Historia y Arqueología Marítima

"Wavertree / Don Ariano N"

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Imagen: Hormiga Negra (Hernan Alvarez Forn)

Carlos Mey, Agosto 2014. Imagenes a color: Carlos Mey Blanco y negro:segun el autor identificado. Fuentes: "The Wavertree. an ocean wanderer",Peter Stanford South Street Seaport. Hernan Alvarez Forn: Espinazos de pescado, Wavertree,  Alan Villiers y otros.

Ver tambien La historia del Wavertree/Don Ariano N

The Wavertree first appears in the supplement to Lloyd's Register 1885-1886 as Southgate, where the following details are recorded:

Iron ship, of Liverpool, 2,170 tons gross, 2,118 tons net, 2,014 tons under deck, built at Southampton by Oswald, Mordaunt & Company in 1885, being completed in December, owned by Chadwick & Pritchard. She had two decks, one bulkhead, cemented, and measured 279 ft (length), 40.2 ft (breadth), 24.4 ft (depth), 26 ft-9 in. (moulded depth), 48 ft (length of poop), 36 ft (length of forecastle). Anchors and chains were proved at a machine under the superintendence of the Committee of Lloyd's Register. She was classed 100 Al, equipment letter V, surveyed at Southampton in February, 1886. Her first master was R. N. Smith. Official number, 91286. Official code letters for identification K.F.B.L.

Below is a summary, year by year, of her arrivals and departures, sightings, and other incidents of her career, seen as recorded in Lloyd's records, the New York Register, in newspaper reports, and other sources.


February 16th: Sailed Southampton for Cardiff.

February 17th: Passed Lizard (in tow of tug Hotspur).

February 19th: Arrived Penarth.

March 2nd: Sold 63 shares to: John Pritchard of Liverpool and Samuel Rigby Chadwick of Liverpool, joint owners. 1 share to: John White of Dublin, printer. Bill of sale number 2762.

March 4th: Edward Stewart appointed Master. Born Dublin, 1832, passed Liverpool examinations, 1854, certificate number 10839.

March 5th: Cleared Cardiff for Singapore.

March 6th: Sailed Penarth.

March 20th: Sold 2 shares to Roger Newlands Smith of Bristol, Master Mariner. Bill of sale number 3272.

April 30th: Sold 2 shares to Chad-wick & Pritchard by Roger Smith. Bill of sale number 5092.

May 19th: Sold by John White of Dublin, one share to Chadwick & Pritchard. Bill of sale number 6213.

June 25th: Arrived Singapore.

July 1st: Sold 64 (all) shares by Chadwick & Pritchard to the South-gate Sailing Ship Company, Ltd. of Liverpool. Bill of sale number 7964.

September 10th: Arrived Chittagong (East Pakistan).

October 30th: Sailed Chittagong for Dundee.


February 1st: Passed St. Helena.

March 26th: Passed Lizard.

March 26th: Arrived Falmouth, cargo jute, part of crew sick, Master, Stewart.

March 28th: Sailed Falmouth.

March 28th: Passed Prawle Point.

April 3rd: Anchored The Downs.

April 5th: Sailed The Downs.

April 7th: Put back and anchored The Downs.

April 15th: Sailed The Downs.

April 22nd: Arrived Dundee.

May 7th: Sailed Dundee for Middlesbrough.

June : Surveyed at Stockton.

June 1st: John James Toozes appointed Master of Southgate. Bom, Devon 1831, passed Liverpool examinations, 1867, certificate number 016164.

June 8th: Sailed Middlesbrough for Negapatam, India.

June 15th: Sighted off Lizard.

June 30th: Spoken, steering south in lat. 28° N, long. 20° W.

July 10th: Spoken, in lat. 11° N.,long. 26° W., bound for Negapatam.

September 24th: Arrived Negapatam.

November 5th: Sailed Negapatam for Chittagong.

November 14th: Sold, 64 (all) shares by Southgate Sailing Ship Company, Ltd. of Liverpool to Thomas Ridley Oswald of Southampton. Bill of sale number 12230.

December 5th: Arrived Chittagong.


January 25th: Sailed Chittagong for Dundee.

March 13th: Passed East London.

April 5th: Passed St. Helena.

April 10th: Passed Ascension.

April 30th: Spoken, 94 days out, all well, in lat. 22° N., long. 38° W.

June 10th: Arrived Dundee.

June Surveyed at Dundee.

June 29th: Sold, 64 (all) shares by Thomas Ridley Oswald to Ralph Watts Leyland and George Richardson Leyland of Liverpool, joint owners. (The Leyland Bros.) Bill of sale number 7600.

July 1st: Sailed Dundee.

July 2nd: Arrived Shields.

July 19ih: John James Toozes reappointed Master.

July 20th: Name changed from Southgate to Wavertree.

July 21st: Sailed Shields for Port Pirie, South Australia.

August 21st: Spoken in lat. 13° N., long. 27° W., steering south, all well.

August 23rd: Spoken in lat. 9°26' N., with loss of mizzen topsail yard, voyaging Shields to Port Pirie.

October 5th: Falmouth, the Italian barque Affezione, Master Stagno, which arrived here yesterday from Bassein, reports that on August 23rd, in lat. 9°25' N., long. 25°37' W., she signaled the English vessel K.F.B.L. (Wavertree); noticed that the upper mizzen topsail yard was gone, and supposed it must have been broken.

October 9th: Sold, 64 (all) shares by Leyland Bros, to Sailing Ship Wavertree Company, Ltd. of Liverpool. Bill of Sale number 424.

November 9th: Arrived Port Pirie.


February 14th: Sailed Port Pirie for Channel, Master Toozes. July 1st: Arrived Falmouth, cargo wheat. July 9th: Arrived Dublin.

July ......: Surveyed at Dublin.

August 5th: Arrived Montrose from Dublin to load for Melbourne.

September 9th: John James Toozes reappointed Master. September 9th: Sailed Montrose for Melbourne.

October 2nd: Spoken in lat. 16° N., long. 26° W., bound south.

December 12th: Arrived in Melbourne.


April 4th: Sailed Melbourne for London, Master Toozes.

June 30th: Spoken, in lat. 5° N., long. 30° W., steering NE by N.

August 8th: Passed Lizard.

August 12th: Passed Southend, in tow. Arrived Gravesend for London dock.

September......: Special survey number 1 at London, classed 100 Al.

October 17th: John James Toozes reappointed Master and cleared out London Custom House for Sydney, anchored Gravesend. October 21st: Passed Dover. Passed Dungeness.


January 16th: Arrived Sydney, Australia.

March 12th: Sailed Sydney for San Francisco.

May 29th: Arrived San Francisco.

The Wavertree in San Francisco harbor.

In her prime, in the 1890s, she sits for a formal portrait by T. H. Wilton's Elite Studio. Telegraph Hill rises in the background, and a scow schooner slips by just behind her. She carries her 2,500-ton cargo with distinctive grace. "Strikingly handsome," Karl Kortum, Director of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, calls her, "with sheer to her like a Down Easter." Captain Spiers remembers that rise of the sheer to the lifting bows, and says it made her "the driest of all ships I have been in."

August 7th: Cleared San Francisco for Dunkirk.

August 8th: Sailed San Francisco.

December 18th: Spoken off Scilly Islands.

December 26th: Passed Dungeness.

December 28th: Arrived Dunkirk.


January 13th: Departed for London.

January 18th: John James Toozes reappointed Master.

January 19th: Arrived from Dunkirk.

February ......: Surveyed at London.

February 24th: Cleared out London Custom House for Sydney.

February 26th: Sailed Gravesend.

February 27th: Passed Southend. Passed The Downs in tow of tug Woodcock.

March 23rd: Spoken in lat. 3° S., long. 26° W.

June 5th: Arrived Sydney, Australia.

June 7th: Fire—Sydney, June 7th, 6:20 p.m.—Wavertree, British ship, took fire in port, and is still burning. Have not commenced discharging inward cargo.

Liverpool, June 8th, 11:11 a.m. Owners report cable states: The fire extinguished, our damage appears to be slight. The cargo is much damaged.

The Sydney Morning Herald of June 8, 1892, gives the following account:


About 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon a fire, which afterwards was found to have assumed large proportions, was discovered on the ship Wavertree, lying at Hofjnung's Wharf, Dawes Point. The ship's bells were rung, and an alarm was sent to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade through the Exchange from Dalton's Wharf, and the ship's buckets were actively plied by the crew to put out the flames, which were issuing from the skylight of the galley. At 3:02 p.m. the alarm was lodged at the Fire Brigade station, and immediately a steamer was ordered out with men in charge of Mr. Superintendent Bear and Mr. Principal Foreman Webb, together with a steamer from George-street West station, in charge of Mr. Foreman Ford. A steamer was also sent on from the Northern station, Circular Quay. When the brigade arrived leave was immediately given them by the officer in charge of the ship, the chief mate, Robert Davidson, to get to work. Fresh water was supplied from a hydrant in the street above the wharf, and salt water was used for extinguishing the fire. A line of hose was got to work through the galley, and two more were used down the main hatchway, where the crew were working hard, breaking the cargo, in order to get at the seat of the outbreak. Soon after the stevedore's men were put on down the main hatch, considerable progress then being made in removing the cargo to the wharf. At 5 o'clock the fire seemed to be getting the better of the firemen. At this time five jets of water were being thrown to the flames, two down the main

hatchway, two through the galley, and one down the fore hatchway. In order to allow the wharf labourers to work the smoke was being kept back from them as much as possible. The deck on the starboard side was then cut alongside the galley, and here where the fire seemed to be raging most fiercely two lines of hose were directed on to the 'tween decks. Some men who had been removing cargo up through the fore-hatch were now taken away, and were set to work at the after-hatch. From 6 o'clock to 8 o'clock the fire seemed to increase in virulence, and at half-past 8 o'clock it was at its height. During these two or two and a half hours many of the the firemen, in endeavoring to keep back the smoke, advanced too far away from fresh air, and suffered severely in consequence. Mr. Webb, the principal foreman, and Mr. Ford, foreman at No. 2 station, were both taken out of the hold almost unconscious. So ill were they that they had to be taken home. Fireman Howard, of No. 2 station, fared worse than his two officers, and at a late hour he was in a serious condition. Among other firemen who were severely affected by the fire were the superintendent, Mr. Bear, the engineers, Wm. and John M'Knight, and Gray, Gordon, Graham, Eyre, B. Morris, and Becker. Fireman Pember, later on in the night, was also overcome by smoke, and was ordered home. The ship had now sunk several feet, and was below the level of the wharf. Air was now being pumped into the smoky hold through three different lines of hose from the Fire King. The ship's pumps were got into action, pumping the water out of the hold so that she would not sink. An examination made with as much care as possible showed that the fire had been extinguished in the lower hold-in fact, that part of the ship had been completely flooded—but that it was still burning with great vigour in the 'tween decks. The firemen, after 9 o'clock, gradually got the better of the flames, and at half-past 9, having seemingly discovered the seat of the fire, appeared to have the outbreak well in hand. Amongst the volunteer brigades present were the North City, Paddington Brewery, Paddington, Standard Brewery, Waverley, Wool-labra, and Waterloo. A large force of police was present in charge of Superintendent Bead, Inspector Atwell, Sub-inspectors Hyam and Bell.

At present it is impossible to state the actual damage done to the vessel and her cargo, but from the time the fire was burning, and from the amount of water poured into her, the linings of the ship and her contents must have suffered very considerable damage. A rough survey was made on board last night, and it was found that the fire had been confined to the starboard wing of the ship. Many of the iron plates and stringers are badly damaged, and a good deal of the cargo has been destroyed. A further survey will be held to-day. The total value of the cargo as declared at London was £ 58,000. The loss will fall heavily on many colonial insurance offices. The ship, which was insured in Liverpool, was built in 1885, and was then known as the Southgate. Becently she was purchased by a one-ship company and arrived in port on Saturday from London with a general cargo. She only came alongside the wharf yesterday morning. She has a net register of 2,118 tons, and is consigned to Messrs. Dalton Bros. Captain Toozes is in command, with a crew of 30 all told.

The origin of the fire is as yet a mystery. It probably commenced in the starboard side of the lower hold, a place which no person had access to, and then to have burned its way through the 'tween decks. It was stated that three men who were scraping and cleaning the starboard side of the ship felt the iron plates very hot about half-past 2 o'clock. The attention of others was called to this unaccountable occurrence, but no notice seems to have been taken of it. Henry Garners, the cook, stated that while passing along the deck he noticed smoke issuing from the house abaft the galley. He notified the boatswain of the fact, but that seaman was of opinion that one of the crew was smoking below. Directly afterwards the smoke became thicker, and Garners then gave the alarm. The time he stated as being about 3 o'clock. According to Mr. Bobert Davidson, the first mate, the cover was taken off the mainhatch at 20 minutes to 12 o'clock that morning. He could not account for the fire. Captain Toozes, when questioned, said he was away from the ship at the time of the discovery of the fire. Thinking no work would be done with the cargo he went up town to do some business, and was aboard another ship when he was informed of the outbreak. Asked about the insurances, the captain replied that the seeker for news was altogether too inquisitive. Mr. Alexander, the stevedore who had been commissioned to discharge the ship, considered that he was very lucky in not having started work, as on two ships that he has discharged there have been fires, viz., on the Talavera and on the W. H. Lincoln. He was putting his tackle in order, and intended beginning the discharging this morning.

After 10 o'clock the work became easier, and the flames were gradually beaten down, and shortly after 11 o'clock the fire was thoroughly extinguished. The firemen returned from the fire about midnight.

Liverpool, June 9th, 10:26 a.m. The following is a copy of a cable received by the owners from Captain Toozes on 1st instant and replies to same in accordance with instructions received from underwriters: "Badly injured decks, beams twisted, stringer plate warped, iron upper deck plates fallen, lining burnt. Diver reports bottom sound. Reply." Reply sent as follows: "Bottom being sound she can be repaired afloat: get estimate if possible." Second cable received: "Two thousand two hundred pounds only tender exclusive unexposed defects. Lloyd's insist docking; shall I proceed with the work?" Reply sent as follows: "Underwriters instructing Sydney underwriting association make independent survey. Wait further orders before proceeding with the work." June 18th: Melbourne—Wavertree ship: The whole of the deck cargo has been discharged, a small portion only being found to be damaged. The lower hold cargo, which is being got out, also shows less evidence of damage than was anticipated, and it is hoped that a large proportion of what was stowed in that part of the vessel will turn out sound. A large block of rails, tanks, etc., that were stowed in the vicinity of the fire appears to have prevented the flames from spreading. The claims are not expected to reach even 20%.

July 9th: Melbourne—All the cargo has been discharged from Wavertree with the exception of some cement in the lower hold, which will be retained to ballast her, and a careful survey has been made of the packages as they have come out.

September : Surveyed at Sydney.

September .....: Moved to Newcastle, N.S.W.

October 3rd: Sailed Newcastle for Valparaiso.

November 14th: Arrived Valparaiso.


January 27th: Sailed Valparaiso for Iquique, Chile.

February 9th: Arrived Iquique.

March 18th: Sailed Iquique.

June 26th: Spoken Iquique to Falmouth 100 days in lat. 25° N., long. 40° W.

July 26th: Passed Lizard, cargo nitrate. Arrived Falmouth.

July 27th: Sailed Falmouth and passed Prawle Point.

July 30th: Passed Dover in tow.

July 31st: Arrived Flushing. Arrived Antwerp from Iquique.

September 29th: Frederick Edwards appointed Master. Born Liverpool, 1843, passed Liverpool examinations, 1866, certificate number 28829.

December 2nd: Frederick Edwards reappointed Master.

December 4th: Sailed Antwerp for Rio de Janeiro.

December 29th: Sailed Flushing for Rio de Janeiro.


January 14th: Spoken in lat. 28° N., long. 18° W.

February 9th: Arrived Rio de Janeiro.

May 18th: Sailed Rio de Janeiro for Valparaiso (around the Horn).

August 19th: Arrived Valparaiso.

August 28th: Sailed Valparaiso for Taltal, Chile.

October 13th: Sailed Taltal for New York.


January 14th: Arrived New York from Taltal. She docked at Beards Stores & Elevators in the Erie Basin in Brooklyn. Between February 20th and 27th she shifted berth to Constable Hook, Bayonne, New Jersey.

The Wavertree off New York, 1895.

Standing in close-hauled under the lee of the New Jersey coast on a clear January day, Wavertree shows rust streaks from a long deepwater passage. She is ninety-four days at sea from Taltal, Chile, with a cargo of nitrates, under Captain Edwards. In March, with a new Master, Thomas, she'll be on her way again with case oil (kerosene) for Calcutta. From India she'll go to Mauritius, then Australia, San Francisco, and home to Liverpool in the spring of 1897. That was the way of it for an ocean wanderer as steamers drove sailing ships to low-cost cargoes on long oceanic hauls.

February 21st: John Thomas appointed Master. Born Bristol, 1838, passed Bristol examination, 1865, certificate number 19352.

March 18th: Cleared New York for Calcutta.

March 19th: John Thomas reappointed Master.

March 21st: Sailed New York.

July 29th: Arrived Calcutta.

October .... : Special survey number 2 at Calcutta. Damage repairs deleted.

November 25th: Sailed Calcutta for the island of Mauritius.


January 3rd: Sailed Balasore for Mauritius.

February 6th: Arrived Mauritius.

April 4th: Sailed Mauritius for Newcastle, N.S.W.

May 9th: Arrived Newcastle, N.S.W.

July 3rd: Sailed Newcastle, N.S.W. for San Francisco.

September 9th: Arrived San Francisco.

November 8th: Sailed San Francisco.

All Classes of Vessels Were Off the Golden Gate Yesterday. There Were Schooners, Barkentines, Barks, Ships, and Steamers, All Making for the Entrance, but the Prettiest Scene of the Day Was When the Archer, Emilia Ciampa, Wavertree, and Columbia Were All Making Port at the Same Time. The Archer Secured a Tug and Won on Time Allowance.

—The San Francisco Call, Friday, September 11, 1896

November 21st: Spoken, San Francisco for Queenstown, in lat. 14° N., long. 121° W.

December 15th: Sold 64 (all) shares to the Leyland Shipping Company, Ltd. of Liverpool, by the Sailing Ship Wavertree Company, Ltd.

December 16th: Spoken in lat. 50° S., long. 51° W.

December 25th: Spoken in lat. 40° S., long. 12° W.


March 29th: Arrived Queenstown.

April 6th: Cleared Queenstown for Hull.

April 6th: Sailed Roch's Point.

April 9th: Passed Prawle Point.

April 13th: Passed Spurn Head.

April 15th: Arrived Hull from San Francisco.

May : Surveyed at Hull. Bar keel depth 10 in.

May 23rd: Passed St. Catherine's Point in tow.

May 24th: Passed Lizard.

May 25th: Arrived Barry from Hull.

June 17th: John Thomas reappointed Master. John Cadgow Laazrow Muir appointed Mate. Born Irvine, 1851, passed Greenock examinations, 1877, certificate number 91847.

June 19th: Sailed Barry for Colombo, Ceylon.

June 19th: Sighted off Barry Island.

June 21st: Passed Barry Island.

June 26th: Spoken in lat. 48° N., long. 10° W.

October 11th: Arrived Colombo.

November 8th: Sailed Colombo for Calcutta.

December 1st: Arrived Calcutta.


January 11th: Sailed Calcutta for Dundee.

January 25th: Spoken, Calcutta to Dundee, 13 days, in lat. 1° S., long. 86° E.

March 22nd: Passed St. Helena. May 9th: Passed Beachy Head.

May 10th: Passed The Downs.

May 15th: Spoken, Calcutta for Dundee in lat. 54° N., long. 0° 10' 30" E.

May 18th: Arrived Dundee. June : Special survey number 3 at Dundee.

June 17th: Sailed Dundee for Leith in tow. John Muir reappointed Mate.

June 18th: Arrived Leith.

June 29th: John Thomas reappointed Master.

July 4th: Sailed Leith for Montevideo. Passed Abbs Head.

July 10th: Spoken in lat. 50° N., long. 2° W., bearing WSW.

August 1st: Spoken in lat. 32° N., long. 18° W., steering south.

September 17 th: Arrived Montevideo.

November 8th: Sailed Montevideo for Taltal (for orders).

December 21st: Arrived Taltal, Chile.

December 28th: Arrived Iquique from Taltal.


January 18th: Sailed Iquique for Hamburg.

April 5th: Spoken from Iquique, steering NW, all well, in lat. 1° N, long. 30° W.

May 12th: Passed Prawle Point.

May 15th: Passed Dungeness.

May 18th: Arrived Cuxhaven, Germany.

May 19th: Hamburg, 10:17 a.m. British ship Wavertree, from Iquique, aground at Wittenberge. Assistance is with her. Following has been received from owners: After being ashore near Blankenese, floated and berthed in Hamburg last night. Hamburg, 3:16 p.m. British ship Wavertree got off with assistance and is now safe in harbor. Some cargo has been put into lighters.

June : Surveyed at Hamburg.

July 3rd: John Alfred Bromley appointed Master. Born Liverpool, 1852, passed Liverpool examinations, 1879, certificate number 02388.

George Peterson appointed Mate. Born Stockholm, 1858, passed Liverpool examinations, 1887, certificate number 012582.

July 9th: Sailed Hamburg.

July 9th: Passed Cuxhaven.

July 18th: Passed Dungeness.

July 18th: Passed Beachy Head.

August 6th: Spoken, in lat. 15° N., long. 26° W., bound south.

November 23rd: Arrived Calcutta from Hamburg.


February 1st: Sailed Calcutta for Mauritius.

March 17th: Arrived Mauritius.

March 27th: George Peterson appointed Master.

April 21st: Sailed Mauritius for Newcasde, N.S.W. and West Coast of South America.

June 1st: Arrived Sydney.

June 1st: Arrived Newcastle, N.S.W.

July 11th: Sailed Newcastle for Valparaiso.

August 16th: Arrived Valparaiso, 36 days from N.S.W.

October 11th: Sailed Valparaiso for Astoria, Oregon.

December 27th: Arrived Astoria.

December 28th: Liverpool, 2:30 p.m. Following is a translated copy of cable owners have received this morning from Astoria: Wavertree arrived 27th, "Derane"; foretopsail yard carried away; one chain plate carried away; three topsails and a quantity of running gear carried away; main rail started or broken.


January 10th: At Portland, Oregon, loading for U.K.

Ship with tug in Portland.

An unknown British ship of Wavertree's style and era picks up the tug Harvest Queen in the early 1900s. Smoke from the paddle wheeler wreathes the ship's lofty spars, which stand steady as a church this quiet morning. Captain Spiers relates how the Wavertree left Portland in tow, deep-laden with grain, the crew singing "Hurrah My Boys We're Homeward Bound" and "There's a Fire Down Below" while they brought the anchor to the cathead. "What a farewell reception we received from the crowds on the bridge!" he writes. "I feel sure there were hundreds that arrived late for work that particular morning."

January 20th: Sailed, went aground in river during flood—anchored, raft of logs caught her and swept her from anchorage—got off without too much trouble.

January 30th: Sailed again from Astoria for Queenstown.

May 11th: Spoken from Astoria, steering north, all well, in lat. 5° N., long. 27° W.

May 31st: Spoken, steering NE, all well, in lat. 32° N., long. 37° W.

June 22nd: Arrived Plymouth for orders (Master, Peterson).

June 25th: Sailed Plymouth for Antwerp.

July 1st: Passed Dover.

July 2nd: Arrived Antwerp.

July 4th: Antwerp—The British ship Wavertree, Master, Peterson, arrived here from Portland, Oregon, reports having encountered several gales and sustained damage to deck fittings.

August ......: Surveyed at Antwerp.

September 9th: George Peterson reappointed Master.

September 13th: Sailed for San Francisco.

October 14th: Spoken, steering south, in lat. 9° N., long. 26° W.


February 5th: Arrived San Francisco. Wavertree, British ship, arrived here from Antwerp yesterday, reports: Had fine weather off Cape Horn, which was passed November 28th, 1901. On December 1st, in lat. 57° 11' S., long. 75° 18' W., had a very heavy gale from NW, with a very high sea, filling decks to the rail, ship labouring heavily; lost several sails.

Reporting on her arrival the San Francisco Call for Wednesday, February 5, 1902, says, under the headline "Fleet of Ships Arrives":

Four big sailing vessels came over the bar yesterday afternoon in a fleet. Two of them, the British ship Lang-dale, and the French bark Jules Verne, were towed in. The German ship C. H. Watjen and the British ship Wavertree sailed to their anchorages. The latter vessel, in charge of Pilot Miller, sailed to an anchorage well down the bay, and as she threaded her way through the mazes of shipping the pilot's nervy seamanship excited much admiring comment.

The British Ships Longdate and Wavertree and the French Bark Jules Verne, Which, in Company with the C. H. Watjen, Arrived in Port Yesterday, Two of Them Sailing in and Two Being Towed to Their Anchorage.

—The San Francisco Call, Wednesday, February 5, 1902

May 29th: Sailed San Francisco for South Africa.

August 27th: Arrived Algoa Bay, South Africa.

September 5th: Gale at Algoa Bay., Liverpool—Wavertree: The owners have received the following cable this morning from Port Elizabeth: Alleyway doors stove in, cabins flooded, lamps broken and lost, cabin doors smashed.note : Eighteen ships went ashore in this gale in Algoa Bay in one night, with the loss of sixty-three lives.

Destruction of Six Foreign Vessels, Drawn from a Description.

-The San Francisco Call, September 11, 1902

The San Francisco Call for September 11, 1902 reported this gale, under the headline Six Big Merchantmen Are Wrecked in Heavy Gale at Port Elizabeth, as follows:

The news of the extent of the damage wrought at Port Elizabeth by Tuesday's storm was received yesterday by the local shipping community with grave concern. A cablegram received at the Merchant's Exchange told that in addition to driving ashore the British ship Inchcape Rock and drowning part of her crew, the gale had wrecked five big merchantmen, most of whose crews probably went down with the ships. It is not thought that half the story of the disaster has been told, as the cablegram, which was sent by Lloyd's agent, mentioned only such vessels as were totally lost. Most of the ships mentioned have been in this port. Some of them are well known here and they were all sturdy craft of considerable size.

The vessels lost were the German ship Coriolanus, from Wallaroo, Australia; German bark Nautilus, from Adelaide; British ship Oakworth, from Port Pirie; Italian ship Cavaliere Michels, from Newcastle, Australia, and the German bark Emmanuel, from Port Pirie.

Thomas E. McMaster rode out the gale in the Liverpool ship Benicia. He writes in Sea Breezes, August, 1958:

We watched a Scandinavian bark which had arrived the previous afternoon and still had her sails bent, hose her main-lower topsail. Was she attempting to beat out? This was a hopeless proposition as well as constituting a danger to other ships whose ground cables still held. Not a bit of it. Her cables had carried away, and, steering between ships anchored, she picked a nice sandy spot to go ashore. When nicely hard and fast, the crew put a ladder over the side and walked to safety.

In the midst of the strain and the mental question "Who's next?" this unexpected but wise procedure caused a general smile. We had a wire spring on each chain cable, and rode the gale out, though having three-quarters discharged a cargo of flour in bags we presented a high freeboard to the gale. A liner, the Kinfauns Castle I think, took off any captains' wives and children who wished to leave.

J. C. Johnson was on a steamship the night of the gale. He wrote in Sea Breezes, November, 1928:

The gale sprang up as darkness approached. About midnight distress signals were being sent up from a number of sailing vessels, but from our position in the harbor we could not see what was going on. We parted one cable, and had all hands standing by all night; although we had steam on the main engines, it was not advisable to slip and go to sea, the ship being light could not have been kept head to sea.

When morning broke the beach was strewn with sailing vessels. The vessels lost were principally old wooden built ships. By then the wind had gone, a large swell running in, gradually falling away to a calm. We grappled our lost cable, and some of the native crew dived and secured wire to the cable and thus we were able to repair our damage of the night.


January 14th: Sailed Algoa Bay for Bahia Blanca, Argentina.

March 19th: Spoken, bound WSW, all well in lat. 38° S., long. 50° W.

March 29th: Arrived Bahia Blanca from Port Elizabeth.

May 16th: Sailed Bahia Blanca for Falmouth.

June 14th: Spoken in lat. 10° S., long. 33° W.

June 29th: Spoken, steering north, in lat. 11° N., long. 30° W.

August 10th: Arrived Falmouth, cargo wheat, Master, Peterson.

August 11th: Henry Stap appointed Master.

August 13th: Sailed Falmouth for Limerick, in tow of tug Commonwealth.

August 13th: Passed Lizard in tow.

August 20th: Arrived Falmouth, put back.

August 21st: John (Wildman) Wing-field Yates appointed Master. Born Ashburton, Devon, 1861, passed London examinations, 1885, certificate number 011544.

August 23rd: Sailed Falmouth for Limerick in tow of tug Conqueror.

August 28th: Arrived Scattery Roads (proceeded up river 8:15 a.m. in tow of tug Conqueror). Arrived Limerick.

August 31st: Limerick, 6:23 p.m.— Wavertree: While towing up dock yesterday, stranded on north mud about one-half mile below dock, and remains. Vessel will be lightened further tonight; hope dock tomorrow midday. Vessel not damaged.

September 2nd: Limerick, 4:17 p.m. —Wavertree: Has been lightened and safely docked 3 p.m. November ......: Special survey number 1 at Limerick.

December 18th: Passed Cappa West, 10:15 a.m. from Limerick.

December 22nd: Passed Dungeness in tow.

December 22nd: Passed Dover in tow.

December 24th: Arrived Newcastle from Limerick.


February 8th: William Barton Tilston appointed Master. Born Liverpool, 1862, passed Liverpool examinations, 1887, certificate number 013665.

February 9th: Cleared Newcastle for San Francisco.

February 10th: Sailed Shields.

February 18th: Passed Dungeness.

July 14th: Arrived San Francisco.

July 15th: San Francisco—British ship Wavertree, which arrived in port Thursday, July 14th, while rounding to off Black Point lost anchor and 45 fathoms of chain. Wavertree, British ship, from South Shields, reports: Was 21 days off Cape Horn, with very violent continuous gales from south and southwest, and lost fore upper topsail.

November 18th: Albert Brew appointed Master. Born Gateshead-on-Tyne, 1879, passed New South Wales examinations, 1905, certificate number, N.S.W. 570.

November 27th: Sailed San Francisco for Sydney Heads.


January 31st: Arrived Sydney.

Primitive of the Wavertree.

An unknown artist painted this portrait of the Wavertree off Australia, probably on commission from the Master or one of the mates. The Southern Ocean was the last refuge of sailing ships. Originally built for the Indian jute trade, the Wavertree later carried general cargoes of British manufacture to Australia and grain home to England or European. ports. Grain from San Francisco, and guano from the Chilean nitrate ports were also common cargoes, with an occasional deckload of lumber. The last grain fleet from Australia sailed in 1939. It was composed of vessels built a generation after the Wavertree—and that was the end of the last deepwater trade in sail.

February 2nd: Sailed for Newcastle.

February 2nd: John James Simpson appointed Master. Born Rochester, 1853, passed Adelaide examinations, 1877, certificate number, South Australia 35.

February 3rd: Arrived Newcastle.

March 7th: Albert Brew reappointed Master.

April 6th: Sailed Newcastle, N.S.W., for Mollendo, Peru.

June 10th: Arrived Mollendo.

November 16th: Mollendo, 11:45 p.m.—Wavertree: windlass broken, cannot be repaired, no immediate danger.

November 27th: Sailed Mollendo for Sydney.


March 3rd: Arrived Sydney. April : Surveyed at Sydney.

April 6th: Sailed Sydney.

April 6th: Edward Halcrow appointed Master. Born Sunderland, 1845, passed Sydney examinations, 1874, certificate number, N.S.W. 141.

April 25th: William John Masson appointed Master. Born Glasgow, 1874, passed Glasgow examinations, 1904, certificate number 032622.

May 21st: Sailed Newcastle, N.S.W. for Talcahuano, Chile.

July 7th: Arrived Talcahuano.

October 5th: Sailed Talcahuano for Astoria.

December 15th: Arrived off Astoria, ordered to proceed for Royal Roads.

December 18th: Arrived Victoria, B.C.


January 13th: Sailed Victoria, B.C., for Bellingham.

January 15th: Arrived Bellingham, Washington.

January 16th: Arrived Port Towns-end, Washington.

March 12th: Sailed Port Townsend for Tocopilla, Chile

 March 13th: Anchored in Clallam Bay.

March 17th: Passed Tatoosh Island.

June 28th: Arrived Tocopilla.

The nitrate port of Tocopilla.

Under steep mountains that pierce the Pacific cloud, the German bark Padua loads nitrate brought down by narrow-gauge railway from the upland plains of Chile. This photograph was taken for her Master, Captain J. Hermann Piening, in November, 1929, as the nitrate trade in sail neared its end. Captain Spiers records how chanties were sung as each ship left this desolate port during the Wavertree's last visit twenty-two years earlier. The Padua, built for F. Laeisz in 1926, was the last-built of the big four-masted barks which succeeded ships like the Wavertree, just as the Wavertree's type had replaced the smaller wooden packets and clippers of the mid-nineteenth century. Renamed Krusenberg, she went to the Soviet Union as a war prize in 1946.

September 23rd: Sailed Tocopilla for Astoria, Oregon (also reported as Sept. 21st). November 16th: Arrived Portland, Oregon (also reported as Nov. 24th).

December 14th: Sailed Portland.

The foremast crowd and afterguard of a hardcase, lime-juice Cape Horner.

The crew had not been completed when this photograph was taken shortly before the vessel's departure from Portland, Oregon, on her homeward passage. Several of the able seamen, including CunlifFe, refused to face the camera. Back row from left: The new steward, in white collar and apron; aged Norwegian, A.B., who had been forty years in British ships, in jersey and broad-brimmed felt hat; German, A.B.; Irish second mate; Captain William J. Masson, in tweed cap and go-ashore clothes, Scottish; the Mate, Mr. Connors, Scottish; A. G. Spiers, A.B. (arms folded), at foot of poop ladder. Front row from left: Cameron, Scottish, A.B.; Olsen, Norwegian, A.B.; Irish boatswain, seated holding puppy; Herman, German, A.B., holding cat; Scottish, A.B., and for a time, steward, holding lifebuoy; Lyons, Irish, A.B., holding puppy; Jones, Welsh sailmaker; Irish cook, in long apron, shortly before deserting; Scottish carpenter.

December 16th: Sailed Astoria for Runcorn, U.K.


February 5th: Spoken, Portland for Runcorn, in lat. 29° S., long. 129° W.

April 22nd: Spoken, steering north in lat. 3° N., long. 28° W.

May 31st: Spoken, 170 miles west of Fastnet.

June 8th: Passed South Stack, 6:30 a.m.—arrived Liverpool, 175 days from Astoria.

June 9th: Arrived Runcorn.2

July 7th: Arrived Ellesmere Port from Runcorn.

October 12th: Ellesmere Port, 11 a.m.—Steamer Morayshire, outward bound from Manchester, collided with sailing ship Wavertree, lying at pontoon jetty 4 o'clock yesterday. Latter received damage to bulwarks and starboard side; steamer proceeded, bow apparendy damaged.

November : Special survey number 2 at Liverpool. Managers, J. H. Welsford & Company, Ltd.


April 21st: Arrived Liverpool from Ellesmere Port. (Only entry from Lloyd's Register for 1909.)


May ......: Surveyed at Liverpool.

May 21st: Sold 64 (all) shares to Ernest Harry Neal of 3 Elm Road, Barnet, Herts., merchants buyer.

May 26th: Sailed Liverpool for Cardiff.

May 27th: Passed Barry Island. Arrived Cardiff.

The Wavertree readying for her last voyage.

Rammed by a steamer in Ellesmebe Port, she lost a grain charter from Vancouver in 1908. So she lay idle from the time Spiers left her in June 1908, until at last she was sold, on May 21, 1910, to Ernest Harry Neal and got a cargo from Cardiff to Valparaiso. She then set sail on May 26, 1910, from Liverpool on her final voyage. These are hard times for the ships, now painted a uniform gray. The hull is as sound as ever, but her rotten gear will fail her off Cape Horn.

June 11th: William Irving appointed Master. Born Carlisle, 1846, passed Liverpool examinations, 1872, certificate number 83864. Thomas Collins appointed Mate. Born Dublin, 1854, passed Dublin examinations, 1885, certificate number 09929.

June 17th: Sailed Cardiff for Talcahuano. Arrived off Barry Island.

June 18th: Passed Barry Island from roads bound for Valparaiso.

September 29th: Montevideo, 8:15 a.m.—Wavertree, Cardiff for Talca-huano, put in in distress, with spars and rigging gone.

September 30th: Montevideo—The ship Wavertree reports having encountered severe weather off Cape Horn between August 24th and September 6th, during which she lost sails and cranes of lower topsail yards and sustained damage to steering gear. The cargo has shifted and the vessel has a list. Six of the crew were laid up with frostbite.

October 6th: Montevideo—Wavertree: Owner's agent recommends that she should repair here. Have called for tenders for repairs. Need not discharge.

October 14th: Montevideo—A contract for repairs to the Wavertree has been made and it is estimated that the vessel should be ready to proceed about the end of this month.

November 15th: Sailed Montevideo for Talcahuano.

December 7th: Arrived Stanley, Falkland Islands—Cable from Punta Arenas, Chile, received December 17th: "Wavertree put back in a disabled condition. Towed in, partially dismasted; part of the cargo damaged by sea water."

The following account of the Wavertree's misfortunes appeared in The Falkland Islands Church Magazine of January, 1911:

The Wavertree a large vessel of 2,100 tons gross left Cardiff on June 16th for Talcahuano. When fifty-eight days out she was about 200 miles south of Cape Horn, when a violent gale caused her to carry away nearly all her sails. Being practically without canvas she was unable to proceed on her voyage, but had to run back to Montevideo. There she was refitted and left that port with practically a fresh crew.

At the beginning of December the ship unfortunately had very bad weather. The hurricane (the real thing, as one of the crew graphically described it), was so severe that the mainmast snapped in two almost at the level of the deck and smashed two lifeboats and the main pump. The wreckage tore holes in the deck and through these a great volume of water poured into the lower parts of the ship, and this led to an even more serious calamity; the water tanks were just under the damaged part of the deck, and through great carelessness on the part of the Carpenter these had been left uncovered. The salt water, pouring down into the hold filled these tanks so that the water became quite unsuitable for drinking purposes. The Carpenter probably was not responsible for his actions as he has since developed mental trouble, and is under medical observation in the gaol at Stanley.

Five of the crew were endeavoring to make the deck once more watertight when a fresh disaster occurred.

A heavy sea swept the men off their feet and dashed them against the wreckage that was everywhere strewing the deck. So violently were the men hurled by the sea that three of them had their legs broken, one had his leg severely wounded, and the other had two ribs fractured.

Trouble upon trouble apparently came upon the unfortunate ship:

The fore topmast came down from aloft and did further damage to the deck, while shortly afterwards the mizzen topmast was carried away. The ship was now helpless, and, fortunately for the crew drifted towards the Falklands. She was towed in from near the lighthouse to Stanley on December 24th by the Samson.

The Wavertree dismasted in 1910.

The great mainmast is down, broken off at the deck. Yards weighing two tons each lie tangled in heavy rigging across the damaged bulwarks. The ship has run back to Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands after a fearful beating off Cape Horn. She and her people are lucky to survive. This is the end of Wavertree's career as a sailing ship. She'll put to sea next at the end of a tow rope, to be dragged back through the Straits of Magellan, behind the Horn, to Punta Arenas in Chile. This photograph by R. J. Dettleff catches the horror of disaster at sea while it is still fresh, with the ship a wreck and several of her crew in hospital with broken ribs and legs. Lying off to port is Brunell's magnificent iron steamer, Great Britain, which ran between New York and Liverpool in the 1840s. Smashed by Cape Horn in 1886 while enroute to Panama with Welsh coal, she took refuge in the Falklands where she still lies in 1969. Her last Master, Henry Stap, took command of the Wavertree in 1903.

The Wavertree had sighted a barque-rigged vessel near the Horn, and hoisted the distress signal, and also fired rockets as they were in urgent need of water; the unknown vessel however declined to come to their assistance and changed course immediately the signals were hoisted and sailed away leaving the Wavertree in the most heartless manner without assistance.

December 20th: London—The following is a copy of a cable received from Valparaiso: Wavertree: We have a telegram from Captain (from or via) Punta Arenas informing us arrived at Falkland Islands, loss of mainmast and sails attached, gone by deck, arrived with loss of top-gallantmast and several sails blown to pieces; gear gone, main pumps smashed; fresh water lost; three feet of water in hold; all the cargo very much damaged by water; survey has been held; rigging has been condemned. Repairs cannot be done at Falklands.

December : Reported sold for £2,850.

The Wavertrees longboat, 1968.

When the shattered Wavertree departed under tow from the Falkland Islands in 1911, she left her longboat behind. The thrifty Falklanders turned the boat to good account, and she has served the past half-century as a working launch at Fox Bay East. Here young backs bend to the oar in 1968 to drive the 24'4" boat across mirror-smooth water, with the windswept island hills in the background. The Falkland Islands were a traditional downwind port of refuge for sailing ships damaged off Cape Horn. The hulk of the last surviving American packet ship Charles Cooper, abandoned in the Falklands in 1866, lies there today, along with the Great Britain.


January 24th: London—Wavertree: A cable has been received from the assured's special agent, reading as follows: Cannot obtain estimated cost for repairs on account of repairs cannot be done at Port Stanley. Will have partly to discharge for repairs, not less than 500 tons, to replace mainmast.

January 25th: Stanley, F.I.—By cable from Montevideo, dated January 25th, 9:25 p.m.—Wavertree: Cannot get offer here; not in a position to forward cargo.

March 11th: Appointment of William Irving as Master ceased.

April 30th: Sailed Falkland Islands for Punta Arenas, in tow, Master Collins.

August 9th: London—The owner of the British ship Wavertree, in answer to inquiry asking for latest news, writes under date of August 9th that the vessel is still at Punta Arenas and is now there as a hulk.

December ......: Lloyd's final posting—"In port damaged, class deleted."


Lay as a wool-storage hulk at Punta Arenas, Chile, in the Straits of Magellan.

The Wavertree in Punta Arenas, 1946.

The great hull swings to anchor as she did for nearly thirty-seven years, buffeted by the gales that sweep the icy waters of the Straits of Magellan. Signs of her dismasting in one of these Cape Horn storms show here. The lost mainmast has been replaced by a lighter working spar. The stump of the mizzen topmast is still in place in this photo by Oswald Wegmann taken in 1946. Two years later she was towed round to Buenos Aires to take up her twenty-year career as a sand barge there. Other veterans ended their days in this outpost, and the last of them, the Andalucia ex-Ville de Mul-house of 1899, which served with the Wavertree as a wool-storage ship, is afloat as a coal hulk in Punta Arenas today.


December 26th: Enrolled in Chilean registry as barge Wavertree, No. 1040.


August 6th: Sold by Compania Chilena de Navigacion Interoceanica to Luis Uribe Parilla-Mutis. Buyer obliged by contract to remove hulk from Punta Arenas and "sell it as old iron."


January: Towed to Buenos Aires. The following letter appeared in Sea Breezes, June, 1948:

I recently received a letter from a relative of mine who in January last went by sea from Valparaiso to Rio de Janeiro in the Chilean steamer Arica. He states that at Punta Arenas they picked up an old hulk, formerly the British sailing ship Wavertree, and towed her all the way to the entrance of the River Plate, where she was cast off to wait a tug to tow her up to Buenos Aires where she was to be broken up.

G. L. Garratt Loose, Maidstone, Kent


November 22nd: Sold by S. Uribe to Fernando Schiaffino. Enrolled in Argentine registry as barge Don Ariano N., No. 3973. Here she lost her bowsprit and her forecastle head and remaining bulwarks were shorn away. The large sandbins were installed.


July 21st: Sold by Sr. Schiaffino to Alfredo Numeriani.


December 18th: 65 percent (13/20) ownership sold by Sr. Numeriani to Astilleros Argentinos Rio de la Plata, S.A. (ASTARSA).


March 9th: 65 percent ownership sold back by ASTARSA to Sr. Numeriani.


Lay in the estuary Riachuelo without moving.

A view of Wavertree's deck in 1967.

Here she lies in Buenos Aires as the sand barge Don Ariano N. She lies in the Riachuelo, a backwater of forgotten ships. The forecastle has been cut away; huge open steel bins take up the holds that had carried varied cargoes in her sailing days. The stout hull is still sound; the after cabins under the poop have been preserved, and the fore and mizzen lower masts still stand above the bold sweep of deck that rises to the bow. Standing on her decks, the most casual visitor must know that this great hull was shaped to sail toward wider horizons than these.


November 25th: Acquired for South Street Seaport.

November 30th: Towed from Riachuelo to Arsenal Naval, Buenos Aires, to refit for tow to New York.


The Wavertree and tug Labrador, 1968.

The littered waters of the Riachuelo swirl about the ship's tall bow as the tug swings her out into the stream. The Wavertree has Iain here seven years without moving. Her anchor, the same she carried as a sailing ship, is still wet with the muck of this river where so many ships have moldered away. The Wavertree's bow, battered and stripped to the essential fabric of the hull, leaves to begin a new voyage into history.

The Wavertree leaves the Riachuelo.

The shorn hull towers over the buildings of the Boca, the old waterfront section of Buenos Aires, as the Wavertree heads out of the Rio Riachuelo under tow on November 30, 1968. Square-riggers carried cargo here as late as 1957 when the great German four-masted barks Pamir and Passat traded in Argentine grain and watchers on the River Plate counted many old sailing-ship hulls ending their days in Buenos Aires or across the way in Montevideo. The Wavertree survived. The huge hull that made her useful after her sailing days were over, still sound, moves into deep waters again.

Abril del 2014

El Wavertree amarrado y cerrado, esperando su restauracion.