Cruise IV report

[Reprinted from Ocean Magnetic and Electric Observations, 1915-1921. By J. P. Ault, S. J. Mauchly, W. J. Peters, L. A. Bauer, and J. A. Fleming. Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 175, vol. 5 (1926). Pages 6-12]



Afier the completion of Cruise III, the Carnegie was out of commission for a few months, during which time an observatory was built, just abaft the after dome, for the housing of the new instruments used in the measurements of the electrical state of the atmosphere. An additional stateroom on the starboard side of the cabin was provided for the accommodation of an extra observer. The bottom of the vessel was sheathed with a copper alloy, for tropical waters, and a belt, 4 feet wide, consisting of brass plates, one-quarter inch thick, was added along the water-line to afford some protection against the ice conditions likely to be encountered on the forthcoming cruise. The alterations were made at Hoboken by Tietjen and Lang, according to plans and specifications of the naval architect, H. J. Gielow, of New York, under the immediate supervision of J. P. Ault, as representative of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. These improvements were satisfactorily completed by February 17, 1915, on which day the Carnegie returned to her berth in Beard's Yacht Basin, at Brooklyn, to be put in commission. While the above work was being done the magnetic instruments were examined, repaired, or altered in the Department shop as required for Cruise IV, and their constants were redetermined.

Plate 1
Plate 4
Plate 5
Plate 18

After a final inspection of the vessel by the Director and W. J. Peters, the Carnegie, on March 6, left Brooklyn, under J. P. Ault's command, for Gardiners Bay, where she was successfully swung on March 7 and 8, preparatory to putting to sea. This was the Carnegie's fifth visit to Gardiners Bay for the purpose of swinging ship. The result of these swings, made in 1909, 1910, 1913, 1914, and 1915, confirm the existence of local magnetic disturbance in Gardiners Bay and furnish the desired control on the accuracy of the magnetic work aboard the Carnegie. W. F. G. Swann remained on board to the last moment to complete the installations and tests of the new atmospheric-electric instruments which had been constructed in the Department shop for this cruise, in accordance with his suggestions. In this work he was assisted by S. J. Mauchly and H. F. Johnston.

The Carnegie sailed from Gardiners Bay on March 9, bound for Colon, Panama. The passage to Colon was made in about 16 days, during which observations of at least one magnetic element, and usually of all three, were made on every day of the stormy passage. Two deaths from sickness occurred during this passage, namely, A. H. Sorensen, cook, March 11, and W. Stevens, cabin boy, March 24. At Colon the ship instruments were compared with the land instruments, and a new repeat station was established. Unfortunately the previously occupied stations in the vicinity of Colon are now magnetically affected by the large construction operations. On April 4 the Carnegie dragged both anchors in a fierce norther, but finally the anchors held. She was subsequently lowed to a pier by the tug Porto Bello and the dredge Caribbean.

The Carnegie was next taken through the canal (see Pl. 4, Figs. 3 and 4) and then she set sail in the Pacific Ocean on April 12 from Balboa, bound for Honolulu. After 39 days at sea, during which 73 determinations were made of the magnetic declination and 39 each of inclination and intensity, including a swing of the ship, the Carnegie reported her arrival at Honolulu on May 21. A complete scheme of comparisons was carried out between the ship's magnetic instruments and those of the Honolulu Magnetic Observatory (see Pl. 4, Fig. 1), operated by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, by which a correlation with other magnetic observatories and standards was effected. Every facility for carrying out these comparisons at the observatory was rendered by the observer-in-charge, W. W. Merrymon. On June 29 and July 3 the Carnegie was swung off Pearl Harbor, in about the same locality as that of the Galilee's swing of 1907. The results confirm the large differences which had been indicated by the Galilee swing, between the values of the magnetic elements at the place of swing and at the observatory, and they also give a means of supplying an additional determination of the constant A of the deviation formula for the Galilee at Honolulu. The place of swing can not be surrounded by land stations and hence can not be controlled by land observations. This shows another advantage of a non-magnetic vessel over a vessel with deviations in a magnetic survey of the oceans. After all the labor of planning, observing, and swinging ship, and the tedious computations of the deviation parameters for a vessel having deviations, one is confronted with the fact that hardly one of the few values of A which can be observed during a cruise is wholly above the suspicion of being affected by local disturbance. One can only hope that the effect is neutralized in the mean of a number of observations at the ports available.

On July 20, 1915, the Carnegie reached Dutch Harbor (see Pl. 4, Fig. 7), having sighted the Bogosloff Islands. The commander's report on the sighting of these islands reads:

"The Bogosloff Islands were seen at a distance of 3 miles at 2 a. m., July 20. There are two islands at present, the eastern one terminating in two high twin peaks with sharp points at the top, the western one having one high mountain with a broad top."

When the Carnegie arrived at Dutch Harbor she had already covered 10,158 nautical miles of her present cruise, in 73 days of sailing, at an average of 139 miles per day. During this period 101 values of the magnetic declination and 56 each of inclination and intensity were observed at sea; besides an elaborate program of observations in atmospheric electricity was carried out. Observations for determination of the amount of atmospheric refraction have been continued, as also the usual meteorological observations.

The magnetic declinations observed on the Carnegie from Brooklyn to Dutch Harbor, March-July 1915, showed that there had been a steady improvement in the nautical charts since the data obtained during the previous cruises of the Galilee and Carnegie had become available to hydrographic bureaus. The chart corrections reached a maximum value of about [1.5 degrees] in the region of the Pacific, between Panama and Honolulu, not previously covered by these vessels.

August 5, 1915, the Carnegie started on her long continuous passage to Lyttelton, New Zealand. Heavy weather was encountered immediately, and it was impossible to swing ship until August 15, just before leaving the Bering Sea. The farthest north was [59 degrees 33 minutes]. The 180th meridian was crossed on August 13, the date August 14, 1915, being omitted. After clearing the Aleutian Islands, the course followed was south practically along the 165th meridian to New Zealand. On September 6 a terrific hurricane from the southwest was encountered. It was necessary to take in all sail and run before the storm, and for 17 hours a speed of 9 knots was made under bare poles. The vessel stood the strain well, but everything was wet on board, the hurricane driving the rain into every crack and opening. Wake Island was passed in the morning of September 12. After passing the first of the Marshall Islands, it was deemed best to keep well to the east on account of prevailing easterly winds and westerly set of the currents. It was necessary to pass considerably to the westward of the Santa Cruz-Solomon Islands passage while near the equator, but favorable conditions made it possible to weather the Solomon Islands, the engine operating during calms.

After passing the Solomon Islands the Carnegie was driven to the westward by the prevailing southeast winds and had to tack twice to avoid the Indispensable Reefs. These reefs were passed October 12, and all the islands and reefs in the Coral Sea were safely cleared. As the Coral Sea was entered, the winds drew somewhat more to the southward, making it necessary to near the Australian Coast off Brisbane. Good winds were blowing across the Tasman Sea, and the light on South Island, New Zealand, east entrance to Foveaux Strait, was made early in the morning of October 31. On account of the slow trip, it was decided to pass through the strait; just before clearing the east end of the strait at sunset, the wind shifted to the southeast, making it necessary to use the auxiliary power. Fortunately, the engine was in good condition and enough coal was reserved for such an emergency. Again, in trying to round Banks Peninsula to enter Port Lyttelton, the wind shifted ahead. With the engine and fore-and-aft sails, however, it was possible to tack to advantage against the wind, thus saving a delay of a day or more in entering port. On November 3 the Carnegie entered the harbor at Lyttelton.

Upon only one occasion during the trip did the engine fail to operate, and the cause for this failure was definitely placed. It has proved its value on several occasions and has run well. During the cruise, various and unusual currents were noted. The winds encountered were light and baffling; very rarely were the yards braced square for a fair wind. The total number of miles on the passage, Dutch Harbor to Lyttelton, was 8,865, giving an average of 100 miles per day for 89 days.

Local magnetic disturbances were noted on September 18 near Marshall Islands, October 15 west of Chesterfield Reefs and Islets, October 20 and 21 near the coast of Australia, and October 31 in Foveaux Strait. The aurora australis was seen on the nights of November 1 and 2, consisting of long beams of white light projected vertically from the southern half of the horizon.

Lyttelton was reached with over 6 tons of coal remaining in the bunkers, 40 gallons of kerosene, and 600 gallons of water. It was not necessary to issue a restricted quantity of water per day to each man, as all did their best to economize in the use of fresh water. A salt-water shower bath, connected with the deck pump, was in position ready for use at all times. The health of the party was good during the entire trip.

A stay of 33 days at Lyttelton was necessary for the completion of the observational work and comparisons at the Christchurch Magnetic Observatory and for the overhauling and outfitting of the vessel. During this stay at Lyttelton, as also during the subsequent one, the work of the Carnegie was facilitated by certain officials, and by Professors Farr and Chilton, of Canterbury College, and Director Skey, of Christchurch Observatory.

December 6 the Carnegie left Lyttelton for a sub-Antarctic circumnavigation cruise (see Pl. 1, Fig. 7). The 180th meridian was crossed on December 9, so that date was repeated as December 9 (2). The vessel arrived at King Edward Cove, South Georgia, on January 12, 1916, going the last 24 hours under her own auxiliary power. She again sailed on the 14th, being lowed out of harbor against a heavy head wind by the steam whaler Fortuna. Icebergs (see Pl. 5, Fig. 7) became more numerous and fog was almost continuous. However, January 18 was the only day on the entire trip in southern waters on which it was impossible to obtain observations for the magnetic declination. On January 22 the vessel passed along the north coast of Lindsay Island about 3 miles offshore. The Carnegie's track of 1911 to the westward of Australia was twice intersected for the determination of secular change (see Pl. 11). Lyttelton was reached on April 1, 1916. This sub-Antarctic cruise, accomplished as far as known for the first time in a single season, was made practically between the parallels of [50 degrees] and [60 degrees] south until the neighborhood of Australia was approached, when it became necessary, on two occasions, to cross somewhat north of the 50th parallel. Its aggregate length was 17,084 nautical miles, the time of passage 118 days, and the average day's run 145 miles. For a more complete account of this passage, see J. P. Ault's report, pages 139 to 143; also view on Plate 1, Figure 6. [See also Pl. 18.]


Figure 1:
Map of circumnavigation of Antarctica

After a stay of nearly 7 weeks, the Carnegie again left Lyttelton for the last time on this cruise, being lowed out to sea on May 17 by the tugboat Lyttelton. Light head winds and calms were encountered, so the engine was started to gain an offing, running all night. For five days the wind held northeast, forcing the vessel well toward the Chatham Islands. May 22 was repeated, on crossing the 180th meridian. On May 23 favorable winds were encountered for the first time, and for three days fair winds were enjoyed. Then northerly winds and calms made it necessary for the course to be taken westward near the Kermadec Islands. On June 1 the wind was again favorable, but thereafter, until arrival at Pago Pago, it was necessary to sail close-hauled, with northeast to northwest winds. Landfall was made with some difficulty on account of the heavy clouds and squalls hanging over the island. Observations were carried out as usual during the passage. No magnetic-declination observations were obtained on May 30 and June 4 on account of clouds. Considerable lightning and thunder attended the squally weather. The new gooseneck on the upper topsail yard carried away on May 27, and was replaced with the extra one ordered at Lyttelton. The engine was operated to get offshore when leaving Lyttelton, to clear Savage Island during a calm on June 4, and to enter the harbor of Pago Pago on June 7. The time of passage was 22 days, with a daily run of 118 miles, for a total of 2,595 miles.

The shore observations having been completed, the Carnegie left Pago Pago on June 19, under her own power. The engine operated well, taking the vessel out against a stiff head trade-wind. The wind was too strong outside to allow making to windward of Tutuila, so the Carnegie went around the west end. The Union Group was weathered, but the wind broke off to the north of east, compelling the vessel to go to leeward of the main Phoenix Group. The wind held north of east, forcing the Carnegie considerably to the westward of the route planned; however, the crossings with previous tracks were made at the points desired. No storms or calms were encountered. The hot weather was very trying, but the party, with two or three exceptions, kept well. Magnetic declinations were obtained twice daily, with two exceptions. The average difference, without regard to sign, between the results obtained by the two observers at the collimating compass was [3 minutes] for the 51 determinations. This affords some evidence as to the character of the weather and conditions encountered. Port Apra, Guam, was reached on Monday, July 17, 1916. The total run from Pago Pago was 3,987 miles, giving a daily average of 147 miles for the 27-day trip.

At Port Apra connection was made with the Galilee observations of 1907 and extensive intercomparisons of all instruments were made (see Pl. 4, Fig. 2). The Carnegie sailed from Port Apra on August 7, bound for San Francisco. The track followed was arranged to cross as frequently as possible the previous tracks of the Galilee and the Carnegie, and to obtain additional magnetic data in regions where most needed. For 7 days continuous heavy gales were encountered from the southwest, making it necessary to heave to for 2 days in succession, August 9 and 10. The vessel was thus driven northward and compelled to follow very closely the track of the Galilee from Guam to Japan, up to the point where the many tracks intersect (see Pl. 7). This was the worst spell of bad weather the Carnegie had thus far encountered. After August 17, moderate weather was experienced. There was considerable fog and cloudiness, but, with 4 exceptions, observations for declination were obtained daily. The engine was operated frequently, for a total of 90 hours, during calms and for swinging ship. On August 26, the vessel was swung for intensity and inclination observations, both helms. On August 27, a declination swing was started, but after 5 headings had been completed clouds prevented further observations. Fog was recorded on 12 days and rain or mist on 34 days.

On September 20, the Carnegie was becalmed off the coast of California, so the engine was operated, and after a 24-hour run San Francisco was reached on September 21. Fortunately, Point Reyes was sighted at 1 o'clock in the morning before the fog closed down. Creeping through the fog until the light vessel was heard, a pilot was taken aboard, and the Carnegie made the entrance into the harbor through the fog under her own power. The total distance run from Guam was 5,937 miles, the time of passage being 46 days, and the average daily run 129 miles. The chronometers were found in error only [8.7 seconds].

After a stay at San Francisco of 5 weeks, during which shore observations and instrumental comparisons were made and the vessel was overhauled and outfitted, the Carnegie left this port November 1, 1916, bound for Easter Island. Light and variable winds were encountered until the vessel reached the northeast trade-wind region. In the calm belt near the equator, between the northeast and the southeast trades, continuous light airs from the south to southwest caused a delay of over 2 weeks and forced the vessel far to eastward of her intended route. The remainder of the voyage was made under good conditions and Easter Island was reached December 24, 1916.

The stop at Easter Island was made in order to obtain magnetic data regarding secular changes, to secure a supply of fresh water, and to break the monotony of the long voyage from San Francisco to Buenos Aires. A magnetic station was established and a 24-hour series of declination readings was obtained. The party visited various points of interest on the island and obtained some valuable photographs of the large statues (see Pl. 5, Figs. 1,2,3,4, and 6) for which the island is particularly noted.

After taking on board a small supply of fresh water and provisions, the vessel sailed January 2, 1917, for Buenos Aires. After leaving Easter Island adverse winds prevented the vessel from entering, as had been planned, the unsurveyed area to the northeast. On January 19, 1917, Gambier Islands were passed. As no stop was contemplated a small barrel, containing an abstract of all scientific results to date, was set adrift about one-half mile off the southeast entrance to Manga Reva Harbor.

Between January 22 and January 27 long and severe gales from the east to southeast were encountered. They were followed by 2 weeks of variable winds and weather, head-winds alternating with calms. When the vessel finally entered the region of the strong westerly winds, rapid progress was made toward Cape Horn.

On February 16 the Diego Ramirez Islands were sighted as expected and Cape Horn was passed the next morning. In the vicinity of Cape Horn the weather varied rapidly from one extreme to the other. The afternoon of February 16 was rainy and stormy, with a heavy gale from the northwest, but the evening was beautifully clear and almost calm. February 17 saw a repetition of the same change, the stormy weather ending early in the forenoon and the remainder of the day being clear and affording a fine view of Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego. Owing to variable and adverse winds some difficulty was experienced in weathering Staten Island and also the Falkland Islands later. The vessel passed to the westward of the latter group in order to avoid the icebergs and rough seas to the eastward.

On March 1, 1917, the Recalada lightship at the mouth of the River Plate was passed. After taking on the pilot the engine was started and the Carnegie went up the river under her own power, reaching Buenos Aires next morning, March 2, 1917.

As usual, observations for magnetic intensity and inclination at sea were made daily, regardless of conditions of sea or weather. Magnetic-declination results were obtained every day but 4, which were too cloudy for these observations.

Tracks of the Galilee were crossed 11 times and the Carnegie's tracks of former cruises were crossed 7 times, thus affording several opportunities for the determination of the annual changes in the magnetic elements for the regions covered. The total distance sailed was 14,774 miles and the daily average for the 112 days at sea was 182 miles.

Shore observations and instrumental comparisons were made at the Argentine Magnetic Observatory located at Pilar (see Pl. 4, Fig. 6). Comparisons had previously been made at Pilar in 1911 during the first visit of the Carnegie and again by Observer H. F. Johnston in 1913, so that the correlation of the Argentine magnetic work with that of the Department has now been controlled 3 times.

On account of the war it was considered best to detain the Carnegie at Buenos Aires (see Pl. 1, Fig. 2). The ocean work of Cruise IV was brought to a conclusion and members of the party were assigned to other duties. Observer Jones was instructed to proceed to Lima, Peru, where he joined Mr. Fleming's party and was assigned to land work. Observers A. D. Power and L. L. Tanguy were assigned to land work in Argentina, viz, to reoccupy certain magnetic stations established by the Argentine Government. Mr. George O. Wiggin, director of the Argentine Meteorological Service, assisted the Carnegie party in many ways and greatly facilitated the work in Argentina. Through his efforts passes over all the railway and steamship lines were given to each member of the party, and free entry for all the scientific instruments was granted by the customs department. At the solicitation of the American ambassador at Buenos Aires, the Argentine government extended port facilities and wharfage without charge to the Carnegie during her stay in port. The Department takes this opportunity to express its thanks to the government and people of Argentina for the many courtesies extended.

On May 29, 1917, Captain J. P. Ault, having been in command of the Carnegie for 3 years, was instructed by cable to return to Washington via Valparaiso for conference and assignment to shore duty. After completing all arrangements for turning over the command of the Carnegie to Dr. H. M. W. Edmonds, who had been second-in-command for 3 years, Captain Ault left Buenos Aires June 10 for Washington, where he arrived July 25.

The ship's personnel during Cruise IV was as follows: J. P. Ault, magnetician and master of the vessel; H. M. W. Edmonds, magnetician and surgeon, and second-in-command; H. F. Johnston (until April 1916, when he was assigned to land work), I. A. Luke (until October 1916, when he resigned), H. E. Sawyer (from April 1915 to December 1915, when he was assigned to land work), F. C. Loring (from December 1915 to October 1916, when he resigned), Bradley Jones (from April 1916), A. D. Power (from October 1916), L. L. Tanguy (from October 1916), observers; N. Meisenhelter, meteorological observer and clerk; R. P. Doran (until April 1916, when he resigned), and A. Beech (from April 1916), first watch-officers; M. G. R. Savary, engineer; Charles Heckendorn, mechanic; second and third watch-officers, 2 cooks, 8 seamen, and 2 cabin-boys; the ship's company always totaled 23 men. In addition, S. J. Mauchly remained with the vessel from Brooklyn to Panama to perfect the installation and operation of the newly-constructed atmospheric-electric instruments.