Tuesday, 10 December 2013



"He did nor like the large awning or shelter deck,
because it presented too much space to the
wind if the ship heeled over with the
wind broadside on. If she were rolling it
would help her over, and when over tend
to prevent her righting herself quickly."

This is the first time that attention has been drawn to the awning over the top deck. If one looks at the photograph of the Waratah below it is very apparent and a feature not repeated on many of the contemporary steamers of the time. I can quite believe that this awning surface area in the right wind conditions would act as a type of sail helping to 'pull' the vessel into a list and 'hold' her there. There are a number of photos of the Waratah where the awning is absent or retracted. I doubt whether Captain Ilbery would have deployed the awning, mid winter, Wild Coast, July, 1909.

"John Henry Maxwell, a fireman, who
worked his passage from London to Port
Adelaide in the Waratah on her last voyage,
said that when lying in the London
dock without cargo she had a "pretty fair
list to port."

"At Sydney, while discharging from one hold to another
she seemed a bit crank, first to starboard and then to
port. She was upright when loaded."

This stands to reason in any period steamer, I would think..

awning prominent in this photograph of the Waratah

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