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In One Ear: When the rooster crows …

Ships and barnyards don’t mix
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on January 26, 2018 12:01AM

The Ear has been remiss, and neglected to mention the Jan. 18, 1882 wreck of the American bark, Harvest Home. Capt. A. Matson was sailing with a light cargo to Port Townsend, Washington, from San Francisco at the time, according to a report in Lewis & Dryden’s Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1895).

About 8 miles north of what was then called Cape Hancock (now called Cape Disappointment), they were sailing along in what Lewis & Dryden’s calls “thick weather.” What no one aboard knew was that the chronometer (which determines longitude by means of celestial navigation) was malfunctioning.

They only became aware of the problem after the man on watch happened to hear a rooster crowing in a nearby farmyard. Of course, it was way too late by then, and they ran aground. The wreck is pictured, courtesy of “The Long Beach Peninsula,” by Nancy L. Hobbs and Donella J. Lucero.

Happily, when day dawned, all hands just hopped off the ship and walked ashore. They didn’t even get their feet wet. The Harvest Home stayed put, “affording considerable interest to the thousands who summer on the beach.”


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