Diary of MARGARET MATHIESON
Her voyage from Rogart, Scotland,
to Dunedin, New Zealand,
Web-authors note: The photo
was taken in Scotland C 1859. This diary marks Margaret as a devout and deeply religious
woman and is an account of the mode of travel, sustenance and the dangers
faced. I believe we owe this educated and intelligent
lady a great deal for the following record. Mr. John Ross mentioned in this diary was Margarets' chaperone.
He was a founding partner of the NZ business of Ross & Gendinning.
Sunday 17th February,1861.
I went to Golspie to hear the sermon. Heard my dear Uncle preach the words, 'Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world'. Felt very much affected, being the last time I was to hear my Uncle. Remained at Golspie all night.
Monday 18th February
Heard Mr G Kennedy, Dornoch preach. This is the last day of the Communion. Came home to Rogart this evening and returned again to Golspie. Left at 10 o'clock in the morning to go by steamer from the little Ferry tomorrow if all be well.
Tuesday 19th February
Went, accompanied by cousin Evander to the Ferry. Was at the Ferry at 6 o'clock. Weather so stormy the steamer could not start. Came back to Golspie. Mr Ross went in the evening to address our luggage to be sent on by steamer and train, as we could not get it by coach.
Wednesday 20th February
Evening at 9 o'clock, left Golspie by coach. Travelled all night. Was at Inverness at 6 o'clock Thursday morning. Started an hour after by the train.
Thursday 21st February
Travelled in the train all day. Enjoyed it very much. The day was very warm. Took a cup of tea at Perth, paid a sixpence for it. Came to Edinburgh at 9 o'clock in the evening - quite comfortable with (D's ?)
Friday 22nd February
Was a wet windy day. Took a nice walk through a few of the principal streets of Edinburg and had a sight of the shops in the evening with gaslight.
Saturday 23rd February
Was a beautiful day. The whole of us walked down to Granton to see if the steamer came. Met our luggage going on the train to London. Went through Queen Mary's palace and had other fine sights of Edinburg.
Sunday 24th February
Was in the Gaelic church hearing Mr Lachlan - was a revival meeting in the evening at the Free New Assembly Hall. Liked it well - the hall was crowded.
Monday 25th February
Was at Carlton Hill at the observatory - took a long walk through the magnificent city of Edinburg - the weather beautiful every day.
Tuesday 26th February
Was preparing for starting next day to London. Wrote my father, sister, John, Mrs Pendrith and Miss Mary.
Wednesday 27th February
Started from Granton pier at 3 o'clock per steamer Princess Royal for London. The evening was fine, the night rather stormy. Felt pretty well.
Thursday 28th February
At sea all day - was well. And the day most beautiful, just like a summers/p day.
Friday 1st March
The day fine, felt well. Arrived at St Catherine's Wharf at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Mr Ross met my brother and I - brought us to see the Velore. Had a look at her, came to the City of London, to the Waverly Hotel.
Saturday 2nd March
Felt very dull after parting with the last of my dear friends, my darling brother. Was not out much owing to the day being so wet. Passed the day reading and writing. Deafed with the noise from the streets.
Sunday 3rd March
Went to Mrs Munro's to go to church. Went to St Pauls in the evening. Heard a nice sermon - remained at Mrs Munro's that evening.
Monday 4th March
Was out all day through the city .
Wednesday 6th March
Went by steamer to Greenwich. Was through all the hospital, through the Picture Galleries and Chapel, and at the Observatory. Liked the place much.
Thursday 7th March
Was at the Velore all day, getting our things on board. Back to Mrs Morrison's and was there till Friday morning. Saw our Captains wife on board the ship.
Friday 8th March
Went on board at 9 o'clock in the morning. Moved from the dock at 12 o'clock. Came to Gravesend - remained at Gravesend all night. The day very fine - was busy getting my cabin in order.
Saturday 9th March
Could not move out for the tide and calm. Felt very dull, and every other body seemed to be the same. Looked through my boxes for amusement. Found my little (--?--) spilt all over my things, which gave me a little to employ my mind.
Sunday 10th March
Weighed anchor at 6 o'clock, having sailed down the river before a good breeze - anchored at Nore at 12 with the wind and the tide ------- and the weather fine. No sign of the Sabbath - the carpenter and sailors working as on any other day, no word about the Sabbath.
Monday 11th March
A .. gale of wind kept us at anchor all day, ship rolling a great deal. Eight of the passengers among whom I am numbered, could not move out of bed all day. Felt very ill. Wind less toward the evening, rain following.
Tuesday 12th March
Weighed anchor at 6 a.m. and started for the Downs. A light breeze and wind until 12 and then cleared to a beautiful day. Anchored at 6 o'clock, remained at the Downs all night. I was not so ill today.
Wednesday 13th March
Mr Small the Pilot left us at 9 o'clock. Sent some letters by him. Weighed anchor at 11 a.m. and stood out to sea before a splendid breeze from the north. Doing 7 knots an hour, sighted the French coast, passed close to Dover, all in good spirits, I am much better today.
Thursday 14th March
Wind ahead, tacking all day, making little progress. Sighted the Isle of Wight at 2 p.m. The first of our stock of sheep killed today. Weather cold, never felt it colder.
Friday 15th March
Raining this morning, the wind still ahead and much stronger. The ship rolled a good deal last night - me very ill. Mr Ross Kind and attentive, treating me to a brandy which relieves me for a while. The ship only made 20 miles since yesterday.
Saturday 16th March
Wind still the same, blowing pretty hard. The ship making no progress, the Isle of Wight still in sight. Very ill all day but able to go to the door and sit awhile in the evening.
Sunday 17th March
Never passed such a Sabbath as this before in my life. Very ill in bed all day. The Captain came to see me and Mrs M. Mr R very attentive and kind. Not able to read much. Distressed at the roars of laughing outside as wave after wave strikes in. No respect for the Lord's Day.
Monday 18th March
Blowing very hard all day yesterday. I could not move out of bed all day. The weather a little better today. Wind North West. I am not able to move. Never felt so ill in my life. One of the pigs found dead this morning.
Tuesday 19th March
Weather more moderate. Blew a tremendous gale in the forenoon, the worst we have had yet. The ship rolls most awfully. One of the ladies called to see me today - the other sick like myself. Three more pigs dead today with the cold.
Wednesday 20th March
A very disagreeable day - wind ahead as usual. After being as far as Portland we are back again in the Isle of Wight - 7 hours going forward, the next four going backward. Cannot put in without a Pilot and the Pilot cannot come (?)
Thursday 21st March
This is a better day. All the invalids a little better but very weak - me even able to sit outside a little to get a breath of fresh air. The steward is drunk today so had difficulty getting dinner and tea up - a lot of plates broken.
Friday 22nd March
Wind still blowing in the same direction. A good breeze today. A Cowes pilot came alongside today at 12 p.m. The Captain accepted the Pilot's services, who brought us into Spithead off Portsmouth, where we laid anchor at 6 p.m. Now quite (calm?)
Saturday 23rd March
Delighted at the thought of going ashore today. I was at dinner last night for the first time since we left the Downs. I was at Portsmouth today - enjoyed the walk very much. Was on board the Victory and all through. Was back to the Velore at 7.
Sunday 24th March
This is one of the finest days I have ever seen - the sea is like glass. Could not get ashore for church. Heard the church bells, and the band playing on board the Victory in the harbour, most beautifully. Felt very dull.
Monday 25th March
The steward has been sent ashore for drink. Another has come who looks by far the worse of the two. Weighed anchor yesterday evening - winds very light. Dropped anchor at St Helens. The new steward drunk last night and again this morning. Our cook and some of the steerage passengers drunk. It is fearful to see them. I felt dull.
Tuesday 26th March
Steward drunk this morning. Spoke to the Barque Edinburg from London February 14th. She was three weeks in Spithhead after being three weeks tossed in the Channel previously. The wind is back in the South West again, we have begun the tacking system again.
Wednesday 27th March
It has been raining all night and is still wet. Some water got in through the deck to the cabins. Some of the passengers found their clothes wet this morning. I saw the sun set over the Lizard this evening - the last point of land, the last sight of England for a time.
Thursday 28th March
Going at the rate of 6 knots and hour today, sailing due west all day, the weather dull and cold. The steward sent as cook and the cook brought as steward as he expected to keep free of drink. Land quite out of sight.
Friday 29th March
Sailing south west today at the rate of 5 knots an hour. Weather not so cold today. Two more pigs dead this morning. We had 13 pigs leaving London - all died but 5. Both anchor and chain are put down in the chain locker today in the hopes not to require them till we get to Otago. Not felt seasick since we left Spithead.
Saturday 30th March
Rainy in the forenoon but somewhat squally. Cleared up at mid-day, going six knots. I am much better but still feel very weak. All the invalids look so ill. Able to walk a little every day. Preparing my cabin for the Sabbath.
Sunday 31st March
All the cabin passengers and some of the steerage assembled in the cabin at half past ten. The Captain read the Church of England services for the first time on board. Makes the day look a little more like the Sabbath. Still everyone goes on just like any other day.
Monday 1st April
Going 7 knots under weather fine and warm. Wind north east, more rain in the evening - going 5 knots. Sat and read a great deal alone on deck and in my cabin.
Tuesday 2nd April
Heavy rain all last night. Wind North West and squally - passed by noon. The ship Eclipse (?) 8 days out of Liverpool for Rio Janeiro, passed us today and she and the Velore signalled to one another for an hour and finished by wishing one another a good voyage - all done by flags. I felt rather dull seeing how they went with it so quickly.
Wednesday 3rd April
A beautiful day as warm as summer at home. Wind ahead, making no progress. Spent most of the day on deck, and walked a good deal, the ship being so steady. I had a walk this morning before breakfast, felt quite well and getting strong.
Thursday 4th April
Wind ahead. Dutch (?) passed by us today. Put up a board with our ship's name as they wished to know who we were. Put up another board with the longitude marked on it. Our present longitude is 12o latitude 38o
Friday 5th April
A dull day. Wind ahead. Four weeks today since we left London and we are only 800 miles on our way. I had a conversation with one of the steerage passengers, an elderly woman. Her husband, two sons and two daughters on board.
Saturday 6th April
A beautiful warm day, very little wind and the little there is, is contrary. One of the sheep dad this morning and thrown overboard. The sailors busy scrubbing and cleaning all the dirt for the Sabbath .
Sunday 7th April
The Captain kept church service as last Sunday, but nothing like the Sabbath. All day long every fellow brushing his boots etc. It makes me so wretched to see how the Sabbath is used. Weather fine and warm, not a breath of air.
Monday 8th April
Today is fine with a light wind in our favour ship going 5 knots an hour. I pass the time reading and sewing and knitting as best I can. Up early in the morning, the only female at breakfast - the other two do not get up till noon, the one attended by her husband, the other by her servant.
Tuesday 9th April
Weather fine, wind the same as yesterday and going at the same rate as yesterday. In latitude 35o. If the wind continues the same it will bring us to the north east trade winds, and they will bring us to the Equator.
Wednesday 10th April
Weather the same. Hundreds of fish to be seen about the ship today. They resemble a salmon in size and shape with a tail like mackerel. The mate caught one with a fine pronged hook and we had fresh fish for tea. Tastes very dry. Ship going 5 knots. Fish called Bonita.
Thursday 11th April
Opposite Madeira at 5 o'clock this morning. Can see it quite distinctly. It is very high and mountainous and can be seen from a great distance. Making very little process today, only 2.5 knots. Lots of Bonita to be seen today, but we did not catch any.
Friday 12th April
Weather fine and wind light. Spoke to the Anne Percival from Cardiff, twenty days out. Longitude 16o 50 W Latitude 31o 44 N.
Saturday 13th April
The Captain and Mr Ross walked a match with two other gentlemen this forenoon. The Captain and Mr Ross beat them and won seven bottles of wine. The weather very warm, getting more so every day almost.
Sunday 14th April
Church service as before. Nothing like the Sabbath in any other respect.
Tuesday 16th April
A dull morning. Began to rain at midday and blew a gale from south by west, a very unusual wind in this latitude. Rain is rather disagreeable on board ship.
Wednesday 17th April
A fine day with a favourable wind, going about 6 knots, the latitude is 27o 0 N.
Thursday 18th April
We are in trade winds at last and have been going about 7.5 knots since last night. Latitude 25o longitude 23o 30 W. A lovely day. Sat sewing on deck all day. The sun very hot, beautiful moonlight nights, can see to read on deck. I sit for hours reading with moonlight.
Friday 19th April
Another fine day, going 5 knots, latitude 22o 46' longitude about 25o. Sun rises at six and sets at six. No twilight now as at home. Day and night about the same. Very pleasant to sit on deck after sunset. Too close inside.
Saturday 20th April
Beautiful day. Latitude 20o 40'. Two ships in sight but a long way off. Had a long walk on deck before breakfast, which is at half past eight o'clock. Weather very warm. Sorry to see so little preparation for the Lord's day. Sorry so many sit up late at their foolish amusements.
Sunday 21st April
A lovely day spent as usual. I think a shade quieter than usual. The sunset was lovely. No one on board ever saw anything like it. Just as the sun sank below the horizon the clouds all around it seemed a reddish tint and the atmosphere and ocean looked like a sea of gold. Cannot describe it, it was so lovely. Will never forget it.
Monday 22nd April
Today dull and heavy. The sun obscured at noon so there was no observation got. Ship going about six knots. The knot is equal to a mile and a quarter. We have been sailing south west - today ship turned south.
Tuesday 23rd April
Our latitude today noon was 14o 38', longitude 27o. Consequently we are passing the most southerly of the Cape du Verde islands. The sun nearly above our heads today. Going 8 knots. Only for the nice breeze we would suffer much from heat. Never saw such hot weather. Can hardly bear a stitch of clothes, day or night.
Wednesday 24th April
We have sailed 182 knots from noon yesterday till noon today, the greatest distance we have made since we left London in a day. Latitude 11o 36' the sun a shade to the north of us. A great number of flying fish to be seen today - they fly a good span above the water.
Thursday 25th April
A fine day. Sailing south by east. Latitude 9o 11'. The wind died away in the evening.
Friday 26th April
Sailing half a point more westerly. Wind revived. Going six knots. Latitude 7o 36'. Had a conversation with the old lady, a very nice person.
Saturday 27th April
Lost the north east trade winds yesterday. The air close and sultry. Water very bad for the last fortnight but very much better today out of tin tanks which are kept below and keeps the water nice and cool. Before today it was kept in large casks on deck.
Sunday 28th April
Had Church service as usual, not so much work as usual. Quite becalmed all day. Some showers of rain about midnight. Latitude 5o 36'.
Monday 29th April
Calm today and very warm. I scarcely know what to do with the heat. Plenty of good water to drink. My health is very good. Eight ships in sight.
Spoke to the Witch of the Seas, from China to Cork, 106 days out. Supplied them with water. This day being the fourth anniversary of the Captain's marriage, he gave a grand dinner. No end of drinking wine and health's until it ended at a very late hour as the most disagreeable scene I have ever witnessed.
Wednesday 1st May
A calm day very dull, The effects of yesterdays squabble painfully visible, everyone going about with a face as long as a poker - anyone would see us would imagine there was a dread (?) solemnity on board. Mr Ross and myself being the only party who kept free of the horrible disturbance which I will never forget.
Thursday 2nd May
Another dull calm day. Saw two sharks. The Captain dined with us today for the first time since Tuesday night as he and the passengers had such a row. They have made up the peace today. I kept aloof a good deal and I am much pleased for doing so.
Friday 3rd May
Rained all this morning, every lady trying to keep some water. Caught 450 gallons of rainwater. I got some and washed a few articles such as towels, pocket-handkerchiefs and pillow cases, everyone trying to wash themselves. Weather very squally in the evening.
Sunday 4th May
Light breeze today, east by south. Longitude 22o 44 W. Latitude 3o 14. Cleaned out my little cabin and other preparations for the Sabbath. I am glad to see some of the gentlemen cleaning their boots for tomorrow but generally done on Sabbath morning.
Sunday 5th May
A beautiful day. Slight breeze from the SE. Had divine service as usual. Latitude 30o 3 N.
Monday 6th May
Weather and wind the same. Going about four knots. Latitude 2o 13. I saw the Southern Cross for the first time. Felt disappointed as I had heard so much about it. After all it is only four stars in this shape (picture)
Tuesday 7th May
Crossed the Equator about 4 o'clock this afternoon when Neptune and his (followers) appeared to have everyone cross the line before shaved, so everybody promised to pay a bottle of grog instead, which is all they wish. All the crew and gentlemen spent the evening throwing water a each other.
Wednesday 8th May
Spoke to the ship King of Algeria from Liverpool for Melbourne, 38 days out from land, a fine looking ship, sailed close to us all day. Has 24 sail sets, appears to have a great many passengers on board. Latitude 1o 16'.
Thursday 9th May
The King of Algeria in sight this morning but a good deal to leeward. Lost sight of her at noon. Ship sailing south west about 5 knots. Latitude 3o 16'.
Friday 10th May
Latitude 5o 10' going 5 knots - lovely sunset this evening.
Saturday 11th May
Latitude 6o 46' going steadily in the SE trade wind about 5 knots an hour. A sailor, one of the apprentices, fell from the main royal yard but caught top gallant yard coming down. Had it not been for that, he would have been overboard.
Sunday 12th May
Spoke to the Albatross from Liverpool for Calcutta, 49 days out. She passed about 300 yards from us. A good breeze all day, going 7 knots. I feel much distressed seeing so little respect for the Lord's Day.
Monday 13th May
Wind a shade less today, going 6.5 knots. Latitude 11o 8'.
Tuesday 14th May
Going about 6 knots South by West, the weather beautiful and comfortably cool now. Latitude 13o 30'.
Wednesday 15th May
Very little wind today, going from 3 to 4 knots. Weather fine and clear.
Thursday 16th May
Wind fresh, going about 6 knots. Latitude 17o 28'.
Friday 17th May
Latitude 19o 44' going 5 knots. Water we get to drink much better than it has been for some time.
Saturday 18th May
Opposite Island of Trinidad at daylight this morning at 25 miles distance. Not inhabited. The sailors busy cleaning the decks. The wind light all day. Latitude 20o 25'. Sae dolphins this evening, they are beautiful fish. The mate tried to harpoon them but did not succeed.
Sunday 19th May
Quite calm today but a heavy swell on the sea. Had divine service as usual, not so much work done.
Monday 20th May
Calm today, the sea like glass and the weather warm. Out of sight of Trinidad. Latitude 21o 42'.
Tuesday 21st May
A little wind today. Going 4 knots an hour. The mate caught a dolphin today, a very beautiful fish which changed colour and acquires all the hues of a rainbow in dying. I did not like to touch it. They say it tastes like cod but very dry. A ship in sight.
Wednesday 22nd May
Weather fine, going 4 knots. Latitude 22o 54'. Old Smith confined to bed, does not eat.
Thursday 23rd May
A heavy swell on the sea from SW. Going 5 knots. Latitude 25o 40'.
Friday 24th May -----------------------------
Saturday 25th May
Latitude 26o 50' . Going 5.5 knots with a heavy sea setting in from the SW and the ship rolling a good deal. Old Smith better today, everybody else quite well.
Sunday 26th May
Spent the same as usual. Ship going about 5 knots in latitude 28o 12' and longitude 21o.
Monday 27th May
Going 5.5 knots. Saw some Cape pigeons. They resemble a magpie in colour but are a good deal larger.
Tuesday 28th May
A heavy squall came in at 3 o'clock this morning. As it was quite calm previously, and all the sails were set. The ship sailed at an awful rate. The squall only lasted for an hour and got quite calm afterwards. I woke up of course and did not sleep again. A dull day.
Wednesday 29th May
Weather dull and heavy. Mr Ross caught a Cape pigeon with a hook and a bit of pork as a bait. He put a label round its neck with the ship's name, latitude and longitude and sent him on his way again. Latitude 31o Longitude 17o.
Thursday 30th May
Blowing a good breeze all day. Going from 6 - 9 knots. Squally towards evening, the weather getting very cold, it is more like November, the days getting very short.
Friday 31st May
We ran 230 miles yesterday from Noon till noon today, the greatest distance we have made yet in a day. The Captain and Mate had a quarrel this evening.
Saturday 1st June
A heavy swell this morning, ship rolling a good deal all day. Sailors busy taking down sails and putting up strong ones. They always have old sails up in the hot burning of the tropics - now preparing for bad weather.
Sunday 2nd June
The breeze which sprang up on Saturday night continued till Sunday morning 6 o'clock when it began to blow harder. Orders were given to shorten sails. The wind accompanied by rain increased till 10 o'clock, blowing a regular gale. Got better in the evening. We had church services. Blew fiercer than ever all the evening and kept on all night. Mary did not sleep all night. I did not sleep.
Monday 3rd June
Could hardly get dressed this morning. Never saw such a sight as the sea. It is fearful and at the same time, most beautiful. The sea washing in most fearful, the man at the helm lashed with ropes. The ship lay with only 1/4 the mainsail up to steady her. The sea washed into the saloon and (?) and into all the cabins. We were in great danger. Since yesterday in the afternoon, set 3 or 4 sails and steered a course at 5 knots. Got nothing lost or broken. How wonderful God's care of us. May I be enabled to thank Him and (?) aright for this and every instance of his goodness and mercy towards me.
Wednesday 5th June
It was quite calm yesterday, a contrast to the last 2 days. Wind freshened this evening. Going at 6 knots. Many shipping to see continually. Most of the passengers got a good deal of their clothing wet. Mine is all right. My cabin was wet all the time.
Thursday 6th June
Pouring down rain all day with a steady breeze. Going 9 knots all day.
Friday 7th June
Very stormy last night, the sea high and the ship rolling a good deal. Raining in the forenoon, cabins all wet as usual. Shipped some heavy seas. Cleared up at mid-day. Had the first sunshine for a week. Slept very little this week, owing to the rolling of the ship. My bed (rolls?)
Saturday 8th June
Fine weather with sunshine in the forenoon. Got an observation today, the first time since eight days. Latitude 39o 40'. Blowing pretty stiff all afternoon and going 9 knots an hour. The last sheep killed this evening. It is a beautiful sight to see the waves roll and rise so high.
Sunday 9th June
Had the jibsail carried away about 4 this morning in a squall. A heavy sea all day going 6 knots. Divine service kept both in the fore and afternoon.
Monday 10th June
Almost calm today. Some more pigeons caught. Wind got up in the evening and increased to a gale during the night. I did not sleep any.
Tuesday 11th June
The sea rising very high this morning. Moderated a little at noon but still blowing strong. Running before the wind 7 1/2 knots. Longitude 19o 30".
Wednesday 12th June
Ship rolling tremendously and the sea breaking all over the deck last night. Wind less during the day but the sea still high, blowing a good breeze in the afternoon. Had a shower of hail today. Longitude 21o 30' latitude 42o.
Thursday 13th June
Very little wind this morning, heavy rain, hail and thunder during the day and in the afternoon fell a heavy shower of ice. The average size of the ice was 1/2". No one on board ever saw the like before. Cleared up in the afternoon with a good breeze.
Friday 14th June
Today has been as fine as yesterday was rough, with a nice breeze, all sails set, going about 8 knots an hour, all day. Latitude 43 degrees 22 minutes, longitude 28 degrees 30 minutes. The weather is very changeable.
Saturday 15th June
Wind blowing hard today, a (?) sail boom carried away in a squall this morning. It is now 1/2 past eleven o'clock and blowing a gale. The second mate came (?) to fetch the Captain. He is supposed to be quite drunk and did not go out. The First mate was roused and got up and was the means of saving our lives.
Sunday 16th June
Last night was a fearful night. I did not sleep all night. The gale increased to a hurricane and the ship rolled most awfully with the sea breaking in. I thought an (idea) after we were struck that she break up. No church today. It is reported that the Captain's answer to the mate who told him we were in danger was, let her sink.
Monday 17th June
The sea continued breaking in all last night and washed in all the cabins at midnight. I often thought it was to be our last night. Not blowing so hard today, ship did not sustain any damage. Saw a black painted longboat, bottom upwards floating yesterday morning.
Tuesday 18th June
A bitter cold day with a moderate breeze, going from 6-7 knots. Showers of hail today, the cook drunk. Drink has been the curse of this ship. Scarcely a week has passed since we left without some row through drink.
Wednesday 19th June
Very cold, sea heavy, passed some seaweed, the sea being a greener shade than usual today. I am not able to be out of doors now oftener than once or twice a week owing to wet slippery decks and the rolling of the ship. One can hardly sit or stand anywhere.
Thursday 20th June
Blowing a stiff breeze going 8 to 9 knots. We are about two degrees further north today than we have been for some time to avoid rocks marked in the charts as supposed to be hereabouts.
Friday 21st June
The Captain kicked up a row today for us helping ourselves to some cold salt beef last night after he went to bed. He has put a lock on the pantry in consequence and locked up all the provisions.
Saturday 22nd June
Going 8 knots before a good breeze, sea smooth. The steward sprained his arm this afternoon.
Sunday 23rd June
A fine day going 5 1/2 knots. Had the service in the evening and a sermon read by the Captain. I did not appear at the service, afraid it is worse than a mockery, such creatures as they are attempting to be so daring. How wonderful the Lord is bearing with us.
Monday 24th June
Blowing a good breeze all day which increased in the evening. Another row between the Captain and mate, the most serious one yet. It began before dinner and again after 8 o'clock. We heard such a row on the poop above and the Captain came in with face bleeding. I was never frightened so much in my life. Mrs R and I retired to Mrs R's cabin where we sat till 10 o'clock.
Tuesday 25th June
The ship rolled awfully last night, the sailors say the Captain had too much sail on her. We are all sorry the first mate is forbidden to do duty since the row last night. A good breeze all day. Cook drunk - and had one of the sailors laid up with sore feet. I did not sleep all night.
Wednesday 26th June
Mate still off duty. The Captain's face which was cut in two places on Monday night swollen today. Cook drunk again today which is the cause of us having very disagreeable meals often. The wind light but the sea pretty high, washing in every few minutes, raining too.
Thursday 27th June
Blowing hard, have come some 13 degrees of longitude since three days. The mate has resumed work again. Longitude today about 79 degrees E. We enjoyed the first part of the voyage very much, but the last month it has been rather disagreeable with bad weather and seeing so much of drink.
Friday 28th June
A dull heavy day with a slight breeze. Going 6 knots. Nobody drunk today for a wonder. The Captain sent one of the apprentices today to clean out our cabins for the first time, so we did not accept his services as he did not think of it sooner. Everybody cleaning his own cabin all day.
Saturday 29th June
Weather fine, wind light, going 6 knots, Captain talking a lot of nonsense at tea, appears to have been drinking again, he has kept sober since Monday for a wonder. Wind increased in the afternoon, logged 16 knots 8o'clock which is the highest lot of the voyage. I can seldom sleep now, but standing on my feet or head, according as the ship rolls my bed across.
Sunday 30th June
Blew a gale last night but passed off by morning, going about 6 knots. I declined going to church this forenoon, but heard a sermon read in the evening. I am reading Doddridge's "Rise and Progress in Religion", and my bible.
Monday 1st July
A good breeze this morning going nearly 10 knots. Captain appeared soon after lunch and went to bed before dinner, where he remained till 5 o'clock, when he staggered on deck, looked at the compass, nearly fell over it and then returned into his cabin.
Wind light in the forenoon, came on to blow in the afternoon, and by 10 o'clock blew a gale. Going 9 knots under double reefed topsails. Longitude 93 degrees 11 minutes, Latitude 45 degrees 29 minutes. Weather very cold, don't expect to sleep much tonight.
Wednesday 3rd July
Blew a gale last night. Wind light today. Longitude 97 degrees 11 minutes. Mrs Nodding and myself generally go and get a breathing of fresh air on deck as often as we can venture out, but cannot remain a minute without being lashed with ropes both ourselves and chairs. The gentlemen give us a walk as often as able.
Thursday 4th July
Weather very cold, wind light, going between 5 & 6 knots, days are very short now just like the middle of winter, daylight at half past seven, dark again at quarter to five. It is supposed that this month resembles January at home, both here and in New Zealand, just winter like.
Friday 5th July
Got up in good time this morning after a good nights rest, the best I have had for some time, the ship being a little more steady than usual. A nice breeze, going from 7 - 9 knots all day and very steady. Longitude 104 degrees. Could not venture out the last two days with the wet, decks slippery. Captain had another row this morning with one of the passengers, Mr. R. Smith.
Saturday 6th July
Going 9 knots all last night and a little more this morning, a nice sea washing in occasionally. The Captain had a good sea over him last night. No one sorry for him. I had a walk on the poop this evening. Longitude about 109 degrees.
Sunday 7th July
Had service in the morning and afternoon, sermon read in the evening. A dull misty day. Going from 5 - 7 knots. How wonderful the Lord bears with such fearful creatures as they pretend to worship him.
Monday 8th July
A most beautiful day, the sun shining and the sea pretty low, the finest day we have had for a long time. Could walk along on deck alone. Longitude 117 degrees. We are abreast of Australia this evening and are 52 degrees from New Zealand.
Tuesday 9th July
A sharp cold day, going 9 knots. Longitude 120 degrees, Latitude 47 degrees, 29 minutes. A ship sighted this morning steering our way. Shortened sail and waited to see who this was. Passed quite close to us could read the name on the stern "Alice Vernerard", Yarmouth, from America bound for Melbourne.
Wednesday 10th July
Blowing hard all last night and today, the sea very high. Ship rolling a good deal. Longitude 125 degrees going about 9 knots since yesterday. Old smith found dead in his berth this morning. Sewn in canvas and put overboard at 12 o'clock, burial service read. An awful sea washed in as we were at dinner.
Thursday 11th July
Blew a tremendous gale all last night and blowing hard all day. Blessed be God who is sparing us from day to day. Moderated a little in the evening, ship rolling a good deal. I did not sleep much for the last two nights. Did not undress last night.
Friday 12th July
Ship rolled a good deal last night. Started (?) going south since 12 o'clock last night. Longitude 130 degrees, latitude 48 degrees 40 minutes. Still blowing a good breeze. Ship very ? ? ? every two hours. We are today 18 weeks on board. May He who brought us this far in safety bring us to the end of our journey.
Saturday 13th July
Wind ahead again but very light fair wind at night but light hardly morning. Cook drunk, the last pig killed today. Got dark a little past 4 o'clock. Latitude 49.5 degrees. Bitterly cold. The old lady forehead (?) very ill. Captain would not gibe a drop of brandy.
Sunday 14th July
Fair wind but very light. Going between 2 and 4 knots. All the passengers kept to their cabins so there was no church service. I made up my mind not to go but to read in my cabin and in the evening keep out of the way.
Monday 15th July
A fine day but bitterly cold. A bitter keen wind. Going 6 knots, the sea quite smooth and the sky beautiful. Had a long walk on the poop, thinking much of home all last week and yesterday being the time the communion used to be at dear Rogart. It is now 5 o'clock in the evening and at home it is 8 in the morning.
Tuesday 16th July
Blowing hard all day, going from 7 to 8 knots. Very cold. Longitude 142 degrees, latitude 47 degrees 29 minutes. South yet to make. May it be the Lord's will to bring us to the end of our journey. How wonderful He is bearing with us so long. May he bless his long-suffering to me, and whatever time He is pleased to grant me, may I use it in His service.
Wednesday 17th July
A lovely day but cold wind south east, sailing north east doing very little. Had the old lady with me a while in my cabin. The Captain having the boats painted to have them look nice going into port. Lovely moonlight nights.
Thursday 18th July
A row between the Captain and mate last night, the latter off duty again. Wind fair today, going on our course about 6 knots. Beautiful clear day and bright moonlight night. Was able to be out all day. A row between the Captain and one of the passengers this evening.
Friday 19th July
Wind ahead since last night. Sailing south and sighted Van Diemens Land, then turned north east. A row between some of the passengers this evening. Longitude 146 degrees, latitude 44 degrees 30 minutes. Weather fine and dry. 25 miles from Tasmania.
Saturday 20th July
Another fine day. Wind the same all day, more favourable in the evening. Going 7 knots, two points off our course. Another row today, mate still off duty, everything getting very disagreeable.
Sunday 21st July
A nice breeze all day, going from 7 to 8 1/2 knots. No church service kept. I hope this will be the last Sabbath on board.
Monday 22nd July
Almost calm since four o'clock this morning. A little breeze sprang up at four o'clock in the afternoon. Going from 5 - 7 knots all night. The sailors going to scrub out the saloon and was the paint after we go to bed.
Tuesday 23rd July
A fine day, sun shining, a nice breeze, going on course at 8 knots. Longitude 157 degrees, latitude 46 degrees 34 minutes. The Captain tipsy and quite drunk, in the evening he went to bed so there was no row. Beautiful clear moonlight night.
Wednesday 24th July
A rainy day with a fair wind, going well all night. Expect to see land tomorrow. Sailors busy for the last week painting the boats and other parts of the ship to improve her look going into port. A foretop gallant torn away early this morning.
Thursday 25th July
Weather beautiful, going well all day. Longitude 166 degrees 49. Latitude 47 degrees 34 min. Hundreds of fish about in the forenoon called porpoises some of them as large as a cow, big ugly black beasts they are.
Friday 26th July
The first part of New Zealand in sight this morning, which is Stewart Island. Passed through a great many rocks last night. The Captain and some of the passengers did not go to bed at all. I did not undress but slept little. The moon up at 1/2 past 9 - a beautiful sight, cannot describe it.
Saturday 27th July
Weather rather foggy, quite close to Otago but no wind so cannot get on. Everyone looks happy on board, peace made between all parties. Mr Wait on duty this evening, everyone packing his own baggage. As far as I can see yet, Otago is very like Sutherlandshire. If it was clear, we could see Dunedin.
Sunday 28th July
Blowing a gale of wind, ahead all day, only 7 miles from land this morning tacking all day. We all thought we got in this morning.
Monday 28th July
Land out of sight this morning. We all have a miserable long face on. Blowing a gale all day, still ahead. One of the gentlemen got his brow cut by falling on deck, the decks very slippery. Another confined to bed with a sore neck.
Tuesday 30th July
Sighted land again. Got an observation of the sun and found we were not where we thought we were and still 50 miles from Dunedin. Wind ? but very light. Weather fine, calm all the evening.
Wednesday 31st July
Wind still ahead, got within 20 miles of the port, night very dark and blowing a good breeze. Captain quite drunk. May the Lord have mercy on us and keep us in the hour of danger.
Thursday 1st August
Found ourselves this morning 5 miles north of the port, close to mountainous land all covered with snow. Did not know where we were till they got an observation at 12 o'clock. Wind blowing a gale ahead and tacked out to sea again.
Friday 2nd August
Wind ahead about 30 miles off this morning. Blew very hard in the evening, but calmed at 8 o'clock. Breeze freshened at 10 in our favour so we went to bed in a better mood but not with a very easy mind with the Captain drunk on a strange coast.
Saturday 3rd August
A nice breeze in our favour this morning till 10 o'clock which brought us within 8 miles of the entrance of the port, then died away to a dead calm. We all made sure of going in today and are enough disappointed. A steamer passed along the coast, supposed to be the mail. We signalled her but she took no notice. We then fired a cannon, expecting they would tug us in as we were so near, but there was no notice taken so we had to turn out to sea again, blowing a gale ahead. Blowing a tremendous gale all day, came on to a hurricane in the evening, with heavy showers of rain and hail. Tacking all day.
Monday 5th August
Under close set sails all last night. Blessed to God for sparing us to see the light of another day. Wind the same but not blowing so hard; a long way to the north today. Captain sent me a bottle of sherry, on half allowance of water since 3 days. ? wind but very light at half past ten o'clock.
Tuesday 6th August
This is a fine day and the wind favourable. Got a Pilot on board at 2 p.m. and got safe to Port Chalmers at 5 p.m. ? the passengers went ashore. Did not take a drop of water today till a boat went ashore and brought some water at seven. And had a good drink.
Wednesday 7th August
Mr Johhston, the First Church Minister, came aboard by the steamer this morning and brought me to the Manse, where I am to be for a week. Mrs J a very nice person. My dear K. came in the evening and remained in the Manse all night.Top Home