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.

23 January 2017

Founding of the Prince Patrick in Jervis Bay.


January 17th  1867.
The 110 ton Schooner Prince Patrick left Newcastle bound for Melbourne carrying a cargo of 176 tons of coal
under the command of Captain Henry Patching.  The wind blowing fresh from the north east, the vessel made good time down the coast the north east wind continued.

19th January.
During the day the wind turned around to the southward blowing strong, the schooner encountered a very heavy sea.

20th January.
The sea continued to rise and during this time she shipped a sea which shook her considerably and caused her to leak a little, but nothing very serious.

21st January.
The wind changed again to a very fresh North Easter.

22nd January -  10 p.m.
The wind swung around to a strong southerly accompanied by very heavy sea with thunder and lightning,  she was found to be leaking very badly,  both pumps were immediately set going,  they double reefed the main sail,  reefed the topsail, stowed the foresail and jib.

12 p.m. - the wind increased to a moderate gale and the sea was still running very high,  and after shortening sail the pumps were again manned and kept going.

23rd January - 4 a.m.
The pumps were found not to be sucking,  one of the pumps was drawn when it was found she had 2 feet 6 inches of water in her hold.  The vessel at this time about 60 miles southward of Jervis Bay,  with an offing of 30 miles, and captain Patching seeing no chance of repairing the leak,  deemed it prudent to bear up for Jervis Bay.

3 p.m. - The Prince Patrick arrived at Jervis Bay, the pumps being kept going,  despite the constant effort of the crew on the pumps it was realised the vessel could not be kept afloat and she was beached in Montague Bay on a sandy bottom at low water.  The pumps were then sounded, when it was found she had 4ft of water.


25th January - 10am. Captain Patching and crew left the schooner and proceeded in the ships boat to Cape St George, where they arrived at 1 p.m. and remained for the next few days.


28th January. It was decided they should start out for Sydney in the small boat,  this was going to be cramped and perilous journey with 7 people on board,  the wind was blowing light from the southward.

4 p.m. - It fell calm and the sky looked very threatening,  Captain Patching took shelter in Shoalhaven.

29th January  - 5.am  They continued their journey towards Sydney,  It began to rain very heavy with strong lightning and thunder,  in consequence of which they put into Wollongong at 3 p.m.

30th - January. The manager of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company,  Mr. Hart,  kindly gave them passage to Sydney in the steamer Kembla.


Steamer Kembla.


The Prince Patrick was seventeen years old at the time of the founding and insured for the sum of 800 pounds. 
Captain Patching was joint owner of the vessel and estimated her value at 1100 pounds.

Before abandoning the schooner,  the instruments,  along with the greater portion of the crew's clothing were saved.

Captain Patching expressed his thanks to Mr.. J. Lee, lighthouse keeper at Cape St George,  and Mr. Hart, of Wollongong,  for their kindness to himself and his crew.

March 1867.
Local Jervis Bay identity and businessman Mr. Dent purchased the abandoned wreck of the Prince Partrick
for 25 pounds.   
After a few days work,  Mr. Dent has succeeded in repairing the damage temporarily,  and the vessel is now waiting a favourable wind to run up to Sydney to be placed in good repair.   The cargo of coal will be an additional profit to Mr. Dent, who's enterprising spirit is deserving of every success.

"This speculation ought to be a wrinkle to the Insurance Companies in not so readily selling their interest without
due and sufficient enquiry and survey. This is another reason proving the necessity of the electric wire along the coast so that in case of a wreck,  the insurance companies would at once start their representatives to examine and
report on any case in which their interest was concerned."


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