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

The Mairi Bhan

The Mairi Bhan.

One of the handsomest ships sent out to New Zealand by the Patrick Henderson Company was the Mairi Bhan, an iron clipper of 1315 tons, built by Barclay and Curle, of Glasgow, for Captain P.J. McIntyre, of London. She was a well-appointed, full-rigged ship, with the usual double topsail yards and unusual double top-gallant yards at the fore and main, and carried an immense spread of canvas. The "Otago Daily Times," referring to her arrival at Port Chalmers, stated: "Her performances during this her maiden trip entitled her to take rank amongst high-class clippers, as she made the run out in between 75 and 76 days from Glasgow. She was off Otago Heads three days previous to entering port, and the captain obtained bearings of what he considered was the entrance to Otago Harbour. The ship was then nearly due south of the Heads, and distant about 20 miles. That placed the time of the run out at 73 to 74 days from Glasgow. The ship, however, did not leave the Tail of the Bank until late on May 7th, so that the passage was made between 71 and 72 days, and the Snares in 70 days. The passage from Glasgow to port really occupied 80 days." The voyage, which commenced on May 5th, 1874, was destitute of incidents. The Mairi Bhan was commanded by Captain J. Massen, and landed at Port Chalmers 394 passengers, all in good health.

Sixteen years later the Mairi Bhan visited Auckland, in command of Captain D. McIntyre. She sailed from London Docks on September 5th, and arrived on December 6th, 1890, making a good passage of 92 days, and 86 land to land. The vessel on this occasion came out under charter to the N.Z. Shipping Company.

The name of the Mairi Bhan is the Gaelic for "Bonny Mary."