Arrival of the Nelson
Otago Daily Times Friday January 1st 1875
The Albion Company's new ship Nelson has commenced her career as a sea goer under favourable auspices, her maiden trip having been made in ninety one days from port to port and eighty three days from land to land. This although only average time is noticeable, inasmuch as that the vessels which immediately preceded her, the Araby maid and Florence, were considerably over one hundred days on the way, the weather that detained them being escaped by the Nelson. The calm period which prevailed on the line when they crossed it, the unsettled scant trades and variable light weather off the Cape, with poor westerlies with which they had to contend, passed away as the Nelson followed in their wake, and were succeeded by a more normal condition of winds and weather. Still it is not all fair weather with the Nelson. She was detained seven days about the coast of Britain by heavy, westerly gales and also lost time between soundings and the trades through light variable weather. It is not often that vessels are becalmed in the Bay of Biscay, and one of the exceptions to this rule befell the Nelson, which lay for three days almost in a clock calm in the bay. She was also six days crossing the Equatorial doldrum belt, headwinds having muzzled her there. Hence these drawbacks lengthened the run to the Cape to sixty four days, whilst the balance of the passage was rattled off in splendid time - twenty seven days. On the whole she did very well indeed , and with the south passage winds behind her proved herself to be a fast goer, and worthy sister to those grand ships the Dunedin, Invercargill and Auckland, also belonging to the same company. 337 knots on the 21st December were her best day's work, and 1900 knots her best week's work. The Nelson's signal letters announcing her near presence were made at Taiaroa Head Station yesterday morning and were succeeded by the signal "All well on board." As soon as steam could be raised, the steamer Geelong went for her and by eleven o'clock had conveyed her safely to a snug anchorage off Port Chalmers. Here she was boarded by the Commissioners, and the usual inspection that followed resulted with entire satisfaction to the ship and he officers. Captain Logan, the Company's Marine Superintendent, was also in immediate attendance as soon as the ship was anchored. Captain Anderson, late of the Agnes Muir, is in command of the Nelson, and the surgeon superintendent is Dr Mcaffer. Both gave a good account of the immigrants on board. In company with the Doctor we inspected the compartments, and were pleased to observe that cleanliness prevailed. The immigrants too looked strong and healthy, and for a wonder, not a solitary case of complaining came under our notice. Taking them all through they appeared to be a good class of people and received an excellent character from the Doctor. They numbered 365 all told, two fewer than the number which embarked at Glasgow The two represent the excess of deaths over births, four children having died against two that were born on board. So light a death rate amongst so many people tells favourably for the sanitary condition of the new-comers, and is suggestive of care taken to preserve their health during the passage out. The deaths were as follows: - October 26th, Thomas Matthews, aged 6 months, of mesenteric disease. November 5, Agnes Barns, 8 months, of chronic diarrhoea. November 30 Thomas Crozier 3½ years, mesenteric disease. December 20 Grace Williamson, 2 years, diarrhoea. The births were, November 29, Mrs G. Williamson, of a daughter. December 16, Mrs M Franklin, of a daughter. Under analysis the immigrants appear as 55 married couples, 82 single men and 52 women in the single women's compartment. Children over 12 years of age, 45 males and 47 females. Infants 16. By classification according to nationalities, there are, Scotch, 178 males and 154 females; Irish, 24 males and 21 females. Total, 373, less two deaths, or by reduction to statute, 304 adults.
The Nelson is a brand new ship built , built upon precisely the same lines and according to the same dimensions, apportionment's, &c., as the Dunedin, Invercargill and Auckland. She is a splendid ship at all points. With regard to her passage out, Captain Anderson reports leaving Greenock on the 1st of October, but meeting a S.W. gale off Rothsay. She anchored in the bay that night. Lay there until the 4th and the weather then moderating, she put to sea and lay down St George's Channel with westerly winds. She was off Tuscar on the 5th and there fell in with another heavy S.W. blow, and lost two days through it, the land not being cleared until the 7th, when a last departure was taken from the Tuscar. A day or two after, when on the edge of soundings, she encountered a third S.W. gale, and weathered it as she did the others - cleverly. In fact she behaved admirably durign the whole of the bad weather, and proved herself a singularly dry boat, shipping little or no water. From soundings to the Trade, light variable winds and fine weather prevailed, three days being spent in a calm in the Bay of Biscay. On the 20th October, lat. 20, the N.E. Trade found her and held a moderate breeze until it gave out on the 31st in lat. 8. Three days before that the ship passed within sight of san Antonio, one of the De Verde Islands. She crossed the Equator on the 6th in long. 30 W., and picked up the S.E. Trade at the same time. It held together only to 14 S latitude, and then gave out on the 11th November. Light variable weather followed to the 26th, on which date she was in lat. 38 S., long. 21 west. Here the Westerlies found her, and bowled her along without let or hindrance until she sighted the Snares. She crossed the Meridian of Greenwich on the 30th November, the meridian of the Cape on the 4th December, and the meridian of Leuwin on the 20th December; ran her easting down on about the 45th parallel, and arrived within sight of the Snares at 10.30pm on the 29th December.; hove to for the night and at daylight bore away; had light N.E. winds down the coast, and reached the Roads early yesterday morning. The Nelson brings about 1500 tons of cargo, weight and measurement; the former consisting of some 300 tons of railway iron. The following vessels were spoken during the passage: December 6th, on the Equator, the barque Fanny of and from Sutherland, bound for Valparaiso, 42 days out; November 25th, lat. 36 S., lon. 22 west., ship Queen of London was passed, but particulars about were not obtained. The same day the barque Grehard of Bremen, from Cardiff to Singapore 62 days out.