Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

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

The Celestial Queen

The Celestial Queen.

Captain William Watt, in his first command, the ship Celestial Queen, made seven successful voyages from 1868 until 1875, and was then given command of the fine ship Lady Jocelyn. He died at Edinburgh many years ago. Nothing of an eventful nature occurred during the years Captain Watt, who was a brother-in-law to Captain Todd, ran the Celestial Queen, a fine comfortable ship of 843 tons. She made just average passages to the several ports visited, but never accomplished any sensational runs.

the Celestial Queen was later rigged as a barque. On the passage out to Nelson in 1878 she left the docks on November 3, and was compelled to anchor in the Downs on the 8th owing to stormy S.W. winds. On the night of the 11th and morning of the 12th she experienced a fearful gale from S.S.W., with a terrific sea, the ship riding with 120 fathoms on the port cable and 90 on the starboard. Several vessels at anchor parted their cables and others slipped. Captain Gaster stated that signals of distress were all around them, and four vessels were driven ashore. The celebrated Cutty Sark slipped her cables and returned to London. An American barque, the Oritani, which was riding, commenced driving, and passed within a fathom of the Celestial Queen's boom end and hooked the latter's cable with her anchor, which prevented her driving further.

The weather, moderating the next morning, enabled the Oritani to get one of her anchors up. On trying to weigh her other anchor she bore down close to the port quarters of the Celestial Queen, and was compelled to slip her cable. the Celestial Queen escaped without serious damage, and eventually sailed from Portland, making the passage in 86 days.

the Celestial Queen, which made an unusually long passage to Dunedin in 1874, was detained in the channel with stormy weather for ten days.

Passages made to New Zealand were:

To Auckland.
Sailed. Arrived. Captain. Days.
Sep. 11, '69 Jan. 3, '70 Watt 114
April 26 July 30, '72 Watt 95
To Lyttelton.
June 27 Oct. 4, '73 Watt 99
At Dunedin.
Jan. 20 May 3, '68 Watt 104
Via A'kland Feb. 20, '70 Watt
July 9 Nov. 1, '74 Watt 115
Aug. 26 Dec. 9, '75 Watt 105
To Nelson.
Nov. 3, '77 Feb. 26, '78 Gaster 114
From Portl'd 86