Storms at Sea

storms at Sea
Adelaide Observer (2)

Week 16: #52 Ancestors Storms

The Caroline arrived in Port Adelaide on 25 April, 1855. The journey of the Caroline from Southampton to Port Adelaide took 104 days. Light winds had chiefly been present throughout the voyage. But, disaster struck on the 8th February when lightning struck the vessel and carrying away the fore and main sail. The ship was totally disabled by the lightening. The American ship the Samuel Adams was in the vicinity of the Caroline. The captain of the Samuel Adams presented Captain Walker with his spare topmast allowing disaster to be diverted.


The wows of the Caroline did not stop there as the ships carpenter refused to set up the fare-topmast that had been dismantled by lightning. Because of his refusal to work he was put in irons and allowed a pound of bread and 3 pints of water a day. The work to repair the topmast was undertaken by the chief mate John Douglas and two emigrants. A total of sixteen carpenters were aboard the Caroline as assisted passengers.  The two emigrants who helped John Douglas have not been named in any reports, yet one could have been Edward Waller Loades. The Police Court record of the time states that the “Magistrate observed that from the evidence that a gross neglect and refusal of duty had been proved against the carpenter; but the captain had taken the law into his own hands and should have waited for the law to act. So he too was at fault.

port adelaide 2 sketch ST Gill
Port Adelaide, sketch by S.T. Gill (held in S.A. Art Gallery). – Photograph courtesy of the State Library of South Australia

The arrival of the Caroline into Port Adelaide would have been greeted with relief. While the journey had been relatively calm.  The assisted passengers were a mixture of tradesmen, with the greatest percentage being listed as laborers. The Adelaide Times noted that from the general appearance of the emigrants those aboard the Caroline will prove of value to the colony. As the paper went on to say “the emigrants on board the Caroline, who seemed to have been very carefully selected are all English. The LOADES family were among the emigrants who arrived on the Caroline. Their arrival and other in the LOADES family history have been discussed in a previous post “What Passenger Lists Can Tell Us”.

#52ancestors52weeks week 16


  1. de Lacy, Charles, Stormy Sea Scenes with Sailing Ships, accessed from
  2. “The Caroline”. Adelaide Observer (SA 1843-1904), 28 April, p.5, viewed 19th April 2018,
  3. Port Adelaide, sketch by S.T. Gill (held in S.A. Art Gallery). – Photograph courtesy of the State Library of South Australia.
  4. POLICE COURT—PORT ADELAIDE. (1855, May 1). Adelaide Times (SA : 1848 – 1858), p. 3. Retrieved January 12, 2016, from 

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