Having arrived in Torquay from Plymouth the previous day, Princess Elizabeth backed out of Torquay Harbour at 10am on Friday 19th May 1961 for swinging the compass in Torbay and obtaining an up to date deviation card. As I expect you will all know, a ship’s compass is affected by steel and other things on a ship. A compass corrector is needed to check the compass every year to make sure that it is accurate and if it is not then he can make adjustments to the magnets in and around the binnacle to make it so. He then produces a deviation card showing for all points of the compass just how much or how little the compass is out. When working out courses the captain then needs to apply these figures on the deviation card, as well as the variation between true and magnetic north, to any course he runs off for any particular heading also making due allowance for wind and tide.
After the compass correcting Princess Elizabeth returned to Haldon Pier just before 11am.
The rest of the day was spent completing final preparations for the first public trips of the season two days later. Saturday 20th May was a day off for the crew. And on Whit Sunday 21st May the Lizzie started her season with a morning cruise round the bay 11.05am to 12.38pm, an afternoon cruise to the River Dart 2.49pm to 5.55pm, and an evening cruise around the Bay 8.23pm to 9.28pm.
Kingswear Castle returned to service in 2023 after the first part of a major rebuild which is designed to set her up for the next 25 years running on the River Dart. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust is now fund raising for the second phase of the rebuild. You can read more about the rebuilds and how you can help if you can here.
This article was first published on 19th May 2021.