My name is Richard as well and I am a descendent of Lyel Ferdinands who along with your grand uncle built the "Zephyr" from the ground up. The story goes that my grandfather was "cheated" out of his recognition for this and subsequently he became a broken man and lost his family to Calcutta. One of the Rowlands paid my grandmother's and children's way to Calcutta where she lived with her sister for a while. The story is vast but I can tell it to you the best I know as my uncle Trevor Ferdinands is still alive and knows quite a bit.
All the best
p.s. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I live in Perth Western Australia