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|Print of Cromarty Bay, c 1840|
This engraving illustrates well the weather conditions which were probably very similar to those described in the diary of Anne Fraser:-
One wild and windy night in November 1823, stormy seas forced many ships to seek shelter in Cromarty Bay. Amongst these vessels was a Dutch merchantman transporting convicts to Batavia (now Jakarta) on the Island of Java.
The ship's officers went ashore and became acquainted with the inhabitants of Cromarty. The locals and their unexpected guests from overseas evidently enjoyed each other's company. Communication problems were cheerfully overcome using a combination of broken English, French, and when all else failed, sign language.
Anne's vivid account conveys the merriment these Dutch mariners brought to "our beautiful bay".
So it was with a hint of regret that the folk of Cromarty said farewell to their visitors the following March. Anne's final comment "one of the gayest winters I ever remember".
The engraving and the diary are both held at the Highland Archive Centre, Inverness.
The reference for the diary is :- HCA/D1038/1.
The reference for the engraving is:- HCA/D1171/2
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