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

The Nelson

page 105

The Nelson.

Traded to New Zealand for 25 Years—A Lucky Ship.

the Nelson was one of six clipper ships built in 1874 by Robert Duncan for Patrick Henderson. She was specially-built to carry passengers, and her accommodation was all that could be desired. At first she ran in opposition to the Shaw-Savill Company, but later, when the amalgamation took place, sailed under their flag. the Nelson was a vessel of 1247 tons, and traded to the colony from 1874 until 1902. She was still afloat in 1917, sailing as a barque
the Nelson Loading At Wellington.

the Nelson Loading At Wellington.

under the Chilian flag, and owned by Oelckers, of Valparaiso. As late as 1916 she was in Sydney Harbour.

the Nelson made several very fast runs out to Dunedin—one in 75 days, and a second in 77 days port to port. The 75 days passage was in 1874, her first voyage to the Dominion. She first sailed from Glasgow with 317 passengers on October 1, but owing to stormy weather was compelled to shelter at Rothosay. She sailed again three days later, but another gale drove her back 40 miles. Finally she left Tuscar on October 17, crossed the Equator on November 6, only 19 days out, and sighted the Snares on December 29, making Port Chalmers on December 31. She also made some excellent runs Home—one in 72 from Dunedin, and another in 79 days from Timaru to the Lizard. She made over 20 voyages, and never but once exceeded 100 days. This was to Wellington in 1892, when she took 106 days. the Nelson did some remarkable sailing when bound Home from Dunedin in 1875. She ran the distance between Otago Heads and Cape Horn in 19 days.

Touched a Rock.

Although the Nelson sailed the seas for between 40 and 50 years, she had more than one narrow escape of going to the bottom. Her worst experience was in 1897, on the passage out to Wellington. This year, when 45 days out from Liverpool, the ship met tremendous gales. Mountainous seas swept her deck, smashing the houses and carrying away one of the boats, the jibboom, and the foremast stays, and the fall of the topgallant-mast was only prevented by the bravery of the chief officer, Mr. Davies. After this gale all went well till the Nelsonpage 106 was abreast of Cape Farewell, on November 27, when the weather became thick and another severe gale sprang up. During the storm the ship touched on a rock, believed to be Tom's Rock, and soon it was found she was making water rapidly. The pumps were manned, but the water continued to gain, and the gale increased to hurricane force. Fortunately, when the ship was in this perilous position near Cloudy Bay, the steamer Tarawera was sighted, and Captain Perriam signalled that his vessel was sinking. the Nelson was taken in tow, and on arrival at the Heads the Tarawera was relieved by the tug boat Duco. The ship was leaking badly, and when docked three holes about an inch in diameter were discovered under the forehatch on the starboard side; there were also numerous dents in the plates, but the damage was not as serious as contemplated. In one of the holes a piece of rock was jammed, and in another a fish was squeezed.

£2000 Salvage.

A salvage claim of £5000 was made by the Union S.S. Co. for the services of the Tarawera in towing the ship into port, but they were only awarded £2000. the Nelson was repaired, and later proceeded to Dunedin, where she loaded for England. The Marine Court suspended the certificate of Captain Perriam for one month, and he was ordered to pay costs of the inquiry. The Court also drew the attention of the Marine Department to the danger of that part of the coast, and urged the necessity for a new survey.

the Nelson had another narrow escape in 1893, when bound out for Wellington. She had a stormy passage throughout, and on October 18 encountered a gale of hurricane force, during which the ship broached to and the cargo shifted. The vessel suffered so much damage that Captain Perriam made for the Cape of Good Hope, where repairs were effected.

Captain Kelly, who was in command of the Nelson on the voyage out in 1892, reported exceptionally heavy gales during the run out. The ship left Barry, North Wales, on August 12, and experienced light winds until October 18, when a terrific gale was encountered. Large quantities of water flooded the decks, carrying away bulwarks and doing other damage on deck. The cargo shifted, and was righted under great difficulties.

To Wellington.
Sailed. Arrived. Captain. Days.
Feb. 16 May 21, '91 Bannatyne 94
Aug. 12 Nov. 26, '92 Kelly 106
Aug. 28 Nov. 28, '93 Perriam 91
June 22 Sep. 22, '94 Perriam 92
Aug. 22 Nov. 27, '97 Perriam 97
Oct. 23, '99 Feb. 2, '00 Perriam 100
Aug. 23 Nov. 18, '02 Cereiz 100
To Lyttelton.
Apr. 2 July 13, '90 Bannatyne 93
To Dunedin.
Oct. 17 Dec. 31, '74 Anderson 75
Oct. 6 Dec. 26, '75 Leslie 83
Oct. 2, '76 Jan. 8, '77 Faithful 98
June 12 Sep. 6, '78 Fullerton 85
June 5 Aug. 28, '79 Fullerton 86
Sep. 29 Dec. 25, '80 Fullerton 87
Sep. 28 Dec. 23, '81 Taylor 86
Sep. 27 Dec. 25, '82 Bannatyne 89
Land to land 81
Aug. 2 Oct. 19, '83 Bannatyne 77
Land to land 73
May 16 Aug. 24, '84 Bannatyne 98
Sep. 22 Dec. 30, '86 Bannatyne 99
Sep. 10 Dec. 9, '87 Bannatyne 90
June 23 Sep. 29, '88 Bannatyne 97
May 23 Aug. 27, '89 Bannatyne 95
To Bluff.
June 15 Sep. 19, '96 Perriam 98

Roaring Forties.

"The Forties! The Forties! The wide Roaring Forties!
And the days we rode them with chanty and song:
We learnt to be spry when we rolled thro' The Forties,
Bound out thro' the Forties, down Easting along."