thinking outside the tank

Joshua Slocum in Google Earth: chased by pirates

leave a comment »

Joshua Slocum sailed single-handed around the world aboard his yacht Spray between April 1895 and June 1898. He was the first to achieve such a feat.

You can follow the voyage at:

Today I added ‘Chased by pirates’, being the first few pages of Chapter V. Slocum leaves Gibraltar on 25Aug1895 after a 3-week visit during which time he prepares both his yacht and himself for the arduous journey ahead.

Departing Gibraltar, 25Aug1895

He is towed clear of the Rock by a tug belonging to Queen Victoria’s navy when a fresh (volant) wind carries the Spray westward towards the Atlantic. Slocum’s original plan was to have sailed the length of the Mediterranean and through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean. He wanted to sail the world ‘east-about’.

However, he is warned by those who know these waters that he will surely meet with pirates if he goes that way. Then, hardly had he reached the Atlantic with a revised plan to go westwards round Cape Horn, when a felucca comes out of the nearest port and starts to chase him.

Hardly had I reached the Atlantic…

Slocum knows that the Spray is fast but both vessels have crowded on all sail possible and the felucca gradually closes in; the pirates are preparing to strike the first blow when a great wave swamps them and they are dismasted. Shortly afterwards, the same wave hits the Spray and she is knocked down.

Three minutes later the same wave overtook the Spray and shook her in every timber.

The Spray comes out of the exchange in better shape, albeit with a broken boom; the felucca loses all her rigging and has to give up the chase.

Copyright © Colin Hazlehurst, 2012

Note: to view the presentation you will need to install the Google Earth plugin in your web browser


Written by netkingcol

August 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: