FROM THE PRESS:-
This fine iron clipper ship, the forth vessel built expressly for the New Zealand Shipping Company, and the ninth vessel of the fleet, was signaled yesterday at 6:30am. As the ship flew the Commodore's flag (the New Zealand flag with a swallow tail) it was known that it was the Waimate. Shortly before 10 am a large party left Messrs Cameron's s.s. Mullogh for the ship, to give those on board a welcome, and on returning the Health Officer and Commissioner with the party embarked and proceeded to the vessel, which was lying off Rhode's Bay. Passing the ship Waitangi a comparison of the two vessels could be made from a short distance of both vessels. The hulls appeared very similar, but the masts of the Waimate were tauter than those of her sister, Waitangi.
On arriving alongside it was found that eight deaths had occurred, seven being infants, and one an adult named George Green, aged 15, from drowning. No infectious disease had occurred during the passage. The ship was at once cleared and the party was welcomed on board by Captain Henry Rose, Commodore of the fleet.
The ship is certainly as beautiful a model as ever entered Lyttelton. She has a splendid spring and good sheer, a fine poop, and her main deck is remarkably well laid. She was built by the same builders as the Waitangi, Messrs J. Blumer and Co, Sunderland. She was launched in September last, and from fore to aft throughout the ship no expense has been speared to make her a first-class passenger and immigrant vessel. Her length is 219ft; beam, 35ft; hold, 20ft; 'tween-decks, 7ft 8in; She has six splendid boats on board in case of accident, two large life-boats, properly fitted up, and hanging on davits, two large pinnace-boats ready to launch at a minute's notice; one large cutter with all appliances; and a large gig, with oars and life-buoys complete. From this it will be seen that the safety of the passengers had been well provided for.
Of the crew, most of them have followed Captain Rose. Mr. Devitt, formally of the William Miles, is chief officer. Mr. Gibson is second officer, Mr. Pearson is purser, and amongst the crew we noticed the familiar face of 'Old Uncle', the carpenter, and our old acquaintance the boatswain, who for many years, has sailed with the Captain.
During the passage a sad accident occurred at 6am on Dec 26. A lad, an O.S., named George Green, fell overboard, the ship at the time running before a heavy sea. A life-buoy was thrown to him, and the vessel, which was running 18 knots in a heavy sea, was brought to. A man was sent up to the mizen cross-trees, but could see no signs of the unfortunate youth. As the sea was very rough, the captain was obliged to continue on his voyage, feeling sure that no human being could live in the sea that was running.
The commissioners first inspected the single women's compartment. Here they found 78 girls, under the charge of the matron, Miss Wright, and sub-matron, Miss Knight. The compartment was found to be in beautiful order, and the girls themselves most respectably dressed. In reply to enquiries, the matron gave them excellent characters. The only faults found with the arrangements in this part of the vessel were that the compartment was dark, and the lighting at night not sufficient. Still the girls seem to have amused themselves wonderfully well; sewing parties were organized, concerts took place, and on Christmas and New Year's day concerts were given, to which the saloon passengers were invited, and attended, the compartment being gaily decorated with festoons of fancy-coloured papers and emblematical mottoes. Of the single girls, most of them are domestic servants, although some few are shopwomen. All countries are represented.
The married couples' compartment was next inspected; here were a large number of children, many of the families having four, six and eight; indeed, it appeared that the number of children in quest of lollies from a gentleman who had brought a quantity on board would never cease, and he must have had his work to do. The youngsters appeared remarkably healthy. Pushing through the crowd of anxious inquirers as to whether there was any work to be got, a sight of what might be termed a little village was obtained. All was anxiety, which, after a short time, subsided, and an inspection was gone through. The families, numbering some fifty-nine couples, are well adapted to the colony. They comprise mechanics, farm labourers, etc. This compartment was well lighted, and the ventilation here and throughout the ship was admirable.
The same remarks as to cleanliness apply to the single men's compartments. The men appear to be a strong, robust lot. They are for the most part agricultural labourers.
Coming back, the galleys were next visited. The immigrants' galley was small, but throughout the voyage, The condenser, a new one of Gravelley's, distilling 400 gallons of water per diem, had acted well, and the engineer, George Plaskett, speaks in high terms of it. Aft of this is a large and powerful steam winch expressly fitted up for the discharging and loading of cargo.
As in most of the Sunderland built vessels, that seamen and petty officers have accommodation in the deck houses erected forward. The saloon, which has been left for final mention, is very commodious. There is accommodation for eighteen passengers, and the cabins are very nicely fitted up. There is a special poop-cabin for the ladies on the port side, the other being occupied by Captain Rose.
The Immigration Officers having thoroughly inspected the ship, expressed themselves highly satisfied with the whole of the arrangements; and last, but not least, respecting Dr Cleghorn, the surgeon superintendent of the ship. This gentleman is no stranger amongst us, having paid two visits to this port, the last time in the ship City of Glasgow. As far as could be learnt, no complaints were made throughout the vessel as to the quality or quantity of stores provided.
At 1pm a supply of fresh meat and potatoes were served out to the immigrants, and the way they attacked the meal provided showed that it was thoroughly enjoyed. Indeed the sounds from one end of the vessel to the other were of congratulation that they had come to a country where so much kindness was shown them on arrival. A portion of the immigrants were landed yesterday (Jan 26), and others will come ashore today (Jan 27).
Left Gravesend at 10.30am on Wednesday, Oct 28, landed the pilot next day at noon off the Owers. At noon on the 80th the Lizard Point, bore north, distant seven miles. Had light N.E. winds down the Channel, and as far as lat 40 deg N, long 19deg W, on Nov 5, when the wind died away for a few hours, then sprung up from the S.S.W. and backed to the S.E. with rain, and increased to a heavy gale from S.S.E., lasting till the morning of Nov 9, when the wind moderated, and hauled to the westward and round to the north, with fair weather. Got the N.E. trades in 25deg N, and 22? W. Passed in sight of St Antonio on Nov 15. Lost the trades on Nov 18, in lat 7deg 30min N, long 25deg W, and had light winds and calms to 3deg N, and 25deg 30min W, when we got the S.E. trades. Crossed the equator at 6pm on Nov 25 in long 28deg 30min W; lost the S.E. trades on Nov 30, in lat 12deg S, long 36deg W; from thence, light variable airs and calms which continued until Dec 7, in lat 20deg S, lat 45deg S. From thence to lat 48deg, long 120deg E, experienced moderate westerly winds. Passed the Crozets on Dec 31 in lat 45deg S. From long 120deg E, had unsettled weather, with very low barometer. Passed the Snares on Wednesday Jan 20, at 1.30pm, with a very strong N.W. wind, and was off the Nuggets Point on Thursday, Jan 21. Was off Selander on Friday, and Oamaru on Saturday evening, Jan 23. Passed Banks Peninsula at 1am Jan 25 and anchored off Rhodes Bay at 6.15am Jan 25, having made the passage from anchorage to anchorage in eighty-eight days eight hours.
LIST OF PASSENGERS PER WAIMATE
Passengers - saloon:-