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Grounding and sinking

It is two o'clock in the afternoon, October 2nd 1771, the wind is decreasing, it falls a heavy rain, and now they finally have the island Gotland in sight. The day after heading towards northeast, it's still windy and the crew is working persistently in the ruthless weather.

Then they head towards open waters and as they were praying, about eight thirty in the evening and even with two men on deck they ran aground. The crew's first thought was that they would go under while a cascade suddenly takes them off the ground, surrounded by large waves. But before they could think anything else Vrouw Maria hit a second ground. Here she the ground hard and loses a part of rudder.

The captain Reinhold Lorenz continues writing in the logbook about how they found out that the ship had a difficult leakage, letting go of the anchor and also lowering the lead without getting any ground. They tied up the sails, and all the men stated pumping, standing in about a meter of sea water. The wind was hard and they worked all night.

It was to be 7 on Friday morning when they were not aware that they could continue pumping. Perhaps they could not rescue the ship and cargo.
It Friday morning about seven o'clock and they felt unable to continue pumping. Perhaps they could not rescue the ship and cargo. The logbook tells us about how they were trying to rescue ship and cargo, being afraid to die not knowing if anchor or ropes would hold. All this made them get into the dinghy bringing just clothes and food. Soon they got ashore on a relatively safe rock and later on they got visitors leading to help throughout the following days up until October 9th. During the time to follow they were trying to drain the ship, the water was sweet from sugar in the cargo, and the Captain writes that they got no further all though all of the men was pumping.

The beautiful weather that Monday morning October 7th made no difference because at this hour the ship had taken in so much water it reached up to the deck. Among the content of the cargo there were coffee beans and now much of it clogged the pump. In spite of the wonderful weather the wind was hard and by Wednesday night all men kept on pumping.

The wind and incoming rain finally made them rescue anything possible and they abandoned the ship for the night.

The next day Vrouw Maria had disappeared for a long time to come. The captain writes about this fateful Wednesday October 9th in 1771 in the logbook: "... we went to look for our ship but it wasn't there for us to see" A few days later they departed from their rock by a northerly wind and arrived in Turku.

A few days later they traveled from their rock with a northerly wind and arrived in Turku.

Logbook references taken from Vrouw Maria's log in Sunken ships (Sjunkna skepp) (1979) by Dr. Christian Ahlström

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