At 12 oclock at Noon we passed down the river to Gravesend and there anchored. We were all busy getting our bunks in order that night and Next day being Saturday we were expecting the Inspector and Doctor under Government to be here. So all the Sailors were early up washing all the Decks and Cleaning up all the place. There were plenty opportunity for landing at Gravesend in Small boats. So a great Many of us availed ourselves of it and I found it the Nicest town I was ever in. There is a Number of very Nice Streets and houses with plots of trees before the doors which Makes it Most Beautiful it also contains a Barraks but they were not completed when we was there. I also Saw a Goat in harness yoked to a little carriage. Their his a hill above the town from which you can get a splendid view of the Thames, it is called Prospect Hill on the top of which a Hotel Shooting Galley Portrait room Things, etc and after making a few purchases we all returned to the Ship again. We paid 1/- (one shilling) each for the boat to take us backward and forward we were not long on board before the government men came on board. The Inspector and Doctor they Inspected all our berths cabin stores and then all the passengers were summoned on the poop of the Vessel to pass the Doctor. We all passed down before them and gave them one part of our contract ticket up. At about 11 oclock we hove anchor, the pilot came and we dropped down the River.
I was awakened by the Ship rolling considerably owing to the very heavy Swell that was on the River caused by a very high tide. This Day was passed in lots lying Scattered up and down Decks and every now and then you could hear the Voices of Some of the passengers Engaged in prayer others singing psalms, etc. Their was Some provisions given out that Day but I can assure you that their was Not Much eaten. The tug boat left that Morning about 8 oclock and by the rolling of the Ship there were a great Number of the passengers Sick and all that Day we had a very fair wind. The pilot left in a Small boat about noon.
We had a very fair day of Sailing we past through the Straits between Dover and Calais but did not see the french coast. That Day we were very near the English Coast and had a very fine view of the famed Chalk Cliffs of Dover. In fact the whole Coast Seems to abound in the earth. Dover is a considerable Size of a place on the face of a declivity having batters on the face of the hill.
This Morning we all got up as usual about 7 oclock. Our custom is to get on Deck and wash ourselves and then at 8 oclock had our breakfast of coffee and hard Sea Biscuits. all that Morning we had a very Mild breeze but towards Noon the wind Settled and the Ship lay motionless on the water as a painted Ship upon a painted ocean then towards Night the wind rose but in the wrong quarter. It was a head wind which Kept us beating from the french coast to the English coast for 2 or 3 Days making little or no progress. We had a glimpse of the french coast once or twice and at one time we were So Near that we could distinguish the trees and houses very distinctly. We also came in Sight of the Isle of White on the Thursday and we Saw it for the last time During that Voyage on friday Morning.
This Morning we was all out of bed early by the 2nd Mate calling us to rise and See the last Sight of England as we had got a fair wind which continued. So all that Day and at Night we Saw that last Sight of England their was 2 fixed lights on the extremity of Lands End. We finished up with dancing and other Amusements that Night as the Captain had forbidden that the Young Women should pass by a certain place on the Deck and we are under the Same rule also so that all our Dances are amongst ourselves.
The Wind kept progressing on at a pretty good rate all the Day in a westerly Direction to get well out into the ocean So that we Might have plenty of Sea room. Nothing particular took place that Day until Night when the wind rose considerably and the waters bear a troubled and angry appearance. The Sky was very Dark and cloudy. I was that Day up on the forecastle till I could not Stand with the rolling of the Ship So I turned it looked like a Gentlemans pleasure Boat and was bound to Glasgow. This day we made very good progress on our journey it was said we had 200 Miles.
The wind still kept favourable for us but not so Strongly blowing it fell at one time almost to a Dead Calm their still continued the Swell on the ocean.
Notwithstanding toward Night the wind rose again. It was reported the Mate had seen a Shark from the poop. For Myself I had never Seen a Single Thing living in the Sea Since I came aboard. I was on the forecastle that Day and I Saw a large black thing like a board all stuck over with wreck and Sea Shells. This Night we had No dancing but Some Leaping So were too lively engaged and also in Making porridge as we could Not Make them During the Day. We then turned into bed about 9 oclock and had a visit from the Doctor after that time, to put out all lights and enquired if all the Boxes were all tied and all Made Secure as they were expecting a Storm. During the Day we Signalized a french Vessel.
Got up about 7 oclock and got
washed on Deck and was told by Several that had been up Sooner
that they had Seen 2 young Whales playing themselves in the water
quite close to the Ship blowing and Sprouting up the water and
then disappearing for some time again. I forgot to relate that
yesterday one of the pigs died (I suppose through Sea Sickness)
and was flung overboard The Butcher also killed one of them for
the use of the chief cabin. We have 3 Dogs on board one of them
belongs to one of the passengers (a curr) and the other 2 English
terriers one of them is very bad with the Distemper.
We Saw the outlines of land. The one we Saw very plain which was lying low but further South the other of Mountains and this was about 3 oclock and as the ship was inclining towards land the order was given to about Ship. This land was Said to be the North west part of Spain and in particular Cape Finistry. Towards Night it became very close and Misty So Much that you could not Distinguish a Single object after Dark 20 yards from the bow of the Ship. The Mate got a Sort of a trumpet horn for the man on the watch at the fore part of the Ship which he was to blow every little while. The Noise which it made was 3 times worse than when you have a cow bleating which kept us from enjoying the Night's rest. We heard the trumpet Sound from another vessel in answer to ours. A trumpet blows when they are both on tack (the Port) and on the other tack rings a Bell.
I got up at our usual time and
got breakfast of coffee and oatmeal which was a nice change from
the hard Sea Biscuits. This Morning the Mist had cleared away
considerably but their was Not Much wind, our rate so far as I
could guess would be from 4 to 5 knots on an average. The Sea
was very calm but their Still was the Swell on the waters which
kept the Ship rolling about. This Day we Saw a great Many whales.
You could See their backs rising out of the water and sprouting
out like puffs of Steam a tremendous height towards
noon we Saw a great Many Swarms of porpoises which continued to gambol about around the Ship. They Seemed as if chasing each other and would rise to the Surface of the water and Sometimes jump right out of it. The Mate Seeing this got a harpoon got it fastened to a pole and got a very Strong rope attached and fixed it below the jib boom on the front of the vessel but before the preparation was ready not one of them could be seen. This evening we had jumping etc. after tea I had a talk with one of the Sailors, he told me he was a Norwegian Belonging to Bergen had been 3 years in the English Trades and had gone the same route before. After engaging to work with this Ship he got no wages only 1/- per week but his passage free and he would claim his discharge on being 48 hours in any port of New Zealand. Their was Several others of the Sailors on the same footing. Some of them were going to the Diggins, but his intention was to go out to his Brother who was Master of a Ship at New Plymouth. Among the crew we had 3 Norwegians, 1 Swede 1 Dane and 1 Sepoy So that we had a pretty fine Mixture of Different races on board. This night was Not So Dark and cloudy as the Night before though a little Misty.
We got up before 7oclock this
Morning. The doctor was up turning all out of bed before that
hour got on Deck but it was very close and Misty with a heavy
Swell on the Sea and the rain falling fast for 2 or 3 hours in
the Morning their was not much wind but She is not far from her
course, S.S.E. About 12 oclock all the Mist cleared away. The
wind increased a little and we went on very well, till Night when
it again calmed down. We had a Ship right ahead of us all Day
we had little progress in making up to her until Night when we
gained on her and about 12 oclock.
During the Night we was in line with her we had the Bagpipes playing on board and had reels and jigs to it till Bedtime. When we got to bed owing to the want of win and the Swell of the water the Ship rolled very Much from Side to Side which kept us all awake for a considerable time.
We were all awakened early between
5 and 6 oclock in the Morning by the Doctor telling us it was
the washing Morning and if we wanted anything washed we were to
get up as quick as possible. This is a Splendid Morning and we
can see the Ship that was right ahead of us all Day yesterday
away behind us and far to our right there are also Several other
Ships in view to our left. I May here mention the appearance of
the Sea from the Deck of a Ship it Seems as if the Ship was always
in a hollow and all round about you You would think it to be as
if it were up a hill till you reach the visible horizon and then
you would think it the top of the Hill, but of course this is
all illusion and it is quite dispelled when Land is in Sight.
I was quite disappointed by the very short distance you can see
at Sea. I thought you would See Nothing but Sea till it was lost
(Of course you can See Nothing but Sea) This Shows how round the earth's surface is. If it was not you could see much further away. The top of a vessel is the first part Seen and then the Hull last. We have Not Much wind covered with Dark clouds, whether it was that the atmosphere was overcharged with an undue amount of the Electric fluid which reflected down upon the water or whether charged by some particular thing in the Sea.
We Got up about 7 oclock. The Sea very calm just like a sheet of Glass Not a cloud to be seen in the Dark blue Sky. After breakfast a breeze Sprung up which carried us along merrily leaving a large Ship behind that had kept up on our larboard side the whole of yesterday. I also saw a whale blow to Day on our Starboard quarter. 2 also were seen in the morning by Several. The 1st Mate was preparing a pole for his harpoon and so was the captain I suppose. The Mate was at his post on the Jib boom with his harpoon trying to get a Stroke at some of the porpoises that was Seen at a Distance from the Ship, but they did not approach close enough. We pass the time in reading Books playing at cards dominoes and draughts etc or lying Sleeping all our length on the forecastle except it was our turn to cook or wash dishes or Scrape between Decks. The women get their time on with Sewing etc. The wind rose after breakfast time and increased towards Night. We are a Day or two Sailing past the straits of Gibraltar and the captain remarked if we had other 2 Days Sailing pretty good we should See the Madeira Islands. We had dancing on board this evening to the Bagpipes. Their was dancing on the poop to the concertina and their was prayer meetings going on at the same time in different parts of the Ship in the 2nd cabin and down in our place which I Suppose is to be carried on every Night.
We got up about 6 oclock and got ourselves washed, a good North West wind blowing which was Sending us along at a pretty good rate and which kept up all Day. Their was a great Drove of porpoises Seen about 9 oclock in the Morning, and the 1st Mate tried Several times to Strike them with his harpoon, but unsuccessfully. We saw other porpoises during the Day, but they did not approach near enough for a Stroke at them. A whale or two were also seen blowing in the Distance, and one or two saw a flying fish. We were all Summoned on the poop this morning at 10 oclock a.m. for the Divine Service which was conducted by an old Man Named Taylor. The rest of the Day was Spent in lots in one place and another engaged in conversation, and we had another meeting in our own place conducted by the Same individual assisted by one of the Schoolmasters that are going out. We were all Sitting talking before going to our beds when the captain and Doctor came Down and told us that every young man was to be up at 6 oclock in the Morning and take up his Bed and Bedding with him as the place was to be thoroughly cleaned out, and Said he would have the floor as white as snow, which I am bound to Say was never so before, Not even when it was new.
Got up every Man at 6 oclock and had his bed and blankets etc all on Deck to be Shaked aired etc. The young womens place got a complete cleaning out, and from some of the womens Beds from the Emerald Isle were found a great number of live Stock and the quantity was So great on one of the blankets that it was flying over board for food for the porpoises. Some of the beds were trailed after the Ship by a rope, and late at night this search was made, and the Same thing gone through. We had a fine breeze all Day and about 7 oclock P.M. the captain Said he could see with the telliscope the Island of Madeira, but it was not visible to the naked eye from the Deck of the Ship although you could See it from the Mast Head. Our beds and Bedding were all replaced after being aired all Day in the Sun.
This Morning the Island of Madeira could be seen on our Starboard quarter, but not very Distinctly owing to the Suns rays being So Strong and being Direct in your face, but its outline could be Distinctly traced, it had a sort of crescentic Shape, and Seemed to be very high. We continued in Sight of it till the afternoon when a breeze springing up soon left it in the Distance. After Breakfast time the forecastle Hatch was cleared and all the Boxes took out. The captain sent orders among the passengers that all who had firearms Gunpowder etc were to Deliver them up to him as if any of these were found amongst the passenger luggage when landing in New Zealand they would be considered Smuggled Goods. I gave him one brace of pistols and kept another and I also gave him the Gunpowder. At night the wind increased which continued all Night. We had plenty of leaping and Swinging on ropes tonight
Got up at 7 oclock and washed. We were going at a rapid rate. I could see the top of a Vessel right ahead of us, and after Breakfast another Vessel which was crossing our path hove too and we passed her within hailing Distance. She seemed to be a Spanish barque and was bound for the Canary Islands from Havannah. They were 2 horses on board one greyish and the other white. The men were all Dressed in Straw hats and white vests they were very dark in colour. The captain Said he could seek the peak of Teneriffe through his Glass which was covered with snow and was like a needle it was that sharp at the point and was about 90 miles away. Towards the afternoon the peak of Teneriffe was quite visible straight ahead of us. We were then (at 12 oclock at Noon) 60 miles away from it, and the captain in the afternoon changed his course to pass to the right of the Island, in the later part of the Day the top of the hill were only visible. The rest of it below being obscured from vision by white clouds. Sometimes we thought we could see the very Smoke coming out of the Summit but the Snow could be seen quite clear and distinct. Near the Summit there is a great range of hills away to the left of the peak very high and Broken like. It was at the foot of the peak that Lord Nelson lost his arm. Today the Doctor and Matron were examining Some of the beds Belonging to the Dear creatures and ordered some of the Bedding to be cleaned and washed etc
Got up before 7 oclock and was flying on beautifully but was on the other tack. The captain had seen he would be better to keep the peak on his left and go through among the Islands as by going the other way he would just be Straining against a head wind and putting of More time this Morning. The whole range of the hills from the peak could be distinctly Seen. The peak itself was enveloped in clouds and we could See a town away in the distance. The captain Said it was thee town of Santa Cruz. It was close to the Sea in a little Bay and had fine rising ground extending away far back which had the appearance of being cultivated. We Saw a Small vessel anchored in the Bay we took another tack away to our left where Lord Nelson lost his arm and could See a Mountain straight ahead of us and in a Short time the land was lighter on our larboard quarter and the wind continued Straight ahead. We made directly for the Island. The name of the Island was the Grand canary Island and the chief town is called Las Palmas, it belongs to the Spanish. We ran in Straight for the town till we were within 10 miles of it, and we got a top landed view of it. It was a beautiful town with plenty of trees around it, and stretching away up the hill the houses were very white. I Don't know whether they were whitened or built of some white stone. We then put about Ship and no Sooner was that done than it blew with a Great violence making the Ship pitch very much. This continued about an hour when just in the clap of a hand the wind ceased and the Sails fell fully against the Masts. We were partly becalmed but several puffs were given and we were evidently in a current as the Vessel continued to move away from the Land, and Nearing the entrance between the two Islands we got to bed leaving her here.
Rose before 7 oclock and Nearly
becalmed but a good way away leaving the Island but still in Sight.
This Day appears to be very warm. Today we lay calm between the
2 islands till afternoon when a breeze sprung up The land was
Soon receded from our view till Nothing was Seen of it but its
lofty peak towering above the clouds, and as night appeared the
peak also was lost to view.
The captain had told some of the young Men on the poop they would obtain a fine view of the land from the riggin of the Ship. Accordingly 2 of the Schoolmasters and the Doctor went way up the ropes. No sooner were they up to the first landing than they were followed by half dozen of the Sailors with ropes. They were not aware of the trick till their descent was stopt and they themselves clutched and tied to the riggin. There were one of the Schoolmasters tied to the 2nd rope ladder and the other to the Mast and the Doctor on his Back on the landing. They were to stop there till they had paid their footing. They left them tied but the Doctor got himself freed from the ropes, and Slid down before he could be stopped but not long after he was up again with the intention of untying down the others when he was again caught and tied but he gave in and so did the other 2 after a while of struggling to free themselves. So the Sailors had the Doctor's bottle of whisky that Night and was Jolly on the head of it. It was very warm During the Night.
Got up between 6 and 7 oclock the sun shining bright and every appearance of being a very warm Day the Sea very quiet the Ship rolling backwards and forwards and making very little progress. This continued till afternoon when a breeze sprung up again the heat of the sun, excessive to Day owing to the want of wind. The Sailors were all busy taking down their New Sails and putting up old ones in their places. They had one of the Schoolmaster's bottles again and were very jolly over it. We have now got into the trade winds and are about the tropic of cancer just now about 23 degrees North Latitude. The Sun is Straight above our heads and the shadows are very Small Scarcely discernable at 12 oclock at Noon, the Thermometer stands at about 118 at Night when we were about to go to bed. The doctor came Down and told us that if we wanted a bath we were told to be up between 4 & 5 oclock tomorrow Morning.
This morning we were all awakened by the 1st Mate calling us to rise and bathe if we wanted it. So up I got and looked at the rest a while and then went up. The bath consisted in one taking the pipe without the hose and sprouting it all over one another. It was first rate. The water was very warm and I felt the refreshing effect all Day. After got well rubbed and dried and clothes on then went to Service on the poop at 10 oclock. Their is a fine breeze today, all the Sails up and not so warm as yesterday owing to the wind. We must have made considerable progress to Day. She was going at the rate of 7 _ knots an hour on average the whole Day. One of the English terriers was thrown overboard. It was very bad indeed with the Distemper.
Got up about 7 oclock. Fair wind blowing a good deal. The Sea a little rough which continued so all Day. When sitting on the forecastle I saw a very beautiful thing floating on the water. It was like a cock's comb in Shape surmounted on one of these air bubbles that children play with. It was a beautiful colour like the Magenta. I was told by one of the bystanders that it was a fish and that this fish put up this that we saw as a Sail when wanting to proceed in any Direction. The heat to Day was not too excessive but the Sun at 12 oclock appeared to be straight above our heads.
This Morning the Sea was running very high and blowing a good deal. Through the Night the fore Stud Sail boom broke, both the iron and wood, owing to the Strain that was on it. Saw another of the Sail fish and the cook saw a shark in the water. Some of the boxes were taken out of the Hold below the young mens berths and put down the fore Hold. They were getting spoiled with the Salt brine from the Beef, etc. and they were making Some repairs there for one more into the hospital. About 6 oclock when making the porridge in the Galley I saw the Man whose wife was bad with the Small pox and on being asked if she was any better Said he did not know. About an hour afterwards one of the young women came Down and told us she was Dead. Her husband had gone down to see how she was and found her lying Dead. The Doctor was sent for but he pronounced life extinct. So 3 of the sailors were sent for and after getting an allowance of grog sewed her up in canvas and put a weight to her and put her on a gang way suspended by ropes. The captain read the English Service and at the words I consign thee to the Deep, the gang way was pushed over and the corpse slipped off feet first into the water, but I could see it float far away behind the Ship. There is two children left one an infant 7 months old the other 5 or 6 years. Mrs. Gibbs an acquaintance of the Diseased has taken the child to look after.
This Morning the Sea was a good deal calmer although their was still a considerable breeze and the heat intense and at 12 oclock we thought by holding up a pole the Shadow was east to the North a little bit. The heat felt more than what it had done for 3 Days before. This is the day that Morton Gill and Myself Scrapes the room. We had all a good sweat at it. It consists of Scraping the room with Scrapers and Sweeping it up. Great lots of the Sail fish or as they are called the portugal Man of Wars were seen this afternoon and we proposed to catch one of them. One of the passengers (the piper) wrought a little net with thread, put it around a piece of wire and a long stick attached and then some of them went to the bow and tried several times but all to no avail. I then tried it Myself and caught one which was brought on Deck. The Mate had previously told us that they would sting but Notwithstanding it was handled by Several especially by a Sailor after all had looked at it. I threw it overboard again and their I put my hands into the net and felt it sting. Thinking it nothing I told another young man to arrange the net. He also got Stung. At Night the cook was imitating Neptune with a pail on his head etc and then Some of the Sailors got some black and blacked all his face and some others and then the whole lot set to and blacked one another. Some of them took it very much amiss considering their face far superior to any other persons. We then had a job to wash it again.
A very fine Morning but very little wind. Very warm. I wrote 3 letters for you Sending you the portion of the voyage I had done and one or two to my friends but it was a failure. The captain would not get them off. We saw a whole troop of flying fish. Fine evening this evening. We had a game called Priest and Parish and then we had dancing etc.
Got up about 7 oclock. A little wind moving about. Very busy working the post bag Made today and the letters all put in. It is going to come round every Night at 4 p.m. Once a ship hovers in sight then it is tied up to be ready in a Moment. This is a very fine Night. Two of the Sailors have hung their hammocks on Deck, it is that warm in bed. Very warm down between Decks and Much warmer in our beds. It is almost like being in an oven.
This morning we were all woke by the Mate calling all hands on Deck to bathe. Got up and had a good wash with the pipe. Very beautiful morning. Spent the Day in reading and walking about. Great heat a quiet wind sprung up. At night we had dancing, jumping etc. The night was so warm that several of the passengers lay on Deck all Night.
Got up this morning about 6 oclock.
A slight shower at half past, after this a fine morning but cloudy
ahead of us. A Gentle Breeze in the afternoon. Got very warm.
It was so hot between Decks that I resolved to Sleep on Deck all
night. So I took my blankets and stretched myself alongside the
anchor with a Sail to Shade the Moon off my face as the Sailors
said it was very bad to lay with the face exposed to the Moon
as they know some that had their face dreadfully swollen etc.
(The Moon is full Just Now.)
I slept pretty comfortable till about 2 oclock when I was awoke by the 2nd Mate telling me to get up and if I wanted to sleep on Deck I was to sleep out of the way of the ropes so I rose and lay for about an hour along the hen coop then went below and slept till 6 oclock in the Morning pretty sound.
Awoke this Morning about 6 oclock. Rose, felt not very well owing to the confusion through the Night and sleeping out but their was Several the Same way. This Day was very warm and Sultry. Large black clouds hovering about. I felt considerably better after breakfast. Gill was very bad. The captain thought we were going to have rain about 12 oclock but was disappointed. About 8 oclock at Night he was not disappointed and when we saw the preparations being made J. Blue (one of the passengers) and I crawled into the tip of the long boat which was covered with a Sail. Here we lay quite Snug and lay there till 6 oclock next morning. The rain fell down in quantities very thick but I have seen bigger Drops before. We heard the whistling of the wind through the ropes and enjoyed it fine. The ship put about 4 oclock in the Morning, but we was not much put about I can assure you.
Rose about 6 oclock. Felt very well after our refreshing Sleep in the Night air. Wend down got washed and then sat on the forecastle till Breakfast time. Very dull Day large black clouds flying about. Before dinner time we had a very heavy fall of rain and 2 or 3 before Night again in our place between Decks. The rain had got down before the hatch was shut and made it a very uncomfortable place to stop in. Before Night we had a very good breeze spring up from the South East considered to be the trade winds.
Rose about 7 oclock this Morning going along first rate under a grand breeze in a S.E. direction. The sky a great deal clearer to Day than it has been for 2 or 3 days before. I forgot to Mention that yesterday2 vessels were seen one bearing right down upon us with a fair wind and the captain send round for all letters intending to send them with her as She was homeward bound but when She was within 3 or 4 miles of us they had to take another tack as their was every appearance of being a squall we had to put about Ship and this lost her. The other Ship was Seen all day on the same tack with us. This day their was a great Many fish seen in front of the vessel. They are called the Benita. The Mate, Captain and Some of the Sailors were trying to spear some of them but were unsuccessful and was No More lucky with the hook,but at last of went one of the passengers named Little tried it and speared one of them right through the Back. The Benta.(drawing of fish here) They are a sort of purple along the back and Striped along the Sides. We got him boiled and had him to tea it was like flesh but would have Much better if it had been fryed. We had a very good breeze sprung up at Night which continued During the Night (lightning observed all round)
A very fine Morning. Rose between 5 and 6 oclock and had the water hose played on me. We then stood on the forecastle and gave one another a good rubbing Down. A very heavy breeze heavy clouds ahead. It then began to rain and continued till we had it calm. The sailors took the foretop gallant yard down and the carpenter took a good deal of it making it considerable lighter. In the afternoon a fine breeze sprung up which continued all Night. The Doctor ordered chloride of lime to be sprinkled in our place between Decks and then damped which made a very disagreable Smell. When the Sun Set we had a pretty Sky. I never saw so many stars in all my life. It gets very soon Dark after the sun sets almost at once. We had Dancing etc. to the concertina on Deck and on the poop. The piper was Displaying his talents with his pipes to which Music they had dances etc.
This Morning I was awakened by
the 1st Mate calling out Those who want a bath come on Deck. Felt
too tired this morning. Not long after they came with their apparatus
to pump fresh water up out of the hold. This caused a considerable
confusion. A very fine Morning the Ship going along at a good
rate under a very fine breeze. We sighted 2 home ward bound vessels
one on the Starboard the other on the Larboard quarter but they
were a good way of. The Nearest was 16 Miles away from us. Several
of the passengers got jobs to do from the captain. One to repair
a clock and the other 2 liners to Make doors drawers etc. One
of the Masts was removed from the Side of the vessel as it was
lying wet and getting no Sun. Their was a report that we had crossed
the line in the Morning but this was false. We were expected to
pass to Night. I was told that the Sailors were Making Some preparation
for celebrating their famous Mimic of Neptune boarding the Ship
with his attendants So about half past 7 oclock a tar barrel was
held by the Sailors over the bulwarks till it touched the water.
It contained tar ropes etc. This was set fire to and was to represent
the Ship that Neptune came on board with. The String was let go
and the tar barrel floated far away to the stern of the vessel
and you could follow it till it seemed one of the Many Stars that
was seen in the Sky to Night as it was very clear. But this was
a Mistake in letting it away. It should have been kept till their
business was over and then it is supposed they all go and leave
the Ship and sail away in the blazing Ship. Their came on board
with Neptune his wife Mrs. Neptune, 2 Daughters and the clerk
of the weather all dressed in a very curious Manner.
When they came on board one of them cried from the forecastle to the captain and Mates (Ship ahoy). What Ship. That answer New Great Britain Neptune. Where are you bound. Aye from London to Southland. May we come on board. Aye. Answer, yes. So they proceeded along the Main Deck and up on the poop and then a clerk then slipped out and took a large Book from under his arm and said to the captain (after introduced the whole crew) Most Noble Seynor and Much Valued friend. Since you have come unto our Dominion and granted us permission of boarding your Ship we will take the liberty of writing down all the names of persons that has not crossed the line and Boundary Mark but as it is late to Night we will let it stand till tomorrow Morning and was on the point of leaving when the captain called them Back and said Stop a bit and drink My health before you go. Accordingly they got a glass out of his bottle. They then came down and went among the passengers and most of which gave them Something. And so we had not the pleasure of seeing a tar and Ducking job. After this was done they went away to the forecastle and bade farewell to the captain wishing him a prosperous voyage. I stopt up late to Night. Some of the young women were dressed in Mens clothes. I was up the riggin first time
This is a very fine Morning. Going very fast under a good breeze. The Sailors petitioned the captain to grant them leave to celebrate Neptune etc. as they had so short time to prepare yesterday. Accordingly the captain granted them leave in the afternoon for that purpose. So all the day was occupied with the opposite watch in making preparation for it. So in the afternoon a little after 3 oclock they made their appearance and went of to the poop where each was introduced to the captain by the Doctor. He was one of the passengers but an old Sailor. He was dressed in a long hat with hair hanging down to his Middle, great long stitches in his red Jacket and great big Slippers on and a great book below his arm. Neptune was dressed in a crown and long hair matted all over the body, carrying a trident with a red herring stretched on it. One of the sailors Named Bill Holmes, Neptunes Wife (Sailor Named Sam) he was dressed in a womans gown crinoline red Garibaldi and Bonnet and vail and cheeks painted looked very well. Then Neptunes 2 Daughters with face painted one all red patches and Strokes. The other Small red spots as if She had just come out of a very Severe attact of pox. (Barber Sailor named Harry) with hunch back great long beard and a large razor over his Back. Then another along his side with hunch back also, and then 2 Blacks or Niggers, and last the policeman, and by the by one celebrating Jolly John Bull. They got their Dram from the captain and then came down to proceed to business, and our Doctor was the first to be experimented on. Their was first a Sail Suspended firmly about 5 feet from the Deck which was filled with water in the centre. Then a pole stretched across at one end on which the persons were to sit with their feet resting on a bench on which stood the barber and Barbers assistant. First mounted the Doctor was down on the pole the Barbers assistant then applied the larder (in the shape of paint and flour etc) over your face. They then asked your name and when you opened your mouth you got the brush and contents thrust into it which was not at all pleasant. Then the Barber took his razor, (a piece of Iron hook with a Stick attacht to it) and Brought it rather unceremoniously across your face. Then you were caught by the hells and pitched over describing a fine Somerset into the Sail full of water. Below here you got a fine douse and the hose of water playing on you all the time. And then the one soused has the pleasure of waiting till another comes and then giving it to him as you got a ducking below the water and him that you Ducked Stopped in till another came and so on to the end. I came after one of the Sailors and Got a fine Ducking etc. Their was about a dozen volunteered to get it done just for the Sake of Keeping up the old custom and Seeing the fun etc. During the time this was going on the Doctor went away with Mrs. Neptune to the forecastle as She was unwell and came back with a little Son that was born to Neptune before the captain etc. which caused a great deal of merriment. This was a little Doll they got from one of the passengers. After all this was over they Marched again processing and put the captain into a big chair that was occupied by Neptune and the clerk (or little Bob) sang a song for the occasion. The chorus of which was Never Mind the Winds, heave boys. Never mind the weather. We crossed the line last Night, heave boys. We crossed it all together. And he brought in the captain and Ship also which was first rate for the occasion. Then they raised the chair with the captain in and gave him 3 cheers and carried him around the Deck. Then in like Manner the rest of the officers etc. After this they went away to the forecastle and carried out the fun till it was late.
Rose about 7 oclock a very good breeze of wind the Sea having a great Swell. Went to the Meeting on the poop at 10 a.m. We had Several Gales of wind through the Day one of which Struck us and rent the foresail through the Middle which had to be replaced by another. The royal and Gallant Sail were all reefed before the Night. Went to bed a little after 8 oclock.
I was awakened 2 or 3 times through the Night by the tossing of the vessel. I lay awake till after 6 oclock and then rose. The Sea was running very high. The Same Sails still up. She Shipped Several Seas and drenched Many of us. We saw two vessels one of which passed very close. She was an american whaler. She had a man on the lookout station on the Mast head and She carried the flag with the Stars and Stripes. We continued running on at the same rate all Day. Plenty of flying fish every Day. One of them flew up on Deck and was caught in the wings was cut of and preserved and the fish cooked for some of the young Girls Breakfast.
Rose between 6 and 7 oclock. The wind very high rolling and plunging considerably at the pumps very often seems to be leaking above the Water Mark. Shipped some heavy Seas through the Night and could Not Stop in the forecastle owing to the water coming over her. Saw a Ship away to the windward of us (the Same as was seen yesterday) making very little progress. We had 2 or 3 squalls accompanied by a breezy fall of rain. During which we passed a brig on our Lee Side. Toward Night we passed another a Schooner on our windward quarter (an American) both of which were going towards the line. We were all called aft on the poop to answer the Names when called by the captain. 4 of the passengers has been engaged in Making Drawers in the chief cabin for the use of the steward. The wind calmed down towards Night. I heard to Day we were 800 Miles from the line, and that it is very seldom that any Ships get the same wind in this quarter as we have got for 2 or 3 Days previous
Got up between 6 and 7 oclock. A fine steady breeze blowing the Sea. Not so rough. The Sky was pretty. The vessel that we saw yesterday is a good way behind. We Seemed to be leaving her fast. We had a few squalls to Day, but not very Severe. The Sailors were engaged in changing all the Sails etc.
Got up between 6 and 7 oclock our place always in confusion in the Mornings owing to the water being taken out of the fore hold. This is a fine Morning and there is a first rate breeze blowing yet. Saw two vessels but away in the Distance. At Night we had Dancing etc. Me and a Scotchman was playing at Draughts all Day Nearly.
Rose about 7 oclock this Morning. The same breeze always blowing. A brig observed away to the wind ward of us. The small pox seems to be progressing in the vessel. There are 2 or 3 cases of small pox and 2 or 3 that are sick but are not so bad as to be confined closely to bed. We have very pleasant weather just now and we are getting on nicely. We were 2 or 3 Days back Straight opposite the cape on the Brazilian coast of South America (within 300 Miles of it) but then the coast here takes a Sudden Angle so that we will not get any Nearer to it although we are proceding in a S.W. Direction. It was reported to Day that we was in the Same Latitude as the Island of St Helena. This Night was spent in Dancing Singing etc. The captain was down on the quarter Deck and gave us a bottle of Whisky. So that the fun was kept up till after 11 oclock and was only stopped by a heavy Shower of rain falling so that we were all obliged to turn in to our Bunks. 2 of the passengers (young men) were tied up in the riggin.
A fine morning, good breeze and going at the rate of 9 1/2 knots an hour. The heat of the sun is Not So great now. It is beginning to be too cold for going Much about. The Sailors were all busy changing their Sails and repairing about the riggin. The carpenter was clearing a spar. We saw a barque to Day. It hove Down pretty close as the 2 captains exchanged Signals to each other. She was the Harry Rixon from Sunderland laden with coals 49 Days bound for Marengo Bay India. This Night we had 2 more tied to the riggin the Butcher and a Shephard so that the Sailors spent a Merry Night in the forecastle. We had dancing to Night having plenty work to walk at all the Ship rolling So Much.
Rose about 7 oclock a very fine Morning fine steady breeze a great Many white clouds visible. The Ship that was seen yesterday could nowhere be seen. It was lost from our view at 5 oclock this Morning astern of us. We were all on the poop at Divine Service at 10 A.M. Our course is pretty near Due South.
Rose about 7 oclock. She was ploughing on at a rapid rate. The wind had shifted a little in our favour. We saw this Morning what is called the cape pidgeons black or blue and white, very beautiful and not unlike our common pidgeons at home. About the Same Size. We intend getting a shot at some of them yet at least. So the captain said I forgot to mention that yesterday afternoon we Crossed the tropic of capricorn. We saw a vessel ahead of us going in the same Direction but it was a long way ahead of us. We were going at the rate of 10 knots an hour last Night. This Night we had plenty of Noise with the Bagpipes etc.
Rose this Morning a little after
6 oclock. Got as Much wind as the Night before and Not pitching
So Much nor Shipping So Many heavy Seas. We could Not See anything
of the vessel that was ahead of us yesterday.
It was a little colder to Day than I have felt it Since we left London. Put on My Smock extra. At Night we had Singing etc down between Decks till about 10 oclock and then turned in
Rose between 6 and 7 oclock. We had a very fine breeze and proceding at a good rate about 10 knots an hour. The wind had shifted a good Deal More to the west. So that we took advantage of the fair wind and put up our Stud Sail. Directly we observed a ship ahead of us to all appearances a full rigged Ship. But we did not get close enough to get a good view of her the clouds away to the Southward and ahead of us had a very watery appearance and which Soon Manifested itself in a Mist that come down on us accompanied with heavy showers of rain etc. Then the wind died away and left us rolling about in the water. This Night we turned in pretty soon. Not much Dancing and Singing.
Rose between 6 and 7 oclock a breeze blowing from the east which prevents us from going our nearest route therefore we had to Steer as Near the wind a possible and that was South. We continued so all Day. A shower now and then accompanied with a Mist we were stopped from going into the forecastle by the Doctor owing to the Sailors complaining to the Mates about going in and then Missing Several things. So we Made it up that none of us would give them a hand with pulling ropes etc of which we were in the habit of doing. Accordingly when we were asked to do anything they (the Mates) were greatly surprised when we did not comply. And I guess they will Miss our helps now as we are beginning to understand the water a little Better. To Night we had after teas a hunt after 2 or 3 creepers that were seen on our blankets and went to bed determined to have a thorough search in the Morning.
Got up about 2 oclock in the Morning as I could not slleep any longer owing to the live Stock. After breakfast we commenced and a search thoroughly for the Scotch Greys. We had a regular Killing Match, but I think by keeping a proper look out we shall be able to keep ourselves pretty free from them for the future. We are going pretty near our proper course to Day, and all were in great spirits for the captain told us if we had good weather and the same winds he would bring us to Invercargill in 5 weeks at Most. To Day the air was pretty cold. The Night was spent Down between Decks. We had a very stirring game of blind mans Buff. After getting well heated at this we went up on Deck to cool and Some of them Joined and we had a Dance to the pipes. I came Down below and attended the Meeting after that went to bed and had a very refreshing Sleep.
Rose between 6 and 7 oclock in the Morning which was splendid. Something like the same weather we have at home at this time of the year. In fact I think a little cooler. WE saw an albatross to Day. This is a sign that we are approaching the cape. The wind increased at Night. It is Dark Now soon after 4 p.m. so that it is very wearisome between that and bed time. The cook has got a tamboreen made and was on the poop with it along with the concertina amusing the captain and passengers. We passed a barque away to the leaward to Day.
A first class wind going along at the rate of 10 1/2 knots an hour. I suppose were are in a current besides. She is not pitching so much as She used to do owing to the Steadiness of the wind and the Direction of it. We have pretty near a North wind and we are going _ point east by South east. We saw several of the albatrosses to Day. They are pretty large birds but very ugly formed, long wings long in Beak they are a kind of Dirty brown colour and others pretty Near White. There is always plenty of cape pidgeons flying about Just resembling a New fledged tame pidgeon at home and we saw a flesh fort to Day a bird about the size and closely resembling our hawks at home flying quick and hovers just like a hawk. Their was No Meeting on the poop to Day and I suppose there is to be No More owing to the weather getting tougher and More Stormy. We saw a large vessel ahead of us on our lee Bow at 10 oclock this Morning and when the Mist cleared away and both came up Nearer they Signalised each other and it turned out to be the Jane Henderson from Glasgow bound for India 4 Days sailed before us. We continued to be in sight of her all Day and evidently making up to her. At Night we saw her lights and at 10 p.m. we were straight ahead of her. I went to bed early that Night and so did most of them..
Rose about 7 oclock and had a splendid view of the J.H. It was behind us a bit but not far off. It was a splendid sight in full sail and a first rate wind blowing and every stitch of canvas set, stud Sails and everything, but we had more Sails than she had. It continued in sight all Day although a long way to leeward. It rained almost the whole Day a drizzle rain and Misty. We spent most of the Day Down below Decks playing at cards and Draughts etc and towards Night they furled all the top sails. The Mate said that the other vessel had lost her top Gallant Mast and had got herself into a mess. It came one very squally so we all went below. We bed down soon after the Meeting has past.
Rose a little after 7 oclock. The wind had fallen considerably but the Sky Black and cloudy and a heavy Sea rolling. About 8 oclock in the Morning we had a slight squall with Drizzly rain. We were never up much during the Day but towards Night it cleared up and we had almost a cloudless Sky with the Stars Shining Beautifully but the Ship rolling very much and Shipping a great many heavy Seas in our Starboard Side which Made the Side we Slept on the highest but we did not shift our heads.
Rose just after 7 oclock a very Squally morning. During the night the Sailors were Making a great deal of Noise. They waked the whole of us about 4 oclock in the Morning, bawling and Singing at their work. I felt it colder than ever I did on the voyage before this Morning. The whole of us was complaining of the cold. I got up on the forecastle and stopped a good bit till I was stiff with cold. We saw a vessel (a Ship) away to our Starboard tack but when we saw her we put up some More Sails and Soon gained upon her and lost sight of her. It turned out a very good night and their was Dancing to the Bagpipes on the poop but more on the Deck. We all turned into bed about 1/2 past 8 p.m.
Got up this morning between 5 and 6 oclock. It was Dark very cold and stormy looking and Shipping very heavy Seas. Got to our Big Box and I got one of My Smocks out. Went up on the forecastle to get a view of a ship on our windward quarter and got completely Drenched with a Sea that was Shipped and felt uncomfortable all Day till I got a pair of clean socks on and My Boots dried. The last of the poultry was killed to Day for the captain. It is not very easy making porridge in the Galley now owing to the rolling of the Ship. You need to hold on the pot with one hand and steady yourself with the other. I spent a very uncomfortable Night in bed owing to the cold and rolling of the vessel and the water coming in on my face. I had to get something to put over my face to keep the water off before I could sleep.
Got up after the water was given out. We had a screen up before our beds which kept us much warmer During the Night. 2 or 3 of us went to the captain for our firearms to clean them and we were down in his cabin for them. I did not think much of his cabin. It was not so nicely done up as I have seen. There was a carpet on his floor. My pistols was a little rusty inside but I cleaned them well with tow then greased them well. Gill and Morton did not take him their arms Because they were in the Big Box down in the Hold of the Ship but they had to tell the captain of them as otherwise when we landed they would be taken for smuggled goods. I saw the captains rifles but I did not think much of them. They were so wide in the Bore and so short altogether. I was among the last in going to Bed last night. I was talking to one of the passengers. The ship was rolling considerably. At Night we were all awakened by the rolling of her. In fact it was just like a tinkers shop at Night with the tins rolling but Notwithstanding I Slept very well.
Got up past 7 oclock. No Service on the poop this Morning but it was held in the 2nd cabin but I did not go in. I heard to Day we would be opposite the Cape of Good Hope tomorrow if we continued at the same rate we were doing then, but towards Night the wind calmed down and we lay Motionless. A wind then struck out of the east but it was just a gentle Breeze. Nothing else happened that Day worth mentioning.
Got up about 7 oclock. This is our week for Scraping so that we shall be very busy all week. We were going away in a Southern Direction by 2 or 3 points west under a gentle breeze which died away altogether during the Day and then we lay Becalmed. It was not so cold as it was just 2 or 3 days before. Several birds were shot by the captain. Great numbers were flying about and we an old albatross a Monster which skimmed across the surface of the water looking for something to eat. One of the cape pidgeons were hooked by a Hook and bait by the Doctor but it was let away again. At night we had a concert down in our place. The Performers were Bob Wotton and the cook. The entertainment consisted chiefly recitations and Nigger Songs. After ending with us they went up on the poop and performed before the captain and ladies their faces were blackened and the cook played the tamboreen and Bob the rattlers and harp they got very jolly at the captains expence. After that we had dancing and Swinging on Decks. It was a most beautiful Night as ever I witnessed not cold the Moon Shining Bright in almost a cloudless Sky. We passed a Brig in the Morning named Barbary from England to some place in the East Indies.
Rose this Morning and got Breakfast prepared, which consists in coffee and crackers with a little Boiled pork or Sault Beef. We generally called it---Salt Horse. The captain went out in one of the life boats along with the Doctor and Sailed round the Ship and a considerable Distance out and when he came Back the 1st and 3rd Mates went out with 4 of the Sailors as before rowing them about the Ship. 2 or 3 of the passengers asked leave of the captain to get out. Accordingly about a dozen of us scrambled down over the side of the poop into the life Boats. I was one of the rowers the 2nd mate was steering. We went like the rest round the Ship having a nice view of her. She looked very well on the Starboard but not so well on the port owing to some dirt that had run down the sides. It was a splendid Night. We came round about and the boat was Drawn up about 1/2 an hour afterwards. I heard that the doctor was going to have a Swim. He got out on the Boom and on the chain and had a Rope hanging from the Boom down which he slid till he touched the water, but their was a heavy swell on the water (although it was like a Sheet of Glass) which kept the Ship Bobbing up and down, and when the Doctor got down to the water She gave a dip down and soused him right over the head which put all swimming out of the Doctors head if ever he ad any. So after 2 or 3 Dips the Doctor bawled out for another rope, but all that was on the forecastle was too busy looking at the cook making preparations for a dive of the chain. I saw the position the Doctor was in and I ran for a rope and threw it to the Schoolmaster who was right over the top of him who dropped it him down and by this time the cook had his Dive over and came to his assistance and they got him on Board very much exhausted. He swallowed 2 or 3 quarts of Salt Water which made him sick and he was well purged all the Day after. This was a splendid Day just like a Summers Day and there was a particular Brightness in the atmosphere which made every one Merry, so that Night was spent in Dancing both on the poop and Deck till it was late. I danced till I was quite tired. I forgot to mention that the captain sent word after they came out of the water that no one was to go in any more as it was as dangerous a place for sharks as their was in the Sea.
Rose this Morning at 6 oclock and it was one of the Most Beautiful Mornings I ever saw in all my life and one of the finest Sights. The Sea was just like a large sheet of Glass and away on the horizon were seen clouds having the appearance of trees etc growing on an Island. It was the most Beautiful Sight I ever saw on the ocean after the sun fairly rose. The appearance of the trees vanished. We were laying quite motionless yet. After breakfast we commenced to scrape between Decks as it was our turn and had it all down when the Doctor came and proposed having the place thoroughly washed and we were just going to commence when one of the young women came down to give us a hand. So we worked at it the whole Day and were just finishing it when the cry of rain got up and as we had all the beds and bedding on Deck it caused a little confusion for a short time till we got them all in and the Boxes all shifted into their proper places. Some of the Sails were furled up but their was little or no use for so doing for the Gale passed and left us almost as we were before, but after Dark a pretty breeze sprung up which proved in our favour. We had one Dinner with the young women tween Decks which was one of the best and heartiest I had taken on Board the New Great Britain. We caught a shark to Day about 5 or 6 feet long. It was nothing to compare with what we saw in the water. We caught him with a hook. But they look fearful animals but we got him on the Deck and nailed his head to the Deck and cut him to pieces and eat a certain portion of him. I had a piece of him to my supper but they are not very palitable eating I can assure you..
Got up about 6 oclock this Morning. We were going along very well but Not in a proper direction as we had a head wind. We had a Gale now and then. At Night we had a great deal of lightning which Illuminated the Ship and the Surrounding Sea like a Moonlight Night for a Moment and then all was Dark again. All of the sails were furled. We were 5 Miles past the Cape of Good Hope at 12 oclock to Day.
Got up when the call was given at 6 oclock in the Morning. All hands about Ship got up. We were at a pretty rate and in a proper Direction. Got out water which is the last Day they are going to Draw it from out place, went up to the forecastle to spend the time a little before Breakfast. We were going at the rate of 8 knots an hour and in a right Direction we continued So all Day.
Rose this morning at 6 oclock. It is a Most Beautiful Morning Just Beginning to be light. Going along Beautifully under a fair wind it is calculated we will be 5 weeks or so in going yet having 5000 to 6000 miles to travel yet. It is very fine weather. We have plenty cape pidgeons, whale birds etc flying about. Very Busy all Day with cooking for tomorrow which occupied all Day almost. At night I sat a long time on Deck and when I went Down they was all preparing for bed. But one of the passengers and me Sat Down in the Boxes and had a talk in the Dark till 12 oclock.
Rose for the water at 6 oclock. A Most Beautiful Morning I think a little frosty going along under a west wind beautifully, which continued all Day. I was Mostly Below all Day reading. The wind increased in the afternoon till we were running at the rate of 12 knots an hour.
Rose at 7 oclock a very fine morning going at a pretty good rate about 11 or 12 knots an hour. She rolled considerably owing to the high waves coming Slashing behind the vessel we made good speed to Day under a west wind
Rose this Morning about 1/2 past 7 oclock. Beautiful Morning. Still going along under the same wind (fair) We had several puffs of wind and rain that sometimes had the effect of making us shorten sail but towards Night the wind was more regular. The Night was very Dark so that we had our little amusements Down below Decks.
Rose between 6 and 7 oclock this morning the same good wind still blowing and in the same Direction rolling considerably. There is a great number of birds flying round about the Ship chiefly albatrosses. The captain shot several of them. I got a Gun and had a shot or two but I did not kill any thing for it is a very difficult thing to Shoot on Shipboard when the vessel is rolling for anyone who has not practiced it. It is very squally to Night. I stayed up till 12 oclock along with one or two more helping the sailors to pull the ropes etc and the captain brought out the Bottle and gave us all a Glass. Their was both rain wind and lightning but the worst of the Squall was all past before 12 oclock. I turned in at that time and slept very Sound till Next Morning.
Rose at 8 oclock. Their was a cry that a vessel was in Sight. Rose and got a peep at it over the port quarter. They Signalized each other. She was the Glenroy from London to Calcutta 65 Days Sailing from the Lizard that is Lands End. We passed the ship but not far. It kept its Distance pretty well. The Breeze kept up all Day and we kept up all our Sail till long after it was Dark I think till pretty near 8 oclock. It was 10 oclock before I got to bed as I cannot sleep when I go too Soon. Our reckoning to Day is Lat 39. 40 S Long 43 45 E.
Got up this Morning when 8 bells rung. The Glenroy was still behind us but She had not lost much Ground and their was another Sail to be seen right ahead of us. Went up to the forecastle and Sat till Breakfast time. It was a very fine Day and we was Gradually gaining on the ship ahead of us and in a short time after came close up to her. They signalized us and She was the Rifle from Liverpool 65 Days out bound for Shanghai China. We went past her like a dart and spoke to her. Their was only the crew on Board. She was a barque Built of wood very neat and a very good Sailor too although we passed her. The 2 ships continued in sight all Day, but towards Night we began to loose sight of them far away on our port quarter. The Ship rolled terribly at Night, and when in the Galley Making porridge the whole of the pots and pans were upset except 2 which made rather a curious mess. Their was such a race to get out for fear of being Scalded with boiling porridge that several of us slipt and fell which was a source of Merriment to those who were eye witnesses of the pantomime. So Several of them had to have a little Salt Horse and cracker as a substitute for the porridge. Did not go to bed till after 10 oclock. Sat till the lamp was blown out. Long 48. 51.
Got up about 8 bells and got washed. The Ships were then a long way behind us, but were lost to view after 12 oclock. It was a fine morning but after noon it became squally and just before it turned Dark all hands was on Deck furling and reefing the Sails but it passed away again, owing to the great rolling of the vessel. Their was a chain put from the Bulwarks to the long Boat to steady it and a rope along the Deck to catch hold of and prevent falling but notwithstanding their was always someone getting a downcome and caused a pretty good laugh. Long. 51
Before I rose out of Bed I heard a great many of them laughing at one of the Sailors that had been away for water and fell and sprawled along to the side among the water. We had a very rough Night and the Sea being very high it caused the vessel to roll more than ever I had Seen it before. Chess draughts tins Boxes and everything was all Sliding and hurling along the floor.
The Sea continued rough owing to the wind being in the N.W. and having more Sea to come across as well as the current blowing in that Direction. I was in the forecastle the Whole Day almost reading a novel called The Brothers Basset, and saw some of the Sailors Making knapsacks for the Gold diggins. They made them of canvas with leather straps on the outside to strap their Blankets on. They also had Made before leather covers for their revolvers and Made cartridges etc. The wind was very changeable from North to North West. No Sun the Whole Day
Rose about 7 oclock this Morning. The wind still blowing but the wind changed during the day and at Night it fell almost to a dead calm but through the Night a breeze sprung up again. Long 65. 2East. Lat 38
A cold south wind blowing but the sky very clear, and in the Midst of that the captain had the Royals and Gallant Sails furled. No sooner done that the clouds appeared and we had it very squally both wind and rain, but it passe away and blew pretty steady. We are expecting to see St Pauls Island in a Day or two. We were all astonished to hear this Morning that the captain had fallen in love with one of the young women and had promised to marry her on our arrival at Invercargill. This was the whole of the talk all Day and he introduced her to all his officers and several others as his intended wife. Long 68.30
Rose this Morning soon after 6 oclock a strong wind blowing from the S.W. which caused several Seas to Break on the Ship one of which struck with such force as Mad Several enquire "Whats That" and their Mouths open as though their head were coming off just the same as if it had struck the front of a Rock. I got a little Dampened Myself. So that I had to change every rag at the same time I was doing a little washing which I did not consider it at all agreable. A good breeze continued all Day but at night it changed round to the west and was Much calmer. The captain and Miss Barnes walking arm in arm on the poop, the passengers all laughing under their sleeve at it. At Night the piper was playing on Deck the fiddler on the poop. Several of the young women Broke the rules and danced on Deck to the piper but was hunted away by the Matron. I sat up till after 10 oclock with one of the passengers a Highlander and a Roman Catholic but a very Nice Young Man and we got very intimate friends. The wind increased a little towards that time. Long 73.5
Got up and went to the forecastle before Breakfast. We were going along at a fine rate all Sails Set and the Studding Sails set also. The wind was in the North East. The captain was bad all Night. Some said it the effects of his anger at some of the women dancing with the young men etc. along with a bowel complaint. We went along Nicely all Day. Long 82 Lat 39 10
Rose about 7 oclock this Morning though very course as usual for the Gale had not yet abated but the wind was a little more favourable for us. After Breakfast the wind Shifted More Favourable for us still and More Sails were unfurled. We went along at a good pace, and continued so all Day and went to bed about 1/2 past 9. Long 87 Lat 38 16.
Got up in the Morning to get the water and then got Breakfast and commenced cooking. We continued running before the wind at a pretty good rate. It is not so cold as when the wind is in the South. I read a good bit of a story entitled The Black Band and then played at draughts a while with a Scotchman. The Night was very clear but very cold. And we was going at a pretty good rate but the Ship rolling very much just like a cradle from side to side so that we had very little sleep that Night. Long 92
Get up past 7 oclock this Morning and got the water and then got Breakfast. This Morning our vessel Shipped a Great Many heavy Seas which made it hazardous turning out for fear of getting a Drenching which a good Many of them got but I got very little of that Day Myself. We were going along at a good rate and in Long 97.
Got up at 8 oclock this Morning and their was a very heavy Sea. Through the Night a Sea came over and down our hatch making a great noise on the floor. This Day were all very busy cleaning our place. Went to bed about 10 oclock when the wind was changing into the South.
Got up for the water. It is a very rough Morning and very cold as cold as ever we had it yet and we had a wave that broke over our quarter that Rose as high as the foresail yard. Long 10 6 35E, Lat 41 25 S.
Got up and had the water brought. We were going at all good rate at about 9 _? knots an hour under a fine breeze and in the right direction. At Night we have very often card playing singing etc between Decks instead of the dancing on Deck as we had formerly when it was good weather. Long 111 15. Lat 42 14.
Got up about 8 bells a very heavy sea and very cold. It must have been very frosty during the Night, as all those that are affected with chilblains were cripples for some time in the Morning, but I did not feel the Slightest of it. One of the passengers named Geo. Gilroy could not get on his boots and had to lay in his bed all Day. The Most of the young men spent their time that Day in reading and chatting in Groups here and there. We have very heavy Seas on this part of our Journey, but as we have almost a fair wind the fore part of the Ship is not thus exposed to them breaking over her, but the poop catches it sometimes. There is so Much comes over that who ever is on the poop at the time has to hold firmly on for fear of being washed away. Long 116 45 E, Lat 42 54 S.
Got up about 8 bells went on Deck and washed Myself. It was not so cold as it had been for the last week or so. The wind was in the west and was right astern of the vessel having changed During the Night, which made her roll very much especially about 4 oclock in the morning. When we were all awakened by the rattling of tins and the flying about of Boxes here and there. During the Day the wind changed round More to the North. So that it was not so cold. We had some very heavy Seas breaking over her as Night approached. The clouds were flying very quick by the Moon and the wind was increasing, but withal the Night seemed clear, the Most of the Sails were clewed and furled for the captain expected a Storm. The Doctor was Down in our place with his oilskins on about 10 oclock at Night. He said he was going to stay up all Night. I then went away to bed and slept very sound, but the Storm was Not So Severe as they had anticipated. Long 121 14. Lat 43 17.
Rose about 8 bells and got Breakfast. I heard that all the young women and one or two in our place were very much afraid of the Storm during the Night and did not go to bed at all. We were Not Making much progress for the wind was not steady at all and we had several Squalls and then the wind died away leaving us rolling on the waves. We had the pipes playing between Decks which was an awful Noise and gave me a headache. I went to bed after the prayers. Long 125.
Got up before 8 bells and went up to the forecastle. We was going along under a North West wind about 6 knots an hour. It was a very nice day. The sun was shining at intervals. About 7 oclock at Night when I was in the forecastle, we were Struck by a Squall which made her stagger again, and owing to one of the Stay Sails being up it caused an awful Noise, Shaking backward and forward, but it only lasted 10 minutes. After I went to bed their was another struck her, but this time it lasted the whole Night and was so bad that we had to heave to and put her hard to the wind. Several of the passengers were in Dark all the time and some Never went to bed at all. Long 128 24, Lat 44.
I rose this morning about 8 bells all appearance of the storm had passed by and we were going along under a fair wind. I spent the whole of this Day in reading almost, and went to bed about 9 oclock. It turned our a Most Beautiful Night the Moon Shining Bright and the sea very calm. Several of the passengers 5 in number Myself included proposed as it was a very cold night to get a Bottle of Whisky from the captain so we all agreed to this proposition (the rest of the young men all in bed) so we went on Deck and got our Bottle and went into one of the cooking gallies and seated ourselves and had a little-conversation and made ourselves happy. They were all four Scotchmen and as Nice Young chaps as ever I saw. After that we all came out and went to bed and felt very comfortable. Long 130 21, Lat 44 27.
Got up this Morning a little after 6 oclock. Going along pretty well under a good fair wind. A good deal of talk of last nights affair. I sat in the forecastle till after 9 oclock P.M. and read The Memory of an Unknown Life by an unknown author. I then came into our place and turned into bed. Long 135 Lat 44 51.
I was awakened this Morning by the cry that we had a head wind it changed about 7 oclock this morning and continued so the whole Day. Our course was South West. All were quite Downed about this check to their anxious expectations of seeing land the beginning of this next week. One of the passengers 4 berths from my own (named James Neilson) lost his purse this Morning. It seems that he had it out for some purpose and Neglected to put it into his chest before his bed. Its contents were 3 Sovereigns. Of course every place near were searched but all to no avail. About 9 oclock the wind changed to our favour again. Long 136 Lat 45.
Rose about 8 oclock passed a very Sleepless Night. Partly owing to cold and partly owing to the noise the Sailors were making the whole of the Night through. I heard the curse when I awoke it was reported that the captain and 2nd Mate had been dipping rather heavy. We had a south wind blowing all day very stiffly and awfully cold. We were going at the rate of about 6 or 7 knots an hour. Long 140 1/2 Lat 45 23.
Got up this morning and had our breakfast and then went on Deck. We were going along first rate. Mostly all the Sails Set. The wind was in the South West, but towards Night the wind was right aft, but very cold so that the Most of us went down below as their was very little pleasure on Deck, and then we had the bagpipes going dancing and card playing and talking about our New Land and at about 9 oclock I turned in. It continued very cold all Night. Long 143 33, Lat 45 2.
Got up about 8 bells. Cold morning. So cold that few washed on Deck, prefering rather to go without washing altogether. The wind in the South West. We had a Squall after Breakfast, but it did not last long. I read a Book called (The Leisure Hours) about Otago a rush to the Gold fields. This was a man (an American I think) a Gold digger and Hunter by profession. He had been in California 2 years and 8 years in the Gold fields of Australia (Victoria) and he came over to look at the Otago Gold fields. He took a tour from Dunedin to Gabriel Gully etc. and thence to the Goldfields of Waitahuna. His opinion was that the ground was all occupied in Gabriels Gully and the Miseries were too great at Waitahuna Goldfields for them to compare to the Best Days of Victoria. The New Zealand Gold is Scaly not like what you get in Australia of California. It is there Shot Gold or fat Gold. At Night we had the bagpipes playing as usual down in our place, but they make too much noise for such a confined place. Then we had several psalm tunes and then the prayers conducted by only one of the Schoolmasters Mr. Taylor being bad this 2 or 3 Days with a bowel complaint. We then prepared for bed. Long 148 6, Lat 45 55.
Got up and got washed just before 8 bells. It was a very Beautiful Morning. The Sky quite blue all around and the Sun shining brightly. Not much wind. The wind seemed to be very changeable in this quarter but it continued to be fine the whole Day and pretty warm. At Night we had Several Songs of the clerk of the weather and Several others winding up by a stump oration and a paper for a subscription for the cook. Long 151 3, Lat-?
Got up this morning about 8 oclock and went on Deck and got Myself washed and then got Breakfast. It was a very fine Morning and going along pretty well. We are making considerable progress on our journey a good fair wind and plenty of sail set. At night we had plenty of phosphorescent light all round about the vessel. Long 154 Lat 57
Got up this Morning about 7 oclock. It was a very fine Morning but not so warm as the Day before. I got Myself washed and then got Breakfast and after that the captain gave orders for the cable chain to be brought up out of the Hold. So a good Many of us gave them a helping hand and made ourselves Generally useful. At about 11 oclock it began to be very squally but it passed away, although it continued to be a very wet Day, the wind blowing from the South West. Long 15.
This morning I heard the Sailors Making Sail about 4 oclock. As all the canvas was off her during the night, and a little after I heard one of the passengers cry Land ho. I then got up and proceded on Deck and Saw 2 Islands on our port quarter. They were the Solander Islannds and it caused a pleasant countenance on every one of the passengers I can assure you. After leaving the Solander Islands the wind continued to blow more and more till it blew a regular gale of wind. The captain continued to Shorten Sail as we proceeded. We then saw the Mainland away to our left, and shortly after Steward Island, and when we were abreast of it the Bluff made its appearance a headland jutting out of the Sea, Stewarts Islands. Their seems to be very high hills in it snow lying on the top of some of the highest peaks and what took up our attention most was the greenness of the hills to their very summit and when you approached the Beautiful appearance they presented. The trees growing over the very top of the hills. When we came closer to the Bluff we could see a flat staff on the top. The Union Jack was then hoisted up on the foremast and a blue and while one on the Mainmast. This last one was to let them know the name of the Ship etc. Several flags and Signals were then hoisted on the Bluff flagstaff. We proceeded close by the Bluff and we next perceived a Small Boat coming out from opposite a house which we considered the pilots house. It came quite close to us and gave us directions. We came very close to the hill (or Bluff) and dropped our anchor in its lea. We remained there all Night and I can assure you every heart was as light as a feather.
I was awakened this Morning by the Noise of the Sailors going to let go a second anchor. As the gale that was now blowing was dragging us and the anchor. We were all roused by the Doctor out of bed to turn out and clean the tween Decks. Got up and cleaned it all Scraped and rubbed it with sand, but the day past on and the Doctor did not make his appearance. During the Night we had a Gale blowing which dragged the loose chains on the Bottom. The captain thought it was the anchor being dragged and he gave orders for the other anchor to be dropped. The pilot then came and would have taken us into the harbour if the other anchor had not been dropped he gave orders for the anchors to be lifted and he would take us in but when we had one lifted the wind changed right ahead so we were compelled to spend another Night here..
We were expecting the Government Doctor in the Morning, accordingly we rose and got the place well cleaned out. After Breakfast came and got the Doctors case Book and went away with it to consider whether we would have to lie in quarantine or not. We commenced in the Morning to heave the anchors as the wind was favourable this occupied the whole Day almost as one of the chains was twisted round the other. When we got the anchors lifted the pilot came out in his Boat and we moved away through the North of the Harbour, but as we were crossing the bar we Struck on the front of some rock or Something the no damage (as far as letting in water was concerned) was done then we came round to the North. We then had a head wind and had to drop our anchor. We were now in Sight of 9 or 10 houses all built of wood on the face of the Hill. They did not appear to be large having a front door and 2 windows and some of them had a roof very much like the English cottages with a very curious enclosed Garden with the Stumps of trees Stretching up here and there, Great Numbers of Geese, ducks hens Goats and pigs all running about, and just on the back ground we saw the trees growing so thick that you would think it impossible that the pigs could find their way through it at all. We were very much amused by a scene that occurred just opposite to us where we was lying. We could hear the Bark of the dogs among the trees and the coo-hee that is the Bush cry in New Zealand but however we heard this cry which came from some of the men employed in the hunt and then you could hear several pigs grunt and Make a great noise. They was quite Black in colour emerge from the wood, and as soon as they was far enough from the thicket of trees, a man stationed at a convenient distance with a Gun or Rifle took his aim and then fired and then the Dogs were on him in a Moment and held him till the man came running up with a long knife and stuck him where he lay. 2 were killed in this Manner, and then they were carried away. We lay here all Night. I forgot to mentioned that right ahead of us in the Harbour we could see a large Ship with a small Steam boat lying along side discharging her cargo and a Small Schooner a little to the one side. The large vessel was the T.E. Millidge from Glasgow, and just a little in front of us a wreck was lying the Flying Mist. She was lying fixed in the Sand.
The Doctor was down this Morning by 6 oclock and had us all turned out of our bunks to get the place cleaned for the Doctor was expected at 9 oclock. We got up and got the place well cleaned out. After that the Doctor and Magistrate came and examined the Young Womens place. They said that they were quite willing for us to land directly, they were so well pleased with the health clean linens and appearance of the Ship and passengers, but they would have to report it to the people of Invercargill who were very much in dread of the small pox that we had, and to Day but they are putting up all the Spare Sails tomake the Most of what we have in the afternoon. The wind freshened up and we made slow progress this Day. All the young men were Summoned up before the Captain, Doctor 1st and 2nd Mates and he said that he was Determined the Discipline of his Ship Should Not be Broken and that he was Determined that the young men and Young Women would not Single and converse with one another and that he found out a Scheme by which they got together thereby a prayer meeting being held in the 2nd cabin, he haobserved notes and words changed among them and that one of the young men had insulted the 2nd Mate when doing his Duty by separating him from a young woman and that if their was any More of that conduct he would be under disagreable Necessity of handing them to the Mounted police upon Landing in Southland. This Night I was standing on the forecastle. We observed flashes of light in the water which we at first took for fishes but this could not be the case as we could follow them till they dashed up the Side of the vessel and was but the Spray. This appearance I could not account for at all as there was no Stars and the Sky from them being cheated with a vessel called the Sir Willm. Eyre it having the typhus fever on board and reported that all was well and also from another called the Victory lying at Dunedin in quarantine from the small pox. So we were put into quarantine, but not for any definite period. To Day we had a very severe Gale of Wind and hail all Morning and very cold. The anchors were raised but had to be dropped again owing to the unsettled state of the weather. To Day in the Morning the Steamer came down from along side the T.E. Millidge laden for Invercargill but could not weather the storm and had to come back and anchor along side of us. Mr. Rankins Son being on board took the opportunity of seeing his father Brothers and Sisters and came out on a Small Boat and Spoke to them and returned to the Steamer. He resembles one of his Brothers very Much indeed.
Got up 1/2 past 6 oclock this morning. The Decks and land all round were covered with snow and snowing heavy, but towards Noon it was not so bad, but in the afternoon it commenced again and continued till we went to bed.
Rose at about 8 oclock the weather being a little better. Still wishing to get on shore but all to no avail and we was much the same all the time we were in quarantine. Nothing particular occurring till the 24th of August when we had another Death of an old Man who left his wife at Gravesend and he was quite out of his mind for a long time before he died. I Shaved him the day before he died as there was no other Man on board dare engage him. I found it a curious affair but I Managed it first rate. At the same time he was raving like a Madman but he was buried on an Island purposely for people who die in quarantine and on the 25th of August we was liberated from the wooden tub to our Great Satisfaction.
Jonas Eastwood Woodhouse
George Hay Gilroy
John Turner (Piper)
I will also give you a Song that was made by one of our passengers before landing and presented to the captain on leaving the Ship which he Got printed in the South Land Newspapers,
Transcription by June Hanson (Great Grand-Daughter of Jonas). Web Master Erik Hanson (Great Great Grandson of Jonas)
Transcription copyright 2001 June Hanson. Not to be sold, mirror sited, framed in another site, or put in another media without permission.
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