Author Topic: Sent surgeon ashore for...?  (Read 2803 times)

Danny252

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Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:09:35 pm »
http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/Albatross/vol037of055/vol037of055_037_1.jpg

Two bits have me lost in the last paragraph:

"At 4.58 stopped off the Flyer Dock and sent the Surgeon and an officer ashore for ~ and ~ accomodations".

"Angles from anchorage - Sawmill Wharf to ~ ~ E Bluff:- 72* 50', to ~ ~ W Bluff 179*"

On the latter one, they look like r tan and l tan to me, which suggests right/left tans, but I can't assign any meaning. Also, does "angles from anchorage" have the same meaning as "bearings from anchorage"?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 10:11:57 pm by Danny252 »

Kathy

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2014, 10:18:06 pm »
The first word looks like pratique, which is  is the license given to a ship to enter port on assurance from the captain to convince the authorities that she is free from contagious disease.

I can't make out any thing for the second word.

I wonder if tan is short for tangent (relating to right angle triangles -)

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 11:06:24 pm »
"sent the Surgeon and an officer ashore for pratique and buoy accomodations"

I agree the angles (bearings) are short for "tangent" but what it means that one is "V. tan." and the other "l. tan." I do not know.  We need a real sailor. 

Danny252

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 11:12:35 pm »
I'd read "buoy accommodations" too, but couldn't make any sense of it. However, I've right this second had a flash of inspiration, and it probably refers to asking the harbour authorities to assign a buoy for the ship to moor to.

The angles/bearings also don't make terribly much sense as "East Bluff" and "West Bluff" don't seem to be specific locations in Tacoma Harbour (Commencement Bay) - they would likely just refer to the bluffs along either side of the bay, which are very extended features.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 11:14:50 pm by Danny252 »

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 11:35:29 pm »
What if they mean r.(right) tangent, not "v." - and the angle between the saw mill wharf and the East bluff to the right of the wharf being 79 degrees, and the l.(left) tangent between the saw mill wharf and the West bluff to the left of the wharf being 72 degrees.  The ship must be south of and bow pointing to the saw mill wharf?  They are not taking bearings of the bluffs at all, but it would just as efficiently indicate if the ship was dragging or swinging.

Danny252

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 11:49:32 pm »
Quote
The ship must be south of and bow pointing to the saw mill wharf?

It doesn't really make sense to be south of anything in Tacoma Harbor - you either end up alongside another wharf or in the mudflats: http://historicalcharts.noaa.gov/tiled/zoomifypreview.html?zoomifyImagePath=6451-09-1899

You can also see on that map that it's hard to give the bluffs a definite direction - no matter where you are, both bluffs would essentially stretch from horizon to horizon! It might perhaps be talking about the angle along the horizon taken up by the bluffs from where they've anchored - if they've anchored along the western wharves, it would fit the West Bluff being almost 180 degrees, but the phrasing "Sawmill Wharf to v tan E Bluff" seems a very odd way to express that.

The above map is dated 1899, and for comparison a 1910 map is linked below, although I'm not sure it provides any more answers.

http://historicalcharts.noaa.gov/tiled/zoomifypreview.html?zoomifyImagePath=6451-05-1910
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 11:55:37 pm by Danny252 »

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 12:02:20 am »
They were simply not at the wharf but out in the bay proper at a buoy, although your chart of the bay makes very clear why the mill wharf would be an ideal landmark for anchorage bearings of any kind.  I still think the first is an old-fashioned written 'r' not 'v'.  It's shaped just as my mother wrote an 'r', with a horizontal line before the sharp dip.

Danny252

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 09:17:30 pm »
I wonder if tan is short for tangent (relating to right angle triangles -)

Quote
What if they mean r.(right) tangent, not "v." - and the angle between the saw mill wharf and the East bluff to the right of the wharf being 79 degrees, and the l.(left) tangent between the saw mill wharf and the West bluff to the left of the wharf being 72 degrees.

I've given these some thought, and I wonder if "tangent" refers to imaginary tangent lines that touch the bluffs at only one point - i.e. a line from the ship to where the bluff appears to "end" (due to curving round past a point). However, I've tried putting in the angles, and the location that comes out is pretty odd, about 2.8 miles away on bearing 305 from the St Paul and Tacoma Mill's Wharf. Even today, there's absolutely nothing there! I also don't get why you'd reference the bluffs rather than Point Brown and Point Defiance, which mark where the "tangents" to the bluffs would be.

The "Sawmill Wharf" may also be open to interpretation - Sawmills popped up on both sides of the bay at various dates, including one at about 400 Schuster Parkway on the Tacoma Side (edit: seems this was dismantled in 1898, however), and also the Gawley Mill indicated on the 1910 map. However, I don't think the angles make much more sense for either of those...
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 09:25:21 pm by Danny252 »

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 02:12:33 am »
The absolutely only thing I'm certain of in this puzzle is that it is "r. tan." and not "v".  My mother's handwriting was terrible, but that is much more her 'r' than anyone's 'v' that I can remember.

Calculating the angles is beyond me, from that map.

Danny252

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2014, 12:21:09 pm »
I've been conveniently ignoring r tan/l tan, as I really can't get right/left to fit - going from the Wharf to the East bluffs, you'll be turning left. The only way to turn right would be if you're East/South of the wharf, which then conflicts with my assumption that the angle from the Wharf to the West Bluffs is 179 degrees (placing the ship between them).

Possibly a sign to give up on trying to decipher it unless we get a time machine!

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 04:52:07 pm »
Or proof positive we are looking at the wrong saw mill wharf.  ;D
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 01:05:29 am by Janet Jaguar »

Danny252

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 09:05:36 pm »
Always possible - Tacoma's early history seems quite poorly documented, at least on the internet, so it's pretty hard to make sense of any of it to begin with. Oh well, as far as the science is concerned, it's "Tacoma"!

Danny252

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 10:38:03 pm »
http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/Albatross/vol037of055/vol037of055_050_0.jpg

The ship moved off on the 17th to the Drydock in Quartermaster Harbor, between Maury Island and Vashon Island. From various photographs of the Dry Dock, I would put it right about here. Vashon Island to the N and W, Maury to the E and S.

This is of interest as the strange "R tan" notation returns, but it still makes no sense to me :(

Quote
R tan Maury Island S22W. R tan Vashon Id N6E. Sh Id S32W

Randi

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Re: Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2014, 10:31:33 pm »
From Kevin Wood:
Quote
R tan means right tangent bearing (on the end of the island).