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Otago Witness July 9th 1870

The ship Achilles, from London, arrived off the Heads on Sunday forenoon; the wind being light and variable, she signalled for a tug, and the Geelong proceeded down in the afternoon, took her in tow, and brought her up to the quarantine ground, where (having powder on board) she was anchored. The Achilles is a ship of 1520 tons register, and is the largest vessel that has entered our port with a full cargo direct from the home country. Her draft of water is over 20ft, and the fact that she came through the North Channel, and crossed the inner bar at least an hour before high water, plainly shows that our harbour is accessible to vessels of large tonnage, notwithstanding what has been said against it by Northern papers. The Achilles has upwards of 1520 tons of cargo on board. She was built at Birkenhead four years ago, by the Messrs Vernon and Son, and has been employed in the East India trade; is a fine model and a fast sailer, although on this voyage, owing to light winds, she has made rather a lengthy passage. She has, however, made 300 knots in one day. When her powder (about 40 tons) is discharged, she will be moved up to a more convenient berth. The following account of her passage is culled from her log-book. Left Gravesend on the 18th of March; had light, variable winds in the Channel, with fog. Took her final departure from Cape Ushant on the 22nd; had favorable winds to Madeira, thence to St. Antonio calms and light south-west winds. The north-east trades were then caught but found light and indifferent, and lost in lat. 3N. Doldrums were then met with. The Equator was crossed on the 15th of April, and the S.E. Trades were picked up in lat. 3.12 S; they were very light, and only carried to 17.37 S. Variables then continued until passing the Island of Tristan D' Acunha, on the 11th of May; light variable westerly winds were then experienced to passing the meridian of Greenwich on the 16th of May, in lat. 39 S., and the Cape of Good Hope on the 21st, in lat. 44.45 S. Strong variable winds with much fog, snow, and hail squalls were then encountered, and she passed to the southward of Kerguelen Land on the 31st of May. Her easting for the most part was run down on the parallel of 49S, and was characterised by very unsteady weather. From the longitude of Tasmania, light airs and calms, with alternate gales from E. to W. were experienced. The Traps were made on the 28th ult., from thence very variable adverse weather was experienced to arrival. She brings 41 passengers, all in good health, no disease of an infectious nature having occurred during the passage. One death, however, occurred, that being Henry Driswell, aged 32 years, of consumption, on the 30th March; he was a native of Ireland.