32["The Cossack Willy Willy", The Hedland Advocate (Port Hedland, WA), Saturday 30 March 1912, pages 5,6]
The Cossack Willy Willy
[By Capt. Challenor.]
There is an old copy book maxim that "Fortune favors the brave," but in this Nor'-West of Australia it should be altered to "Fortune favors the pearler who keeps a watchful eye on the barometer."
Working about 12 miles north of Bezout Island we had during the week experienced almost unnatural heat, and for four days a falling barometer, nothing much to worry about but the fall was very evident and not to be disregarded. Having to meet the Paroo on the 18th I went into Cossack, and was there for two days with the same conditions--very great heat and the steady decline, most noticeable. On the 19th I anchored about 6 miles to the east of Bezout with 10 other luggers in sight, a dead calm and a glorious sunset. About midnight a sudden gust of wind woke me up and heavy clouds were rolling up from the east. From then the wind began to increase, and by 5 a.m. there was a very big sea running.
At 6 a.m. we sailed due east past Bezout and then in a south-westerly direction for Port Robinson, behind Dixon Island, in Nichol Bay, under a jib sail only, and anchoring in safety at about 9 a.m. There was now a strong gale blowing from the east-south-east, about 11 a.m. The wind fell away and blew with much less force from about 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., when it commenced to pipe up again and came with wild gust between 9 p.m. and 10.30 p.m., threatening to blow the masts out even in this sheltered, little harbor. The barometer had only fallen from 29.82 to 29.72 during the day, and at 7 p.m. it went up to 29.80. For the moment I thought it was passing off. About midnight the wind slightly abated, but from 6 a.m. on the 21st it started to make up for lost time, increasing in fury, with a torrential downpour of rain driving through the air, strongly mixed with sand and shingle. From 2.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. it was a furious, howling hurricane, blowing, I think, with greater force than