ARRIVAL OF THE WILD DEER
Otago Daily Times January 21st 1875
The arrival of the well known Wild Deer yesterday took the Port by surprise; although she had been 80 days out she was scarcely expected. However, she, on this occasion, has done what she has done before, viz., fully sustained her reputation as a clipper vessel by making the passage in 80 days, difference of time allowed for. The Wild Deer's approach was noted by a string of flags at the Signal Station, which flags none could make head or tail of, and it was not until the Geelong had towed the ship well up the Cross-channel that her identity was made manifest by her build and general appearance. Having an exceptionally clean bill of health she was towed right through the shipping, and moored off the end of the Railway Pier, and there boarded by the Customs and Health officers, the Immigration Agent, Mr Allan, not being present, having, we understood, laboured under the impression that the ship was not an immigrant vessel. The misconception was of course due to the mistake in the signals.
The Wild Deer comes here on this trip in the command of Captain Malcolm, late of the Helen Burns, Captain Cowan, having been promoted to the Wellington, one of the Company's new ships. Mr Kilgour is still Chief Officer of the Wild Deer, and considering the hoard of people he has had to contend with, he has brought his ship into port in good order. We have thank him for the report of the passage, as follows: The Wild Deer left Gravesend on the 31st of October, and having a leading wind down the Channel, cleared the land on the 2nd November, a last departure being taken from the Lizard with a S.W. breeze. Variable winds prevailed from soundings to the N.E. Trade belt, the northern edge of which was entered by the Wild Deer in lat. 26 N., long. 24 W. The Trade hung well to the east, and once went into S.S.E., and gave out in lat. 7 N, long 23 W. The doldrums belt was ruffled by light southerly winds while the Wild Deer crossed it and she crossed the Equator on the 26th November, long 27.35 W. The S.E. Trade was met with in lat 4 S. and lost in lat 13 S.thus proving a poor Trade, on the morning of the 6th December, and thence light airs and variables hung about the ship to the 16th December, when she came within the influence of the "brave westerlies".On the 24th December she crossed the meridian of Greenwich, and that of the Cape on the 29th December, whilst the meridian of the Leuwin was passed on the 10th inst., and Stewart's Island breasted on the night of the 18th. After finding the Corstites the ship made a splendid running, averaging 10 knots per hour for 36 days, her best days work being 300 miles, and her lowest being 190 miles. She ran her easting down between the 46th and 48th parallels. From the Snares she had easterly and variable weather to the Heads, which were reached yesterday afternoon, and the Geelong being in readiness for her she was towed right in.The following vessels were spoken during the passage:- November 4th, lat. 47.30 N., long 8.30 W., ship Duchess of Argyle, from Shields, bound to Sydney. November 11th, lat. 35 N., long 21 W. ship Lady Jocelyn, from London to Canterbury. November 17th, lat 16 N., long 26 W., ship Pride of England, from Cardiff to Ceylon. November 27th, lat 3.30 S., long 29 W., ship Canute, from Liverpool to Bombay. December 12th, lat 33 S., long 29 W., sighted the ship Lady Jocelyn for the second time. December 18th, lat 38.30 S., long 20.12 W., spoke barque Ellie Stewart from Liverpool to Chillinyong.
The Wild Deer brings 10 cabin passengers and 312 nominated and free immigrants. There were 314 when she left, but two infants dying soon after - they were moribund when they were taken on board - the number was reduced as above. The immigrants may be classified as 40 married couples, 71 single men, and 54 single women, or according to nationalities, English 73 male and 73 female adults; children under twelve years, 30 males and 42 females; infants 6 males and 7 females. Scotch - 5 male and 2 female adults; children 2 males and 7 females; infants 1 male and 4 females. Irish - 33 males and 22 female adults; children 7 male and 5 females; infants 2 males and 1 female. Foreigners 3 male and 1 female adults; children 1 male. Dr Gregg was the surgeon superintendent in charge, and he spoke very favourably indeed of the immigrants. Both Captain Malcolm and he designated them as a steady, respectable lot of people. With Captain Malcolm we passed through the various compartments, and were pleased to observe the cleanliness everywhere apparent, the sleeping berths well arranged, and plenty of ventilation and light. There was nothing to be desired in addition to the accommodation of the single men and women, but we still have to remark upon the want of privacy in the arrangement of the accommodation for the married people. The offices fore and aft were clean, the hospital space was as it should be, whilst the immigrants galley was a model of roominess and cleanliness and convenience. The condenser (one of Chaplin's) worked well and was up to about 800 gallons per 24 hours. In fact the ship was in perfect order throughout, and a credit to her commander, the doctor and officers. We presume that the immigrants will be landed today. The Wild Deer brings a large cargo, weight and measurement. We may observe in conclusion, that the death of the two infants was caused in the one case by rachitis and in the other by mesenteric disease.