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

The City Of Dunedin

page 87

The City Of Dunedin.

This fine vessel, prior to the amalgamation with the Shaw, Savill Co., was owned by the Albion Co. She was a typical emigrant ship of 1085 tons
The City Of Dunedin Entering Otago Heads.

The City Of Dunedin Entering Otago Heads.

register, and was built specially to carry passengers from the Clyde to Dunedin. The accommodation was in the 'tween decks, the space being divided into three by bulkheads, single women being in the after compartment, married folk amidships, and single men in the forward compartment. Each mess, as in the case with the Nonconformist ships and some others arriving at Auckland, had its mess-captain, who looked after the drawing of the stores, preparing the meals, and the messing arrangements generally. The passengers also provided the police, whose principal duty was to see to the carrying out of the strict rules regarding the segregation of the single men and the single women, who were not allowed to mix or even hold conversations. It was in this ship that Captain Joseph Maxwell, so well and favourably known as commander of the Oamaru and several of Shaw, Savill sailers and steamers, served his apprenticeship. Captain Maxwell retired from the sea in 1911, having served 39 years in the company's service, of which 16 were spent in sailing ships. When he retired he received the appointment of marine superintendent for the Shaw, Savill Co. at Auckland. He was greatly respected by all connected with shipping right up to his death in 1922.
the City of Dunedin made her first appearance at Port Chalmers in 1863.
Captain Ross.

Captain Ross.

page 88 The "Otago Daily Times," recording her arrival, said: "This splendid new ship, the last and finest addition to Messrs. Patrick Henderson and Co.'s fleet, arrived on September 3, completing a pleasant passage of 84 days from the Clyde. She brings 330 passengers and a large cargo, including material for lighthouses at Dog Island and other public works. The City sailed from the Clyde on June 5, and Tory Island on the 9th. She crossed the equator in thirty days, and in thirty more the Cape. After passing the Cape she made 5756 miles in 22 days, reaching the Snares on August 31. There were four deaths on the voyage."

The ship City of Dunedin completed ten voyages to Port Chalmers, direct from Scotland, as follows:—

Sailed. Arrived. Captain. Days.
June 5 Sep. 3, '63 Sellers 84
June 27 Sep. 25, '64 Phillips 90
Dec. 7, '66 Mar. 13, '67 Tilley 96
Oct. 21, '68 Jan. 11, '69 Stuart 82
Oct. 6, '69 Jan. 11, '70 Curry 97
Oct. 23, '70 Jan. 27, '71 Curry 96
Oct. 3 Dec. 30, '71 Curry 87
Sep. 22 Dec. 30, '72 Ross 99
Sep. 27 Dec. 29, '73 Ross 93
Oct. 31, '74 Feb. 20, '75 Ross 112

The Steamer City of Dunedin.

the City of Dunedin must not be confused with the little paddle steamer of the same name which arrived in Dunedin on November 24, 1863, in charge of Captain McFarlane, making the passage in 138 days. This vessel was built specially for Mr. Johnny Jones, a very old resident of Dunedin.

Captain McFarlane, who is now (May, 1924) in his 95th year, and has been residing at Devonport, Auckland, during the past 23 years, has kindly furnished the following details of the voyage of this little steamer. He writes: "When the vessel sailed from Glasgow, two engineers who had never before been at sea were placed on board, and they allowed the machinery to get into such a state that when the vessel reached the Bay of Biscay no steam was available—it was entirely cut off. I then had the floats of the paddle wheel taken off, and sailed towards Madeira. On arrival the bilges of the engine were cleaned out, and we steamed out again, and as coal was short we sailed down to Cape de Verde Island. I then put steam on again, and paddled away, taking 16 days to cross the Equator, the average runs daily being only about 60 miles. The vessel crossed to windward in 90 west, and the floats were again taken off, and the little vessel continued under sail until reaching the Solanders. I left the vessel after handing her over at Dunedin. Under another captain the 'City' was sent over to Melbourne to be docked, as no dock was then available at Port Chalmers. The vessel was flat-bottomed and had no keel."

On her return from Melbourne the "City" made two or three voyages to Hokitika, and on May 20, 1865, she sailed from Dunedin, via Wellington, for Hokitika, and was never heard of afterwards. Wreckage was found at Palliser Bay and Pencarrow Head, and identified as belonging to the "City." It was generally believed that she was lost in the dreaded Cook Strait, probably near Karori or Tom's Rock. The vessel had a large number of passengers on board from Dunedin and Wellington. Captain McFarlane states it was a co-incidence that he was in Cook Strait the night the vessel disappeared. He had purchased the barque P.C.E., and was sailing on his way to Newcastle. The night was quite clear, with a fresh north-west wind. Captain McFarlane retired from the sea in 1883, and was appointed harbourmaster at Dunedin. He held this position until 1893.