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

The Rob Roy

The Rob Roy.

the Rob Roy is renowned for the remarkable passage from Auckland to London in 1865. She was a Clyde-built ship of 832 tons, with superior accommodation for passengers, and came out under the Shaw, Savill Company's flag. She completed three voyages to Auckland, arriving there first on the 24th November, 1860, making the passage in 106 days. Among the passengers arriving at Auckland on this occasion were Dr. and Mrs. Goldsboro', who resided at Parnell for many years. Dr. Goldsboro' was appointed health officer for the port soon after his arrival, and held the position for many years. In 1865 the Rob Roy sailed from Gravesend on the 23rd April, and arrived on the 10th August after a 99 days' passage. The run from the Cape to Tasmania was made in 28 days; thence contrary winds delayed the ship until sighting the New Zealand coast. After discharging her cargo the Rob Roy sailed on the 7th October, 1865, for London, taking the 65th Regiment, "Royal Tigers," after nineteen years' service in New Zealand. The men and officers of the 65th had taken part in the Waikato war, and when it was over they were stationed in various redoubts on the Waikato and Waipa Rivers. When all the men entitled to their discharge had claimed and obtained it there were left about 400 rank and file for whom shipping had to be provided, and it was arranged that one half should proceed in the Rob Roy, and the remainder, with the headquarters of the regiment, in the John Temperley. A large crowd assembled on the wharf on the departure of the Rob Roy, and the band of the 14th Regiment played inspiriting airs, which was followed by "There's No Place Like Home." Captain Bulkeley was the officer commanding, and was accompanied by Captains Turner and Lewis. the Rob Roy took away 254 of the 65th all told.

On the third voyage to Auckland the Rob Roy had a protracted passage of 114 days. She left Gravesend on the 25th March, 1866, and six days later was off Start Point. The meridian of the Cape was passed on the 13th May, and from this point the ship encountered several severe gales which on two occasions increased to hurricane force. During the storm many sails were carried away, and big seas breaking on board caused considerable damage to the ship. When approaching New Zealand she experienced a succession of easterly gales, which compelled her to stand off the coast for several days. Eventually she rounded the North Cape and carried fine weather down the coast, arriving at Auckland on July 21st. In 1860 the Rob Roy was commanded by Captain Bridie, and in 1865 and 1866 by Captain Sangster. The "Daily Southern Cross," reporting the arrival of the ship in 1866, stated: "Notwithstanding the length of the outward passage Captain Sangster has made one of the quickest voyages from New Zealand and back which we have on record. This is attributable to the extraordinary passage Home of 72 days, and the quick dispatch met with in London."