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7 corrections, most recently by nigdun - Show corrections


Memories of the old-time clipper Torrens are recalled by the death of Captain H. R. Angel, which occurred recently in a hos-   pital at Las Palmas. Captain Angel was

one of the chief owners of the Torrens, which was built for the Australian trade in 1875, and was to a large extent respon sible for her design. She was composite built, with teak planking, and was specifically designed for carrying passengers. She was heavily sparred and carried a main sky sail yard, and for many years she was the only vessel with studding sail booms running in the Australian trade. Cap tain Angel took charge or her when she lelt the stocks in Sunderland, and com manded her for 15 voyages. Her ave- rage for the outward passage from Plymouth to Port Adelaide on these trips   was 74 days. Captain Angel always brought the Torrens into St. Vincent's Gulf Backstairs Passage, instead of   through Investigator Strait. As Commo dore of the Elder line Captain Angel flew a white flag with red crescent and stars. In 1890 he decided to retire from the sea, handing the clipper over to Captain Cope. On her first passage out under her new commander she lost her foremast and main topmast, and while she was refitting in Pernambuco, a fire broke out aboard. This was extinguished, and the masts were fitted. She reached Adelaide 179 days out. In 1893 Joseph Conrad, the cele- brated novelist, came to Port Adelaide as first mate of the Torrens. Captain F. Angel, who took command of her in 1896, experienced a run of bad luck with the vessel. On one occasion be ran into an iceberg in the Southern Ocean and she struggled into Adelaide, partly dismasted, and with her bow stove in. In 1903 she narrowly escaped being driven ashore on Kangaroo Island during a gale. On the same voyage she had a terrible buf feting in the Cape latitudes, and when at last she was being towed up the Thames she cut down and sank a vessel which at tempted to pass between her and the tug. After this she was sold to an Italian line, but she ran ashore and was sent to Genoa to the shipbreakers. They were so much impressed by her splendid lines that they repaired her, but not long after she again ran on the rocks and was finally broken up at Genoa in 1910. With the excep tion of the Loch line vessels the Torrens was the last sailer on the Australian run to carry passengers. Before he comman ded the Torrens Captain H. R. Angel had made several trips to Australia as master of the Glen Osmond and Collingrove. of the well-known Elder line. He had lived a retired life for many years, but despite his advanced age (93). he insisted on mak ing a trip to Las Palmas this year. The vessel by which he travelled ran into heavy weather, and the indomitable old skipper, who could not be persuaded to keep below, met with an accident. He was carried ashore to a hospital, and his eldest son, Captain Falkland Angel, was summoned to his bedside. He was able to reach it some weeks before his father died.