thinking outside the tank

Joshua Slocum in Google Earth: Launceston to Devonport

leave a comment »

Follow Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World at:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Joshua Slocum “rusticates in the forests and among the streams” around Launceston for about a week and he grows to love the country. He’s waiting for the time of year when the winds around the north of Australia will be fair for a passage westwards. On 01Feb1897, he digs out the ground from under the Spray‘s keel to get her afloat, and sets sail from Launceston to explore other parts of Tasmania.

Still in the Tamar valley, he anchors at Beauty Point where he visits a gold mine and also meets Lord Hampden, governor of New South Wales, who is on a sight-seeing trip with his family.

A short hop downstream takes the Spray to Georgetown where Slocum gives his first public meeting to describe his voyage to a keenly interested audience.

Next, he sails west along the Tasmanian north shore to Devonport. Here he finds the people so friendly and generous that before leaving he declares:

…it was not without regret that I looked forward to the day of sailing from a country of so many pleasant associations. If there was a moment in my voyage when I could have given it up, it was there and then;

The ladies of the town ply him with provisions:

…dear Mrs. Aikenhead, mistress of Malunnah (the magistrate’s house on the point), supplied the Spray with jams and jellies of all sorts, by the case, prepared from the fruits of her own rich garden — enough to last all the way home and to spare. Mrs. Wood, farther up the harbour, put up bottles of raspberry wine for me. At this point, more than ever before, I was in the land of good cheer. Mrs. Powell sent on board chutney prepared “as we prepare it in India.” Fish and game were plentiful here, and the voice of the gobbler was heard, and from Pardo, farther up the country, came an enormous cheese; [to quote Liz Lemon of 30 Rock: “I want to go to there.”]

The Spray is hauled ashore and her hull inspected. Thankfully, she is free of the ravages of the tunnelling teredo worm (Teredo navalis) but as a preventive measure she receives another coat of copper paint.

Slocum sets sail from Devonport on 16Apr1897 after one week less than three months on the island of Tasmania.

The section of Joshua Slocum’s journey reported here opens Chapter XIV of Sailing Alone Around the World, and this post is a trailer for the adventure that I am retelling in Google Earth at:

Copyright © Colin Hazlehurst, 2012

You might also enjoy Cook’s first voyage round the world at:


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: