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 HMS Bellette - wreck site sought 
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Lieutenant
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:44 am
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Location: Fife, Scotland
Post HMS Bellette - wreck site sought
The story of HMS Bellette (or Belette) is told on Wikipedia here. She was wrecked in November 1812.
Now five Danes are seeking the precise resting place of the wreck using sidescan sonar and magnetometer.
As Bellette is recorded as striking a rock called "John" or "Fannot", off the island of Læsø in the Kattegat, the precise position of this rock would be of help! Also, so far, no references to the wreck have been found in Danish literature.
Can anyone in Sailing Navies add to this story?

Viking


Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:00 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:27 am
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Location: Australia
Post Re: HMS Bellette - wreck site sought
The UK Hydrographic Office should be able to help. Contemporary charts would presumably have shown the rock under one of those names. It does not seem to be have been "unmarked".


Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:56 am
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Location: Fife, Scotland
Post Re: HMS Bellette - wreck site sought
Further information has been obtained from Denmark as follows -

The name of this rock was last recorded in Danish Pilotage Charts about 1846 as Johns Knold, no further reference being made to it in Danish charts since then. It is probable that the English name of this feature disappeared at about the same time.

The Danish Pilot (translated from the 1846 Danish pilotage notes:)

One of the most dangerous, of the shoal ground surrounding Læsø is the North West Reef, which stretches itself out northwestward on the bearing of NW by ½N , or on the line of Byrum and VesterØes Churches, covering up to 5 square miles from this latter church, where the edge of 4 fathoms is to be found. From the land, approximately 1000 Alen (628 meters) out lies a piece of dry ground, called Johns Knold, around which the reef is about 1000 Alen wide with only 2 feet (0.63 meters) of water, and from here (continues) for another 2000 Alen ( 1.25 Km.) and at its furthest end runs out as a narrow ridge with less than one fathom of water. For most of this stretch it is only 200 Alen wide and the surrounding sandy bottom along the same stretch an area of 3½ - 2 square miles.

Just before the reef’s outermost end, the edge of the reef is marked by a sudden increase of depth from 4 to 22 fathoms which is nevertheless not a navigable channel but an uneven bottom. On the southern side the reef falls away quickly from 2 and 3 to 6 or 7 fathoms depth.
(end of translation)
Should any English pilotage notes from the same era refer to the same hazard, their wording would be of interest!


Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:01 pm
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Location: Australia
Post Re: HMS Bellette - wreck site sought
Extracts from two Pilots are attached (I hope :mrgreen: )


Attachments:
File comment: Norrie's Baltic Pilot 1846
Lessoe I. 1846 Pilot.jpg
Lessoe I. 1846 Pilot.jpg [ 181.84 KiB | Viewed 3202 times ]
File comment: New Seamen's Guide and Coasters Companion 1809
Lessoe I.   1809 pilot.jpg
Lessoe I. 1809 pilot.jpg [ 228.82 KiB | Viewed 3202 times ]
Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:06 am
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Lieutenant
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:44 am
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Location: Fife, Scotland
Post Re: HMS Bellette - wreck site sought
:D Many thanks for the above two extracts, which I have now transcribed for ease of use and forwarding to the Danes. (Anybody else need a copy?).
Pity poor sailors having to navigate such shallow and dangerous seas!

Viking


Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:37 pm
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Location: Australia
Post Re: HMS Bellette - wreck site sought
“In consequence of hostilities with Denmark, and a suspension of the Danish lights, the Lords of the Admiralty ordered, in November, 1808, the FURY bomb-vessel to be stationed off the Skaw, as a floating light, with the Skaw light-house WNW 6 miles……………………….”


Now that would be an uncomfortable duty.

This raises the possibility that the perfidious Danes may have removed other navigation marks and contributed to the difficulties of passing into the Baltic Sea. :shock:


Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:20 am
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