White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900
An Unfortunate Ship.
Captain Foote, who was in command of the ship Gladys on the only two voyages made to the Dominion, had good cause to remember the second passage to Wellington in 1902. the Gladys was a large vessel of 1345 tons, built by Hill and Sons, of Bristol, owned by the Shaw, Savill Co., and chartered in 1902 by the New Zealand Shipping Co.
On the second voyage, the following year, the Gladys left Liverpool on 25th January, and arrived at Wellington on 21st May, 1902—116 days out. The ship had a rough time throughout the passage, and on 13th May, when within 300 miles of Wellington, a terrific westerly gale suddenly sprang Up, raging furiously, and the sea ran alarmingly high. One tremendous wave broke over the vessel, battering in the starboard bulwarks like so much matchwood. The fore topmast, main topgallant mast, and the mizzen foremast went by the board. The forecastle head was gutted out, lights were smashed, two boats went overboard, and the deck fittings and houses were knocked to splinters. The heavy sea which swept the ship washed Captain Foote off the poop on to the main deck and severely injured the mate. The crew lost the whole of their effects, and several of them were injured. When the wreckage was cleared it was found that hardly a sail remained. Tarpaulins were rigged on the main and mizzen rigging and a course shaped for Farewell Spit. When off Stephen's Island the Union Company's steamer Poherua fortunately came to her assistance and towed her into Wellington. the Gladys was then in a bad way, with a foot of water in her hold and no longer answering her helm. As will be seen from the photograph the vessel arrived at Wellington a complete wreck.
Some months were occupied in repairing the ship, which was entrusted topage 103 Messrs. Cable and Co. and Paull and Roberts, at a cost of upwards of £3000, while the claim of the Union Company, which was settled without the cost of legal proceedings, was £7500.
Dragged Her Anchors.
When the Gladys was again ready for sea Captain Foote found further trouble ahead owing to the conduct of the crew, which had the effect of keeping the ship in the stream for many days. At length Captain Foote sailed away for Gisborne, and after taking on board 6346 bales of wool set sail at 10 a.m. on 31st January, 1903. A stiff breeze blowing caused the Gladys to drag her anchor, and before she could shape her course she got into shallow water, with her head towards the shore and rolling considerably. The Union Company's steamer Waihi and the harbour dredge endeavoured to pull her off, but were unsuccessful. Fortunately, shortly before darkness set in the Union Company's Omapere arrived, and with the assistance of the John Townley at high water successfully towed her into deep water. Had the Omapere arrived an hour later, it was stated, darkness would have prevented the work being done, while a southerly which sprang up during the night would certainly have piled the vessel up on the beach. The Union Company recovered £2000 salvage money.
Another vessel of the same name, a barque of 499 tons, in command of Captain Taylor, and chartered by the New Zealand Shipping Co., arrived at Auckland in 1878. The barque left London on August 31, and had a favourable run, with light winds, as far as the Cape, which was passed on November 4. Two days later a hurricane was encountered, which blew the lower topsails out of the bolt ropes and did other serious damage about the deck. From this out the barque had a succession of gales to Cape Leeuwin, thence a series of light easterly and north-easterly winds prevailed to the Three Kings, which were sighted on the 26th, and Auckland reached on the 28th December, 1878, the passage occupying 118 days.