The Cruise of The Flying Squadron
1869 - 1870
"4pm weighed and proceeded out of harbour under sail with remainder of squadron, HMS Satellite taking the place of the Charybdis. Liverpool and Pearl weighed under steam. Experienced a fresh southerly wind."
"Wind falling light, commenced steaming."
"Exercised at target practice with great guns. Ceased steaming and made sail. Admiral made rendezvous Bahia as it was a ‘ruse de guerre’ giving out that we were to touch at Rio."
Friday September 2nd
"The Blue Jackets gave a dramatic entertainment. Passed within sight of Juan Fernandez. Sighted two or three sails standing the same way as ourselves. Wind light and variable weather getting perceptibly colder."
"William Albert, bandsman, departed this life after a weeks illness. He died of congestion of the lungs brought on by exposure whilst onshore at Valparaiso. I was very sorry for him. He was our best musician and had just commenced to teach me the flute."
"Phoebe, Endymion and Pearl got up steam and took us the Liverpool and Satellite in tow, it having fallen calm."
"Committed to the deep the remains of the late William Albert."
"4pm cast off tow and made sail."
"North West wind going 8 knots"
"Bowling along before a strong NW breeze 11 knots – Satellite rather a dull sailor"
Several of our sheep onboard have had lambs so there is a great bleating on the main deck. We have a gentleman named Hegan on board, a brother of one of our Midshipmen. He is taking a passage from Valparaiso home."
"Rounded the horn in a strong gale of wind from the NW lat 58 41. Experienced very bad weather, gales of wind etc until abreast of Montevideo, but the wind was always fair for us and we bowled along at a great rate."
"Lost the Phoebe and Pearl for one day but picked them up again."
"Crossed our former tracks from Montevideo to the cape just one year and 3 days ago (Admiral made a signal to the Phoebe, Endymion and ourselves – accept my thanks and congratulations for keeping company round the world we are going to splice the main brace)"
"Observed HMS Endymion bury a man.
" We have had a splendid run from the horn up to the 25th Sunday when the wind fell light. 4pm hove too and communicated with Admiral about Midshipmen’s examinations. Heard also that we were to proceed to Bahia before the remainder of the Squadron. "
Monday September 26th
"Calm, Phoebe, Endymion and Pearl got up steam and took ourselves Liverpool and Satellite in tow. Admiral gave a dinner to the Captains. Some of the officers of the Satellite came onboard and told us about their sufferings in the late gales. Amongst others a sub lieut named Dickens a son of the late Charles Dickens." 1
Tuesday September 27th
"Cast off tow and and made sail to northerly wind – not fair for us.
Wednesday September 28th
"Raining all day, wind shifted fair in the afternoon."
Thursday September 29th 7am
"Going along 6 knots with wind right aft. Espied an English ship right ahead. Admiral made a signal for us to chase and bring her too and collect all information. We soon came up with her and sent a boat onboard. We found her to be the Melbourne from Liverpool to the Cape 46 days out. We got papers up to the 11th August and when we were hove too with our boat onboard the Melbourne, the flagship passed close and hailed the captain of the Melbourne to say he was much obliged to him for heaving too. The band then struck up ‘The girl I left behind me’. Then the crew of the Melbourne cheered most vociferously; in fact it was a most imposing sight. Some of the Melbourne crew gave our crew letters to take home."
"Made sail 11.30am hove too and communicated intelligence received to Admiral."
"The same afternoon we were ordered to chase another sail to the eastward. Overhauled her in about 20 minutes and found her to be the Arichat From Plymouth 32 days out so we had much later news."
Friday September 30th
"Admiral inspected satellites 4pm made a signal for us to proceed to Bahia (850 miles away)."
"About 8 miles ahead of the squadron more penny readings."
Sunday Oct 2nd
"Lost sight of squadron at 11am 30 miles distant."
Monday October 3rd
"Departed this life of disease of the lungs Wallace Shoebrook after two days illness."
Tuesday October 4th
"Interred the remains of the late Wallace Shoebrook."
1 Sydney Smith Haldimand Dickens (1847-1872) - Dickens' seventh child embarked on a career with the navy which pleased his father very much. He got into debt, asking his father for financial aid which Dickens finally refused. He died at sea aboard the Malta.
© Copyright Charles Fountain May 2002
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