ARRIVAL OF THE
The Otago Daily Times April 20th 1879
(Also published in the The Otago Witness April 26th 1879)
This ship, the latest edition to the Albion Shipping Company’s splendid fleet, arrived off the Heads on the 20th of April at 5.15 pm., and being too late on tide, anchored outside until the following day, when she crossed the bar, drawing 17 feet 6 inches aft and 15 feet forward, at half tide without touching. The Westland is a splendid ship, and fully maintains the reputation of the Albion Company. She is 235 feet overall, 35 feet breadth of beam, and 21 feet depth of hold, and is fitted up with all the latest labour-saving improvements. Her lower masts and yards are all steel, while the rigging is set up by patent screws. Steam condensers and excellent cooking arrangements render her a splendid ship for the conveyance of passengers, while a goodly of boats, properly slung (as one incident in the passage proved), renders her efficient in every part. When we say that this fine vessel is commanded by Captain Thomas Wood (a gentleman well known in Dunedin as the captain of the former Cyphrenes), it is enough to satisfy everyone that the passengers one and all, fore and aft, have been well cared for during the passage. The medical officer is Dr. Phillips, while the Chief Officer is a gentleman well known here, and officer of the Company’s ship Otago on her last voyage. Mr. Leslie is second officer, Mr. McLean the third, and Mr. Graham, the old chief steward of the Otago, comes out in a similar capacity in the Westland. Every compartment of the ship is in splendid order, and reflects the very greatest credit on the medical officer, Dr. Phillips, whom we must compliment on the healthy appearance of his passengers, one and all of whom speak in the kindest terms of himself and Captain Wood. The health of the people has been exceptionally good, the only deaths recorded being that of an infant in the first place, and another which happened xx in suicide on March 23rd at 5.40 pm, when David H Wood, aged 22 years, a steerage passenger, of Scottish extraction, who had shown symptoms of lunacy on the previous day, and had been placed under the surveillance of two of his fellow passengers, suddenly jumped upon the rail, and, despite the efforts of his keepers to retain him, kicked and jumped so violently as eventually to force them to release their hold. Captain Wood, on being informed of the fact, at once brought the ship to the wind, and in less than two and a half minutes a boat was manned and lowered away in search of the unfortunate man, but despite the best efforts of all on board they were compelled to return to the ship at 6.30 pm, without having effected their object. The wind at the time was moderate, and the vessel was running about eight knots, with a very nasty sea on. This, we are glad to say concluded the casualties of the voyage. The ship, we need hardly say, is well provided in every respect for the comfort of the immigrants, and indeed we have rarely seen any vessel enter the port in such perfect order, as does the Westland. The single females, of whom there were no less than 80, were berthed amidships, in a compartment splendidly ventilated and beautifully clean. They were under the charge of Miss Lyons, who has to be complimented, not only on the cleanly appearance of this part of the vessel, but upon the very orderly and correct demeanour exhibited by the young females under her charge. The married people were berthed further amidships and very comfortable quarters indeed they had; while the single men were as usual, placed in the foremost part of the ship. The immigrants as a whole are undoubtedly some of the finest people whom we have seen here. The ship brings over 1000 tons of cargo, of which about half is dead weight and the rest measurement goods. Her passage has occupied 80 days from anchor to anchor not so bad when we consider she had to contend with very light winds throughout. She left the Tail of the Bank at 5 pm on January 30th and experienced light easterly winds with thick dirty weather down the Clyde; took her departure at 7.30 pm, on the 31st from Rathline Island, and thence experienced a strong easterly and SE gale, it moderated on the 1st of February, and she cleared the North Channel at 1 am, getting light winds from N.W. to SW, which drove her down to Cape Roca on the 4th February, whence she met a strong westerly gale, thence she experienced light S. and westerly breezes until February 12th, when the wind again fell light, and carried her passed Cape Palma on the 14th at noon, on which day she took the first of the N.E. trades; they were very light and fickle, and died away in latitude 4 N. on February 23rd; thence she had light variable breezes, and crossed the equator at midnight on 25th, taking the S.E. trades two days later. They were very poor but, however, kept her clear of the Brazilian coast, and gave out on March 5th, in latitude 19 S, thence she had variable winds for six days, followed by thick dirty weather and baffling winds until she reached latitude 40.7 S, longitude 22.5 W., where she took what might be considered the prelude to the steady westerlies. She crossed the meridian of Greenwich in latitude 43.50 S, on March 21st, and that of Cape of Good Hope on the 24th, in latitude 44.1 S. Moderate winds from NNW. to S.W. marked her passage across the Southern Ocean, and the meridian of Cape Leuwin was crossed on April 11th, still keeping westerly breezes she passed the Island of Tasmania six days later, and thence had northerly winds with high barometrical indications, until she sighted the Snares at 3 pm on the 19th instant, when she met a fresh NNW. breeze. Sighted the Nuggets at 3 am on the 20th and at 10 am lost the breeze, stood in for the port, and took Mr Pilot Kelly on board at 5 pm after a passage of 80 days from anchor to anchor, and 77 days from land to land. Her easting was run down in the mean parallel of 46.30 S., while her best day’s work is estimated at 325 miles.
ARRIVAL OF THE
The Otago Witness April 26th 1879