallant sail as it blew away the previous night and bent a new one. Painted the deck red lead and oil. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel and 2 to 4 a.m. lookout.
November 19th Sunday
Stiff breeze, set main royal and flying jib. Let the man out of irons today. Sight a big four-masted outward bound towards evening, she was too far away to find out her name, well out of the tropics now but pretty warm still. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel, steering ‘full and bye’ heading N. by E. doing about seven knots. At 9:30 p.m. a full rigged ship crossed our bows outward bound, she had no side lights only stern light, we could not make out her name as it was too dark.
November 20th Monday
Set the fore and mizzen royals, painting aluminium on the poop companion rails and binnacle stands, varnished poop rails around and tarred forecastle head, touching up paint all round. Wind dropped doing about two knots. My 2 to 4 a.m. wheel, heading N. E. by N. Very warm today. Position Ltitude 24 degs 48’ N. Longitude 30 degs 25’ W. Distance 135 miles.
November 21st Tuesday
Painted capstans, rigging screws, seizings and half round, painted the forecastle ladder rails aluminium. Well out of the trades now, very little wind today. My 2 to 4 a.m. wheel, heading N. by E. ½ E. Checked yards in towards, evening, wind freshened a little.
November 22nd Wednesday
Scraping windless, painting for’ad capstans, pig pen, rigging screws and seizings, oiling fife rails on main deck also doors. Braced up on port tack, everything on her, light breeze doing about four knots. Nearly abreast of the Canary Islands today. Set up starboard lifeline in preparation for the channel. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel and 12 to 2 a.m. lookout, steering N. by E. ½ E.
November 23rd Thursday
Broke off from her course, heading about East. Spliced a wire eye in fore inner buntline and served it, put two wire lanyards in the ends of lower topsail sheets. Doing very little today. Unbent foresail and bent a new one. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel and 6 to 8 a.m. lookout. Cook laid up this morning, I was in the galley for the morning, one of the starboard watch fellows who could cook then went in. Lost an hour in watch below making a wet mainsail fast.
November 24th Friday
Unbent mizzen upper topsail, fore lower topsail and mainsail and bent new ones for the heavy weather. Wore ship at 6 p.m. She then headed N. by W. Weather getting colder, big sea on, set mainsail. My 2 to 4 a.m. wheel. Doing about five knots.
November 25th Saturday
Made fore t’gallants fast, bent main t’mast staysail, rove a new main t’gallant weather earing as old one carried away, put rovings in mizzen lower topsail. We are 109 days out today. Still braced up on starboard tack, heading N. by E. doing about five knots.
November 26th Sunday
Set fore and mizzen t’gallant sails not much wind doing about five knots. Nice warm day. Position Lat. 37 degs 35’ N. Long. 39 degs 6’ W Distance 111 miles, steering ‘by the wind’ My 6 to 8 a.m. wheel, and 6 to 8 p.m. lookout.
November 27th Monday
Set three royals, very little wind, bent heavy weather fore upper topsail, main lower and upper topsails, painting capstans. My 10 to 12 a.m. wheel and 10 to 12 p.m. lookout. Sighted a steamer off port bow, she passed quite near but it was dark.
November 28th Tuesday
Seized on new fore t’gallant buntline blocks, painting windlass and steering gear green, also waterways brown. Set flying jib and unbent gaff topsail, steering course E. ½ N. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel and 2 to 4 a.m. lookout. Sighted two outward bound steamers.
November 29th Wednesday
Flat calm all day, painted windlass, main pumps and donkey room, oiled fife rails and painted the starboard boom guy and two bowsprit shrouds, French grey, also rove off new fore starboard upper topsail brace, braced sharp up again. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel and 8 to 10 a.m. lookout. Steering ‘by the wind’ heading E. by N.
November 30th Thursday
Wind hauled right aft, squared the yards, hauled down fore and afters, finished boom guys and shrouds also martingale stay in a bosun’s chair. Wind increased, took in three royals, fore and mizzen t’gallants, crossjack and main sails. At 4 bells (6 p.m.) when making mainsails fast, the wind jumped from aft to right ahead and brought her up all standing, we then braced sharp up on port tack and set inner jib, main and mizzen t’mast staysails also put the chain tack on the foresail. My 12 to 2 a.m. wheel heading E. by S. ½ S. ‘by the wind’ doing about four knots. Sighted a big homeward bound steamer at night. Main t’gallant carried away at 10 p.m.
December 1st Friday
Unbent main t’gallants and bent a new one, made it fast, set mainsail and outer jib also spanker, rove off new outer main t’gallant buntlines, bent weather cloths and dodgers on the poop in preparation for the channel, weather getting colder, getting like English weather. Sent up a new fore upper topsail slab line. My 4 to 6 a.m. wheel, ‘by the wind’ heading E. ½ N. doing four knots, strong wind.
December 2nd Saturday
We are 114 days out today, very strong wind, took in mainsail at 8 bells (4 p.m.). At 4:30 a steamer passed quite close (outward) “Helen” was her name, she was light and had fore and main trysails and fore staysail set to steady her, we were under six topsails ad foresail and smothered in spray. At 7 p.m. we took in the mizzen upper topsail, it was blowing a whole gale all night, at 3 a.m. when the gale was at its highest we were called out to take in the fore upper topsail and reeve a fore preventer sheet, she was shipping some heavy water. Heading E. by S. ‘by the wind’ doing about six or seven knots.
December 3rd Sunday
Wind abated, but still blowing pretty strong. Wore ship at 8 a.m. set fore and mizzen upper topsails. My 8 to 10 a.m. wheel heading N. by W. ½ W. Doing six knots. Not much water coming aboard, weather getting colder. We are 39 degs 25’ N. and 29 degs 30’ W.
December 4th Monday
Set mainsail main and mizzen t’gallants sails, main and mizzen t’mast staysails, good steady breeze, at 10 a.m. land was seen ahead. We came abreast of it at 5 p.m. it is the island of ‘Flores’ and behind it is ‘Fayal’ two of the “Western Islands” or Azores (Portugese). There is a bright flashing light on Flores and is inhabited by 10,000 people. Steering course N. by W. ½ W. Doing five knots.
December 5th Tuesday
Painted the facings of the forecastle head also figure head, making gaskets and crane lines for the westward. Not much wind today. Steering ‘by the wind’. Making N. by E.
December 6th Wednesday
Set fore t’gallant sails, put new crane lines on fore lifts, tarred the main deck, an outward bound steamer crossed our stern, no wind, heading about N. by E. No wheel or lookout.
December 7th Thursday
Light breeze, steering ‘by the wind’. Scraping down the fore t’gallant and royal masts, rove off two new main royal clewlines and fore starboard royal clewline. Very fine weather, doing about three knots. Passed a three masted barquentine.
December 8th Friday
Oiled fore and t’gallant and royal masts, scraped main and oiled it also scraped the jigger t’mast, my 2 to 4 p.m. wheel and 2 to 4 a.m. lookout. Still a head wind and very little of it, doing about two knots, heading N. E. by N.
December 9th Saturday
Bailing fore peak bilges out, scraped and oiled the mizzen t’gallant and royal masts also jigger t’mast, varnishing woodwork on the poop. A steamer passed our stern at 7 a.m. and at 5 p.m. a dead horse floated by, probably thrown over from some steamer. Head wind. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel and 6 to 8 a.m. lookout, heading N. E. by N. Doing about three knots.
December 10th Sunday
Washed the poop down, no work doing today. My 2 to 4 a.m. wheel, steering ‘by the wind’. She has come up a few more points nearly doing her course. Doing about three knots.
December 11th Monday
Gave a second coat of oil to all the masts, blacking the service of spanker boom guys and topping lift. Making course today wind shifted right round to North. Steering E. ½ N. Breeze freshened up towards evening. Doing about seven knots. Took in mainsail, main royal and three t’gallants blowing pretty strong. My farmer tonight.
December 12th Tuesday
Wind moderated, set mainsail. Wind hauling around to the Eastward, heading E. by S. ½ S. Doing about four knots. Big sea on. Made a new anchor strop and getting the lifeboat sails and gear all ready for use should we get sunk. My 12 to 2 p.m. wheel and 12 to 2 a.m. lookout. She is about 27 degs. West now and about 4 degs 5’ N.
December 13th Wednesday
Set mainsail but made it fast at 6 p.m. Took in spanker and outer jib. Doing about six knots. Sighted a three masted barque on the weather bow also a large steamer. Put rovings in fore lower topsail. My 8 to 10 p.m. wheel and 6 to 8 a.m. lookout. Steering E.N.E. ‘full and bye’. Blowing pretty strong, big sea running.
December 14th Thursday
Breeze freshened to a whole gale. Took in three upper topsails, when making the fore fast we sighted a barque coming across our bow and a large steamer coming down on both of us, we let her off to clear the barque and the steamer ran right between the two of us, it was blowing very hard then, we were on the topsail yard, about 11 p.m. Doing about seven knots, steering ‘full and bye’ My farmer tonight.
December 15th Friday
Wind abated, but a very heavy sea running, coming on deck we found that the port mizzen cap backstay had carried away presumably in a heavy squall the previous night we put a chain stopper on it, then hove it tight with a two fold purchase. My 10 to 12 p.m. wheel. Steering ‘full and bye’ making E. by N. Doing three knots, set a reefed main upper topsail and mainsail.
December 16th Saturday
Wind hauled right aft but there is very little of it, set mizzens and fore topsails also main t’gallants, outer jib and all staysails. Wind hauled right round to the East again, dead head wind. Braced up on starboard tack heading E. by E. wind freshened up, took in mainsail and main t’gallants, washed down decks.
December 17th Sunday
Took in fore upper topsail, not very much wind as we set it again in the morning, very fine weather but a very Easterly look about it. No work doing today.
December 18th Monday
Wind hauled round to the South but it is very light, it then hauled round to the Westward, we then squared our yards as our course is almost East. By the appearance of the sky, it seems that this wind is going to hold. Set main and mizzen t’gallant sails and main royal. Sighted a large steamer away on the beam.
December 19th Tuesday
Still square yards, wind freshened up, going along fine, about seven knots, as wind increased we took in main royal, main and mizzen t’gallants and mizzen topsail. Two French steamers crossed our bows, one of them was the ‘Saint Peerre’ we asked for war news and they sang out ‘Procced’ and left us, never even stopping. They looked like cruisers when we first saw them. Got both cables up, through the hawse pipes and shackled them on to the anchors. Put a long splice in the fore topsail halliards. Doing about seven knots, steering course E. ½ E.
December 20th Wednesday
My 4 to 6 a.m. wheel, set mizzen topsail, wind hauled round to the North West, let the yards go a bit forward on the port tack, set all staysails and inner jib, an oil steamer passed us this morning and there is an American liner coming up behind us. Doing about eight knots. Steering E. ½ S.
December 21st Thursday
Wind hauled further aft, squared the yards, made fore t’gallants fast, set lee side of mainsail, rove off fish tackle and shackled it on to the masthead, swung both boats out ready for the channel, sighted two steamers, both outward bound, light breeze doing about four knots. Steering E. by S. ¼ S. My 10 to 12 a.m. wheel and 10 to 12 p.m. lookout.
December 22nd Friday
Put both anchors over the side and lashed them. Sighted Bishop Rock Light and St. Agnes (Scillys) they were abeam at 6 p.m. The wind shifted ahead and commenced to blow pretty hard. We wore ship and then made main t’gallants, mizzen and fore topsails fast. When we were standing by to wear ship, a steamer was sighted down on our port bow and as our port light went out and it being dark, she could not see us, the old man then lit a white flare up on the poop which probably saved us as she pulled up within a ships length of us, we then fixed up the side light. Towards morning the wind hauled aft again, a thing for which we are all glad. Started to blow harder with heavy squalls now and again, making it necessary to take in the foresail at 4 a.m. My 6 to 8 p.m. wheel and 6 to 8 a.m. wheel, we are keeping day lookouts now.
December 23rd Saturday
Sighted Lizards early in the morning and Prawl and Start Point lights at night. Blowing pretty strong doing a good ten knots. Sighted three steamers. Wind shifted to the port quarter towards midday, making it possible to set the staysails. At 11 p.m. we altered course so that the wind came aft again, we then squared the yards. Steering E. by S.
December 24th Sunday – Christmas Eve
Set foresail, main fore and mizzen topsails and three t’gallants as wind has moderated and hauled round to quarter again. Sighted the ‘Casquets’ last night and Cape de la Hague Lights. At daybreak the land was visible on our starboard hand. There are a dozen or so steamers around. A French destroyer named the “Francique” came off us, they came almost alongside and threw us some French papers, we then laid aft and gave them three cheers, he remained by us all day. The wind then hauled ahead and she broke off five points making it necessary to call our watch out when we were below to wear ship. It then commenced to rain and blow hard, we took in the three t’gallants, main sail, foresail and fore and mizzen topsails. It was bitterly cold and we were all wet. My farmer, but we are standing by all night. Steering S. E.
December 25th Monday – Christmas Day
At about 1 a.m. all hands were called to put her about, blowing a gale of wind and raining, she is now shortened down to three lower and main upper topsail. Before we went around the old man got the cook up to make coffee for all hands on account of the cold, it was very acceptable too as it was very cold. My 8 to 10 a.m. wheel, the wind had hauled aft by now, the yards were dead square running in to Le Havre Roads, at about 9 a.m. when Le Havre within a couple of miles we sent up a signal for the pilot, but we could not get one. As it was blowing hard, the old main would not risk running in without a pilot, so he braced her sharp up, brought her to the wind and ran on parallel to the wind. We are all disappointed at not going in being so near. We kept on this course all night but as we are not doing much, Le Havre was in sight up to dark. At 7 p.m. the wind moderated, we set the mizzen topsail, all staysails and inner jib.
December 26th Tuesday – Boxing Day
In the morning we set the foresail and wore ship. Then set main and mizzen t’gallants. Wind dropped to a dead calm, doing nothing. Towards the evening wind freshened to a good breeze, checked in the yards a point, steering course S.W. ½ W. Land away on port bow, wind increased, took in foresail and two t’gallants and wore ship again as Havre is on our port beam and the old man wants to hang around until morning. My 2 to 4 p.m. wheel and 2 to 4 a.m. lookout. Raining all night, got soaking wet, it was pretty cold.
December 27th Wednesday
Set foresail, main t’gallants and all staysails, wind moderated, set mainsail, sighted a small cutter which passed our stern. No sign of land to be seen, the old man does not know where he is, he surmises that he is to the Westward of Havre and as the wind is Easterly it is a head wind. At 8 a.m. we tacked ship with all hands she stayed alright. At 6 p.m. smoke was observed on the horizon, which on coming nearer was seen to be one of the new 41 knot type of submarine destroyer. He hailed us and questioned us with regard to our destination and cargo. On hearing we had wheat for the French Government he was very anxious to get us in. As the wind was right ahead, he wirelessed ashore for a tug boat and got an answer that none was available but that he could take us in himself. We clewed up all sails and made them fast, we then got our towing wire ready, in taking it aboard the destroyer came too near our bow and got his flagstaff carried away by our starboard bowsprit shroud also his ariels which rendered his wireless apparatus useless. The destroyer did exceedingly well with us all night taking us through the water at a speed of seven knots. We are all in the highest of spirits at the through of getting in for New Year’s Day.
December 28th Thursday
In the morning we sighted the light cruiser D 19, who signalled our tug, saying that he would take us into Havre being the more powerful vessel of the two. Our tug then passed the end of the towing hawser aboard the D19. We gave her three cheers as she left us to get her wireless fixed up. At about 11 o’clock our hawser parted we were doing a good ten knots through the water. We had no other wire aboard strong enough for towing, so the cruiser sent us a new 3 ½ inch wire aboard. We then unshackled the cable off our port anchor and shackled the wire on to this and veered out about 25 fathoms. The weight of our cable thus formed a catenary which prevented any sudden jerks, to render it still less liable to jerk the cruiser attached a big 12 inch coir bridle to their end of the wire, this held until we arrived in Havre roads. Two mine sweepers then came along and one lashed herself to our side to help us along but as we were going faster than she could travel she let us go again. While she was alongside they gave us papers and two buckets full of oranges, the first for nearly five months, they told us that five ships had been sunk in the same place as they picked us up, the previous week by German submarines. We passed a lot of steamers during the day. Towards evening Havre hove in sight Cape la Havre being the first we saw. When we got in the roads the cruiser anchoring a little further away from us. We then set anchor watch for night, it ran to about half an hour per man.
December 29th Friday
At 7 a.m. all hands were called to hove the cable short and we made the harbour ring with the shanty “Homeward Bound” and all the others including “It’s time for us to leave her” when the cable was shortened up we got breakfast and then waited for the tug. At about 10:30 a.m. “Abeille IV” came off and gave us his hawser we then hove up the anchor. As we were going through the dock gates we saw a steamers mast and funnel above the water, she had been torpedoed outside a few days previous and had just enough time to make port. When we got tied up in our berth it was about 2 p.m. and that, our voyage is now at a finish in a couple of days we will get discharged from the old ship, some of us shipmates in fair weather and foul for nearly seventeen months perhaps never to meet again. The old ‘Jordanhill’ looks a little the worse for wear around her port painted sides a remainder of her long passage home but inside and aloft she looks spick and span a tribute to our work during the N.E. Trades coming home.
R. J. Farrell
The “Jordanhill” was a steel four masted barque of 2176 registered tons, owned by Thos. Law & Co. 123 Hope Street, Glasgow, who owned 24 sailing ships at that time.