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.

27 July 2017

The Brigantine, Victory

young-endeavour4The Brigantine rigged Young Endeavour at anchor inside Jervis Bay March 31st 2017

The 142-ton wooden Brigantine Victory was built by George Dent in 1873 on the banks of Currambene Creek Huskisson.
Described as a fine ship built from iron bark and gum, copper fastened and sheathed with Munz metal. The style and draught of water qualified her for the intercolonial trade.  Her lines were described as "extremely fine, she shifts and stands without ballast, can go to sea with 25 tonnes, carries 225 tonnes of dead weight,  and is equal to 300 tonnes weight and measurement.   She measured 92 ft in length, breadth 24ft,  deep laden 8ft 6 inches, renders her one of the most eligible vessels that have been offered in this market for a considerable time."      She plied her trade all along the east coast between Queensland and South Australia, including many Trans Tasman voyages carrying all manner of cargo.    Like most ships of her era, she suffered arduous trips, sometimes resulting in a great deal of damage.


March 1883 her owners Messrs. Ghest and Jewett were informed that she had put into Keppel Bay in distress. While off the Queensland coast on a voyage between Dungeness and Auckland carrying a cargo of sugar, she ran into very heavy weather losing her sails.


September 1891 the Victory returned to Port Jackson after an absence of several months.  After leaving the Johnston River in August she met with strong south-east winds at the outset she sought shelter under High Peak Island.  Continuing her voyage,  on the 28th August she encountered a heavy southerly breeze, which lasted three days, after which the breeze abated until she was passing Seal Rocks.   The wind came from the west and north-west,  veering to the south-west and increased to the force of a gale, described as blowing  at times "in squalls of hurricane fury."  The gale was accompanied by a high confused sea, which broke on board the vessel from all quarters. She weathered the storm well with no serious damage,  the gale lasted 48 hours.


In September 1893 she arrived in Warrnambool from New Zealand carrying a cargo of timber. The voyage took 40 days, and was described as "exceptionally rough" she ran into heavy gales and a head wind was experienced almost from the day she set her sails and until she eventually dropped her anchor at Warrnambool.
Her sails were at several times  "blown to pieces" and on two occasions had to seek shelter under King Island. Her provisions and stores were nearly exhausted.  Even after the arduous journey and anchoring at Warrnambool her troubles weren't over.  The wind was still blowing half a gale from the south -west, with heavy seas tossing the Victory about.  At midday one of her anchor chains parted, and for a short time, she was in danger of going ashore,  fortunately, the other anchor held until the sea moderated.  The crew ran out a hawser from the vessel to the breakwater for additional security.

During the trying voyage, a disturbance erupted on board the Victory, on arriving at port two seamen were charged with disobedience and were brought before the Police Court, both men were discharged, with the Bench considering that they had already been sufficiently punished for any little faults, they had committed.

November 6, 1893, the Victory's luck ran out.
Under the command of Captain Roddy, she left Warrnambool bound for Newcastle, where she was to be loaded with coal and taken across to Gisborne (N.Z.),  the following day, she ran into heavy weather near Wilsons Promontory and sprang a leak.  The pumps were manned and kept going all day and night but all to no avail.  As the vessel passed through the straits the leak increased until there was 4ft of water in her hold.
At around 2 a.m the City of Adelaide was approaching Cape Everard, near Gabo Island about 25 miles off the land, when they saw rockets being fired. he bore down to the spot and discovered the Victory in distress.  When the City of Adelaide arrived the captain of the Victory reported that the vessel was sinking,  and wished Captain Mackay to stand by his vessel till daylight. 
The request was readily met by Captain Mackay,  and the two vessels remained in company until 6 a.m.   Trying valiantly to save the ship the crew of the Victory had been pumping and bailing, throughout the night,  but all to no avail, and as it became evident the vessel could not float for
much longer a hurried meeting of the crew was called, the decision was made to abandon her.  The City of Adelaide came to their assistance and with a strong easterly gale blowing at the time it wasn't without rick.   Once safely on board the City Of Adelaide the crew were made as comfortable as could be,  it was quite apparent by the worn out state of the crew they could not have stood by the vessel much longer.  The Victory sunk soon after the men left the ship.


The board found the abandonment was justified, and there was no evidence upon which to find a charge of default against the master. The board wished to place on record its appreciation of the conduct of the captain of the City of Adelaide, which sighted the Victory,  and after standing by her for some time,  conveyed her crew to port.

Meaning: The brigantine was a two-masted sailing vessel with a fully square rigged foremast and at least two sails on the main mast: a square topsail and a gaff sail mainsail. The main mast is the second and taller of the two masts.


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