Mariners and ships in Australian Waters
Whaling vessels . . . items of interest
When originally seeking information on the occupations of crew on Whaling Ships to enable accurate transcriptions I was fortunate enough make contact with a Mr. Hollis in New Zealand. With the information he generously provided, we now have a much wider understanding of possible reasons for the high number of desertions from these vessels, and to seek further information if desired.
|There are two kinds of whaler. . .|
In New Zealand waters, about 75% of the first type were from America; the second type were mostly of Australian origin.
- Vessels which stay at sea for up to three years and both catch and process the whales.
- Vessels which service the needs of shore whaling parties, they are basically traders and merchants.
|1. This is a payment list (lay) from the first type of Vessel and was typical on the American East Coast in 1832.|
Ref: The Old Whaling Days by Robert McNab, p. 1913. page:193
|Boat-steerers*, Carpenters, Coopers~,
|A. B. #, Cook and Steward
|L29 per ton old measure was allowed for oils; L7 10s. allowed
for black oil.|
* "Boat-steerers" were in charge of the small boat crew that killed
~ "Coopers" are the people that make the wooden barrels for holding
the whale oil.
# "A. B. " stands for Able Seaman.
|2. This is the"Dublin Packet" owned by the WELLER Bros.
of Sydney. The Dublin Packet carried my GGgrandfather from Dunedin
to Timaru in 1839.|
You will note that it carried two "gangs" to two destinations.
The leader is called the "headsman" and for the two gangs they
were Thomas BROWN and Joseph PRICE. . .
Ref: Whaling in Southern Waters by Frank Tod, p. Dunedin 1982.
page:82, photocopy of the original HARWOOD document, gives. . .
|Mr Thos. BROWN's Gang
Wm. REID ----- PRICE
Thos. FLOOD ----- cooper
Wm. SMITH ----- carpenter
John LEWIS . . . 16 landed
| Note:. . . Wm. REID and two others
did not land.|
|Mr Joseph PRICE's Gang
Saml. PATTASON ----- carpenter
Wm. BROWN ----- cooper
|List of whaleboat crews taken from HARWOOD's original records at the Hocken Library.|
Thomas BROWN was headsman for another of WELLER brothers' whaling establishments at Hikuraki Bay Bank's Peninsula. - Hocken Library
Samuel WILLIAMS was a boat-steerer at the whaling station. WILLIAMS stayed on at Timaru after the station closed and he was later proprieter of the Timaru Hotel. He died at Timaru in 1883, at the age of 64. A bluestone monument, apparently erected by his fellow citizens, describes him as the oldest resident of Timaru at the time of his death.
Philip RYAN was the cooper in 1839 and later left for Banks Peninsula"
| Terry wrote: "I thought you might be interested
in some additional information that I have|
on the " Dublin Packet". . .
Ref: Shipwrecks New Zealand Disasters, 1795-1950, Chas. W. N. INGRAM and P. Owen:1839
WHEATLEY, A. H. & A. W. REED, Second Edition 1951, gives. . . page: 27
'Dublin Packet', schooner: On the evening of June 9, 1839, the schooner
was totally wrecked at Taieri Mouth, about 30 miles south-west of
Otago Heads, three of her complement losing their lives when attempting
to reach the shore.
The 'Dublin Packet' sailed from Otago on June 6 for WELLER Brothers'
Tairei whaling station, where she was to land stores and ship oil.
The vessel arrived at Tairei Mouth on June 9. A heavy sea was rolling
into the bay and the schooner was moored with both anchors ahead. At
dusk the same evening it was found that the 'Dublin Packet' was drifting,
and in a very short time the heavy sea drove her on the reef, the
vessel striking with great force. The crew sought refuge in the rigging,
where they remained until the mast went by by board.
In the struggle to reach the shore three men drowned. They were the
second mate, the steward and a mentally-deranged seaman from the American
whaling ship 'Favourite', who was being sent as a passenger to Sydney,
where he was to be admitted to a mental hospital.
An attempt at rescue by a boat from the shore was unsuccessful. At
daylight on the following morning not a vestige of the 'Dublin Packet'
was to be seen where she struck, but the beach was strewn with wreckage.
The body of the steward was recovered and buried.
The wreck of the schooner was purchased by George WELLER for four
pounds ten shillings. The ' Dublin Packet' was a schooner
of 108 tons register, commanded by Captain WELLS, and owned by Mr
George WELLER, who had purchased the vessel in March, 1838.
The schooner was insured for 1,200 pounds, and her cargo, comprising
43 tuns of oil, one ton of bone, six tons of potatoes, and whaling
stores, was insured for 2,000 pounds.
Additional reference books, these are considered essential reading for any researcher of whaling and Murihiku and The Southern Islands - A history of the West Coast Sounds, Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island, The Snares, Bounty, Antipodes, Auckland, Campbell and Macquarie Islands, from 1770 to 1829 by Robert McNAB p. Invercargill, NZ 1907.
sealing around New Zealand and Australia. . .
Whaling and Sealing at the Chatham Islands by Rhys RICHARDS p. Roebuck Society #21, Canberra, 1982. ISBN 0 909434 12 3
William Stewart - Sealing Captain, Trader & Speculator by J O'C ROSS p. Robuck Society #37, Canberra 1887. ISBN 0 909 434 28 8
Mary-Anne Warner, 2002