White Wings Vol II. Founding Of The Provinces And Old-Time Shipping. Passenger Ships From 1840 To 1885
Chapter VII. — Vessels Of The 60's
Vessels Of The 60's.
The Storm Cloud.
The Storm Cloud, a fine comfortable ship of 797 tons, chartered by Patrick Henderson and Co. for the conveyance of Scotch immigrants to Otago and Southland, completed three successful voyages, making the runs respectively in 89, 83, and 86 days, port to port. All the passages outward were uneventful.
The Storm Cloud sailed from Greenock on January 27, and arrived at Port Chalmers on April 26th, 1860, landing 311 passengers. Captain Campbell reported a favourable passage throughout. On her second voyage she sailed from the Clyde on May 3rd, crossed the equartor on the 25th May, and rounded the Cape on the 23rd June, arriving at Port Chalmers on July 30th, 1861, after a smart passage of 81 days land to land, and 88 port to port, landing 60 passengers. Captain Campbell was still in command. On her third voyage she brought out 206 immigrants for the Bluff and Dunedin. She sailed from Glasgow on the 14th September, and arrived at the Bluff, 85 days out port to port, on the 8th December. Port Chalmers was reached on the 21st December, 1862. Captain James Adams was in command.
Many Deaths On The Clontarf.
'"We have never had such a list of deaths to publish," stated the "Lyttelton Times," when reporting the arrival of the Clontarf (Captain A. W. Barclay) on March 16th, 1860. It was a bad weather passage, especially when the ship was approaching the New Zealand coast. The mortality among the twenty-eight children was appalling, nearly all succumbing to measles or whooping cough. In the long death roll there were five adults, one of them being an apprentice on the ship. Dr. Stone, who was the medical officer in charge of the passengers, did all he could during this very trying passage, and worked himself so hard that eventually he was laid up. The ship was 106 days on the voyage.
The Clontarf had paid a visit to Lyttelton the year before, having left Plymouth on September 20th, and reached port on January 5, 1859. She brought out 412 immigrants. Captain Allan was in command, and the vessel was sent out by Willis, Gann and Co., under contract with the Canterbury Provincial Government.
Mutiny On The John Bunyan.
When the John Bunyan sailed up Wellington harbour on February 15, 1860, the police signal was flying, and later most of the crew were taken in charge, the magistrate sentencing them to a term of imprisonment for broaching cargo and refusing to work the ship. A ship of 466 tons, she was in command of Captain Allan. She sailed from the Downs with only a few passengers on the 12th November, 1860, and reached port after having made the passage under unfavourable circumstances in 94 days. Fourteen days before the vessel reached Wellington some members of the crew broached cargo and became very drunk. They proceeded aft and threatened to take the ship. When remonstrated with by the Captain, they refused to go forward, and matters for a time looked serious. One of the crew struck the Captain, when he seized his revolver, which exploded, and the seaman was mortally wounded. Captain Allan kept the others at bay, and threatened to shoot any one coming on to the poop. The mutineers were later put in irons. Sail was then shortened, and the vessel brought into port by the Captain and officers.
The John Bunyan again visited Wellington in 1862. She sailed from London on the 26th November, 1861, and arrived on the 3rd March, 1862, making the run in 97 days. During the first part of the voyage, before crossing the line, she met with very boisterous weather, losing several spars.
The John Bunyan sailed from London five years later, and made another voyage to Wellington under the same command. On this occasion she departed on the 19th May, and arrived on the 9th September, 1867—113 days port to port.
In 1868, under Captain Allan, she sailed from London for Nelson on the 28th August, and arrived on the 1st December, with passengers and cargo. Two years later, in 1870, she again visited Nelson, sailing from London on the 6th October, 1869, and arriving on the 19th. January, 1870.
The Derwentwater, a barque of 522 tons, built at Sunderland in 1852, was one of the first vessels chartered by the Shaw, Savill Co. for New Zealand, and under Captain Thompson she brought out a large number of immigrants during the 'sixties. She sailed from London on the 9th December, 1859, and arrived at Wellington on the 24th March, 1860, making the passage in 104 days. She brought 65 passengers.
In 1861 the Derwentwater sailed from London on July 11th, and arrived at Lyttelton via Otago, with 160 passengers and a general cargo. On this long and eventful voyage the barque sailed from Gravesend on the 18th July, and three days later turned into the Downs. The following day she made another start, but when off Portland, on the 25th, struck a fierce westerly gale, during which a topgallant mast was carried away. Off and on she hadpage 163 execrable weather until the Snares were sighted on the 20th. Port Chalmers was reached on the 26th November. After landing 93 passengers, the ship sailed for Lyttelton.
The following year the barque was again put on the berth for Lyttelton. She sailed on the 5th September, 1862, and arrived on the 7th January, 1863, 123 days from Gravesend, with over 100 passengers. On this occasion she brought out a fine four-oared racing gig for the Christchurch Rowing Club, built by Wylie, of London. This boat had belonged to a celebrated crew who had the previous year gained all the prizes on the South Coast of England, and many of the regattas on the Continent.
In 1863-4 the barque made a third voyage to Lyttelton. She sailed on the 12th September, 1863, and arrived on the 2nd January, 1864, with 33 passengers.
The Lady Egidia was the largest wooden vessel entering Port Chalmers up till 1861. She was built in Scotland. When she appeared at Port Chalmers her model was the general theme of admiration. She belonged to Messrs. Potter, Wilson and Co., of Glasgow.
The Lady Egidia, on her first voyage to Otago, sailed from London on October 15th, 1860, having on board 400 passengers, the largest number ever shipped for New Zealand at that date. The ship arrived at Port Chalmers on January 28th, 1861, in command of Captain Curry.
Under the same command, she made her second voyage to Otago the following year. On this occasion she sailed from Glasgow on January 12th, 1862, having on board 217 passengers for Launceston and 83 for Otago. She reached Port Chalmers on May 6th, after an unpleasant and protracted voyage.
A ship of 642 tons, built in 1854, and later owned by D. Rose and Co., of Aberdeen, the Silistria made four voyages to Otago, bringing out a total of over 900 passengers from Scotland. On the first two voyages she was commanded by Captain J. Mackay.
The first voyage was made in 1860, six years after the ship was launched. She sailed from the Clyde, and arrived at Port Chalmers on the 25th October, making the run in 91 days, port to port.
In 1861 she sailed from Glasgow on the 4th October, and arrived at Port Chalmers on January 11th, 1862, after a pleasant passage of 99 days. When the ship arrived Home, Captain Fernie succeeded Captain Mackay, and on the 30th December, 1862, she sailed once more from Glasgow, and arrived at Port Chalmers on April 17th, 1863. The passage occupied 110 days, from Rothesay Bay, or 91 from Cape Clear.page 164
The last voyage was made in 1867. The ship on this occasion under Captain Artis, sailed from Greenoch on the 24th April, and after a stormy and trying passage of 122 days, made the Snares on the 20th, and Port Chalmers on the 24th August. She landed 107 passengers.
The Robert Small.
A fine vessel of the old school that made a most tedious passage was the Robert Small, Captain J. W. B. Darke, which dropped anchor in Auckland harbour on June 20th, 1862, 131 days out from London. Leaving London on February 8th, it was the 9th May before she reached the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope, the ship being then 88 days out. Up to May 9th the ship had only averaged 96 miles a day, or four knots an hour. From the Cape to Auckland took 43 days. The Robert Small was a ship of 794 tons. She brought out 70 passengers.
In 1858 the Robert Small made a voyage to Wellington in 104 days. She sailed on the 30th June, and arrived on the 12th October, landing 95 passengers.
The following year this ship sailed from London on the 7th October, and arrived at Lyttelton on the 29th January, 1860. Captain Darke was in command on all the voyages made to New Zealand.
The Echunga was a large ship of 1,000 tons, but she was not a clipper, her record passage to New Zealand being 103 days to Lyttelton. This was her first voyage out. She sailed from London on the 10th September, 1862, with 332 immigrants, for Timaru and Lyttelton, and arrived at the latter port on the 22nd December. At Timaru it was discovered that no provision had been made for their reception, although the Government knew as far back as May that a large batch of immigrants would arrive about that time. The barracks, which should have been ready, were only just started. When the first batch of passengers landed, in heavy rain, they found men preparing to erect some tents, and the voyagers had to lay down and rest on the grass, as not even straw had been provided. The consequence was that a large number refused to go ashore, and demanded to be taken on to Lyttelton, as their contract tickets were made out for Canterbury, and did not bind them to land at Timaru. Four deaths occurred during the voyage.
In 1865 the Echunga, under Captain Cooper, sailed from Gravesend on the 7th August, and cleared the land on the 12th.
She crossed the equator on the 27th September, rounded the Cape just a month later, and was off Otago Heads on December 4th, the passage to Port Chalmers occupying 122 days. The passengers numbered 83.
The next voyage of the Echunga, to Otago in 1867, under Captain Knight, was a more protracted one, as she took 138 days.
She sailed on the 29th May, and arrived on October 12th, withpage 165 96 passengers. The Cape of Good Hope was passed on the 29th August, and just a month later the Snares were sighted. The ship had 96 passengers. Smallpox broke out early after leaving London, and resulted in three deaths.
The Brig Susanne.
During the 'fifties and early 'sixties a number of small vessels, brig-rigged, brought hundreds of immigrants from Britain to New Zealand, and similarly rigged vessels were extensively used in the cargo and cattle trade between New Zealand and Australia. A typical vessel of this once popular rig was the German brig Susanne, 265 tons, which dropped anchor in the Waitemata on November 27th, 1862, after a smart passage of fifty days from Table Bay. Most of the early arrivals in New Zealand came from Britain, but the Susanne's 84 passengers came from Capetown. The only cargo the little vessel brought was 362 boxes of raisins and 100 cases of wine. She was in command of Captain P. J. Moller. Recording her arrival, the "New Zealander" said: "She sailed from Capetown on October 6, and had strong westerly weather all the way, running down her longitude in the parallel of 50 deg. south. She passed to the southward of Tasmania without sighting that island, and fetched the Three Kings on Friday at midnight, and on Sunday she was off the Bay of Islands. Boarded the ship Roman, 375 tons, Captain Hamblin, New Bedford, 2,900 barrels of whale oil, and then fast to two whales. The Susanne is a fine wholesome craft, one of Cesar Goddefroy's line; and, from the warm testimonial of his numerous British passengers from Capetown (84 souls in all) we are happy to learn that Captain Moller has won their cordial esteem."
The only passengers who made the trip sixty-four year ago, and are still alive, are Mr. P. Lynch, of the Devonport Ferry Company, and Mr. A. Belsham, of Ponsonby.
The Black Swan.
The passengers by the Black Swan, over 100 in number, had an unusual and rather sensational experience on the passage from Plymouth to Otago in 1862. She was a full-rigged ship of 976 tons, commanded by Captain King. She left the Breakwater at Plymouth on February 17.
The most noticeable circumstance on the voyage was an earthquake, which was distinctly felt on board. The ship, on May 23, was shaken violently, and a peculiar sound was heard, as if she was grating over the bottom, tremor and sound being so marked as to alarm many of the passengers and to turn out the watch below. The vessel reached Port Chalmers on June 5th, 1862.
In command of Captain White, the Black Swan made another voyage to Port Chalmers in 1864. She sailed on the 22nd June, and arrived on October 10th, landing 70 passengers.page 166
The Black Swan visited Wellington on one occasion only. She sailed from London on December 21st, 1865, in command of Captain White, and arrived on April 30th, 1866, making a long passage of 129 days. She met with strong contrary winds in the Channel, and encountered the storm in which the London foundered in the Bay of Biscay. Boats were carried away, the head of the mainmast was sprung, and many sails blown to shreds. During the storm the ship behaved admirably. For the last three weeks the passengers and crew were on reduced water allowance.
The Mallard, a barque of 637 tons, built in 1857, was chartered by the Shaw, Savill Company for four voyages to New Zealand. Although only comparatively a small vessel, she brought out a good number of our early settlers. The Mallard made her first appearance at Port Chalmers in 1863. She sailed on the 18th May, in charge of Captain Dinely, and arrived on September 6th. Fine weather was experienced to the Cape. When running down her easting the barque encountered an unusually heavy gale or typhoon, when she was thrown on her beam ends, and for some hours grave fears were entertained for her safety. During this gale she lost most of her canvas and sustained injury to her bulwarks. The bargue again met with heavy weather on two or three occasions before sighting the coast of New Zealand. She had only 29 passengers on board this voyage.
The following year, 1864, under the same command, the Mallard sailed from London on the 19th November, and arrived at Wellington on the 4th April, 1865.
Her next voyage was to Auckland, in 1870. On this occasion she was under Captain Andrews, and sailed from Gravesend on November 17th, 1869. Ten days afterwards the whole of the crew suddenly refused duty, which necessitated Captain Andrews putting into Weymouth, where the men were taken ashore and each sentenced to three months' imprisonment with hard labour. A few days later, on the 1st December, the barque took her final departure from Portland Roads. On January 1st a passenger fell overboard from the port gangway, and was drowned. The barque arrived at Auckland on March 7th, 1870, completing a good passage from Portland Roads in 95 days.
On Christmas Day, 1873, the Mallard, under Captain Duncan, sailed from London for Lyttelton, and arrived on April 25th, 1874, making a long journey of 121 days. The barque on this occasion fortunately brought no passengers. She came out under charter to the N.Z. Shipping Co.
The Mallard was built at Liverpool, and for many years sailed from that port for San Francisco.
The Aloe, a very fine ship of 1,024 tons, under the command of Captain Tregoning, arrived at Auckland on June 7th, 1863, and brought out 176 passengers, including Mr. Vidall and family. Mr. Vidall was well known to older colonists as a church missionary. The Aloe experienced a tedious and turbulent passage. Sailing from Gravesend on the 12th February, she crossed the equator 26 days out. Although a fast sailer, she did not average more than 70 miles a day for 25 days. The meridian of the Cape was passed on the 16th April, 63 days out from the Isle of Wight, and the Tasmanian coast on May 15th. Owing to very light contrary winds, nineteen days were occupied in reaching Cape Brett on June 3rd, the first land sighted since leaving the Channel.
On the arrival of the ship in port, seven of the sailors were brought ashore and charged with violently assaulting Henry Morris, the boatswain. Captain Tregoning, in his evidence, stated that on the night of May 9th there was a serious disturbance on board. When he came on deck he ordered the boatswain to trim the foreyard, and he went forward to call the port watch for that purpose. After giving the order the Captain went below, and when he came on deck again there was a great noise, with cries of "murder!" after which the boatswain came aft bleeding and much ill-used. The magistrate said that the ship's log disclosed not one, but a continuance of the most disgraceful scenes that ever occurred on board a ship, and that the assault was a most brutal one. Four of the seamen were sentenced to two months, and three others to six weeks' hard labour.
The Ben Lomond.
In 1863, one of the best passages that had been recorded at that date, from the Clyde to Otago, was made by the Ben Lomond, which completed the passage in 74 days, land to land. She was a ship of 986 tons, commanded by Captain J. Smart. Having embarked passengers, numbering 338 souls, she set sail from Lamlash Bay on October 25th, 1862, and six days later the Fasnet light bore ten miles away. She gained the S.E. trades on November 22nd, and the coast of Brazil was sighted on November 27th. During squally weather on November 30th, an apprentice named George Grant fell from the main royal yard, struck the bulwarks, and dropped into the sea, evidently being killed before he reached the water. Apart from this incident, and the death of a passenger, the voyage was a pleasant one. The ship reached the Snares on January 14th. From that time she was baffled in her approach to port by calms and hazy weather up to January 18th, 1863, when she made the Heads, and was towed in the following morning.
An old vessel, built in 1849, for W. Willis and Son, the Coldstream, 545 tons, was sent out to New Zealand on one occasion only. In command of Captain Carmichael, she sailed from London on the 22nd January, 1863, for Port Chalmers. Shortly after leav-page 168ing Gravesend she collided with the ship Harvest Home, and was compelled to put into Plymouth, where she was detained a month effecting repairs. A very heavy gale was encountered in the Bay of Biscay. When off the Cape of Good Hope, during a gale, her steering apparatus was carried away, and this caused her much delay. Off the Auckland Islands the ship was hove-to for four days, during which a terrific gale was blowing. Eventually Port Chalmers was reached on the 16th June, 134 days from the day she left London docks. Fortunately the ship carried only twelve passengers.
The Electric, a staunch ship built in California in 1854, was unfortunate in striking boisterous weather and meeting with huge icebergs on the two voyages made to New Zealand. She came first to Port Chalmers in 1863, in command of Captain Marshall. Sailing from Greenock with 120 Scotch immigrants on the 22nd January, she encountered very severe gales in the Channel, and was compelled to put into Lamlash Bay, where she remained until the 5th February, when another start was made. In running down her easting, the Electric encountered more severe weather, and passed through an immense pack of icebergs. She arrived at Port Chalmers on the 3rd June, 118 days from her final departure.
In 1867, the Electric, under Captain Lethwaite, came to Auckland, bringing out 55 passengers. She sailed from Gravesend on the 30th September, 1866. In latitude 49 deg., in which parallel the easting was run down, she fell in with a large mass of icebergs. She continued running amongst them for three days and four nights. Captain Lethwaite said it was a wonderful sight, but very dangerous, the ship being obliged to run under easy sail at night. When in latitude 47 deg. and longitude 112 deg. east, the ship again fell in with many icebergs, although nothing like so large or so numerous as on the previous occasion. Many of these ice-islands were from 265 miles long, and varied from 400 to 800 feet in height. Tasmania was rounded on the 6th January, the ship arriving at Auckland on the 22nd January, 1867.
The Viola was a fine large ship of 1,134 tons, sent out by Patrick Henderson and Son. She made her first appearance at Port Chalmers in 1863 under Captain Adams. She sailed from Glasgow on the 21st August, crossed the equator on the 1st October, and arrived at Port Chalmers on December 2nd, with 91 passengers.
Two years later, in 1865, she visited Auckland, under the command of Captain Mitchell. She sailed from Glasgow on the 8th December, 1864, and, after a somewhat lengthy passage, arrived in port on the 4th April, 1865, having on board 340 Government immigrants. During the voyage there were twelve deaths and eight births.
In 1866 the Viola made another voyage to Otago under Captain Ritchie. She sailed from Greenock on the 12th April.page 169 The Cape was rounded on the 14th June, and Port Chalmers reached on the 25th July, where she landed 99 passengers.
The Viola again visited Port Chalmers in 1868, under Captain Ross. She sailed from Greenock on the 14th December, 1867, and on 12th March arrived in port with 145 immigrants.
Under the command of Captain Pearman, the Rangoon left the East India docks, London, on November 26, 1863, having on board 110 passengers. Owing to the late arrival of some dispatches, the vessel was compelled to remain at Gravesend until December 4, and did not take her final departure from the Downs until December 10. The following day the Rangoon came into collision with the barque Lord Maidstone, and had her bows stove in and headgear wrecked. The Rangoon at once commenced to sink, and her captain lost no time in signalling for assistance. A tug was speedily dispatched from Ramsgate, and the Rangoon was towed into Deal. It was found that the barque had been extensively damaged, and it was not until January 13, 1864, that repairs had been effected and she was again able to proceed to sea. She took her second departure from the Downs on January 24, and passed the meridian of the Cape 45 days after clearing Start Point. In running down her easting the barque met a succession of southerly gales, accompanied by terrific seas and heavy hail storms. The Cape of Tasmania was sighted on May 18, and severe weather was then encountered for the next two weeks. On June 2 the Rangoon put into Sydney for supplies. She resumed her voyage to Napier after a stay of two days, and met with fine weather until November 13, when a heavy gale and tremendous cross sea was experienced, the vessel being at that time in the Bay of Plenty. The following day the Rangoon was struck on the port beam by a terrific sea, which made a clean sweep of the decks, taking everything movable over the side. Several boats were smashed to matchwood.
After meeting further stormy weather, the Rangoon finally dropped her anchor at Napier on July 23. During the voyage there was one birth and three deaths. On landing after their long sea voyage, the immigrants made bitter complaint concerning their treatment during the voyage, and a commission was set up to inquire into the matter and report to the Government.
The Owen G1endower, a fine ship formerly belonging to the Blackball Line, made a good passage to Auckland in 1863. She was a vessel of 911 tons, under the command of Captain Norris, who had previously visited Auckland in the ship True Briton in 1852.
The Owen Glendower sailed from Plymouth on June 13th, and arrived at Auckland on September 19th, making the run in 98 days, port to port.page 170
On July 11th, during a heavy squall, several sails were carried away and a boatswain was washed overboard. He was never seen again, and it was supposed the ship passed over him. Two other deaths occurred—a first-class passenger from typhoid, and an infant. The ship landed 250 passengers, all in good health.
A few Albertland settlers arrived in this ship, which made the one trip only to New Zealand.
The Vicksburg, a fine vessel of 1,100 tons, made two voyages only to Port Chalmers, and did not visit other New Zealand ports. She was ship rigged, built in 1863, owned in Leith by W. Thomson and Co., and chartered by Patrick Henderson and Co. In 1864 she sailed from the Clyde on March 9th, and on the 4th July she anchored at Port Chalmers, landing 46 passengers. Captain Boyd was in command.
In 1867 the Vicksburg arrived at Port Chalmers, under Captain Strachan, formerly chief officer, from Glasgow, with 210 passengers. She sailed on June 14th, and arrived in port on September 30th.
The Andrew Jackson.
The Andrew Jackson, an American clipper-built ship of 1,252 tons, which made two voyages to New Zealand with passengers, was one of the fastest sailers afloat, but never had a fair chance of making a record passage to either of the ports visited—Auckland and Otago. Her first voyage was to Port Chalmers in 1864. She sailed from Glasgow on the 14th April, and met with unfavourable winds generally to the equator, but was then favoured with good S.E. trades, and made the run from the line to Port Chalmers in 47 days. Port was reached on the 12th July. On two successive days, when running down her easting, she made 330 and 340 knots in the 24 hours. The "Otago Daily Times," reporting her arrival, stated the ship had made the best run of the season. The Andrew Jackson was chartered by Messrs. Potter and Wilson, and was commanded by Captain J. McCallum. She landed 162 passengers for Otago.
The next voyage of the Andrew Jackson was to Auckland in 1865. She sailed from Gravesend on the 18th May, from Dover on the 20th, and was off the Lizard two days later. On June 19th she encountered a heavy squall from eastward, which struck her almost without any warning, and although sail was shortened with all possible speed, five of them were split to ribbons.
She struck another severe gale on 21st July, which lasted some hours, and met icebergs. On this trip, on the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th July, she made runs of 296, 311, 306, and 321 miles respectively, making a total of 1,234 miles in four successive days, an average of 308½ miles per day, or nearly 13 knots per hour—an excellent record.page 171
The ship arrived in Auckland harbour on the 24th August, after a passage of 96 days from Dover. She brought out 269 passengers. There were three deaths (adults) and two births during the voyage. Captain J. McCallum was in command.
The Andrew Jackson had made twelve previous voyages, six of which were from New York to San Francisco.
The voyage of the ship Ivanhoe from England to New Zealand in 1864 was marred by no fewer than 25 deaths among the passengers. Twelve of these were caused by low fever. Four births occurred.
Under the command of Captain Dunn, the Ivanhoe left Plymouth on February 25. The first death happened on March 21, and eight days later the first fatal low fever case occurred. Although dogged by bad luck in the form of sickness, the ship made a good passage, under moderate weather conditions, and arrived at Timaru early in June. From that port, however, on account of the sickness on board, she was ordered on to Lyttelton, where she arrived on June 14. After inspection by the port health officers, the Ivanhoe was sent into quarantine.
The Winterthur made two voyages to Auckland, occupying respectively 119 and 117 days. On the first passage out she sailed from London on the 23rd January, 1865, with 126 passengers, under the command of Captain Goudie, who had visited Auckland three years earlier in the Matilda Wattenbach. The ship had a rough experience in the Channel, and did not clear Start Point until the 9th February. She crossed the line on the 18th March. Port was reached on May 23rd.
In 1866, the Winterthur came out with Captain Hunt in command. She left Gravesend on the 24th June, and reached Auckland on the 19th October, after a pleasant and uneventful passage. The vessel was able to carry her royals until passing the Cape. On this occasion the Winterthur brought only 59 passengers.
The Wennington, a ship of 882 tons, was nine years from the stocks when first chartered to bring immigrants to New Zealand. She was built in 1865 for the Lancashire Ship Owners' Company, and sent out in 1874 to Wellington, under Captain McAvoy, and made a long passage of 124 days. She sailed on the 21st January, and arrived on the 25th May, with 299 passengers. During the voyage there were three deaths and eleven births.
The next voyage of the Wennington was to Otago in 1875. She sailed from Gravesend on the 27th January, and proceeded topage 172 Plymouth, where she embarked 137 passengers, and sailed on the 3rd February. The equator was crossed on the 3rd March, and the first land sighted was Causland's Mistake, on the 16th May, Port Chalmers being reached two days later.
In 1877 the Wennington was again despatched to Wellington with a full complement of passengers, under Captain Sherwood. She sailed on the 24th February, and all went well until the 23rd May, when an immense wave struck the ship, completely pooping her. The wheel was washed away and the two steersmen severely injured. The ship arrived at Wellington on the 19th June.
The Olive Mount.
This vessel made one of the longest passages to New Zealand ever recorded. Over two months were spent at the Mauritius under-going repairs. The Olive Mount was a ship of 583 tons, sent out to Otago in 1866 under Captain Gauver. She sailed from London on the 18th April, 1865, and experienced the usual weather until passing the Cape of Good Hope, where she encountered a terrific gale. Fearful seas which broke on board sprung the fore and main masts, carried away most of the bulwarks and stancheons, started the stern frame, and split most of the sails. For several days she was almost unmanageable, but eventually sufficient sail was set to enable her to proceed; but she was in a very crippled condition, and Captain Gauver decided to endeavour to make the port of Mauritius. She arrived there on the 12th July, three months after sailing from London. The damage to the ship was serious, and two months were occupied in effecting repairs. On the 18th September she made another start, and was fortunate in falling in with strong favourable winds to St. Paul's. Thence she had light variable winds to Tasmania, followed by fresh S.W. winds. The New Zealand coast was made off Oamaru on the 6th November, and three days later Port Chalmers was reached, 205 days out from London.
The Melita, a ship of 914 tons, was chartered by the Shaw, Savill Co., and completed five voyages to New Zealand with passengers and general cargo. She was a very slow sailer, her record passage being over 100 days to Lyttelton.
The Melita's first voyage was made to Port Chalmers. She sailed from Glasgow on July 3rd, with 36 passengers, and was 46 days reaching the equator. Otago Heads was reached on the 2nd November, 1866, and three days later she anchored at Port Chalmers, the passage having occupied 124 days.
In 1867, the ship sailed on July 23rd, and arrived at Lyttelton on the 8th November, making the passage in 108 days.
The following year, 1868, the Melita sailed from London on August 23rd with passengers and cargo, and arrived at Wellington on the 16th December, 118 days out. The ship made a secondpage 173 voyage to Wellington in 1869. She sailed on the 24th August, and arrived on the 15th December, after a passage of 112 days. The third voyage to Wellington was in 1870-71. The ship sailed from London on 10th September, 1870, and arrived on January 1st, 1871, making the passage in 113 days, one day longer than the previous voyage. She brought 43 passengers.
When this ship appeared round the North Head, Auckland, flying the yellow flag, there was disappointment by those having relatives coming out, and when the Health Officer returned from the ship he reported there had been several cases of infectious disease on board. The Liverpool was a fine Quebec-built vessel of 1,454 tons, commanded by Captain McEwen. She sailed from London on the 8th, and from Plymouth on the 16th November, 1866, with 192 passengers. Port was made on the 5th March.
There had been seventeen cases of typhoid fever, but only two proved fatal.
The Dona Anita.
An extraordinary voyage of 211 days, London to Nelson, was made by the barque Dona Anita in 1867. She left St. Katherine's docks on February 7th, but meeting with stormy weather in the Channel, put into Plymouth in a leaky condition. After being caulked, she left again on the 3rd March. The next calamity was the death, while crossing the line, of the master, Captain Brown. Shortly afterwards the barque spoke the barque Saunderson, home-ward bound, and Mrs. Brown and her child were put on board.
The chief officer had taken command on the death of Captain Brown, but owing to a disagreement with the passengers the vessel put into Rio Janeiro on May 5th. While at Rio part of the cargo was sold to defray expenses, and a new captain appointed, the vessel sailing again on the 10th June. Soon after leaving Rio she ran into a storm and sprung her mainmast, but eventually reached her destination on the 27th August, landing 28 passengers. She brought the plant for the Nelson waterworks.
Three previous visits had been paid to New Zealand by the Dona Anita, and she had made fairly good passages, considering she was only a vessel of 500 tons. On July 14, 1863, she arrived at Lyttelton, 105 days from the Downs. Up to the time of sighting Kerguelen Island she had a comfortable passage, but after that the weather was so bad that Captain Smith said that in all his thirty-five years at sea he had never seen worse. On this occasion the barque brought 45 passengers.
In 1865 she was again in Lyttelton, arriving on January 7th, this time under Captain Davis. In 1866 she visited Nelson, where she arrived on February 6, under Captain Sharman, after making a passage of 107 days. She brought 54 passengers.
The Racehorse was a large ship of 1,077 tons, in command of Captain Seward, when she arrived in Auckland, dismasted, on July 9th, 1868, 104 days out from London. She set sail from Gravesend for Auckland on March 27th, reaching the equator on the 21st April, with light winds and calms. All went well until June 15th, when she struck a very severe gale in latitude 40 deg. 4 min. longitude 125 deg. 5 min., which gradually increased to a hurricane, and the ship was soon in a serious plight. The next morning the storm was at its climax, and presently a tremendous sea struck her, pitching her on her beam-ends. The maintopmast went by the board, carrying away the fore-topgallant, mizen-top-gallant, and royal yards; the mizen-topmast was sprung, and much of her gear was carried away. The wreckage was at once secured with lashing and the vessel kept before the wind, the only possible chance; but the topmast, in coming down, had split the mainsail and caused other serious damage, while the old ship was labouring heavily in a frightful sea, and shipping large quantities of water. The vessel had now become almost a wreck, and both officers and passengers realised they were in grave danger. About 7 p.m., the boatswain, Charles Case, a daring and splendid seaman, was lurched overboard from the main rigging and drowned, any attempt to save him being an utter impossibility, as it would have further endangered the ship. On the 17th the whole crew were mustered by the Captain, and it was ascertained that most of them were disabled and unfit for duty. About noon the terrible storm began to moderate, with intermittent squalls, and from then on gradually subsided, the almost helpless ship steering straight for Auckland.
The captain and officers declared that it would be impossible to imagine three days of more terrific storm and seas than what they had come through, and it was the general opinion that nothing but their powers of endurance and skill had saved the ship and her human freight.
Fortunately there was no serious illness among the 54 passengers, all of whom were loud in their praise of the ship's officers and crew, and the attention they had received during the terrible ordeal.
The Harvest Home.
One of the most consistent ships to make more than average passages to the South Island was the 547 ton barque Harvest Home, under charter to the New Zealand Shipping Co. She conveyed passengers and cargo to three ports—Port Chalmers, Lyttelton, and Nelson. When she started on her first voyage outwards she had been trading to other ports for 13 years, having been launched at Liverpool in 1855.
The Harvest Home made three voyages to Port Chalmers. Sailing first from Liverpool on the 17th September, she arrived off Stewart Island when 91 days out, and anchored at Port Chalmerspage 175 on the 23rd December, 1868, making the passage in 97 days port to port. Captain Teulon was in command.
On the next voyage the barque sailed from London, in charge of Captain Green, on the 16th November, 1869, and the Lizard eight days later. The equator was crossed on the 17th December, the Cape rounded on January 10th, 1870, and the Snares on the 10th February, the ship being then 78 days land to land. Head light winds delayed her on the coast, and on the 17th February she arrived in port.
On her next voyage the barque sailed from Liverpool on November 28th, 1870, but was detained in the Mersey until the 17th December. She made a fine run to the line, which was crossed on the 30th December. On February 23rd, 1871, she came to anchor at Port Chalmers. Captain Green was still in command.
The Harvest Home made two passages out in one year, having arrived at Port Chalmers in February, 1871, and again at Lyttelton on the 30th December, 1871. On the voyage to Lyttelton she sailed from the Downs on the 11th October, 1870, in command of Captain Trewyn, the passage occupying 83 days, or 76 land to land.
In 1873 the barque arrived at Nelson on the 23rd December, having sailed from London on the 15th September.
One of the very few big overseas ships owned in Auckland in the early days was the barque Constance, which belonged to the Circular Saw Line (Henderson and Macfarlane). She first arrived at Auckland on July 24, 1868, 116 days out from London, after an adventurous voyage. Like the ship Racecourse, which had preceded her, the Constance encountered some very bad weather, but being a stronger and much newer vessel, she did not suffer anything like the same damage.
The Constance, under Captain Elliott, left Gravesend on March 29th, passed the Lizard on April 3rd, and crossed the equator on the 30th of that month. On May 17th she spoke H.M.S. Galatea. All her officers could be seen assembled on the quarter-deck waving their hats and handkerchiefs to the Constance, whose passengers and crew gladly returned the compliment. The Galatea was in command of the Duke of Edinburgh, who, unknown to the passengers, had narrowly escaped assassination on his visit to Australia, and was then returning home. After an exchange of flag signals and greetings, the Constance dipped her ensign three times as a salute, the crew and passengers giving three lusty cheers for the ship and her royal commander. She struck a good deal of bad weather, and eventually made port on the 24th July.
In 1862 the Constance, in command of Captain Reid, made a voyage from London to Wellington, sailing on the 11th August and arriving on December 12th, after an uneventful and protracted passage of 123 days. She brought out 40 passengers.
The voyage of the Alliance, which sailed from Liverpool with passengers and cargo on the 27th November, 1868, and arrived at Nelson on the 12th June, 1869, is an example of how ill-luck sometimes dogs a vessel throughout her passage. The secret of her long voyage and the evils that befel her could be traced to the bad stowage of her cargo. The vessel cleared Liverpool originally on November 27th, but met stormy weather off Holyhead, and was compelled to put back. She sailed again on the 9th December, and encountered very heavy weather in the Channel, the wheel chains and relief tackles being carried away. The stern-post was also sprung. On the 30th January the ship, which had a great deal of dead weight in her, had to be lightened by throwing overboard a quantity of cargo. She then made for Rio Janeiro, arriving there in a crippled condition on the 22nd February, 1869. She sailed again on March 15th, but experienced unfavourable weather for the whole of the succeeding month. On May 4th she encountered a terrible hurricane. The storm lasted for nearly three days, during which time the vessel laboured so heavily that more of her cargo had to be thrown overboard to save her from foundering. After this the weather for the remainder of the voyage was moderately fine, and the ship, for which grave fears had been entertained, eventually reached her destination, 196 days out from Liverpool.
Another ship of 977 tons, bearing the same name, under Captain Potter, sailed from London on the 10th July, and arrived at Wellington on the 20th October, 1901.
The Mairi Bhan.