- Rivett, Norman C
- Ship histories and stories
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- December 1998 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
By 1895 Consuelo had been purchased by Sir William R. Williams Balkeley, Bart, who sold her to Colonel the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres in 1901. Consuelo had thus borne the name for seven years under two previous owners before being acquired by the Earl of Crawford. The Eighth Duke of Manchester, Consuelo’s husband and unofficial patron of the Colonel’s Regiment, had succeeded to the title in 1890 and died in 1892. Any sentimental association of names with the by then Dowager Duchess of Manchester and the S.Y. Consuelo is therefore purely imaginary.
Consuelo was sold to the Admiralty in December 1903 and was initially renamed Investigator for service as a survey vessel and as a replacement for HMS Dart on the Australia Station. On 29th January 1904 she was renamed Sealark. Converted to a survey vessel by Portsmouth Dockyard she commissioned in September 1904 and sailed on the 22nd of that month for survey work, initially surveying the approaches to the naval base at Gibraltar and then completing surveys of Patras, the Greek Archipelago, Suakin and Port Sudan.
After running aground in the Red Sea on an uncharted reef she made for Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) under sail and had a complete refit there. She sailed on a scientific expedition in September 1905 to determine whether the sub continents of India and Africa were joined by a subterranean mountain range; this was followed by surveys of the SeychelleIslands and Mauritius. In 1906 and early 1907, Sealark surveyed the coast of Ceylon before finally arriving in Sydney in September. 1907 and relieving HMS Dart. For the next seven years she was based at Fiji and roamed the South Pacific from the Great Barrier Reef to the Coral Sea and the. Solomon Islands.
In August 1914, with the outbreak of World War I, Sealark landed her three pounder gun at Suva and proceeded to Sydney, NSW, where she paid off on December 10, 1914 and was laid up.
Bibliography – Acknowledgments/Book List
Balsan, Consuelo Vanderbilt. The Glitter and the Gold, William Heinemann Ltd. 1953
Bastock, John Ships on the Australia Station, Childs & Associates, 1988. ISBN 0 86777348 0
Crabtree, R. The Luxury Yacht from Steam to Diesel, 1973. ISBN 0 7153 6023
Daily Telegraph,.Cable News, Sydney. 17 November 1903.
Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetase, 1995.
Engineering December 19, 1879, Engineering April 29, 1881.
GardenIsland Social & Sporting Club Magazine, September 1978
GardenIsland Social & Sporting Club Magazine June 1984.
Lind, Lew. Fair Winds to Australia, Reed Books Pty Ltd 1988, ISBN 0 7301 0216 5
Lloyd’s Yacht Register 1886-87, 1888-89, 1894-95 & 1903-04.
Marine News. Extract from puzzle comer. Date unknown.
Navy List. RAN 1923.
Rivett, Norman. The Naval Steam Reciprocating Engine. The Naval Historical Society of Australia. 1988.
The Log. Vol. 18, No. 3, Issue 81, August 1985, Vol. 19. No. 1, Issue 83, February 1986 Vol. 20 No. 4, Issue 90, November 1987.
Thompson, Rev. V. W., Chaplain RAN. A Short History of Garden Island. Together with Random Jottings. 4 December 1922. Unpublished Manuscript.