Polynesia (1885)
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Final Voyage


"The Polynesia left Buffalo October 15 in tow of Steamer Raleigh. Both were coal laden and bound for South Chicago. A tremendous sea set in. When the gale hauled to the southwest every stitch of her immense canvas was blown out of the boltropes leaving only a few tattered shreads clinging to the gaffs and booms. ...her bullwarks were built as solid as a stone wall. At 11:00 Sunday night Capt. Read hove the steamer Raleigh to and during the rest of the night held the Polynesia with her head to the wind. Monday morning the steamer got under way and headed up the lake with the gale thundering astern. After holding this course for an hour Capt. Kerr of the Polynesia found that his vessel was setteling. The Polynesia gave a violent lurch, where upon Capt. Kerr ordered the yawl lowered and the crew prepared to abandon ship. Capt. Kerr had a long blast sounded on the fog horn. Capt. Read had been watching the schooner through his glass, and seeing that the Polynesia was about to go under, seized an ax and chopped away the hawser. At the same time the crew of the Polynesia got into the yawl and rowed away from the wreck. In less than 5 minutes she gave a convulsive lurch and disappeared. The steamer rounded to and picked up the yawl and they reached south Chicago at midnight without further mishap." "She foundered twenty miles east of Sheboygan in 300 feet of water."
 
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