Ocean Arcs: The Hudson Bay Route, Landmarks of ‘Home’

Sailing ‘East About’

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The Eddystone Light:

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Located 50° 10’.80 N 04° 15’.90 W to mark the reef at Eddystone Rocks/a.k.a. ‘the Stone’ (off the SE coast of Cornwall, 14 kilometres south west of Rame Head, 13 miles south west of Plymouth, approximately 14 miles out to sea), “the Eddystone light-house was so situated, as to be of equal service to all nations having occasion to navigate the channel between England and France” [Clarkson Stanfield, Stanfield’s Coast Scenery: A series of views in the British Channel, from original drawings taken expressly for the work (London: Smith, Elder and Company, 1836), 60.]

See also:

Eddystone Lighthouse History, http://www.eddystoneeel.com/LIGHTHOUSE%20HISTORY.htm

Eddystone Lighthouse, Gallery, Trinity House, http://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/interactive/gallery/eddystone.html

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“The first Eddystone (Edie Stone) Lighthouse,” Capstan Cigarettes advertisement, Illustrated London News, 1950, showing Winstanley’s tower (1698-1703). Source: John Weedy, Illustrated London News Website, http://www.iln.org.uk/

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Peter Monamy, “A Hanoverian Yacht and her escorting ships hove to off the Eddystone Lighthouse, possibly for a Royal visit. A positive identification of the yacht is extremely difficult given that the same basic design was common to most royal yachts of the period. What is of more interest, however, is the view of the lighthouse. Built of wood by John Rudyerd and completed in 1709, it was the second lighthouse to be erected on the Eddystone Rock and was in use until destroyed by fire in 1755. Whereas the famous first and third structures, built by Henry Winstanley and John Smeaton respectively, are well-known from contemporary illustrations, surviving pictures of Rudyerd’s tower are very rare.” Source: Charles Harrison Wallace, “Lighthouses Three,” http://www.cichw.net/pmlight3.html

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Isaac Sailmaker, “Men-o’-War and other Vessels before the Eddystone Lighthouse,” c.  1720?, showing another view of Rudyerd’s Tower. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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“Eddystone Lighthouse,” 1836, showing Smeaton’s Tower (1759-1882). Source: Clarkson Stanfield, Stanfield’s Coast Scenery: A series of views in the British Channel, from original drawings taken expressly for the work (London: Smith, Elder and Company, 1836), n279.

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Douglass’ Tower (1882-present), near the base of Smeaton’s Tower. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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“Keeper of the Eddystone Light by Michael Strange,” a ‘halyard chantey’ posted to You Tube by recordoobscura 25 December 2009.

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‘Traditional’ & Alternate (equally traditional?) Lyrics (Wikipedia identifies the chanty as of 18th century origin, Debbie Dolphin dates it c. 1760, commenting it was “written for the fourth lighthouse built by John Smeaton between 1756 and 1759“) :

Me father was the keeper of the Eddystone Light,
And he slept with a mermaid one fine night
Out of this union there came three,
A porpoise and a porgy, and the other was me!

With a yo-ho-ho, let the wind blow free,
It’s all for the life on the rolling sea!

One night, as I was a-trimmin’ the glim
And singing a verse from the evening hymn  [alt: from a heathen hymn]
I see by the light of me binnacle lamp,  [alt: A voice from starboard shouted, “Ahoy!”]
Me kind old father lookin’ jolly and damp. [alt: And there was me mother sittin’ on a buoy]

With a yo-ho-ho, let the wind blow free,
It’s all for the life on the rolling sea!

A voice from starboard shouted, “Ahoy!” [alt: this verse not in evidence in the best-known versions, and the last two lines seem oddly current]
And there was me mother sittin’ on a buoy
Meanin’ a bouy for ships what sail,
And not a boy what’s a juvenile male.
With a yo-ho-ho, let the wind blow free,
It’s all for the life on the rolling sea!

“Well, what became of me children three?”
Me mother then she asked of me.
Well, one was exhibited as a talking fish,
The other was served as a savory dish.

With a yo-ho-ho, let the wind blow free,
It’s all for the life on the rolling sea!

The phosphorous flashed in her seaweed hair
I looked again and me mother wasn’t there,
But her voice came echoing out of the night,
“To hell with the keeper of the Eddystone Light!” [alternate: The Devil take the keeper of the Eddystone Light]

With a yo-ho-ho, let the wind blow free,
It’s all for the life on the rolling sea!

Sailing ‘North About’

John O’Groats House,” Nor’-Wester (15 February 1861), 1.

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