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

An Over-Christened Babe

An Over-Christened Babe.

Some queer names were fastened on innocent children during the Boer war, and again during the last conflict, but it is extremely doubtful if one small head had to bear so many and so strange appellations as an infant whose first cradle was the deep, and whose birthplace was the cabin of the ship Waipa. Mr. Houghton, until recently manager of the New Zealand Shipping Co., who tells the story says the string of names made such an impression on him that it has been impossible for him to forget. Captain Gorn was master on the Waipa at the time, and when he arrived at Auckland he was duly questioned for particulars, that would enable the shipping office to fill in the usual Board of Trade forms. Yes, there had been one birth, and when asked for the name he reeled off a list almost as long as the dinghy's painter. "Cyclone Four Bells Cape Dove Gorn Bendall Waipa—."

And in spite of the fact that the skipper and all others concerned were humane people, this unresisting and helpless child had these things fastened upon it for life, the crime being duly entered on the Board of Trade return. The explanation of the names (but not of the mental condition of a mother that could so handicap her offspring) was that the child was born in a cyclone at four bells off Cape Dove. The other names explain themselves, and it only remains to say that Bendall was the name of the ship's doctor. I expect she was called "Psyche," for short.

Here follow the records of the outward passages made by the Waipa.

To Wellington.
Sailed. Arrived. Captain. Days.
Dec. 17, '75 Apr. 2, '76 Seaborn 106
July 19 Nov. 11, '89 Forsdick 115
To Lyttelton.
Oct. 27, '76 Jan. 24, '77 Millman 89
April 29 July 30, '81 Gorn 92
Feb. 11 May 27, '82 Baxter 105
Jan. 28 May 17, '83 Baxter 109
Sep. 3 Dec. 17, '84 Jamieson 104
July 5 Oct. 23, '90 Forsdick 91
* Jan. 30, '94 Silba 97
To Port Chalmers.
Aug. 26 Nov. 21, '77 Gorn 87
Aug. 30 Dec. 11, '78 Gorn 102
July 30 Oct. 31, '79 Gorn 92
Land to land 82
July 26 Oct. 25, '80 Gorn 90
Land to land 86
Nov. 30, '83 Mar. 3, '84 Jamieson 94
July 4 Oct. 13, '85 Jamieson 101
Aug. 5 Nov. 4, '87 Forsdick 90
Aug. 5 Nov. 2, '88 Forsdick 88
May 6 Aug. 5, '91 Forsdick 89
Oct. 22,'92 Feb. 2, '93 Silba 101