thinking outside the tank

Joshua Slocum in Google Earth: the Equator to Rio de Janeiro

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You can follow Joshua Slocum’s single-handed voyage round the world at:

Today I added to the presentation the remainder of Chapter V that sees the Spray sailing from the Equator first to Pernambuco (Recife) and then on to Rio de Janeiro.

Arriving Pernambuco (Recife) about noon on 05Oct1895

Slocum reaches Pernambuco 40 days out from Gibraltar and finds himself among old friends, and new enemies. The friends are the sea-captains he knows from frequent voyages to the coast of Brazil while the potential enemies are the members of the Mello faction against whom he had delivered a ship only two years before. The Destroyer was designed by the Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson and had a submarine cannon, effectively making her a torpedo boat. Slocum was employed as master but was never paid by the Brazilian government for his work.

Doctor Perreira, an old friend entertains Slocum and tries to fatten him up for the voyage ahead with the very best Brazilian fare, but despite his efforts Slocum ‘fattened slowly’.

There is a slight problem getting out of Pernambuco. The awkward squad of the Mello faction, now in government, wants to charge Slocum tonnage dues but, as a yacht, this should not have been applied. In the end an old merchant friend pays the fees and the Spray is released to have a fine run without incident down to Rio de Janeiro where she arrives on 05Nov1895.

Trying out the new rig in Rio harbour, 27Nov1895

It was here that Slocum converted the Spray from a sloop to a yawl, by the addition of a new mast fully aft. (Note, this means that my 3D model on the voyage to date is inaccurate. I’m waiting for a new model which will correct this.)

Copyright © Colin Hazlehurst, 2012

Note: to view the presentation you will need to install the Google Earth plugin in your web browser; and if you enjoy the Slocum presentation, why not look at Cook’s First Voyage Round the World?


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