'The Puntinha, Madeira, Jany 1st 1849. Taking a look at one's ship'

No. 1 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849 - 52 (following the unnumbered PAI4605). Captioned by the artist on the album page below the image, as title. This drawing is reproduced in Fanshawe's biography (1904) f. p. 160, which also recounts the incident from his journal (pp. 160-61).

The Pontinha is the waterfront of Funchal, Madeira, here shown in dreadful New Year morning weather. The artist is not aboard his ship, the 18-gun sloop 'Daphne', but shows himself anxiously looking out from the ramparts towards her, tossing at anchor in the roadstead below. A Portuguese soldier - probably an officer rather than a sentry, since the latter would carry a musket - stands smoking on the right. The excited child in a nightgown on the left, with its barefooted mother or nurse sheltering far right, may be connected with the soldier. Their link with the artist, unless simply because they were there, may be that he was briefly lodging ashore with them.

Fanshawe had sailed from Portsmouth in 'Daphne', his first command as post-captain, on 10 December 1848 to join the British Pacific squadron under Rear-Admiral Phipps Hornby, based at Valparaiso, Chile. He anchored in the warship anchorage off Funchal on the 30th and was ashore when, early on 31st, a heavy swell from the south-west quickly got up followed by the gale shown. The swell prevented his first lieutenant (Ashe), left in temporary command, being able to weigh and make a safe offing, so the 'Daphne' had to ride it out hoping her anchors held. They did but four of six merchantmen also at anchor were driven ashore and wrecked on the rocks shown through the embrasure, while an American barque only narrowly escaped through a shift of wind. 'Daphne' sailed on the 4th, having lost an anchor (subsequently retrieved and shipped on) and with Ashe's thigh broken by an accident with the cable that morning. He was invalided home from Rio.

Object Details

ID: PAI4606
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Fanshawe, Edward Gennys
Vessels: Puntinha ca.1849
Date made: 1 Jan 1849
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 127 x 177 mm
Parts: Album of watercolours of Madeira, Brazil, the Falkland and Pacific Islands, Chile, Panama, Mexico, Vancouver, and California (Album)

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