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White Wings Vol II. Founding Of The Provinces And Old-Time Shipping. Passenger Ships From 1840 To 1885

The Benares

page 190

The Benares.

The third four-masted ship to visit Otago up till 1879 was the Benares, a very handsome vessel of 1,646 tons, possessing a clipper entrance and a dean run. She was built at Glasgow in 1877, by Messrs. H. Murray and Co., under the personal supervision of her commander, Captain D. B. Inglis, formerly of the Asterope, and other vessels trading to New Zealand, and was owned by Watson Bros., of Glasgow.

The Benares, on her maiden voyage, went out to Calcutta in 67 days, and upon her return Home was chartered by the New Zealand Shipping Co. to carry passengers and cargo to Otago. She made an exceptionally long passage for such a fine ship—97 days—which was accounted for by the light winds and calms met with between the equator and the Cape, which she did not round until she had been 70 days at sea. The easting was run down between 47 deg. and 48 deg. S., and she experienced a succession of fresh breezes and very fine weather, the royals never having been taken in throughout the run. The Snares were made on the 10th, Otago Heads on the 13th, and port on the 14th March, 1878. When entering the port the ship, drawing 20 feet of water, touched the ground, but did not sustain any damage, as the steamer Koputai immediately ranged alongside and brought her to an anchor.

A newspaper, the "Benares Ocean Chronicle," was published weekly during the voyage, the editor being Mr. Terry. Several of the pages were illustrated with considerable taste by Mr. West, an artist of no mean repute.