injury to the barque herself. The incident which occurred three weeks ago is similar to an ordeal which was passed through by the barque Bankhall which arrived at Fremantle from I Glasgow in a battered condition on Friday last.
The Meinwen which is a fine looking
steel vessel of 1 490 tons and a frequent
trader to Melbourne was off St Paul's
Island - about midway between the Cape
of Good Hope and Australia - when the
incident happened. She was sailing before a moderately westerly wind
when suddenly a mountainous wave estimated to be about 40ft high rose over the stern, fell with a terrific
crash upon the poop and swept the vessel's
full length. It carried away the wheel
box and steeling compass, knocked down
the starboard compass, smashed the cabin
skylight, tore the tarpaulin covering off
the main hatch and the wooden covering
of one of the boats, and at the same time doing
other damage of a minor nature.
Although I have pursued the Harlow account (ad nauseum) clearly there are other possible explanations for the sudden disappearance of the 465 ft. Waratah. This description of a rogue wave brings into sharp focus the destructive potential of the phenomenon. Note that the wave does not necessarily have to be connected with or the result of a storm at sea. If Waratah's fore hatch was smashed in by such a wave at some position and time after 9.30 am 27 July, she could have gone down within minutes with all souls trapped in a certain doomed fate.