DIARY OF GEORGE SMITH
PASSENGER ON BOARD SS CARTVALE 1874.
Transcription made by F. RANDS from the original diary of George Smith late Northampton held at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. New Zealand. (Reference: MS Papers 309 George Smith Diary)
June 21 1874
Longest Day Went to Ipswich with Absolam via Harwich spent a very pleasant day found all well at home and seemingly comfortable. Lunch at brother Thomas only 3 hours stay with them. Called at Deborahs on the way to the boat all well. Deborah looked very care worn could not stay many minutes as the boat was ready to start. Father, Mother, sister Alice and brothers Thomas and David accompanied us to Harwich on our way back to London. Took leave in good spirits. Arrived to late for Barking train had to walk from Stratford. To bed tired but well satisfied.
June 22 1874
Left Northampton for Barking, Essex. Very tedious journey so many changes. Harriet sprained her foot could not get her boot on had to travel in one of mine. Found all well at Barking we were all very tired to bed early. Left Barking about 1 o'clock pm arrived at the emigration depot found all bussle and confusion. Luggage not arrived from Northampton, went to the docks and looked at ship, a fine craft. Back to depot to bed at eight. 2 hours before we settled down, not much sleep from the children crying and talking all night.
June 23 1874
Up between 4 and 5 went to the docks to look after luggage at the depot. The examiners of the day expecting to go on board every minute. Ordered to go on board first thing in the morning.
June 24 1874
Up at 4am, breakfast at 5, embarked at 6 bussle in confusion on board the 'Cartvale' left the docks immediately with tugs for Gravesend, where we anchored for the night. A thunderstorm on the way down. Dinner very late but good tea at half past six with fresh biscuits and butter. One family sent on shore, child with whooping cough. A single man was arrested by the police for obtaining goods under faults of customs. Various announcements in the evening with the passengers and crew singing, dancing etc. Some music played on the harmonium brought on board by a lady passenger. A fined toned instrument with 8 stops played by a steward, a very good player. To bed at ten very tired.
June 25 1874
Woke at 4am by a great noise overhead caused by shipping a barge load of cement. A family sent on shore with measles. Commissioner came on board gave up one half-contract ticket. A little rain during the day. All ready for sailing. Music and singing in the evening, to bed at ten.
June 26 1874
Woke by the tug between 3 - 4am, which came to tow us down the river. Sighted the great eastern in the Medway. Felt sick past the shore about 9am. Last sight of land on the Essex side past Margate and Ramsgate during the morning. Past a Prussian gun boat and saw one of the masts of the North Fleet sunk off Dungeness with a loss of 300 lives. Some of the passengers very sick during the afternoon myself included. Past Brighton in the evening and had a good view of the coast of France opposite Dover at 3pm. A little rain during the day with a fog at night to bed early sick and tired.
June 27 1874
Rose at 6 o'clock after a good night sleep. Tug left us during the night going down channel under full sail, last sight of land could not see another sail for the first time in my life I felt we were out at sea. Very sick likewise Harry, Sue and Charley the latter two did not take much notice of it. Harriet and Tot excepted. Music and singing in the evening. Harry lost his cap over board was in a sad way about it. To bed at ten.
June 28 1874
Sunday First Sunday at sea, called at 5 to go on watch till 7. A stiff breeze blowing from the North West. Ship rolled a good deal, feel very ill but could not vomit. Coffee very bad for breakfast. No church service. Some music and singing in the evening. Past several ships during the day.
June 29 1874
A strong wind with a heavy sea. Very sick all day likewise Harriet and children. Plymouth pilot left us.
June 30 1874
Winds dead ahead and still very strong. Passengers most all sick myself and family included. Sighted several ships.
July 1 1874
Wind very strong more sickness, ship pitch very much all in confusion, Tot and Charley better a fearful night with thunderstorm. Very near a collision between 2 and 3am all hands piped up.
July 2 1874
No improvement in the weather, myself a little better in the afternoon, Wind still dead ahead and very strong with heavy sea.
July 3 1874
Much better this morning eat a good breakfast. Ship rolled very much. Food cooked very bad no one seemed responsible. A great number of passengers still very sick. Susey no better. Quite laughable to see the things upset flour tubs, raisins, pickles, pepper, salt, hot tea and coffee, slop pails, water cans and etc all rolling about in the greatest disorder. A most unpleasant day very few on deck. Wind moderated during night but still a good stiff breeze.
July 4 1874
Wind fair this morning sea calmer more sails set going along well. Sickness much better. Poor Susey still very ill can't keep anything down. Music, singing and dancing in the Evening.
July 5 1874
Sunday A beautiful day sickness much better. Muster roll at 11o'clock. Divine Service at 3pm conducted by the Doctor. The Purser played the harmonium singing by the passengers and crew.
July 6 1874
Weather still fine with fair wind. Along with family all well Mr & Mrs W Smith and Mrs Ashton still very ill. Sighted several ships and fish.
July 7 1874
Going very slow, sea very calm. Great dissatisfaction with the bread which is very sad and sour.
July 8 1874
Wind still light with sea calm, not much progress. A petition signed by the Capt of the medics against the bread and presented by Mr Langton to the Doctor, who presented it to the Captain. He tore it in pieces and told him to take it back which he refused to do. A good deal of discussion followed but no decision arrived at.
July 9 1874
Supposed to be at Lisbon with a good breeze going from 6 to 7 knots an hour. A large steamer crossed our bows in the morning. Two children taken to hospital with measles.
July 10 1874
A beautiful day with wind NE made good progress. Sighted several ships, spoke to one which amused the passengers very much to see the different flags hoisted. On first watch from 10 till 1 o'clock.
July 11 1874
Weather still very fine, had a good run during the night. A great many of us refused to take the bread, which was again very sad and sour. Reported it to Captain, Doctor and Purser who ultimately condemned it as unfit to eat. Had flour allowed instead, I made a large plum pudding, was entirely spoiled in the baking which made me very cross being the second one.
July 12 1874
Sunday Morning, run 200 miles in the day (of 24 hours). A good stiff breeze from the NE making good sail all day. Muster roll at3am. The best dinner since we have been on board -Australian mutton in tins, plain suet pudding with treacle or gravy and preserved potatoes. Divine Service at 3pm from the Captain, Doctor played the harmonium. Opposite Madrid at noon. Sighted a ship on the weather bow. In the evening observed a comet in the north very plain at night.
July 13 1874
A fair wind, ship going 10 knots an hour.
July 14 1874
A child died this morning between 3 and 4am with croup, buried at eight am the first funeral at sea which made a great impression on those who saw it. Bread for breakfast light but rather sour.
July 15 1874
Weather still fine with good wind saw the first flying fish much smaller than I thought they were.
July 16 1874
Made good progress.
July 17 1874
Wind freshened made from 10 to 11 knots an hour all day. German child died - 2nd death buried at six pm. Very unwell from diarrhea and piles.
July 18 1874
Wind still fair. Spoke to French ship this morning. Twoflying fish fell on board likewise a locust. Very warm.
July 19 1874
Sunday No service in consequence of a child being very ill. Died in the evening 6 1/2 years old.
July 20 1874
Childs funeral at 8am. Very warm with changing wind. Another case of croup with one of the children likewise one of the sailors, two single men sick passengers. Very disponding on account of stiffling heat and the several cases of sickness.
July 21 1874
Harriet confined this morning. At 7am Lat 12 degrees 43:minutes North Long 26 degrees 49 minutes West. All seem in better spirits, cases of sickness better. North Atlantic Ocean. Heat still intense. Several ships in sight, spoke to two. One death in the evening, Polish child, friends very obstinate obliged to call in the Captain to have the child removed to hospital.
July 22 1874
Becalmed a funeral and a death, infant, this morning. Very hot and very monotonous. Harriet and baby doing well nothing allowed by the Doctor.
July 23 1874
A good stiff breeze sprang up this morning from the SW, much cooler. One child in hospital.
July 24 1874
Spoke to the 'Strathmore' 40 days out from Aberdeen. My hat blown over board. Harriet and baby doing well, Susey bad cold.
July 25 1874
Wind still fresh Charleys cap over board. Susey a little better. Sailors band in the evening (finish their dead horse). Ships arrangements very bad.
July 26 1874
Sunday Wind very strong this morning, a few sea sick. Suseys eye very much swollen. Divine Service in the afternoon by Schoolmaster, a greater snob it was never my misfortune to meet with. A row with the cook, would not bake our cake.
July 27 1874
A good wind but dead ahead very near the line. A headache, very tired of the journey shall only be too glad when we arrive. Harriet and baby going on well but the nurse, Frisk, do not understand her work even to dress the babe.
July 28 1874
Wind ahead, made very little progress. Concert in the evening.
July 29 1874
Wind still ahead. Two ships in sight, spoke one, French. Was called a grumbling old bugger by the cooks assistant for groaning after the pudding. Harriet on deck after dinner, Single women subscribed 5 shillings for a hood for baby.
July 30 1874
Making bad progress. Harriet left the hospital doing well. I was very glad to have her back. The Captain presented Harriet a bottle of port to wash the baby's head. Between 3 and 4 degrees North of the line.
July 31 1874
In a bussle all day, getting up the boxes very tired. On watch at night.
August 1 1874
Lime washing the bottom of the berths in a pesty pickle, smothered in lime. Sailors band in the evening.
August 2 1874
Sunday Wind still ahead. Muster at 11am. 3 whales seen in morning. Divine Service in afternoon by Doctor.
August 3 1874
Crossed the line between 1 and 2am, caught the Southeast trades. Making good way. All in better spirits.
August 4 1874
A fair wind 224 miles in the day another turn of sea sickness as well as a great number of passengers.
August 5 1874
Wind still fair, 245 miles. Sickness better, a slight headache. Rain squalls in the evening.
August 6 1874
Making good way. Great dissatisfaction among the single women, one of the constables has made himself very obnoxious through going to the Captain with tales. Someone threw some pigs muck in his face.
August 7 1874
Seven hundred miles south of the line. General discontent with the single women brought about by the sailors falling in love with some of them they, the sailors are forbidden to go aft. The result is they have a rough band in the evenings with groans and hisses for the Doctor and constable. One of the lamps placed on the water closets to keep the girls and sailors apart was broken. A fight between two sailors left to be decided in morning. Everything seems to wear an ugly appearance. We shall be glad when we are well out of it.
August 8 1874
Wind fair. Fifty shillings reward offered by the Captain to any person giving information against the person breaking the lamp, on the previous evening. The fight settled between the two sailors, but whether to their mutual satisfaction or not I am unable to say. Everything quiet this evening.
August 9 1874
Sunday Making fair progress. Baby registered this morning Arthur Taylor Cartvale. Divine Service this afternoon. Very quiet in the evening.
August 10 1874
Making good way. All well with two exceptions, 2 women Mrs Harris and a Polish woman.
August 11 1874
Good, out of the tropics
August 12 1874
Making good way over 200 miles. Tot very unwell.
August 13 1874
Wind moderated this morning a beautiful day hot to hot or cold. Glass at 70 between decks. A fight between Mr and Mrs O'Brien, a great deal of discussion about separating them which was not agreed to by the passengers as she is supposed to be lowsy. Was at night settled by their agreeing not to quarrel again. Beginning to feel the cold, A dispute about the raisins and currents with the Purser.
August 14 1874
Sailing E by S with a fair wind but not very strong. The air very cold and rain during the night. Saw some Cape pigeons, a very pretty bird not quite so large as the English as far as I can judge. Black and white in colour. Sail through the air like a swallow. Harriet very unwell all night better as the day advances. Harry is in trouble with a boil on his seat, which prevents him from sitting down. Tot better.
August 15 1874
Harriet better and Tot. Harrys boil still very troublesome. Morning broke with a strong S wind and rain, which continued all day. Wet, cold and miserable. Children all wet water came down the hatch the worst day we have had on board. The single men gave a concert in the evening to while away the time. Dark by 5.30pm a little boy seized with croup not expected to live.
August 16 1874
Sunday Wind still very strong from the South, very cold, something like a December morning in England. The child died this afternoon, mentioned yesterday, said death by willful neglect of the parents, 4 years old. Their second and only one being the first death on board a little boy 2 and a half years old. Harriet and Tot better. Harry not quite so well. No service this day.
August 17 1874
Wind very strong and running with heavy seas. We were startled this morning caused by the sudden death of a Danish child had been ailing a little for a few days it was thought nothing to hurt. A Cape pigeon caught by one of the passengers - Mr Lee which proved to be larger than an English bird, slate in colour and white wings, black legs and web feet, very much like a Ardenway Pigeon about the head, wings much larger. Bought by Mr W Smith late of Northampton to stuff for 2/6. Danish child buried this evening. Harry still very unwell the boil as I thought proved to be a abscess. Attended the singlemens concert for a short time which they have inaugurated for Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
August 18 1874
Harry abscess broke this morning after a sleepless night, it is much easier now . One child in hospital 3 or 4 with whooping cough and one with measles. Supposed to be off the Cape this morning, Wind freshened in the evening. Making good way.
August 19 1874
A strong wind all night, on watch from 3am to 6. Sail seen on the weather bow by one of the sailors about 5am, which I saw as soon as it was light. 17 days since we saw the last. Another ship this afternoon on the lee side. Harry much better today took him to the Dr who gave him a draught. I don't think it will do him any good but Harrys legs pain him. This afternoon I think they will prove to be boils, looks like some bruises. I went to the single mens concert in the evening.
August 20 1874
Going well this morning 10 knots. Harry better, Sighted the Princess Amelia from Amsterdam 68 days out bound for Otago. Two children taken to hospital with measles. Mr Butler.
August 21 1874
No wind made very little progress amused ourselves with fox and goose and other games. Made a board for Charley. Harry still queer. Mrs Fairy brought her babe for Harriet to cuddle.
August 22 1874
Harry little better. Sighted and spoke to a ship this afternoon. Went to the single mens concert in the evening.
August 23 1874
A head wind and very cold this morning. Got up with the headache. Harry a little better. Tot very cross. Mrs Fairys boy down with measles. The ship we saw yesterday is still in sight. Wind increased as the day advanced, very rough cold and wet. Not quite certain if we spoke her during the night.
August 24 1874
Harry still complain of his pain think it is rheumatics. A strong head wind all day.
August 25 1874
A rough night ship rolled a good deal. A whale seen in the evening.
August 26 1874
A light head wind settled to a calm as the day advanced, raw and cold. Harrys rheumatics left one knee got in the other.
August 27 1874
Wind changed this morning for the better weather very cold and raw. Harrys rheumatics a little better.
August 28 1874
Wind fair made good way during the night. A beautiful dry cold day. Tot very restless all night seemed to have the whooping cough coming on. Another child died this evening 12 years 6months old from bronchitis and measles - Mr Hillsdens
August 29 1874
On middle watch a fine moon light with good stiff breeze making from 14 to 15 knots. Child buried at eight am. Wind changeable all day made good way 260 miles. Got a good ducking coming down the rigging after putting out some clothes to dry.
August 30 1874
Sunday Wind shifted quite fair during the night going along well.Mrs Fairys baby died during the night (Saturday) 10 months old. (midnight) there is much discussion about the distance as we don't no. Mrs Ashton from Northampton confined at 4am with a daughter. South Atlantic Ocean latitude 40 degrees 59 minutes S, longitude 10 E. A large quantity of sea birds, Albatross, Cape pigeons and numerous small birds, the species of which I don't know. Harry and Tot much better. Ship rolled very much. Water cask got loose injured Scotchmans legs, young cook Scott and Harry Wallis by the upsetting of a boiler, have it from the chief officer.
August 31 1874
A rolling night, wind fair making good way. Spoke the 'Glenesk' from Liverpool for Calcutta 60 days out said to be a fast sailing ship we soon past her and left her a long way behind. Also spoke the 'Bemah' for China from London same docks that we sailed from. Sailed 1/2 hour before us. Going 14 knots at 10pm.
September 1 1874
A wet morning wind increasing to 1/2 a gale at am. Heavy seas going under close reefed royals, top main and staysails. Storm broke at 11am with a little thunder. A sighting. The roughest day yet 287 miles authentic.
September 2 1874
Blowing hard all day with squalls. 291 miles. Ship rolled very much.
September 3 1874
A very rough night shipped several heavy seas, which frightened some of the passengers. One of the single woman caught by a wave that came on deck was buried in water for minutes, which frightened her very much, not hurt. Very little sleep it is said we ran 315 miles in the day.
September 4 1874
The sea calmer this morning with a good stiff breeze blowing. Going on well. A great deal of speculation about the time we shall arrive we are all getting very tired of ship life.
September 5 1874
A dry cold morning, cloudy wind fair. Mr W Smiths wife confined a son (late of Northampton) Birth Latitude 40 degrees 25 minutes S, Longitude 41 degrees 45 minutes E. Candles run short reduced from 9 to 3.
September 6 1874
Sunday A beautiful morning up till eleven am when the wind suddenly rose which tore one of the sails, fore royal, obliged to shorten sail with dispatch. Wind continued to blow with great violence till near l2pm when it suddenly dropped toward aft which caused the ship to roll very much, No sleep all night from the chaos and confusion.
September 7 1874
Got up this morning with sore bones after a sleepless night certainly the most unpleasant night up to the present. Very little wind, fair, damp and cold. Ship rolling a great deal Captain out of temper, decks slippery people toppling about everywhere, most uncomfortable. A fight between Mr D O'Rouke and Mr Knight very unmanly on the part of the latter. Freshened this evening.
September 8 1874
Wind and sea rose to a gale with hail storm. No sleep up at 3am on watch. Wind continued to blow hard till between 6 &9 am when it abated a little after a heavy squall of hail. Sea rough all day with a good stiff breeze.
September 9 1874
Slept better well after two nights no sleep. Strong wind, fair with heavy sea going 11 knots today. West of St Pauls Isles. A child died this evening measles and whooping cough, Scotch, 18 months old (11th death). A good stiff breeze still blowing.
September 10 1874
Wind dropt this morning sea calmer squared sails between 5 & 6 am. Child buried at 8am. Dr was said to be very remiss in attendance. Tot down with measles. Mrs Lobb confined of a son from Cornwall. Lat 40 degrees 50 minutes South Long 67 degrees East.
September 11 1874
A beautiful day with fair wind and clam sea, like a spring day in England. Tots measles full out this morning doing well. Dr wants her removed to hospital to which myself and Harriet objected, ultimately the Dr brought the Captain to know my reasons for not removing her; 1st she is doing well and we want no assistance. 2nd - The hospital is damp, cold and quite unfit for the reception of patients especially infants.3rd - It could not prevent others from taking the disease as their are several cases (14 in all) more than the hospital can hold. Previous cases which could have been taken as the hospital had been vacant for several days were left to chance and the danger to others it is only necessary to refer to Christine Reynolds child taken to hospital in the morning with measles, obliged to be removed that same evening on account of the water coming in.
September 12 1874
Tot doing well measles well out. Dr seen her this morning said nothing about her removal. Wind dropt to a calm last evening sprung up during the night 3am going well today. Ship steady quite a treat after so much rolling about.
September 13 1874
Tot progressing well measles turned. Very little wind first thing this morning fine but cold. Most ahead wind as the day advanced freshened at night.
September 14 1874
Mrs Dunns child died during the night 2 1/2 years old (12th death) buried at 8am. A strong south wind dry and cold. Tot going on well. Wind increased aft during the evening.
September 15 1874
Rain, cold with strong west wind and squalls. Tot improving fast.
September 16 1874
A very rough night not much sleep. Mrs Acklands child died midnight, buried at 8am, eleven months (l3th death). Mrs Read confined a daughter. Weather moderated during the afternoon and evening.
September 17 1874
Mrs Marjorys child died in the night after a long illness, buried at 8am (l4th death). A strong cold wind with showers.
September 18 1874
Wind strong, cold and showery with heavy seas. Looks very grand but very uncomfortable. Two or three cases of croup and no wonder damp and cold. Fire refused, water stolen or said to be. No pea soup for dinner, we are treated more like pigs than human beings.
September 19 1874
Mrs Halls child died this morning infant (l5th death) wind and sea calmer dry and cold. Tot very feverish. A child died at 1/2 past 9 this evening from croup, Scotch between 3 and 4 years old (16th death).
September 20 1874
Sunday Not quite so cold fair wind going well. Child buried at 8am. Tot not quite so well this morning. Mrs Reynolds child died in the afternoon from bronchitis 2 and 1/2 years old (l7th death). Called Dr to Tot this evening said she had bronchitis and no wonder sleeping under the hatches which are left open all night, this raw cold weather.
September 21 1874
Fair wind cold and squally, ship rolled a good deal in the night. Tots a little better. Child buried at 8am.
September 22 1874
Tots health still improving. Wind fair, cold and plenty rolling about. Making good way, very little sleep.
September 23 1874
Wind settled down to a calm, a beautiful day but making very little way.
September 24 1874
Going very steady, a nice spring morning. Tot getting on well. Baby has got a cold.
September 25 1874
Mrs Ashby confined twins boy and girl doing well. A good breeze very cold. Baby not quite so well, Tot better.
September 26 1874 - A beautiful morning, dry and cold making good way. Baby a little better.
September 27 1874
Sunday Said to be off Tasmania this morning. A stiff breeze, very cold. Baby seems a little better. Harry has got the wind which frightened him dose or two of ca y I think will put him right.
September 28 1874
Milder this morning wind contrary, smooth sea. Baby no better. 4 albatross caught today, a very handsome bird the largest caught by the ships carpenter measured 7 feet 6 inches from tip to tip of the wings. Capt and sailors seem very superstitious they say we are sure to have a gale or head wind if any of them are killed, but the best of it is (or worst) we have already a head wind so if it changed it must be for the better.
September 29 1874
Baby no better, cough very troublesome. I think it will turn out to be whooping cough. Wind still ahead cold and cloudy. Everyone seems out of spirits a good ship but bad luck another albatross caught this - morning by one of the passengers.
September 30 1874
Pacific Ocean rightly named whats more beautiful gliding over its peaceful breast. True we are all anxious to reach our destination. Still my thoughts wander into the regions of fancy to worlds people and with superior beings hold hard. What noise ah the sailors are hauling up the cable it looks promising, Land Ho will be a joyful sound the sooner the better we shall all like it. Babes cough no better it has proved to be whooping cough. Wind changed fair at dinner time but very little wind.
October 1 1874
(100 days) Wind fair going well. Baby very little better. Dull and cold all day.
October 2 1874
Morning dawned bright and clear much warmer, wind fair making good way. All in better spirits as we hope to soon end this tedious journey. Baby no better very restless all night. A great deal of discussion as to the probable day of landing and how far we have to go. It appears we are some what out of our course as the Captain was unable to take the sun for the last 4 days, too cloudy. We are likely to be a day or two longer in consequence.
October 3 1874
Made good way all night. A fine morning with a good breeze. Sailors busy cleaning up. Sighted a steamer dinnertime from Melbourne to Otago.
October 4 1874
Sunday A beautiful day wind fair going well. Mrs Lea confined this morning of a daughter. Baby cough still very troublesome. Mrs Cains child died this afternoon (l8th death) 13 months old.
October 5 1874
Heavy rain in the night with lightning. A rat hunt first thing this morning, after a good chase it took shelter in the Captains cabin where it was caught. Child buried at 8am. Mrs Stokes confined of a son. Lat 40 degrees 30 minutes South Long 162 degrees 14 minutes East.
October 6 1874
A good strong wind, fair making good way expect to be in harbour tomorrow. Showery.
October 7 1874
All in excitement this morning expecting to see land, but disappointment. Came onto blow very hard during the day with heavy squalls. No land this evening.
October 8 1874
Wind continued very strong till midnight, hail storm. Ship laid too. No sleep. Glorious sound just as day break 'Land Ho' on the port bow which brought a great many on deck, myself as well sure enough we could see a long line of coast with Mt Egmont looming in the clouds. Away North. Everyone seemed glad for the Promised Land is in sight. Wind settled down almost to a calm not enough to take us into port unless it increases. A lovely morning it does one good to see it after the dull cold weather we have been through. Baby a little better. Tot has it coming on whooping cough, obliged to lay too again this evening.
October 9 1874
Land on both sides this morning. Hills very grand. Spoke to a barque going to Nelson. A fair wind, going well down Cooks Strait. Sighted a small screw steamer at l0am, which came across to us. The Captain said he would report to us when he got in and find the pilot in two hours. Sad to say we had another death in the night a Polish child 2 1/2 years old, buried at sea 8am (l9th death). Pilot came on board between 3 & 4pm obliged to lay to all night on account of a strong head wind. It is impossible to enter the harbour until it drops6or changes. Sighted a steamer with blue lights in the evening. She answered us and past on into port, said to be from Australia with the English mails.
October 10 1874
Hovering about all night at the mouth of the harbour, wind blowing very hard and likely to continue for some time yet, which is very provoking when we are so near. But what cannot be surely must be endured at all events for a time. What we have seen at present of the coast is very hilly and very dangerous as far as I am able to judge. It is very wild and rugged with snow covered mountains looming in the distance away on the South Island. Looking very beautiful in the morning sun. Wind dropt towards night. Two steamers came in sight making for port. Captain signalled with blue light they both came to us immediately, one agreed to tow us in for 15 pounds which was accepted. The hawser was made fast and we soon felt ourselves gliding into harbour where we arrived at a quarter to 12 o'clock night, a quarter to 12 English time, day, difference 11 hours 45 minutes before England. The night being dark and cold. I turned in at eleven but no sleep till after the anchor dropped, which was indeed a pleasant sound after being knocking about at sea 107 days. Lights were seen from the town all else was darkness.
October 11 1874
Sunday Turned out shortly after daylight went on deck to look around it is impossible for me to describe the scene. Nothing more beautiful after a long sea journey then to wake up and find yourself anchored in one of the prettiest little bays in the world. Surrounded by rugged hills with as pretty a little town as ever it was my good fortune to see. In front of us certainly larger than I expected to find, some good large buildings all beautiful, white and new. How we long to ramble among the hills, but our time is not yet to come for what do we see flying at the mainmast head. Ah tis the yellow flag thats a sign we are to be quarantined but not quite so bad as you may think for there is a little island in the bay with a depot on purpose for emigrants. So that we may get a thorough cleansing before going into the town which is very necessary as we are all more or less lousy, beside having had measles and whooping cough on board. It is a lovely day calm and bright. The single men are sent on shore, to the island, our time tomorrow if all well, A very late dinner but better late than never. They have sent some New Zealand beef, bread and potatoes. Better I never eat they do know how to live we were served with a pound of beef as much bread and potatoes as we could eat beside milk for the children and some candles both of which we run short the latter part of the journey.
October 12 1874
A windy storm near all day could not get ashore, neither could the provision boat get to us, but we were all bright for food although served out rather late hoping the wind would drop which it did towards evening. About 20 of the single women were sent on shore. Then it came to blow again with great violence, which made us tremble for the safety of the boats. The Captain sent off the lifeboat in all haste manned by 9 men in case of need. Fortunately it was not required. You may be surprised when I tell you we are anchored only about a quarter of a mile from shore, it may give you some idea of how it blows being surrounded on sides by high hills and the harbour being only 7 miles long and 6 wide for a boat not to be able to cross it. I have never seen anything like it in England. I am sorry to say we lost another child this evening about 12 months old, making in all 20 deaths since we came on board in 111 days.
October 13 1874
Wind dropt sky cloudy but sure to be a fine day. Up at good time all in a bussle packing up beds, bags and boxes. An early breakfast and off we got, glad enough to feel ones feet on hard ground again. We find the Depot consists of 3 separate blocks built of wood with every convenience for own use. Had a small room allotted to us, got Harriet and children up. Then I returned to the ship to help get the baggage up knocked off at 6 o'clock, back again to the island. A late tea and early to bed. Wind rose to a gale during the evening with rain.
October 14 1874
Up at good time, took a short ramble up the hills, which gave us a keen appetite for breakfast. Went a fishing in the forenoon for mussel, wilks and winkles which we found in abundance, more than sufficient for all our wants. Busy the remainder of the day getting up boxes etc..
October 15 1874
A high wind with rain, cold and damp and very little food as the boat could not come on account of the wind. A great deal of grumbling among the emigrants and not without reason. As there have been a good deal of mismanagement all through by the Doctor and Storekeeper both of them are too inexperienced especially the latter who is but a mere boy. The NZ S Co officers are not without blame knowing full well that the weather is very changeable this time of the year they ought to send at least two days stores. When the weather prevents it, is certainly anything but pleasant being shut out from the world as it were with plenty all round but no possibility to get it. Very busy all day, washing, getting ready for going ashore or rather leaving the island, and glad enough I shall be when we get to work again.
October 16 1874
A deal of wind and rain in the night. Cleared up about sunrise, dry day but cold. Got all the cloths dry. Two children died this morning buried on the island.
October 17 1874
A fine healthy morning another child died this morning 3 ½ years old (3 deaths on the island). Commissioners came over today we are all to leave here on Monday l9th for Wellington and other places, some one way and some another. It will be just 17 weeks since we went to the London depot and a very long time it appears to be. I hope we shall be at work before this time next week for we are very tired of this monotonous life. All I hope is that we now may not regret the change. As a matter of course we have met with various characters on the way but all things seems to be going well at the finish tis to be hoped the old maximum. TIS TRUE ITS ALL WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
Last page read - 2 to 1 from Mr Bone that we are not arrived at our destination before Sep 7 if before I win. (obviously a wager)