ARRIVAL OF JAMES NICOL
Otago Daily Times October 25th 1869
The bran (sic) new composite clipper ship James Nicol Fleming, belonging to Messrs Patrick Henderson and Co's line of Clyde packets, put in an appearance off the Heads at an early hour yesterday morning, and signalled for a tug. Pilot Stevens boarded her about nine o'clock, and the subsidised steam tug Geelong proceeded outside and towed the vessel up to an anchorage of Deborah Bay in the afternoon. The James Nicol Fleming, now on her maiden voyage, was built by Messrs Robert Duncan and Co., at their building yards, Port Glasgow. She is composite built to the topsides, which are of iron, her bottom being covered with pure copper, which being of a bright red colour, gives her all the appearance at a distance of an iron ship. She is a very fine model, her outline bearing a close resemblance to that of the William Davie of the same fleet. It must, however, be said that she appears bluffer forward than the Davie. Her length between perpendiculars is 207 feet 3 10ths, beam 34 feet and a half, depth of hold 20 feet and one and a half tenth. Her class at Lloyd's is 17 years A1. Her masts are iron, and serve as ventilators, being perforated below. The bowsprit is also iron, and her lower and lower topsail yards are steel. The passenger accommodation in this fine vessel is commodious and well ventilated, more especially the saloon, which is fitted up with all the latest improvements for the comfort and convenience of passengers. On deck she has an eight-horse donkey engine, which serves for the discharging or loading of cargo, also for the condensing of water, 40 gallons per hour being made with it on the passage. Our old friend Captain Logan, late of the William Davie, whom we welcome back to our shores, is in command of the Fleming. Of her passage, he reports that the ship left the Tail of the Bank, Greenock, on the 28th of July, the pilot leaving off Rathlin Island on the following day. Shortly afterward a heavy westerly gale was encountered for two days, and she took her final departure from Cape Clear on the 3rd of August. Moderate weather was experienced to the Trades, which were lost in lat 13 N. The Equator was crossed in long 28.4 west, and the S E Trades were very light, and parted with in lat 20 S., on the 3rd of September, when she was becalmed. The meridian of Greenwich was was passed on the 18th, and the cape of Good Hop on the 23rd of the same month. From thence to the meridian of the Kerguelen's Land she had very light variable winds, principally from the eastward, which retarded her passage. Westerly gales with tremendous seas followed, and on the 6th of October in lat 43 S., long 78 E., she shipped a very heavy sea which burst the after hatch (leading to the females' compartment), besides doing other damage. The same bad weather continued from Kerguelen's Land to off the pitch of the Leuwin, during which the vessel was hove to several times. In fact, Captain Logan, in all his experience in going to sea, never encountered such heavy weather. From the Leuwin more moderate weather was experienced. On the 16th inst, in lat 49 S., long 135 E., a large iceberg was passed. The Snares were made at 4 pm on Friday last, thus making the passage from land to land in 80 days. A southerly breeze favoured her to Long Point, and variable winds followed to arrival at the Heads, the passage from anchorage to anchorage being 88 days, the fastest of the season. Besides a large general cargo, which appears in our import list, the Fleming brings 14 cabin and 146 steerage passengers, who, under the care of Dr J Osborne, and the matron, Mrs Anderson, have enjoyed good health throughout the voyage, no disease of an infectious nature having occurred. There were, however, two deaths; those being that of James Muir, on the 15th of August, of intus-susception of the bowels, and Mrs Mary McQueen, of consumption, on the 20th inst. One birth occurred, on the 12th of September, when Mrs Neil, a steerage passenger, gave birth to a female child. The only land sighted on the passage was Madeira, on the 9th August. The boarding officer, after examination, reported "ship inspected and passengers mustered, compartments well fitted and ventilated, and in clean order, especially single female compartment. Passengers expressed themselves as having received their provisions and water, and being satisfied." The passengers are a fine healthy-looking class, and apparently well fitted for settlement; several of them are assisted, including a number of single females. The whole of them will brought (sic) to town this afternoon by the p.s. Golden Age.