Girls’s Historical past Month Repost — Eleanor Creesy, Navigator of the Clipper Ship Flying Cloud

Throughout Girls’s Historical past Month it’s worthwhile remembering Eleanor Creesy, the navigator of the clipper ship Flying Cloud, who along with her husband, Captain Josiah Creesy, set world crusing information for the quickest passage between New York and San Francisco. 

Eleanor Prentiss was born in 1814, in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the daughter of a grasp mariner, who taught his daughter the artwork and science of navigation. Eleanor knew the way to use a chronometer and a sextant and the way to make a sight discount. In 1841, Eleanor married Captain Josiah Perkins Creesy. The couple sailed collectively on the ship Oneida within the China commerce. Josiah was captain of the ship however Eleanor was the navigator.

Shortly after finishing a voyage from Shanghai in 1851, Josiah Creesy accepted the place as grasp of the brand new clipper ship, Flying Cloud, constructed by Donald McKay for Grinnell, Minturn & Co, New York. As soon as once more, Eleanor accompanied her husband as navigator. On their first voyage on Flying Cloud, they sailed from New York,  rounded Cape Horn, and made San Francisco in 89 days, 21 hours, a brand new file. Three years later, Eleanor and Josiah beat their earlier file by 13 hours. That file would stand for over a century. 

Along with the pace of McKay’s clipper ship, one of many causes for his or her quick voyages was Eleanor’s use of an early type of voyage routing.  She was among the many first to make use of the route round Patagonia beneficial in Lt. Matthew Maury’s charts of winds and currents, printed from 1847 till 1861.

The file passages created a sensation in San Francisco and had been reported extensively throughout the nation. Eleanor’s function as navigator didn’t go unnoticed. From an article within the Day by day Californian:

The clipper ship Flying Cloud arrived at San Francisco from New York, having completed the voyage in 89 days, 8 hours. That is the quickest passage recorded as having been made by a crusing vessel between the ports named. On a former event, Flying Cloud made the identical voyage in 89 days, 21 hours. The story of Flying Cloud is thrilling in itself, however equally intriguing is the truth that the navigator was a girl – the Captain’s spouse, Eleanor Creesy. Outstanding for being a functioning feminine member of the clipper’s crew, she was additionally an impressed navigator. Her abilities are thought-about to be a significant component within the ship’s protected and swift passages.   

Josiah and Eleanor Creesy sailed collectively till separated by the Civil Struggle. When the struggle ended, they retired to a farm close to Salem, Massachusetts.  Captain Josiah Creesy died in June 1871. Eleanor Creesy lived one other 29 years, into the brand new century, dying in August 1900 on the age of eighty-five.

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