Ship-board Diary of Thomas Reid Courtesy of the Wallace Early Settlers Museum, Riverton
Diary of Thomas Reid who sailed to Bluff, New Zealand, in the Robert Henderson; leaving Glasgow on the 10th of June, 1862, ending his journey at Dunedin on the 17th of November, 1862. Having decided to go to Otago, New Zealand, I took passage on board the ship Robert Henderson of Glasgow, to sail from that port on the 10th of June 1862. To wile away the listless, monstrous life on board, I conceived the idea of keeping a short account of what passed on board, our daily progress if possible, and anything worth narrating. Whatever interest it may have to the reader I can assure her or him that it was a pleasant way of passing a short time every day to write this: it seemed as if an invisible link between myself and those I left behind, thus to let them know something of what passed on board day by day. Before commencing my diary, I may mention that this is only a copy of the original, which was written in pencil and owing to the rolling of the vessel and the dim light ‘tween decks, is a prodigy in writing which sometimes puzzles the writer to make sense of. 10th June - Sailed from the quay at Glasgow at a few minutes past 9am, punctual to time. Was accompanied to the ship’s side by my uncle and other friends. Dropped down the river in tow of steamer, many of our fellow passengers being left behind. The excitement of the scene kept me from thinking much of those I had left behind, and I had scarcely recovered from the bewilderment the bustle has caused me when we came to an anchor off Greenock about 12 noon. Shortly afterwards had our dinner served out to us, and such a crush for a meal I never saw; it reminded one of a theatre door on a Saturday night, everyone striving to be first served. It consisted of preserved soup and was passable good. During the afternoon there were some heavy showers. Those left behind found their way down during the day, and we were expecting the visit of the Government Inspector, whose duty it is to inspect everything and everybody on board; however he did not make his appearance today. Busy preparing for our nights rest. Our beds will be very awkward; they are placed thwart ships - that is we lie with our head or feet to the ships side. There are two ranges on each side, one above the other. My bunk is on the lower range and between it and the one above me I cannot sit up so that it requires a kind of sidling motion to get in. Between each bed is one thin board only, so that when all are in bed the berths look like one enormous bed stretching the whole length of the ship, excepting where the divisions between the married and single are. 11th June - Today it blows a gale of wind, but being at anchor it has no effect on us. The rain pours in torrents; two steamers attempted to come along-side but the heavy sea threatened to knock them to pieces against our ship’s side, so they returned to Greenock and we had no communication with the shore. No word of the Inspector today. I find there is nobody on board that I have the least acquaintance with, so I have the prospect of a three months voyage without one I could call friend, but no doubt I will be able to make some acquaintances. The passengers amoung the young men at least, appear to be pretty equally divided between agreeable and disagreeable neighbours. 12th June - Anchor was hove short this morning and about midday the Inspector came; his work was a mere form - he never looked at any of us. After he left us we got the anchor up and were towed out to sea. When passing Millport Lighthouse a bag was hung up under the poop for letters and with the words closed this evening at 11 o’clock. I gladly availed myself of the last opportunity to write to my friends for three very weary months. 13th June - Was aroused this morning with the intelligence that the ROBERT HENDERSON was alone in his glory. During the night the pilot and tug had left us, taking away our letters with them. When I came on deck we were going under easy sail down the North Channel with very little wind. During the day we were off the Isle of Man, with the coast of Ireland also in sight on our starboard side. The wind suddenly shifted and `bout ship` was the order and off back we went. Sighted Ailsa Craig before 6pm, and sighted the Mull of Cantyre right ahead; we left the Mull on the starboard quarter to go round the north and west of Ireland, in hopes of catching better winds. (we afterwards went back through the Channel, the wind shifting). Today a great assortment of musicians made their first appearance - namely 5 concertinas, 5 fiddles, 1 flute and bagpipes the owner of which exquisite instrument posted himself on the top of the deck-house, and discoursed anything but sweet music. The day was very pleasant, and nobody has been sick yet that I can see or hear of. 14th June - Awoke this morning about one o’clock and found that the ship was pitching heavily; several of my neighbours sick determined to lie still and fell asleep. I woke again before daylight in a wretched state, but lay quiet as I found I was best that way. We begin to know what it means to be in a wet ship. Today we went a long way but made little progress, the wind being ahead and blowing hard; ship taking slight seas aboard which wet all who ventured on deck. 15th June - Very poorly today, I never would have thought that a few hours sea-sickness would have weakened me so much. However I am glad it is over, though I expect to have a return when it is rough weather as I got too easy off. This is the first Sabbath at sea, and in the afternoon we had a service, or rather a prayer meeting conducted by one of the married men. The day has been fine and calm, and most of the passengers were engaged in reading: for myself I could scarcely hold up my head. As night was closing we saw the last of our native land, and launched out on the wide Atlantic, whose rough breast is to be our home for the next six weeks if all be well. 16th June - Nearly better again this morning, but find it impossible to take the ship’s meat. This is the time to prove the value of little tit-bits brought from home; for my part I loathe everything made aboard the ship. I have eaten nothing since Friday except a morsel of scone that I brought from home. Today one of my messmates, a nice young chap called Archy Whiteford brought me a scone he had baked with the flour we get on board; it was hot, and I ate it like a hungry dog. 17th June - I feel very little better today. We are going well about 9 knots an hour; that is rather more than 9 miles. Spoke a French barque this morning. 18th June - This morning we are skirting the Bay of Biscay, with nothing but the blue above and the blue below. Since we left the land the water which was green has turned to a deep blue nearly indigo colour. Nothing going on worth noting. We spoke an English barque the JOHN PEARCE today. I feel still out of sorts though not sea-sick. I have not cost the ship a copper since Friday, till today, managed a bit of tough salt beef, it is both steeped and boiled in salt-water, and our duff the same. 19th June - A shoal of porpoises passed us this morning; they are a fish about six feet long and not unlike a pig about the head. When moving about from place to place, they leap out of the water and chase each other in a most laughable manner. Passed a foreign barque, the SHANE and exchanged signals. We also passed a ship called the SURPRISE bound from London to California, during last night. There is but little wind today and the ship is rolling about in a disagreeable way. I would like to know our whereabouts every day or two, but we can place no dependance on anything the crew say to us. 20th June - We have been running before a north wind for the last two days with all square sails set, the fore and aft ones being useless. The vessel rolls fearfully when the wind is following right after her; her best and most comfortable sailing point being with the wind on the quarter or more to one side. The sun is getting much stronger and the days shorter than at home: by the time we reach the line it will be dark from 6pm till 6am. I can sleep 12 hours in a stretch on board ship. I suppose the reasons are the rocking motion of the vessel, and the bad air which has a tendency to make one sleep. Today our steward, an old sailor, came down with a bucket of Chloride of Lime and sprinkled the floor; its use is to keep down smell and freshen the air, to keep away fevers and suchlike. We have some very annoying rules on board here, we have to sit up, two every night for four hours each, to watch that the lanterns burn right, although if anything went wrong with them we are helpless to set it right as they are padlocked. There are two in our place which burn all night. We have also to clean out our place every day, each mess taking day about, then we have to pump the fresh water from the casks to the iron tanks. We are expected to be up and washed by 7am and in bed by 10pm at night, like prisoners. Our three quarts of water have come down to three pints too. 21st June - This morning broke dull and hazy, but it is a splendid day. We have a good steady breeze on our port quarter and going about 8 knots. The breeze is cold when the sun is down. I spend most of my time on the forecastle, reading, or sleeping if there is nobody to speak to. There are generally about twenty stretched out on this part of the vessel enjoying a snooze. I tried oatmeal brose for breakfast, but it is sheer hunger that makes me sup them, for the meal is very bad. I have been thinking of the events of this day fortnight, and what has happened since. At night a few of us gathered on the forecastle and had a song round, and afterwards it was agreed to form a singing party for our united amusement. 22nd June - This morning (being Sabbath) we had service on the poop at ten o’clock, and also at three, on deck. We are within a short distance of the Madeira Islands in Lat 36’N, Long 16’W. The heat is getting very oppressive as we go south, especially between decks at night. Whatever objection we may have to the crowded state of the ship we can say nothing against the Captain who does what he can to keep us comfortable, and what is more important, clean. We are beating every ship we see, having passed a barque that left Glasgow 13 days before us. Today I relished my dinner better than usual, it was preserved fresh beef and plum duff. 23rd June - I propose today to give a slight sketch of everyday life on board ship. Well, we rise in the morning at 7am, take a basin, soap and towel, and go on deck to wash, a slow and unsatisfactory process when marine soap is used. This operation finished, down we go and finish dressing, a very easy affair this warm weather; my own dress is cap, shirt and trousers, boots and stockings we are ignorant of since we came here. As it draws near 8 o’clock we draw near our mess-man; there are ten in each mess and we take week about looking after the grub, cooking, etc. Whoever it is, he gives out the common stores to each what he wants. Tea is made in a style that would fill tea drinking old-maids with horror; a hand-full or two of tea is thrown into a big pitcher and taken up to the galley, where hot water is poured over it to serve ten, it is then brought down and commenced to at once, being generally about two minutes from the time it is infused till it is drinking. After breakfast we can do as we like, excepting on Monday and Thursday when we have to take our beds on deck to air, or when it happens to be the mess’s cleaning day. In that case the floor is scraped and swept after breakfast, dinner and tea time. About 12 o’clock we get dinner, not many varieties; preserved meat and duff on Sundays, salt beef and preserved potatoes on Monday, rice on Tuesday, pea soup and pork on Wednesday and Saturday, salt beef and rice on Thursday and Friday. After dinner we dangle our heels over the side till tea time, or anything else we fancy. After tea the sailors do something to amuse themselves and us till 8pm when they go to bed, having to be up at 12 again. About 10pm we disappear down the hatchway, though rather reluctantly, for the hot sickening stench from 112 men cooped up in a place about 50 feet long is very disagreeable, not to say unhealthy. We are not long in shaking up our hard straw and shaving beds and creeping in. Rocked in the cradle of the deep we speedily tumble off to sleep, and thus ends our day, to be followed by another the same, unless when a passing vessel causes a commotion and then I am nearly torn to pieces for my telescope, everybody wanting it at once. A meeting of the "Darkies" was held today and I enrolled myself to help in the sport. There are twelve singers and two fiddles and a bass one, so if we do not give good music we will at least make plenty of noise. The Captain has given us sheep-skin to make woolly heads, brass for cymbals, leather for a tambourine, and is to provide a place for our concert. Passed Madiera this morning at a great distance so we did not see much of it, what we saw appeared very hilly. We saw three ships, but we passed them all as they were going the same road. 24th June - Today is the second week since we left Glasgow, and I must say I have had enough of sea life, it is the idle aimless life we lead on board that makes us weary so much. We passed the brig SARAH of Newport, bound from there to Rio De Janeiro in South America 24 days out. Had a rehearsal today for Saturday’s concert, but as we have no private place to practice, everyone knows our songs and the little boys are singing them all over the ship. The weather is fine though fearfully hot, with beautiful skies which attract Scotch folks greatly. In the afternoon an invitation was sent to our singing club to go aft to the cabin and hear a concert given by the cabin passengers. Along with a few more I got dressed and went; the concert was a very poor affair, two young ladies, the Misses Wallace doing nearly the whole of it, one of them playing the harmonium. After the concert was over we had a refreshment and "a drop o’ the cratur". After presenting thanks for the invitation we left. On coming out of the cabin we were struck by the beauty of the night; the countless stars were shining brilliantly and the cool breeze was coming across the wide waters, making the evening so pleasant that I stayed on deck till two. 25th June - Some of the passengers had a strange bath this morning, the decks are washed every morning with a small fire engine, and they got the water played on them. I prefer to go out to the night heads after dark and get a few buckets of water thrown over me. We have had very little wind and it has been hotter than ever today; everybody is knocked up with the heat. As there is nothing going on I will try to give some description of our ship. The ROBERT HENDERSON, Captain Peter Logan, is a full rigged Aberdeen clipper-ship of 552 tons register. She is now on her fourth voyage to Otago and is famous for her quick (and I wish I could say comfortable) passages of 79, 93, and 84 days, the usual time being 100 to 130 days. Of cargo the ship has little or none besides passengers luggage. Of course there is a great deal of water and provisions on board, which take up a good deal of room. On deck in the bow of the ship is a raised or top-gallant forecastle about 25 feet long; immediately behind this is the fore-mast, and the entrance to our blackhole. It will be almost impossible for me to give any idea of this fearful place, but I will try. Through one of the common cargo hatchways we go down a rickety affair meant for a ladder; on getting to the bottom of it and looking past the fore-mast which stands at the foot, is a great pile of chests and a few bunks. Looking aft is the larger part of our den; in the middle is a ricket of flooring boards meant for a table, which is always piled with water cans, basins, pannikins and other lumber, down the sides and below the table are rows of chests, and being every size they don’t make a very straight line. In a line with the table, along the sides of the vessel are the beds in fron of which are other rows of chests, which serve for dressing table, dining, sitting room and general stores to their owners. From the roof are hung all kinds of tinware, dress etcetera; the deck beneath us is always slippery and damp. On deck immediately over us is a deck house, in which are the cook’s galley, hospital, oil-room, and some of the crew also sleep there. Through a hole or shaft in the house comes all the daylight we get, except what comes from the hatchway, and two deadlights in the deck; there are no sidelights. The married folks are no better than us; they are between us and the young women, of whom there are 36; very so and so pieces; excepting two or three of us, none take any notice of them. 26th June - Today we are in Lat.26’N, Long.21’W the sun almost above our heads and fearfully hot, which makes us glad to stay below, bad as it is. Had another rehearsal for Saturday, and I think we shall not do so bad if we don’t stick. 27th June - Nothing going on but the ship. The heat is our great trouble just now; after the sun is down we swarm the deck and have pleasant singing parties to pass the evening. This hot weather has completely knocked me up, I am not ill, but I am not well, I can eat very little, and if any friends were to see me now they would think I had risen from the grave. It is very hard to keep up one’s heart in this listless kind of life, but I must just keep up for the good times coming. It would take a man brought up a beggar to relish this dog’s meat fare. 28th June - Another melting day. In the afternoon we held our concert for which we had sketched some bills in ink. It passed off well, the rigging was crowded with the crew and passengers. We were all mostly dressed in white shirts and trousers, with a sash or belt and an enormous straw hat, our faces blackened with burnt cork. I made a very ‘spectible nigga’ and was scarcely known by one, the question being at all hands "who’s that?", for answer I made some comical face and from the laughing I suppose I made a very complete fool of myself to amuse other people. After it was done most of the choir made up their minds to get drunk, which will spoil our concerts for the future. 29th June - Being Sabbath the usual service was held on the poop at 10 o’clock. For the last two days we have seen some solitary flying fish, but this morning the number is perfectly astonishing. They rush out from the ship as she advances, whitening the water as they fly. They generally fly about 40 yards, clear of the water and at great speed; they are much like a herring but more "blae" in colour, and have two long fins, or rather wings. Their great enemies are the bonita and the dolphin from which they fly in great confusion. One of them flew on board during the night and one of the sailors picked it up this morning. Saw two vessels at a great distance as the day was closing, we will be far ahead of them in the morning. Darkness falls directly the sun goes down, and that it does very quickly, for we can see it visibly descending. We have now arrived in the latitude of the trade winds which blow from the north-east all the year round; it generally blows hardest during the night, we have never had a dead calm yet. 30th June - All very quiet today, and seeking shady places under the sails; multitudes of flying fish about. The thermometer stood at 80’ in our black hole today. A very heavy dew falls here at night, wetting the deck like rain. A strong breeze sprung up in the afternoon and is taking us along at 11 knots. Author’s note. An awkward affair happened to me at this time in the loss of my notebook; after nearly a month without it I found it in the fold of a shirt in my trunk. For the short notes which follow I am indebited to my friend Archy Whiteford. 1st July Nothing particular occurred this day: During the night was running 12 knots. 2nd July In 10’N today, steering S.W. with a fair steady breeze. Passed a ship at dusk which showed flashlights to prevent us running foul in the dark. 3rd July - A sort of eventful day as we saw no less than six vessels: One we passed in the morning and signaled in the usual way, she was from Liverpool bound for Melbourne and 43 days at sea, we have been only 21 days today. In the evening the second cabin passengers entertained us with a concert on the poop, but it was but thinly attended, somehow the different classes do not "souther" well. There are no first cabin passengers on board and these ones are in first class berths. 4th July - In 6’N. Passed a vessel far off, home-ward bound. Heat oppressive, occasional showers. 5th July - Saw another homeward bound vessel, and about 9 o’clock a barque passed close by called the HOMEWARD BOUND, from Callao to Hamburg with guano. She passed so close that we spoke to them and they promised to report us. Sea very rough, and a good many sick; we were to have had a concert today but it was postponed on that account. 6th July - 2’52"N.Lat, 25’49"W.Long. Sea much the same as yesterday: Services as usual. 7th July - Almost a dead calm today, wind puffing from all quarters but a light breeze sprung up after dark. We expect to catch the South-East trade winds soon, and then we will make a fresh start. The concert came off today but I was not as well as I could wish, and did not offer my services. They are carried on in a very tame manner and will die a natural death before long. 8th July - Caught a shark this afternoon with a large hook baited with salt pork. When the ugly monster was hauled on deck of course the women began to squeal; one in her fright fell down the poop stairs, making anything but a graceful descent and to her horror closely followed by madam shark rolling about in all directions and tripping up the unfortunates whose curiosity had overcome their discretion. After the tail was cut off she soon died, and on dissecting her we found 5 young sharkies, 3 of which lived in a tub for some time after. The backbone was claimed by the Captain for a walking stick, and in two hours after, the very women who were so much afraid of it in life were sitting eating great junks of it’s coarse flavoured flesh which they had almost been fighting to get. The shark was about 9 feet long. Ship rolling about helplessly, not exactly becalmed but next door to it; the heat is intense without wind. We are now close to the line. 9th July - Saw a vessel ahead this morning, passed her in the afternoon, proved to be the ship HANOVER bound from London to Auckland N.Z. 34 days out. She is a large ship and has a large number of passengers, part of 1000 who are going out to found a new colony in New Zealand, called "Albertland". They are nonconformists. Crossed the line about mid-day and so nice was the calculation that we found we were two miles south and the HANOVER tow miles north of it at twelve noon. After dark the seamen performed a ceremony called throwing the "dead horse" overboard. This is done on the night of the last day of the month after leaving port. The only reason I can give for it is that tomorrow their pay begins; they having got a month in advance before sailing so that tonight all old scores are struck out, or in other words they get rid of their "old horse". The first operation is haul a sack filled with rubbish out of their sleeping place on to the main deck, a line is then made fast to it and it is run up to the end of the foreyard, an outlandish song being sung all the time. A smart pull is given to the rope and the "old horse" drops into the waves and is soon left far behind amid the cheers and cries of all on board. Another performance commenced after, namely, shaving those who had never crossed the line before. This the sailors did among themselves at first, but running out of customers, they seized some of the passengers, more especially those with big beards. Their lather was tar and the razor a broken blade of an oar about 4 feet long. A question was asked such as "where were you born?", If the unfortunate opened his mouth to answer he got the tar brush therein. 10th July - Lat.4’14"S HANOVER far astern. 11th July - Today a raffle was held; the article being a gun, a very coarse one, and of course it went off well. Much cooler; we are now a little to the south of the sun at mid-day. 12th July - Nothing worth while going on. Dark at six but as the moon is full the nights are beautiful. We have now lost sight of the north pole-star, but the Plough is still visible far behind. 13th July - Lat 10’s, Long 32’W. Services as usual. 14th July - Raffles are now the order of the day. Today, two watches, gold and silver, gun, concertina, a pair of boots and a beaver hat found ready competition. 15th July - Great scarcity of novelty now and of course of things worth telling. Dark at half past five and scarcely daylight at six in the morning. 16th July - Ship passed us this morning at four o’clock. Weather getting pleasantly cool; we are fast getting into the Southern winter, which is the same months as the home summer. 17th July - Lat 23’S, today. We are bowling along first rate with a stiff breeze. Vessel in sight at dusk for a few minutes. 18th July - Very rough and some sea-sick; I am glad to say I have got over it. Lat 27’S. 19th July - Today we saw the first of the Cape Pigeons; a bird not unlike a pigeon but larger and with webbed feet. The head is black, black and white piebald wings with white breast and black legs and beak. The cold morning and night is getting disagreeable, especially as it is not a fortnight since I have cross the line. Lat 30’S, Long 25’W. 20th July - This is the most disagreeable day we have had yet; a cold drizzling rain fell all day, with squalls which give the sailors plenty of work. The sea-birds are thickening round us now; there now three kinds, Cape Pigeon, Cape Hen, and another large one not unlike a Crow. 21st July - Found my notebook. Several fishing for birds, one caught a pigeon; they caught with a piece of twine and a hook or bent pin, baited with fat. When set down on the deck it was quite helpless owing to the length of its wings, which beat on the deck when it attempted to rise. Sharp frost in the morning but it is pleasanter than rain. A ship in sight all day to windward, the first that has held it’s ground against us since we sailed. I can eat like a horse now. 22nd July - Yesterday and today the wind has been dead south and we are tacking from east to west to make the most of it. Some more pigeons caught today. Saw the same ship on our port bow on the tack; signaled her and she turned out to be the RESULT, from London to Melbourne, 37 days from Plymouth. As this ship is celebrated for her extraordinary speed, it is likely she will beat us as the wind is rising and ROBBY HENDERSON can’t stand wind of that strength without taking in sail; that is one of her faults. Turned in expecting to see the RESULT ahead tomorrow. Well there never was a good but what there was a better. 23rd July - I rise pretty early, an accomplishment I never was celebrated for at home, but here I manage generally to rise in time to see sunrise, about 6am. Saw the RESULT this morning about 5 miles astern; we packed on sail but in the afternoon the wind freshened and we had to take in sail while the RESULT which is a heavy ship, was setting top-gallant studding sails. The night closing in we lost sight of her, when she was drawing away to leeward running free to beat us. The day fine though cold. Lat 34’25", Long 11’W. 24th July - At daybreak this morning we made out the RESULT about 3 miles ahead; we have little chance to beat her now unless the breeze falls a bit. There is a heavy sea running today, but anybody going to sea expecting to meet with waves mountain high, will be disappointed, perhaps agreeably. Our little ship rides over them like a duck. Wind north and right astern; going 11 ˝ knots all day, and 9 ˝ at night. It rained heavy all day and we soon lost the RESULT. 25th July - Roused about 12 last night, and found the ship flying from side to side with a fearful swing, which was like to shy us out of our bunks. To sleep was impossible and I lay rocking head up heels up till morning, thinking it was a rough opening to my twenty-first birthday. No rougher God knows than my life for the future is to be. I was very dull all day and my thoughts were anything but pleasant, to think that instead of having my own, I am out on the wide ocean, a homeless wanderer. Well, there is enough of grumbling, lets hope there is a good time coming. Saw a ship ahead and thought it was the RESULT, however she steered away to leeward going east. 26th July - Weather very cold, and to add to our discomfort the deck is always in a swim with water, so that it is impossible to keep our feet dry; if we wish to walk for exercise she rolls so much that we are thrown across the deck or against the bulwark every minute or two. If you are inclined to think that we have not got our sea-legs, I can only say she sometimes plays the same trick to our oldest sailors. 27th July - Another wild night and miserable day; rain and wind with an occasional wave to wet us thoroughly and make us wish we had her snug in N.Z., and out of her. About 4pm they began to shorten sail, and before dark were hugging a wild Cape gale with close-reefed topsails, fore staysail and main spanker, the great waves rising on each side as if to meet over us and swallow us up. In an instant we would be on the top of an immense wave then down like an arrow into the next one. I thought the bed would be the best place and popped off to it, but shortly after, the deck began to leak above me, and the beds which are very slumly put up, began to creak and groan as she rolled like a thousand old baskets. 28th July - Little better weather today but we scarcely shipped so much water. A sail way to leeward at daybreak, popping up and down like ourselves but we can scarcely see her rigging above the waves. She gradually drifted away to leeward apparently unable to keep so close to the wind as we do. Our position today is Lat 39’S, Long 1’E. 29th July - By our longitude yesterday it will be seen that we have now crossed the meridian of Greenwich, and our time is the same as at home, but sailing east and as it were, meeting the sun every day, by the time we get to N.Z. there will be 11 ˝ hrs of difference, thus at twelve noon on Monday there it is half past twelve on Sunday night at home. When I woke this morning I was sensible of a great change for the better in the motion of the ship. On going on deck I found the morning clear and frosty with the breeze more favourable. It takes a good deal of clothes to keep one warm here. The sea continues to run high although the wind has fallen, and occasionally a sea hits our broadside with a thump that sends us reeling. Lat 38’S, Long 7’E. 30th July - Today we are running before the wind at a rate. The sea rising again and it is a grand sight to stand on the fore-castle and look over the heaving wilderness of waters untenanted by aught but the screaming wild seabirds and our little barque. From hill to valley, valley to hill, we hold on our way. We are turning the last corner and are now sailing direct for the land we are going to. Of course there are many speculations as to how long we will be yet on the water. Lat 39’S, Long 11’E. I am glad to be able to note down that there is no sickness on board, and so little fear of it, that the hospital has been turned into the carpenters shop. Instead of an decrease we expect to have an increase in our number before we reach N.Z.. 31st July - We were awakened last night by a tremendous shock which made the ship tremble like a leaf; we soon found out the cause; a sea had struck her. Anyone may fancy the painful sensation we felt on being awakened out of our sleep by a sudden shock, and before thoroughly wakened, to see the water pouring down the hatchway in a solid body, and seemingly without end. Our first impression was that she was sinking, but the sailors as soon as they could get, sung out down the hatchway ‘all right’. It may have been so on deck, but it was not, down with us for there is no place for the water to run, and it runs backward and forward across the deck lashing up against our chests. I am beginning to get afraid of the day mine will be opened out to the bottom. After the sea came on board we passed a very miserable night, some had got all their clothes wet, tins were flying about, some with water in them, afraid to go on deck as the seas were coming rolling on board wetting all on deck, the ship flying from side to side at a fearful rate with only fore-sail and fore and main top-sails set, running before the wind. We are very uncomfortable, cooped up like sheep, wet on deck and wet below, the water dropping from the roof above on our heads and into our plates as we sit at dinner, and also into our beds, our feet always wet and the weather very cold, like winter at home, continually at the risk of broken limbs from the chests coming over the cleats placed before them, and also from the rolling of the ship, which is quite common for her to do till the bell which is nearly 18 inches across rings as she rolls. Lat 37’S, Long 16’E.. 1st August - Today I have to note an occurrence which is that worst that could befall us short of actual wreck, namely the mutiny of our crew. This was an affair unexpected by any of us and arose from a very trifling source. This morning the ship took on board two heavy seas and as it appeared to be the fault of the man at the wheel the Captain checked for it, and told him to mind his helm. The man, a saucy discontented fellow named Robertson, told him that he had steered a ship before he saw him; the Captain after some more words put him in irons, a position he has held before, though not in this ship. As soon as the crew heard this they refused to work, and remained in the fore-castle all day playing cards. At night the Captain sent for them and asked them if they intended to return to work, they refused unless Robertson was liberated. This was refused and they were quietly put in irons and confined in rooms in the deck-house, where they are now. We are thus left as it were to the mercy of the winds, being without a crew, all the able-bodied seamen (10) having stopped. There are now left to take charge of the ship; 1 ordinary seaman, 2 apprentices, carpenter, sailmaker, 2 mates and Captain, the boatswain having revolted with the crew, though from a different cause, insolence from the first mate being his complaint. This affair was settled however and he returned to work at 12 midnight. We sighted a vessel ahead in the morning and gained rapidly on her; in the afternoon we signaled, when shen she proved to be the GLEN MONARCH from Liverpool to Bombay? 75 days out, we being only 50 to the same distance, and yet she is a fine American clipper. Lat 38’S, Long 21’E. 2nd August - Rose after an anxious night to many of us, knowing how unfit our slender crew are to manage the ship in the event of a squall which are common here, coming on. The sailmaker who has been often this way before, told me that he never saw a heavier sea than there was yesterday; indeed when within a mile of the GLEN MONARCH we could only see her for a second or two at a time, when a tremendous sea would hide her from us as it rolled away before us like a hill. The Captain got over the difficulty with the crew today and they all returned to work. The ship rolls so much that I do not intend to go to bed tonight as it only makes me unwell. Lat 38’S, Long 28’E.. 3rd August - Passed a very pleasant night in taking occasional naps on the chests lying the long way of the ship, so I rolled sideways, and got up now and then to take a turn with the watch. The moon is in the first quarter and gives a pleasant clear light on the sea. This has been a fine day and we slipped along very quietly, going 8 knots, and faster towards night. With the crew at work again we have been able to take advantage of the wind; we are going with everything that will draw except the fore and mizzen royals which were put down on deck before we rounded the Cape. Great flocks of birds flying about; we had the usual prayers today, and altogether we enjoyed the warm breeze, sunny day, and nearly dry deck in much the same way as our friends enjoy a pleasant Sunday at home. How pleasant it is to think of home with its quiet Sabbath days and old associations. 4th August - Last night passed very quietly and we enjoyed a good sleep as the ship is making little motion. We have steered southeast all day under a cloud of canvas, tearing on like a racehorse, speed 10-12 knots all day. The day clear and bracing Lat 37’S, Long 33’E. 5th August - This is what we call "starvation day" for we never have any soft bread on Tuesdays. Instead of a "hunger and a burst", it is a "hunger and a starve" here. But there is a good time coming; this is the Captain’s birthday and there was there was a blowout in the cabin. 6th August - This morning broke cold and foggy and continued so all day; at sunset it broke up and the sun set splendidly. 7th August - Nothing particular going on, but plenty of snow, for we have no shelter except below in the darkness and vile smell. I have bought a stone of flour from the ship stores, being fairly starved out. They have just commenced selling it at 2/6 a stone. All day it snowed hailed and rained, making us superlatively miserable. Lat 43’S, Long 48’E.. 8th August - After a wild night we are usher into a wild and more miserable day, decks in a slush of water, wind right ahead and our tight ship walking? Into it, though slowly. Miserably cold today; we can pity the poor sailors now; this is the weather to try them: they are four hours up and four down, hanging about, hauling on wet braces, the spray dashing over them, and at times I daresay almost benumbed with cold. 9th August - This morning was a splendid one compared with the last few days, and I enjoyed a sharp walk on deck which was frozen and dry for once. At night I went up on the fore-castle, rolled my plaid around me and sitting on a pile of sails, I watched the moon rise right ahead. As I sat, the wearisome present was forgotten and thoughts of doings and actions now gone by; of the farewell to all I have left behind, God knows when to meet again. Such thoughts kept me busy till roused by the clang of the bell to go below, and I went to rest in enviable mood. 10th August - A fine morning broke on us and we anticipated a better day than our Sabbaths have been lately, this being generally the worst day of the week. As the day advanced the wind became squally and by two o’clock sail was being taken in, this continued one by one till it was dark when we found ourselves running to the southward close hauled. Towards midnight the gale increased to a hurricane, and we were compelled to take in everything but the last rag of the main top-sail. The confusion and noise were fearful, the hoarse cries of the sailors, the sudden shock and trembling of our gallant little tub as the thundering seas struck her or dashed over the bows on deck, chests flying about performing polkas between the beds and table, water pouring through leaks and hatches in the deck above us, casks of water in the hold below crashing and booming from one side to the other as she rolled on the wild seas. The rolling increased towards morning and I was sometimes actually standing upright in bed as she rolled over to the opposite side; towards morning the wind moderated and we rolled along striking one on the bell rather too often to be pleasant as she rolled. 11th August - A pleasant warm morning; but for the broken casks, tubs, and the fore-castle ???? strewed on deck no one would think we had had such a night. The day was good and we had only one squall accompanied with rain; after it passed the sea fell, the rain having laid it. Lat 43’S, Long 63’E.. 12th August - Last night passed quietly and we had a fine day with pleasant light winds today. Our time is already 4 hours different from English, or 4 minutes for every degree east. Lat 44’S, Long 68’E. 13th August - Broke pleasantly, but during the day we had heavy blasts of hail; we have one comfort, a rattling breeze. Towards night the wind freshened and to all appearances it would be advisable to take in canvas but we carry on, though every mast and yard is groaning. Saw a school of whales at a distance blowing the water up like a fountain, from their nostrils. About nine o’clock went on deck and during the 65 days we have been on board I never saw Robby going so fast. Lat 45’S, Long 73’E.. 14th August - A cold biting wind blew all day, with occasional blast of hail as large as peas. A squall overtook us in the afternoon as we were flying along with everything set, going about 12 knots. Everything had to be let fly to save the masts. Everybody hauling and tugging like mad to get the sails clewed up; the masts and ship trembling all over as if it had a fit of the nerves. The hail pelted like to knock our eyes out, but with all the danger of the towering masses of canvas coming down mast and all, I could not help enjoying the scene for its novelty while it lasted, we could not see many yards from the side’s side, flying on through white foam at a nice rate entirely. We lost our first spar today, a studding sail boom. Lat 45’S, Long 80’E.. 15th August - This was a pleasant day, the wind having shifted from S.W. to N.W.; the south winds are very cold here as they blow from the lands of perpetual snow and ice, round the south pole. The breeze was fresh and we went splendidly, on an average 12 knots. Today our Lat is 45’S, Long 85’E. The pigeons are still following us as well as the other birds; we have some sport every day at the fights they make for the refuse thrown overboard. We are passing masses of seaweed, probably from the Isle of Desolation, which we passed yesterday, though we did not see it. 16th August - The wind from the nor-west still continues; the day was unpleasant, as it rained and we shipped a deal of water. Nothing is spoken of but when we will reach the land. 17th August - Today the wind shifted to the west, and as we are running east our good ship laboured from side to side in her usual pleasant style. The day was dull and showery, with hail when the wind went to the S.W.. The usual services were held but few go to them as we run the risk of spoiling our clothes going aft to the cabin if a sea comes over. 18th August - There was a fair breeze this morning but it died away in the afternoon. We are now as far south as N.Z. and 100’East Long. 19th August - We sailed pretty well today, having a stiff breeze, going 11 ˝ knots. We have now been two months or eight weeks out of sight of land; and as I tread the deck of our lonely bark, how often the words of the song occur to me. While the waves are round me breaking, As I pace the deck alone, And my eye is vainly seeking, Some green leaf to rest upon, What would I not give to wander, Where my old companions dwell. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, But what avails regretting: the die is cast and come out of it what may, I will be landed (God willing) in a few days, in a strange land from which for some time at least there will be no return for me. Only the wanderer who leaves home and friends, breaking every tie of love and friendship, can tell the lonely feeling of being alone in the world, the sense of weariness of all things, and the constant craving for something to love. But it is a long lane that has no turning. Lat 47’S, Long 105’E.. 20th August - This morning the wind shifted from N.W. to N.E. and drove us off our course for some hours; in the afternoon however the wind returned to its duty and we went off at a spanking rate to our right course. It has been a dull wet day; some calculate that we will reach N.Z. by next Thursday, but I doubt they are a little under the right time. 21st August - I have persevered pretty well with my diary, considering the inconvenience of writing jammed up in a crooked position to avoid being thrown forward on my face, with my knees for a writing table. Well, it will soon be over if all be well, and I will gladly put the finishing stroke to it in Dunedin. During last night we went 11 knots, which speed we have continued all day with a freshening breeze. But while writing I feel from the swaying of the ship that the wind is going to the west or right astern, and if it does not shift on to the quarter, we are in for a sleepless night, and aching bones in the morning. Sail was taken in to the three top-sails reefed and fore-sail. Long 115’E.. 22nd August - As I anticipated, we had a disagreeable night and most of us rose early, as it is better to be moving about than lying head and heels up turn about in bed. The morning was dry and frosty, and the sailors were busy setting more sail. The wind shifted to the south and then to the nor-west, after which it was warmer. We are now getting the warm wind from Australia which lies to the north of us. A subscription was made today for the passenger’s cook, who does not go back with the ship, the sailors have another cook. We are now in Long 122’E, or only 1800 miles from N.Z.. Only, well that looks queer, but if the reader had come across 14,000 miles as we have done, I reckon 1800 miles would be considered a mere flea bite. We were going 10 knots all last night and 9 knots today. This is my night on watch and I am sitting writing this among my sleeping shipmates, with no companions but the rats and m own thoughts, but with the comfortable assurance that we are tearing along to our destination. I have just been on deck and it is a splendid night, every stitch of canvas set alow and aloft to catch the breeze. The stars, of which there are great numbers in the Southern skies, are shining brilliantly, and in the midst is the Southern Cross, a form of four stars shaped like a cross, of which the four stars are the points; the lowest and smallest of these is the south pole star round which all the others revolve. Of course we have long lost sight of the stars that shine over our native land; the Plough disappeared as we went round the Cape and as I saw the last of it sink below the horizon, I said to myself as I dare say many did, "there goes the last of auld Scotland". I hope we will either be in Bluff Harbour or Otago Bay by this day week, if only to let us see hills and land once more. We are passing a great deal of seaweed again. 23rd August - At 4 o’clock this morning the wind died away to a mere puff and continued so all day. Having been up most of the previous night, I went early to bed; when I turned in we were jogging slowly along, if we do not move sharper it is a "blue lookout" for N.Z. next week. There is a story of some land to be seen today but I cannot see any islands marked on the map in Long 127’E.. 24th August - The ship moved a little quicker for a few hours last night, but before morning she was logging about again. Today was fine and I went to the cabin to hear the service; the sermon is always taken from a book, and is often anything but appropriate to the occasion. One was read on the death of Prince Albert. All very dull on account of the loss of the breeze, there being no sign such as clouds on the horizon to give hopes of a breeze. Lat 48’S, Long 131’E. leaving 35’ to run. 25th August - Passed as the previous two did, without wind. This is very disheartening as we expected to see the land about the end of the week, and it now seems impossible. 26th August - During last night a breeze sprung up and before morning it increased to a gale, and shifted to the eastward and right in our teeth. The ship was stripped and lay to with only the fore topmast stay-sail, main top-sail close reefed and main try-sail. As night closed round with its gloom and darkness, the sea grew fearful to look at, the great waves raising their white chrests above us as if to fall on us and send our good ship to the bottom, rolling broadside on to us in quick succession, the tremendous swing of the ship, and the howling tempest sweeping through the rigging driving the rain and spray before it like mist, shrieking and groaning past the strained masts like some mad being. These were enough to appal the stoutest heart on board, but no, they laughed and played below as if there was no storm and danger above and around them, unless when a sea struck the side and sent the water pouring down the broken hatchway, and even then they scarce looked over their shoulders. Before turning in I went on deck to see what was going on, though the night was so dark it was almost impossible to see anything, and the driving rain and foam dashed very obligingly in my face. On getting under the boat on the leeside, I found the ship driving over on her broadside till the toprail of the bulwarks was level with the hissing surge. Sometimes I was standing on deck then as she surged I had to plant my foot on the top of the bulwark to keep my balance till she righted again. Today we have been 11 weeks of 77 days on board, and wearily as the days have passed, amid hunger, thirst, vermin big and small, and dirt and discomfort of every description, the time does not look so long to look back to. The day being stormy there were no observations. 27th August - Before daylight this morning the wind changed, but owing to the heavy sea and continued high wind we kept under easy sail till afternoon when the for-sail was loosed and sheeted home along with the main top-mast stay-sail reefed and then we went scudding along, going 12 knots. In the afternoon wishing to see the heavy rolling of the seas and the movement of our ship to best effect, my friend Archie and I crept on hands and knees across the forecastle deck, and managed by holding on tooth and nail, as the saying is, to reach the forestays close behind the figure-head, and there holding on by the chain rail, we knelt and watched the tremendous seas come hurling after the ship, like a lion after its prey. As they passed beneath her stern it went up till it seemed to touch the sky, the man at the wheel standing out in bold relief, then next instant our end went flying up and looking up, the stern was seen sinking in the trough of the sea, as if about to be swallowed up. Without speaking of mountain waves, which are all humbug, there is something grand and massive in movements of one of these heavy seas in full sweep. While on our elevated seat we saw an albatross, a gigantic fellow apparently about 12 feet across the wings, though this is no unusual size for this, the largest seabird. But while watching him we forgot to keep our eye on the seas which might break on board at any time; I felt a shock and sprung to my feet just in time to avoid a souser over my head; as it was I got wet to the waist, and we beat a retreat to the main deck. We are so much accustomed to that sort of thing that we think it a good joke, and any unfortunate individual who happens to get himself wet is sure of a laugh, if that will comfort him. Longitude 137’E. 28th August - Today the seas were not so heavy, but the breeze being strong we set no sail till afternoon when the top-gallant sails were set. Going 12 knots with the wind right astern and the ship rolling a good deal. This was my mess day of pumping fresh water, and owing to the heavy seas and rolling of the ship we had the engine well made fast, but we had enough to do to keep it and ourselves in our places. Suddenly I saw a regular swamper come over the side, I sprung up the poop ladder and so escaped, but my mess mates got wet to the waist. After finishing they had a narrow escape of broken limbs; having cast off the lashings of the engine to wheel it to it’s place another sea broke aboard, and the pump went dashing across the deck and crashed against the side, striking two or three of them as it went. At this movement the Captain jumped out of his cabin and flinging his long pipe on deck he ran forward and getting down on his knees among the water, he held the engine to the side it had run to till he got assistance. Today the names of the passengers who are to leave the ship at Southland were taken down. Long 144’E. I had almost forgot to record a most important event which took place this morning, namely, the discovery of a young Kidd, who has been under hatches all the voyage, though pretty generally known to be on board. I saw his (un)fortunate papa busy on deck after dark, washing those mysterious things that babies wear. He is a Glasgow carter called Kidd; certainly he has one more than he wants. 29th August - Still bowling along; we have not gone so far or so fast on one wind since sailing, and if anything our speed is increasing. The fore-topmast studding sail yard broke today and brought down some of our running rigging, but a mere trifle. Long 150’E, leaving 16’ to run. If the wind holds we expect to see the land we have looked for so long on Monday morning. 30th August - The sailors were busy today getting up the cable chains from the hold, scrubbing paint and getting things made tidy for going into port. The breeze is till very strong, too strong to approach the land unless it moderates. A very heavy sea running. Long 157’30" E.. 31st August - A cold drizzly day; shipping water constantly. A little girl was lifted off her feet and rolled back and forward across the deck by a sea. Indeed, few escape a wetting of some sort, but these are but trifles to people who expect to see land tomorrow. Long 162’E, the land lies in 166’. 1st September - We were all on the alert this morning by grey dawn, to get the first sight of the land, standing on the forecastle, shivering in the mist and rain. About 8 o’clock we passed a great log of wood and hailed it with a cheer, as if it had been the pilot boat; immediately after made out a strange grey shadow which it was hard to believe was land. By 9 o’clock we were close to it when we made it out to be the Solander Islands; two barren rocks, 1200 feet high, surrounded by rutting rocks rising above the water. They are situated at the entrance to Foveaux or Favorite Straits, which divide Stewarts Island from the mainland of N.Z.. In this strait, our first port, Bluff Harbour lies. About ten, sighted Raggedy Point, the N.W. corner of Stewarts Island, a fearfully rugged scene. Saw a barque hove to near the point; as we neared her, she stood off before the wind as if to try us a race, but we soon passed her and went up the strait passing islands of all sizes, till about 12 noon when we made out a high hill with low land stretching east and west from it. This was the Bluff; on nearer approach we made out a flag-staff on the hill-top, the sides covered with scrub and brown stunted bushes, anything but inviting, no sign of inhabitants. Hoisted Union Jack at the fore for a pilot, and ran the ensign to the peak. Had a narrow escape; by keeping close to the land we were nearly on a reef of rocks, stood off and waited for a pilot, but none came. We saw a vessel at anchor under the lea of the hill where the entrance to the harbour was. The barque now passed us apparently bound for Dunedin, she signaled her number to us. After dark the Captain was forced to run leeward as the rocks and islands were thick around us. After clearing them we again lay to, intending to lie till morning, but a gale came up from the westward which drifted us to the east of the port in spite of fate. This may be said to finish our passage, and here we are off the coast of N.Z. after a first rate passage as regards time, 80 days from port to port. 2nd September - A thick day with showers of hail and rain; we had only an occasional glimpse of land. We are far to leeward of the Bluff, about 50 miles it is said; this is a long distance to beat back again if the wind does not shift. All much disappointed. 3rd September - The wind moderated through the night and we beat back a bit to windward today, in the afternoon it fell dead calm and we lay once more at rest in green water. In the afternoon we saw a small screw steamer coming down the straits; we hoisted signal and she came alongside, she turned out to be the GUIDING STAR, a trader between Otago and the Bluff. The Captain promised to come out in the morning, and send the pilot. 4th September - Stood in for the harbour with a fair wind this morning; got the pilot aboard and anchored in the entrance, which is narrow and the tide ebbs at a tremendous rate through it, running like a river. In the afternoon the steamer came from Invercargill, which is situated on a river about 25 miles from Bluff; she towed us into the harbour, going in we passed the ship we had seen the day we arrived off the port. She was the FLYING MIST lying sunk by the crew to get off to the gold diggings. She sailed from Greenock, with 1700 sheep, one week before us; crossing the line the sheep suffered with the heat and 700 died, so that some idea may be come to of what condition a hundred human beings could be in, in our vessel, crammed into so little space. We also passed the remains of the celebrated ship OCEAN CHIEF of Liverpool which was burnt to the water’s edge in the harbour some months ago. Bluff harbour seems almost circular and about 30 or 40 miles round. We lay till the 17th of Sept. in Bluff Harbour, and during that time nothing occurred to break the dullness of lying in sight of land without being able to get to it. The passengers for Southland, 130 in number left the ship in a small steamer for Invercargill on the Sabbath morning after we anchored. One of the sailors went off in her, concealed among the luggage. Two others made their escape on two of the lifeboat’s buoys one night after, and another two tried it but were caught, and got 6 weeks in gaol for the attempt. We had a great deal of bother getting out of the harbour, and were two days about it, kedging bit by bit, and in the end we left our anchor close by the stock, in Bluff Harbour; we were glad to see it behind us on the night of the 17th. On the 18th at 9pm we were off Otago Heads, and lay to till morning, when we were towed into Otago Bay and anchored at Port Chalmers. In an hour or two all had left the good ship that had brought us through storm and sunshine for 14,000 miles. For myself I did not leave her till the evening when I went ashore with my friend Robert Wilson who had come down from Dunedin to meet me. My first experience of N.Z. was a 9 miles walk over, or rather through, one of its roads having had to walk from Port Chalmers to Dunedin, the last steamship being off before we got to the shore. Supplement on Ship-board Life George Street, Dunedin. 1862. Having now arrived at the end of my voyage, and as a matter of course at the end of my journal, if the reader is not already tired of the monotony of every-day life on board ship and uninclined to read further, I will finish with a few remarks on our voyage. After all the ups and downs of a sea voyage, which is well expressed in a few lines which I copy. The brave buoyant boat down the watery abyss Sweeps deeply and swiftly, then up to the white crest Of the wave overhanging, she lifts her broad breast And casts off the foam; like a sea-bird whose feather Is made for the storming of hurricane weather. Well, here I am safe in N.Z., and taking everything into consideration I would not hesitate to return by the same ship; only one condition I would sue for, and that is, that I may take a good deal of "tucker" as it is called in N.Z., with me. In the first place I will give a list of what I think necessary articles; 8 pecks of flour, a cheese, 4 pounds baking soda, a ham, 2 pounds of coffee or 4 bottles of the essence, a little sugar, tartaric acid for baking bread, an oven tin to bake in, a pair of India rubber galoshes to pull on over the boots, two mattresses are better than one when they are so hard, and this as my bones can testify, one may be the plain straw one and the other cotton, though it is rather apt to get hard and lumpy. I suppose it is the general rule that people are sea-sick, at least it was so in our ship. I have heard a good few cures for sea-sickness, or rather the preventives of it; one of them will be sufficient I think, and I believe it is a good one. It is - as soon as the vessel gets to sea, that is, when she begins to roll or rock however little, take a good drink of brandy (a good thing to have) and lie down in bed with the head low and let the body go with the ship in every motion; in a little, you will be able to rise and have every chance of escaping seasickness. After getting to sea the passengers are put into messes of ten, in our mess each took a week in rotation of getting the provisions from the Purser, this saved him the trouble of weighing out small quantities. The whole voyage, my friend Archy and I baked for our mess, many a time getting wet to the skin standing at the galley door, waiting till the bread was fired. The smallness of the galley was a great cause of discomfort; it’s size was about 4ft by 6ft. and it cooked for 260 persons. The greatest evil landsmen have to contend with on board ship, is a want of something to do, which soon brings on a dullness of spirit, and a disinclination to do anything when needed. I have seen many of our number go with their faces unwashed for days for laziness to go on deck and do it. Reading passes a good deal of time, and if the passengers are agreeable mates, borrowing and lending books is a great benefit to all. Of course everyone must follow his or her own taste as to what they will like to do. For myself the number of ornamented "spurtles" I have made aboard, to make the porridge, was wonderful; these I gave away as fast as I made them and many took them ashore with them so that my handy-work is to be found in many parts of Otago and Southland. I have heard of a man who was emigrating, who took with him a bundle of sticks, out of which he made walking sticks during the voyage, carving them out in strange styles according to his fancy. People aboard ship soon get tired of the hard biscuits, and that is the reason why I put down so much flour, as necessary. One plan we took with the biscuits made them more palatable; dip them a minute in salt water, then put them in the ship’s oven till they split open, when they will be found much better. The less clothes one wears aboard ship the better and a little fresh water can generally be got for washing. If I were going the same way again I would have a small chest made with a division down the middle; in one part I would keep my provisions, and in the other, two or three changes of linen. Of course soap is needed, two pounds of marine soap is quite enough, and the same of common soap, an article much prized and sought after with us aboard. During a voyage to N.Z. the extremes of heat and cold may be experienced so that it is best to be prepared for both. The lasses aboard our ship wore straw hats and light coloured dresses, most of the men had duck trousers and wide-awakes. Leaving Scotland in the end of spring, we reached the line about the height of summer; off the Cape (of Good Hope) the climate was very cold, and when we landed in Otago the spring again was just commencing, so that we may say we had all the seasons in three months. Cooking, beyond what is done by the ship is not an easy matter; a small frying or stew pan would have been very handy. We had some strange messes to avoid eating the biscuits. What would some of our honest Scotch folk that can always get plenty of flour, think of a mixture of flour, thick pea-soup and steeped biscuits, baked into scones and without baking soda. Verily I may sing with a vengeance, for I have good cause "Hard times come again no more". Had I known more about shipping matters I would have sailed from London, by one of the English Companies vessels; those that sail from Glasgow are never fitted out nor ventilated as they ought to be, between decks they have little, and in some cases no light but what comes from the hatchway, and in the ROBERT HENDERSON I could not stand upright. Of course there are good and bad in everything (though it is said there is bad and worse in a county not a hundred miles from Auld Reekie) and so there are in ships. As an instance I may mention the GRASMERE which sailed from Glasgow on the 1st of May, 41 days before us and did not arrive till the 15th of September, 5 days after us, being about 130 days. She belongs to the same company as the ROBERT HENDERSON. To balance against her is the VELORE which sailed from London and was about 150 days or thereabouts, so that in fact the only way to secure a comfortable, well-lighted ship is to see her before taking passage, or get some experienced person to do it for you. To finish about ships, I would rather sacrifice 20 days gain in sailing to get a good roomy ship where I could walk about, say one of 800 tons. Among things useful though not perhaps necessary are; a small lantern either for oil or candle, for the ship allows but four lamps at night, and I have often passed most uncomfortable nights for want of light to get my bed made. The beds are very narrow; on the voyage I made an agreement with my right hand neighbour and we took out the board between us and made our two beds one, and we could then lie easier. Of course it must not be told to everyone that you have a lantern, as no lights bu t the ship’s are allowed. Wax matches too are handy and are another article one needs to keep quiet about having. Some of us had eggs and also preserved milk; the eggs were preserved different ways, some rubbed them with fresh butter, others put them in salt. Boots put in among clothes in a chest get mildewed, they require to be rolled up in stout paper. Sago is a nice fresh tit-bit when one is getting so much salt meat. The tinware that is sold in the places about a shipping port are never good, but they are good enough to get stolen unless kept under lock, but recommend to have tins made to order. All that are needed are: a tin flask to hold about a gallon, a middling sized pitcher with lid, a hook pot, a tinnie (tin mug) or strong stone-ware mug which is more pleasant to drink out of, and perhaps a canister to hold sugar etc. I had almost forgot to mention preserves and butter which should rank among the necessities, barley and dry onions are useful too. I hope that those who have had the patience to read this through will not think my work uninteresting. My reason for giving so many instructions at the end is that I hope some day to hear of some of my readers taking the road for N.Z., and I daresay that my observations from experience will be found useful then; if so my work is well repaid. And now, entrusting my charge to the care of the postman, I can only in closing hope that all who trust to the ocean to come to N.Z. may find as little to alarm them and more to please them than I did. T.R. Dunedin, Otago. 17th Nov. 1862. Converted to electronic form by Corey Woodw@rd
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