Too Early Navigation
The attempt of the Schooner Ontario to reach Oswego March 15
From the Toronto Globe. It has already been mentioned that the schooner Ontario was chartered with a cargo of malt from this port for Oswego. The sailing was unprecedentedly early, and it was by special arrangement that a light was to be put into the lighthouse at Oswego on Tuesday night in the expectation of the Ontario reaching that port some time during the night. The Ontario was towed out of the harbor by the tug Doyle Monday evening.
The wind was not favorable, and by Tuesday morning they had not got more than twenty five miles down the lake. The wind had been northerly, and by the morning it had gone round to the east with heavy snow falling, making bad weather. By this time, too, captain Thompson discovered that the vessel was leaking, and that the water was gaining on the pump, which had been kept going for some time. With the wind freshening from the east, and the probability of a long trip before him, and, what was now certain, that the pump would have to be kept going incessantly, captain Thompson determined that the wisest course and safest for all concerned was to put back.
The snow was falling so heavily that no bearings could be taken, and the running up the lake again the captain could only guess at the situation by occasionally hearing the whistle of a locomotive on the Grand Trunk railway taking soundings, the captain found about one o’clock that he was in eight fathoms of water and he let go the anchor. The weather cleared soon after and he found they were about a mile and a half below the eastern gap. The pump had been kept going incessantly up to this time, and it was found even then that the water was gaining on them. Time was of consequence and the anchor was shipped with 30 fathoms of chain.
The course round the island and into the harbor with a head wind was slow, and it was 10 o’clock on Tuesday night before the Ontario was lying alongside the Persia, at Bailey’s dock. Yesterday the cargo of malt was transferred to the Persia, when it was found that the loss would not be large. The Ontario was in good condition when she sailed.