Newspaper Page Text
The San Francisco Sunday Call
The Steamship That Drifted A Month Through South Pacific Storms Without A Propeller G. Lindsay Campbell •^TljTfe wise men. of Gotliam \u25a0 Went to f>ca in a tub; If tbo tub lad been Btronjcr. My sons would hare been longer.'* Sounds foolish doesn't it. "S crew of cauojr Scotstucn, Went ;\u25a0> sta in :ui irun kettle; The TtPttlc was strons ;-";." And thrj- rounded C»pc Horn in it.'* Sounds just about us crazy as the old. foolish, familiar nursery rhyme, but has this advantage over the- Mother Goose verse that, although "lacking in rhyme, it tells the truth, and is, in fact, a brief,- veracious account of V'he marvelous voj age made recently Ihrough the most dangerous waters in the seven seas by the British tramp steamer Hyndford, now discharging a . cargo of nitrate. 'at Oakland Lons= wharf. Sixty miles to westward of Capo Pillar, in the South- Pacific entrance to the straits of Magellan, the Hyndford,, during. a northwest, gale/ shed all four blades of her propeller. Without masts suitable for carrying a. spread of .can vas and lacking the. canvas to spread if the masts • had been suitable, the propellcrless tramp, now notbing'more thin a gTeat iron. kettle, with a well cccured lid on It, ; was at the mercy. of the elements. Pinnacle rocks," hidden feefs, some of them charted, most of them awaiting discovery by the. keel of Kome proud, ship, "were scattered' with a terrifying- lavishness in all.di recllons. The.<?e menaces lay thickest In the region toward. which. the tempest was driving . thu helpless tramp." Cap tain John Home, the "master, *waswido awake to the dangers ahead and fully realized the helpless condition of tho Hyndford.' Of -the exact position of the ship, he was in some doubt, but his last observation and the chart told him.that at a.ny moment; the vessel's path might be blocked .by reef * or rock, and that oace the Srou kettle touched .destruc- Hon.to the ship and death inthc v stqrm. swept waters for all liands -would.'fol low with swiff certainty. Facing Fate . Fearlessly .The skipper's knowledge; was soon."' commoil property," but no .panic fol lowed this complete realization. of their, common peril. The officers, true to the traditions of their profession, pronan-d calmly, to accept whatever, fate -mighty have" in^storc, and the Chinese- sailors '• and stokerF, * rca<3Kur<-d by the '.corTflr,; dence of. their superior.-?, slood; by-to help in'a fight for life ', The , chart, the', coursiw Tinrcirn , "by ; tho, drifting: r trampi3J marked Vwcll'v wi t h .silent bu t ', thrilling- v ' eloquence;- of ' tin: wonderful'; story \u2666 of ' that/ month i'o£>< wandering. The-southern',extre'mlty'of • South America, 1 , is;, indicated; ?on .'•..'the;, chart ;iiy\vhat> rcscmbles^theVresult; of si violent collision" hctween; a^bbttlei ''of i ii n k and a stone .wall." ;- The -sol id\black.. mark is Cape Horn.;. .'Thersurrounding , ; innumerable • blots .^andtVspecks; mark; 4*4 * the frocks ; and' reefs Jwhlch: inspire vthe/j terror.y with, which '. ; : mariners^, regard t, these, waters. , <:\u25a0 -.. yyysy \u25a0}\u25a0"< . \u25a0' <«'.-^ >*\u25a0 'i A' • carefully!, ruled^line~ marks', eacli^i day's*' drifting:. •>On 5f the y HyhdfoVd's** charts, this, line-, is a\u25a0- series of irre-v sponsible'-iziszacs 1 - tiiat^blioot tbafjk- and /. Turrhtttrousn ,-cne .'ppTaWer ; of ~, lnk. wlthV bewildering-'; Variation.* ; " , ..Every c ink splash Jar rock^tlmt^. might t have'spounded.'the ; 'iron '.kettle i^nto 1 tangled junk. ; 10vcryvjog,in;the crooked; line repi-escnts cither a time: of renewed; anxiety -or' marks :, where hope; Hook ;ai now." lease of life" •. : Around -some of ; the most -reefs -; the tHynd ford's qourstvas- tracing on: the chart r<:sembW>s the .seismograph' of ran ; .'earth-, quake. ;;;; i .;., | *.. i v- s^; - ';,-.. V.y.,-, \ « :* ''Like*'" \ tf ue£' sailors ,Uthe~ llyiidfokl's people ; overlooked',noichanceythat -prom -'( ised^ Balvatlon;;and^were.;busiest'i-wheni • .-y. j>...,.f-.ie*r'' .•.>-, i., >\u0084v«, *\u25a0\u25a0•\u25a0" ' :.y-S: .y- S5 ->*- -"\u25a0-\u25a0\u25a0;•'\u25a0•\u25a0•'* \u25a0 • in •gravest danger.; Kut . _they : ; realized^ \u25a0UieiJd'iuVjf'ir'vjust 'the '.sunn"". . ami ' still' sliud(i«iVs'vvlj(;ii'-- with 'charts' spread out . they tvSits»y'c2^7 :i v^; .'.;-*X; ?:<-<>T-Irt^;ee . steered . taeir ; ship through - dangers no. sane "navigator would dare. y*ChiefOHicer James Leek of the : llynd- - ford -Tan the blockade into Port; Ar thurduring ihe;late war.'between Hus- ; \u25a0sia,'and : .lapan.\ , ;*/; * / .".""AVe. lay : there. fi>r.: 10 %lays alongside Ttussia's ';\u25a0\u25a0 only ". rc'niainiug!^batth%Hhip.' " JCv'ery. night .Vfifter .-.dinner, _we_ sat. on deck 'and .watched 1 the- Japanese -shoot- .. lng^torpedoes -at us, and , our. anchored • 'escort.. •.Some, niornfngssthey; hauled a • dozen 'torpedoes "out 'of the- net's'.ln slue -which -;we Jay. It: was^exciting^ and , , pretty jnerv'ous work, but was Uke a \u25a0}_. ' game>^of • croquet -compared -with ' the . drifting of the^yndford. ; ! AYe became accustomed to-thcr torpedoes, but there was^not'an'easy jhour on^the "Hyndford : "until" we i anchored in Port'Stauley.": "• . Thc'Hyridford was a new steamer when! she left ' Glasgow and' lu>r maiden * strampingJtour:.is5 tramping Jtour : .is notj yet." finished, -' riiiay -return "to .^Glasgow/ .in ' a— few"; ! 'm6 r ri tlis.;; ' " 1 1 frna y ' be, ' y fe'a r s ; b^f 6 ro * s he". 'pickstiupj'.tliei cargo',' that will : .mcan"a ' : return:* home. '• "V\ r hen.' the: j new," tramp * started ion'hcr.inaldcn ' voyage ; - a- f our fbladediprbpellerHwirled at .the. r end;of.: i- her shaft and^. a u spare » propelle rlwas : 'securely;, stowed;: in 3 the "'tween tdecks.^ ; f.Going jpto- Bombay- the vtramp .with !a ! Tkittenishiglce. or ivild^ambitlonT throw* " off. one.-blade: of' the propeller^and' while '"at^tiief Indian .port the pro-- spellerKwasipnshipped;and' put away in - \ the '**hold; vtlie^ spare > wheel \u25a0being., at-.* nachedf to \u25a0; the"; shaft."' '-rj.- ' • * _ ':. " '• i vThe'iryndford's-trampingj tftok-lief't-",; :,l>ahia" Hlahca; .Avliere • > a>big' cargo jVa,? .taken.- for,-"the ;' west 'coast-v of '•: youth'" America.'. -She" passed <• safely througif "tliej. stiaitsrofiilagellan.^andrtlieieyen ing^of iSeptomber -lO.lastV fouud f 4 h«r.'in* the', open f'-Pi^inctpluhglng, forward, - ; i ti' '.theVitQQth I!1 ''! of \u25a0*!'\u25a0>,; strong:::.^northwester.* r About; 2j o'clock vthej; folio wings morning . the Csteacly' ; beat' \u25a0 of .the." -Hyn'd ford's K-n- - ,Vii -.\u25a0..' -...•\u25a0\u25a0;.-. --\u25a0 \u25a0 1 »l— \u25a0 \u25a0-..-•. -. : ..:.---; . ,'' ----- '.-.,. -• ' t~ines<'sudduuZy' clumwed 'lo'Witj'huin, of;. s. J sevr!ngr mat \\ lnc." . As : quickly as-pos pible the ral-Incr raachihory 'Wasbrouglst to a standstill and^Cliief. Engineer .T. Goodall ' ciimbedtio the '.bridso -arid '. reported to Captain Horn 'that " the propeller .had pfor.e. 'A .few days' later the fp!ung;ihg"*of -the-ship enabled' thos^ to see 1 that' all four blades 'had broken off. euc-h- within >an -inclr or 'so'of ' the f)OS3. rKaclt r.of v these \u25a0• blades '\u25a0weigheil more 'than., a'.ton. and the thicknes3 at tlie 'base -was •more" than S inches.^ And" .they^had""be'on snapped > off ' liko so rcany carrots. \u25a0 - -\u25a0 A^Terrible NigKt. . ' • '•*;It. was a-longr night; for men tupabl in tfa>>out.' in -their -iron ket- tie. being"; driven •before'a raging gale straight, down -upon the; most- dan gfU:ousict>ast .'in theVworld. -Daybreak brought Isome • relief-, and t was gatlurc'djf rom i th<£ fact tifat^ land<Avas • stilly out:; of.. sight. . -As- the"' day : ad vanced the weather mqderatfd.'Thf sun oame <sut: ; anil Captain -Home to ' take an ' obsiTvation, which showed him* that ! th'e*Hyndff>rd s was' about 4f> miles' to- the - westward of : Cape Pillar. .'"-After, consultation 'with his "officers: Captain ilome' decided ' tliat the' onljr "chance 'of saving the' ship and tlie'lives of those on board was to dispatch.a Hfe . boat -to the nearest ppo t - for assistance/ .It ' wjxs .^decided that -Punta" \u25a0. Arx-rias* would-be 'the bf3tvplace. to report, the Vyessei's ; "plight. ".To rvaclt' ' :Purit"a • Arenas'--'it j 1 would- \u25a0 be neces.sary to make'- the mouth of th**- strait? ' of Ma gellan and* then >'proceo'd- eastn-ard ! t<> 'the Ciiileani port. -This- in«-ant a trip of 300 miles; but ?if the boiit <uuld:site- Veed in leuving^ Cape • Pillar • to —the \u25a0 westward* thc't'erhainderCof the voyage would J.e'-comparatiVfly • plain -siiilins. [i "Cisptain •llorne' called'- for :voluateers arid > every "white jnan ; . in the islilp's company, responded. -John- MeLeari,' the mate/,'insisted .upon taking \u25a0preced^nc^ r of .the'other otlicurs \u25a0 by,' virtue ;o"T : his : - Only four ablo *earaen "were ne#<sacS and as all want-ad to go <the selection of a crew for the lifeboat yas left f to the forecastle. <tnd - Able Seamen .Mc- Donald,: McXaHy. HcKay'and Robinson, were chosen. - MeDonald and McKay were- Scotchmen. ilcNaily '. an Irish man and Robinson an --, Englishmaii, born in the "West-Indies. - ;\u25a0; \u25a0 ? \u25a0 Willirig: hands - prepared and pro visloned jtlieboat.- andat'4 o'clock r on the.afternoon .of; September 11 all v/as \u25a0 \u25a0 \u25a0 , \u25a0. . . ready for her departure^. "With .great difficulty the I'uat was launched.-for the sea still ranrhlgh <vnd' the" ship rolled heavily." Iri\a*few houra the little sail had^disappeared.' ' Since then nothing has been heard"of the five brave vol unteers;, and' Captain Home fears their boat' was capsized'in the # danserous sea off Pillar and all hands drowpieiL . Meanwhile the ' Uyndford 'was' still drifting. 'Captain * Iforne' decided to make\u25a0\u25a0'an effort to set sail on the ship. The tiny triangles of canvas With which the Hyndford was provided were ab surdly inadequate, there wa.-* little spare canvas on-.board. and the tramp's two raast3 were mere derrick poles^aad never Intended to carry wings. . «.Part-of the;cargo consisted ol gunny bass. Two. bales of the3e were epent-ii and .with nped.lt3: and thread all hand* set.to work manufacturing burlap sails. This./work otcupifd: several days, and the '.Hyndford;skill tlrifte-.^ ' V;Land *.vas sisi>t*>d t<»> the eastward on the morninsr. UTt-'Svptembfr 11. and it' i^as Kit ujf.vcicoiiie • -,bet'Uuso thftse.r.mVn adrift invtho Iron kettlw knew there were no arehora;c«s ahead and that the inereilesis rotks would inal:V short >voik;of'the.h«iiple33 ship. Tlit land wis ideiijififd- as the Xoir. island.^ 1 Slo.viy ;and surely the Hynd ford nearer./ Boats were pro visioned and swuns out to be InreadJ- new for a forlorn hope when the vessel shouid strike. (Continued on :tot l'a;e.).