Details of HMS Calliope's 1889 Commissioning Voyage.

Voyage Map of the Cruise of HMS Calliope including her ill-fated encounter with the Samoa Hurricane.

The map shows the approximate track of HMS Calliope on her voyage out to join the Far East Squadron (in red) to joining the Australian Squadron. In maroon is the track to Samoa and back, and yellow is the voyage home, with a deviation from Port Said to Zanzibar shown in fuchsia.

In reality, the ship made many other short voyages from Sydney and Hakodate that would only confuse the map.

Most of the positional data is taken from the dead reckoning and star-sights recorded in the ships log, confirmed when the vessel reached port. I am hoping to do more accurate plots when I have worked out a way of projecting the coordinates to make a clearer map.

Voyage Statistics

Click the map to see a full size image, but it is big and may not view very well, depending on your screen resolution. The red track is the outward voyage, via Tristan da Cunha, Simon's Town, Singapore, Hong Kong and Hakodate in Japan for the China Station; the track continues down to Sydney when Calliope was diverted to the Australian Station; the maroon track is the journey to New Zealand and Samoa, though as I have already stated, she made lots of other trips around the local islands and townships; the yellow track is her return to England via Singapore again and the Red Sea, and Suez Canal with her diversion to Zanzibar in pink when she was diverted to the East Asia squadron. The yellow track through the Mediterranean and back to England shows the final journey home.

The map image was created by snipping from the wonderful completely free program, XEarth. You can still download it from the internet. It no longer seems to get earthquake events, but otherwise works on my Windows 10 OS. I have a shortcut in the taskbar, and click on it when I start a session. You need to play with the settings (double-click on the tiny Earth icon in the small desktop tray) and find what suits you best. For my normal desktop background, I selected "Viewpoint"-"Fixed" and entered the decimal coordinates of my home town Potton, so the Earth is always centered on Potton and daylight and nightlight moves around it. But just change something, click "Apply" and see what you think. For the map below, I used "Image"-"Mercator", "Viewpoint"-"Fixed"-"Latitude: -15"-"Longitude: 30", "Shading: Disabled", "Dots"-"Display Coordinate Grid: Enabled" and then clipped the relevant part of the map before drawing the tracks and labelling the places using Paint Shop Pro 4 (the best ever image notator and resizer program), now available as v8 from Corel.

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