Thursday, 10 March 2016


The issue of Captain Ilbery 'pressing' the Waratah came up at the Inquiry. It related to Waratah's increased consumption of 15 tons of coal per day. The extract below is drawn from a letter written home by Mrs. Hay, describing the passage from Australia to Durban. According to Mrs. Hay's account, Waratah averaged 13.75 knots per day, which was marginally faster than her registered speed of 13.5 knots. It was argued that increased distillation of water accounted for the increased coal consumption, but why would this amount be any different from previous voyages? No, I believe the increased coal consumption related to a very heavily laden steamer.

The Advertiser (Adelaide) Wednesday 29 December, 1909.

This is my eighteenth passage. I had 
thought it was the seventeenth, but I 
find it is the larger number.
It seems to me ages since I left Adelaide,
but I dare say after Durban it will not
seem so long. The last two days we have
had splendid runs, 330 miles each day.
So, owing to these great distances, we shall
reach Durban on Sunday instead of Mon-

This certainly contributed to the additional 15 tons coal consumed per day.

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