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The Yokohama Journals

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  • Noyes Frederick Avery (1855 - 1925)
    Biography Noyes Frederick Avery was associated with the lumber industry through a business known as Robinson-Solomon & Co. He later was manager of the estate. He was a director of various industries ...
  • Frank Wilder Foster (1849 - 1917)
    Son of Wilder D. Foster and Fannie Lovell Foster, he was adopted by Noyes Latham Avery after his marriage to the widowed Fannie Lovell Foster. No children. Round the World Voyage According to fam...

Daily Logs of a Round-the-World Voyage 1882-1883

On December 12, 1882 Noyes Frederick Avery and his step brother Frank Wilder Foster set sail from New York harbor on the square rigged schooner "Jacob E. Ridgway" bound for Yokohama, Japan on the first oceanic leg of their round-the-world journey. The voyage took them around the Cape of Good Hope, sailing on through the Indian Ocean, through the Sunda Straight, then onwards across the Java Sea, north through the China Sea, finally setting anchor in Yokohama harbor at 4pm, May 22, 1883. Two hand written journals of this journey exist and remain through descent in the family and provide detailed daily entries of the voyage and subsequent return voyage to San Francisco on the steamer "SS City of Rio de Janeiro" which later sank after hitting a shoal at the entry to San Francisco Bay. Only 85 of the 220 passengers and crew were saved. A third volume describing their exploits while in Japan is lost.

According to family oral history, Frank Wilder Foster, became interested in a romantic pursuit that his family was not in support of. As a means of dissuading this interest he was sent on this "round the world" voyage.

The Journals

VOLUME 1 - New York to Yokohama

VOLUME 2 - Yokohama to San Francisco

  • remaining page scans in progress

The journals begin in the hand of Noyes Frederick Avery, but commencing on page 15 of Volume 1, Frank Wilder Foster assumes the authorship and completes the journals in his hand.

Krakatoa Eruption of 1883 It is worth noting that when the Jacob E. Ridgway passed through the Sunda Straight in March 1883, the ship sailed past the intact island of Krakatau. Beginning about 2 months later, on May 20, 1883 the first volcanic eruption was recorded, leading to a series of volcanic explosions that began at mid-day on August 26, and ended on August 27 with a cataclysmic eruption that would eviscerate most of the land mass of Krakatoa. On this day, the northern two-thirds of the island collapsed into a sub-oceanic magma caldera, generating a series of immense tsunamis that decimated the adjacent coastline and towns. The events that began on August 26 would ultimately kill over 36,000 people, leaving hundreds of coastal villages and towns destroyed. While the island of Krakatau is not specifically mentioned in the journals, it is very probable that many of the indigenous people who are mentioned during their travels through the Sunda Straight would soon perish in the aftermath of the eruption.