Adventure (ship)

Adventure (ship)

The "Adventure" was a sloop merchant ship built by the crew of Captain Robert Gray on his second voyage to the Northwest Coast of North America. The 45-ton sloop was built to allow the trading venture to access smaller inlets the "Columbia" could not reach. At the end of his second voyage Gray sold the ship to the Spanish.


The skeleton of the craft was brought with the "Columbia" when it sailed from Boston in 1790. [Scofield, John. "Hail, Columbia: Robert Gray, John Kendrick and the Pacific Fur Trade". Oregon Historical Society Press. 1993. p. 241] As the crew of the ship built the winter quarters that were named Fort Defiance, they also began construction of the vessel in October of 1791. The keel was laid on October 3 on Meares Island. [Howay, Frederic W. "Voyages of the Columbia to the Northwest Coast". Boston: The Massachusetts Historical Society (1941), p. 248] Over the winter the ship slowly began to take shape at Clayoquot Sound. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 227] Then on February 23, 1792, the ship was launched, but not without first getting stuck half-way down the ramp. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 313-314, 276] Thus the first American built vessel on the Pacific was launched. [Carey, Charles Henry. "History of Oregon". Vol. 1: Pioneer Historical Publising Co.:Chicago. 1922. p. 139] The first European sailing vessel constructed was built by Chinese labourers employed by British captain Captain Meares’ men in 1788 and named the "North West America". [cite book
last = Skinner
first = Constance Lindsay
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Adventurers of Oregon: A Chronicle of the Fur Trade
publisher = Yale University Press
date = 1920
doi =


On Monday, April 2, 1792, the "Adventure" set sail for its maiden voyage. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 314] The captain was Robert Haswell, the First Mate of the "Columbia". [Howay, Frederic W., p. 390] Also assigned to the small ship was Abraham Waters who became the mate on the "Adventure". [Howay, Frederic W., p. 390] He had been Fourth Mate on the "Columbia". Ten others were also assigned given the ship a crew of twelve men. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 390]

Only a few weeks after departing from the "Columbia", the "Adventure" rendezvoused on April 17 and transferred 500 skins to the larger ship before separating again. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 405] After this the 45 ton ship sailed north. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 390] In July they reached as far north as Sitka Sound in Russian-America. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 345] Then after continued trading, including stops in the Queen Charlotte Islands, the "Adventure" and crew re-joined Gray and the Columbia near Port Montgomery on September 3, 1792. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 350-351] Both then sailed for Neah Bay arriving on September 26 where they encountered the following vessels: "Princesa", "Activa", and "Hope". [Howay, Frederic W., p. 355] The "Acteva" and "Princessia" were under the command of Spanish Commodore Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, while the "Hope" was commanded by former "Columbia" First Mate Joseph Ingraham. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 355]


Then on the 28th Gray sold the craft to the Spanish Commodore for 75 sea otter pelts at Neah Bay near the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 355] The ship was then delivered by Haswell to Spanish first lieutenant Gonzalo López de Haro. [Howay, Frederic W., p. 355]

ee also

*Lady Washington
*Nootka Convention


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