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Volume One Number Six

The Stormy Ocean
Portland, Oregon 1891

The Steamer Arago Had a Hard Time

San Francisco, Dec. 28 -- The steamer Arago, which arrived here from the north today had one of the roughest voyages of the season. On her last trip she encountered heavy storms and had to be thoroughly overhauled and repaired. The repairs, judging from the battered condition of the vessel this morning, will have to be made all over again. The Arago left Coos Bay Christmas morning, before she reached Cape Bianco however, a breeze from the southeast sprang up, fresh at first but afterward increasing in velocity to a gale. But little progress could be made against the heavy wind and Capt. Langhorn hove his vessel to under the lee of the Cape.

For 36 hours the engines were idle, and a melancholy Christmas was spent by those on board. At the end of that time the sea had quieted somewhat and the wind had got around to the northwest. The Arago made another start but favorable weather did not stay with her long. The wind veered around to the southeast again, and the seas were higher and heavier than ever.

It was impossible to remain outside and the only one above deck was Capt Langhorn who stood on the bridge wrapped in oil skins for 40 solid hours. Canvas weather cloths were stretched upon either side of the pilot- house to save the windows and men at the wheel. A sea afterwards washed over the ship completely burying the vessel and smashing against the smokestack with a force which threatened to tear it from its fastenings.

The steamer siren was bent by volumes of waters. Waves pounded against its deckhouse and into the cabin, saloon and galley, completely gutting all three departments. Dishes and everything portable was knocked about inside and outside and there was but little sleep for anyone on board. All day Saturday and all night long the steamer tossed about but the staunch little craft weathered the storm and on Sunday morning there came a lull and the storm gradually subsided.

The Arago was not the only vessel that suffered from the heavy weather. The steamers Columbia and Oregon were bar-bound at Astoria several days but finally managed to get over the Columbia bar on Christmas morning. They experienced a heavy head wind and rain all the way down and after a very rough passage reached here this morning 24 hours late. The Walla Walla was due from Victoria and Puget Sound ports but she too was delayed and it is not expected that she will arrive before tonight. --Morning Oregonian


The above story is only one of several in this edition.

Read our other maritime edition!

Read our Volume One, Number Seven Capt Gray Sails the Columbia, 1792


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Bridget E. Smith, editor & publisher

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Historical Gazette
Published in Portland, Oregon
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