Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fitz J. Babson

Fitz J. Babson, February 27, 1914.

The schooner Fitz J. Babson was lost (vanished?) east of Jacksonville, Florida, with a company of seven. (Berlitz, Without a Trace, p. 23.)

WASHINGTON, March 1. — The storm which swept New York and the surrounding country to-day originated off the Georgia Coast yesterday and traversed the Atlantic Coast from Savannah to Long Island. Prof. Edward H. Bowie, forecaster in charge of the United States Weather Bureau, said the storm was central over Long Island and New York City to-night, and that it would pass through the New England States and off into the St. Lawrence Valley.

Many wires were down, and for this reason the Weather Bureau was without complete reports from its observers to-night, but such dispatches as were received by the forecaster showed that the storm was central off Georgia yesterday, that it passed Cape Hatteras to-day, and was central over Long Island to-night.

"I have been unable to have telegraphic communication with New York City to-night," Prof. Bowie said. "Such advices as we had from that city came by long-distance telephone. The wind at New York City to-night was blowing at seventy-two miles an hour, and had shifted to the northwest. The message from New York said that the barometric reading there to-night was 28.38. I question this figure, because it is abnormally low, and we have been trying to verify it. About 30 would be more like a normal reading of the barometer. If the barometer is anything like 28.38 it is about the lowest ever recorded in New York.

"We also issued a warning to all vessels along the Atlantic Coast not to venture from port on account of the severity of the gale. The wind blew sixty miles an hour yesterday at Savannah. The storm passed rapidly up the coast, whirling violently as it proceeded. When these southern coast storms whirl like this they make rapid headway up the coast and increase in intensity. There is every indication that this whirling storm was not less than 1,000 miles in diameter. The storm covered a wide area as it moved northward. Our reports indicate heavy storms in New York and Pennsylvania.

("Started off Georgia Coast," The New York Times, March 2, 1914.)

WASHINGTON, March 2. — The severest storm of the winter raged to-day from Eastport, ME, to Savannah, GA, while a cold wave, rolling down from the Great Lakes country, overspread the Atlantic States as far south as Florida. Lowest temperatures ever recorded in March were registered in Charleston and Macon and other points in the Southeast.

("Storm Zone from Maine to Georgia," The New York Times, March 3, 1914.)

The Fitz J. Babson sailed (or was lost?) on or around February 27, 1914. The storm originated on February 28. Check.

The Fitz J. Babson was lost (vanished?) east of Jacksonville, Florida. The storm originated off the Georgia Coast. Check.


Update: According to Singer, February 27 was the day the Fitz J. Babson left Jacksonville. At 69 tons, she wasn't exactly an ocean liner, either. (Singer, p. 227.)

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