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

The Gananoque

The Gananoque.

the Gananoque was a smart American ship of 785 tons. She was chartered by the Shaw, Savill Co. for two voyages to New Zealand, and sailed from London three years after she was launched at Quebec for Lyttelton. This was in 1860. Leaving London on February 14, with 215 passengers, she covered the distance from the Downs to the Equator in 21 days. She was becalmed a few days in the tropics, and carried fairly strong winds in the Southern Ocean, arriving at Lyttelton on May 9, completing the passage in 85 days. Upon her return to London she loaded up for Auckland, and sailed from the Downs on July 9. She crossed the Equator on August 12. She carried fairly good north-east trades, and then met with 15 days' detention; thence moderate south-east trades prevailed, and the meridian of the Cape was passed on September 6. A fortnight later the ship encountered a very severe gale from north-west to south-west; she was scudding throughout four days of its continuance, a wild and angry sea running. The poop rails on the port side, the fore boat and long boat were both stove-in, the stern cabin windows and skylight smashed, the after cabins completely flooded, and the fowl coops and almost everything movable washed overboard. Then followed favourable weather to the south-west cape of Tasmania, which was passed on October 16. Light contrary winds prevailed for several days until the North Cape was made on the 15th, and Tiri Tiri on the 17th, the ship coming up the harbour early the following morning. She brought a considerable number of passengers of a superior class, among them being Mr. David Nathan and family, who were returning to their land of adoption.

On September 15 the third officer, Mr. Lovell Jones, was knocked overboard by the main topmast studding-sail sheet. A lifebuoy was thrown to him, and the lifeboat lowered, but all in vain; the poor fellow was drowned. One of the passengers, James Houston, a young man of 27 years of age, apparently in good health, dropped down suddenly on deck and died instantaneously.