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Wellington Independent, February 7th 1871

Friday, Oct. 14th 1870, left Gravesend, passed through the Downs at 6 p. m. with slight easterly winds and fine weather; Oct. 22 put into St. Helen's Road's, Isle of Wight, having experienced very heavy and severe weather since leaving the Down's; Oct. 28th sailed from St. Helen's Roads, and until the 31st had heavy westerly gales. Nov. 1st landed pilot off Falmouth, and proceeded on our voyage, with light easterly winds and very fine weather;  Nov 12th sighted the Island of Palma, caught the N. E. trade winds, lat. 21o W, carried them very light into lat 6o N. and long. 23o W, caught S. E. trade in lat2o 30' N. long 25o W. crossed the equator Nov. 28 in long 27o W. lost S. E. trades in sight of Trinidad on Dec. 5th; Dec. 25th crossed the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope in lat. 43o S. From the Equator to the Cape winds were very light, from N. W. to S. W. and weather very fine. Jan 17th passed the meridian of Cape Leuwin, in lat. 44o S; Jan 25th sighted Tasmania, and kept in sight of it until 27thh with light and variable winds. From the cape of Tasmania the winds have been very light, from N. to W. and weather very fine indeed; from thence to Cook's Strait have had variable winds from N. W. to S. E. Made Mount Egmont Feb. 3; experienced light northerly winds in Cook's Strait until making the Brothers at 4 p. m. on the 4th when it came on to blow from the N. W.  Mr Holmes, pilot took charge at 7 p.m. beating against a fresh nor-wester. Passage, 95 days from Lizard Point, and 113 from London. My last visit to this port was in the year 1848, as a boy with my father, who was in command of the barque Blundell.

Endangering a ship and one hundred lives

We make the following extract from the London "Daily News" in reference to an occurrence during the loading of the Celeano:-
The firm of John McEwan and Co - the real name of which was stated to be Alexander James Malcolm and Co - were summoned by the East and West India Dock Company for having shipment on board a vessel called the Celeano two packages containing a mineral extract of highly dangerous quality with out giving notice of the same by a label on the outside of the packages,
Mr Young appeared for the Dock Company, and Mr Flucks for the defendant.

Captain Sheppy, superindentent of the company's police, proved that three packages of goods were shipped on board the Celeano for Wellington, New Zealand, as lamps. Two of the packages contained petroleum spirit, a highly combustible and dangerous substance, and only the third contained lamps.

Mr Ogston, analytical chemist, proved that the spirit in question was of an extremely dangerous and destructive nature.

Mr Young stated that had a explosion taken place on board, nothing could have saved the ship, cargo 100 passengers and crew from destruction.

Mr Flucks took a number of legal and technical objections to the prosecution, which the magistrate overruled. The defence was in the main based on the allegation that the shipping clerk of the firm had committed an error in the description of the goods.

Mr Young asked that an example might be made by infliction of the full penalty, to deter others from attempting to carry on such perilous traffic.

Mr Paget said it was scarcely possible to conceive a more terrible substance than the highly inflammable and destructive spirit of petroleum. If the stuff had been shipped and stowed away under hatches in a close atmosphere, every soul on board the vessel would have been virtually on a volcano. It was a case of so much importance, that he should inflict the full penalty of 20, and 3 5s costs.