Forces of Nature

Here is another small, interesting tidbit in the long story of Falls of Clyde. I found it during a search for information about Captain Crispin, one of the ship’s masters during the 1880s.

The following appeared in the The Dundee Courier and Argus after the ship’s arrival.

ANOTHER STORMY PASSAGE OF A GLASGOW SHIP.—The ship Falls of Clyde, which arrived in the river on Sunday night from Calcutta, was yesterday placed alongside the Low Water Jetty. She has experienced very stormy weather on the passage. While she was in the North Atlantic a severe hurricane was encountered, being one of the fiercest that Captain Crispin has experienced during his twenty-eight years as commander of a vessel. Captain Crispin has on board a small quantity of pumice-stone which he picked up about 1500 miles from the land, the sea being then covered with pumice-stone, which was supposed to have been thrown up by the volcanic eruptions at Java. — The Dundee Courier and Argus, 5 Feb 1884, p. 4

The “volcanic eruptions at Java” refers to the catastrophic series of explosive eruptions of Krakatoa that took place in August 1883.

Summary of events: The Eruption of Krakatoa, August 27, 1883

A few days later, The Dundee Courier and Argus (12 Feb 1884, p. 8) noted that Captain Crispin had donated “9 specimens of pumice-stone, and one jar of small pieces thrown out of Mount Krakatoa” to the Dundee Free Library and Museum. According to the paper, some of the smaller samples of pumice were “swept by the waves on board the Falls of Clyde.”

I wonder if those samples still exist somewhere in Dundee?


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