HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

4 May 2015

The Ketch Patteson 1934


This short story seems a little strange,  I can’t imaging coming out of Sydney Heads,  turning right and thinking your heading North,  relying on their instruments,  that’s what the crew of the Patteson did.

Sydney Morning Herald 1934.

She was a small ketch of 46ft, 6in long – beam 13ft - draft 4ft, 6in


The new mission ketch Patteson, which has recently been built for the Melanesian Mission,  will start again for the New Hebrides to-day.
    The Patteson left Sydney on January 20 and soon after leaving the Heads encountered heavy weather,  She battled on.  It was noticed that two large sharks were following the vessel.  Finally it was decided that the ketch should put in to land to ascertain it’s exact where-a bouts.  To the surprise of the crew it was found that they were at Jervis Bay,  87 miles down the south coast,  when they had imagined they were well on their way north towards the New Hebrides.
     The Patteson proceeded back up the coast to Sydney,  and adjustments were made to the compass and instruments.  The vessel will carry a crew of three on her voyage.


But her adventures didn’t end there.

On her second attempt to get to her destination she was forced back to Sydney after her rudder broke near Middleton Reef,  the crew were forced to sail 600 miles with the aid of a jury rudder back to Sydney for repairs.
    The rudder consisted of two paddles from the small life boat, strapped to either side of the ketch,  running into heavy weather and huge seas,  the paddles required two men to work,  it was extremely difficult and tiring to try and steer the vessel in heavy weather,  strong winds blew her many miles off course,  but she handled the conditions admirably, and was regarded by her crew as an exceptionally fine sea boat. 

Leaving Sydney on March 8 for the third time, the crew must have been thinking “what next”, She battled through a cyclone between Lord Howe Island and Noumea and finally making their destination on March 21,  four days later than expected..

Meaning: Jury rudder – a rudder constructed for temporary use.


1 comment :

  1. Paul Michelle Satchell - Pays to persevere.....

    LDMM - Thanks Paul, it certainly does.