Skip to main content

William Barth Osmundsen BRONZES FROM THE SEA

Bronze Sculpture, Fine Artwork by Commission

Home
Contact Us
Site Map
Whats New
MAX YASGUR BRONZE
Max Yasgur framed print o
Portraits Sculpted
Bronzes from the Sea Cade
At the Helm
Flight of the Terns
Sterling Miniatures
Eagles Flight
Americas Cup Last Defense
Restauration
Skipjack Nautical Wares
Ski for Light
Publications
NY World Trade Center
John Paul Jones
Octagon House
Marine Paintings
EcoTips
Holiday's in Portsmouth
On Virginia Beach
Swan
Sighting the Course
NH Percent for Art
Voyage of the Fox
Who Supports the Fox Scul
True Log of the Fox
Bronze Casting
ExxonTiger MedallicArt
Member Login
Artist Chronology
Biography
Koral on Bill Osmundsen
True Log of the Fox

On June 6th, 1896 George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen departed from New York's Battery in an 18 foot rowboat destination Europe.  They took the northern route skirting in and out of the shipping lanes.  The same shipping passages that the Titanic would later use and the same areas fished by Gloucester and Nova Scotia fisherman.

They encountered a pod of whales, gale force winds and high following seas.  At one point they were broadsided by a large wave and capsized.  They were prepared, and the 'hand rails' which were placed on the keel, by their design, helped them right the small open boat in minutes. 

Rowing, each man put in a total of 18 hours a day.  They never could both sleep because their small vessel would stray off course without constant rowing.  They often averaged 50 - 60 miles per day on their 3,000 mile voyage.

On August 1st they arrived at the Sicily Islands which is the British Isles most western point in a record time of 55 days.  Since that achievement many rowers have attempted to best this record, but as of this date 2 Men in an open rowboat, without sail, motor, cover or rudder,  have yet to beat this time or match the achievement with corresponding equipment.


one month out, mid-Atlantic

"It has been blowing a gale for 2 days, and the sea is bigger than we have ever seen it on this trip.
At about 8 pm, a big sea struck us partly side-ways and upsetting the boat and us into the water..."
Friday, July 10th, 1896 by George Harbo, Fox



True LOG of the FOX1

New York, June 6th, 1896

Left Battery 5 pm.  Weather fine. Wind south. Rowed as far as Red Hook* where then towed to Bay Ridge (Brooklyn) by the naphtha launch R.K.FOX.  Rowed then again as far as Romer Shoal (NJ) and anchored 9 PM.  Wind N.E. and foggy. Weather looks bad.

Sunday, June 7th

Lifted anchor 4 am Wind N.E. moderate with rain and fog.  Started to row out to sea.  Passed Sandy Hook Lightship
11 am. 12 noon wind south. S.H. Lightship bearing west.  Distance 5 mile.  This is the last bearing.

Monday, June 8th

8 am wind south and foggy.  Distance rowed from noon 7th - 44 miles.  Head sea all night   Passed a trunk marked      G.L. New York via Havre (trunk empty).  12 noon days work 58 miles.  60 degrees F.  Course E.  by S. Calm and foggy.  Easterly swell.

Tuesday, June 9th

Wind south with showers all night. 
8 am wind S.E. and strong.  Heavy sea. 
12 noon wind south and strong. 
Obsv. latt 40 degrees 8 minutes work
50 miles.  6 pm wind south and clear
55 degrees F. Rowed East. by S.

Wednesday, June 10th

Wind south with rain all night. 
8 am wind south and foggy. 
Strong breeze. 
Rowing East. by S.
12 noon wind south and foggy. 
Strong breeze.  Days work 50 miles.
6 pm wind north. Strong breeze. Clearing off looks windy. 55 degrees F.

Thursday, June 11th.

Wind during the night. N.W. and clear.
8 am.  Wind west, strong breeze.
Days rowing 62 miles.
Obsv. latt 40 degrees 08 minutes,
Course east. 65 degrees F. (at noon)
6 pm wind west very strong.

Friday, June 12th.

Both of us rowed all night.  Too cold to sleep. 8 am Wind west and strong with high sea. 12 noon, wind west. Light moderate sea. Days rowing 90 miles 
70 degrees F. Course E. S. N.

Saturday, June 13th.

8 am. Wind south all night and light with smooth water.  Course E.S.N.12 noon. Obsv. latt 40 degrees 46 minute Wind east and light and smooth. Days work
65 miles. 70 degrees F.  Course E.S.N.
Spoke schooner - Jossey of Wentworth N.S. about 2 pm his long 68 degrees 40 minutes.
(NB The distance marker at noon everyday is all guesswork and therefore very incorrect).
6 pm Wind east and increasing.

Sunday, June 14th.

The night has been a rough one.  Wind east and rain all night.
8 am Wind has increased to almost a gale. Had to anchor about 9 am.
12 noon. Wind east with rain. Blowing a gale. Laying for a sea anchor.
5 pm Wind going down. Heavy sea.
6 pm Start underway. Drifted back 20 miles during the day (guesswork). It is now foggy. 45 degrees F. at noon.

Monday, June 15th.

Wind during the night south and S.E. with heavy sea.
6 am Wind come out to west with strong breeze. 40 miles made since Sunday night 6 pm to 12 noon. Wind west, very strong breeze.
6 pm. Wind west and strong with high sea.. 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tuesday, June 16th

Wind west all night and going down.
8 am. calm 12 noon wind west. Very light.
90 miles made since noon. (guesswork).
Obsv. Latt 40 degrees 34 minutes. 65 F.
6 pm wind west and light. Course E.S.N.

Wednesday, June 17th.

Wind during the night west. Very light.
Smooth water.
8 am wind west. Light with smooth water.
12 noon Wind S.W. light. 50 miles days work. 60 degrees F.

6 pm. Calm. This morning  we passed between a shoal of big whales. About 50. One of them gave us a close call, closer than we have ever been to a big whale in a rowing boat.

Thursday, June 18th.

The night has been partly calm with light wind from the Easter.
8 am Wind east light with rain.

9 am Passed steamer -First Bismarck-.
When passing her, hoisted our American flag. She also hoisted her German flag and turning around and coming after us, and wanted to know if we wanted to be picked up. We said no but asked them to report us.

12 noon. Wind east, moderate and clearing. days work 45 miles. 65 F.
6 pm Wind east light with choppy sea.

Friday, June 19th

Wind during the night have been partly east with choppy sea and partly calm.
8 am. Clearing. Wind SW light with fog. Course ESS. 12 noon. Wind SSW. light with fog. Days work 40 miles. 60 degrees F. Course ESS
6 pm. Wind SW. light and foggy.

Saturday, June 20th.

Foggy all night with light SW wind.
8 am. Clearing. Wind WSW.
12 noon. Wind west and clear. Days work 50 miles. 65 degrees F. Smooth water.
Obsv. Latt 41 degrees 05 minutes.
Course E by S.
6 pm. Wind and weather the same.

Sunday, June 21st.

The night has been fine with fresh westerly wind. 8 am passed a Barque.
First sailing vessel seen in 7 days. Vessel going NW ward.  12 noon. Wind west, fresh breeze. Course E. by S. Days work 70 miles. 70 degrees F.

Monday. June 22nd.

The night has been fine with wind fresh breeze.  12 noon. Wind SW. strong.
Days work 50 miles. 65 degrees F.
6 pm. Wind SW strong. High sea.

Tuesday, June 23rd.

The night has been a rough one with wind SW strong. Heavy rain and sea.
Rowed all night  both of us.
12 noon. Wind WSW strong and heavy sea. 65 miles days work. 65 degrees F. Course E by S. 6 pm. Wind NW light.

Wednesday, June 24th.

The night has been fine with wind NE and moderate. Choppy sea. 
8 am Wind NE light. Course east. 
12 noon. Wind NE and moderate. Choppy
Obsv. Latt. 40 degrees 53 minutes.
Days work 45 miles. 75 degrees F. 
6 pm Wind NE light with choppy sea.

Thursday, June 25th.

The night has been fine with wind NE and going down towards morning. 8 am Wind NW light. Course ESN. 
12 noon. Wind E light with choppy sea. 45 miles days work 70 degrees F. Our dead reckoning shows us today to be on 40 degrees N. Latt. & 50 degrees 20 minutes Long. Gr. South of Steamship route. Have seen no vessel for several days.          6 pm. Wind east & light.

Friday, June 26th.

Night has been fine with Wind east light and smooth water. 8 am Wind east. increasing. Course ESN. 12 noon
Obsv. Latt 41 degrees 29 minutes.
Wind east and light. 45 miles work 70 degrees F.
6 pm Wind S. Light & Smooth.


Note: The Fox has left New York Harbor (The Battery) and they have rowed out on a course of 40 degrees 9 minutes for a considerable distance.  On June 25th they are on a Longitude of 50 degrees and 20 minutes heading North.  We would assume they have caught the Gulf Stream.  Heading into the northern fishing grounds their first encounters are fishing schooners from New England and Nova Scotia.

Saturday, June 27th.

The night has been fine with wind SW and fresh breeze.  8 am Wind SW and moderate. 12 noon. Wind SW fresh breeze. Days work 50 miles. 60 degrees F.  6pm Wind SW strong. Starting to rain.

Sunday,  June 28th.

The wind during the night has been SW strong with light rain.  8 am Wind SW strong.  12 noon. Wind SW strong. days work 55 miles.  6 pm Wind SW and rain with heavy sea.  Broke thermometer during the night. Course E by North.
6:30 pm Wind Sprung around SE blowing a gale for about 2 hours.  Had to use sea anchor from 7 to 9 pm.
9 pm Wind goes down. Started ahead.

Monday, June 29th.

The wind during the night has been SW and foggy with rain.  8 am Wind WSW blowing hard with fog.  12 noon. Wind and weather the same.  Days work 40 miles.
6 pm The weather the same. The night looks stormy with fog and rain.

Tuesday, June 30th.

The night has been a bad one, blowing hard with fog and rain.  12 noon Wind SW blowing hard with fog and rain. Days work 55 miles.  6 pm Wind and weather the same.  Another gloomy night blowing hard with fog and rain. Wind west.

Wednesday, July 1st.

Cleared off during the night and wind moderating towards morning.
8 am Wind west and light.
12 noon Wind west and light. Days work 50 miles.
 Obsv. Latt. 45 degrees Spoke schooner
LEADER of Lunenburg. Got her Longitude:- 50 degrees 25 min. L.W.Gr.
6 pm Wind SW moderate Course ESE
Sundown spoke with another fishing schooner The VOLUNTEER Lunenburg
Asked them to report us.

Thursday, July 2nd.

The night has been fine with wind SW moderate and heavy sea. 8 am Wind SW Sill a big sea running. 12 noon Wind west and light. Day's work 50 miles. Course ESE.  6 pm Wind south.

Friday, July 3rd.

The wind during the night has been SSW and strong.  8 am Wind south and strong. Big sea. 12 noon Wind south. Day's work 50 miles. Heavy sea and strong breeze.
6 pm The same. Wind South.

Saturday, July 4th.

The night has been a stormy one. Wind shifting from south to NNW and rained biggest part of the night.  8 am Wind north, strong breeze and clear weather.
12 noon Wind north, strong breeze.
Course ESE Day's work 55 miles.
6 pm Wind NE light.

This day we celebrated by washing ourselves in soap fresh water. The first day our faces have seen good fresh water since leaving New York.

Sunday, July 5th.

The night has been fine with wind NE and light breeze.  8 am Wind NE and moderate. Course ESE. 12 noon Wind NE and moderate. Day's work 60 miles.
Obsv. Latt. 45 degrees 26 min.

Monday, July 6th.

The night has been stormy with heavy SE wind. Made no headway.
8 am. Wind going down.
12 noon Wind SW very strong. Day's work 75 miles. 5 pm. Wind too strong to run before it any longer. Had to heave to and anchor.
6 pm Blowing a gale with very heavy sea. Wind west.

Tuesday, July 7th.

It has been blowing a gale all night. Wind WSW.  At 3 am broke cable and lost sea anchor. Boat filled about 30 times during the night. Had to keep bailing all night. The night was very dark with showers of rain every hour through the night.
8 am Wind now going down some and shifting towards NE.
12 noon Wind NE moderating.
No account of log can be given for the last 24 hours. Lost 2 water cans in the night. Every thing soaked with water except our bread and this book.
6 pm Wind NE and going down and looks like fine weather again. Sea going down slowly.

Wednesday, July 8th.

The night has been fine with high NW wind 8 am. Wind shifting to SW light breeze. Are making another sea anchor from a few pieces of canvas we had left from making the first one. Course ESS.
12 noon Wind SW fresh breeze.
Obsv. Latt. 45 degrees 51 minutes.
6pm Wind south, very strong.
9 pm Blowing too hard to gain any headway. Anchored with sea anchor.

Thursday, July 9th.

The night has bee very rough. Lifted sea
anchor and started underway during the night. Wind shifting to the westward 4 am
8 am Wind west, blowing a gale. Going before it, stern first. 
12 noon Weather the same.
Day's work 125 miles.
6 pm Wind and weather the same.

Friday, July 10th.

It has been blowing a gale all night Wind West. 8 am Wind increasing. Going before it at a slow rate.
12 noon Day's work 100 miles.

It has been blowing a gale for 2 days and the sea is bigger than we have ever seen it on this trip. At about 8 pm a big sea struck us partly sideways and upsetting the boat and us into the water. In a few minutes however we got into the boat again .  We lost many things this time:-  Floating anchor,
and cable. Dishes and frying pan.
Cook pot and rattan seat.  Everything we have in the boat soaked with water except the bread. This is the 3rd night up without sleep.

Saturday, July 11th.

It has been blowing hard from the west and NW all night.  8 am Wind NW and a gale. 12 noon Wind NW moderating.
A big sea. Days work 135 miles.
6 pm Wind West, moderate.

Sunday, July 12th.

The wind during the night has been West and moderate with a very big sea.
8 am Wind West blowing hard again and raining. 12 noon Wind West, moderated some. Day's work 70 miles.
6 pm Wind West, going down. Yet a big sea running. Looks as we are in a strong head current from the way the sea is running.

Monday, July 13th.

The wind during the night has been light with a little rain. 8 am Wind North with light breeze. Still cloudy weather.
12 noon Wind NE light. Sea calming down. Day's work 50 miles.  6 pm Wind E
light with choppy sea.

Tuesday, July 14th.

The wind during the night shifted Southerly, light with fog and rain.
8 am Wind SW fresh breeze, hazy.
Day's work 40 miles. 6 pm Wind West,
fresh breeze.

This day wrote a letter to NY WORLD
and one to my brother Harold Reed,
269 Pacific Av. Jersey City, NJ, USA


 


Note:  On July 10th after rowing 100 miles during a gale, for their days work,  the Fox is hit broadside by a huge sea and capsized. They had hand rails on the keel as a contingent for righting the boat. They lost many provisions so they headed into the shipping lanes and on July 15th,  they were befriended by the Barque (full rigged sailing ship) CITO.


Wednesday, July 15th.

The night has been fine. Wind SW light breeze.  8 am Wind WSW light breeze.
12 noon. Wind West light breeze. Days work 50 miles.
Spoke Barque CITO of Laurvig, Norway
Capt. Claussen.  Found
Latt. 47 degrees 10 min LW gr. 31  20
Received from the CITO water & provisions to last another 5 weeks and had dinner onboard. Could hardly walk when we got on her deck. We were treated like Lords. Left the CITO again at 5 pm.

 This is to certify that I met the rowboat FOX of New York on Latt:-

47 degrees 10 LW gr. 31 degrees 20' on

this day July 15th, 1896 and that the boat contained no mast, sail or rudder.

 Barque CITO of Laurvig

 N.E.Clausen, Master


Thursday, July 16th.


The night has been fine with wind West, light to fresh breeze with fog.

8 am Wind and weather the same.

12 noon Weather the same. Day's work 50 miles. Course E by SSS.

6 pm Wind SW light breeze with fog.

Smooth water.


Friday, July 17th.


The night has been fine with wind WSW and fog. Light to fresh breeze.

8 am Weather the same. Very thick fog.

12 noon Wind SW fresh breeze with fog.

day's work 55 miles. Course E by SSS.

6 pm Wind SW fresh breeze and foggy.


Saturday, July 18th.


The night has been fine with fresh breeze. Wind west and partly foggy.

8 am Wind SW fresh breeze and foggy. 12 noon Wind SW fresh breeze, foggy.

Days work 60 miles. Course E. by SSS.

Smooth water.      6 pm Wind SW fresh breeze. Clear weather.


Sunday, July 19th.


The wind during the night has been WSW fresh breeze with fog.

8 am Wind West. Foggy.

12 noon. Wind West, fresh breeze and foggy. Day's work 55 miles. Course E by SSS. 6 pm Wind West, very light. Passed a barrel about sundown. Examined it. Found it contained Kerosene oil. Had no means of getting any of it.


Monday, July 20th.


The wind during the night shifted around to the North, fresh breeze.

8 am Wind N.N.E strong breeze.

12 noon. Wind N.N.W. strong breeze. Day's work 50 miles.

6 pm Wind and weather the same. More sea.  7 pm Wind sprung around to W.N.W. and blowing stronger.

Course E by S.


Tuesday, July 21st.


The wind during the night has been WNW and very strong breeze.  8 am Wind NW and strong. 

12 noon. West wind, strong breeze.

Obsv. Latt. 49 degrees  11 minutes.

Days work 60 miles. 6pm Wind WNW strong breeze. Course ESE.

Frank's watch stopped today. Main spring broke. We feel the loose of the time very much.


Wednesday, July 22nd.


The wind during the night has been from WNW Very strong breeze.  Breakfast.

Wind and weather the same. Noon same.

Obsv. Latt 49 degrees 16 minutes. Day's work 60 miles. 

Drawed the fresh water from the after tank and filled it with sea water to make the boat ballast on an even keel.  

Suppertime. Wind west. fresh breeze. Course ESE.  Smooth water.


Thursday, July 23rd.


The wind during the night has been westerly blowing with showers of rain. Very strong. breakfast time Wind WSW

very strong and raining.

Noon wind west very strong breeze and clearing off.  Day's work 55 miles. Course ESE 6pm Calm and clear weather.


Friday, July 24th.


It has been calm all night and clear with high sea.  8 am Calm and clear.  Sea moderating.  Noon Wind NE very light breeze. day's work 50 miles.

Spoke Barque EUGEN of Christiana and went onboard and had dinner there and received a little provision.

6 pm Calm.

This is to certify that I met the rowboat FOX of New York on this day and examined her and found nothing that she could be propelled by except oars.

July 24th, 1896 Axel Bache, Master

Eugen of Christiana


Saturday, July 25th.


The night has been partly calm. After mid night wind sprung up from the NNE with light rain.  Breakfast time. Wind north strong breeze with showers of rain.

12 Noon. Wind North strong breeze and clearing. Day's work 45 miles. Suppertime. wind and weather same with high sea running.


Monday, July 27th.


The wind during the night has been from the NW to North and very light with fine weather.  Breakfast time. Wind NE light breeze.  Noon wind NE light breeze with choppy sea. Obsv. Latt 49 degrees 27min

Drawed off the fresh water from the tank.

Filled after tank with salt water to trim the boat.  Suppertime. Wind the same.

Weather fine.


Tuesday, July 28th.


The night has been partly calm to light winds from the NE shifting to South.

Breakfast time wind SSW fresh breeze.

Noon wind SW strong breeze.

Day's work 55 miles. 

Obsv. Latt 49 degree 27 min Course ESE

Suppertime wind SSW very strong breeze with showers of rain.


Wednesday, July 29th.


The weather during the night has been rough.  Breakfast time wind WNW very strong, breeze with showers of rain.

Noon wind west, blowing hard with high sea.  Going before it at a good rate. Course ESE Day's work 65 miles.

Suppertime wind and weather about same


Thursday, July 30th


The weather during the night has been rough, blowing hard from the WNW with showers of rain. Breakfast  time wind and weather the same. Noon wind NW going down some and clearing off.

Obsv. Latt -49 degrees 41 min. Day's work 75 miles.  Course E by SSS.

Suppertime wind NW fresh breeze.


Friday, July 31st.


The wind during the night has been from the NW shifting to NE fresh breeze.

Noon wind east, very light. Day's work 60 miles. Obsv. Latt. 49 degrees 34 min.

Course East. Suppertime wind very light.

Choppy sea.


Saturday, August  1st.


The weather during the night has been with light breeze from the North. 


One hour before daylight discovered Bishop Rock Light bearing North, distance 10 miles off. One hour after daylight discovered Land. Sicily Island.


At 11 am made land at St. Mary. Went up and called at the US Consul and was received with great honor and favoring us in every way.


Towards night hauled out from the pier, anchored and both of us turned in for the night. The wind is now East and commencing fog. Expect to get underway early in the morning.


more...

Sicily, 1st August.
I certify that at 11 a.m. today the boat FOX of New York arrived at this port having onboard George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen, who stated that they had rowed said boat from New York and on examination I have every reason to correct this report.
John Banfield U.S.
Pr. J.E.Hopper, Consul Agent.



 Notes: (1)  The Fox, an 18 foot surf boat was built on the New Jersey Shore where Harbo and Samuelsen used to 'Clam'.  The boat was the work of William A. Seamen of Branchport, NJ and was rebuilt in 1975 with Harold Seaman who was the son of William and 'backed up most of the rivets' on the original craft.  A replica was commissioned and is owned by the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht of New Jersey who supplied the plans for our sculptural model.  It's assumed Harbo and Samuelsen simply rowed the Fox to lower Manhattan from Branchport.  Before they were towed to the Battery, Harbo and Samuelsen did a rowing demonstration on the Harlem River.  They were photographed rowing in their Sunday best which included 'Bowler Hats, white shirts and vests.