The picture on page 90

Ceres of Bude

Re picture on page 90.

The ketch Ceres is said to be the oldest sea-going craft in existence. She was built at Salcombe, Devon, in 1811, and began by trading to Northern Spain, more than once having narrow escapes from French and American privateers. In the years 1818 and 1814 she was employed by Government carrying British military stores in connection with Wellington’s Peninsular War operations, subsequently reverting to her owners and resuming ordinary trading. She first came back to Bude in 1826, and has been in the ownership of her present owners since 1852. She was altered in rig in 1865, and subsequently was cut in two and lengthened by 13 feet, being registered 44 tons and carrying 85 tons. In 1912 she was successfully transformed to a motor ship by the successful installation of a 30 h.p. semi-Diesel engine, which enabled her to keep close to the shore and so avoid the fate of several other coasting vessels sunk by submarines off the North Cornish coast during the Great War. Ceres is still in active commission, having passed her four-year Board of Trade survey in 1930.

(Photo by J. H. Petherick, Belle View, Bude. Sent by Mr. J. W. W. Banbury, Lloyd’s Agent, Bude, Cornwall.)

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres”. They are presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. If you are interested in maritime history and would like to read more, please use the Search facility on the top right-hand side if this page (‘Ceres’).  If the Search box does not appear on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.

More History of the Ceres

When you explore the history of a boat, any boat, you quickly discover you are not the only one interested in her. Ceres was particularly well-known and appreciated by a wide variety of people. The piece below, from the P.S.N.C. Magazine, was written by someone with a far greater call on her than I – the great-grandson of the original owner.

The History of the Ceres.

The Ceres was built at Salcombe, Devon, in 1811 for my great­grandfather, William Lewis, of Bude, Cornwall, for the Spanish-London fruit trade. He went master of her, and during the Peninsular War she was employed carrying stores to the British troops in France, under the Duke of Wellington. On the death of my great-grandfather in 1829 my grandfather, ”his only son,” not 18 years of age, went master of the Ceres, and kept her in the coasting trade until 1855, when he sold her to Captain P. M. Petherick, of Bude, who went master of her. In 1866 he was relieved by his eldest son, Captain W. W. Petherick. In 1884 he was relieved by his brother, Captain Walter Petherick, who retired from the sea in 1930 after being master of the Ceres for 46 years. I have known the Petherick family since my childhood. Finer sailors never walked a ship’s deck.

My grandfather had many souvenirs from the Ceres, including the two old flint lock pistols which his father and the mate carried to shoot Napoleon and his bodyguard if they attempted to board the Ceres; the old horn lantern that was lighted by a tallow candle, made by the crew ; the lantern, the only light, was carried at the bowsprit end when possible, to light the Ceres to glory; the old bull’s horn which was used as a foghorn; also a piece of flint and steel used to strike a light with.

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres”. They are presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. If you are interested in maritime history and would like to read more, please use the Search facility on the top right-hand side if this page (‘Ceres’).  If the Search box does not appear on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.

Ceres – details from the shipping register

The details below are taken from the official records of “Ceres”, found in the shipping registries of Dartmouth and Padstow. However exciting the stories of fast voyages, near disasters and real tragedy (see later), what follows are the details that count, (even though not all the dates tie exactly with those I have found from other sources). These are the bare bones that underly the ownership of a coasting ketch.

Throughout her life, “Ceres” was used for business – to earn her keep and, hopefully, make a profit for her owners. Given the length of her service, this she apparently did in carrying cargo around the coasts of Britain. However, from the records we find that not only were her cargoes a source of income but shares in the ship changed hands and she was mortgaged several times as a way of raising money.

I found these records fascinating, and was particularly delighted to find the wonderfully named Barnabas Stenlake Shazel.

CERES OF BUDE.

Built Salcombe, 1811.

Sloop of one deck and one mast.

Length 49 feet, breadth 17 feet, depth in hold 7 feet 3 inches.

Rigged with a running bowsprit, square sterned, carvel built. No galleries. No figurehead.

Tonnage 57 and 60/94ths

Dartmouth registry.

Port no. 13 of 1812.

Employed in the coastal trade. Master J.Keepell, Crew of 4.

Registered de novo 4th October 1824. Port No.202.
                    ”        5th May 1828. Port No.16.
                    “      13th May 1830. Port No.17.

Registry finally cancelled on 11th April 1837 and property transferred to

Padstow registry.

Registered No 9 Padstow. 11th April 1837. James Greenway, Master.

Owned – Richard Beeuleu of Launceston 32 shares. Henry King of Stratton 16 shares and Ann King 16 shares. (Richard Beeuleu sold his shares to a Mr Lewis of Bude, Henry King transferred his shares to Ann who sold all to Lewis, who was thus sole owner.)

Reregistered No 4 Padstow. 12th July 1841.

On 11th July, 1855, William Lewis sold 32 shares to Henry Petherick, Merchant, 16 shares to Samuel Knight, Miller, and 16 to John Wakely , Yeoman. The last two sold their shares to H. Petherick in 1856 and 1860.

It was mortgaged in 1862 for £300 to Edward Barker of Launceston and sold by H. Petherick in 1863 to John Henry Hooker of Bude who in turn sold to William Walter Petherick in October 1868, the mortgage also being discharged in that year.

Wm.W. Petherick mortgaged the vessel for £150 in 1869 to Edward Hockin and John Henry Hooker, then once again it was reregistered as No 26 Padstow , 1st Dec 1869 with Wm Petherick owning 38 shares /Barnabas Stenlake Shazel owning 26 shares.

Wm Petherick purchased B.S.Shazel’s shares in 1374 and the mortgage was discharged in 1889.

She was registered anew in 1913 (material alterations… new engine fitted)
Sold to Donald Murch Petherick in 1921 and to Alfred Petherick in 1924.

The register was closed 2 Dec. 1936 on the advice from the managing owners that she was a total loss on 24th November 1936.

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres”. They have been presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. They represent steps in a personal quest to find out more about one branch of my family.

If you are interested in maritime history or would like to read more, please use the Search facility at the top right hand side of this page (‘Ceres’). If this is not available on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.

 

Crossing the Bar

My aunt has given me a sheaf of articles, and newspaper clippings about the ketch ‘Ceres’, which, as I have mentioned before, was in our family for 73 of her 125 years active service.

Many of these articles were copied over the years from issues of Sea Breezes, which started life in 1919 as the house magazine of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. The subtitle changed later to “The Ship-Lovers’ Magazine’. It ceased publication in October 1939 only to restart in 1946.

I had thought I would stop posting blogs on ‘Ceres’ but I am finding that publishing them as individual pieces from different sources gives a colourful history and allows the reader a personal insight that is sometimes lost in a formally-presented, official ‘history’. This is partly because the ‘facts’ sometimes differ from article to article.

Talking of ‘colourful’, I hope you enjoy the following. I curled up with embarrassment when I first read it, then laughed out loud for the sheer joy of it.

 

Crossing the Bar

By C.L.Lilbourn, Newport, Mon.

Editor’s Note:- The June issue gave (on page 90) a wonderful picture of the ketch Ceres crossing the Bar at Bude, Cornwall; more of her history was promised and this is contained in the following article:-

The ketch Ceres, of Bude, Cornwall, has been crossing Bude Bar for over 200 years in practically all weathers. Owing to sunken rocks the channel is very narrow, and the Ceres has been kept close enough to the Chapel Rock, seen in the photo, to knock the shell fish off without damaging the rock or the Ceres. Some steering, I guess, but Captain Walter Petherick is at the helm and nothing is impossible to this 24-carat sailor, who has been master of the Ceres for 46 years. He is now nearly 80 years of age, as upright as a lifeguardsman, with a good head of hair as strong as rope yarns. He is one of the best known and most respected coasting captains living today. He has made thousands of passages up and down the Bristol Channel, and if all the lights in the lighthouses and lightships were extinguished, and their fog signals silenced, he could probably make a passage in the Ceres from Newport to Bude in a dense fog, by the use of the lead and the assistance of the different herds of cattle along the coast bellowing.

Call everything “he” except the tomcat.

For instance, if he heard a cow bellowing in a soprano voice he could say to his mate, “Ben, us be off Minehead; that is Farmer G’s cow a-bellowing: can’t you hear he (Cornish sailors call everything ‘he’ except the Tomcat, and they call ‘he’ ‘she’)? Drop the lead over the side and see what water us have got.” Ben would retort so many fathoms and hard sand. The captain would say, “Yes, I knew us was off Minehead.” Some hours later another cow would bellow in a contralto voice. The Captain would know it was Farmer T’s at the Foreland. Some hours later they would hear a bull roaring in a bass baritone voice, the Captain would know they were off Bull Point. The last cow would be heard at Hartland Point, where they would get their departure. When they arrived in Bude Bay they would have to wait for the fog to clear before they could cross the Bar.

 

I wonder what my great grandfather – (he of the ‘hair as strong as rope yarns’), thought of this!

This is the Boys Own writing of the time, of course, and maybe a little embellishment for the reader was considered worthy.

I must admit, the more I find out about him, the more fond I grow of Captain Walter Petherick; and I can’t help feeling he had earned the right to a short piece about him without the need for any superlatives.

I will post the remainder of the articles and clippings over the next few months.

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres”. They have been presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. They represent steps in a personal quest to find out more about one branch of my family.

If you are interested in maritime history or would like to read more, please use the Search facility at the top right hand side of this page (‘Ceres’). If this is not available on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ceres”

The “Ceres”: A Wonderful Record.

(An extract from an article in the journal ‘Sea Breezes’ – published in 1928)

“The following information concerning the 117 year old Ketch “Ceres” has been kindly given to us by Capt W.W.Petherick, her owner, and he has consented to our using this in writing her history in ‘Sea Breezes’.

There seems to be no doubt that the “Ceres” is the oldest sailing vessel still in active service and that, after 117 years of strenuous work, she is still in perfect condition, and good for many more years, speaks equally well for her builder and owner.

“Ceres” was built in Salcombe in 1811, where she belonged until 1830, and while owned there several times crossed the Bay of Biscay to Spain for cargoes of fruit, nuts etc, and in these days was considered to be the fastest vessel in the three Channels. She was then Smack-rigged and registered 34 tons, burthen 54 tons.

She first came to Bude where she is now owned in 1826 with a cargo of timber from Plymouth and was first owned in Bude by Captain Knowles, who, in 1830, brought in and discharged at Bude 20 cargoes of coal from Wales. In 1842, Captain W.Lewis purchased her and still traded to Bude.

In 1852, she was purchased by Captain Petherick’s father and has been owned by the family ever since. In 1866, Captain W.W.Petherick took over the command of the little vessel and found that she wanted dry docking for repairs. While in dry dock, Capt Petherick was persuaded to have her lengthened, which he did. Fifteen feet was put in her amidships. When completed she was Ketch-rigged, registered 52 tons and carried 85 tons.

Ceres of Bude

Captain Petherick then took her in the General Coasting Trade. She carried many cargoes of barley for the whisky distilleries from Cornwall to the Western Islands of Scotland, Campbeltown, Ardrossan, Troon, Ayr and visited near every port in Ireland from Londonderry in the north to “south about” to Limerick in the west. From there it was generally oats to the English Channel ports, the Channel Islands, London, Maldon, Ipswich etc.

As to the seaworthiness on the latter vessel, I can do no better than quote Capt Petherick’s own words. He says “I have weathered out many storms and hurricanes in her and she was always all there. Everyone who went in her considered her to be one of the best sea boats afloat.”

In 1884, Capt Petherick left sea to take over his father’s business and he was succeeded in command of the “Ceres” by his brother, Capt R.W.Petherick, who is her skipper today, having been in her over 50 years.

On the 7th November 1900, she was caught in Bude Bay in a heavy north west gale. A larger Italian barque, the “Congiziona”, who was miles to windward of the “Ceres” in the evening, came ashore close to Bude in the night. “Ceres” worked out of the Bay and ran for Padstow. She entered the harbour safely but with an ebb tide and an eddy wind, she had to let go both anchors when under the dangerous Steppe Point. She struck the rocks but the crew managed to get ashore at low water. They were able to get onboard again, and that night she was towed to Padstow Harbour where she was repaired.

In 1912, a bold step was taken by her owner who had the vessel fitted with a semi-diesel engine of 30hp, and this has turned out a complete success.

During the war, when Bude Bay was a hotbed of German submarines. most of the coasters were penned in harbour. “Ceres” with the aid of the engine was able to make regular trips to Bristol and South Wales ports and bring back cargoes of grain, flour, groceries etc. Her shallow draft allowed her to keep near the rocks and sands where the submarines could not submerge and she was then able to successfully evade them.

That “Ceres” is standing the test of time is evident from the fact that, in the last five years, she has carried forty cargoes of basic slag and thirty of flour in all weather without damaging a plank.

She made the record number of passages for any ship between Bude, Cardiff, Port Talbot etc. during October 1927 as follows:

Saturday, October 8th, arrived Bude, discharged and sailed for Port Talbot;

Sunday, October 9th, arrived Port Talbot;

Monday, 10th October, loaded slag and sailed for Bude;

Tuesday 11th, arrived Bude, discharged and sailed for Port Talbot;

Wednesday 12th, arrived Port Talbot, loaded and sailed;

Thursday 13th arrived Bude, discharged and sailed for Cardiff;

Friday 14th, arrived Cardiff, loaded and sailed on Saturday;

Sunday October 16th, arrived at Bude from Cardiff in one tide.

Bude harbour is 14 miles south west of Hartland Point. There is water in Bude for three hours on spring tides and those who know the difficulty of a small coaster rounding Hartland Point with its strong race of tides on springs will appreciate the last mentioned passage from Cardiff dock to Bude in one passage.

I am sure all readers of Sea Breezes will join me in wishing “Ceres” a further long lease of active service.”

and it is signed: R.P.Hirst,Liverpool.

 

The above article was taken from my grandfather’s (Captain Alfred Petherick) notebook.  His notes then go on to list passages made by “Ceres” over many years, although it does not cover every year of her active service.

As examples, the entries for 1870 note the following ports visited in order:

Bude, Newport, Plymouth, Penryn, Porthcawl, Truro, Newport, Truro, Newport, Bude, Newport, Waterford, Newport, Malpas, Newport, New Ross, Newport, Bude, Newport, New Ross, Wexford, Newport, Falmouth, Newport, The Yealm, Newport, Bude, Truro, Newport, Bude, Newport, Bude.

And in 1878:

Bude, Wexford, Dublin, Fishguard, Porthgain, Gloucester, Looe, Plymouth, Maldon, Ipswich, Bideford, Port Talbot, Bude, Saundersfoot, Waterford, Saundersfoot, The Yealm, Saundersfoot, Portland, London, Newry, Newport, Bude, Boscastle, Plymouth, Bude, Newport, Bude.

A random selection of cargoes include:

80 tons manure, 85 tons slate, 70 tons salt, 80 tons granite, 82 tons cement, 85 tons limestone, 377 barrels of resin, 84 tons china clay, 80 tons iron ore, 2000 fire bricks, general cargo, scrap iron, 83 tons potash, 40 tons pine wood, 82 tons pipe clay, 82 tons blue clay; 673 barrels oats, 404 quarters barley, 10 tons potatoes.

In 1868, there is a note:

“Ceres” lengthened by fifteen feet from Dec 7th 1868 to July 20th 1869.

At the end of these lists is a record of the skippers who sailed her:

1826: Captain G.Barrett

1842: Captain Lewis

1852: Captain W.W.Petherick

1884: Captain R.W.Petherick

1929: Captain Ben Stainton

1933: Captain A.Petherick

1935: Captain O.G.Jeffery

And the final entry reads:

“Foundered midnight Nov 24 1936. Bideford Bay, Crew saved by lifeboat.”

“Ceres” was 125 years old when she went down.

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres”. They have been presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. They represent steps in a personal quest to find out more about one branch of my family.

If you are interested in maritime history or would like to read more, please use the Search facility at the top right hand side of this page (‘Ceres’). If this is not available on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.

 

 

 

 

The Barque “Annie Braginton”

In May 1865, having signed off from the barquentine ‘Forest Prince’ in Liverpool, my great grandfather, W.W.Petherick, returned to Newport, Monmouthshire. Ready to go to sea again, he signed on the barque “Annie Breganton” for a voyage to Shanghai, Montreal and London, leaving on 1st June.

This is his story, in his own words:

A few particulars of a Voyage from Newport, Mon. to Shanghai, thence to Montreal and back to London, by W.W.Petherick.

In 1865, I shipped as A.B. at Newport, Mon. in the Scotch Barque “Annie Bragenton” of Alloa, Firth of Forth, Capt. Alexander McDougall, Master of a crew of 12 all told, loaded with about 860 tons (of) coals for the English Government at Shanghai. I had the magnificent wage of £2.15.0 per month, signed for a voyage of three years if we remained abroad so long, or be paid off at the first English port we arrived at.

We towed away from Newport on June lst 1865 at 5 a.m. I might say here our owner was a great economist. He showed it in every trait. He went out of Newport with us and when just got passed the Flat Holmes, the tug came alongside and the owner and pilot left us instead of towing us to Lundy Island some fifty miles farther as was usually done on such voyages.

The Captain, over 70 years of age, had not been in the Bristol Channel before. The wind was up from the West against us, light. We set all sail and soon saw it was a poverty stricken outfit, but was in hopes it was the summer suit and that there was better in the sail locker, but found to our regret later there was not much improvement.

We got down off the Huntstone at low water, when the Captain should have anchored as the wind was so light, but he allowed her to drive near all the strong spring tide and about half an hour before high water he sighted a buoy which I knew was the buoy at the west end of the Culver Sands. He got rather excited and called to the mate to range the chain and let go the anchor. We ranged the chain, when I told the mate I was sorry it meant a lot of work for us and we should immediately have to heave it up again as the tide would soon turn, that there was no danger of the Culver Sands as we was 2 or 3 miles to the North of them. He went and told the Captain, when I was called aft and explained to the Captain that I had served 4 years at sea mostly in the Bristol Channel. When I was appointed pilot.

We worked down the north shore to the Nash when the wind went a little more to the north, and the next morning we was going between Lundy Island and Hartland Point. We had a fine time down passed the Scilly Islands.

The Captain was very pleased with my pilotage and thanked me very much. He hoped to repay me before we parted, which he did by lending me books and instruments and learning me navigation, that, within a fortnight of terminating the voyage, I went in at Plymouth and passed my first examination!

A few days after passing Scilly, it came on to blow fresh from the west. Out main topgallant sail soon went to tatters and the boom jib soon followed suit. It was then we soon found out what we had got in the sail locker. It was a sorry sight. There was 2 A.B.s then chosen as sail makers. I was one of them which I did not regret. We did very little else all the passage other than our ordinary duties of steering, bending and sending down and up sails when blowing away in bad weather etc.etc.

Then we found more economy in the quality of our food. Beef, pork, bread etc. etc. we thought was about the cheapest and worst that he could get. After three days at sea, we had not a potato nor any green vegetables for the whole of the passage, neither a taste of butter etc. etc.

We had a nice north wind that ran us through the Bay of Biscay and onwards. The next land we sighted was the Canary Islands, then we took the N.E.Trade Winds and crossed the Equator in Long. 24 W. We then took the S.E.Trade Winds and went away on a wind.

The next land we sighted was the islands or rocks of Trinidade off Pernambuco, South America. We then went away on the starboard tack, edging down for the Roaring Forties which we soon found. We had some very strong gales, with the usual amount of blowing sails to ribbons and unbending and bending fresh of which we had great experience, but the little ship was a great sea boat and ran well before before a gale.

The next land sighted was the Island of St Paul in the South Indian Ocean when we hauled up passed Australia about 70 miles off.

The next land sighted was the Island of Timor in the Indian Group when we drifted within shouting distance of a full rigged ship, the first we had spoken to since leaving England.We asked: “What ship? From where? Where bound? and How many days out?” “Ship ‘Mary’ from Cardiff bound to Shanghai, 119 days out.” We told him we was the Barque ‘Annie Bragenton’ from Newport for Shanghai, 130 days out.

We got up through the Indian Islands and crossed the Equator in 130 East and soon got in the China Sea, then our troubles commenced.

Heavy N.E. monsoons and were continually having near every sail blown away. We was for a day or two with nothing but our foretopmast staysail and 4 or 5 new tarpaulins lashed in the mizzen rigging and back stays. Our port bulwarks was near all gone from the fore to the main mast. Our crew were near all laid up with the scurvy, some very ill, and our ship, through the great heat when in the Indian Ocean, our top sides began to leak.

We had large iron fly wheel pumps that, when all the hands were there, we could strike them and throw a great volume of water, but now to be reduced to 4, and they not very strong. It was very bad. But it was, as the old nautical adage “pump or sink”, so we managed to keep her afloat.

Thankful when we sighted a Shanghai pilot boat, and when he came on board, he was rather amazed to see what straits we had got to. Only 4 hands on deck for over a fortnight. I took him to the cabin where the Captain was in bed. He asked if he should send his boat on shore and (run?) for a steam tug, which he did. He also asked if the Captain would like a few Irish potatoes. “Lend all you can spare.” He said he had only two or three bucketfuls, as they were 30/- per cwt. The Captain said he did not give a damn if they were £30. He sent us three buckets full. The mate gave us one which we ate raw like hungry ravenous pigs.

The next morning a tug came and soon got us up the river to Shanghai on December 12th after being 195 days at sea.

Annie Bragenton from Shanghai to Montreal to London.

Sailed from Shanghai on January 31st, 1866 bound to Montreal with a cargo of tea.

We had a beautiful run down the China Sea. Soon passed Hong Kong and Singapore and through the Bangka Straits where we had to anchor one night as very dark and the passage narrow. Then through the Straits of Sunda.

We had a bum boat come off from Sumatra when we purchased some monkeys, fancy Java sparrows, fowl, sugar, bananas, coconuts, pineapples, oranges etc. etc..

When we went out between Java and Sumatra and across the Indian Ocean and South Pacific for the Cape of Good Hope. We had one heavy breeze off the Cape. Had to heave to under a close reefed maintopsail, but at daylight in the morning when we set everything again, passed close to Cape Town. Could see the ships inside the breakwater.

Then steered for St Helena where we hove to. A boat came off. We made some purchases, sent some letters ashore and off again for Newfoundland.

The next land we made was Cape Ray, Newfoundland. Up to that time we had had a beautiful passage, only taking our main topgallant sail in once the whole passage, but we had a little puff in the Gulf of St Lawrence off Anticosti Island and blew away some more sails. We had no more canvas nor twine to repair them. We had to put stoppers on the leach ropes of the fore topsail, herring bone the cloths with marlin spikes and spun yarn etc, but we soon got a steam tug and towed to Montreal, arriving there on June 1st, 120 days out from Shanghai. Discharged our tea and loaded a cargo of maize and flour for London.

While at Montreal, the Captain kindly gave me leave to go to Toronto to see some relations, 300 miles distant. I remained with them 3 weeks visiting about, and had a good time.

We sailed from Montreal again in the first week of July and had a fine passage to London with one exception. One afternoon on the Banks, the weather came on very bad and that night it blew half a gale, rained heavy and thick fog. When daylight appeared, the weather cleared away and the sun came out and there was nine large ice bergs, and we cutting through one corner of them, 2 on our port side and 7 on our starboard. But fortunately escaped striking them and soon left them behind.

We then had light winds to London, arriving there in the middle of August, 35 days out, when that finished our voyage. The whole crew that sailed from Newport returned with one exception. One A.B. got in trouble in Shanghai and was left behind. Another one shipped.

                                                                                                                                                                         W.W.Petherick

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres” – in this case her owner’s early years. They have been presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. They represent steps in a personal quest to find out more about one branch of my family.

If you are interested in maritime history or would like to read more, please use the Search facility at the top right hand side of this page (‘Ceres’). If this is not available on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.

The Brigantine “Forest Prince”

Thinking about the past being inhabited by the same people as us. Times and technology were different, but our reactions to them would have been similar.

Below is a brief account of a voyage made in 1865 by one of my great-grandfathers, W.W.Petherick.

As far as I can tell, these are his own words. In fact, I have taken it from his son’s notebook. I assume he copied it direct from the original. His text has very few punctuation marks and no paragraphs. Because that makes dense reading on a screen, I have added both. This will annoy the history purists, but, hey, it’s a good short story, hiding a lot between the lines – enjoy it.

Brigantine “Forest Prince” of Newport, Monmouthshire.

I shipped on the Brigantine “Forest Prince” of Newport, Mon. as Able Seaman at £2.17.6 per month, in the beginning of March 1868 on a voyage from Newport to Lisbon with a cargo of 325 tons of Coals, then Ballast for Villa Real in Spain near Gibraltar, then take a cargo of Copper Ore to Liverpool.

We sailed from Newport on March 7th with an easterly gale and very heavy snow. We ran down to Morte under a close reefed topsail and foresail. When passing that, we set the double reefed mainsail and, after passing Hartland Point about 10 pm the same night, the wind being just abeam, blowing heavy, we found what we was up against.

She was a new vessel, the first voyage, the owners having six vessels just the same size all running against each other, trying which should make the quickest and most passages. Our vessel appeared to be over-masted and over-sparred, top heavy. She got hove down on her broad side with the lee bulwarks all under, and full of water on deck from end to end. She looked very ugly. We got her away before it and took the foresail off.

The next morning it moderated a bit when we soon got and entered the Bay of Biscay, when the wind shifted around to the South West and blew very heavy and we had to heave to. We found her a miserable sea boat. She would not come up and take the seas end on, but merely fall off and allow the seas to roll over her in the trough of the sea. We smashed away a good deal of the lee bulwarks to try and relieve her. After two or three days the wind veered to the North West, still blowing very heavy, when we had to get her on the other tack and smash away more bulwarks.

After about a week the wind moderated, came from the East and we eventually got to Lisbon, a beautiful harbour and beautiful town, with plenty of fruit. And while there I went to a bull fight one Sunday afternoon, but never wish to go to another. After discharging we took in ballast and proceeded to Villa Real where we duly arrived having had a fine passage.

We then loaded a cargo of Copper Ore and sailed, having a fine passage as far as the Scilly Islands when the wind came from the North East and blew very heavy all the way to Liverpool, where we arrived in the middle of May, when we all left but the Captain, not wishing to go another voyage in such a wet Packet as that.      WWP.

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres” – in this case her onwer’s early years. They have been presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. They represent steps in a personal quest to find out more about one branch of my family.

If you are interested in maritime history or would like to read more, please use the Search facility at the top right hand side of this page (‘Ceres’). If this is not available on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.

 

 

 

 

Inshore Craft 3 – the hobble boat

Bude Pilot 2

Following my post on the Bude Hobble Boat (above, in later years, waiting to guide the Ceres which is entering Bude under her own steam), I thought it would be useful for those who like more detail to see how much work they had to do.

As a demonstration of the numbers of Vessels involved, the following is a list of the Shipping movements for the month of May 1838, taken at random from my Great Grandfather’s notes. This date is before the meetings referred to in the previous post.

May 1          Dasher                        Hatherly         11/-

       ” ”            Kitty                            Pickard             8/9

      ” 3            Rising Sun                 Lewis              10/6

      ” 6            Lord Porchester     Davey            11/9

      ” 7            Dasher                        Hatherly        11/-

      ” ”              Kitty                           Pickard          8/9

     ” 9              Rebecca                    Morton          18/-

      ” ”               Friends                     Whitefield      8/9

      ” ”               Sisters                        Cook               12/9

     ” ”                Ceres                          Greenaway    15/-

    ” 10             Lion                             Kivell              18/-

      ” ”               Sir R.Vivyan             Mill                  11/-

     ” 11             Maria                          Metherall       13/-

      ” 12            Betsy                          Penzance       10/9

       ” ”             Speedwell                 Pengelly         16/6

       ” ”             Sisters                        Cook                12/9

     ” 13           Margaret                    Fish                   6/9

     ” 14            Friends                      Whitefield      8/9

      ” ”               Kitty                            Pickard            8/9

     ” ”                Dasher                        Hatherly         12/6

     ” ”                Sprightly                   Marshall          14/3

     ” 16            Eliza                  from Newquay        14/3

     ” 18             Sir R.Vivyan            Mill                   10/6

       ” ”               Sisters                        Cook                 12/9

     ” 19              Rising Sun               Lewis               11/-

        ” ”              Victoria                     Foun(?)          15/0

      ” 21              Mary              from Plymouth   £1/0/0

      ” 25              Friends                      Whitefield      8/9

        ” ”               Sisters                         Cook               13/-

        ” 26          Sir R.Vivyan              Mill                 11/-

       ” ”               Kitty                             Pickard         8/9

       ” ”               Dasher                        Hatherly       12/6

       ” ”              Lord Porchester      Davey            11/9

       ” ”              Rebecca                      Morton          18/-

       ” 28           Victoria                      Foun(?)          15/-

You can see that the Dasher lived up to her name and entered (and left Bude) twice during the month. It would be interesting know where she went and what she brought back with her.

There were 18 vessels altogether. The Ceres I have talked about elsewhere and I will be posting more about her shortly. The Hobble fees are an indication of the relative sizes of the ships, the Mary from Plymouth being the largest vessel to enter the canal that month.

The Hobble Boat worked all year round. Between 24th December and 29th December 1836, they handled no less than eight vessels.

Bude Canal

And, of course, the coming of the railway brought an end to this means of trading along the coast, and the end to a way of life.

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres” – in this case regarding pilotage. They have been presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. They represent steps in a personal quest to find out more about one branch of my family.

If you are interested in maritime history or would like to read more, please use the Search facility at the top right hand side of this page (‘Ceres’). If this is not available on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.

Inshore Craft 2 – the hobble boat

Hobble Boat

 The Bude Hobble Boat.

The picture shows a beamy rowing boat moored in Bude sea lock. It has three thwarts (rowing seats) and a stern seat. The gunwales (sides) are raised to cope with big seas and, instead of rowlocks, the oars fit into these gunwales. Of the three thwarts, the forward and aft ones have places for oars on the port side, the middle thwart has a place on the starboard side and there is one on the starboard side just forward of the stern seat. There is also a position in the stern for a steering oar, (being used in the picture below).  There are  four oars in the boat. The bows have some form of strengthening, presumably for towing and/or pushing.

Hobble Boat being towed

The following is taken from my grandfather’s notes and refers to meetings held in 1839 regarding the Bude Hobble Boat, which supplied a pilot and, sometimes tow, to sailing vessels entering Bude in the days before engines. The notes seak for themselves. The accompanying photographs were taken much later, after engines had been installed. Entering Bude Haven under power was a totally different procedure to entering under sail.

 

At a meeting of the proprietors of the Bude Pilot Boat held at the Bude Inn on the 13th January 1839:

1st: George Hambly’s appointment as master of the Boat, which was made some time since, is this day confirmed.

2ndly: The Master is fully empowered to appoint his own Crew (subject only to the approbations of the Owners of the Boat) and he is hereby authorized to discharge any man who neglects his duty.

3rdly: It is imperative upon the Master to enforce the fines for non-attendance, neglect of orders or drunkenness, and he is requested to keep an account of the dates and the names of parties and to deliver the same to the Owners of the Boat with the half yearly accounts. The amount of the fine to be one shilling and sixpence.

4thly: Each man of the Crew is in turn to keep a good and sufficient look out at tide time, the arrangements to be under the direction of the Master.

The subject of the amount of Pilotage and the necessity of charging recall* Hobbles in particular cases having been discussed, it is resolved that to give the Master sufficient time for preparing a list of the ships with old and new admeasurements of each, that this meeting be adjourned to Monday the 7th instant.

Signed: John Hockin, J.S.James, Davey (pps J.T.Davey)

Hobble Boat waiting

At the Adjourned Meeting held at the Bude Inn on Monday Jany 7th (sic) 1839:

Resolved that the Pilotage on vessels entering Bude be on the following scale according to the New Register.

Tonnage below 20 tons                                     5 3/4 (pence) per ton

                ditto         25 tons `                                   5 1/2 (pence) per ton

               ditto         30 tons                                       5 1/4 (pence) per ton

               ditto           35 tons                                     5 per (pence) per ton

              ditto           40 tons                                      4 3/4 (pence) per ton

              ditto           45 tons (and all above)  4 1/2 (pence) per ton

The foregoing scale is for the Pilotage In and Out and to be paid before the Vessel enters the Sea Locks on her departure.

In case a Vessel should not get into the Lock (on) the tide she enters the Harbour, the Hovellers are bound to attend two extra tides if necessary but if further attendance still should be required, the Vessel will be subject to a recall* Hobble of One Shilling and Sixpence.

Any Vessel going out of the Locks and not putting to sea the same tide to be the subject of a recall* Hobble of 1/6 for every tide the Hobblers may be required before she leaves the Port.

Signed: John Hockin, Wm Davey, J.S.James, Daniel Lane

* the handwriting makes this word difficult to decipher, and I am not convinced it is the correct one but I believe it expresses the correct meaning.

Hobble Boat

For the background to the Inshore Craft series click here.

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres” – in this case regarding pilotage. They have been presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. They represent steps in a personal quest to find out more about one branch of my family.

If you are interested in maritime history or would like to read more, please use the Search facility at the top right hand side of this page (‘Ceres’). If this is not available on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.

The entrance to Bude Haven

DSCF5318

This the Barrel Rock at the entrance to Bude Haven, North Cornwall at 1445 this afternoon.

DSCF5331

High water was 1334, the wind is south west, force 6-7.

The entrance to Bude Haven January 2007

This coast stretches North-South. Due west is Newfoundland, Canada.

This is not a coast for a small boat on a day like today, but there was a time when the choices were different.

Entering Bude through the surf

This is one of a number of posts on the Ketch “Ceres”. They have been presented in a random order as and when I have found, or been given, new material. They represent steps in a personal quest to find out more about one branch of my family.

If you are interested in maritime history or would like to read more, please use the Search facility at the top right hand side of this page (‘Ceres’). If this is not available on your current screen, then click on ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’ – (or the title of this entry, then ‘Bill’s Boat Blog’), to be taken to the correct page.