A perilous passgage

Narrow Escape of the Schooner Picton – Three Days From Wellington to Oswego

Oswego Daily Times, Monday, December 1, 1879

The schooner Picton, Captain Ostrander, with barley from Wellington, arrived here yesterday morning, after a perilous passage of three days. To a Times reporter Captain Ostrander gave the following account of the trip:

We left Wellington at 12 o’clock of the night of the 26th. It was snowing hard and I kept her in the lake all that night and the next morning about 8 o'clock I ran into Wellers Bay near Consecon and dropped an anchor. I laid there with a heavy snow storm and gale from the southwest until the morning of the 28th when a north-west gale sprung up with a heavy sea running and severe snow squalls.

About 7 o’clock she began dragging her anchor and I found it necessary to cut the line and let the anchor go. I ran for Oswego and got abreast of here Saturday afternoon, but it got so thick that I had to head her into the lake. I was running under squatted [1] foresail and double reefed mainsail. The foresail got so iced up that I couldn't get it on her and about 6 o'clock P. M. when it cleared up for a moment, I saw we were in the breakers about seven miles below here. I let go an anchor, which fortunately held, and we lay about four lengths of the vessel from the shore. The schooner kept jumping under, clean to her forecastle, which we had to batten down and live in the cabin. In short time the schooner became one solid mass of ice, and at ten o'clock yesterday when the tug came after us we looked like an iceberg.

Capt. Ostrander went ashore just before the tug arrived, with the intention of coming up here for a tug. The crew all remained on the vessel. Capt. Ostrander desires to express his thank to the Life Saving crew for assistance rendered him in getting up his anchor, and for other help. The Picton had 9,400 bushels of barley for Failing Pratt.

 

[ Back ] Footnote 1: "Squatted" used for "reefed".