Thursday, 21 January 2016

SCANTLING WITH BARNACLES.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 4 January, 1910.
Sabine Search.
The only time during the voyage that wreckage ofany sort was seen was on October 4 (1909). On thatday the watchers saw a piece of scantling  floating in the water. It measured, roughly,about 8ft by 6in broad and 6in deep. Theship was worked up as close as possible, butthe weather was too rough to lower a boat.The piece of scantling was covered with barnacles, and must have been in the water fora considerable time. The special circle ofsearch, which had as its centre latitude 39 deg.south, longitude 40 deg. east, and was about400 miles in diameter, was reached on September 17, and left on October 6, during whichtime 3409 miles were covered. 
Could this piece of scantling have originated from the Waratah which disappeared more than two months prior?
I doubt it. 'Covered with barnacles' suggests more than two months. But it was an interesting discovery, some 675 n. miles from Cape Hermes. The position suggests that the scantling piece started its journey somewhere along the South African coast, was carried by the Agulhas Current southward, retroflecting off the Agulhas Bank (which is clearly visible on the image off the southern tip of South Africa) and then by currents heading in a generally eastward direction.






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