Built as an iron-hulled paddle wheel second class aviso in Bordeaux for the French Navy.
13 September 1883 laid down.
10 July 1884 launched as the PINGOUIN one sister.
01 September 1884 first test firing of the boilers
Tonnage 300 ton. Dim. 43.26 x 7.23m. (12.21m. including paddle boxes.) Diameter of paddle wheels 3.89m. Paddlewheel rpm 36.
Powered by one 2-cylinder steam engine 225 or 250 hp. speed? Coal and firewood reserves for the galley = 28,200 tons.
Brig rigged, sail area 177.4 sq. meters.
Armed with 2 – 65mm guns on turntables, one fore one aft, and 2 – 37mm revolver cannons which could be placed on the paddlewheel casing, or on deck aft or tops.
Mainmast height = 18.46m, diam. 0.345m.
Mizzen masts = 19.41m, diam. 0.345m.
Coal and firewood reserves for the galley = 28,200 tons.
Carried boats 1-7m, 1-5m, 2-3.5m.
Assigned to Obock (northern Gulf of Djibouti).
Part of its crew was massacred in Ambado by the Somalis in 1886. Taken up in several newspapers this tragic event strongly marked the spirits. Below is an extract from the newspaper "L'Univers Illustré" dated December 4, 1886, under the title "The Massacre of the PENGOUIN crew": "A boat, which had been collecting fresh water at the coast, was attacked by the Somalis. The chief petty officer in command of the boat and six unarmed men was massacred.
his small vessel is under the orders of Mr. Lagarde, which used the vessel as headquarters, he was the Governor of French Somaliland and commander of Obock.
The ship ended its career as a lazaretto in the years 1910-1920. She sank at her moorings.
You could still see the wreck in the port of Djibouti in 2002.
French Somaliland (Somali Coast) 1894 5Fr. sg 103, Scott 20.
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