JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO NEW ZEALAND Published in Run 181: A History of Castlerock Station, 1993. Reproduced by permission of the author. Copyright remains with the author, no unauthorised reproduction permitted.
Left the tail of the bank Greenock at 1½ am, on Sunday, 23 August 1859. The tug went with us further than was intended, and cast us off at about 7 pm, off Bathlin Island. 24 August 1859. At 10 am we were abreast the light of Instrahull coast of Ireland where we passed the Brig Leven of Luebec outward bound. Lowered boat to recover lost bucket. Very calm up till noon, the ship rolling much. Most passengers sick myself among the others. Some fishermen came alongside from Instrahull and wanted to trade fish for tobacco but met no encouragement from Captain. Found a stow-away in forecastle named William MacManemy who was immediately promoted to be knife cleaner, hen feeder etc etc, light blowing winds nearly all day, toward evening and sails began to sleep. 25 August 1859. Fresh breeze during last night and this morning getting a fine start, going about 8½ & 9 knots an hour. Many passengers still sick but getting better. Last night Doctor and Allen shut out of their cabin by the fall of a trunk jamming the door. Mr Nimmo got up to shoot gulls of which many about but had no success. I felt still sick and unable to get on deck. Weather fine, all sails set and going about 9 knots. Three pigs died last night from overcrowding and rolling of the ship. 26 August 1859. Rather better today but not out for breakfast. Mr Nimmo also in bed. Very light breeze during night, ship rolling much. Got out of bed about 1 pm, at 2 pm saw a whale spouting, followed by a school of porpoises; going about 4 knots. A good deal of singing among the cabin passengers. 27 August 1859. Got up after breakfast. Going about 9 knots, raining a little today, not pleasant on deck. Irish coast seen this morning, fine breeze all day, rain cleared off about noon and by evening clear, passed a big outward bound at 4 pm. Deck beginning to get clear; chains being put below. Mr Morton's pig, got from Duke of Bucceugh's, killed by mistake. Three vessels seen toward evening but too distant to say how standing. 28 August 1859. Sunday. Ship rolling hard during night and this morning, causing Mr Nimmo's horses to kick violently. Had worship at 11 am, conducted same as in Church of Scotland by the Doctor and Captain. Passed ship "Deboto" outward bound for America. During night I Morton fell through bed and nearly annihilated Cochran who was below him. At 10 pm began to blow hard and heavy head sea got up and continued till 8 pm on Monday at which time the wind shifted and we became able lay our course of south-west by west. Going 10 & 10½ knots last night. Mrs McAuley was delivered of a still born baby. All the ladies sick and many of the gents; myself a little squeamish but able to be at the table. At noon Lat 47-9 - Long 10-34. At 1 pm spied a ship to leeward homeward bound and at 3½ pm made our number to the "Octavious," American ship of Newbury Port, State of Maine, and as she showed her Ensign she will likely report us. 30 August 1859. Quite well today, up at 8 am. Going about 9 knots, have run from yesterday noon till noon today, about 220 miles. At noon today off Cape Finistene, distance about 150 miles. During the day several ships seen at a distance, one large one ahead which we at times gain on and again lose ground as the breeze varies. Nimmo's horse sick and had to be physicked, which was a nasty job as he is a very viscous brute. At noon Lat 43-45 - Long 13-10. Singing as usual and to bed at 10. 31 August 1859. Fine day but cloudy. All passengers now well, Mrs McAuley improving. Saw a Dutch schooner bound out of the Mediterranean. 1 September 1859. Fine weather, all in good spirits. The ship we have chased so long we are likely to overtake if I may believe that high authority Mr Anderson, our first mate. 2 September 1859. Very warm during the night, slept with cabin door partly open. Passed the ship have chased so long, but too distant for us to make out her hull, from size of sails Mr Edmond thinks her an Indian or Australian clipper. Some good singing last night in which Mrs Morton joined, she sings ballards, after which Mr Edmond told the ladies fortunes creating some fun thereby. 3 September 1859. Washed in salt water for first time and found the marine soap very nasty. Lat 35-35 - Long 17-39. Weather still fine and getting warmer. Large ship still in sight on port side, we are stealing away from her slowly. Abreast of Maderia today and if we can hold this wind for a day or two it will likely run us right into the north-east trade winds which will be fortunate. 4 September 1859. Sunday. Beautiful day with light breeze. Had a service at 10½ am. Mrs McAuley and most other passengers at service and some of the crew. 5 September 1859. Got up as usual at 7 am. A delightful breeze blowing, but very warm, going 9 knots. Now feel myself quite at home. Two ships in sight, one we are fast gaining on and expect to overtake in a short time, the other is to the starboard but so distant that she is barely visible, we also overtook one early this morning but soon lost sight of her owing to our going so quickly. 6 September 1859. Put linen clothes on for first time. Going from 5 to 6 knots all day. Got mattress and pillow out to air. 7 September 1859. Abreast with the ship seen since yesterday evening, she is supposed to be the "Sevilla" which left the Friday before us for Otago. In the trade winds since yesterday but they are very light only going from 4 to 5 knots an hour. 8 September 1859. A flying fish caught on deck this morning and had it for breakfast, it was about six inches long. Slept badly last night having a headache. About noon my nose bled a good deal, took some medicine in the evening from the Doctor and went early to bed after which the others had some dancing. 9 September 1859. Better today. Saw a school of flying fish, one would mistake them for birds if not told. A slight shower this morning. Mrs McAuley on deck today. Sanantonia, one of the Cape Verde Islands visible at 7 pm. All feeling a great wish for some fruit. 10 September 1859. Mr Edmond very kindly gave me his bed last night; being cooler (himself sleeping on deck) with both port and door open and no covering on but night shirt, found it impossible to keep my face dry. Had an awning put up on deck. Mr Morton's eight sheep shorn. Five ships standing some way with ourselves. Lat 16-15 - Long 25-38. 11 September 1859. Sunday. Light wind and very hot on deck and in cabin. Some ships in sight today, as yesterday but we are creeping away from them slowly. Service in cabin very well conducted. 12 September 1859. Very calm. At 9 am showed colours and numbers to a Dutch barque outward bound and distant about 3 miles, she showed us her numbers but wind not blowing her flags out, could not make them out. Had some fine oat-cake and jelly for lunch from Mrs McAuley. 13 September 1859. Had bath under hose and found it very pleasant, intend to continue it. Saw a large school of porpoises at 5 pm. Heavy rain came on but only lasted an hour. After tea we were admiring the lightening which was awfully grand lighting the quarter part of the north-west heavens. 14 September 1859. Made our number to the "Tigeress" of Liverpool at 8 am, she is to report us. Very hot last night and today till after dinner when a slight breeze got up but died away after a slight shower. 15 September 1859. Very heavy rain this morning getting two tanks and several casks filled with fresh water, nearly all the passengers took the opportunity of washing their dirty clothes, in the afternoon the deck looked like a drying lift with so many lines of clothes. Lat 10-24 - Long 23-48. 16 September 1859. Enjoyed bath so much after the heat all night. Passed a Barque homeward bound, exchanged no signals. Not so hot as some days we have had as the sun was clouded, some rain in the evening. 17 September 1859. Spoke to the "Henrietta Gertruda," a Dutch Barque, bound to Amsterdam, she is to report us. At dinner today we had a fowl stuffed with what I never saw before, a mixture of fruits and such eats, the same as plum pudding but not very palatable to my taste. Wrote a letter for home expecting the "Henriettia" would send a boat but as she did not my labour was lost. 18 September 1859. Sunday. Occupied Mr Edmond's berth, and slept much better last night than usual. Worship at 10½ am. Wind very light since this day last week and still 450 miles form the line. 19 September 1859. Some rain but cattle got it to drink. Wind rather better today, at 3 pm going 5 knots. Lat 5-65 - Long 22-04. 20 September 1859. Heavy rain early this morning, caught about 800 gallons. Washed white trousers and handkerchiefs but can't say they were very well done. Saw a shark. Wind contrary, tacking all forenoon. 21 September 1859. Stiff breeze last night and today but not favourable, tacking, going from 8 to 9 knots. Had wool of Mrs Morton's sheep washed, a great job. 23 September 1859. Tacking again today, still 180 miles from line. Had some dancing after tea. 24 September 1859. Saw a ship today off the course of ships homeward bound. Captain issued new regulations for cabin, there having been too much grog given to sailors by some of the passengers. A game at hunt the slipper after tea. 25 September 1859. Sunday. Worship at 10½ am. Wind now favourable, saw two ships outward bound. 26 September 1859. Wind fresher and weather a little cooler, expect to cross the line tomorrow, and but for the baffling winds of last 10 days would have crossed it five days ago. Lat 1-00 - Long 19-27. 27 September 1859. Commenced teasing wool but found it could not be properly spun so we had to desist. Crossed the long wished for line at about 4 pm. Had a good deal of fun letting ladies see the line through telescopes which had each a hair across the inside glass. The Captain would not allow old Neptune to come on board, he only passed from in his carriage in the form of a burning tar barrel. When we were admiring him pass, down came two bucketfuls of water from the top. I escaped scatheless, Captain who had planned it did not keep far enough away so he, Mrs and Mr Cochran got the benefit of a showerbath. So we ended the ceremony by crossing the line, sailors allowed no grog as they got drunk on Sunday. 28 September 1859. Wind more favourable, going 8 to 9 knots, ten miles south of line at noon. The sun goes down exactly at six and it gets dark immediately after. 29 September 1859. Fine breeze, going 9 knots but more westerly than necessary. Great quantities of flying fish seen. 30 September 1859. Strong breeze, going 10½ to 11 knots all night and today which is fast sailing. Not many ladies at breakfast but they recovered through the day and were able to be at dinner. Fore Royal and flying jib were blown to ribbons this morning and the top sail was split at 3½ pm. Lat 6-00 - Long 28- 03 at noon. Have gone since noon yesterday 230 miles. 1 October 1859. About 400 miles from Cape St Roque. Breeze lighter than yesterday, going 7 to 8 knots. Very hot today, in the shade at 10 am the thermometer stood at 81. Saw a vessel but at a great distance. 2 October 1859. Sunday. Heavy breeze during night, at day break going at the rate of 13½ knots. Service as usual at 10½ am, a very good attendance. At 1 pm spoke with the Brig "Globe" of Liverpool, homeward bound from Callao. She passed close enough to use the speaking trumpet. Going 9 to 10 knots all day. 3 October 1859. Fresh breeze during night, going all forenoon about 11 knots. All in good spirits owing to such progress. Had fore and main top mast studding sails set today, a very unusual occurrence in this quarter as wind is generally not favourable enough. 4 October 1859. Light breeze nearly all day, it is feared we have lost the southern trades although we hoped to have them to the 2.5 degree. A slight shower in the afternoon. 5 October 1859. Nearly calm and very warm. Some dancing on deck after tea. 6 October 1859. 9½ am sail was descried in the distance and on approach, Captain made it out to be a ship's long-boat. In a short time it was alongside and found to be the boat belonging to the Brig called the "San Sabador" which foundered ten days ago on her road from Pananbuco to Rio Janerio. Crew consisting of two men and three boys all saved. The men were Portuguese and the boys live Nigers. They wanted Greenwich time and some provisions. The Captain kindly gave them a bag of biscuits and some pork, also a bag of coals, some pipes and tobacco, and a bottle of grog for which they seemed very thankful. They are rather more than 500 miles from Rio Janerio and will likely get there in about a week as their boat is very strong, it is hoped she will arrive safe It caused a good deal of excitement among us. Crossed the tropic of Capricorn about noon. 7 October 1859. Fine day. Cape hens and pigeons flying about ship. Doctor and Nimmo tried to shoot them but failed in the attempt. Smart our third mate fell from deck-house but he's not much hurt. A fine breeze, going about 11 knots. 8 October 1859. Wind same as yesterday evening. Gents shooting from noon yesterday till noon today. Have run 230 miles with some success, got calmed toward evening. 9 October 1859. Sunday. Nearly calm and rather warm. Service as usual. Mr Nisbett of Glasgow read one hundred and first psalm, second verse. 10 October 1859. Heavy breeze during night but changed suddenly breaking fine top mast studding sail boom. Weather changed, today being very cold on deck. Nimmo killed 7 Cape pigeons. 11 October 1859. Felt so cold I was obliged to put on flannel shirt. Going 11 knots at 9 am. Lat 34-22, same as Cape of Good Hope. 12 October 1859. Strong breeze last night and today, going about 11 knots all day. A spray came over the poop wetting the Misses Cochran and brother who were by the side. I had left the deck about 5 minutes. 13 October 1859. Fine day, not so cold as yesterday. Going at about 11 knots. 14 October 1859. Strong theeze last night and all today, going 12 to 12½ knots which is counted very quick going. Raining all day. From noon yesterday 287 miles. 15 October 1859. Fine squally morning and wind just as we could wish. Put on flannel drawers today. There has been 153 pounds of cheese and 160 pounds of butter used in cabin since we came on board and other things in proportion. 16 October 1859. Sunday. Saw two whales closely. Service as usual. Some rain after dinner, wind changed, going south now. 17 October 1859. Strong breeze and heavy sea. Some of us were standing behind the wheelhouse in the evening when Cochran who was with us, on going away fell and was insensible for some time, giving us all a great fright, especially the ladies but it is thought he will soon be all right. 18 October 1859. Strong breeze and heavy sea, had two or three sprays over the poop. Going a better course than yesterday. South-east by East. Lat 44-11 - Long 9-00. 19 October 1859. Going more east today, had rain since noon yesterday. 260 miles going 10 knots. 20 October 1859. Wind light and much milder than the last few days. Cape pigeons caught, the first bird we have caught although we have been fishing for them with hook and line. 21 October 1859. Nearly calm today, a very unusual occurrence in this quarter of the world. The pigeon caught yesterday was poisoned by Doctor with prussic-acid and then prepared to be stuffed. 22 October 1859. Calm forenoon but in evening a fine breeze got up and at 7 pm going 10 knots. Yesterday being Straven Friday and most passengers belonging to the place it was observed on board. 23 October 1859. Sunday. Wind changed about noon from north to south, going now south-east by east half east which is our course, going 11 to l1½ knots. Saw Southern Cross for first time, four stars. 24 October 1859. Fine day. Nimmo's horse taken unwell. Lat 44-11. 25 October 1859. Strong wind, going 13 knots. Mrs McAuley and Mrs Nimmo were sitting behind wheelhouse after tea when the ship gave a lurch bringing them in close contact with the deck at other side, it gave us a laugh as they were not hurt. Nimmo's horse very ill, taken out on deck and bled twice as they dreaded inflammation. 26 October 1859. Ship rolling much, the wind being light but improved toward evening. Horse better today. 27 October 1859. Vely cold, a slight fall of snow in the forenoon. 28 October 1859. Going ll½ knots in the morning but at noon the wind got very light and ship rolling some. Have run since yesterday 240 miles. 29 October 1859. Stiff breeze all day. Large ship sighted on starboard beam at 4½ pm. Going 14 knots. Lat 44-03 - Long 33. 30 October 1859. Sunday. Service as usual. Blowing hard in the morning and increased in afternoon. The top sails were double useful about 9 pm, the main top mast stay sail was burst to ribbons, the stay gave way and the stay sail came down on the fore top sail brace and carried it away, the fore top sail was split in two. One of the ship's boys was knocked on the head. Campbell, a steerage passenger fell down the ladder leading to steerage and struck his side on a trunk, he was insensible for 20 minutes. Wind increased till it blew a gale, we had only the main sail and fore stay sail set. I got a right ducking after dinner. 31 October 1859. The gale was at its height at 4 this morning, nearly rolled out of bed occasionally during the night. Cabin lamp broken. Halloween observed in grand style in the steerage but in a quieter style in the cabin. 1 November 1859. New yard put up at daybreak. Wind light but heavy swell. Rather more amusing than agreeable at meals. Mrs McAuley in bed yesterday and today. 2 November 1859. Blowing hard in afternoon, topsails double useful, going 13 knots. 3 November 1859. Ship rolling much during the night, it blew a gale. This morning I intended to indulge by lying in bed and was enjoying my breakfast when the ship gave a extra roll and spilled my tea over myself and bed, so there was no alternative but to get up and admire the sea coming over the deck and occasionally ducking some unfortunate seaman who happened to be passing. 4 November 1859. Wind tighter but heavy swell still. Mrs McAuley still unwell. 5 November 1859. Yard put up but no sooner than it was found to be badly split. 6 November 1859. Sunday, service as usual. Carpenters busy working at a new yard as a work of necessity of course. 7 November 1859. Light wind. Mrs McAuley still unwell but able to be up. I was in seeing her today. New yard put up in the evening. 8 November 1859. Beautiful morning, about noon some distant thunder was heard and a gale was expected but we have a 10 to 11 knot breeze. 9 November 1859. Fine breeze, going all day 11 to 12 knots. Beginning to count the days till we arrive; some say 15, others 20, we hope the former will be correct. Mrs McAuley at table. 10 November 1859. Fine day with favourable wind. Lat 44-00 - Long 92-48, have run 240 miles since yesterday. 11 November 1859. Squally day with southerly wind. Enjoyed a moonlight walk (alone) both last night and tonight. 12 November 1859. Beautiful day with favourable wind. About 6 pm a sail descried about 12 miles ahead and to all appearance making fast on her. 13 November 1859. Sunday. Abreast at 5 pm with the ship seen yesterday but too hazy to make her out. Service as usual. Twelve dishes of pies and pudding as dessert and not a bad size either so one may judge how we live after that. This was specially provided for by some of the ladies and one or two gents who have great appetites for pudding. 14 November 1859. The Doctor's medicine chest called into requisition for some of our pudding eaters. Strong wind all day, abreast Australia today. 15 November 1859. Strong wind with heavy swell last night, several seas came on deck, two of which came into cabin flooding Captain's room. Mr Allen came to sleep with me but he soon abdicated owing to the water coming into my room also. 16 November 1859. Very hazy all morning but cleared off in afternoon. Our principle amusement in the evenings for the last two months has been uhist playing. Saw the Magellen clouds tonight for first time. 17 November 1859. Beautiful day with wind right; weather getting warm again. Got all my clothes dried. 18 November 1859. Anniversary of Mr Edmond's wedding day and observed in due form in the evening. Abreast Adelaide today. 19 November 1859. Mr Morton's birthday and observed like all other great events. Got my books gathered and packed in a small box. 20 November 1859. Sunday and the finest one we have had since we left the tropics. It has generally been either wet or blowing hard. We are about 1000 miles off our destination and hope to get there in the end of the week. 21 November 1859. Very little wind both yesterday and today. Captain had a look over my clothes and any that were a little mouldy I put out to air in the sun. 22 November 1859. Beautiful day with breeze a little better than yesterday. Are now getting things put in order for landing. 23 November 1859. Got my chest up and mended, I had a great job painting it myself. Great conjectures as to the day we'll land. The appearance of the country and so forth. 24 November 1859. Chains taken from below and ship being put in order this morning. Mr Morton's horse broke his sling and turned in the box with his feet up. The side of the box was taken down to get him out, he was nothing the worse. 25 November 1859. Wind light in forenoon and weather hazy. I began to pack up but was obliged to desist owing to it blowing a gale as we were near the coast of Stewart Island. The SS Cheviot arrived in port two days after Barnhill's journal finished on 27 November 1859. Source: Barnhill's original journal of his journey out to New Zealand. Transcribed by Gillian Bulling. Converted to electronic form by Corey Woodw@rd
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