Thursday, February 24, 2022

Coulter -- Junk of the Three Bold Chinese -- February 24, 2022

San Francisco Call, 01-December-1894

William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call. Please excuse the racism.

The Battle of the Yalu River, during the first Sino-Japanese War, took place on 17-September-1894. A Japanese fleet defeated the Chinese Beiyang Fleet. I don't follow the reference to "the efficacy of gin."

Click on the image for a larger view.

A Long Voyage and a
Bad One, Too.
The Heroes of the Yalu Are
Emulated by Brethren.
But the Voyagers Did Not Have
Enough Provisions to Last
Them the Trip.

Three bold Chinese fishermen of Monterey have outdone the feats of that bold navigator, Captain Andrews of London, by making the voyage from Monterey to this city in a battered junk.

The Celestial marine phenomena did not win renown without much suffering and exposure, however, for when they tied their boat up to the piling north of the ferry-slips Saturday afternoon their stores had run down to a handful of rice and a little brackish water.

For thirty days the three pigtailed seamen of the south buffed the winter storms off the coast, and were obliged to sail well out to sea to avoid the recent hurricane that caused so much damage to ships.

How the craft got into port without being reported by the Merchants' Exchange is peculiar, but inquiry of the employes of that institution brought out the fact that fishing-boats and junks often pass in and out at the beads and are seldom registered.

Though originally a two-masted craft, the hardy survivor of a boisterous four weeks of voyaging reached San Francisco by dependence only on one not too lofty spar and single-ribbed sail for motive power. Her "canvas" was torn and dirty, her halyards and stays loose and soggy.

After knocking about at the end of the new ferry slips, an object of much wonderment to travelers by the local ferries and a mark of ridicule for amazed boatmen, the junk was pulled out of the way of prospective collisions with passing steamers and taken to the Mission flats, where she now is. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack to find her, but a long search was finally rewarded yesterday.

The three non-committal and exceedingly cadaverous-looking heathen who constituted the queer boat's crew are not sufficiently well versed in English to give a very technical account of their trip. They all had been fully educated in the use of that very convincing expression "Heap hungry," and after repeating it several times made it known that for the last ten days of their trip they were reduced to a diet of a few spoonfuls of rice and an occasional smell at a gin bottle. Like the heroes of the battle of the Yalu, they are firm believers in the efficacy of gin.

The boat left Monterey on November 5 and expected to make this city in a few days is one story. Another is that the craft was out on a fishing excursion and was blown off the coast by the gales. This harbor was reached after vain attempts to set back to Monterey. Provisions were low, as stated, and when the three sons of Confucius hauled down their sail at the city docks they were little short of starved.

The junk is an old boxlike affair with a high bow and a square stern. There is a deckhouse and a small gallery forward and aft of the mainmast. Quarters below are by no means palatial. There is a smell of ancient fish and rancid oil about them. A couple of bunks are arranged like shelves across the after end of the "cabin."

The vessel does not appear to have suffered so much from her battle with the waves as one would suppose, for a few stitches in time in her tattered sails and a few pieces of planking and a handful of nails will place her in repair sufficiently to make a trip back home, provided the wind does not threaten more big storms.

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