The Septentrio of Risør was built in 1869 at Moensverven, Sønderled in Risør by shipbuilder Gunnar Pedersen. She was a partial ownership between the owners: broker Joh. F. Juell (1/8), master Thor Torjesen Grundesund (7/48), Tharald Knutsen Frydendal (5/48), Guttorm Torjesen Rød (1/12), Nils Knutsen Moen (1/12), Karen Pedersen Moen (1/12), second mate Ole Knutsen Moen (1/12), Kristen Knutsen Moen (1/16), Gunnar Olsen Vikingsdalen (1/18), shipbuilder Gunnar Pedersen (1/24), Anders Jakobsen Ausland (1/24), Morten Mortensen Hannemyr (1/24), and Herman Halvorsen Egeland's company (1/24).
At 9 PM Tuesday, June 15 1869 the Septentrio was towed out from Risør to commence her first voyage. She sailed directly to Christiania (Oslo) to take on a load of passengers for Quebec. She also loaded 37 barrels, each containing 1 500 pots of water for the passengers, and 6 barrels for the crew. They loaded 9 cords of wood for burning and 30 barrels of coal. The emigrants boarded the ship on June 28th, all in all 110 adults, 85 children 1-14 and 10 infants under the age of 1. They departed from Christiania on June 28th at 8 o'clock p.m.. On July 4th they passed Dover and sailed through the English channel. They had some stormy weather on one occasion before entering the channel, and several of the emigrants became seasick. On July 25th a 3 year old child from Nordre Land died, and on July 27th a child was born but died at 1 am on the 28th. The captain had baptized the boy before it died, and he was given the name "Johannes". According to a letter sent home by capt. Torjesen, the two children were brothers, and were buried at sea in the same coffin. The captain conducted the ceremony of sprinkling earth on the coffin. They sang two psalms before lowering the coffin in to the sea and one after. Another passenger died the same day as the funeral for the children. It was an elderly woman age 66 from the Holmestrand area. The captain said she looked pretty weak all ready when she embarked the ship, and fellow passengers had told her that they did not think that she would make it across the ocean. But the woman badly wanted to get to America, as her children were living there. The captain said she died from tuberculosis, but according to the report from the quarantine station at Grose Île, the deaths were from diarrhoea and miasmus. They reached the Canadian coast around August 22nd, which was the date when the pilot came aboard. On August 25th they reached the quarantine station at Grosse Île. A woman was ordered to hospital by the inspecting doctor, suffering from bronchitis. On August the 27th they anchored at Quebec after a 60 days voyage. Then emigrants were brought ashore by a steamboat. One member of the crew jumped ship in Quebec. The remaining 11 (including the captain) took on a load of lumber for Llannelly, England. The Septentrio departed Quebec on September the 20th and arrived at Llannelly on October 25th, after a 36 days voyage. [The information about the crossing, and the pictures on this page was submitted by Nils E. Moen who is a descendant of some of the crew and owners of the ship.]
(courtesy of Nils E. Moen)
The crew aboard the Septentrio. To the left you can see one of the water barrels
(courtesy of Nils E. Moen)