The Samoa Hurricane of 1889.

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Voyage Map of the Cruise of HMS Calliope

The map shows the approximate track of HMS Calliope on her voyage out to join the Far East Squadron (in red) to joining the Australian Squadron. In maroon is the track to Samoa and back, and yellow is the voyage home, with a deviation from Port Said to Zanzibar shown in fuchsia.

In reality, the ship made many other short voyages from Sydney and Hakodate that would only confuse the map.

Most of the positional data is taken from the dead reckoning and star-sights recorded in the ships log, confirmed when the vessel reached port. I am hoping to do more accurate plots when I have worked out a way of projecting the coordinates to make a clearer map.

Voyage Statistics

  •     Duration : January 25th 1887 to April 30th 1890. (Actually returned to Postmouth April 9th, but the 30th was the paying-off date and the official end of the voyage).
  •     Distance run under steam alone : 38,647.5 nautical miles.
  •     Distance run under steam and sail : 27,294.3 nautical miles.
  •     Distance run under sail alone : 10,872.6 nautical miles.
  •     Total distance run : 76,814 nautical miles.
  •     Number of days at sea : 528.
  •     Number of days in port : 663.
  •     Water distilled : 3,528 tons.
  •     Coal consumed : 8,479.6 tons.
  •     Courts Martial : One person, a domestic.
  •     Desertions : 13 persons on the Australian Station, one person (Arthur Lee) actually did it twice. Data for elsewhere not available. 13 is considered an exceptionally low number for the time and place. Most were recaptured, or voluntarily returned to the ship when they found that gold nuggets were not, in fact, simply lying around the Sydney gold-fields just waiting to be picked up.

Click the map to see a full size image, but it is big and may not view very well, depending on your screen resolution. The red track is the outward voyage, via Tristan da Cunha, Simon's Town, Singapore, Hong Kong and Hakodate in Japan for the China Station; the track continues down to Sydney when Calliope was diverted to the Australian Station; the maroon track is the journey to New Zealand and Samoa, though as I have already stated, she made lots of other trips around the local islands and townships; the yellow track is her return to England via Singapore again and the Red Sea, and Suez Canal with her diversion to Zanzibar in pink when she was diverted to the East Asia squadron. The yellow track through the Mediterranean and back to England shows the final journey home.

The map image was created by snipping from the wonderful completely free program, XEarth. You can still download it from the internet. It no longer seems to get earthquake events, but otherwise works on my Windows 10 OS. I have a shortcut in the taskbar, and click on it when I start a session. You need to play with the settings (double-click on the tiny Earth icon in the small desktop tray) and find what suits you best. For my normal desktop background, I selected "Viewpoint"-"Fixed" and entered the decimal coordinates of my home town Potton, so the Earth is always centered on Potton and daylight and nightlight moves around it. But just change something, click "Apply" and see what you think. For the above map, I used "Image"-"Mercator", "Viewpoint"-"Fixed"-"Latitude: -15"-"Longitude: 30", "Shading: Disabled", "Dots"-"Display Coordinate Grid: Enabled" and then clipped the relevant part of the map before drawing the tracks and labelling the places using Paint Shop Pro 4 (the best ever image notator and resizer program), now available as v8 from Corel.