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The New Zealander June 3rd 1857

On Sunday at 8 a.m. the signal for a ship inside Tiri Tiri Matangi was made and about 3 p.m. the Harkaway’s number was exhibited.   Shortly before dusk she rounded the North Head and there brought up, a strong head wind blowing and an ebb tide setting out.  She sailed from Gravesend on 15 February, put into Plymouth on the morning the 23rd and took her departure on the evening of the same day.  She had fine weather down channel and made a fair passage of 33 days from Gravesend to the equator which she crossed on 21 March.  On 1 March spoke and passed the ship Hougomont bound for Calcutta and on 8 March spoke and passed the ship True Briton from London to Melbourne.  In the southern hemisphere the ship experienced a continuance of adverse winds.  She ran as far to the southward as 48 degrees, saw no ice but experienced a succession of strong NE winds.  She sighted the Mewstone and the Tasmanian light of Bruno Island on 19 May.  From thence she had a run of 10 days to the Three Kings which she made on 29th at daylight.  About noon of the same day, passed and saw the William Denny high, dry and upright, with a schooner and cutter alongside – signalled her, asking what ship but the steamer made no reply.  The Harkaway has thus made a fair passage of 97 days from Plymouth and 104 days from Gravesend.  This, however, is considered but poor work for a ship which was counted the second of the noble Crimean Transport   Fleet.  We have been told that the ship was trimmed too much (2 feet) by the stern and that it was impossible to bring her to her best trim – an even keel.   If we may judge from the written testimony of her voyagers and the exceedingly cordial terms in which – fore and aft – they dwell upon the kindness and courtesy of Capt STEPHEN and his officers, the passage must have been the very reverse of an irksome one.  The ship, though not of the thorough clipper mould, is a noble, stately spacious ship and in every respect one of the finest merchantmen that has yet anchored in the Waitemata.  Her best run was on 11 April when she logged 270 knots.

The New Zealander June 3rd 1857

To Captain D W Stephens, Commander of the Harkaway
Dear Sir,
As our voyage from England to New Zealand is now approaching its termination we the undersigned Cabin passengers by the Harkaway take the present opportunity to express the regard and esteem we unanimously entertain for you.

During the fifteen weeks which we have spent in the ship under your command, we have had ample opportunities of seeing and appreciating your many good qualities and we should deem ourselves ungrateful were we to say goodbye without tendering to you as we now beg to do, our sincere thanks for your  uniformly gentlemanly conduct, your invaluable kindness and the interest you have shown and the successful efforts you have made to promote by every means in your power, the happiness and comfort of all on board.

We also beg to thank the officers under you for their civility and kind attention.

In bidding you farewell, we beg to assure you that we shall always remember with pleasure our agreeable intercourse with you and in your future voyages you will carry with you our respect and our good wishes for the welfare of yourself and the officers and crew of the ship which you so ably command.

 We are, Dear Sir,
                Your obliged Servants, etc.

Sgd: V T Mairis, Capt. RM; Emily Mairis; A R Griffiths; Isabella Griffiths; J M Oliver; Emma H Oliver; Mary Brownlow; Florence Brownlow; John Wm Lewis; Isabella Lewis; Frank Stanley; Frederick Jones; Emily F Jones; Charles H Battersby; George Hancock; John Daly; W N Ackland; J Draper; Charles Crawford; W C Johnson; Augusta Parker; P Herapath; Emma Herapath; Hugh C Fraser.

 On board the Harkaway, near Auckland, NZ, May 30th, 1857

 Similar letter from the Intermediate Passengers:
We the undersigned Intermediate-cabin passengers by the ship Harkaway, D W STEPHENS Esq, Commander, from London to Auckland, NZ, cannot permit ourselves to take leave of our much esteemed and worthy Captain, after the termination of a prosperous and successful voyage, without expressing, in the warmest terms, our approbation of his invariable urbane and gentlemanly conduct towards all committed to his charge.  It is with heartfelt pleasure that we bear our humble testimony to his abilities as an able commander, an experienced navigator and accomplished gentleman, which are so happily blended in his character and qualities, which we have reason to believe are rarely possessed in so eminent a degree by our mercantile marine commanders.  We ever found him during the passage anxious to promote our comfort and to sympathise with us in our petty troubles and annoyances, which are inseparable from a long sea voyage and we heartily congratulate him on the happy termination of the voyage.  That he may command the same success through life and live to enjoy in the decline of life a happy independence, in the bosom of his family, is the sincere desire of the subscribed.  Should it be in contemplation by our more favoured fellow passengers in the saloon to subscribe to a more substantial testimonial, we shall feel it a pleasure to add our mite.  In conclusion, we cannot omit congratulating Capt STEPHENS on the efficiency and good conduct of his officers and crew, who have throughout the voyage acted in unison with their commander and it is with a feeling of pride that we contemplate that, with such able men to command and able seamen to execute, as guide the good ship Harkaway, Old England need have no fear for the continuance of her continued maritime prosperity and glory.

 ‘The Captain and his crew, long may they live
'Happy may they be, blest with content and from misfortune free’d’

 Sgd:  J F Woolley, Edwin Owen Nicholas, Charles Abbott, Mark E Shuttleworth.

Auckland, May 30th, 1857