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Post by aukepalmhof » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:54 pm

When gold was discovered in California, the American clipper ships were the fastest vessels afloat, and the quickest means of transport for large groups of prospectors around Cape Horn to California.
When gold was found in Australia, the English owners were looking for additional fast transport from the U.K. to Australia and many clipper ship was ordered in the U.S.

One of the first ordered was the extreme clipper LIGHTNING, built on the yard of Donald McKay in East Boston, Mass. for James Baines & Co. (The Black Ball Line), Liverpool.
03 January 1854 launched under the name LIGHTNING.
Tonnage 2.083.88 gross, register tonnage 1.468 tons, burthen 3.500 tons, dim. 245 x 42.8 x 23ft., length of keel 226ft.
Sail area 13.000 yards.
Building cost £30.000.

Built for the passenger- cargo trade to Melbourne, Australia. She was very sharp built, the only ornament on her bow was a beautiful full-length figure of a young woman holding a golden thunderbolt in her outstretched hand, the flowing white drapery of her graceful form and streaming hair completing the outline of the bow.
She was fitted out with an iron fresh water tanks holding 36.000 gallons water, a novelty at that time.

Her maiden voyage was under Capt. James Nicol Forbes; she sailed from Boston on 18 February 1854 for Liverpool.
01 March 1854 she made the fastest day run in 24 hours of 436 miles, average speed 18.2 miles.
03 March arrived at Liverpool after a passage of 13 days and 20 hours, from Boston Light to Rock Light.

Sunday 14 May 1854 the LIGHTNING under command of Capt. Forbes sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne, till the Canaries there was not much wind and progress was slow, at least on 31 May the wind increased and she did make 13 knots.
15 June she was off the Albrolhos Islands. 17th July during the night she was almost wrecked on the Kerguelen Islands, but with much luck she got free of the island. 29th July around 10 am land was sighted what was identified as Cape Bridgewater and Nelson, arrived 31st at Melbourne after a passage of 77 days.
20 August she left under tow of the steamer WASHINGTON after passing the North Head the tow let go and under full sail with a good breeze she headed south, on the 24th she passed the Auckland Islands, she still headed more to the south till she was south of 57 20S.
After 19 days she reached Cape Horn, 21 days later she passed the Equator, took on board the pilot on 21st October. Arriving Liverpool the next morning at 09.30.

06 January 1855 under command of Capt. Anthony Enright she sailed from Liverpool and after a passage of 73 days she arrived at Melbourne.
On one of this voyages in 1855 she carried 47 salon passengers, 53 second cabin, 20 intermediate and 253 steerage passengers who were accommodated in the tween-deck. Crew 87.
In 1856 she did have 504 souls on board on her outward voyage.
Her homeward voyages were the passenger’s numbers much less; in 1855 she had on her homeward passage 254 passengers.
The LIGHTNING carried a printing press and every Saturday a paper the ‘Lightning Gazette’ was handed out to the passengers

On her 4th voyage from Melbourne via Cape Horn, she almost was wrecked on the Bristows, off Enderby’s Island

On her 5th voyage to Australia she sailed 430 miles in 24 hours. The second longest day’s run recorded for a sailing vessel.
When she returned home this voyage on 01 August 1857 she was chartered by the British Government along with her two sisterships the JAMES BAINES and the CHAMPION OF THE SEAS to suppress the Indian Mutiny. At that time steamers could not be used, she did not carry sufficient coalbunkers for the haul around the Cape of Good Hope.
She was towed from Liverpool to Gravesend were she embarked 650 men and officers of the 7th Hussar regiment. Capt Enright was relieved due to illness of his wife by Capt. Byrne. 25 August 1857 she sailed from Gravesend
After a passage via Cape of Good Hope she arrived in India on 20 November after a passage of 87 days. Her movements are somewhat mysteries thereafter, most probably she made a voyage with coolies to the West Indies, she did not appear in any Liverpool sailing till December 1858 when she sailed for Melbourne, returning in Liverpool on 11 May 1859 after making the round voyage in less than six months.

30 July 1861 she lost a sailor, when tending the sails, he fell from the royal yard and after he struck the topgallant he fell in the water and was lost in position 43S 16W.
After she reached Melbourne on 30 August 1861, she made a voyage from that port to New Zealand and returned to Geelong before returning to Liverpool.

After 1861 she made regular one round voyage to Australia in a year, special return cargoes from Australia were difficult to find, and sometimes she had to wait months before she got a return cargo, or sailed back in ballast.
30 November 1862 homeward bound from Melbourne under command of Capt Clark, when nearing Port Philip Head with the pilot still on board she hit a at that time previous unrecorded rock, not much water leakage was discovered and the LIGHTNING proceeded to sea, but before Cape Horn was rounded the pump was constantly running to keep the water out of the ship. The pump was driven by a steam engine, the LIGHTNING did not have sufficient coal on board to maintain the donkey boiler with fuel, and so before she arrived in Liverpool all spare spars had been cut and were used as fuel. When she was dry-docked in Liverpool after arrival, a big piece of limestone was found imbedded in her hull.

1867 She was sold to Thomas Harrison, Liverpool, but she was still used by the Black Ball Line to Australia.

Sunday 31 October 1869 when under command of Capt. Henry Jones, and berthed alongside the Yarra Street Pier at Geelong, with a full cargo of wool on board and ready to sail, a fire was discovered in her fore hold.
Crew and firemen from shore were fighting a losing battle, and the burning ship had to be moved away from the pier to protect the pier and berthed vessels. Moorings were cast off and the LIGHTNING drifted into Corio Bay. Some wool was unloaded on a lighter or dumped in the water. Then an effort was made to scuttle the ship, soldiers brought two 32 pdr. guns to the pier and opened fire, but even with a range of around 200 till 300 yard most of the shells missed, and the shells who hit did more harm than good by given the wind access to the fire. The ship burned the whole day till sundown when she sank, only the charred stumps of her masts showing above water.
The cause of the fire was agreed, spontaneous combustion.

By 17 February 2.500 bales of wool had been salvaged. Twelve days later she was sold as she lay by auction, but not any bid only an offer to remove the wreck for £1.995 what was accepted.

The plan was to blow her up with explosives, sixteen oil tins with each 150 lb. of explosive were put in the hull by divers. On 21 April the mayor pressed the trigger. There was a gurgle amidships and another near the stern, then a dull thud was heard followed by an eight foot column of water. The Yarra Street Pier shook but not much happened more, only a smell of burnt powder and a few pieces of floating wreckage. A section of decking floated around but otherwise the hulk appeared intact. But the explosion had loosened the timbers and the wreckage was easily broken up and floated ashore.

Comoro Islands 1984 150f sg 543, scott 593
Liberia $15
Mali 1997 250fr. sg?, scott 903a
Micronesia 1993 29c sg307, scott168g.

Source: Hazards of the Sea by Capt. John Noble. The Passage Makers by M K Stammers. The Colonial Clippers by Basil Lubbock. ... 1854).html

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Post by aukepalmhof » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:27 pm

The stamp issued by Turks & Caicos in 2001 with the inscription “The Clipper Ship 1845-1865 (USA) depict the clipper LIGHTNING. The stamp is designed after a painting made in 1930 of the ship by the Japanese painter H Shimidzu, Yokohama. ... 229&catid=

Turks & Caicos 2001 60c sg?, scott?

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Post by Anatol » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:27 pm

Lightning 1854.
Djibuti2013;500f;SG? Tanzania1999;400;370;SG? Grenada /Carriacou &Petite Маrtinique 2001 $ 1.25 SG? Malawi 2013;450;SG?

D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen
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Post by D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Sun May 21, 2017 2:26 pm

Dhufar 1977, 4 b. StG.?
lightning dhu..png

Posts: 847
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Post by Anatol » Sat Nov 13, 2021 10:21 am

LIGHTNING (1854-1869), 1,468 tons, length 244 ft, beam44 ft. depth 23ft. Of wood construction, designed and built by Donald McKay at his East Boston yard for James Baines' Black Ball Line. One of three clippers (LIGHTNING, CHAMPION OF THE SEAS, and JAMES BAINES) built by Mckay in 1854and a fourth (DONALD MCKAY) in 1855 for the Black Ball Line, LIGHTNING was of extreme clipper design with a concave bow. She was fast:in strong steady wind and twice made 24 hour runs at an average of 18 knots. She was not so good in light airs. Her first five voyages to Melbourne were in: 76 days, In 1857 (along with JAMES BAINES and CHAMPION OF THE SEAS) she carried troops to India because of the Mutiny. Subsequently, she made twelve voyages to Melbourne.
In 1869,preparing to leave after loading wool at Geelong, flames burst from her fore hold. She was towed off from the wharf and eventually scuttled.
The design stamp is made after painting of Jack Spurling.
Is.Canouan of St.Vincent 2020;(8x3)$
Clipper LIGHTNING.jpg
Clipper LIGHTNING.jpg (78.99 KiB) Viewed 119 times
lightning.jpg (107.54 KiB) Viewed 119 times

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