Shenandoah Down Under

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 14

As the Shenandoah nears Australia the action continues. Hurrying to Melbourne to catch the Mail Steam Packet Captain Waddell overloads the engine and the Ship’s propeller gets cracked again. On the personal side, the unfortunate Lieutenant Chew is proving to be under something of a curse, losing his possessions and almost his person overboard.

Executive Officer Whittle has problems not of the person but of the heart, with a female prisoner, the redoubtable and pretty Mrs Nichols, seemingly intent on flirting with him. Whittle knows the affairs of men, but has less experience with the wiles of the womenfolk. Will his sweetheart, poor Pattie, hear of this back home?

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 13

On the way to Australia the Shenandoah makes a stopover at the isolated (aren’t they all) island of St Paul. With six square kilometres of barren rock surrounding a sea filled volcanic crater, St Paul today looks like the perfect island for a James Bond supervillian, but in 1865 it is the haunt of two Frenchmen who sell the Shenandoah a chicken and a penguin (lets hope they don’t get them mixed up). In other news, the Shenandoah captures another Yankee Ship, the Delphine, and the Captain’s wife, the redoubtable Mrs Nichols, proves something of a handful.

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 12

Executive Officer Whittle and Captain Waddell are in great disagreement about Lieutenant Chew. Whittle sees Chew as having been appointed by the Senate of the Confederacy, and ultimately by Jefferson Davis himself. Captain Waddell does not respect Chew’s commission or his person, in those words and to his face, and does not trust him to take a watch in the raging southern seas. Perhaps Chew was wrong to give up drugs ( he used to be a chemist).

Will this bitterness and rancour be resolved in time for a very special Christmas? Naah. Will Whittle make things worse by stopping grog on Christmas eve? You betcha! Or, as we say in Australia, Ya think?

Once again Mob and Rob are joined by Hundred Years War enthusiast John Coleman, who feels that the Shenandoah’s mix of violent argument and corporal punishment sounds like a perfectly Jolly Christmas. Something there for all of us to consider…Merry Christmas!

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 11

As the Shenandoah heads into the Roaring Forties (not to be confused with the Roaring Twenties) Executive Officer Whittle and Captain Waddell are still a feuding. Mob and Rob (joined by Hundred Years’ War enthusiast John Coleman) also discuss the various memories and echoes of the Shenandoah in modern day Melbourne, including the Steve Irwin, flagship of the Sea Shepherd, the closest modern equivalent as a whaler harasser.


Back in the nineteenth century Whittle orders the hog slaughtered for Christmas, but will it be a happy festive season? For the crew, that is. The hog is pretty much guaranteed a rotten time.

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 10

Good and bad fortune attends the Shenandoah after she leaves Tristan de Cunha. On the good side, the Yankee Captain Rogers, following in the USS Iroquois with intent to do the Shenandoah harm, heads off to completely the wrong part of the planet. On the bad side, the crew discovers that the propeller is cracked, and they must put into port for urgent repairs.
As if this is not enough, Executive Officer Whittle and Captain Waddell have a bitter disagreement about the dressing of the mizzen top-gallant sheet (whatever that is).

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 9

As the Shenandoah approaches Tristan da Cunha, it almost encounters a suspected Yankee gunboat, but salvages the situation by running away. Two days later the Shanandoah captures it’s first whaling ship  but just too late to save one unfortunate  whale.
On Tristan da Cunha, the crew bargain for some very overpriced supplies, but make some money back on the deal by selling some of their prisoner’s clothes. Also, they maroon the crew of their captured whaler, almost doubling the island’s population overnight.


Shenandoah Down Under Episode 8

The Shenandoah sails towards Tristan da Cunha, the most isolated inhabited archipelago in the world. Executive Officer Whittle continues his enthusiastic experiments with naval discipline, most of which include tricing,  the gentle art of hanging men from their thumbs. Captain Waddell also begins to show himself an autocrat and stickler, insisting that his officers wear the unflattering Confederate naval uniform (gray does show the dirt so).

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 7

As the Shenandoah continues it’s voyage towards the Southern Ocean, Mob and Rob dramatically foreshadow the dangers that await them there, along the great Australian Bight and the Shipwreck Coast. Elsewhere in 1864, the consequences of the Australian drought are laid out. These include an early example of climate scientists being ignored (with unfortunate results).
On the ship, Executive Officer Whittle survives his encounter with a rhubarb pie, and to give thanks to a merciful God decides to give up smoking. This is not good news for the men who he commands. The Shenandoah crosses the equator, and King Neptune comes aboard to extort his traditional tribute.

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 6

With the Shenandoah traversing the Atlantic, Rob and Mob fill in the previous biographies of the junior officers of the Shenandoah. These include Sydney Smith-Lee, nephew of the famous General Robert E Lee, and the splendidly named Debney Minor Scales. There is also Lieutenant Chew, who gave up drugs for the sea (he was a pharmacist, not a addict). On the action front, Executive Officer Whittle has a potentially fatal altercation with a rhubarb pie, and the Shenandoah captures it’s third prize in ten days.