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

The Robina Dunlop

The Robina Dunlop.

Wrecked on Waikanae Beach.

After making three successful runs out to the Dominion, the Robina Dunlop was lost at the mouth of the Turakina River, between Wanganui and Rangitikei, about 100 miles from Wellington. The barque, a vessel of 493 tons, sent out by the Shaw, Savill Co., arrived at Wellington on July 16, 1877, having sailed from London on March 20, and making the passage in 116 days, under the command of Captain John Graham. Having discharged her cargo and passengers at Wellington, she sailed on August 13 for Batavia in ballast, and early the next morning stranded on the beach and became a total wreck. Captain Graham and the crew, numbering thirteen, all succeeded in reaching the shore, but most of their effects were lost. The captain and crew, after walking several miles, eventually reached Reuben's pa at a Maori settlement, and were kindly treated by the natives, in return for which Captain Graham, by deed of gift, presented Reuben, a Maori chief, with the wreck as she lay on the beach. An inquiry into the wreck was subsequently held, at which Captain Graham's certificate was suspended for two years.

the Robina Dunlop came twice to Auckland. She arrived on July 21, 1875, under the command of Captain Jack, making the passage in 113 days.

On the barque's second voyage to Auckland she sailed from London on March 18, and arrived on July 5, 1876, after an uneventful run of 108 days. On this occasion Captain Graham was in command. The barque experienced very heavy weather in the Channel, which necessitated throwing overboard some acids stored on deck. She had another rough time off the island of Trinidad, and after passing the Cape the ship was run 300 miles south to avoid a hurricane which was presaged by the barometer and the appearance of the weather northward. Tasmania was passed on the eighty-third day out, and a week later, on June 21, she met further trouble. Quite unawares, the glass at the time standing for fine weather, the vessel encountered a fearful hurricane, the full force of which lasted for 36 hours. During this time the ship was hove-to with nothing on her but what could be laced in the mizzen rigging. The fury of the elements was tremendous while the hurricane lasted. Several sails had to be cut away to save the ship and all on board. Two chain plates in the mizzen rigging were carried away, and the cabin skylight was burst in, the cabin flooded, and everything movable on deck made a clean sweep of. The main topmast cross-trees, the parrels of the upper topsail yards, and the fore-lifts and braces were also carried away. The ship laboured tremendously in the heavy sea occasioned by the change of wind, and for many hours she was in danger of being stove in. The gale blew itself out on the 23rd, and a good run down the coast was enjoyed to port.