Glenlee Voyage No 5

Glenlee under British ownership from 1896 – 1919, made 14 voyages including four circumnavigations of the globe and 15 passages round Cape Horn. 

Glenlee Voyage No 5 

Master William Fraser

Crew 24

Cargoes; General; coal, nitrates

Liverpool –Adelaide — Newcastle (New South Wales) — Valparaiso — Caleta Buena — Pisagua — Rotterdam 

15/08/1901 — 15/10/1902

Departure   Arrival   Duration of Passage

Liverpool 12/08/1901 Adelaide 22/11/1901 102 days

Adelaide ?/12/1901 Newcastle 03/01/1902 5 days

Newcastle 30/01/1902 Valparaiso 22/03/1902 51 days

Valparaiso 18/05/1902 Caleta Buena 26/05/1902 8 days

Caleta Buena 25/06/1902 Pisagua 26/06/1902 1 day

Pisagua 26/06/1902 Rotterdam 17/10/1902 113 days

This was the first of five voyages undertaken by Islamount (Glenlee) where she carried nitrats from the west coast of south America to European ports. It was also the occasion of her first circumnavigation on a voyage which lasted fourteen months.

She left Liverpool bound for Adelaide with what was probably a general cargo on the 12th August 1901 arriving on 22nd of November. After unloading, she took on and ballast for the next leg of her voyage. 

Newcastle lay at the mouth of the Hunter River on the Tasman Sea and was the chief exporting port for the Hunter coalfields. Ships in ballast off-loaded at “The Dyke”,an area of scrubby bush and endless sand dunes which earned it the nickname “Siberia” among deepwater sailor’s. Thereafter, she joined the seemingly endless  ranks of windjammers at the loading wharves to take on a cargo of coal for Valparaiso. Coal was an essential commodity to the Chilean nitrate industry as the country had no natural resources. 

Islamount passed the prominent landmark on Inglesa Point on the southern side of Valparaiso Harbour on 22nd March and dropped anchor shortly after. staying at the bustling port for almost two months before sailing north to Caleta Buena in ballast where she briefly docked before continuing on to Pisagua, one fo several nitrate ports around Iquique. she entered the shark infested bay under full sail, the crew standing by the halliards and running gear to take in canvas as she approached the anchorage. The 1st Mate stood on the fo’c’s’le head in readiness to order the anchor to be let go while the ships carpenter waited at the windlass below to release the brake and let the anchor cable run out. When the order came, the chain cable roared as it ran out and the bower anchor plunged down to the sea bed. The last of the sails were clewed up and the ship rode quietly at anchor. this was the closest the ship would get to the mainland as cargoes were loaded and off-loaded in the bay by local stevedores using lighters. 

usually 40 or 50 vessels occupied the harbour at any one tim. Masters often refused to grant shore leave to their crews as most places were shanty towns full of legions of crimps, criminals, deserters, pimps and prostitutes. The old barque River Indus was permanently moored in the bay functioned as a mission ship providing at least one haven for Christian beliefs and values.

Islamount sailed from Pisaqua on 26th June in the middle of the southern winter and made a safe passage round Cape Horn arriving Rotterdam on  17th October 1902