By Sylvie Haisman
1875 a real story of Shipwreck and Survival within the Southern Seas
Imagine one girl, forty-seven males and a three-year-old boy, shipwrecked on a tiny sub-Antarctic island. For seven months they consume albatross and burn penguin skins for gasoline, prior to a passing whaler alternatives them up.
The lady was once my great-great-great-grandmother Fanny Wordsworth. She and her son, Charlie, have been migrating from Scotland to New Zealand. months out, their send struck a rock, midway among Antarctica and Madagascar...
The Scottish clipper Strathmore sailed from London in 1875, encumbered with gunpowder, iron and immigrants. Wrecked at evening in livid seas, part her passengers struggled ashore to the naked, inhospitable rocks of the distant Crozet Islands. There they remained stranded, suffering to outlive the sour southern iciness, given up for misplaced via their households and friends.
Over a hundred thirty years later, award-winning author Sylvie Haisman rediscovered her ancestors' epic experience. Drawing on their journals, pale images and letters, she unearthed a narrative of gallant sailors, orphaned teenagers, merciless starvation and debilitating cold.
The Strathmore shipwreck used to be a sensation in Victorian instances. Now this compelling tale of braveness, persistence and the selection to outlive will circulate and encourage readers everywhere again.
Inspired via Sylvie Haisman's play, inform ME A SHIPWRECK, broadcast on ABC Radio National
Read Online or Download This Barren Rock: A True Tale of Shipwreck and Survival on the Southern Seas PDF
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Additional info for This Barren Rock: A True Tale of Shipwreck and Survival on the Southern Seas
At two-and-a-half Wattie might were rapidly soaking up new phrases, stringing them jointly briefly sentences. might be he chattered to himself whereas falling asleep within the evenings, bedding down his most modern vocabulary as he advised himself the tale of his day. was once Wattie stricken by the boiling warmth which triggered Fanny rather a lot misery? perhaps it used to be more straightforward to undergo in a child’s brief gown than in a lady’s high-necked costume. definitely there has been lots to distract him from the temperature: new humans, points of interest, sounds, smells — the never-ending fascinations of a boat at sea. a few of Wattie’s liveliness can have taken the shape of tantrums, because the traditional frustrations of a child eager for independence have been heightened through the constraints of shipboard lifestyles. How did his mom hold him from hiking the rigging and falling into the ocean? Did she tie him to a rail? preserve him contained in the kin cabin or continually in her hands? Divert him from possibility with toys and video games? maybe the sailors entertained him. uninterested with weeks of calm and lightweight winds, they could have loved enjoying video games with the youngsters, making toys for his or her enjoyment. this can were Wattie’s first acquaintance with Yankee invoice Vining, an American sailor who used to be quickly to turn into of serious value within the little boy’s existence. yet possibly Mrs Walker saved Wattie clear of males like Yankee invoice, along with his quickly mood and behavior of breaking into what one third-class passenger known as ‘a very torrent of cursing and blasphemy’. If he bought at any place close to the sailors, Wattie may have spotted their odor. He used to be used to girls, and dealing males smelled very diverse — a rank, earthy odour of sweat and grime, damp wool, rum and tobacco. there have been thirty-one males at the staff of the Strathmore, no longer counting officials and apprentice officials: eighteen capable seamen, 5 traditional seamen and 8 petty officials — bosun, sailmaker, chippie, 3 stewards, a cook dinner and an engine motive force. lots of the sailors have been younger — twelve have been below the age of twenty-five, together with 3 teenage boys, and all yet 5 have been less than thirty-three. Over part have been English, and over part the Englishmen have been Londoners. there have been additionally six Scotsmen, 3 Irishmen, 3 Scandinavians and americans. They have been, in accordance with one third-class passenger, ‘rather a coarse lot’. a firstclass passenger known as them ‘nasty, ill-conditioned’, and the 3rd mate stated they have been ‘the worst lot i've got ever seen’. the second one steward defined the sailors as ‘very undesirable … i don't imagine lets have had a worse lot … very undesirable characters … quarrelsome … under the influence of alcohol …’ The ship’s wood worker — who was once maybe towards the sailors than the officials, stewards or passengers — gave a extra beneficial record: ‘The staff behaved rather well, other than that when they have been in drink for a number of days. ’ Fifteen-year-old apprentice Harold ‘Farmer John’ Turner was once an enthusiastic admirer of his crewmates’ generosity and strong nature, who prefer their society to that of the passengers: ‘I by no means met with a extra egocentric set of guys than many of the passengers have been, they took care to seem after number 1.