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PEN AND PENCIL SKETCHES

OF

SHIPPING AND CRAFT

ALL ROUND THE WORLD

BY

R. T. PRITCHETT

Marine Painter to the Royal Thames Yacht Club

LONDON
EDWARD ARNOLD

Publisher to the India Office
37, BEDFORD STREET, STRAND

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INTRODUCTION.

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The Victorian period of the present century is characterised by rapid evolution. The Red Indian is rapidly falling back before the white man and the march of intellect. The brown fibre and mat sails of the craft in savage countries are being supplanted by our well-beloved white canvas, and already is our faithful old servant the picturesque canvas driven out by the more powerful yet controllable motor

steam.”

Even the snow-white sails of our beautiful “ Britannias," Ailsas,” and “Valkyries” have to give way to pole-master steam yachts, in spite of the misery of the dreadful coaling.

How much we owe to canvas! How well it served our early discoverers in their little ships, those pioneers of England's future glory on the high seas, Columbus, Magellan, Drake, Frobisher, Cook, Anson !

The canvas period was a grand period in England's history, recalling glorious deeds of courage, daring, and patriotism, when our navy was opening up the great highway for the development of commerce. What associations were recalled when the British fleet sailed for the Russian waters! What a grand sight were the 50-gun frigates or 120-gun line-ofbattle ships under a crowd of canvas, every stitch set and drawing, with wide-spreading studding sails on both sides ; or the noble teak-built East Indiaman in full sail, or a China tea clipper cracking on in the Trades. These are now bygones, and replaced by wonders of modern science, such as our Atlantic greyhounds the “Campania" or the steamers of the “Orient” line ; to say nothing of those features of this age, our grim signal-masted ironclads or torpedo destroyers, of which the British Navy is now composed, and of which every Englishman must be proud.

The opening of the Suez Canal tolled the knell of parting canvas and opened the back-door of Eastern Europe to receive the rich products of India and China direct, instead of coming by long sea voyages in the stately ships of our merchant princes round the Cape of Good Hope, or in our celebrated China tea clippers, which were real racers. An instance of rapid and accelerated communication is shown by the fact that a letter posted at Peshawur, North India, January 26th, arrived in due course at London on February 10th-steam per mare et terras.

Again, rounding Cape Horn, the most southern point of South America, against “ the brave westerlies,” was a trying time for sailing ships, sometimes for weeks in snow- and hail-storms and gales of wind. Steamers now avoid this by running through the Straits of Magellan to the west coast of South America, Chili, and Peru, only to find that the steam-horse on land has cut them out by a short overland route from Buenos Ayres on the east coast.

Long voyages in the “Wanderer,” R.Y.S., and “Sunbeam,” R.Y.S., under the white ensign, afforded me great opportunities of seeing fibre and mat-sailed craft in the Far East, the Malay Archipelago, and South Seas, and of delighting in the balloon canvas in the Trades, whilst the auxiliary steam was a luxury when wanted in flat calms in mid-ocean or entering narrow harbours. Some of the subjects have been considered interesting enough to be brought together to form the present volume, accompanied by short descriptions, making “ Pen and Pencil Sketches of Shipping and Craft all round the World,” commencing with the Royal yacht “ Victoria and Albert," and ending with Malay proas at the Murray Islands in the Antipodes.

R. T. PRITCHETT.

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