Iwas discharged as a sick seaman in the hospital at Mombassa, Kenya. I was transported to Durban, South Africa via a troop ship. The Captain of the Daylight had me rehired and paid a Bond to transport me back to Vancouver, B.C.
Then began the long trip home. I went on a Troop ship from Durban to Port Said via a Polish Ship. From Port Said I went to Liverpool via a British Ship. We stopped at Alexandria and took on thousands of British Desert troops, who all got seasick at the same time. The Mediterranean sea can be some what choppy in January. The main food we ate seemed to be 'Kippers'. I still dislike 'Kippers' to this day. We stopped at the Rock of Gibraltar and went through the Straits into the Atlantic Ocean with our course set for Liverpool, England.
We had one alert of German planes but did not get hit.
From Liverpool I went on another British Ship to Halifax, Nova Scotia. This was a new passenger ship, built in 1939, I had a cabin to myself which was a treat. From Halifax it was a long train ride to Vancouver B.C. I arrived back in Vancouver B.C. twelve months after leaving from the Port of Vancouver on the sailing ship Daylight.
Conclusion by Jack Owen, December 2003
In Seattle I was interviewed by retired Sea Captain Harold D. Huycke, Editor: and Secretary/Treasurer for the North American Cape Horners Association and Newsletter.
From him I learned there is a possibility I am the only one left of the
Canadian crew. He felt the amount of men who have sailed around Cape Horn on a
sailing ship, carrying ammunition during the war, you could count them on your
fingers. There weren't that many sailing ships at the time. Such things as
Yachts or Training ships do not count, we are talking about a ship taking a
cargo and being a Sailing Ship.
John (Jack) Owen, born 1918 in Manchester, England. Died 2004 in North Vancouver, B.C. Canada He immigrated to Canada as a small child with his family. During the 1940's he traveled the seas working on Oil Tankers for Standard Oil. He is survived by his wife.
Article in the Durban Star Aug. 1943
There is no prettier sight than a full rigged sailing ship riding the waves under the bluest of skies. Such sights are only too rare nowadays. The march of time demands speed and more speed, and sailing ships just don’t measure up to it.
But only a day or two ago I saw a sailing ship slowly making her way to a Union port. I had a chat with her skipper and some of her crew. I expected them to tell me how they had outwitted a U-Boat. But they said they had not seen a moving thing, except birds and flying fish, since they left a west Canadian port.
Faithful Crew...The ship has an interesting history. She was built nearly 40 years ago and was the last, and one of the largest of her line. Then she went the way of many of her kind – she was turned into a barge and did service for many years on the Canadian coast.
But ships, and more ships, were wanted during the war and she was brought back to service nearly two years ago.
Her crew loves her. One of them, a hospital case, with a leg to be mended, told me that every man aboard is serving in her for the love of sail. Maybe it is because sailing ships must ‘ tack’ their way across the ocean well off the beaten track.
Article in the Vancouver Sun Newspaper, Oct. 24, 1969
OF SHIPS AND MEN - OLD MASTERS SHED LIGHT ON FATE OF SAILING SHIP
By Charles M. Defieux
What happened to Daylight, one of the great ships of sail and well known here? Captain Fred Eddy, consultant to our Maritime Museum has a lot of her history, but the story seems to end when she passed into Brazilian hands.
Captain Herbert Raby, of Sechelt, B.C. veteran master in sail and steam has supplied Captain Eddy with the word she was still sailing when the last war ended. Just a word about Captain Raby. He’s a Liverpool boy who first went to sea in 1910 and got his extra master’s certificate in 1923. Some officers who served under him provided him with much news of Daylight’s career and in which they’d shared.
Histories say Daylight was built at Port Glasgow, one of the largest four-masters ever built, 3756 tons gross, 351 feet long, 180 feet from truck to keelson and with about 50,000 feet of canvas. "One paragraph from the Basil Lubbock sailing ship bibles has her reaching Philadelphia in 1908 after a 145 day passage from Vizagapatan and having 40 tons of barnacles scraped from her bottom".
Vancouver last saw her in 1942 when she was refitted at Burrard Dry Dock. Daylight had been sold in 1922 to San Francisco owners, says Captain Raby. Three years later she was bought by the Griffith interest in Seattle, stripped to her lower masts and became a gypsum barge around lower California.. After another lay-up she was moving gypsum between B.C. and Puget Sound.
Burrard’s history has her leaving them as a barkentine sixth largest sailing ship of any rig, including five masters. Captain Raby tells Captain Eddy of her “peculiar barkentine rig, having top-masts fitted to the original lower masts and a very unorthodox rig. She carried a cargo from B.C. to South Africa in 86 days.” Then he tells of her going into Brazilian hands.
Captain Raby adds that Daylight had a sister ship, Brilliant, nine tons, larger. “Both vessels had large ballast tanks, unusual in sailing vessels. And it turned out that Daylight could carry a larger cargo of case oil, generally around 152,000 cases.” One of Captain Raby’s friends had commented on her sailing qualities. On her first voyage “she was so heavily rigged that even in a fresh breeze, if they wanted to check the yards in a point or two they had to take the braces to the capstans. After they reached New York, four small capstans were installed around the main deck”.
In these days of automation with no one in the engine room nights or weekends, for example, it’s refreshing to think of the rugged days of sail.
Article from 'The H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest'
The big steel Daylight, one of the largest four-masted barks ever built, was sold by James Griffiths & Sons, who had been using her as a gypsum barge, to British Columbia owners, who fitted her with a pair of extremely inadequate 400 - horsepower diesel engines, which were augmented by a peculiar barkentine rig, utilizing her old lowermasts with topmasts fitted to them, and adding huge staysails. Her new rig was enough to make an old sailor weep, but she performed surprisingly well, making the passage from British Columbia to South Africa in about 86 sailing days. She was subsequently sold to Brazilian owners and continued in operation until after the war.
PAGES FROM THE OFFICIAL LOG-BOOK for A FOREIGN-GOING SHIP
Page 1 OFFICIAL LOG-BOOK for A foreign-Going Ship
Page 2 List of Crew and Report of Character
Page 3 List of Crew and Report of Character - continued
Page 4 Record of Boat Drills as required
Page 5 Dates of Departure from an Arrival at each Dock/Harbour
Page 6 Harbor or other place with the Draught and Freeboard
Some Interesting articles and references regarding Tall sailing ships:
Saint Malo's Spirit - http://www.caphorniers.cl/spirit.htm
A Catalogue of Four Masted Barques and Ships