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THE RECENT CYCLONE.

A SCHOONER'S EXPERIENCE.

(PRESS ASSOCIATION TELEGRAM.) GISBORNE, April 30. To show the cyclonic nature of the recent storm, Captain Marten, of the schooner Waiapu; has given some information that should be of special interest to nautical men. The Waiapu, which was bound from Timaru to Gisborne, had a remarkable experience. She was off Castle Point when the storm was raging at its height, between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Friday, when the Zuleika was being dashed to pieces on the rocks at Palliser Bay, arid the Pirate was being washed ashore on Portland Island. With the Zuleika the gale was blowing fiercely from the south ; with the Pirate, 150 miles away, it was a north-easterly gale; with the Waiapu in the centre of the cyclone it was dead calm. For the four hours indicated one could have held a lighted candle on the deck of the schooner. There was not a puff of wind to blow it out. Though there was this deadly stillness in the air there was plenty to remind Captain Marten that; he was in the centre of the storm. The'"seas were tremendous, converging from alii, directions and sweeping over, the little vessel all the time. There were heavy thunderbolts aud tremendous rain. "It didn't rain—the water fell in tons—and there were hailstones fit to blind you." There is a safe rule fdrtheguidance of mariners that in storms of this nature the vessel should be got away from the storm centre, else the seas might overwhelm her, so Capt. Marten followed this rule and made for the eastward upon the starboard tack. Here the oil engines of the Waiapu came into service, for with a dead calm sails were useless. Four Hours of the use of the engines brought the schooner out of the cyclone centre and ran her into the gale, where, though the storm raged fiercely for two days, she was undoubtedly safer than if she had remained becalmed in such fearful seas. ' Capt.' Marton, speaking after fifteen years' experience and observation, says in a southeasterly gale there is a terrible sweep towards Cook-Strait, and to lessen the number of shipwrecks foreign masters .oasting round Now Zealand should be warned that it is necessary to make at least three points off land to allow for this inset.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18970501.2.42

Bibliographic details

THE RECENT CYCLONE., Press, Volume LIV, Issue 9716, 1 May 1897

Word Count
386

THE RECENT CYCLONE. Press, Volume LIV, Issue 9716, 1 May 1897

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