HM Packet Spey was shipwrecked in the Ragged Islands

By August 26, 2018Bahamas, Caribbean, Published Works
HM Packet Spey

On Thursday I shared the latest article I wrote for the South Florida edition of the All at Sea magazine where I have a monthly column. It was about the new sculpture of a mermaid and piano that sits underwater in the Exumas for everyone to snorkel. Well I got a very cool and interesting e-mail a while back for an article about the Ragged Islands that I wrote a year ago or more and I wanted to share it with you, so here we go.

I read your article and watched your video on the Ragged Islands. Thank you. I’m especially interested in Buena Vista and Raccoon Cays. My third great grandfather Charles Alfred Kellett served aboard the HM Packet Spey which was wrecked on a coral reef somewhere between these two cays November 1840. I’m curious whether you’ve come across any older wreck sites in this vicinity?

Kind Regards,
Drummond Corrie
Queensland, Australia

I replied to him that I had not seen any older shipwrecks in the area, but there is not a whole lot of protection between the islands and storms come through on a regular basis. I then asked him to tell me more about his Great Grandfather and his ship, to which he sent the following e-mail.

Hi Shane,

The vessel was the HM Packet Spey, I’ve attached an article regarding the shipwreck and court martial [Shane – see below].

It was the first vessel that Captain Charles Alfred Kellett worked aboard (as boy & seaman), he would later become Captain of the Chinese Junk Keying, which caused quite a stir in New York and Boston in 1847. A photo is attached of the Keying moored in New York, 1847 (the one with the very curved bow)[Shane – this was the cover photo].

Thanks for your videos of the area around Ragged Island. Robert Bastard James, Commander of the Spey, mentions a beacon on Raccoon Cay. I wonder if any of the old beacons are still out there? 

Please keep making videos; it’s greatly appreciated. Maybe one day I can visit the Bahamas and retrace some steps.

Kind Regards,

Drummond Corrie

How cool is that? Let me tell you, when I get e-mails like this it makes all the effort of making the travel videos worthwhile. I would love to hear what you think of Drummond’s story.

Newpaper article about the HM Packet Spey

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