The 'Lancashire Witch'
Arrived Timaru & Lyttelton October 1863
Diary written by David CARR on the voyage from England to New Zealand in the ship �Lancashire Witch�, 1383 tons, 420 passengers, Captain West, bound for Canterbury sailed from Gravesend, England on 4 July 1863, and arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand on 13 October 1863.
Transcription of the Diary of David Carr, a single man, farm labourer from Forfarshire, Scotland, travelling on the"Lancashire Witch" to New Zealand 1863
Saturday June 27 1863. I left home on Saturday morning for Dundee, bade adieu to a few friends at the Leith slip and went on board the steamer for London.
At half past four pm the guns were fired and we sailed down the river for London. We soon waved a last adieu to the Tay and its flowery banks.
At 6pm a stiff breeze sprung up and a slight commotion appeared among the passengers. Sickness and vomiting succeed. Our company bore up well until and when Mrs Blyth gave way and we got her to bed. One by one the passengers went to bed and at half past nine James Bathie, James Blyth and Duncan were the only passengers on the quarter-deck and as darkness closed around us I took a last look at the farms on the hills of my native land and thought " Will I ever again see my native land and those dear friends I leave behind," but the future no man can see. I went to bed but could not sleep. Got up at 2 o'clock and paced the deck and was alright.
Sunday 28th June. Sunday morning brought to our sight "Merrie England" and the rugged cliffs of Yorkshire and as the day advanced we could see the green fields of corn with here and there a farm shieling standing out in bold relief giving the landscape a more picturesque appearance. At nine am we passed Scarborough, pretty in the distance.
11 am. Passed Flamborough cliffs and lost sight of land with nothing but the broad expanse of the sea around us and sitting on the quarter-deck 7 vessels are in sight.
4 pm. Again we see land, Norfolk, Yarmouth shortly after. We have had a beautiful day. Got to bed at 10.
Monday 29th June. I have enjoyed a fine night�s rest. It is a beautiful morning and the ships are around us in great variety, from the fishing smacks to the full rigged ships. Passed Sheerness and Gravesend and arrived in London at 10 am. Got our luggage down on the East India Dock and see the "Witch", then we take a bus to London Bridge. From there to Westminster Bridge, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, a Beautiful building, the best I have seen in London. We take the steamer from Westminster Bridge to Chelsea and then passed the night at Cresswell Gardens. I was greatly delighted with the Gardens. They are laid out in first rate style. In fact I cannot do them justice so I will say with Dominic Sampson "Pride grows."
Tuesday 30th June. Today we went to Charring Cross, Oxford Street, British Museum, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, James Park and the Thames. A strange sight to see so many ships beneath the bridge. Return by the Tower of London and the Mint.
Wednesday 1st July. Take a turn through some of the minor streets near the East India Docks together with getting our luggage on board the Witch. I never saw such a scene. Bales of goods, coal, provisions, trucks etc. going on board in double quick time. I got the number of my berth, 53, and got my things on board and slept on board that night.
Thursday 2nd July. Still loading the ship. The men worked all night. We leave the dock at halfpast eleven am and were taken down the river to Gravesend and dropped anchor. Some music and dancing on board which I enjoyed.
Friday 3rd July. Still at Gravesend getting the ship in order. We have passed the Government Inspection and one family has been put on shore being bad with the whooping cough. Received our livestock on board, sheep, pigs and fowls. The passengers are divided into messes of 6 to 11 and a Captain or head messman over each according to the number of the berth. I have been appointed a Captain. The Captains duties are to go for the meat to see it equally divided and keep order in the mess. We passed the evening in hopping and dancing, the crew mingling with us as we lay on the river. About 500 on board.
Saturday 4th July. This morning we started, according to orders, to clean out our berths which has to be done once a day. At 12 we start to sea with two steamers towing us. We passed some pretty looking places but did not know the names of them. By 8 o�clock some of the females were getting sick. The steamers left us at Gravesend and we were at the downs at 10 o�clock.
Sunday 5th July. Got up at 4 am. Too quiet for us for we were drifting to the shore with the tide and were forced to drop anchor and as we lay upon the smooth bosom of the ocean a strange phenomenon presented itself to my view. The sun came into contact with a black cloud, which had been hovering over him for some time, which cast his rays back o the sun making it appear to me as if there was a second sun rising.
At 6 am we weighed anchor but, with little wind, we sailed slowly down the channel and passed Dover. A pretty place situated between two hills. The castle stands on the south hill. Still moving very slowly we passed Folkestone and looking at it through the glass, I could see a number of good houses and a large building like a church which I would like very much to have entered but our ship moved on and me along with it and a look was all I could get for miles of sea lay between it and me.
After breakfast the deck is crowded, the weather being fine, and then do I see the beginning of a Sabbath on board an emigrant ship. Some are singing, some are whistling and loud laughter. Not at all like a Sabbath morn. And through the day some were playing on the concertina. At length the bell tolled to assemble us for worship. It was commenced by singing a hymn, then prayer. The 5th chapter of St. Matthew 1-20 was read and commented upon. Another hymn and the 23rd Psalm was remarked upon. Hymn and prayer closed the service.
We then went to dinner and for the first time tasted of preserved meat and potatoes which I liked fine. After supper read some, and tried to pass the time as well as circumstances would permit, but such a crowd. There is not a place to retire by ones self to hold communion with God how sinful creatures we are. I pray God he will pardon the sins of the Sabbath and watch over and guide us all our lives. Having sprained my ankle on Saturday it began to give me some pain, I got it bathed with vinegar and bandaged and felt better. I went on deck and heard the teacher giving words before bed. Our mess gathered before going to bed and we read the 8th chapter of Romans and so closed the first Sabbath on the Witch.
Monday 6th July. Got up at 7 am. We had a fine wind that took us down channel first rate. About noon we were going about 10 knots. Sickness prevails to a great extent. Today a rather exciting scene occurred when the boat came to take the pilot ashore. Two men were put in the boat. They had a stiff pull to gain our ship. The sea was rough and at one time you saw the boat on the crest of the wave and at another time they were out of sight and you would have thought that the sea had swallowed boat and crew but the gallant fellows pulled manfully but they fell far astern so we had to bring the ship to and when that was done the ship was on its starboard side and some of the passengers were thinking she was to be capsized. At last the pilot got in the boat and they had a great pull to reach their smack and I enjoyed the scene very much to see them mount the foam crested billows and their passage on them.
We got our meat served for a week today. 7 pm. Pass start point, 200 miles from London.
Tuesday 7th July. Adverse winds meet us this day. We are forced to tack It is very disagreeable to walk on deck as the ship is always on one side or the other. Much sickness prevails today.
7 am. We have sailed 200 miles little on the right track which we are on this morning.
Wednesday 8th July. We have a most favourable wind today and are going our right track. Busy getting our provisions served out. Some of the passengers are very bad today with sickness. I have felt none of it yet.
Thursday 9th July. We had a fine run today and I am informed that we are 1200 miles from London. I have started to bake cakes and puddings and they eat first rate.
Friday 10th July. We had fine winds all night and now we are scudding along at 9 knots. There is little to note but the routine of the ship and getting our provisions served, cooked and eaten and the day passes by. I have been baking again and will be a passable baker. We have some fine sport with the crew in the evenings.
Saturday 11th July. We are still enjoying a fine wind but are not going very fast. We have passed two or three ships today. About a dozen porpoises were sporting near the ship for some time. They appear like so many hares. Tonight the sheet lightening was beautiful. I sat a long time on deck to look at it and it was grand.
Sunday 12th July. Like the last Sabbath morning we are all but becalmed and it was very warm. About midday a slight breeze sprung up and we were going at 6 knots. We had two services today.
Monday 13th July. The wind died away this morning. We passed a ship about 4 am and we soon left her far behind. A fresh wind sprung up in the afternoon and we are going along very pleasant. A rather amusing affair occurred tonight. Three of my comrades went up the rigging and the sailors up after them to lash them to the mast. One of them escaped down a rope but the other two were lashed to the mast. Great merriment for a long time, in fact until they payeth the fine of 4/- each and knew they had the liberty to go anywhere but in my opinion their freedom was dearly bought.
Tuesday 14th July. We have had a fine wind all day. I think we have come more speedily than we have come before. I spent the day getting our provisions for the week. Read a little and tripped the light fantastic at night.
I met with a great loss today. I'm drawing a pail of woman (being smoking at the time) the ship gave a lurch and the rope caught my pipe and overboard it went. German silver tip with it. The only consolation the young woman gave me was "It will save the tobacco." We had quite a lark tonight. One of our mess took away one of the opposite mess's blankets and when going to bed, he missed it. The greater part of the boys being in bed never-the-less he lighted a candle and went round the whole lot of them looking for his blanket without success. In the interim, his blanket was put below his bed. We told him he had not searched his bed right so another two assisted him to do so and discovered his loss and then the laugh turned against him. So with frolics like these the time passes.
Wednesday 15th July. We have had a fine wind all night and a beautiful morning. One sail in sight which we are making up on. The ship turned out to be a British Man of War. They hoisted the Union Jack and we replied by displaying our flag on the mizzen top. The young women have a part of the ship allotted to them and we are not allowed to mingle with them but the other day a deputation from the young men waited on the Captain to ask an hour's dancing with them. It was great tonight. I enjoyed the privilege.
Thursday 16th July. Another beautiful morning greets my sight. The weather is excellent. We have had no rain since the day I left home. Today it is very warm for we are fast approaching the tropics. We are amused tonight by the constable, who attends on the females, being caught on the rigging and held a spread eagle off after the sailors had him till they asked if any would pay for the prisoner or will we leave him. No person on board liked him for he is one of those that likes to show his power by informing the Captain of any little trifling thing that occurs so we hissed and laughed at him and the sailors made sport of him too. At last he promised to pay the fine, 4/-, and was let go. But the proud fool had not the 4/- to pay. Only 2/-. So the first mate paid the rest for him.
Today we saw one of those fish they call pilots swimming under the bows of the ship. The sailors say it goes before sharks so we are likely to have the pleasure of seeing some of them in a day or two. Dark at eight.
Friday 17th July. We have had a fine days sailing. The best we have had yet. 10-11 knots. We passed two large ships on our weather bow but they were too far off to speak with and we soon left them, the Witch being a fine sailing ship.
Saturday 18th July. We are still favoured with a fine breeze and are going along right merrily. A ship from Bramihar passed our bows today and was spoken with.
Sunday 19th July. 4th Sunday at sea and it is Sunday that some on board will remember the rest of their lives. I saw for the first time, flying fish. I never believed that there were flying fish but my scepticism was broken down today for seeing is believing. Service at 10. Today death visited the ship and has carried away a little girl of 2-3 years. Our prayers were asked.
Monday 20th July. Rise at half past five. The morning is beautiful and warm but very little wind to send us on our way. At 6am the bell tolled for the funeral of the girl The day being calm we got up our trunks and confusion reigned all day. My things were alright except for a pot of jam having spilt on a shirt. I took out a few things I required and marked it not wanted so it will get no more taking until the ship arrives in Canterbury. At night some parties engaged in sparring and so endeth the day, beginning with a funeral and ending with a hopping - so is human life callous and indifferent (in general) of anything but what affects themselves.
Tuesday 21st July. This morning the bell tolls for another child's funeral. Immediately after, the Captain ordered everyone on deck and the ladders removed so we have to take our meals on deck. We are into the tropics and the weather is very hot, so much so that the perspiration is standing in drops on my brow. We sighted a barque about 9 miles ahead of us. At 4 pm we passed her on the starboard side. The Witch is a good goer not a ship having passed us yet.
Wednesday 22nd July. Got up this morning when the sun was apparently but a yard out of the sea. The heat is oppressive and some sails are spread about us to shade us from the sun. The flying fish are very numerous, how they rise at time in crowds reminding me of a flight of sparrows out of a corn field.
Thursday 23rd July. Rose this morning at 4 am and had a shower bath and found myself very comfortable all day after. The heat is very oppressive. Nothing of importance to note except a slight quarrel with the boatswain and cook about cleaning the deck. The cook interfering with the boatswain and getting a butting for his reward. They stood the carpet for it but nothing transpired.
Friday 24th July. I am up at 4 am and got a bath and a good number joined me. Three sails in sight. Another child died tonight, about 18 months old. Dark at 7 pm and a number of passengers are preparing to spend the night on deck, it being so close and warm below.
Saturday 25th July. Rose at half past five in time to see the child interred. The ship visible last night is coming up to us and to all appearances, if the wind does not rise, she will pass us. One o�clock. We are "Lying as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean" with the sun nearly above us and the heat is great. The ship is gradually approaching us and the wind has nearly died away. Dark at 7 o'clock. A few drops of rain.
Sunday 26th July. Got up in time to have a bath. A beautiful morning but no wind. The vessel seen last night is very near to us and after breakfast we speak to her. She is a Hamborgh barque from Newcastle to Rio de Janeiro and the Captain comes on board and stops all day as the two ships are doing no good. I wrote a letter to Robert and sent it away with him. We had service tonight. The parable of the virgins being treated upon. The heat is great, the sun being right above us at 12 o'clock. The passengers linger longer on deck tonight before going to bed and a good number sleep on deck.
Monday 27th July. Rose and had a bath. A beautiful sunrise but like yesterday we are still becalmed. Seven vessels are in sight but like ourselves they are making very little progress. I saw the fin of a shark but he did not come near enough to let us get a sight of him having steered his course to stern where we are not permitted to go. About 8 o'clock the wind rose and it poured with rain until about 12 but then it died away. I was on watch from about 10 o'clock until 12. Between 11 and 12 some coals from the galley took fire and if it had not been discovered by the watch and put out when it was manageable I believe half an hour later might have enveloped the ship in flames. We are thankful that it was put out and I hope it will tend to more carefulness in future.
Tuesday 28th July. The ship is doing little good this morning. Some few sails in sight. It is very warm. After we had a very heavy shower of rain. At night we had the heaviest rain that I have ever seen and it continued for a long time. Some of the passengers washing on deck and splashing each other with wet clothes.
Wednesday 29th July. This day has been squally with wind and rain but not from the right direction for us. We are sailing close to the wind. We are 720 miles from the line.
Thursday 30th July. We are still cutting close to the wind at about 5 knots.
Friday 31st July. Same as Thursday.
Saturday 1st August. Today we spoke to the Lalyroak from Liverpool. A good number of sails in sight but none worthy of note.
Sunday 2nd August. We are still sailing to little advantage to the shortening of our voyage. Services as usual
Monday 3rd August. A rather serious affair occurred today. A number of persons had pots on top of the furnace and the ships cook ordered them away as they had no right to be there. The persons went out of the galley but left their pots. The cook lifted one and put it on the floor and the action of the ship tumbled it over. The owner of the pot sprung in, seized the pot and struck the cook a number of blows to the head, opening up the head in a frightful manner. The party was put in irons and we were not allowed to go abaft the mainmast.
Tuesday 4th August. Today the case was tried by the Captain but I did not hear what transpired but the passenger was released and at his duty.
Wednesday 5th August. A great number of porpoises around the ship. One of the quartermasters tried to harpoon some of them but without success. Another child died today about three years of age.
Thursday 6th August. The child was dropped into the sea this morning and things go on as usual. But not for the parents. As is usual when crossing the line, which we did today, Neptune hailed us from the jib boom with a blazing torch in his hand, asked a few questions and told us he would call tomorrow to get some of the younger children shaved.
Friday 7th August. I rose this morning expecting to se the crossing of the line celebrated but was disappointed as the Captain would not allow the sailors to go on with it as a latitude we were in was too dangerous. Such drunken revelling would have increased the danger.
Saturday 8th August. We have a fine breeze today but have to go on our starboard tack which is very disagreeable. Have been busy engaged in reading the Walter Scott poems and sometimes so wrapped up in them that I forgot that I was on the sea.
Sunday 9th August. We are fast approaching the African coast and the lookout is told to keep a good lookout for shallow water. I record the death of four children and the birth of a female child.
Monday 10th August. We are in sight of the coast when the order came to �bout ship but after an hour the wind changed 3 points and the ship turned and sailed on our right tack.
Tuesday 11th August. Got up at 4 am had a bath and passed the day reading.
Wednesday 12th August. This is the beginning of the grouse season back home but nothing to shoot here. Yet I was favoured by the sight of a bird about the size of a sparrow hawke of brownish colour. It is rather squally, our royal jib was blown to rags. At another time the wind would swing away with the sails flapping to the mast and again the squall came and the royals and jib mast came down.
Thursday 13th August. This morning is fine with a steady breeze blowing. Another child�s spirit has fled to Him who gave it being and nearly at the same time a commotion in the hospital announced the birth of another little being, the second occurrence of the kind on board.
Friday 14th August. The child was consigned to the deep this morning. The morning looks rather squally. It continued so till midday. We spoke to a barque by signals. Lat. 18-4-, Long. 36-35.
Friday 14th August. The child was consigned to the deep this morning. The morning looks rather squally. It continued so till midday. We spoke to a barque by signals, Lat 18- 40; Longitude 36 35
Saturday 15th August. We have had a fine wind all night and going 10 knots. We spoke to a ship by signals - a French ship. Nothing of note transpired today. Latitude 20-17, longitude 36-17.
Sunday 16th August. The morning is beautiful and warm and even on the sea, the Sabbath is known. The sailors do nothing but what is necessary and appear in clean clothes and the passengers appear a little cleaner. At midday we are assembled at the sound of a bell for service. After tea we had a prayer meeting. We passed a ship in the afternoon. Another child was born today making three and all female.
Monday 17th August. This is a beautiful morning and we have made good speed all night. The wind is not so heavy as yesterday and they have hoisted some more sails. Lat 29 -4 Long 32-59. Another child is born today. This one is a male child.
Tuesday 18th August. We have a fair wind and the ship being fairly level the trunks were brought up on deck and a quarrel arose among the sailors in the hold and some blows were struck. Nothing serious occurred.
Wednesday 19th August. We have some good speed all night running from 10 to 11 knots. Another child is dead. Another spirit fled. Another body overboard to mingle with the dead.
Thursday 20th August. The morning is rather stormy . Atop the billows are beginning to show their snowy tops in grandeur. Still we have seen them before. The day is very close and hazed and continued so until about half past nine when it cleared away and the moon and stars shone with splendour.
Friday 21st August. We have had a stormy night. The ship was rolling terrible. I was awake a little before 4 am by a heavy lurch and a loud noise. I started, and in my imagination I thought I heard the seas smashing into the ship but it was a false alarm. The sea is running pretty high today but we have a fair wind and are doing about 12 knots. There were some of the sails torn and ropes broken by the gale. Towards morning the wind died away and gave place to drizzly rain.
Saturday 22ndAugust. This morning we are nearly becalmed but a heavy swell to the sea. Death has again visited the sea and another child breathed it's last. This is the second child of the family. There is a great amount of sickness on board and a good number of young men are sick. It seems some of them have not been out of bed for some weeks. After dinner another child was dropped into the sea. It was the first Scotch child and had come from Dundee with us; we look upon them as our friends. He was five and a half years old.
Sunday 23rd August. Another Sunday morning has dawned upon us but very chill and cold. We passed an island but the day being dull, we could hardly see it but we saw plenty of seaweed float past. We are thinking in another six weeks we will see new Zealand. It was dark, a little past five and a drizzly rain closed the evening. Lat 36-42, Lon 10-8.
Monday 24th August. This morning is bright and clear and I started to wash a pair of drawers and got my sponge set for a loaf. Played a few games of draughts.
Tuesday 25th August. A child died last night about twelve and was dropped overboard about an hour after. Sickness prevails to a great extent. Upwards of ?? are on the sick list. Nothing of note. The day hazy and cold.
Wednesday 26th August. We have been very disagreeable, the ship being so much on its side it is not easy to walk on deck. Many a time the sea coming over and drenching some unlucky fellow. Many of the ships sails were down and the top gallants reefed.
Friday 28th August. We have changed our course and are calling in to the Cape of Good Hope for medicines. They are busy getting up the anchor chains. Another child died today. We sighted land at 4 pm and as darkness came, we saw the lights on Cape point.
Sunday 30th August. This morning found us at the mouth of Simons Bay and we had a nearer view of land. The coast presents a very rugged appearance. The mountains towering up into the sky in all their ruggedness yet grand and picturesque in the extreme. Table mountain stood out in bold relief over the rest. It is a high mountain in the shape of a parallelogram. The wind died away and we made no progress. As we lay there an American war steamer bore down upon us. She demanded to know what we wanted here. Captain West replied that it was none of his business. He stood out from us with two men on the top mast to see if we showed false colours. A pilot came from shore and went on board the steamer but he was not wanted so he came to us and the steamer went away.
The wind came up and we sailed slowly into Simons Town and caste anchor at half past 6 pm. It was dark by this time and we could see nothing but the lights of the houses. The Port Officer came along side to see what we wanted. The captain informed hi it was medicine. He said he would get what we wanted but none would be allowed ashore and we must hoist he quarantine flag so as to deter others not to come aboard. A number of boats came alongside and talked to us but none came on board. At 8 o�clock we were standing gazing with longing eyes at the town before us. We were startled by the sound of the bagpipes warbling their notes on shore. It must have been the Tattoo of some regiment of soldiers stationed there.
Monday 31st August. I got up on deck and was quite delighted with the scene that lay before me. A good number of vessels lay before me in the Bay. Two near ships, a steamer and a frigate. The town is a pretty place. The houses are all white and most of them are flat roofed. With the aid of the glass we could read the signs and see the time on the clock. As the morning advanced we could see teams of oxen coming into town laden with goods. They were generally drawn by twelve and busses going out of town with four or six horses. There are some fine houses with terraces and gardens in front of them. In fact I was in love with the place and longed to be on shore but could not get. We received medicines on board, four live sheep, one dead and a side of ox and some other things. We weighed anchor at noon and stood for sea with the wind right ahead.
Tuesday 1st September. This morning finds us out of the sight of land but the wind died away after breakfast. nevertheless at 12 we were in Lat 35-47 long 19-5. We had another birth today. We have fights with men and boys but today by way of a rarity, we had a fight between two women.
Wednesday 2nd September. we had a fine breeze all night. The morning was bright but the day turned out to be squally with heavy rain at times.
Tuesday 3rd September. We had a stormy night and our sleep was disturbed by the seamen at work. The Royal and Top Gallants were and the topsail reefed. Main and mizzensail clewed up and with so little sail we were going 12-13 knots. The Captain was trying his hand at fighting today. The steward got drunk and had no breakfast ready so the Captain kicked him out of the cabin and knocked him down twice. Afterwards gave him a belting for striking a boy. He is put out of the cabin and has to work as a man before the mast. In fact a common tar.
Friday 4th September. The wind is blowing fine. Going about 10 knots. There is a great cry out about lice and everyone searching, and am sorry to say generally successful. Lat 37-38 Long 28-50
Saturday 5th September. Death has again visited this morning at 2 o�clock. A man died of fever, making the first adult. We are almost becalmed.
Sunday 6th September. We have a very slight wind. The sea is scarcely ruffled. We went to breakfast and before we were done the wind was blowing so hard that all the sails were down but five. So sudden did the squall come, the eye of the Captain had seen it coming and was able to meet it with safety. It blew pretty hard all day. The wind being right ahead we made little progress.
Wednesday 9th September. There has been a morning of great mortality. Before I got on deck there had been two children dropped overboard and a short time after breakfast Mrs Comming had gone the way of all flesh leaving behind her six motherless children and husband to mourn their loss. A loss they will long deplore for how few can live without a mother�s love. We have been wind bound these last few days with a strong head wind. We are making no more then headway. W. Patterson lost his eldest son on the 9th, making two to him. Lat 36-57, Long 37 25.
Thursday 10th September. Today the wind is not so strong. Another child died today making 17 deaths.
Friday 11th September. The wind is fair this morning and increases as the day advances until we are going 9 knots. Towards evening the sky becomes cloudy and threatening a storm. At length the lightening began to play with a vividness that I had never seen before. The Captain ordered all hands on deck to take in the sail. The time they were taking in the sail I never saw such flashes of lightening so large and so vivid. It was so dark that you could not see the men in the rigging but when the flashes revealed their outline. At last the thunder pealed and the rain poured in torrents and I left the deck nearly blinded with a flash of lightening, it passed in an hour. Lat 30-15 Long 39-8.
Saturday 12th September. Adverse winds meet us this morning and our progress is slow. A child was consigned to the deep.
Sunday 13th September. The schoolmaster being unwell we had a discourse from a passenger and we did not miss Mr Allen for we got the best discourse that I have ever heard from his substitute since I have been on board from the words "It shall be well with the righteous."
Monday 14th September. The ship is going through the sea beautifully.
Tuesday 15th September. There was another child died on Monday night and was consigned to the deep at 10 pm. Lat 40-31, Long 54-38. Went 215 miles at 10 knots.
Wednesday 16th September. Fair wind today. A child died and another was born.
Thursday 17th September. The wind going along first rate.
Saturday 19th September. We are still favoured with a fair wind. Sickness on the decrease. Today the wind is high and we have only five sails.
Sunday 20 September. Usual services.
Monday 21st September. This morning is still stormy. A very sudden death occurred today. One of the young women was walking on the deck Sunday night. She was seized with fits through the night and died about 9 am.
Tuesday 22nd September. The wind is more favourable today. The butcher on board met with an accident and fell down one of the hatches and was carried to hospital. Another child was consigned to the deep today. Death is making a fearful havoc amongst us.
Wednesday 23rd September. This morning the wind has increased to a gale and the sea is running high. The ship is rolling from side to side. Plates, cans and trunks knock about. A large wave came over the midships and drenched some passengers. I think it was about two and a half deep on deck. Another little one was consigned to the deep making 23 deaths. Truly this is an ill-fated ship.
Thursday 24th September. This morning the wind is not so strong but still we have heavy seas. It is very cold with showers of hail and rain. Lat 45-28, Long 95-2.
Friday 25th September. We still have a fair wind. A woman gave birth to twins. One of them died this afternoon.
Sunday 27th September. A cold breeze with snow at times. Lat 47-13, Long 111-28.
Monday 28th September. Fair wind. Nothing stirring out of the ordinary.
Tuesday 29th September. We are almost becalmed. In the evening the wind freshened and going 10 knots by bedtime. There was another birth today.
Wednesday 30th September. A beautiful morning but cold and at midday we had a shower of snow.
Thursday 1st October. Passed with nothing of note.
Friday 2nd October. This morning we had the death of two little ones and the birth of another one.
Saturday 3rd October. The morning was dull but lightened up. Service by Mr Allan's substitute which he treated in a masterly manner. Another little one has departed from us leaving another two parents to mourn
Tuesday 6th October. This morning was hazy but coming fine. A greater number are washing. The anchor chains are brought up and the anchor over the side ready to drop.
Wednesday 7th October. We came in sight of land which turned out to be the Snares south of New Zealand.
Thursday 8th October. We came in sight of New Zealand this morning. The part being Otago. It somewhat resembles the hills of Fife opposite Broughty Ferry. A head wind kept us out and we were obliged to tack about.
Friday 9th October. The morning finds us out of sight of land almost becalmed. Toward evening we sight it again and at night we see the lights on land generally supposed to be Dunedin.
Saturday 10th October. We have moved further around the land and the mountains are showing their snowy tops. We are opposite Timaru. We received the pilot on board at 10 am. We dropped anchor at 4 pm completing the voyage in 14 weeks.
Sunday 11th October. Although this was Sunday, they started to land the passengers and after working all day they landed 150 with their luggage.
Monday 12th October. This morning a boat came off for a number of people of New Zealand that had been on board all night. We weighed anchor and sailed for Lyttleton. [sic]
Tuesday 13th October. We arrived in Lyttleton Bay this morning. The coast presented a rugged appearance, nothing but hills to be seen. We are not able to go up to the head of the bay until after inspection.
Wednesday 14th October. This morning there is no appearance of passengers being landed. A good number came from the shore to take away their friends but no brother, sister or friend came to us. Nevertheless we keep up the spirit and waited patiently to know the result of the consultation of the Authority has concerning us. The Captain came on board in the evening and said the single men were able to be landed at Port Lyttleton and to make haste as there was a fine dinner waiting for us and to take nothing with us as everything was alright. Believing his word another 14 and I got in the boat but what was our surprise when instead of taking us to the Port they landed us at the Quarantine Barracks at the opposite side of the Bay. We went up to the house but instead of a fine dinner nothing but empty houses. Some of my ship-mates looked downhearted at the prospect presented to our view. As for myself I was angry at being done in in the manner described and to be laughed at by the rest on board who would show scorn when they saw where we went. But though there was no supper awaiting us and but a hard floor for a bed, a number of us started for the top to see about us and give our limbs some exercise. After many a rest we at length got to the top and got a view of the plains of Canterbury and notably Lyttleton. We returned down the hill tired and hungry. We got a supper from some working men and one of them having a fiddle, we forgot our fortune and tripped the light fantastic toe. So with singing and dance the night passed until 10 o'clock when we sought the soft side of board and lay down to sleep.
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project