Shakespeare is pictured here working hard guarded by his dog. It is said in years to come that he partly based his play ‘The
Tempest’ on his Bermuda adventure after reading William Strachey’s account of the voyage.
named below is Shakespeare’s patron and intimate friend, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton and the Bard is
also reputed to have dedicated some of his poems to the Earl, including ‘Venus and
in 1593. Always interested in overseas exploration Wriothesley helped equip George Waymouth’s expedition to Virginia
four years ago (see 1605 panel) and this year has been made a member of the Council of the Virginia Company.
Meanwhile back in far off Bermuda Strachey continues to record the aftermath of the shipwreck as the survivors are
able to strip the vessel of much of its cargo and equipment but ‘all of our bread is wet and lost’. Now, ever
positive, they debate the quickest way of finding the way out of their predicament and decide to send a small party on to
Virginia so that vessels there can be sent back to Bermuda, rescue the remainder then carry on to their original destination,
Jamestown. The ship’s longboat is therefore fitted out and partially decked with the ‘Sea Venture’s’
hatches. This done and after all the survivors gather round on shore to join in the prayers for a safe journey said by their
preacher the Reverend Richard Bucke from Wymondham in Norfolk, eight men set out under the command of Henry Ravens the ship’s
mate on Monday, 28th August from ‘Gates his Bay’.
Two days later, however, everyone’s
hopes were dashed when, at night, the boat returns. Ravens reports to Somers that it is impossible to clear the reefs from
the north north-east to the south-west as there is insufficient water on the reefs to get their boat across, even though it
only draws about twenty inches. Nevertheless, nothing daunted they vow on 1 September to try again so, with a short rest,
the following Friday the heroes depart, telling Somers that they aim to make their way out ‘the same way as they came
in, on the south-east of the Islands through the creeks’ (later called Somers Creeks). They will never be heard of again.