Ocean Chief.jpg
History
UK
NameOcean Chief (1853)
OwnerJames Baines & Co.
OperatorBlack Ball Line
RouteUnited KingdomAustralia
BuilderJoshua C. Morton,[1] Thomaston, Maine, USA
Completed1853
Acquired1854
FateBurnt, 1862 Bluff Harbour New Zealand
General characteristics
TypeClipper
Tonnage1,026 gross register tons (GRT)
Length182 ft (55 m)
Beam34 ft (10 m)
Ocean Chief (2).jpg
History
United Kingdom
NameWild Ranger
BuilderJ. O. Curtis, Medford, Massachusetts, United States
Completed1853
RenamedOcean Chief, 1862
OwnerJames Baines & Co. (1862-1866)
OperatorBlack Ball Line (1862-1866)
RouteUnited KingdomAustralia
Acquired1862
FateSank off Calcutta in 1872
General characteristics
TypeClipper
Tonnage930 gross register tons (GRT)

Ocean Chief was a clipper ship used in a regular packet service and as a passenger ship for bounty emigrants to Australia between June 1854 and December 1861 at the time of the Australian gold rushes.

Original

The original Ocean Chief was built in the United States at Thomaston, Maine, by Joshua C. Morton (born 1789) and his son Charles, one of two clippers that they built.[2] Completed in 1853, she was a fast and consistent sailer and made an average passage of 74 days.

The Black Ball Line (founded 1852 – ceased 1871) owners James Baines & Thomas MacKay, Liverpool[3] purchased the vessel for a regular mail service between Liverpool and Melbourne. She also visited other ports including Hobart, Tasmania, and New Zealand.

In 1862, Ocean Chief arrived at Bluff Harbour, New Zealand, under Captain T. Brown, with a cargo of 4,000 sheep. On the morning of 23 January 1862, the crew burned ship, believing that they could get rich in the nearby Otago Gold Rush.[4][5]

Voyages

Departed Date Arrived Date Captain Passengers Days
England (Liverpool) 23 May 1854 Melbourne, Australia 7 August 1854 Thomas James Tobin 77
Australia - England - Thomas James Tobin 86
England 11 January 1855 Hobart, Australia 26 March 1855 Thomas James Tobin 370 75
Australia - England - Thomas James Tobin 69
England 8 October 1855 Australia January 1856 - 362
Australia - England -
England Australia May 1858 -
Australia - England -
England Australia February 1859 -
Australia - England -
England 5 September 1859 Australia 30 November 1859 William Brown 109 86
Australia - England -
England 5 July 1860 Melbourne, Australia 2 October 1860 -
Australia - England -
England Melbourne, Australia 21 July 1861 -
Australia - England -
England Melbourne, Australia December 1861 -
Burnt New Zealand 23 January 1862 T. Brown

Replacement

Another ship, named Wild Ranger – built in the United States in 1853 by J. O. Curtis at Medford, Massachusetts – was purchased in 1862 as a replacement ship and renamed Ocean Chief. This ship was slightly smaller, being of 930 tons. In 1866, she was sold to E. Angel, Liverpool. She sank in a large storm in the Bay of Bengal off Calcutta, India, in 1872.

References

  1. ^ "The Ships List". www.theshipslist.com. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  2. ^ The American Clipper Ships 1845–1920. McFarland and Company P71. 23 January 2014. ISBN 9781476602844. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Baines & MacKay / Black Ball Line, Liverpool". www.theshipslist.com. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Fate – Fire Afloat". ancestry.com. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Destruction of the "Ocean Chief" by Fire at the Bluff Harbour". Otago Daily Times. No. 63. 28 January 1862. p. 2. Retrieved 15 March 2016.

Coordinates: 21°21′04″N 88°30′58″E / 21.351°N 88.516°E / 21.351; 88.516