1852 - Martin, A. Journal of an Emigrant from Dorsetshire to New Zealand. [Typescript] - [Voyage] p 1-26

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  1852 - Martin, A. Journal of an Emigrant from Dorsetshire to New Zealand. [Typescript] - [Voyage] p 1-26
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(by Albin Martin)

For Private Circulation.

W. S. Johnson, "Nassau Steam Press", 60St.
St. Martin's Lane

Monday, June 16th, 1851: Left Gravesend on this day about one o'clock, p.m. Having gone on board Friday, the 13th, we had plenty of time to get our cabins in order. The delay was occasioned by a child having an eruption on its face, as the Government Inspector would not clear the vessel until it was certain that the child had not the smallpox. A pilot took charge of our ship as far as Deal; nothing worthy of notice happened whilst he was on board. These pilots are well paid, receiving, our captain informed me, as much as £15 for two days' work. There being a head wind, we kept tacking about for the first week; this added much to our sea-sickness. The night after our pilot left us, it being very dark and misty, we ran into a French fishing-smack; two of the men got on board our ship: one of them, the captain of the smack, bewailed the supposed loss of his boat, and abused our sailors in no very delicate French, but which, as they did not understand it, had very little effect. I happened to be awake at the time the accident occurred, and jumped up, I must own, rather frightened; the passengers thought we had come on a rock, and some of them were much

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bewildered. The two men were sent on to their boat in the morning, with a request that they would give us a dish of fish, but they did not send any back. We had a supply of thirty dozen fowls, one dozen sheep, thirty pigs, and a cow for milk; ten dozen of the fowls died in the first week, much to the relief of those which remained, for they were crowded to death. One sheep and three pigs were killed every fortnight; the first porker was put to death in a most barbarous manner; the man who came on board as butcher did not understand his calling. On taking the pig out of his pen, a string was tied to his leg; he immediately made a bolt, and darted into the lap of seven young ladies, who were sitting reading novels and knitting opposite the cuddy door; the surgeon's bulldog, thinking the pig very unpolite, joined in the fray; the squeaking of the pig, the barking of the dog, the screams of the seven sisters, and the laughter of the sailors, rendered the scene most amusing to the lookers-on. Every trifle tends to break the monotony of the day. We have seen a few birds, sharks, and dolphins; as yet nothing has been killed -- bottles are thrown out from the stern to be shot at, but they are not easy to hit.

June 29th. - We go on very slowly; the voyage will be a long and tedious affair if we do not get more favourable winds. The children have all been very ill, except Walter; I am most wretchedly sick whenever a rough sea comes on. The weather has not been too hot; we have suffered more from cold. Yesterday, rather a large vessel came in sight; the captain got out his signal flags, and learnt where she came from and how long she had been out: the ship was about eight miles away from us.

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June 30th. - The wind still against us, but we keep moving on; in twenty-four hours eighty-seven miles of our voyage have been got rid of. There are two clergymen on board: we have the church service on deck in the morning on Sunday. In the afternoon, a Northcountryman, an Independent minister, holds forth for an hour, but he says the same things, so many, many times over, and his dialect is so strong, that it is anything but pleasant to listen to him; he seems, however, a good sort of person. There is no chance of our stopping any where on our voyage; it would take up too much time for us to touch at Madeira although our captain seems rather inclined to do so.

July 2nd. - The wind is blowing from the east, and we are going at the rate of nine miles an hour; this puts us all in good spirits. Every thing on board goes on in the same dull way: I am unable to read or to pay any continued attention to any thing, this is the effect of seasickness; most of the passengers are pretty much in the same way. What with the children's breakfast at half past seven, our own at nine o'clock, children's dinner at one o'clock, our lunch at the same hour, and then our dinner at four o'clock, children's tea at six, ours at seven o'clock, we seem to live but to eat. The days are now beginning to get short; as soon as it gets dusk all the people come out of their close dens to enjoy the cool breeze. Those ladies and gentlemen who have the gift of singing, amuse themselves and others by their musical talents. Those who can tell long stories have plenty of listeners.

July 3rd. - In the afternoon as we were sitting at dinner, the first mate came to say that there was land to be seen right

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a-head. It was the Island of Porto Santo, the least of the Madeiras, long. l6° 25' W., lat. 32° 58' N. It has a fine outline from the sea. We were about seven miles from it. Another small island was passed in the night, but I was not up to see it. Our ship has made good progress, having made 180 miles per diem these last three days. Except scrubbing the decks in the morning, the sailors seem to have but little to do; the captain keeps them all in capital order, and does everything with as little noise as possible. The first and second mates are both of them good officers.

July 4th. - We passed the Island of Palma, one of the Canary Islands; it is much frequented for its excellent wines and safe harbour. Long. 17° 50' W., lat. 28° 37' N. Our course lay about thirty miles from it. It was very misty weather, so that only just the outline was to be seen. The form is not good, being too lumpy; anything, however, which breaks the horizontal line is interesting to us. There has not been a vessel of any kind in sight for several days. We are going a good pace, the wind is very steady, and the captain hopes to be at the Equator in a week or ten days. We are beginning to get over our seasickness: there is very little motion in the ship at all; the passengers make their appearance at the table; we sit down twenty-six to dinner, the officers of the ship included. Considering all things, we manage much better than I expected in the eating way. The cook is a very good one; and if the sheep and pigs hold out to the end of the voyage, there will be nothing to complain of. It is very probable that many of the passengers have never lived so well on shore as they have done

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since they have been on board.

July 7th. - I have little to write about, even the wind does not change. There is nothing to be seen on all sides but water; and the colour of the sea has not varied for several days. Mr. Dudley, a clergyman, has school for the children every day after breakfast; Mergie and Fanny attend; they seem pleased, and I think they improve. It is now dark about seven o'clock, but the evenings are very pleasant, much more so than the day; the wind blows very hot, and we begin to complain of the closeness of our cabins. Ours being a stern one, we have the luxury of getting air whenever there is any. Those below are much to be pitied; if they keep their windows shut, they are stifled, if they open them they stand the chance of being drenched by some unlucky wave which comes pouring in upon them. There has been a regular hang out of clothes today, occasioned by these accidents.

July 12th. - Did not see the Cape de Verde, the air being thick. For some cause or other the captain did not go so near to them as he expected. There has been some rough weather this last day or two; I have been ill in consequence; the children have suffered a little. This morning the rain came down in tropical style; all the tubs and baths were got out. Mr. Brodie began his wash; the example being set in a short time there was a general soaping, rinsing, and wringing. The passengers came on deck in every possible variety of oilskin and India-rubber dresses; many of them with very little dress on at all. The scene was quite new to most of us, and was as great a change as could have happened. It has been very hot and close all day;

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the thermometer was up to 80°. We have seen numbers of flying-fish; one came on board; the sailors had him for breakfast; they are very good to eat. I hope the passengers will keep good friends with each other. A voyage of this sort brings out all selfish and unreasonable qualities in great force. One person thinks he has not his allowance of water; those who sit at the bottom of the table think all the worst things are put at their end, and that we at the top get the best dishes. Our captain is most judicious, we cannot be too thankful in having him for our master; if we were left to our own devices, our provisions would, the best of them, be gone before the end of the voyage, and the passengers altogether by the ears.

On Sunday, 13th July, we were becalmed; there was a heavy sea, and the ship had a most unpleasant way of going, if round and round can be called going; it was a sort of see-saw. Towards night a breeze took us on very nicely; we have suffered very much from heat, the thermometer being 86°. About nine o'clock, p.m., a vessel which had been seen for some time in the distance, came up close to us; our captain spoke to her with a trumpet; she was from Batavia, bound for Amsterdam. There is something solemn in passing a large ship in a gloomy night. A few moments and she passed quietly on her course. Every noise on board our ship was hushed, except the occasional rattle of the sails. We could hear the replies of the Dutchman very plainly. There had been storms flying about all day, but we escaped them; in the night down came the rain in torrents, the ship pitched about, I could not get any sleep, the noises were beyond description. Our rudder, from some cause or other, does not act well, it makes

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a most unpleasant noise and vibration in rough weather, in smooth water it does well enough. This, with the trampling of the sailors over head, the rush of water at the stern (for we sleep with both windows open), the uneasy position of all sorts of things in the cabin, which keep knocking each other about, the nerves must be in a very quiescent state to enable one to get any sleep under such circumstances. I have not mentioned the chance of one of the six children adding its mite to the disturbance.

Saturday, July 19th. - All this week the winds have been adverse, the ship has not been able to keep her course: sometimes, although she was going eight miles an hour, we were like the crab, progressing backwards, some unlucky current drifting us out of our way. There has been a cool day or two but the weather seems inclined for heat. A French ship lay about three miles off us, the captain gave some of our young adventurous spirits leave to take a boat and go to the Frenchman upon the spec. of bringing some nice things to eat - French vessels often have little luxuries to sell; they went, and the French captain was very polite to them, but they were disappointed as to the luxuries, he had nothing to sell, but sent us some brandy and anchovies as a present.

Tuesday, July 22nd. - The wind has been right ahead since the 19th; we may be at the equator in three or four days, or we may be tacking about for the next ten; vessels are nearly always detained at the point we are at now either by calms or adverse winds.

Saturday, July 26th. - This day we crossed the line at

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three o'clock, p.m. This seems to be the first stage of our voyage. We are now leaving the sun, and do not expect to get any more very hot weather; today has been the most pleasant we have had since leaving England, a bright clear sky and brisk wind, neither too hot, or too cold. The old customs the sailors used to have in crossing the line are now done away with, and they are much "more honoured in the breach than in the observance:" the men have to content themselves with a few bottles of rum; our ship is on the temperance plan, and it is much the best; the sailors are well-behaved, and the captain acts with great kindness towards them, but keeps the most strict discipline.

July 30th. - We have got the trade winds again, and are going on very nicely; making our 150 miles per diem. I suppose this is not considered fast sailing, but still it will carry us forward a considerable distance by the end of the week. We hope to see the island of Trinidada on Sunday. There is now a rough sea, with a good deal of wind; this causes the ship to lie on her side, and every now and then she gives a great lurch which is very unpleasant to those who are bad sailors. The getting up of a morning is the worst part of the day; it requires a considerable effort to get to the washing stand, and when there, to maintain a footing. How it is possible for any one to like a sea voyage, I cannot think: one cannot eat, drink, or walk, but under great difficulties; then there is the being in prison, with the chance of being drowned; other evils may fall to our lot, such as an ill-tempered or injudicious captain, disagreeable fellow passengers, bad provisions, and perhaps but little of them; the last evils we are at present free from; the former

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cannot be avoided.

Saturday, August 2nd. - The ship is making a bad course, there is very little wind; if we get on at the rate of three miles an hour, it is something. I am afraid we shall not see the island of Trinidada, having gone so much out of our way; we have had no cause for excitement, no storms or accidents of any kind, to give interest to a journal. The sunsets have been very beautiful since we crossed the line; I never saw so much of the rose colour in any skies. There has been some little disagreement amongst the cuddy passengers. I suppose this is sure to happen on long voyages, every body wants to have his own way. The only person whose will is supreme is the captain's, and lucky it is for us that this is the case. I shall stand up for the supreme right of captains, that is, provided they are as kind hearted as Capt. Pearson, and keep up the same good management; he seems to neglect only one person, and that is himself. There has been no misunderstanding either in the intermediate or steerage cabins, so that the cuddy passengers do not set the example we ought. People situated as we are have not much else to do but to eat and drink. We all seem to enjoy ourselves at meals, and as there is plenty to eat, we get bilious and ill tempered; a blue pill, &c, would I think impart serenity of mind to some of us. No birds or fish have been caught or shot, we seem quite out of the way of them. The sunsets are still very fine, I never saw more deep or richer colour.

Wednesday, August 6th: - We are getting on very slowly and are all grumbling in consequence; we cannot have much less than four months' passage; this is not a very pleasant prospect for

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me, as I shall not get over my sea-sickness until I leave the ship. Today we came up with a little English brig, called the British Empire, 170 tons. Her Captain came on board of us while we were at breakfast; he is bound for Monte Video. As there is a chance of letters getting to England from Monte Video, a number were written and sent. The captain of the brig left us after dinner; he is a tall, good-looking young man; he seemed to enjoy his visit, and it made the day pass a little less dull than usual to us. The weather is now getting much colder; I have put on my cloth coat again; after the heat we have had, we expect to suffer very much when the cold does come. We hear numberless stories of dreadful storms, and wet, cold weather, which every one who has gone near the Cape seems to have met with. This Cape must be a horrid place if what we hear about the weather of it be true. It is not an easy matter to write on board a ship, one is so distracted by the cries of the children; ten or a dozen persons are discussing different subjects at the cuddy table, where I am now writing; there is a great trampling and noise overhead on the deck, and the intermediates at the cuddy door are amusing themselves by laughing, singing, whistling, and talking; sometimes a lurch of the ship comes which obliges one to hold on to the table with both hands. We have plenty of time and opportunity of studying each others' characters; I do not think any one of us is likely to set the Thames on fire; we are rather an odd mixture of individuals, but I must wait till the land of the voyage before making any more remarks. Few seem to know what they are going to do on arriving at New Zealand; each is curious to find out the plans and prospects of his neighbour.

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Saturday, August 9th. - The island and ports of Trinidada were seen about three o'clock. I did not see the island, but made a sketch of the Martin Bass rocks; at half-past six o'clock we passed very near. We have been going today at the rate of eight miles an hour; a few nautili came near our ship, they were very pretty, and looked like pieces of pink ribbon floating about. The weather has been most beautiful, and the sunsets very fine; tonight it was indeed magnificent.

Friday, August 15th. - We have passed from the midst of summer to cold winter; yesterday was the worst day we have had since leaving England, the rain came down in torrents, and the wind increased to what I should call a gale, but the sailors said it was only a little fresh; however, the ship strained so much that the captain ordered in all the sails except two; it was curious to see the men on the yards, clustering like bees; I thought they were in a dangerous situation enough, as it was; how they manage it in a heavy gale I cannot tell; the sails being reefed, the ship was more easy, but the rocking up and down most unpleasant. Nothing can be more miserable than a wet day at sea, we were obliged to stay in the cuddy, or in our own cabins; if you moved you stood the chance of being set head foremost in any direction but the one you wished to go in; one of the passengers has had his face cut by a fall on the deck. Today it has been very pleasant after the storm, the wind is fresh, and the sun shines out; the effects of light and shade on the water are very fine; the ship is not going her course, this is not very cheering after the knocking about we have had. They say we shall have cold stormy weather until we get to the end of our voyage; I like

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cold better than heat, anything but wet. The birds called Cape pigeons have made their appearance; they keep close to the stern, and pick up whatever food is thrown over the side; they are easily shot or caught with a hook, the bait being a piece of fat; stray albatrosses have been seen; when we get farther they say there will be numbers of them.

Monday. August 18th. - Today has been nearly a calm, the weather very cold, like February in England. The next land to be seen is the island of Tristan d'Achuna, long. 11° 44' S., lat. 37° 6' S.; this place had some soldiers on it during the time Buonaparte was at St. Helena; when they were removed, one of them, named Glass, having a liking for the island, remained there with his family, others joined him, and they number now more than 100 people. Glass is called governor, and they live very contentedly; a clergyman has gone out to them; ships call for potatoes, sheep, and fowls, and give them in return, tea, sugar, and clothes; our captain will stay a day at the island, if possible, but if there is a rough sea, I would not give much for our chance. I should like to get some potatoes, they say they have them very fine. I am beginning to be a little better sailor, and am able to sit at the cuddy table during dinner and breakfast; numerous accidents of cups of coffee being projected into the laps of our opposites have happened; it is not at all pleasant to have a large fat ham near one, as it has a great propensity to jerk off the table. During this rough weather the rudder has been shaking most violently, our cabin being close to it, the vibration is as bad as that on board a steam boat; if the rudder does not get us

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into trouble before we arrive at New Zealand we ought to be thankful. The climate we are now in seems very changeable, in fact, we have had very variable weather since we left London - scarcely three days following without a change.

Wednesday, August 20th. - This morning it was reported that land had been seen in the distance, but it was very doubtful, and considered by most of us to be fabulous. An observation was taken at twelve o'clock, and it turned out that it was the island of Tristan d'Achuna. We were much disappointed at not going on shore, and also of our mealy potatoes; the sea was very rough, so that had we been close in no boat could have come to us. The ship has gone through the water in capital style today, and she is very easy, the weather cold and misty, with a little rain. Four or five weeks since our poor little baby met with a sad accident - Emily was playing with a pair of scissors; baby, in trying to get hold of them, had the top of one of the fingers of his left hand nearly cut off. The doctor was applied to - whether he managed properly or not I cannot tell - but the cut did not heal, and we were very much afraid the finger would have to be taken off; inflammation was the only thing which prevented the doctor from performing the operation. Today the first joint has come away, and we are in hopes the remaining part of the finger will now do well; we are thankful it is no worse. Our fellow-passengers do not improve in their tempers, there is always some complaint or other going on: the captain is very much vexed by these bickerings; he acts with the greatest impartiality. I have made up my mind not to quarrel with any one. Some are continually finding fault with the Stewart; he certainly is sometimes very unpleasing in his manner; those who take things

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quietly, reap advantage from the servants being kept up to their duty by the discontented. We have had some large birds near the ship.

Thursday, August 21st. - Today, Mr. Read offered me a shot with his gun, loaded with ball; I fired, and brought down an ugly black-looking bird, called the undertaker by sailors; it is of the albatross or gull kind. Some of the birds are quite black, others of a shabby-looking brown, and some lead-coloured and white. Mr. Read has caught one of these last, it measured six feet eight inches from the tip of one wing to the other; the albatross measure some of them fourteen feet.

Saturday, August 23rd. - The weather very cold, the wind rough; we are about nine hundred miles from the Cape; if we do not get on better than we have done, it will be nine or ten weeks before we reach Auckland. What is to be done with our time I do not know; one consolation is, we know the worst; it is impossible that the last part of the voyage can be more tedious than the first. The bad spirit which exists amongst some of us will not add to the delights of the voyage.

Monday, August 25th. - The weather still cold, with a strong wind, which takes us on at a great rate; we may be off the Cape in four days; I shall then begin to think about New Zealand. The storm which has been brewing amongst the passengers came on yesterday; these internal gales do not pass away so easily as the external. Our neighbours in the stern cabin have been continually finding fault, the captain at length became tired of their complaints; matters came to a crisis, and he spoke his mind very plainly before all of us in the cuddy; this was the

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commencement of a general attack on our friends in the next cabin. It was with reluctance that I joined, but I could not avoid it; we had been scarcely on speaking terms for some time past; with the exception of Jemima, all the ladies in the ship had ceased to hold converse with Mrs. B., who had given herself airs of exclusiveness, and Mr. B. had behaved with great rudeness and incivility; neither Jemina or myself had any cause of complaint, but Miss Goldsborough had. These difficulties, as the Americans would call them, have rendered the voyage much more unpleasant than it need have been.

Monday, Sept. 1st. - On Friday last we were what is called off the Cape, that is, we were as near as three hundred miles, so that we may well call it being off the Cape. The weather is so cold that Mergie and I have had chilblains on our fingers. Before Friday we had quiet winds and sunshine for several days and were congratulating ourselves on escaping the storms and tempests which we were looking out for, but this calm and sunshine was not to last, for on the very evening of the twenty-eighth a gale came on, which even our captain allowed to be a severe one while it lasted. The wind had been blowing a little fresh all the morning, and storms were to be seen flying about in the distance; the captain just about teatime, asked me if I had tried to put down the lead lights which protect our stern windows, this was a hint that he expected bad weather. I went to see to the windows, and whilst I was setting down the lights a tremendous lurch of the ship came, which sent everything moving to and fro: there is in our cabin a large chest of drawers, or rather two chests, one fitting on to the other, the drawers happening to be

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unlocked, they were all but sent out on to the floor, and being as full as they could be stuffed with linen, if they had come entirely out the smash must have been great. This was the beginning of the gale, the wind increased with great violence, and as the captain could not trust to the rudder, the ship was laid to about ten o'clock. We passed a very unquiet night: in the morning the wind abated, and before night it was nearly a calm. I had never been in a gale at sea before, and was much gratified at witnessing one of the grandest sights I had ever seen. There was a great deal of phosphoric light on the water, and as the waves rose and broke they appeared like sheets of white flame, innumerable sparks of fire glistened in the track of our vessel, the night was very dark, the deck very slippery from the spray, the wind was so furious that I was obliged to hold on with both hands to the ropes; at about eleven o'clock I had seen the best of the storm, and went down to bed, but not to sleep, for the noise and knocking about was so great, that I do not think anyone on board slept that night.

Tuesday, Sept. 2nd. - On Sunday the bad weather came on again, and has not yet left us; the sea is very high, and it is a grand sight to look at the waves as they dash by on either side, but they do not give us such thumps as they did on Friday, then they struck the ship and made her stagger again; sometimes a sea would take her on one side, and slap another would come on the other, Whilst I am now writing the gale still goes on, and we shall have a bad night of it.

Wednesday, Sept. 3rd. - I went to bed last night expecting every moment to be turned out of it again, it was impossible to

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sleep; about three o'clock, a. m., a heavy sea struck us and broke over the ship; I was awake at the time, and held on to the side of the bed, wondering what was to come next. For a moment it seemed doubtful which would get the best of it, the wave or the ship; but our vessel became steady again, and rose all right. The water poured into most of the cuddy 1 cabins, and from thence descended to the unfortunates below, who were some of them drenched to the skin, and had their beds flooded. Few of the passengers were aware of what had really happened, and came out of their berths thinking the rudder had given away. One of the boats was nearly knocked off; four bundles of hay were lost from the side. I have had quite enough of rough weather, but am afraid we shall have a good deal more before we get to New Zealand. These last four days we have made nearly 200 miles a day.

Friday, September 5th. - Last night was quiet; but this afternoon the wind has risen again, accompanied with rain. Matters are patched up again amongst the passengers; that is, the gentlemen are on speaking terms again. The ladies do not get over their differences so easily. Baby's finger is getting well. All the children have had good health. Walter has improved very much; when he first came on board he cried all day and night; he was a great nuisance to every one; now he is quite a favourite in the ship. The second mate is very fond of him, and has him by his side at breakfast and dinner times. Albinus takes after his papa; the motion of the ship does not agree with him; he looks very thin and pale.

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Tuesday, September 9th. - The weather is the only subject I have to write on. The storm and tempest still continue. Yesterday the wind blew so hard that whilst we were at breakfast the captain ordered the ship to lay to again; I went on deck to see the effects; it seemed impossible for the wind to blow harder than it did; the sky was hazy and the sea all of one tone of colour; the waves were very high and chased each other at a great rate - the spray rising from them like smoke. We have a most miserable time of it. It has been wet for several days, and today there has been hail. The decks are so slippery, it is quite dangerous to walk on them. Several accidents have happened from persons falling; a man of no less consequence than the cook fell, and he has injured his shoulder very much. I am sorry both for his own sake and ours too; he is obliging and civil; he understands his art, and excels in his pork-pies. Yesterday I was sitting on the sofa with some of the children, Jemima and baby on the floor - the safest place in a gale, a lurch came which sent me headlong on to the floor, and also Mergie and Fanny; heaps of bedding, baths, chairs, and boxes were all thrown about and upon us. On picking ourselves up nobody was found to be hurt. The children seem to think these lurches very good fun; it is quite amusing to see the things dancing about at dinner time.

Friday, September 12th. - I am quite tired of writing about bad weather; each day seems more cold and wretched than the previous one; squalls of wind, accompanied by hail and rain, keep coming up on all sides. We have seen two waterspouts in the distance; they were about four miles off. The water, whirling

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and twisting about as it was sucked up from the sea, could be distinguished very plainly. We hope to make the Island of St. Paul or Amsterdam on Monday. There is plenty of fish to be caught close to the shore; the captain promises to stop if possible, but I think we shall be going too fast to do so. Last night a play, called "Turning the Tables" was acted by some of the passengers and went off very well. The captain allowed us to have some supper and a few bottles of wine over which we enjoyed ourselves. Supper is never allowed on board ship; but on this occasion our kind captain suffered the rule to be broken. There has been a vessel in sight today; the captain ordered out some extra sails; and if the wind remains as it is we shall overtake her. All the sailing qualities of our ship have been lost by the misfortunes of the rudder; she goes very fast, and with all her canvass on, it would take a first-rate ship to beat the Cashmere; but, in a heavy sea, most of the sails have to be taken in, for, if not, the rudder shakes in a most frightful manner.

Wednesday, September 17th. - The weather has got from bad to worse; on Saturday night the gale was tremendous; we were obliged to lay to; the captain, who was up all night, said it for a short time blew a hurricane. The roaring of the wind as it rushed amongst the masts and rigging was terrific; it seemed like some demon determined to gain the mastery over our ship, and at one time it kept everything still, the waves were subdued, and the Cashmere was as quiet as when in the docks. We were all glad when the morning came. One cannot help thinking now and then that there are only two inches of plank between us

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and these tempestuous elements.

Monday, September 22nd. We passed the Island of St. Paul's on Friday. It has a fine outline; the rocks seem very bold and grand; the island does not produce anything. This rough weather has been of good service in bringing us on a long distance in a short time; for several days we made our two hundred miles a day. I hope we shall soon leave the storms behind; today has been something spring-like; the season for bad weather in these latitudes is now nearly over.

Wednesday, September 24th - There is a great change in the weather; we are now in a better climate; we may expect it to be a little rough before we get to the end of our voyage, but still the worst seems past. If the rudder holds on, we may get to Auckland in twenty days. I am rather anxious about the rudder, as it shakes much more even than it did; there is no remedy but taking in sail. Baby's finger is well; he has got quite fat; the people on board are very fond of him; &e gets plenty of nurses.

Friday, September 26th. - We are now going on so quiet and smoothly that the rough times we have had are almost forgotten. We are off the coast of New Holland; next week land is expected to be seen as we go through Bass's Straits. Our ship does not make quite so much distance; but 130 or 140 miles a day is much more comfortably done, as we are now progressing, than 200 in a hurricane.

Tuesday, September 30th. - The weather still fine; last week we had a capital run, the wind being most favourable; on one day the distance done was 217 miles; the average of the week 190. Yesterday was nearly a calm; today we are going on much better.

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It is provoking to think that, but for the rudder, we might be at, or very near, Auckland; it is considered we have been delayed a fortnight. We are all very dull and tired of the voyage; the sailors are beginning to clean up the ship, in order that we may cut a good figure on our arrival. The Cashmere is a smart looking vessel; some persons find fault, and say she is built too slight, and that she will not stand many voyages; it is possible they may not know much about the matter; passengers are generally fond of finding out the imperfections of their ship. I know nothing of these things, but in justice to the Cashmere, I must say she is a very comfortable vessel, a fast sailer, and she seems very water-tight. I never see the men at the pumps; I believe, however, that they are used once a week. There is an outcry amongst us for candles, few having brought a sufficient store with them, or have been too extravagant; we were lucky enough to bring more than we may want; I thought the quantity we were advised to take rather small, and therefore ordered a double stock.

October 2nd. - We have now entered on another month; the last was most favourable to us for getting along. October has not brought with it auspicious gales: for several days it has been nearly a calm; we seem sometimes to be still. Our vessel reminds me of Coleridge's idea, "a painted ship upon a painted sea". The air is clear and skies beautiful; what is said about the purity of the Australian atmosphere, I expect to find true. The evenings are much lighter than they were; it is now scarcely dark at seven o'clock. Several large birds have been shot today; this affords some little excitement, but it is rather

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a barbarous pastime, for the poor things generally have only their wing broken by the ball, and we see them floating away, pecking themselves, and pecked at by their companions. These birds when flying look about the size of rooks, but they are almost as big as a goose, and their wings are longer than those of that bird.

On Friday, October 10, we approached within a few miles of Low Head, a beautiful little village, with a church and a lighthouse; it is the entrance to Port Dalrymple. A pilot came off to us, but of course his services were not required; he staid several hours, from him we learnt the great news, -gold had been discovered at Port Philip in much more abundance than it had ever been found in California; all the men from the neighbouring places were going after the gold. The news turned the heads of our crew, and the plans of many of the passengers will, I have no doubt, be greatly altered. The pilot crammed us pretty well; I dare say he got his stories third or fourth hand; I believed one part out of ten that he told us. The pilot's boat was rowed by six convicts. I never saw rogue more plainly stamped on six mens' faces in my life. If they left their country for their country's good, they most certainly left it for their own; they earn ten shillings per week, get lots of the best food to eat and drink, and are living in the finest climate in the world. This was their own account. Soon after the pilot left us, the long wished for breeze sprung up, and then at last our ship began to move in the right direction, every face on board brightened. We dashed off in great style, going at the rate of twelve miles an hour, this was to us railway

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speed. Mountains, hills, rocks and islands disappeared in quick succession. We got up to the narrow part of the straits between nine and ten o'clock, p.m. At night, to have land so close on each side, is rather nervous work. I went on deck just previous to going to bed, it seemed as if we were about to run against the rocks. I knew, however, that humanly speaking, I was as safe as when sitting by my fireside in Dorsetshire. I went to bed, and to sleep, but was soon roused again by the noise the sailors made in getting on more canvass. I knew then, that we were out of the Strait, and that everything was going on well.

Saturday, October 11. - This week has been the most exciting of the voyage. On Sunday night last, we entered Bass's Straits. A calm came on on Monday, and we were obliged to keep tacking, many times we found ourselves at night in no better position than we were in the morning, if it was not a calm the wind was dead against us. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick." I was really ill, having a bad attack of rheumatism. Others were out of temper by reason of the delay. No one can tell the disappointment at not being able to get on at sea, unless they have experienced the going over the same track day after day as we have done. The beauty of the scenery in Bass's Straits, to me at least, quite made up for the delay. I did not expect to see a fine country, and was therefore most agreeably surprised. On Thursday we began to move on a little, and the mountains of Van Diemen's Land tipped with snow, appeared in the distance; as we neared them, they assumed the finest forms; lesser mountains and hills covered with wood,

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came down to the water's edge, beautiful headlands or islands were dotted about most picturesquely. Either it was that the eye having as it were, hungered so long after a sight of land, was easily gratified, or I, not having expected such scenery, was the more struck with it. It is sometimes the case that on viewing a country which from description one has been led to expect a great deal, the expectations are not realised, either the points which strike one person are not felt by another, or perhaps the weather and effects of light and shade are bad. It appeared to me that these mountains were of grander shapes and proportions than any I had before seen, the country under them was most lovely, the forms and lines of the hills rolling about in a manner which no artist who had not studied the old masters in their best period could hope to execute. During the calm some fish were caught; they were in flavour something like mackerel, but not so good. Three sharks also fell victims to their voracity. I had a hand in the capture of the first; the line and hook which caught him not being strong, they were fearful of his breaking away. Our fishermen being young hands, could not get a second line around him, which is generally done before he is attempted to be got up. The shark was splashing and dashing within a few yards of our windows. I went below, and by way of assisting him, fired a ball at his head; it entered just by his mouth, and came out again some distance below; this ended his struggles, and he came on deck very quietly. Our first mate dissected him; he said that in China the fins and tail would fetch twelve or fifteen shillings. The Chinese eat curious things. I should prefer any other diet than that of shark. They are most hideous looking creatures; no one has

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any pity for a shark when he is caught. Whilst in the Straits, we had the luck to get four sacks of potatoes from a small craft which came near us; they were very fine ones, and we could not have had a greater treat. I have not seen such potatoes since the blight in England.

Friday, October 17th. - We have had a most splendid run from the Straits. This morning, about seven o'clock, Mr. Read came down from the mast head, and reported land. After breakfast the long-wishes-for shores of New Zealand were plainly to be seen by all. We are going very slow through the water, but the hills became more and more distinct. Some of them are composed of white sand, which has almost the appearance of snow. The weather is beautiful, and much warmer than it has been; we have suffered a great deal from cold lately. The day has now closed in - the sun-set was very beautiful. We came up to the land at three o'clock; it has a most barren appearance; the hills that we have been coasting along do not seem to have food enough on them to graze a rabbit. However, it is as I expected. Comparisons were made by some of us between this and the beautiful scenery in Bass Straits. I very much doubt whether there is a country in the world equal to Van Diemen's Land, but its being a convict settlement, renders it out of the question as a place to go to. They say you cannot be out at night without a chance of being robbed and knocked on the head. This account may not be true; but I certainly should not like to live in the neighbourhood of the six men who came off to us in the pilot boat. Just before it got dark we observed signs of habitations on shore; large fires were lighted, as we supposed, by the natives,

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as signals to us.

Nine o'clock, Friday evening. - The wind changed as we rounded the point; nothing could be more fortunate; we may now be at Auckland before Sunday morning. I shall just go up on deck to see the outline of the coast (the stars are shining so bright, and the air is so clear, that we can make out the hills very plainly), and then retire for the night, hoping that tomorrow will bring to us "fresh scenes and pastures new".

Saturday, October 18th. - The breeze, which was taking us on so nicely last night, died away about eleven o'clock. We found ourselves this morning gliding lazily along, with the coast eight or ten miles to the right. The country improves as we go on. I have no doubt there is some fine scenery as well as fine land in the distance. Neither boat or sail of any kind has yet been seen, so that there cannot be much trade at this end of the island. The sun is getting very hot; the awning has been put up today - I suppose to save the ladies' complexions.

1   The cuddy doors being open was the cause of this disaster.

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