Schlagwort-Archiv: on ship

At Sea to Havre, 8 to 14 October 1893

Aeolus promised much when „Bretagne“ ventured out into the sea but kept few of the promises. Our high expectations about an agreeable voyage were diminished more and more and finally totally shattered. It was as if we who had been happily been borne on the back of the oceans had to endure their huge forces once more before we could set foot on Europe’s old soil again.

The sky refused itself to be seen by us, as we drove in dense fog that partly fully obscured all views partly heavily impeded it with a few rare interruptions which required increased caution in navigation given the large number of Atlantic Ocean steamers on this route.

The sea was choppy during the whole voyage and at times even stormy. Wave upon wave rolled against „Bretagne“ that however as a charming French lady was not looking to turn things into a tragedy and danced in elegant movements over the menacing dangers. Unfortunately the living freight aboard danced with her and not always as gracefully and without consequences. But we were spared worse misery than seeing our suffering fellow travellers. At times, one might have believed that the angel of death had enclosed the ship with its dark wings when only we sea-proof world travellers appeared on deck and entered the bleak empty dining hall.

As soon as the sea had calmed down a bit, but only to recover its strength and to have us feel her moods again, there was a general resurrection on board and the persons assumed dead reappeared and every nook of the ship was filled with laughter, talk and lust for life, as the large majority of the passengers was of French origin. When even the clouds were cracked open for once, the activity on the ship resembled those of a mosquito swarm that disperses at the start of a storm only to reassemble at the first rays of the sun and fly up and down enjoying the light and the warmth.

Very exciting and interesting in a psychological analysis of the people were comparing the life on board of the „Empress of China“ among the English and here on board of the „Bretagne“ among the French. In the tight conditions of human relations on a ship the characteristic qualities of the two nations were distinctly on display like on a zooming mirror. As we Austrians were in our natural means closer to that of the French, even if a bit more earnest, it is no wonder that life on board was quite harmonic and that, despite the bad weather, we spent quite agreeable hours on board of the „Bretagne“. To be fair — it was not only the travel companions that produced lighter tones into the image of our fog-filled existence but also the outstanding equipment on board of „Bretagne“ that made life quite bearable, most notably in the first place by the excellent cuisine.

In combination with a good conscience, a good dining table — it might sound prosaic but is nevertheless true — is one of the prerequisites of a long sea voyage that keeps the soul in an equitable balance in order to tolerate worse events more easily and to appreciate agreeable ones more joyfully.  Especially thankful were we who had already travelled around the globe and thereby tasted all imaginable culinary output for the perfect creations from the cooking artist of „Bretagne“ and will keep the chef in good memory in recognition of our already too often severely tested stomach.

When „Bretagne“ was steering over the Newfoundland bank, we witnessed an interesting spectacle. Far in the distance one could see jets of water spout out of the sea and soon a dark shapeless mass was getting closer to the ship which finally revealed itself as whales. Eight or ten of these animals were circling the „Bretagne“ at such a shallow depth that we could not only clearly distinguish the shapes of the creatures but also some amateur photographers on board managed to take images of the colossi but without being able to recommend them to prior adopt a friendly mien prior. We vividly regretted not to be on board of „Elisabeth“, as in that case her rapid fire canon might have been used successfully for me to make my debut as a whale hunter.

During the first days of the voyage we were still able to contain our impatience to reach. The closer „Bretagne“ approached the destination of our voyage however, the greater became our inquietude until finally the expectation reached its maximum strain.

Ex Oriente lux! On 14th October late in the evening — in our yearning we had rushed ahead to the heart of our homeland — the light fire of the Scilly islands appeared far off in the distance, twinkling like a star and indicating the right course to the „Bretagne“. An indescribable feeling of joy overcame the mariners in view of the first greeting from the old continent. The light house rises, in roaring storms and weather, and sends its friendly, helpful saving light out into the dark night that like an angel overcomes the demon of darkness and enters by its rays into the mind of man.

Links

  • Location: At Sea near Newfoundland, Canada
  • ANNO – on 08.10.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the drama „Der Meister von Palmyra“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing Wagner’s opera „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“.
  • While Franz Ferdinand is already on his way to Europe, the Wiener Salonblatt informs its readers that he will next visit Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
The Wiener Salonblatt No. 41, informs its readers about Franz Ferdinand's visit to Philadelphia and Washington, DC. A visit to Independence Hall would have been quite unlikely. Anyway, Franz Ferdinand is already on board of the SS Bretagne returning to Europe.

The Wiener Salonblatt No. 41, informs its readers about Franz Ferdinand’s visit to Philadelphia and Washington, DC. A visit to Independence Hall would have been quite unlikely. Anyway, Franz Ferdinand is already on board of the SS Bretagne returning to Europe.

 

Penticton — Priests‘ Landing, 16 September 1893

In the morning I felt a bit better but still stayed on board whiling away the time by buying leather moccasins and gloves from the Indians.  The Indian ladies were so curious and really wanted to have a look at the foreign prince so that they dared to come on board guided by the missionary. I was then just occupied with entries into my diary when they arrived and stared at me. Imhof used this moment to photograph the dainty beauties who had very energetic facial features and strong bodies. The Indian women soon became aware of it but this realization produced various results. Some cried and covered up their brown faces with a shawl whereas others less shy and apparently quite vain, took off their shawl to accentuate their dense black hair.

At the pier a vivid trade had developed as the travel organizer was selling off at a considerable loss all the objects acquired for the expedition and now unnecessary such as field beds, cooking utensils etc, then the remaining tins and alcoholic beverages. Most of it was bought by Mr. Ellis, who celebrated the acquisition by getting fully drunk on the spot.

Towards noon, shortly before departure, a heavy stormy wind came up that churned up the lake so that the departure of the bulky steamer became almost impossible.  A rope with which the aft of the ship should have been swung free snapped and we drifted again to the pier and hit it booming, to the greatest pleasure of Mr. Ellis under alcoholic influence who was howling with joy about this failure of the vehicle of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company he hated thoroughly and was waving his hat.

The maneuver was repeated, the rope snapped again and this time the rebound and crash into the pier was even harder so that the pier was screeching in all its joints and we too on the ship had to absorb a mighty hit.  The excitement was now general, the wind was blowing stronger and stronger, the captain was shouting and swearing, Mr. Ellis was rejoicing, the missionary told me that he intended to come along to prepare me for death and the journey to the next world, a kind offer that I however thankfully declined for now. A third rope was launched to shift the ship. As the crew on board was insufficient, a colorful company of in part quite ludicrous guys was thronging at the gangway working eagerly for the common good. The paymaster, the passengers, the waiter in  shirtsleeves — all were pulling strongly until the joint effort proved successful. The aft turned towards the lake, the machine started and we could gain the open water.

At the station of Kelowna, which consisted of a few settler houses, I used the stay of a quarter hour to inspect a steam saw at the shore that was driven by a machine with 42 horsepower. There five circular saws and a planer turned the mighty spruce trunks of the virgin forest within the shortest time into plain boards. In a small merchant store we bought still a few leather Indian costumes and gloves. Towards 6 o’clock we were at Priests‘ Landing and stayed on board of „SS Aberdeen„. Late in the evening the rain started again.

Links

  • Location: Penticton, Canada
  • ANNO – on 16.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the tragedy „Der Erbförster“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the ballet „Excelsior“.
Die Neue Presse reports that Franz Ferdinand will depart from New York on 14 October to England and pay a visit to Queen Victoria. Apart from the New York departure, the information is completely wrong.

Die Neue Presse reports on 16 September 1893 that Franz Ferdinand will depart from New York on 14 October to England and pay a visit to Queen Victoria. Apart from the New York departure, the information is completely wrong.

Vancouver, 5 September 1893

After the beautiful evening, a dense fog appeared as a herald of the close coast. Already at 4 o’clock in the morning fog signals of our ship given with the steam whistle and siren in five minute intervals. As one could hardly see from the middle of the ship to the fore, the commander did not dare to continue the journey but had the machine stopped and awaited the morning while continuously sending out acoustic signals. At dawn our identification signal was whistled and soon repeated by a fog horn of a signal station at the coast — a convincing proof for the precision of the navigation on board. At 9 o’clock in the morning we finally started moving again, an hour later veiled contours of mountains became visible and we now could drive again at full speed. In time, the rays of the rising sun pierced the fog so that more and more some contours of the coast, mountains and wooded slopes could be recognized.  Further signs of land was the copious driftwood we saw, among it mighty cedar trunks. Many white butterflies were fluttering around the ship and also small birds paid a visit to our rigging from time to time.

The fog lifted, blue spots became visible in the sky and we saw, even though there still was a layer of fog on the sea, quite clearly the quite high coast of the American continent and could perceive even with the naked eye mighty spruces, cedars and thujas whose high trunks rose straight up. Small white houses of settlers were gleaming under the dark green of the trees.

„Empress“ steered into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca that separated the British island Vancouver from the mainland of the United States, Washington state, so that we had at the same time territories of two states in front of us. The sun provided agreeable warmth and after a number of cool days the passengers were comfortably sunning on deck.

Towards 2 o’clock in the afternoon a trumpet signal announced that Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, had become visible and soon we anchored in the harbor. The city is situated on the South-east coast of Vancouver island and Victoria harbor entertains vivid trade and shipping as a mutual place of exchange for ocean and river steamers with the harbors of the Strait of Georgia and Fraser river. The bay offers a quite friendly view. Around the bay the city is built on a ring of green hills and islands. The city reveals at first glance its modern American character: the streets run straight, the houses are mostly built out of wood in a tasteless fashion, painted reddish and covered by a forest of pillars that carry a network of telegraph and telephone wires as well as the cables for the electric lighting. In the harbor, the masts and parts of the aft of the sunk steam boat „San Pedro“ protruded sadly out of the sea.

Our stay in front of Victoria lasted but one hour that was spent for the medical examination by the harbor administration and the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers. For this purpose the giant harbor wheel steamer „Yosemite“ whose beam engine towered over the deck approached the „Empress“ closely. Apart from the passengers embarking to Vancouver there were also a whole crowd of nosy persons on board and long before the steamer had docked, a lady shouted from it who among the travellers was the prince. But I did not grant her the pleasure of my appearance and thus she had to return on land without having seen me.

Right from the first approach to America we had be exposed to one of the plagues of this country —  reporters who are notorious for their unavoidable aggressiveness and wanted to interview us immediately. The departure of „Yosemite“ shut off this fruitless undertaking and we too hoisted the anchor, steering through a number of smaller islands that presented themselves quite picturesque with their beautiful trees breathed upon by the blueish mist of the evening air. In a small channel we encountered the maneuvering English Pacific Squadron, — consisting of the flagship „Royal Arthur“, a mighty armored ship of 7700 t, a corvette and two gunboats — intended primarily to protect the fishing industry in the Bering sea and which is stationed in Esquimalt, about 48 km South-west of Victoria.

In the Strait of Georgia we enjoyed one of those rare beautiful sunsets. The sun showed itself almost in a Nordic way as a  crimson ball in the foggy air before it disappeared behind the mountains of Vancouver island. The purple contours of the islands created a sharp contrast to the evening sky.

To recover the delays from this morning caused by the fog, we drove at full speed on all boilers so that we managed up to 18 sea miles per hour. The second captain told me with a smile that the the commander and the first machinery engineer had only recently been married and where doing their utmost to reach their home in Vancouver as quickly as possible. I found this marital bliss very touching and very agreeable for all passengers as we thus could expect to land already in the evening. Quite many maritime journey would come to an end more quickly if the ship captain only had been married recently.

We still had to pass through a narrow channel. Then we saw many electric lights that indicated the presence of a harbor nearby. At 10 o’clock in the evening the „Empress“ moored at a mole, on which I immediately, despite the darkness, discovered Imhof who was expecting the arrival of the ship and whom I was to meet here. What a joy to meet a good friend, after such a long absence from home, who comes directly from there to us! No wonder that Imhof still had to answer our questions deep into the night and had to give us all kinds of news. That he also brought the mail, made him doubly welcome.

The hotel we stayed in which was also owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company instantly showed the discomforts of American hotels we were already expecting: The bad or better said non-existing service, the annoying ban on smoking and the lack of salons and smoking rooms where one could while away some time after dinner. Finally the cooking. I am certainly no gourmand and count eating among the least of life’s pleasures. Anyhow I can not become friends with the English way of cooking that is used in America too. All roasts are prepared in the same manner „à Ia roast beef“ and are notable for their one and only taste, the vegetables are only boiled with water and another dessert than the inevitable pudding seems to be totally unknown.

Links

Wiener Salonblatt No. 37 notes the safe arrival of Franz Ferdinand in Vancouver.

Wiener Salonblatt No. 37 notes the safe arrival of Franz Ferdinand in Vancouver.

At Sea to Vancouver, 26 August to 4 September 1893

During the first two days the weather was mild and agreeable, we could spend the time on deck in light clothing. Then we came into the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands and the region of the North and North-east winds which carry ice cold air from the polar regions so that the thermometer suddenly dropped to 7° C.  and the temperature difference was keenly felt. A few days ago we were exposed to 34° C.! All passengers put on winter clothes, furs or plaids and the air heating of the cabins was activated.

Life on board takes a rather regular turn. At half past 7 o’clock the gong calls to breakfast. The meals are eaten in a  beautiful spacious dining room. Otherwise we spend most of the day on the long deck. A very active committee consisting of the second captain and some passengers arranges a number of games which entertain the majority of passengers. Those who do not want to participate in the games sit, covered in plaids, in long cane chairs and read or run to and fro to stay in motion. These „runs“ are especially popular after the meals, namely among the English and American ladies who do almost incredible things. They would probably break the best records by running arm in arm of two or three persons with very long not always gracious strides and turning the edge of the deck unsafe.

During the first days my time was spent adding my travel recollections of our stay in Japan. Later I met more and more of our fellow passengers among whom there were some kind people. Opposite of my cabin lives an English painter who thankfully is able to speak French. He travels around the world for the third time, while his wife is undertaking this „small journey“ already for the eighth time. The turbulent life seems not to please the artist anymore. When we asked him if these numerous voyages of his wife were not burdensome, he answered: „Enfin, c’est une maladie comme une autre!“ Among the passengers on board is also a Prince Galitzin, who has lost an arm in Paris  in a rather prosaic way, a rich tea merchant with two blond daughters as well as a number of other ladies of various ages.

With a charming small American woman I play daily multiple games of tennis without being able to make conversation with her as she only speaks English. But we nevertheless entertain ourselves very well. Clam and another American woman are the partners. Our ground is actually terrible because it is much too small, about half the normal size and covered at 3 m in height. During the pitching movements we furthermore stand on shaky ground. We also have to always pick up the two available balls ourselves that roll around on the whole ship after each play so that there is always a small chase and search. This all does not disturb our pleasure to play tennis on the open sea.

Three other games I often participated in require a certain skill in throwing disks and rubber rings at certain numbers. Cricket, which the English would not miss, was always very agitated so that already on the first day a gentleman had broken a finger and two further players left the field of battle with injuries. A ball organized by the entertainment committee was a failure as nobody wanted to play music and dance at first and later when the Wagner enthusiast played a waltz, even though he considered this beneath him, only American couples began to dance so that the ball ended quickly. If all the ladies in the New World obey the custom of only dancing with their husbands, how boring must balls be on that continent!

Besides the games on deck, especially during the evenings, singing was honored both in individual and choir form. But due to the complete lack of good voices and the circumstance that the participants tended to sing off-key on principle the performance did in no way equal the effort put into it and produced no entertaining feasts for the ears.

With true English rigor the strict Sunday rules were executed. The paymaster performed a service. In the morning and afternoon endless chorals were sung. No game was allowed to be played. Even the Wagnerian had to stay away from the piano and when our hunters tried to play a harmless game of cards in the bar room, this was instantly prohibited. In the evening of 3rd September there was even a disputation between two Protestant pastors that the passengers listened to with devotion. One of them was Anglican, the other a Norwegian missionary, actually an unfortunate misshaped man who had lost nearly all the knowledge of European languages and customs during his six year stay in the interior of China and became the butt of jokes and taunts on board. Special hilarity was caused when he was photographed by Hodek in the costume of a Tibetan Lama.

Until 1st September the sea remained calm only a North-eastern wind produced some light ripples — weather conditions that are actually not to be expected during this season. The horizon was cloudy in the morning and the evening but the weather cleared up a bit up to noon. During the first nights we had beautiful moonshine. The color of the sea was no longer the beautiful blue or green that we were used to seeing. It was more of a leaden blue turning toward black.

A large number of various guillemots, seagulls and stormbirds were flying around our ship. Even a small representative of an albatross species showed up. But I could not determine these sky fliers more closely as there existed no sufficiently knowledgeable expert about the named bird species as this was a very unexplored and quite unknown field of ornithology.

On 30th August we passed 180 degrees longitude and now the 24 hours lost on our journey towards the East were recovered so that we countered two consecutive days of 30th August.

The ship covered 350 to 360 miles per day. In favorable winds, the sails were also set but this did not have a visible effect on the speed.

As mentioned,  the calm weather until 1st September changed and wind jumped to South-east and brought so high waves with it that even the giant „Empress“ was mightily thrown around even though the ship is well adapted for the sea and moves quite comfortably. Nevertheless all passengers became more or less sea-sick and when the weather did not calm down on 2nd September there was almost nobody else on deck beside me and my gentlemen. Staying on deck, by the way, was not very comfortable due to the cold and breaking waves. The next day returned us the sun and we had once more as beautiful a journey as earlier.

On 4th September, the next to last day spent on sea, a collection was made among the passengers and the amount collected was donated for crew games that were quite animated and offered the English sailors the opportunity to display their skills. The program covered 12 numbers among them an obstacle race over rope barriers and banks as well as through life-savers. The competitors had in the „Finish“ to crawl through a wind sail  strewn with flour and caused many hilarious scenes. Also a flat race,  a sack race, a tug-of-war and a „potato race“ were organized. In the latter those could claim a prize if they managed to be the first to to put a certain number of potatoes that had been distributed on deck into a bucket. Then followed cock fights,  a long jump etc.

After the dinner a festive air dedicated to captain Archibald and his officers composed and authored by the Wagnerian was performed by a mixed choir with dreadful dissonances.

Finally came the moment where I was pleased not to speak English as this lack spared me a bad fate. After the canons had ended,  the name of one of the gentlemen rang out among the circle: „Speak, speak“, so that the miserable chosen one could not but rise and give a speech. This custom was upheld until nearly all the gentlemen had spoken and the ship and the happy voyage praised sufficiently. When later everybody’s ship uncle Prince Galitzin with a friendly smile and some encouraging words awarded brooches and photographs of the ship to the ladies and gentlemen who had been the most skilful at the games, the speech torture was repeated for its uncomfortable victims.

Finally it was again time to sing but I fled as everybody was fully committed to mercilessly present all their complete repertoire and enjoyed the splendor of the cloudless starry sky on deck.

Links

The Wiener Salonblatt No. 35 reports FF's departure from Yokohama towards North America.

The Wiener Salonblatt No. 35 reports FF’s departure from Yokohama towards North America.

  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Die Afrikanerin“.

At Sea to Vancouver, 25 August 1893

In the morning appeared Baron Biegeleben to greet me at the head of the embassy staff and consul general Kreitner as well as the gentlemen of the Japanese entourage whose helpfulness and unceasing industry I fully acknowledge. Also the officials and court servants assigned to us, among them my friend the lifeguard and the man with the always drawn sword who we nicknamed the „executioner“, came to thank for the decorations awarded to them. For the permanent memory about the common voyage I had myself photographed with all the gentlemen of the staff. Then a festive service was held.

Finally the difficult moment had arrived of having to say good-bye to our brave ship, the gentlemen of the staff who I all came to esteem and who were always eager to make my life on board as agreeable as possible, and the brave crew. „Elisabeth“ had become my home during the eight month voyage while she carried us so faithfully across the distant seas, I have felt content, happy and every time after a longer stay on land I always returned with a feeling of joy on board that a traveler experiences when he returns to the home ground from a foreign land.

Here I learned about the good military mind and the excellent team spirit that rules among our naval officer corps. Thanks to the prudence and care of our dear commander who spare no efforts and was day and night at his post to fulfil his honorable but difficult task in any moment, thanks to the excellent leadership of our first officer, thanks to the efficiency and diligence of our navigation officer, finally thanks to the dutiful devotion of the whole staff the destination of our joint voyage has been to the pride and joyful satisfaction of all successfully reached. The quick journey of the part made by steam in connection with the relatively short stay in the various ports had placed many demands especially on the machine room crew that has always fulfilled them in any relation.

With great satisfaction I need to mention the truly exemplary behavior of the crew that kept to their stations and fulfilled their duty faithfully even under the most trying situations, especially so in tropical climates, without having access to the same conveniences of making it more bearable that I had available. A very strong mention is deserved finally by the fact that our crew always acted without blemish on land despite the not always good examples shown to them by American and English sailors. Despite the most tempting promises, not a single case of desertion has taken place.

Our navy has met once again fully the high expectations set in it, and led our flag proudly through the wide ocean to distant lands. Providence has guarded the ship that had to prove itself on its first journey, a favorable star shone above it, as no earnest danger imperilled „Elisabeth“ and no accident happened. Among the number assembled on its planks, death has claimed no victim and no severe illness has struck us.

I walked once more along the front of the crew assembled on parade on deck, said a heartfelt good-bye to all the gentlemen of the staff and entered the gala boat with the commander. When the staff rushed to the bridge and the crew moved to the salute positions and a thunderous hurrah rang out three times to the sound of our anthem, tears ran down my cheeks — I am not ashamed to acknowledge this. The memories about the time I spent on „Elisabeth“ are among the most valuable of my life and will always stay with me.

The „Empress of China“ was ready for departure, but the gangway was still filled with lively commotion. The gentlemen of the embassy and the consulate with their ladies had come once more to greet us. Relations and friends of the other passengers had turned up to say good-bye. We exchanged a last handshake with Becker and Jedina, the machine of the “Empress of China” started to work and the giant ship turned towards the exit of the port. From the Japanese warships and „Elisabeth“ shouts of Hurrah were heard, the music band oft he latter played our anthem and „O, du mein Österreich“. Next to the exit of the port, we exchanged salutes by signals and waved at our faithful companions of our voyage until “Elisabeth” was but a small white spot and Yokohama also slowly disappeared out of our sight.

On board of „Empress“, a totally new life was beginning as I could no longer move as freely as on „Elisabeth“ and I was limited to the so called promenade deck. The bridge was considered a sanctuary not to be entered. We miss the military signals, commands and calls, the shrill whistle of the boatswain, in a word everything that makes life homely for a soldier on a warship. Instead of our fast sailors we see stiff Englishmen, moody Americans and slant-eyed Chinese; instead of German, Italian and Croatian sounds we only hear English and English once more. Neither reveille nor retraite are sounded, only the dull sound of the gong calls to breakfast, lunch and dinner. The music band that used to please us twice a day with pieces from home is here replaced with an enraged Wagnerian who mistreats a lamentable piano from early in the morning to late in the evening so that one could become furious and wants to become a member in a piano protections society.

„Empress of China“, built in London in 1891, is a beautiful large ship owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. This railway company has three of these steamers in service between Hongkong and Vancouver in order to thus gain passengers for their line across Canada. Whether these covers the costs I do not know as the costs of service are huge and the number of passengers most of the time small.

The key dimensions of the ship are: 139 m length, 15,5 m width and depth. The deplacement is 5904 t, loading capacity is 3008 t; the direct force three times expansionary machine has 10.000 indicated horsepower and provides the steamer with a maximum speed of 18 knots per hour. Coal consumption is 200 t in 24 hours at full power. The rigging consists of four pillar masts with gaff sails. The interior board lighting is fully electric. The ship has space for 170 first class passengers, 26 steerage and 406 deck passengers. At the moment there are 72 of the first category, 7 of the second and 160 passengers of the third category on board. Captain of „Empress of China“ is R. Archibald, reserve officer of the British navy. The crew consists of 71 Europeans and 142 Chinese. My spacious and comfortable cabin — except for a short bed — is located under the bridge and next to the deck salon.

As on any English passenger ship one is quickly turned into passenger number „XY“ and has to comply with the general board instructions that especially strictly limit smoking.

For some time we continued to drive alongside the Japanese coast, escorted by „Yaeyama“ on which had embarked our ambassador, the two legation secretaries and consul general Kreitner. Finally we heard a hurrah from „Yaeyama“ and then we in time lost sight of both the warship and the coast — we steer in the open sea!

Links

  • Location: Yokohama, Japan
  • ANNO – on 25.08.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Die Jüdin“.

Nagasaki, 2 August 1893

In the morning there were heavy rainstorms from South-west and South-South-east. Due to the rough sea „Elisabeth“ was at times pitching up to 18°. In the late morning the island of Udsi was sighted for a short time. Towards noon we saw the group of the Koshiki islands. Then a heavy rains poured down on us that prevented sighting anything and only after 4 o’clock in the afternoon it cleared up a bit so that Nomo Cape came into view and we now could set the course for the harbor of Nagasaki.

Nagasaki lies on Kyushu (nine provinces), the most Southern of the large Japanese islands. The Empire of Japan, also known as Nippon or Nihon, of 382.412 km2 and 40.718.677 souls, contains, as it is well known, a number of islands of which four are of considerable size, namely Kyushu, Shikoku, Nippon or Hondo, the mainland that constitutes the actual Japan and finally to the North of it, Yezo. The rest of Japan’s surface is divided among a number of smaller islands.

A tall pillar of smoke revealed the small island of Taka at the entrance to the long-winded bay of Nagasaki, on which the sincerely bad fat coal is extracted with which the steamers entering Nagasaki usually are supplied.

The island of Kyushu or, more precisely, its Western heavily broken up peninsula of Hizen appears as a mountainous area fully covered by greenish vegetation. The coast and especially its offshore islands feature grotesque shapes in multiple places. In general, the entrance resembles that of a Norwegian fjord despite all the splendour of the harbor of Nagasaki as the about three sea miles long water strait leads in multiple turns between islands and land tongues until finally the harbor opens up and the city of Nagasaki — the „long promontory“ — becomes visible in a basin and and on the mountain sides in the background of the bay. A sharp division separates the clear European villa quarter out of which rise the signal masts of the consulates from the Japanese part of the city whose monotonous grey sea of houses extends at the North-eastern beach. At the entrance to the inner harbor are marine establishments, docks etc. of the Japanese naval station.

Already in the open sea we had been expected by the Japanese torpedo cruiser „Yaeyama“ and, having signalled its intention to serve as a guide, drove as a pilot ship in front of „Elisabeth“. From the deck of „Yaeyama“ the music band sent over sounds that apparently were intended to represent our anthem — a consideration we felt obliged to return by playing the Japanese anthem in reply.

I entered without standard into the harbor of Nagasaki which made the Japanese desist to fire gun and yard salutes from the numerous anchored warships for which all the preparations had already been made. A torpedo boat circled around us in the harbor at lightning speed and assigned us our anchorage that was marked by a flag in our colors swimming in the water. At the entrance of the harbor lay a larger English cruiser, „Leander„, that had been forced by machine damage to call here. Furthermore there was a squadron of Japanese warships in the harbor, that is namely:  the flagship „Itsukushima„, then the ships „Matsushima“, „Takawo“, „Takatshiho“, „Kaimon“ and „Katsuragi“, joined by our pilot ship „Yaeyama“. All these warships represent imposing beautiful ships that have been built based on the most modern models and have been armed with all innovations of maritime technology and arms as Japan sacrificed considerably to build its fleet and is quite a bit proud about its naval force that currently contains 55 ships with 55.053 t, 79.694 indicated horse powers and 439 guns as well as a complement of 6815 men.

Still during the evening our ambassador Rüdiger Baron von Biegeleben came on board in gala dress to inform me about the program of my stay in Japan about which I learned to my astonishment that my desire to drive on board of „Elisabeth“ up to Yokohama and only there officially start the journey could not be fulfilled. The preparations for the journey across the country had already been made and the representatives of the Japanese entourage whom I asked for to meet in Yokohama had already arrived in Nagasaki. Therefore I had to pass on driving on my dear „Elisabeth“ through the often praised inland sea and quietly visit at least a part of Japan in an unofficial capacity  and had to have me guided across the country by Japanese dignitaries already from Nagasaki in a festive procession, a sort of triumphal  cortege.

Links

  • Location: Nagasaki, Japan
  • ANNO – on 02.08.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Don Juan“.

At Sea to Nagasaki, 1 August 1893

The journey continued in good slightly misty weather and assisted by the fresh monsoon from South-South-west as well as favorable wind conditions. During the night the air pressure again showed a tendency of decreasing.

Links

  • Location: In the East China Sea
  • ANNO – on 01.08.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Lohengrin“.

At Sea to Nagasaki, 31 July 1893

Early in the morning we were on the same height as Amoy. The weather remained in our favor and an only partially agitated sea indicated that a cyclone must have moved a short time ago through the Formosa Strait. This feared passage was recently the place where the horrible typhoon had „Bokhara“ into a catastrophe while our small „Fasana“ knew to survive the storm almost unharmed.

Links

  • Location: In the Formosa Strait
  • ANNO – on 31.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing a ballet „Excelsior“ and more.

At Sea to Nagasaki, 30 July 1893

Apparently we succeeded to evade the depression that moved West thanks to the foresight of the commander as the results of our weather observation were favorable and the horizon showed itself clear.

Towards 6 o’clock in the morning the course was reversed to the direction of the Formosa Strait at the small rock Pedro bianco emerging out of the sea and we sailed as quickly as possible to our next destination of Nagasaki, sailed in the true meaning of the word as we set our only sail for the first time during this journey — the wind blew from aft. This however made more an impression as a gadget than actually increasing the speed of our journey. In a modern warship, the rigging is completely in the background and the sail is replaced completely by the machine. A part of sailor poetry gone that became the victim of our inventive century! The machine, by the way, wanted clearly to show what it was able to do compared to the sail. It worked so hard that we achieved the highest number of sea miles driven per day and made good quite some part of the time lost caused by reversing our course. During the night we entered the Formosa Strait.

Links

  • Location: In the Formosa Strait
  • ANNO – on 30.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. The Neue Freie Presse reports that the King of Siam has accepted the French ultimatum and will cede territories to the French.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing a ballet „Wiener Walzer“ and more.

At Sea to Nagasaki, 29 July 1893

At the time of departure from Hongkong we enjoyed the splendid weather, so that we could hope for a good journey through the Chinese Sea, which is feared for its frequent and very intense typhoons, even though the air pressure had a falling tendency for two days. But we had barely reached the open sea when all the signs of approaching bad weather appeared. The horizon turned, in sailor speech, „ugly“. Light cirrus clouds ran from North to South. From the East came an increasing groundswell the closer we approached the Strait of Formosa.

The sunset was nothing less than beautiful. In the evening the air pressure dropped rapidly and the groundswell began to run crossed from East-North-east and East-South-east. The sea grew stronger and „Elisabeth“ pitched mightily. There was no doubt that a cyclone was approaching. The commander first ordered the speed of the journey slowed down in order to observe the further developments but then decided, when the barometer again had fallen and the groundswell increased again, to evade the approaching cyclone. We thus turned, having reached Shantou, a region often visited by typhoons, at a quarter past 9 o’clock in the evening and steered back towards Hongkong. The more we drove towards the West the more the drop of the air pressure stopped, a fresh Western wind turned up and the ship was still for a short time pitching in the groundswell coming from the aft but this calmed down soon.

The Wiener Salonblatt notes FF's departure from Hong Kong to Nagasaki,

The Wiener Salonblatt notes that FF could not visit Bangkok due to the French-Siamese conflict and FF’s departure from Hong Kong to Nagasaki,

Links

  • Location: At Sea near Shantou
  • ANNO – on 29.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing a ballet „Die goldene Märchenwelt“ and more.