The windjammer Loch Etive, fifteenth in the famous Loch Line of Glasgow, is well remembered for her speed. She started her maiden voyage from Glasgow on January 9th, 1878 bound for Sydney, arriving after a fast passage of seventy six days. In the years that followed, under the forceful command of one Captain William Stuart, she successfully traded between Glasgow and other European ports, carrying wool, wheat and jute from Australia and the far east.
Captain Stuart, who skippered Loch Etive from the day she was launched, was a hard-driving captain with a nose for where the most profitable cargo was to be loaded, and was highly respected for his ability to make profits for his owners. He spurned offers to command big new steamships, remaining faithful to sail to the end. In 1894 he made his last voyage when, at the age of sixty three, he died aboard. The master mariner was buried at sea, taking with him the proud record of having never lost a man overboard during forty three years as a ship’s master. Loch Etive, and the highly respected Captain Stuart, were immortalized by the great author Joseph Conrad, who served under Stuart as a Third Mate.
Roberts painting shows Loch Etive in the Firth of Clyde departing Glasgow for Sydney, Australia on October 15th, 1892. She will take on wool at Melbourne and return to unload her cargo on the Thames some six and a half months later. Also seen in the painting is another clipper under sail, and looking across Firth towards Glasgow the waters are busy with coastal craft.
Each print has been signed by the artist.