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The New Zealander May 6th 1857

Arrived in port on Monday at 1.30 pm after a protracted passage of 121 days, having taken her departure from Gravesend on 3 January at 1.30 pm.    It was the 10th before she reached the Downs having been detained a week in the Thames in consequence of the furious gales which were then raging.  On 12 January at 8 pm,   she sailed from the Downs, experiencing light and baffling winds down Channel.  On 24 January, passed in sight of Madeira and had moderate NE trades.  On 10 February crossed the Equator; experienced a long continuence of light winds in the horse latitudes and was baffled with light SE trades.   On 2 March spoke the barque Marianne, 56 days from Dublin bound for Melbourne.   On 6 March passed in sight of the island of Tristan D’Acunha and on 18th was in the meridian of the Cape.  Passed to the southward of Tasmania and on 28 April at 10.30 am made the mainland of NZ since which time she was baffled with light easterly winds, tacking ship every 2 hours.  On 28th at 8 pm she was off Cape Maria van Diemen and round the North Cape by the following morning.  There were two deaths during the passage, Emma MAY, a child of 7 years of age on 9th April and Thomas MURRAY, second cabin steward, on 2 May.  The Kenilworth is a fine looking ship built, we believe, at Newcastle in 1855.   She looked so long and loomed so large as she came round the North Head, that it is not surprising she should have been by some supposed to be the Harkaway.   Notwithstanding that both wind and tide were in her favour, she came but slowly up the harbour.  She is rather rusty outside and more dingy in-board than might be wished.  Her passengers seem to be of a superior class and among the number we have much pleasure in welcoming back our old friends Dr & Mrs WEEKS who return after an absence of several years.  We have been favoured with the following narrative of the passage: The Kenilworth left Gravesend on 3 January last and having ridden out two gales of wind at the entrance of the river, took her departure from the Downs on the 12th.  On the 21st and two following days, she encountered a very severe gale from the NW off the coast of Portugal, during which a part of her starboard bulwarks were stove in and some damage done by the sea entering the cuddy and the cabin near the cuddy-door.  This gale terminated in a fine NE wind, continuing steady to within 5 deg of the Equator.   After six days of calms and dismal rains the Line was crossed on 10 February where the SE trade was the first met with; this wind, which was unusually squally and wet, held good and gradually hauled round to the NNW.  The Island of Tristan D’Acunha was passed on 6 March, near enough to see several comfortable looking houses on a slope near the sea; apparently the only habitable part of this mountain island, which frowns more than 8000 feet over the ocean.  After rounding the Cape on 16 March, the ship did her best day’s work, running 287 miles.   When south of St Paul’s she ran 1032 miles in four days.  Van Diemen’s Land was passed on 18 April, being rather doubtfully visible at a distance of 50 miles.   The climate at once softened, the weather continuing extremely fine the whole way afterwards – principally calms and light head winds.  The North Cape was rounded on the night of the 28th ult.  The voyage altogether has been singularly uninteresting.  Birds, the usual companions of a long sea voyage, were not numerous; but one Cape pigeon being seen.  Fish were scarce, although the passengers succeeded in capturing two out of three sharks seen.  Rain fell frequently from the NE trade to Van Diemen’s Land and the upper works being very leaky, the passengers berths and bedding were seldom dry.  The highest temperature was attained in the SE trade, when the thermometer occasionally stood at 83 degrees.  The weather was very cool north of the Line, the thermometer being only 65 deg in latitude 21 deg 30m.  The lowest temperature observed was 46 which occurred when the ship made her greatest southing.  This observation was taken at night, the thermometer being 50 at noon on the same day.  The point of least magnetic intensity was found to be some 300 miles south of St Pauls at which place it was difficult to steer the ship correctly from the swinging about of the compass.  All the most conspicuous changes in the weather were, for the entire voyage, observed to occur at the fall and change of the moon.   The ship brings 63 passengers, about 18 of whom proceed to New Plymouth.  The passengers having been on board 126 days without having touched anywhere for refreshment, it is not surprising, when we consider the ‘scale of dietary’ that scurvy should have begun to make its appearance.  There have been two deaths; that of Emma MAY, an interesting little Canadian-born girl; and Thos MURRAY, an old man who was shipped on board in a debilitated state to act as 2nd Class steward.  The latter survived till Saturday last, having died nearly off Cape Brett.  Before leaving London, the Kenilworth took on board the passengers and cargo of the Royal Charlie which had been for some time detained from some disputed ownership – the ominous name appearing to bring misfortune even to a ship.