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


the Wild Deer, a ship of 1,016 tons, built at Glasgow in 1863 for the Albion Shipping Co., was considered one of the fastest of the China tea clippers. Mr. Basil Lubbock, who tells a most interesting story of these famous vessels, says that the Wild Deer seldom had a chance under the man who was placed in charge, the skipper, Captain Smith, having no courage. On one occasion, however, the Wild Deer left Shanghai a week behind the Douglas Castle. Mr. Lubbock says: "Captain Smith, who was frightened of the Gaspar
A Fo'c'sle Group On The Wild Deer.

A Fo'c'sle Group On The Wild Deer.

Straits, determined to go east about, but the Wild Deer had so good a start south through the Formosa Channel that old Smith plucked up his courage and held on for Gaspar. The very first day after he had changed his mind the Wild Deer ran into the S.W. monsoon and had to be braced hard up. The following morning the Douglas Castle crossed her bows on the port tack and the two ships were in company all the way to Gaspar, except whilst passing Tamberlan Islands, which Wild Deer went east of and the Douglas west. The ships were evidently well matched in light winds." At this stage another ship showed up, the Peter Denny from Foo Chow. The three ships were frequently in company, and a good race resulted home. the Wild Deer found a head wind in the mouth of the Channel, but later a slashing S.W. breeze came up and she was first to arrive at Gravesend, but as she was making fast to her buoy the Douglas Castle appeared, with the Peter Denny close astern.