| Collision Narrowly Averted
The following is an excerpt from the book
Sir Henry Brett,
published in 1924
The Adamant, Captain Bowling's first ship as master, was an old vessel when bringing immigrants to New Zealand. She was an iron barque of 815 tons, built in 1858. amd later purchased by the Shaw, Savell Co.
She made nine voyages to New Zealand, coming out first to Lyttelton in 1873, fifteen years after she was built.
The Adamant made one rather fast passage when bound for Nelson in 1874, having rounded Tasmania on the 79th day out, which was considered very good for this old ship. Here she met with strong easterly winds until nearing the New Zealand coast and did not reach Nelson until twelve days later. This was the record passage for the Adamant. She brought out 340 Government immigrants on this occasion, far too many for the accommodation provided. During the voyage there were twelve deaths. In 1878 the barque, on her passage out to Nelson with a large number of immigrants on board, very nearly came to grief when running down the Southern Ocean. during the night a huge iceberg loomed up right ahead of the ship, and a collision was narrowly averted.
On the passage out to Auckland in 1879 (the voyage Sarah Snowsill was on) the Adamant had on board all the Christmas goods for the Auckland merchants. She arrived the day after Christmas and the cargo was not delivered until the New Year. Owing to the long passage made by the ship some anxiety was felt by friends for her safety. Captain Bowling reported the Adamant left Gravesend on the 27th August and was detained in the Channel nine days, anchored at the Downs and Deal. The ship also encountered a series of very heavy gales in the Southern Ocean. After discharging, at the end of January, 1880, the Adamant sailed for Napier and loaded up with wool and produce for London.
Mr. Robert Jordon was a passenger by the Adamant on this voyage. He has resided at Auckland, mainly in the Tauranga district, over 40 years, with the exception of one year, 1910, which he spent in Ireland. He sailed on another visit to the Old Country, leaving Auckland in February, 1924. Other passengers by the Adamant were Mr. Walter Buchanan, now residing at Takapuna; Mr. J. A. Beale, solicitor, and his wife; and the family of the late Judge Laughlan O'Brien. All of these were returning from a voyage to the Homeland. The ship, in addition to the above saloon passengers, brought out 150 passengers who had been assisted in seeking fresh pastures by trade unions in England. Mr Tom Bowling's younger brother Alfred was third officer of the ship.
The most remarkable and eventful passage out by the Adamant was in 1875. She sailed from Gravesend on July 14 in command of Captain
Burch. The report published in the Invercargill paper stated that Captain Burch was much given to drink. He kept the ship sailing about the coast of Brazil for three weeks, and on September 17, at 10 o'clock, ran her on a sandbank within hail of the shore, so close that the natives waded out and conversed with those on board. The barque was refloated within a couple of hours. Eventually the chief officer, Mr. Tupman Highman, took over command. About six weeks before the vessel arrived at the Bluff Captain Burch died, and was buried at sea. After her long passage of 144 days the provisions were almost exhausted. The Adamant landed 271 immigrants at the Bluff.
Another account of this remarkable passage is supplied ....Con't...