Category: THISTLE


August 17, 1897 : When the first beams of the rising sun began to color the dull eastern sky yesterday a tugboat could be seen puffing up the Lower Bay toward the Narrows with a tall-masted, shapely sloop in tow.

The sloop which was quietly speeding her way toward the Narrows was the famous cutter Thistle, the pride or Scotland, the hope of England, and the joy or the combined British Isles, Ireland included. The cutter, which has crossed the ocean in the hope or carrying back to Great Britain the famous America's Cup, on the possession of which the hearts of the inhabitants or Great Britain have so long been set, did not assume any airs.


July 26, 10 A. M.- Got under way from Gourock Bay. Fresh wind and fine weather; occasional showers. 11:30, passed Wemyss Bay. Noon, Largs Channel reached and large company of ladies and gentlemen joined us. Proceeded in tow of steamer Mohican to Whiting Bay where company left at 3:35 P.M., and we cast of the hawser.
4 P.M., wind southwest, cloudy: tacked to westward. 5 P.M. southwest one-half west to Pladda: wind southwest, cloudy; tacked to southward. 6 P.M., tucked to southward in light wind and drizzling rain. 8 P.M., light easterly airs, fine weather. 9 P.M., passed Sanda. 2 A.M., passed Mull of Cantyre. 3 A.M., Rothlin Island bore southwest 4 ½ miles, from which departure was taken; stringed log and set channel course. 9 A.M., increasing breeze, failing barometer; took in gaff topsail and double reefed mainsail and forestaysail. Noon, wind strong and increasing, with rain. Torry Island bore by account south, true distance 18 miles. Day’s run, 152 miles; course west-southwest.
July 27- Day opens with fresh breeze, lowering barometer. 4 P.M., took in jib; cross sea running. 6 P.M., more moderate wind; set whole forestaysail. Midnight, fresh breeze; occasional showers. 4 A.M., increasing breeze, heavy squalls; double reefed stay and foresails and third reefed mainsail. 8 A.M., strong breeze, heavy head sea. Passed bark Hiawatha, of London, bound west. Noon, moderate gale, heavy sea; wore ship to southwest. Day’s run 155 miles; course, north 89 west; winds west, southwest, and west; latitude 55° 36', longitude 12° 53‘.
July 28- Day begins with strong gale, heavy head sea, ship head reaching to southwest. 5 P.M., moderating a little; set double reefed forestaysail. Midnight, bore to northwest, wind backing to south. 2 A.M., barometer slowly rising; set forestaysail. 6 A.M., strong breeze, cloudy weather, heavy sea. 8 A.M., heavy rain. Noon strong breeze, occasional very heavy squalls. Day's run 70 miles; course south 68 west; winds, northwest to southwest; latitude 55° 11', longitude 14° 46’.
July 29- Day opens with strong breeze, squally weather. 4 P.M., more moderate; shook out third reef in mainsail. 6 P.M., calm, with heavy sea from westward. 8 P.M., breeze starting from northwest. 10 P.M., wind increasing; took in stay foresail. Midnight, strong gale; took in third reef in mainsail. 4 A.M., strong gale, heavy sea, hard squall; ship behaving very well. Noon, same. Day’ run 84 miles; course, south 45 west; winds, west-southwest to northwest; latitude 44° 12’ longitude 16° 27'.
July 30- Day begins with strong gale, very heavy sea, vessel head reaching to southwest with third reefed mainsail. 6 P.M., more moderate; set reefed forestaysail. Midnight, shook third reef out of mainsail. 6 A.M., set whole mainsail, jib, and gaff. 8 A.M., moderating; dull, cloudy weather, heavy westerly swell; hoisted number to bark to eastward. Day’s run 93 miles; course, south 48 west; wind northwest by north; latitude 53° 11’ longitude 18° 22’.
July 31- Day begins with moderate breeze, fine weather, all sails set. 8 P.M., tacked to southwest, wind steady. Midnight, tacked to westward. 6 A.M., saw steamer bound east, too far off to signal. 8 A.M., light breeze, fine, clear weather; took, sights for chronometer. Noon, same weather. Day s run 103 miles; course, south 82 west; winds, west by south and variable; latitude 52° 57', longitude 20° 59'.
Aug. 1- Day begins with light airs and calms, heavy westerly swell. 8 P.M., same. 10 P.M., light south-southeast wind; set spinnaker. 2 A.M., moderate wind, fine clear weather. Noon, fresh breeze and fine weather. Day's run, 90 miles; course south 66 west; winds, calms and east-southeast: latitude 52° 20’ longitude 23° 23'.
Aug. 2- Day begins with fresh breeze, fine clear weather; all possible sails set. 6 P.M., full-rigged ship seen 8 miles to southward. 8 P.M., spinnaker halyards carried away; repaired in short time. 10 P.M., fresh breeze, hazy, heavy cross sea. Midnight, same. 4 A.M., fresh breeze, heavy rain. Noon, wind fresh, sky overcast. Day’s run: 247 miles; course, south 68 west; latitude 50° 46', longitude 29° 47’.
Aug. 3- Day begins with fresh breeze, overcast sky; all possible sail set. 12:30 P.M., less wind and changed to northeast; jibed and set spinnaker to starboard. 8 P.M, moderate breeze and foggy. 10 P.M., took in spinnaker and set forestaysail. 4 A.M., moderate breeze, fine clear weather. Noon, light breeze fine weather; tacked to northwest. Day's run, 158 miles; course south 62 west; wind east-northeast to west-northwest; latitude 49° 34', longitude 33° 04'.
Aug. 4- Day opens with light breeze and fine weather; all sails set by wind. 4 P.M. , light wind; misty. 3 P.M., moderate to fresh breeze and passing showers; bark seen, bound east 10 miles distant. 10 P.M., heavy rain; wind suddenly shifted to northeast. 4 A.M., strong breeze; cloudy. 8 A.M., strong breeze, cloudy, and heavy sea; bark seen 8 miles to eastward under lower topsails and courses. Noon, strong breeze; cloudy weather and overcast. Day's run 187 miles; course, south 73 west; winds, west by south and northeast by north; latitude 48° 10’ longitude 37° 36'.

Aug. 5- Day opens with strong breeze, heavy sea. 4 P.M., more moderate, occasional showers. 8 P.M., fresh breeze and cloudy. 4 A.M., wind veered to east; set spinnaker. 8 A.M., light breeze, fine clear weather. 10 A.M., took in spinnaker, set foresail, unsteady wind. Noon, light airs and calm. Day‘s run, 166 miles; course, south 66 west; Winds, northeast and variable; latitude 47° 38’, longitude 41° 22'.
Aug. 6- Day opens with light variable winds, fine weather; tacked to westward; light airs and overcast. 2 P.M., moderate breeze; tacked to north. 4 A.M., tacked to west. 8 A.M., tacked to northwest; fine steady breeze. Noon, fine breeze, smooth sea. Day's run, 103 miles; course, south 68 west; winds, southwest to northwest and variable; latitude 46° 53' longitude 43° 11'.
Aug. 7- Day opens with fresh breeze, fine clear weather, sea contused; steamship seen eight miles distant bound east; hoisted number: latitude 46° 34’ longitude 44° 45'. Midnight, fresh winds, heavy dew northwesterly sea. 6 A.M., strong breeze and hazy; passed schooner bound west, long distance off. Noon, strong breeze, fine weather. Day's run, 198 miles; course, south 72 west; wind, southwest; latitude 45° 50’, longitude 48° 11'.
Aug. 8- Day begins with strong breeze, clear weather. 4 P.M., passed brigantine Anna Marie, of Nantes, for Bordeaux. 6 P.M., saw bark bound east, four miles distant. 8 P.M., saw signal lights or steamship bound east, in latitude 45°11’, longitude 50° 20’. 10 P.M., passed number of fishing vessels; increasing breeze, falling barometer; took in gaff topsail and staysail. 2 A.M., strong breeze and fog; confused sea getting up; double reefed mainsail. 6 A.M., moderate gale, heavy sea, rain; took in jib; vessel behaving well. 10 A.M., more moderate; set reefed foresail. Noon, thick fog; horn going constantly. Day's run, 219 miles; course, south 70 west; wind, southwest; latitude 44° 37’ longitude 53° 01’.
Aug. 9- Day opens with moderate gale, heavy confused sea, heavy rain. 2 A. M., wind suddenly veered to northwest; tacked to southwest. 4 A. M., set whole forestaysail. 10 A.M., increasing breeze; reefed foresail. Midnight, squally. 6 A.M., less wind, sea heavy, hard squalls occasionally. 8 A.M., set whole stayforesail: squalls not so severe. 10 A.M., set jib; large bark seen to eastward. Noon, strong breeze, cloudy. Day’s run. 132 miles; course, south 57° west; wind, southwest to northwest and west northwest; latitude 43° 23', longitude 55° 23’.
Aug. 10- Day opens with strong breeze, cloudy weather. 4 A. M., less wind and sea; barometer fast rising; set whole main and gaff topsail; 8 A.M., fresh breeze, fine weather, occasional showers. Midnight, decreasing breeze, wind backing to west. 8 A.M., light breeze, smooth sea; passed large quantities or gulf weed. Noon, light breeze, fine clear weather; tacked to northwest. Day's run, 167 miles; course, south 60 west; wind, northwest and west; latitude 41° 58'; longitude 58° 50’.
Aug. 11- Day opens with light breeze, fine, clear weather. 4 A.M., light airs and calms. 8 A.M., calm, close and sultry weather. Midnight, light airs from east; set spinnaker. 4 A.M., moderate breeze, hazy and overcast weather. 8 A.M., fresh breeze and cloudy. Noon, fresh breeze, cloudy weather. Day's run, 86 miles; course, south 83 west; wind, variable and east by north; latitude41° 48', longitude 60° 46’.
Aug. 12- Fresh breeze, cloudy heavy sea from southeast; all possible sail set. 4 P. M., squally appearance to southeast: took in gaff topsail. 4 A. M., moderate breeze, fine weather; hoisted number to steamer bound east. Noon, light breeze, cloudy weather. Day's run, 170 miles; latitude 41° 17', longitude 61° 25'.
Aug. 13- Day opened with light, variable airs, cloudy. 8 P. M., increasing breeze, lightening to southwest; passed steamer bound east. 2 A.M., heavy rain. 8 A. M., hoisted number to three-masted steamer bound east. Day ended with fresh breeze, and cloudy weather. Day‘s run, 137 miles; latitude 40° 40', longitude 67° 19'.
Aug. 14- Fresh breeze, fine, clear weather; all possible sail set on the vessel. 4 A. M., sighted full-rigged ship bound west. 6 P. M., passed bark bound east. 2 A. M., passed steamer bound east. 4. P. M., passed four ships and several steamers. 10:30 A.M., steamship Lord Clive passed close and took report; passed Anchor Line steamship at same time. Day‘s run, 175 miles; latitude 40° 03', longitude 72° 01'.
Aug. 15- Light, variable winds, fine weather. 10A.M., breeze increasing, wind to southward; set spinnaker to port. Noon, fresh and fine. Day’s run, 195 miles, latitude 40° 05’, longitude 73° 06'.
Aug. 16- Moderate breeze. 1 P. M, Pilot Charles Anderson, or boat No 3, boarded vessel 41 miles southeast magnetic from Sandy Hook. 9 P. M., Navesink lights north-northwest magnetic 20 miles. 2 A. M., passed Sandy Hook Lightship, three miles away. 3:20 A. M., passed Scotland Lightship, two miles away. 4 A. M., tug Wendell Goodwin took vessel in tow. 6 A. M., came to anchor off Tompkinsville, Staten Island.

  LAT. LONG. Dist
July 26 10:00 Gourock 152
July 27 55° 36' 12° 53' 155
July 28 55° 11' 14° 46' 70
July 29 54° 12' 16° 27' 84
July 30 53° 11' 18° 22' 93
July 31 52° 57' 20° 59' 103
Aug. 1 52° 20' 23° 23' 90
Aug. 2 50° 46' 29° 47' 247
Aug. 3 49° 34' 33° 14' 158
Aug. 4 48° 10' 37° 36' 187
Aug. 5 47° 38' 41° 22' 166
Aug. 6 46° 53' 43° 11' 103
Aug. 7 45° 50' 48° 11' 198
Aug. 8 44° 37' 53° 01' 219
Aug. 9 43° 23' 55° 23' 132
Aug. 10 41° 58' 58° 50' 167
Aug. 11 41° 48' 60° 46' 86
Aug. 12 41° 17' 61° 25' 170
Aug. 13 40° 40' 67° 19' 137
Aug. 14 40° 03' 72° 01' 175
Aug. 15 40° 05' 73° 06' 195
Aug. 16 Sandy Hook  
  Total: 3016



04518SThe Thistle left Gourock Bay, Scotland, at 10 A.M. Tuesday, July 26. Her crew consisted of 21 men all told, and was carefully picked. Capt. John Barr was assisted in the navigation of the vessel by Capt. Donald Kerr, whose official title is navigation master.
The crew consisted of Mate Alexander McDonald, Second Mate Daniel McKenzie, Steward William Wright, Cook Alexander Hill, Second Cook Archibald Mc Nicol, Sailmaker John Graham, and Seaman John Fyfe, John Graham, Daniel McKeliar, William Craig, James Wilkie, Archibald McIntyre, James Shedden, James Hughes, Angus Kennedy, William Holmes, Hug Mowatt, William Grittin, and John Crawford. With the exception of the navigation master, the cook, and seamen Daniel McKellar and Angus Kennedy all were on board during the home races and at the time of the rescue of the Harkaway's survivors.