"Blodwen" was the first of the
"Western Ocean Yachts"
built in 1891 by David Jones. She was the smallest of the 32 schooners
and was quickly used as a model. She was reckoned to be the fastest, he
best passage being from Newfoundland to Patras (Greece) in 22 days under
the command of Capt "Johnie" Williams.(there
are variations to the name of the master at the time according to Aled
She was built to the order of Captain John Roberts of Talsarnau and Messers Richards and Company of Porthmadog. She was launched by Maggie Richards, daughter of Samuel Richards who lived at Bryntirion Terrace Criccieth, in February 1891.
Her design was soon proved as she worked the remote fishing stations on Newfoundland and the labrador coast; threading her way through the maze of rocks (known as "sinkers"), often in thick fog.
The Richards brothers sold their shares to Captain Roberts the next year and he interested other well known members of the Porthmadog maritime community to invest in the ship.
The little ship settled into the now established run of slate to Hamburg and the Baltic then down to Cadiz to load salt for Newfoundland then around the fishing stations to load salt cod. This was carried across the Western Ocean to Gibraltar for orders usualy Italy or Greece then any cargo or ballast back to Northern Europe.
She was a happy ship and many local men sailed on her over the next twenty five years. her full story can be found in Henry Hughes's book "Immortal Sails" and Aled Eames and Emrys Hughes's "Porthmadog Ships".
She was sold to W.Rorke of Newfoundland in 1916 but sadly was wrecked near Alicante, on her first voyage for them
|This picture of the Blodwen was sent to me By Johnie Williams's Great Niece|
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