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White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900

The Northern Monarch — Wrecked Off Egmont.

The Northern Monarch.

Wrecked Off Egmont.

the Northern Monarch, another fine powerful iron ship of 1230 tons, built at Dumbarton in 1875, had also excellent accommodation for passengers. In 1879 she brought out 350 Government immigrants and six saloon passengers to Lyttelton, making the passage in 93 days, port to port. She sailed from Plymouth on October 31, and experienced fine weather, but only two days of easterly winds, instead of the regular north-east trades, and when running down the easting bad very unfavourable weather. After sighting the Snares a heavy gale sprang up, the vessel being under lower main topsail for 25 hours.

the Northern Monarch met with severe gales on the passage to Wellington in 1897. Captain Nixon reported it was one of the roughest passages he had ever experienced.

The barque, when still in command of Captain Nixon, stranded on the Taranaki coast on November 7, 1903, and became a total wreck. She was then rigged as a barque, and was bound from Newcastle to Callao, loaded with 1730 tons of coal. The scene of the wreck was about 34 miles from New Plymouth and between Cape Egmont lighthouse and Opunake Bay. She was lying in much the same position as the Northern Co.'s Gairloch, previously wrecked on this coast. Although the weather was described as being fine, with a north-east breeze when the ship struck, the crew managed to save only the things in which they stood. An attempt was later made to reach the wreck to enable them to save their clothing, but this failed, as the wind drove the boat eight miles from the wreck. Captain Nixon's personal loss was estimated at £200.

At the nautical inquiry the Court found that the first mate was responsible for the disaster, having altered the course of the barque during the night without the permission of the captain. His certificate was suspended for twelve months, and he was ordered to pay costs. The captain's and second officer's certificates were returned.

Passages made by the Northern Monarch were:—

To Wellington.
Sailed. Arrived. Captain. Days.
Feb. 16, '97 June 5, '97 Nixon 109
To Lyttelton.
Oct. 31, '78 Feb. 1, '79 Ransom 93
To Port Chalmers.
*Feb. 16 June 27, '97 Nixon

* Via wellinngton.