Herzogin Cecilie and Beatrice – Racing for Port Lincoln by Robert Carter

We continue our series on the marvellous paintings by Robert Carter OAM, FASMA, FISMP of the sailing ship era and recently published in The Marine Paintings of Robert Carter.

Robert is one of Australia's leading marine artists and is also joint founder of the Australian Society of Marine Artists with Dean Claflin.1 You can read more about Bob's biographical information by clicking here.

In The Marine Paintings of Robert Carter Bob has presented his paintings in five parts2 and we will follow this same format. Today from Part Three: The Erikson Era and the Grain Ships we will showcase Robert's wonderful painting of the four-masted barques Heerzogin Cecile and Beatrice.

Herzogin Cecilie and Beatrice – Racing for Port Lincoln by Robert Carter ©

Alan Villiers, in his book Falmouth for Orders, commented on an impromptu race between two 4-masted barques – the Swedish Beatrice and the Finnish Herzogin Cecilie, sailing between Melbourne and Port Lincoln.

‘If a passenger ship had been in the vicinity of Cape Otway on the morning of 17 December 1927, her passengers would have seen the sight of their lives; two great 4-masted barques, relics of an age that has passed forever, racing under all sail to a stiff breeze. Both in ballast and high out of the water, it would have been extraordinary to see two sailing ships a mile or two apart, presenting a sight that only a sailing ship can present and no one was there to see it.’

This last statement prompted me to put this happening on canvas.

I have met many who sailed in Herzogin Cecilie but only one who sailed in Beatrice – Henry Nicholson, seaman, later to become a master mariner. The master of Herzogin Cecilie on this voyage was Captain Ruben de Cloux; the master of Beatrice was Captain Harald Bruce. They became friends in Melbourne where their ships discharged their cargoes and on learning they would both be loading grain at Port Lincoln for Falmouth, decided to make a race of it, i.e. based on passage times. They both sailed on 19 January 1928. Herzogin Cecilie headed for Cape Horn and Beatrice headed for the Cape of Good Hope.

Herzogin Cecilie arrived at Falmouth after a fast trip of 96 days, beating Beatrice by 18 days.

Beatrice was broken up in 1932; Herzogin Cecilie sailed in the grain trade until 1936, when she ran aground in Salcombe Bay, Devon. She was unable to be re-floated and any useable gear was stripped from her hull and returned to Finland.. Her figurehead now resides in the Alands Sjofartsmuseum in Mariehamn.2

© Thank you to Robert Carter who kindly gave permission for the image of his work to be shared on AnArt4Life.

Please check out the Robert Carter Website.

And also the site for the Marine Artisits Australia.

The next glorious vessel in our Robert Carter Marine Series will appear in about a week.

1. Correspondence with Robert Carter
2. The Marine Paintings of Robert Carter, Published in Australia by Robert Carter Maritime, Gosforth NSW, 2320, Australia, 2022
3. robertcarter.com.au