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

The Oliver Lang

page 358

The Oliver Lang.

The 300 passengers who came out in the Oliver Lang in 1859 had an exciting time. the Oliver Lang was a vessel of 1224 tons, commanded by Captain Mundle. She made her first appearance in Wellington in 1856, arriving there on December 19th of that year after a smart passage of 85 days from Liverpool. In 1850 the vessel left Gravesend on June 18th. Just after passing the equator, the barque Shan, bound for Hamburg, was fallen in with, and the passengers on the Oliver Lang prevailed on their captain to ask the stranger to take a bag of letters for friends who were still vivid in the memories of the home-sick emigrants. The Shan was quite willing to oblige and soon her sheets were let fly, and the Oliver also came up into the wind so that a boat could be lowered.

Then occurred one of those things that are so hard to explain after they have happened—the vessels collided in mid-ocean and in broad daylight. The Shan left part of her figure-head and jib-boom on the Oliver's deck. Reports differ as to the effect on the Oliver. One account, however, says that she at once began to make water, and crew and passengers had a weary time at the pumps before the voyage was over. When the vessel made Wellington she was at once beached off Kaiwarra, and her cargo taken out. The hull was examined at low water and found to be not worth repairing, and that was the end of her sea career.

Another account differs materially, but I have not been able to verify it. This second account says the Oliver Lang was in good order when she arrived at Wellington on September 18th, but that she was blown ashore from her anchorage. She is said to have had both anchors down, but her royals and skysails were all set. The squall is said to have blown her ashore, then off again, and back on shore once more.

The captain of the Oliver Lang, Captain Mundle, afterwards settled in New Zealand and was master of the Paterson, the Stormbird, the Rangatira, and other coastal vessels.

the Oliver Lang was built at Quebec, and on her maiden voyage to Liverpool was wrecked at Bantry Bay, but was got off and repaired.