Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Joshua Slocum at St Helena
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2007 Oct 22, 06:11 -0400

    Here's a short transcript of the first solo circum-navigator's visit at St. 
    Helena, nearing the end of his voyage. Two things that catch my attention:
    1) he's found his means of telling his story, and paying for it, by running 
    slide shows, even at this early date.
    2) they love his story-telling skills. He's ready to write. 
    "On Thursday, April 14, 1898, the arrival of Captain
    Joshua Slocum in his little yacht Spray constituted an event
    as unique in the history of St. Helena as the fact of a man
    making alone a voyage round the globe in a nine-ton boat
    probably is in the history of the world.
    The Spray made her appearance after a smart run of
    sixteen days from Cape Town, the news of her arrival causing
    a commotion among the community of the island, and many
    visited the boat in which a feat requiring rare pluck and
    skill had been so successfully accomplished�a feat which
    in its extreme daring, amounted to foolhardiness.
    Captain Slocum hailed from Boston, from which port he
    started on his voyage three years before, on April 24,
    1895. He called successively at Fayal, Gibraltar, Pernam-
    buco, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Buenos Ayres, Straits of
    Magellan (twice), thence to Juan Fernandez (Robinson
    Crusoe's island), Samoa, Newcastle and Sydney (New
    South Wales), Melbourne, Launceston (Tasmania), Torres
    Straits across the Indian Ocean to the island of Keeling,
    thence to Rodrigues, Mauritius, Natal and Cape Town, and
    lastly St. Helena, whence he proceeded to the United States.
    At the Garden Hall the Captain gave a very interesting
    and humorous lecture on his voyage, illustrated by a series
    of beautiful lantern-views of the various places he had
    visited, and the classes of people met with. Mr. R. P.
    Pooley, United States Consul, having introduced the Captain
    to the audience with a few amusing remarks, the
    lecturer began by narrating an account of his voyage, telling
    in a highly humorous manner the many and various incidents
    which occurred on his voyage. His reason for
    coming alone, he said, was because he could not get the one
    he wanted to come with him. He could get lots of others,
    but he didn't want them. He considered the failure of
    many a great expedition was due to there being too many
    who wanted to be master. Columbus' expedition was an
    instance of this: if Columbus had been alone, he would have
    discovered America long before�in fact, he added, America
    would have discovered itself. The Spray he had built
    himself; there was not a nail in her he had not driven, and
    she took thirteen months to build. When he determined
    to make the voyage alone, he put all hardships behind him,
    and having been twenty-five years a ship-master knew
    pretty well what he undertook. Up to the present he had
    not regretted having done so ; not even when in a violent
    storm off Cape Horn (in which three vessels were lost�one
    the City of Philadelphia) did he regret his undertaking. His
    boat had lived through it; in fact, being so light she would
    live through a storm that many another vessel would not
    survive, for she sat like a duck on the water. He had never
    felt any extra fatigue�never once felt over-worked. The
    course he came was by deliberation, not by chance; he
    pricked off on his chart the course he meant to take, and he
    followed it. His chronometer was a watch which went
    all right when he did not neglect to wind it. Everything
    was done by dead reckoning. The biggest run the Spray
    made was 1,200 miles in eight days in a gale. He spoke
    two vessels, one the Java. The Captain of this vessel
    asked him how long it had been calm. He replied, " I
    don't know; I haven't been here long." " How long are you
    out ? " was the next query. " Eight days from Boston."
    He went below, says Captain Slocum, to fetch his mate to
    hear this " Yankee Skipper " tell fish-stories ! The Captain
    humorously described some of his experiences with the
    native pirates in the Straits of Magellan, a place where the
    wind is so strong that not a vestige of moss can grow on
    the rocks�strong enough at times to " blow the hair off
    a dog's back," he aptly termed it. "/ left my hat there,"
    remarked the Captain reflectively, as he felt the bald spot
    on the top of his head ! At Gibraltar he was very cordially
    received, and was shown through the fortifications. " These
    works are," he adds, " said to be worthy of the Russians ;
    I say they are worthy of John Bull alone ! " he also paid
    a visit to Juan Fernandez, the uninhabited island on which
    Alexander Selkirk, better known as Robinson Crusoe,
    spent four and a half years. He went to the look-out
    place, and also brought a stone from the fireplace of the
    Among many of the views shown was one of Government
    House, Pretoria, a building which, says the Captain, would
    grace any city in the world. He went to see Oom Paul,
    who, when he was told that the Captain had been round
    the world, said, "You mean across the world !" Mr.
    Kruger believes the world is flat, and is quite positive on
    this point.
    In speaking of the objects of his voyage, the Captain
    frankly admitted that one of them was to make money; as
    he cutely remarked, any man with his head screwed on in
    the right place wants to do that; then again he possesses a
    spirit of adventure.
    Altogether the lecture was really interesting and amusing,
    and the lantern views superb. At the conclusion cheers were
    given for the lecturer, who was entertained at dinner
    by His Excellency the Governor and Mrs. Sterndale at
    Government House, Plantation. " 
    Oh, and I will join Mr. Kruger in saying, "The world is flat! Your spherical 
    trigonemtry is mere trickonemtry!!" 
    To post to this group, send email to NavList@fer3.com
    To unsubscribe, send email to NavList-unsubscribe@fer3.com

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site