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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, May 26, 1907, Image 1

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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.).

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