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Arrival of the Waipa

New Zealand Bound

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Otago Witness Saturday  November 8th 1879


The welcome change of wind to the westward on the 30th October brought the NZ Shipping Company's ship Waipa up the coast, and she sighted Otago Heads at 4am on the 31st, took Pilot Kelly on board, and then with a light northerly breeze sailed across the bar and up to the anchorage off the Railway Pier, bringing up at 6.15am. She was immediately boarded by the Customs officials and Press representatives, who were cordially welcomed by the genial commander of the Waipa, Captain Gorn. The good ship comes into port a pattern of neatness and good order, and reflects the very greatest credit both on the commander and his indefatigable chief officer, Mr J M Baxter, who has already visited this port in similar capacity in the Company's ship Piako; he now succeeds Mr Bone, who has been appointed to the Wanganui; the second officer is Mr W Alkin, and the third is Mr Crouche. Mr Loveday is still chief steward, and the department under his control is consequently all that could be desired. Dr Leightbourn came out in the capacity of surgeon, and the comfort of the passengers has been studied in every way. Indeed a strong proof of that was afforded by the hearty manner in which one and all spoke of Captain Gorn and his officers. She brings 1500 tons of cargo, of which 700 tons are deadweight, and the rest measurement goods. She has also 1000 birds, the survivors of 1600 collected by their owner, Mr Brandmuller, from various parts of Europe. He informs us that out of 120 insectivorous birds only 12 survived; of these two are nightingales and the remainder robins. The Waipa also brings a cow, which made the voyage from Lyttelton to London in the Stad Haarlem, and owing to the quarantine laws was not permitted to land there. This docile creature is in full milk, and has of course been duly appreciated by the passengers. Throughout the passage both passengers and crew were regularly exercised at boat and fire drill once a week. One each Saturday (when the weather was sufficiently moderate) the ship was hove-to, and the lifeboats provisioned and lowered. Divine service was regularly held on Sundays' and amusement was afforded by concerts on deck in fine weather, while a periodical called the "Waipa Herald" was started, and ably contributed to by several passengers. The general health of all on board has been very good, only one casualty being recorded - the death of Mrs Bridger, one of the steerage passengers after a painful illness, on October 21st. The Waipa has occupied 92 days in making her passage from anchor to anchor, and 86 days from land to land. This is to be accounted for by the fact that she had to beat down the English Channel against a strong westerly gale, while light winds were experienced across the Bay of Biscay. The north-east trades were almost a myth, while the south-east trades, on the contrary, were above the average. The passage winds were very poor, light airs and calms prevailing across the Southern Ocean, her casting being run down between the parallels of 45 and 50 south latitude. Captain Gorn informs us that after leaving the Downs four stowaways were discovered, and the ship was hove-to off Plymouth on August 2nd in order to land them. [see  OW Oct. 11, 1879]

October 31st
Per Waipa (Gorn) from London (July 30)

Passengers saloon:
Alexander 	Mr H.G.C.
Bristow 	Miss
Burr 		Mr Samuel & Mrs
Fulton 		Mr E.H.
Gordon 		Mr Joseph
Gorn 		Mrs
Griffin 	Mr G.H.
Koch 		Miss 		[Louisa Kock]
Leightbourn 	Dr W.A. & Mrs	[Leightburne]
Pearson 	Mr E. Spencer
Tatum 		Mr Charles
Taylor 		Mr Herbert S.
Techner 	Mr George 	[Tichnor]
Tyler 		Mrs S.A.

Passengers 2nd cabin & steerage:
Benson 		Mr Henry
Brandmuller 	Mr Charles
Bridger 	Mr William	[Mrs  Annie Bordger]
Buck 		Mr & Mrs and 2 children
Burridge 	Mr		[Brownridge]
Capes 		Mr Henry O.
Casworth 	Mr Arthur & Mrs	[Caseworth]
Connor 		Mr Edward F
Green 		Mr James
Hanex 		Mr Walter	[Hancox]
Leigh 		Mr George & Mrs Maria and child [Mary]
Morgan 		Mr Edward
Norris 		Mr John
Park 		Mr Francis
Plugge 		Mr James W			
Schofield 	Mr Jose E
Taylor 		Mr John
Wickins 	Mr Thomas & Mrs Sarah and child, Kate Wilkin	[Wilkin]
Wilson 		Miss Annie and Isabella Wilson
Wilson 		Mr Frederick
Wing 		Mr Henry
[Beach		Mr William]
[Fescher	Mr Charles]
[Williams	Mr Paul


Per Waipa, from London

Alexander 	H G L
Borstow 	Miss J
Burr 		Samuel
Burr 		Mrs
Fulton 		E H
Gordon 		Joseph
Griffen 	G H
Kock 		Louisa
Leightburne 	W A
Leightburne 	Mrs
Pearson 	C
Spencer 	E
Tatum 		Charles
Taylor 		Herbert S
Tichnor 	G
Steerage 31 passengers

1,057 gross tons, length 204.1ft x beam 34.2ft, iron hull, three masted, full rigged ship, accommodation for 300-emigrant class passengers. Built by Palmer's Co., Newcastle, she was delivered to New Zealand Shipping Co. in Oct.1875 and made nearly 20 voyages to New Zealand for the company, the fastest being in 1875 to Port Chalmers when she accomplished a land to land time of 82 days. In 1894 the Waipa was sold to Brodrene Bjornstad, Norway, resold in 1895 to H. Hansen, Lillesand and renamed Munter and re-rigged as a barque. In Dec.1911 she went missing at sea. [Sea Breezes Magazine, Feb.1969] [Merchant Fleets, vol.7 by Duncan Haws]  Photo at Port Chalmers, figurehead, ship

Otago Daily Times of Nov.1st 1879
"The good ship Waipa comes into port a pattern of neatness and good order, and reflects the greatest credit on the commander (the genial Capt. Gorn) and his indefatigable Chief Officer, Mr J. Baxter. She brings 1,500 tons of cargo and also 1,000 birds, the survivors of 1,600 collected by their owner in various parts of Europe. He informs us that out of 120 insectivorous birds, only 12 survived, of these two are nightingales and the remainder robins. The Waipa also brings a cow. This docile creature is in full milk and has been duly appreciated by the passengers"

The testimony of the journal of the surgeon-superintendent C. H. Gibson made after the voyage to Wellington in 1876 summarizes - "The general arrangement of the New Zealand Shipping Co. in my opinion (after over 5 years at sea as surgeon) contrasts most favourably with those of other companies"

One of the principal occupations of civilised man, says a man,
 "may be said to consist in making clean water dirty,
and one of the greatest operations of Nature is to make the dirty water pure again.