THE VOYAGE OF THE "PHOEBE DUNBAR" TO NZ IN 1850
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THE VOYAGE OF THE "PHOEBE DUNBAR" TO NZ IN 1850
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JOURNEY OF THE VOYAGE OUT TO NEW ZEALAND ON BOARD OF SHIP "PHOEBE DUNBAR" 704 tons
by Mr M Dixon.
WEDNESDAY JULY 10. Sailed from Portsmouth at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Wind NW not very favourable but weather very fine. Pilot left us off Isle of Wight; sent 2 letter ashore by him. We are now fairly at sea and everybody contented. Dined off fresh roast beef for probably the last time on the voyage. Wind failed and t........ we turned in about 10.
THURSDAY JULY 11. Rose at 8; day fine; nearly a calm. Still off Isle of Wight - read and dined about 2. Fresh meat still. Wind still aback; about half six evening off Portland in Lyme Bay. Isle of Wight in the distance looking beautiful with the sun shining .......t, thought sadly of home and prayed to God to ....... them all. At 10 begin my watch till morn..... steerage passengers amusing themselves with everything even the bagpipes, and other musical instruments.
FRIDAY JULY 12th - Rose at 8 tired and sleepy after my night watch,. the sun is struggling to disperse a mass of fog and succeeded about 12 leaving the calm flashing sea. Strained my eyes in trying to catch a vain glimpse of the Channel Isles which are 1 or 2 miles on the starboard bow. Towards evening a fair but light breeze; crept slowly onwards under all studding sails, making 4 knots an hour, paced the deck till 10 and then turned in = 2 pigs have died.
SATURDAY 13 - Rose at 8; day fine and ship gliding along under a calm but fair wind; in the night past the Lizard, then nearly clear of the Channel. Everybody in health, thank God.
SUNDAY JULY 14 Rose at 8; day fine and wind fair... ........ skirting Bay of Biscay - sailors and Passengers decked out neatly for the observance of the Lord's Day which was decently observed at 10... talked for morn service, the Surgeon officiating, the congregation very devout, indeed there are many such on board. I thought much of all I had left dear behind. May God bless them. Retired to my cabin at 8. Light ....... read and prayed. Saw some Porpoises for the first time since starting from Portsmouth
MONDAY JULY 15 Rose at 8 Breakfasted then read in my cabin, ladies busy making a pudding - Plum Duff. Went on deck. Weather beautiful; sun shining; about 4 afternoon spoke a large ship. We showed out number and in return she only hoisted her ensign which was French. Saw some porpoises and a shark. The sailors prepared an harpoon a formidable affair. After dinner, played at whist. Retired at 10.
TUESDAY 16 Rose at 7 Sun shining brightly, the warmest day we have had yet. The nearest point of land to us is Cape
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Ortegal in Portugal. The ship is now nearly in the same latitude as Venice, only 10 miles further north. I find the days passing tediously, every day being alike. Leaving much time for thinking of the past and heartily wishing myself on shore again; had Plum Duff for dinner to make the salt Junk more palatable, Ship on Larboard bow.
WEDNESDAY 17 Rose at 8. These 2 days past it has been nearly a dead calm with unpleasant rolling motion. Still our ship makes good way in light winds. We have hitherto passed every competitor excepting the "Oriental Queen" bound for Mauritius who beat us on a wind in the Derwent. The ship on the Larboard bow is Dunbar's "Trafalgar". Port Phillip in B..........
THURSDAY 18 Dead calm. Allowances issued Thursday; find mine ample with to spare; very hot and nature looking monotonous. Passengers got up a small concert, anything to break the dullness; several good songs, well sung. Mr Wells in the chair ......Barret being my watch tonight, I have to sit up till 2. Spoke a homeward bound Brig and showed our number, but probably owing to our being a perfectly new ship, she took no trouble to make us out and pased us without hoisting anything - From noon yesterday to noon today made only 60 miles, but now 7 o'clock a nice breeze has sprung up.
FRIDAY JULY 19 - Morning fine & warm, our nice breeze has again nearly failed us about 4 this morning one of the sailors harpooned a porpoise, which however, not holding, escaped. Read as I always do of a morning and evening in my cabin. We are now in 48 of Latitude. Saw some petrels and towards evening a large shoal of porpoises about 2 miles off, drawn up in line like a Regt. Played at whist, then went on deck where they were exercising at jumping over a rope. Sat and talked with a sailor about his adventures in N S Wales, and turned in about 11.
SATURDAY JULY 20 - Too much noise overhead viz holy stoning the decks which commences at an early hour, to remain in bed so got up and found the sun shining brightly with little or no wind. In the morning, everybody lounging about, already looking ennuyee. Saw a large shoal of porpoises, some jumping 6 yards out of water, but there being no wind they did not approach near enough to be harpooned. Evening beautiful, with nice breeze and fine moon. What tender emotions of past happy days, alas gone forever, did it recall to my mind, reminding me that Life is but a dream. The passengers are all busy dancing and sailors playing hunt the slipper.
SUNDAY 21 - Fine. Wind veered round against us W. S. W. sending us some points out of our course. Had Divine Service on deck, Captain officiating. After service, he distributed tracts amongst us which had been provided by the Prayer Book and Homily Society. Had an excellent dinner at 1 o'clock, porpoises playing under the Bows - Glad to turn in.
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MONDAY 22 - Rainy and squally, took in sail; we are scudding along at the rate of 10 1/2 knots - and wind rather more favourable; weather cleared up by 12. Passed two outward bound schooners on Larboard bow. Ship rolling tremendously. The sunset was beautiful and reminded me of the same scene we used to admire coming from St Johns. Wind blowing half a gale. They say the Captain is very fond of carrying sail. Walked the deck till 10. Moon beautiful. Dancing as usual.
TUESDAY 23 Rose at 8; ship rolling; ladies sick; the sun shining brightly and breeze still very fresh; read as usual in my cabin. Find washing in salt water anything but refreshing; passed two schooners on Lee Bow at 12pm in 36 15' off Fort Coleran, Gibralter 260 miles from Madiera. Beautiful night. Full moon.
WEDNESDAY 24 Rose at 8 Fine; ship making 9 knots still rolling. Passed a Jersay schooner on Lee Bow outwards bound at 12PM discovered a bark ahead; on nearing her she proved to be the "... nga" (?) bound to Bombay with Company troops. She passed us in the Downs and had the start of us the 4 days we laid at Portsmouth, which speaks favourably for the sailing qualities of the "Phoebe" Our lime juice was served out to us today.
THURSDAY 25 Weather fine, wind right aft making 10 knots; still rolling; in fact she shows what she is, and going round the Cape I fear she will roll her masts out. Lat 32 1' Since yesterday we have made 150 miles southing; dancing on deck as usual in spite of rolling. Passed Madeira. Read as usual in my cabin I never forget Thursday evenings at St Johns and find the remembrance a consolation and deeply regret the advantages I have alas disregarded.
FRIDAY 26 - fine wind aft. Lat 29 40' making great progress. Mr Hart, our Second Mate, still keeps on the diet but I gave him some raspberry vinegar drinks. Find the lime juice with sugar makes a refreshing beverage - everything dull, nothing new - a "wonderful deal of water all round". Our rice today was boiled in salt water making it uneatable.
SATURDAY 27 - Last night I closed my journal too soon, as a few minutes after I had done so, we caught our first flying fish. It flew on deck. We now daily see flocks of them and the sailors expect to catch some Bonitos. Today is fine, wind fair and everything dull as usual. I have been today "1 month" from home, it seems to me an age. -
SUNDAY 28 4th Sunday on board; day fine and wind fair. Longitude 23 30' - about 3 discovered a large bark ahead and came up to her, about Service time which the little Doctor termed over in order to speak to her - after a variety of signals, she passed under our stern and hailed us - she was a Dutchman, 16 days from Cardiff. To Panama laden with coals -
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she wished us prosperous voyage and politely hoisted her ensign horizontal - Blue, white and red stripes 3 times to our twice in token of respect. Read the evening service in my cabin which I find links me in some degree with those I have left behind - stayed on deck till 10 watching the luminous sea and thinking, then went to bed. -
MONDAY 29 = Fine, nothing of any consequence; saw lots of flying fish, which generally ride close under the bows, disturbed no doubt by the approach of the ship, they rise like a flock of sparrows in a cornfield, but I never saw them rise higher than 2 yards above the sea. -
TUESDAY 30 = Still fine & very warm, the berths of a night acting on us like a vapour bath. Lat 18. Wind light but fair. We are fairly in the Trade Winds and expect to make the Cape de Verde Isles tomorrow. One of the passengers has contrived to rout out an old fiddle which is looked on as a vast acquisition by the dancing part of the community. -
WEDNESDAY JULY 31 - Fine, wind brisk, making no signs of the Cape de Verdes yet. Rose this morning with bad lumbago and forced to lie down, but Thank God, it left me towards noon when I took a Gregories Powder. Our lime juice was served out with 2 oz extra of sugar to sweeten it. Ship on Larboard bow.
THURSDAY AUGUST 1 - Fine, wind light, Lat 14 30', heat very great. Climbed up to crow's nest with two others and had a picnic there, consisting of lime juice, raspberry vinegar and pudding and biscuits. We are 140 miles from the Coast of Africa. Some days they have seen a pigeon & whales and butterflies. About 7 evening, ship was taken aback. Fortunately the wind was light. It is very variable about here. In the night I was woken by the cries of our Second Mate, Mr H and on going to him, found him suffering dreadfully from spasms. The doctor was soon called who gave him ether. -
FRIDAY - 2nd AUGUST - Fine wind fair; spoke a homeward bound Bark for Hamburyham, the "Rio de Janiero" by name. The Capt says we shall soon have an opportunity of sending letters home. We expect to be on the Line in a few days - Towards evening we had a heavy tropic shower, with intense heat; wind failing.
SATURDAY - 3rd Warm and atmosphere heavy looking like rain and thundery. A poor little baby died this morrow about 10 - Set my watch by London time and find there is two hours difference between us. In the afternoon the child was buried and by night there was many miles between us. --
SUNDAY 4th - A heavy squall sprang up during the morn and drove us along finely; the rain now falls heavily, forcing us below. Lon 24 1/2 Lat 9-
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Three vessels on Larboard bow and the wind having fallen they are beating us. Lit the lamp about 8 and read till 9 and turned in at 1/2 past 9 - divine service.
MONDAY 5 Fine but looks showery - the ships of yesterday far ahead, one a schooner beating all. This morning after devotions - Holystoned my cabin and made it nice and white, it is the best in the Fore Cabin and Shilling and I are particular in not having things hanging about preventing the circulation of air. Some cabins are like drapers shops
TUESDAY 6 - Fine - The monotony of the day was somewhat broken by a heavy shower which fell in the morn, everyone rushing on deck to catch the water. I obtained 1 or 2 gallons and luxuriated in a fresh water wash. After the shower about 12PM a strong breeze opening up - saw numbers of Portuguese Men-of-war of beautiful colour float by and from a batch of about 40' a large shark sprang up.
WED 7th Breeze still strong tho in the wrong quarter sending us 4 points off course. The sailors are very busy hoisting up the provision casks out of the main hatch in search of the beef and pork. Still some way off Line. Rain'd heavily in the evening. Stay'd on the ForeCastle till late watching the spray which the Bows dashed high in air, one or two adventurers getting well doused. -
THURSDAY 8th Lat G 50' - We are a long time getting to the Line and the impression is we are going to make a long passage, the Breeze strong but unfavourable. Butcher killed a pig, but all the Fore-Cabins partook of it. was only the sight of seeing it kill'd I long to taste fresh meat again and anxiously looking for the green fields again. Read as usual in my bunk.
FRIDAY 9th - Breeze still unfavourable but very refreshing, the heat having greatly diminished. Passed a brig outward bound on Larboard bow.
SATURDAY 10 - Breeze still unfavourable with heavy seas. Our boxes were brought on deck - I had No 2 and found the sugar in it had run and stained some of... I emptied it into a tin canister - the other things were in good preservation; sold 7 ............Cups at 1/- each and some sugar and a cheese.
SUNDAY 11th - Strong breeze Lat 4 27' Divine Service as usual, everything the same as usual.
MONDAY 12th - Lat 3 54 1/2 we are now in the SE Trades which the Capt says will last 10 days. Just the wind we want. Saw lots of flying fish and a large black gull hovering over the bows. We are making 7 knots by the last heave of the log. Ther 75.
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TUESDAY 13th - Wind fresh. Ship under heavy canvas rapidly nearing the Line.
WEDNESDAY 14 - Wind steady today. We crossed the Line about 8 even, the sunset was beautiful, sinking into the sea like a ball of fire, in the afternoon we had a set too of boxing on the deck. Everything passed very quietly, no shaving or ducking allowed. We made a collection/Fore Cabin/ of 35. 15 for the sailors - I forgot to add that yesterday about 9 morn we caught a porpoise, a small one. We tasted the flesh which was very good, something like a beef steak but the heart and liver titbits went to the Cabins, the head being cleaned by the sailmaker for a gentleman on board as a curiosity - WED - The Women's Berth caught fire owing to the mate putting a red hot poker in to a kettle of tar wh blazing up made the boy drop it and it ran about like a sheet of liquid fire. They immediately seized hold of the bedding and clothes and smothered it. Man taken ill in the night.
THURSDAY 15 - Fine and cool. Indeed it is very cool now, quite chilly in the afternoon. Spoke to a ship the TANE from the W coast of Africa for Liverpool. it was a good chance to send letters but the Capt would not stop, much to the disgust of Mrs Clifford, who cried on the occasion. I follow'd her with longing eyes and thought how happy a sailor is to be homeward bound, our Cook recognised her as an old friend, in the evening sat in the forecastle to hear the sailors sing and read in my cabin in the afternoon. I never forget St John's Eve. Mrs Dawson confined of a boy.
FRIDAY 16 - Weather fine and trades steady. Sailors busy tarring rigging in the afternoon we for the first time saw a Booby bird which fluttered for some time about the rigging but did not settle. We afterwards saw the tropical Bird which the sailors call the Bowswain, a beautiful white fellow with a long tail seemingly composed of two long feathers. Morgan, the mate who was taken ill, is much worse. The doctor, Mr Spencer was obliged to bleed him twice and apply mustard to his legs and feet. He pronounced it enlargement of the heart, the night was fine and Moon bright. We saw a large falling star dash across the sky and then burst like a rocket.
SATURDAY 17 - fine, wind steady, everything looking as usual and heartily sick of the tedium. Morgan is better - I am delighted - This week has flown past, may they do likewise till my destiny is accomplished/ wh to say the least is a strange one.
SUNDAY 18 - Fine wind steady, everything as usual - Divine Service.
MONDAY 19 - vFine and very warm wind has failed us. This has been a glorious day in the fishing way. Intense excitement among the pas. caught 20 dolphins from the stern. They were
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very dainty in their bait for tho' the first was taken by a piece of rag, the rest were by no means so greedy as they would take nothing but Flying Fish, to obtain which we had to cut the first one open and take them from his Maw, by which means we kept up a supply. The colours of the Dolphin when dying are very beautiful and the effect in the sea as they swim is likewise pretty. About 6pm the evening fine being the most glorious sunset I have yet seen. We caught a "Bottlenosed Shark", a formidable fellow. He made me shudder as he looked up, and swam round the ship. Finally we caught him with a Hook and "Gravis' kind of four pronged harpoon and hauled him on deck and then we had a tough job to kill him.
We first cut off his tail and so partly disabled him. Even after his head was off and his heart taken out, it required 2 men to hold him. It was a small one, only 4 feet long with 2 rows of teeth. The night was fine and moon and stars splendid. The Dolphins we had for dinner and tea. It was delicious by way of a change - the shark I didn't like.
TUESDAY 20th - Fine but a calm. Lat S32 No more fish today. The sun very hot. Suffered from rheumatism in the arm but better towards eve. The sailors busy in tightening main rigging.
WEDNESDAY - Strong breeze with heavy rolling sea. This has been an eventful day for us. in the afternoon we sighted a sail. She proved to be a brig and on coming alongside we anxiously looked on board her and descried a few parrots and a black sailor who grinned with delight at us. The Capt hailed her and asked would they take letters for us. Accordingly they hauled their wind and we lowered a boat and sent the letters on board. She said she was from the Coast of Africa fro Boodland (?) - but they were very reserved and doubtless they were slavers. Indeed the sailors said the smell on deck was exactly as if they had a cargo of them on board, so the fate of my letter to my dear parents is very uncertain. They had some delicious bananas hanging over the stern. She soon dropped astern and everything went on as usual.
THURSDAY 22 = fine, wind light and sun very hot - in the Evening about 8 passed a large Bark on weather bow = Full Moon -
FRIDAY 23 Fine; wind slight but fair. We have all our sail set making the most of it. Finding the time pass very heavily. The sunset this even was the most beautiful yet seen, the sun dipping behind a bank of heavy clouds, bringing with it a superb crimson colour so as to cast its rays all over the sky. The sailors say it is unusual to have those sunsets in the tropics as they are more like those of a cold climate but we have lately made a great deal of westing and we are not far from the Coast of America. In the afternoon we loaded our carronades and they threw the shot well but the Guns were very rusty and we stood at a
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respectful distance at the first discharge.
SATURDAY 24 - Fine still close hauled - passed a Hamburgher vessel - a Brig. She show'd her Longitude 50 35' chalked on a board over her quarter - Hart = Stapleton
SUNDAY 25 - A splendid morning with nice refreshing breeze. Morn service as usual. Saw nothing to relieve the dullness of this ocean. The moonrise was very fine.
MONDAY 26 - Fine - a little murmuring on the part of the Steerage Passengers owing to the Doctors desiring them to bring their beds on deck and they refusing because / they said / the Fore Cabin did not do so, and applied to the Capt who rightly said the same rules did not apply to us and as a punishment he placed a chalked line along the deck, forbidding them to pass it, for which I am very glad as we have the Quarter Deck to ourselves wh before was over run by them. Even looking squally; took in stunsails - Lat 16 45' -
TUESDAY 27 - Sky gloomy with a little heavy rain which cleared up in a short time, I am suffering from headache and have done so for some time past - anxiety for future probably, my voyage being for very different ends to those my brother and family have undertaken. I pass the time in reading and playing cribbage - Lat 17 42'
WEDNESDAY 28 - Fine and warm but a dead calm, ship like a log on the water. A great many fish around the ship and several little pilot fish about 6 inches long and striped like a zebra, playing around the bows denoting the vicinity of sharks; we caught 2 Bonitos a species of ......... mackerel only larger; about 2 the Cuddy gentlemen had the boat lowered and went for a pull after which it was moored alongside to clean the ship's side; 2 or 3 of the sailors took advantage of this to take a dip and one was just getting in, when the alarm of shark was passed, and there he came along our larboard low, a large blue one, no mistake about him. 2 large hooks and strong line were speedily obtained and baited with pork, and thron out to him. The first of these he contemptuously smelt and pushed aside as being boiled, but it was far different with the other which he greedily seized and hooked himself in the jaws. He was quite quiet till we attempted to pull him in, we having previously fastened a line around his fins and the Mate, Mr Middleton giving him 5 pistol balls when about 2 feet from the top rail the jaw gave way and down he fell nearly losing him. We however secured him and hauled him up. he measured 9 feet in length. Towards Even, a breeze sprang up.
THURSDAY 29 - Fine breeze, only too much Westring off Trinidada, a small isle 4 miles long Lat 18 45' - had some rain towards Eve.
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FRIDAY 30 - Rather squally in the morn with some rain; our Mess having resolved to break partnership each one received his allowance of flour suet and raisins to himself. I club along with Deey - and we take it in turns to make puddings or tea cakes. Towards Even it came on to blow and took in sail, sea very heavy - walked the deck till 10 and turned in - Lat 19 30'
SATURDAY 31 - Well this month has passed quickly when one comes to look back on time, wh I seldom care about doing now I have left civilisation for a roving life - it is a rough day and 12pm blew so hard we had to reef topsails. One of the sailors, a German lad was blown off the main topsail yard and would have been lost had he not caught hold of a rope. He was fairly angry when he came down, because he lost his Sou-Wester - Lat 21 27'
SUNDAY 1st SEPTEMBER 1850 - Lat 23 57' Weather rainy & squalls blowing fresh all day - the beautiful Cape Pigeon is playing all round the ship, but principally following the wake of the vessel accompanied by one or two large black birds called Mohauks. The Pigeon is a beautiful graceful bird speckled white and black. Divine Service as usual about 11. A violent squall came on and all hands were called to reef sails = 2 points. Myself and 3 others being on deck at the time gave our assistance and a hard pull we had of it = Extra grog was served out to the crew, and in consideration of our cold wet and our place in the labour, we came in for some = turned in at 1; -=
MONDAY Sept 2nd - Lat 26 20' Breeze had abated tho' still fresh and we are going along nicely. The Cuddy gentlemen are busy firing at the birds, probably to celebrate the 1st September Shooting season.
TUESDAY 3RD Sept = breeze still with occasional rain Lat 25 40'
WEDNESDAY 4th Sept - Lat 29 42' Breeze strong and rainy - Many birds flying about the ship - Cape Pigeons and Cape Hens a Black Bird with white beak and amongst them like a Frigate, in the midst of merchantmen, a Beautiful Albatross, the second we have seen, its motions in the air were beautiful, so graceful, hardly a movement of the wings but alas it was wounded by some reckless sportsman and left far astern; saw a porpoise
THURSDAY 5th - Breeze strong and fine with a nice healthy feeling about it. Cold and free from damp, our Lat nearly the same as yesterday, going S. E. and............... our Longitude, ship on Larboard tack enabling me to liey (sic) more at ease in my birth (sic)
FRIDAY 6th - Fine and cold. Steering S. E. Lots of albatross
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and Cape Pigeons one of wh was caught - his foot getting entangled in lines
SAT 7th Lat 31 2' Lon 21 30' The morn was rather damp but cleared up towards Eve. Sail on Lee Bow
SUNDAY 8th Fine and clear - Divine Service on the Poop
MONDAY 9th Lon 13 42' Lat 43 44' - in the same Lat as Sydney & South of the Cape - Exercise myself daily in the rigging - find I can't read much but sleep a good deal, played Cribbage with Stuart and won 8 sticks of tobacco; butcher killed a sheep but of course we had only a sight of it; feel the want of fresh diet much and generally cram myself well at Breakfast with Bergen to last for the day, but Thank God, my health is very good.
TUESDAY 10th - Strong breeze passed the following islands on Lee Bow - taken from John Purdy's Sailing Directory. The island is 9 miles in diameter, with a plentiful supply of growing provisions =
Waterfall ) Lat 37 6 South
Tristan da Cunha ) Long 12 3' West
Inaccessible Island Lat 37 19' South Long 12 23' West
Nightingale Island ) Lat - - 37 26' South ) Long - - 12 12 ' West
Captain Heywood was at Tristan on 5th Jan 1811 & found the vasriation close to the Island 9 20' West - The height of its summit was found to be about 8326 feet above the level of the sea. Three Americans were there who proposed to remain for a few years in order to prepare seasl skins & oil for sale to vessels that might touch there. The interior appeared to abound with goats & wild hogs & to be formed like St Helens of abrupt hilly ridges with Chasms or deep valleys between them, probably of volcanic origin. We were at breakfast when we were called to see it. It was about 30 miles off and appeared a huge dingy Mass - peeping above the Clouds - Our boxes were got out of the hold and I examined my two No 1 - 2 - and found all safe. Also found the Box for Mr Cooke. Lots of albatross.
WEDNESDAY - 11 - Fine in the morn but it came on to blow hard with strong sea in the night. They treble reefed topsails, went aloft but did not lay out on the yard arm, being no room for me. She rolled so heavily as to make it uneasy to stay in bed, so lit the lamp and read. During the day many of us received severe falls, being pitched to leeward against the carronade. I have hitherto escaped a fall, but received a sea which wet me through, the clutter of broken bottles and pots and pans in our department was entertaining.
THURSDAY 12th - Lat 38 45' The wind and sea abated - rose early and helped make sail to the tune of Cheeky Man hoy hoy - and when on the poop - setting the Mizzen Royal saw a large
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Fin Back Whale spout close under the stern - when he went off to windward, blowing a cloud. We are now bowling along under stun sail fore & aft - a contrast to yesterday
FRIDAY 13th - Variable but wind steady right aft ship, wlking along nicely under stunsails, fine moonlight tonight - 2 Cape Pigeons captured by Marshall - 3 Mate
SATURDAY 14th - Wind still aft and we are making headway - the weather is now very cold, we are all glad to wrap up. Several little auctions going on and a dressing case raffled for and won by the owner Mr Deay -
SUNDAY 15th - Today was a very cold severe one, we are beginning to feel Cape weather but in spite of all we had prayers on the poop, but the ship rolling so it was impossible to pay attention, in fact it was laughable to see us all going to Leeward with our books in our hands - towards Even the breeze freshened with lightening from N. W. a sure sign of wind in these latitudes - Lat 38 57' Long 10 44' All hands were immediately called to take in sails, leaving her under close reefed topsails and all snug - it was as well for us we did so as it came on to blow heavy gale, the scene from the poop was majestic the sea one sheet of foam, and lightning darting from the angry clouds, about 12 it came on to blow worse - heavy gusts with sweeping showers of hail, and broad flashes playing around, and to complete all, in the midst the Binnacle light went out and the ship "broached to" heavy seas striking her to the great peril of her masts, but Thank God, it was no worse, and they got her head round in time - From last Sunday at 12 o'clock to today at 12 we have run 1490 miles. If this continues we shall see Otago in 6 weweks - the contents of my book shelf got capsized in the night -
MONDAY 16th Cold with rain, the gale of last night has abated leaving a heavy sea running. Ship rolling horribly. I had a pretty severe tumble today, the decks being too slippery to walk on. We had to go without our tea tonight owing to the negligence of the 3rd Mate who did not get the water up for wh' he had two hours at the wheel and put before the mast. After dinner today, the doctor served us out a bottle of rum wh was very acceptable. About 6pm a ship in sight. We reefed topsails with every sign of an angry night. The 2nd Mate is going to raffle his watch, a 7 guineas one, 28 members at 5s a ticket.
TUESDAY 17th Breeze fine, but heavy sea. At 4 this morn we were parallel with the Cape. We have made a long voyage so far, 10 weeks from Portsmouth. Spoke a large Dutch East Indiaman, a pleasant sight in these vast wastes of water. She walked away quickly from us under easy sail in spite of our hoisting Fore Topgallant sails, Main Royals and stunsails. Lots of porpoises under the Bows - a fire nearly took place
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owing to a quantity of pitch upsetting and throwing the galley in a blaze ...........fell
WEDNESDAY Sept 18th - Beautiful day, fine wind and sea gone down, quite a treat. The Sail Maker stuck a porpoise, a fine fellow. I obtained the head from him for a trifle; in the evening a raffle took place for an old double barrelled gun by Manton - 20 members at 2/6 I had 39 and won him. Lots of raffles take place to pass the time, but this is the first one I have been engaged in. Fine moonlight night -
THURSDAY SEPT 19 - Beautiful morn, sea smooth, nearly a calm, bout Breakfast time, Marshall caught our first Albatross. A noble grey one 9ft 10in from 'tip to tip'. The sea is a perfect sight, covered with birds, Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons & hens, Mother-Careys - & Whale Birds - all floating in our wake. Then again the sea is full - hundreds of Grampuses - A large black fish with white on the Back = and which roll like porpoises, = The Albatross when landed was placed on the deck looking quite foolish, a ring of merry faces was soon formed around him laughing at his awkward attempts to waddle. The Doctor put an end to his existence by Prussic Acid. The poor fellow soon felt its influence and dropped dead. They are going to stuff him. Long 26 40'=
FRIDAY - Sept 20th Calm again but towards evening a breeze sprang up = the same routine as usual - -
SATURDAY 21st= Fine breeze but too strong flocks of whale birds following the ship denoting wind. Long 32 - in the evening reefed topsails, passed a large bark on Lee Bow
SUNDAY Sept 22nd = Cold wind Long 36 Lat 40 14' Divine Service took place below at half past 1pm. The weather now is cold and miserable - Moping about the decks. The Bark far astern We expect to make Otago in about 6 weeks. In the night, Shilling's bunk came down right on top of me nearly smothering me
MONDAY Sept 23rd - Fine, but very raw and cold. Carpenter busy making a new Stunsail boom - the heavy flapping of the sails yesterday and the day before shaking the rigging a good deal - This Morn, Mardshall caught a large Cape Hen, a large Black bird with white beak but smelling awfully. The sailors are going to eat it in a stew. They will eat anything to vary salt horse - Mrs Tate had a safe delivery of a fine boy. The 2nd as all as yet born on Board.
TUESDAY 24th - Weather cold and rainy. Wind chop'd dead against us. Ship very dull in wearing - toewards evening the wind came round again.
WEDNESDAY 25 Sept - Weather dryer than it has been for some days past but bitterly cold. The Capt is going 50S The season
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too early yet for icebergs the spring sun not being strong enough to melt them. In the even we had a game of 'Last Touch' to keep us warm - Long 42 24'
THURSDAY 26th Day fine Lat 43 15' Very cold but dry, Porpoises under the Bows
FRIDAY 27th - Weather cold - fine breeze nothing particular
SATURDAY 28th - Mist and miserable from noon yesterday to noon today. Ship made 250 miles - many bets on board as to when we shall arrive at Otago. I am in for a 'Beef Steak' with every prospect of losing it.
SUNDAY 29th - Divine service on the poop. But too cold either for me to hold my prayer book or hear a word. Fine breeze allday, freshening towards Evening - Reef'd topsails. While myself and 1st Mate were pulling on the topsail halyard, a lurch came and rolled us over each other, in the most undignified manner, being ducked by a sea at the same time. Below everything went flying - Lat 44 Long 61 (Michaelmas Day - no goose)
MONDAY 30th - Wet - wind slack, all sail set. -
TUESDAY October 1st - Weather wet and disagreable, observed lots of seaweed floating by, most likely from St Pauls Long 71 9'
WEDNESDAY Oct 2nd - Wet & stormy, close reef'd topsails all day, miserable work Long 76
THURSDAY Oct 3rd - Wet & stormy, heavy sea. fair wind right aft. Ship'd lots of water, rolling tremendously, fine time tonight to set the bottles and boullie tins (?) with spoons in them rolling. Long 81 10 Lat 46 38' - discussed some bottles of stout with Smart & Cook
FRIDAY Oct 4th - The weather today very severe heavy storms of snow and cold piercing, obliged to be in bed to keep oneself warm. Marshall caught a Mollyhawk, a bird similar to the albatross tho' smaller. I have obtained the head and intend cleaning it as a curiosity. The effect during the snow storm, with the heavy sea rolling, was superb.
SATURDAY 5th - Cold and bitter but dry - with occasional glimpses of sunshine and blue sky to enliven the dreary scene; everybody suffering from cold feet & hands, a trifle on shore but no joke on board ship where you have to grin and bear it. Fine breeze, stunsails set; if it continues we may look out for land in 2 or 3 weeks
SUNDAY 6th - Lon 93 51' Lat 48 51' Fall of snow. Prayers down below In the evening saw the Southern Lights a dark arch of
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clouds stretched across the heavens with beautiful rays of light dating from it.
MONDAY 7th - Lon 95 7' Fine decks dry little wind
TUESDAY 8th - Lon 100 8' Wind & spray up in Lar quarter
WEDNESDAY 9th - Lon 105 - Lat 50 30' - Bitter cold - Suffering from chilblains
THURSDAY 10th - Lon 110 38 - Very cold half frozen The boxes we hoisted up for the last time till we land. Kept one of mine in the cabin.
FRIDAY 11th - Saw some snow birds about the same size as the Cape Pigeon only quite white. The wind fresh all day. the afternoon reef/d topsails Lon 155 32'
SATURDAY 12th - Fine but very cold with snow - we have now 1800 miles to run 10 days will likely bring us in sight of land - we have been averaging 200 miles a day since we left Tristan da Cunha - Long 120 51'
SUNDAY 13th - Long 125 57' Fine weather clear with bright sun, this has been a glorious day - about 8 in the morn the cry was raised of iceberg on Lee Bow - and there it was no bigger than the crest of a wave, in the distance. The Capt to our great joy - bore up towards it, and as it gradually loomed, as we approached the scene was truly magnificent. There it proudly sat, its beautiful white dazzling from the rays of the sun, telling clearly against the deep blue sky. it assumed several beautiful forms as we looked at it. It was judged to be about 1/2 mile round and 200ft high, a small one. this incident has caused me the greatest pleasure since I have been on board, I made 2 or 3 outlines of it. However we gradually left each other, in gloomy silence, and the huge mass soon fell astern, when its white gave place to a grey colour. Of course, the weather was very cold all day and shortly the wind began to increase, and towards night, blew a heavy gale - causing us to take in all spare canvas, and stagger along under close reef'd topsails. About 10 I was smoking my pipe with one of the cuddy gentlemen Mr Stapleton, when a heavy sea came up and whip'd us off our legs, and dashed us under the cuddy Ladder, wetting us to the skin bruising us and putting out our pipes. We shipped several heavy seas afterwards, but we were snug in bed. Service below.
MONDAY 14th - Gale abated, weather wet but warm, we are running out of the South Lat having been as far as 51 - the weather very uncertain off the Australian coast blowing sometimes very heavily Long 31 57'
TUESDAY 15th - Wet but warmer - Long 137 10' Scotchmen had a
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shindy with the Doctor causing the little man great perplexity/ Saw a whale playing about, reef'd topsails
WEDNESDAY 16th Oct - Long 141 30' Fine and dry with strong breeze Sent down the Main Royal Yard to give the ship a neat appearance. Several indications now of nearing land, making ladders, and cleaning up the boats etc etc Sold my bottle of Eau de Cologne for 10s - Yesterday we were 1360 miles from the Snares, a reef off Stuart's Isle.
THURSDAY 17th - Long 148 Lat 48 41' From noon yesterday we have run 266 miles
FRIDAY 18th - Long 153 40' Fine, breeze strong and very cold
SATURDAY 19th - Long 158 3' Lat 47 38' Day fine - wind strong and cold. The Sailors complain much of the cold, never having been so far South before and so coming unprepared with warm clothing - Yesterday we were all hard at work, helping to hoist the Chain Cables 90 fathoms out of the hold, and today we got the anchors over the bow in readiness for Otago wh we expect to reach in 3 or 4 days. We shall have made the run down from the Cape in 36 days, as quick a run as has yet been made.
SUNDAY 20th - Wind still fine, we expected to sight land today but only had a glimpse of the traps, rocks and the Snares about 12pm Long 163 34' Lat 47 36'
MONDAY 21st - Long 168 23' Lat 47 32' All anxiety for land wh we sighted in the afternoon dimly in the distance = Passed Stuarts Isle/
TUESDAY 22nd - rose early - weather dull, skirting along the land, wh has a singular appearance, undulating in large swelling mountains - those in the background being snowcapped and looking very beautiful. Finally we dropp'd anchors, about 1/2 2pm and hoisted our ensign, and fired 2 guns for a pilot = who came off in about an hour. He is a tall American and very independent. His first salutation to the Captain was "Good Morn, Square the Main Yard" = however the wind was dead against us for entering the harbour so we are swung at anchor in the Roads. The land wh is very high is wooded thickly -the Pilot is paid 100 pounds a year by Government, and he also has 10s a day for as long as he stays on board - so it is worth 200 pounds to him. no going ashore.
WEDNESDAY 23rd - Wind still foul and notwithstanding a Blue sky and bright sun it is blowing so tremendous a gale that we are obliged to send down on top-gallant Yards. I never saw the sea so bright a green before, the force of the wind keeping it quite smooth tho' the little waves are encrusted with a beautiful white foam, wh the wind drives about like smoke - Cleaning up the ship in case we receive visitors at
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port Chalmers = Yesterday 2 large fish we caught = ugly fellows with pinkish skin. The sunset over the hills this Even was very fine, tinting the hills far and near beautifully. I sincerely hope I am thankful to God for bringing me hitherto in safety = The Otago paper announced a meeting to be held that Evening in the taproom of the Royal Hotel by some of the discontented portion of the community, about the propriety of chartering a schooner then in harbour to take them to some other settlement where they would be appreciated =
THURSDAY 24th - rose at 5 all hands on the move to start for harbour, wind being favourable, air delicious, the scenery as we came up beautiful; our beautiful ship reflecting beautifully in the calm clear sea. Women delighted. Mrs Clifford dressed up fit for Hyde Park. Landed about 12 My first walk on land very infra-dig. My poor feet causing me to hobble woefully. Dined gloriously off mutton chops, a treat after 4 months salt - not to be despised. One of our Otago chums gave a "neat and appropriate speech" at dinner and requested us to pledge him in a glass of wine, when mutual shaking of hands ensued, with earned wishes for each of our welfares. We had all been on the best of terms on board, and had contracted the kindliest feelings towards each other -
I for one, sincerely wish each may prosper in the right road to happiness here and hereafter - - So dear Shipmates, God bless you, Farewell =