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Extract of Letter from Mr. E. M. Chaffers, R. N., Commander of the Tory, dated New Zealand, September 1, 1839.
WE had a good run after leaving Plymouth, and got off Lisbon in five days. I kept to the eastward, running down
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the coast of Portugal, knowing the wind is more northerly and fresher in shore than three or four hundred miles off the coast. I passed well to the eastward of Madeira in seven days and a half, and ran to the Cape Verd Islands in fifteen days. We lost the N. E. trade in 7 deg. N. and in three days caught the S. E. trade fresh in 4 deg. N. We crossed the line in 26 deg. 50' W. on the 26th day from Plymouth. I crossed the line on that meridian, knowing from experience that the trades are not so far apart to the westward, are much stronger than to the eastward, and the long calms and squally weather are avoided: we have come up with, and ran out of sight in twenty-four hours, every vessel we have seen, all of them larger vessels than the Tory. Some of them were civil in showing their colours, and one her number, the Holmes, but I could not succeed in getting an answer to my signals. We came up with a fine large Spanish ship, the Colon, of Manilla, about 900 tons, and in twelve hours she was courses down dead to leeward. We did not take in a reef until the morning we caught the S. E. trade. I find her very stiff under her canvass. Off the Cape Verd Islands she went eleven knots, with royals and top-gallant studding-sails set; and on a wind with a good breeze, eight knots is her average rate of sailing. I should like to fall in with a man-of-war, to try her rate of sailing. The crew have their regular watch and watch, hammocks up all day, and forecastle cleared. I make them wash their clothes regularly, and muster every Sunday. I have no trouble with them, and they work quick and well, I have fumigated the ship well, according to Dr. Carmichael Smith's method, with nitrous fumigation, and it has had a very good effect in destroying the foul air.
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