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The RUAPEHU departed Plymouth on 24 October, 1885 and arrived at Port Chalmers, via Teneriffe and Capetown, on 7 December, 1885. Captain Herbert E Greenstreet was in command.



Transcribed from the Colonist, 8 December 1885, Page 3



December 7.

The Ruapehu arrived at 7 p.m. yesterday. She brings 2840 tons of cargo and 259 passengers for all ports. The health of all on board is, excellent. There was one death, William Gainsher, about 28 years of age, the engineers' storekeeper, from heart disease. He was found dead in his bed on the 30th October. The passage, which has been a fine weather one, has also been most agreeable, and on Saturday evening Capt. Greenstreet, was the recipient of a complimentary address. The time occupied from Plymouth was 42 days 18 hours 5 minutes, actual steaming time 41 days 8 hours, 10 minutes. The maximum speed was 12.5 knots, and not a single stoppage to the machinery occurred. She left Plymouth at 1.15 p.m. on October 24th, arrived at Teneriffe at 2.45 a.m. on the 29th and sailed at 5 p.m.; reached Table Bay at 10 p.m. on November 13, left at 0.50 p.m. on the 14th, passed the meridian of Cape Leuwin on the 28th. After transhipping 143 bags of mails and 81 passengers for Otago and Canterbury the Ruapehu sailed for Wellington. The Ruapehu's passengers for Nelson are; Saloon — Mrs. and Miss Marsden, Miss Wilkinson and Mr. Wilkinson. Second Saloon - Mr. and Mrs. Ogilby and family (4), Mrs. Duff and 2 children, Mr. Steele.



Transcribed from the Auckland Star, 7 December 1885, Page 2



The Ruapehu arrived at 7pm yesterday. She brings 840 tons of cargo and 209 passengers for Auckland.

The health of all on board is excellent. There was one death, Wm. Gainster, about 18 years of age, engineer's storekeeper, from heart disease. He was found dead in his bed.

The passage has been a fine-weather one. The voyage from Plymouth occupied 42 days, 18 hours, 5 minutes; actual steaming time 41 days, 8 hours, 10 minutes. She left Plymouth at 1.15p.m. October 24th.

After transhipping 134 bags mails and 82 passengers for Otago and Canterbury the Ruapehu sailed for Wellington.

The Ruapehu will call at Wellington to coal and deliver mails. She has 252 bags from London and Plymouth, and 6 from the Cape. She has 43 for Auckland.

Saloon: Misses Clark, Snell, Weaver, Pearston, Messrs Clark, Terry (2), Thomson, Pines,

Second saloon: Mr. and Mrs. Nickson, Mrs. McNickol, Misses Dowling, O'Reilly, Roche, Smith, Wood, McCurdy, Mr. Atkinson, Mrs. J C Brookes and son.

Third Cabin: Mr. and Mrs. Bennett and family, Mr. and Mrs. R. Bullian and family, Mr. and Mrs. T. Bulling, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. Cotterhill and family, Mr. S. Cotterhill and family, Mr. and Mrs. Dickson and family, Mrs. Rainage and family, Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. Short and child, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and family, Misses Woodford (2), Dillingham, Mr. and Mrs. Hannah, Messrs Alex. Allen, Arnold (2), Bascombe, Blower (2), Caulfield, Dowling, Dytton, Fletcher, Jerry, Hutch, Henderson, Hicks (2), Hope, Johnson, Marks, McKenna, Morgan, Richards, Taylor, Temple, Mrs. Thomas and infant.



Transcribed from the Auckland Star, 10 December 1885, Page 2



The N.Z. Shipping Company's Ruapehu, which previously visited this port in July last, arrived here at 10.30 a.m. to-day, and berthed at the end of Queen-Street Wharf. Shortly afterwards the passengers were landed, and the discharging of cargo, of which 840 tons are for Auckland, was also commenced, under the direction of Captain Nearing, stevedore. The Ruapehu is in command of Captain Greenstreet, who was here a short time since as master of the Mataura. The other officers are: Chief officer Mr. F. Mayoss; second officer, Mr. F. Forbes; third officer, Mr. R. Jaggard; fourth officer, Mr. R. Tizard; chief engineer, Mr. C. McEachran; second engineer, Mr. J. Haire; surgeon, Mr. W. P. Nesbitt, M.B. Mr. C. Dean occupies the important position of purser, and to him we are indebted for all necessary information of the voyage, &c.


The second officer, Mr. F. Forbes, furnishes the following report of the voyage: The Ruapehu left Plymouth on Saturday, October 24, at 1.15 pm. Teneriffe was reached on Thursday, 29th, at 2.45 a.m. After a long detention of 10 hours 5mins. left for Cape Town. On November 4th crossed the Equator, and encountered the SE Trades; first light, with very high temperature, then moderate to fresh breeze and slight head sea to lat. 26" S., where the wind increased to a fresh gale, accompanied by a heavy sea, reducing the speed to 10 knots, and delaying arrival in Cape Town until 10p.m. of Friday 13th. Saturday, November 14, at 5 a.m., left Cape Town. 28th, passed meridian of Cape Leewin, and for two days experienced fresh northerly breezes and heavy beam swell. With this exception, the passage was accomplished in light winds, smooth sea, and pleasant weather. December 6th, at 7 p.m., anchored at Tairoa Heads, after a run of 41 hours 8 hours 10 mins. steaming time, and 42 days 18 hours 5mins. actual time; average speed, 12.5; longest week's run, 2,134. Landed passengers and mails for South Island, and left for Wellington at 4 a.m. of the 7th. Arrived at that port December 8, at 3 am. Having landed passengers and mail, also receiving a quantity of coals, left at 1 p.m., and arrived as above. It reflects great credit on the engineer department that not a single stoppage of the engine occurred throughout the whole voyage, except for the purposes of entering port.


The following is a list of the Auckland passengers:—

Saloon: Misses E. M. Wilkinson, H. J. Weaver, H. S. Brodie and maid, Clarke, Snell, Marsden, Mrs. Marsden, Mr. and Mrs. C. Hurst, Messrs Clarke, A. Aberron, H. A. Wilkinson, W. D. Thomson, R. Waterer, jr. F. Connell, G. Harris.

Second cabin: Misses M. Boucher, A. M. Shaw, Dowling, Roche, McCarthy, J. Reilly, E. Wood, H. A. Smith, Master Brooks. Mr. and Mrs. W. Shaw, Master N. Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. Dixon, Mrs. McNicol, Mrs. H. Brooks, and Messrs W. W. Williams and F. W. Atkinson.

Third cabin: H. French, J. Fletcher, H. A. Bascomb, T. Dowling, S. Caulfield, W. Marks, John Hicks, James Hicks, G. E. Wiggins, P. Hope, J. Dybam, Morgan, J. J. Henderson, T. H. Alexander, E. McKenna, W. A. Richardson, J. Taylor, J. Hatton, jr., E. Bloor, T. Bloor, L. Gerry, Thomas Shore, Mary Shore, Thomas Shore, J. C. Cotterill, E. Cotterill, D. Cotterill, jr., Oliver Cotterill, Ann Cotterill, Lavenia Cotterill, Elizabeth Cotterill, Mr. and Mrs. Cotterill and family (3), Mrs. Ramage and family (4), J. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and family (2) A. Arnold, H. Arnold, Mr. and Mrs. Bullen, son, and infant, Mr. and Mrs. Dickson and family (3), Jane Gillingham, Mr. and Mrs. Woolford, Mr. and Mrs. Burnet, Mr. and Mrs. Bullen, Mr. and Mrs. Hanna, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett and family (4).



Transcribed from the New Zealand Herald, 11 December 1885, Page 6



|By Ignotus.)

Plymouth to Teneriffe and Cape of Good Hope.

The Ruapehu left Plymouth on Saturday, the 24th October, at a-quarter past one p.m., upon even keel, drawing 25 feet — perhaps a few inches more astern — with a fair wind, which she carried through to Teneriffe. She had on board 237 adult passengers, not counting the children. In the first saloon, happily, there were no babies, and but two juveniles — a quiet lad, and the interesting little Nora. The voyage commenced auspiciously; a fine day for embarkation, a fair wind, smooth sea, and before nightfall well clear of the land. No incident worth recording, neither gale nor storm, accident, nor mishap. Scarcely anyone really sick, tables at meal-times well filled — knives and forks in full play. It seemed a pleasure summer excursion moaning and groaning, unheard faces pale and wan, unseen; on the contrary, animation and cheerfulness prevailed as the passengers became acquainted, and began to understand and appreciate each other. On the morning of Thursday, the 20th October, at half-past two, the anchor of the Ruapehu was let go in the roadstead of Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, having made the run in four days thirteen hours and a-quarter. Her log showed the distance to be 1415 nautical miles, hence the average day's run was 312, or 13 an hour — being very nearly 354 statute miles a day, or 15 an hour. After an early breakfast, every one hastened ashore to escape the coal-dust, and to enjoy a stroll through the antiquated and dead alive city. Shore boats were alongside touting for freights. Off they go, one after the other, every countenance beaming with pleasure and contentment, and soon in squads or parties they are seen in the streets, the gardens, the cathedrals, and the markets. A brisk trade was done in oranges, lemons, figs, pomegranates, bananas, coconuts, and everything green and edible. By one p.m. all were aboard again, refreshed and gratified, and, with but two or three exceptions, none the worse for having tasted the Teneriffe wines. Having taken in 350 tons of coal, the Ruapehu steamed out of the harbour and hasted on her voyage. As she ranged along the coast southerly towards the peak, conelike, towering up to a point some 14,000 feet above the sea level, the passengers had a fine view of the sloping sides of the ranging hills, which hid the base of the leviathan from view, the lower bends of which are dotted with hamlets and farmhouses; their whitewashed walls, reflecting the afternoon's sunshine, stood out in bold relief from the verdure of their cultivations, and these again relieved the darker green of Nature's own carpeting. Inside the Ruapehu, a long steamer was seen, close under the lee of the land, making for Santa Cruz. The knowing ones pronounced her to be the Doric, and so was she entered in everyone's journal. A second steamer, steering south, was overhauled, and soon dropped astern. Her name could not be discovered, but she was supposed to be bound for Brazil or the River Plate. A N.E. wind, with but slight interruption, was held from Plymouth to Santa Cruz, then the N.E. trade wind was picked up and carried for three days, when the doldrums were entered, and endured for two or three hot, clammy days, which evoked lamentation, and occasioned much discomfort to many of those fresh from the shivering climate of the British Isles. Cape de Verde was passed in the night, the two red lights and the higher and stronger dashing white light were distinctly seen, and, with the daylight, two hummocks of land were clearly made out. Leaving these it was "good-bye" to land for a long run across the Gulf of Guinea, and down the coast, until it appeared again in the horizon a few degrees north of the Cape of Good Hope. Adverse S.E. trade winds met the Ruapehu just south of the equator, and continued to oppose her progress, increasing in strength until she reached the Cape, when it had gained the strength of a gale. The run from Santa Cruz to Table Bay occupied fifteen days, the distance covered by log, 4423 nautical miles, equal to an average of 295 miles a day, or 12 1/4 an hour; or in statute miles, say 344 a day, or 41 16th per hour. The meeting with the south-east trade wind at the equator, and carrying it until it merged in a local and unusual S.E. wind, which continued to blow with increasing violence until it climaxed in a gale at the Cape, was phenomenal. It was remarkable that the N.E. trades were met with so far north of the equator as the Canary Islands, and that they were lost proportionately to the north of the latitude anticipated; that the belt of equatorial calm known as the doldrums, and the S.E. trades, were found likewise to be equally to the north of they usual prevalence. Tropical heat ceased, and actual cold commenced, about latitude 6 S. on the 6th November, and continued to increase until it became disagreeable, and necessitated shawls, ulsters, and cloaks.


The Ruapehu dropped anchor in Table Bay, close to the outer quay wharf, about ten p.m. on Friday, 13th November, just 20 days 9 hours out from Plymouth; deduct from this the 10 hours' detention coaling at Santa Cruz, and time will be, say, 20 days. The following morning, with the first light, the Ruapehu was moored to the wharf, and coaling commenced 750 tons had to be put on board. The early breakfast discussed, the passengers betake themselves to Capetown, distant a mile. Very soon everyone was away, and lumberers coal and dust-begrime everything and everybody. Letters posted for home, the market was visited, tramcars and railway patronised. Woodstock, Wynberg, Constantia, The Kloof, and the Sea Point were visited, the object being to get as much out of the few hours ashore as possible. Table Mountain was covered with its own "tablecloth" of snowy cloud, which rested there the whole day, in spite of the nipping S.E. wind. The whole of the passengers managed to find their way on board before six p.m. excepting three, two of whom had to be helped along between their more sober companions, the third unfortunately got "run in," and, it being Saturday half-holiday, could not be "brought up" before Monday, and so was left to his fate, and has probably ere this become a soberer if not a wiser man.


The Ruapehu left Table Bay at eleven p.m. on Saturday, November 14, for a clear ocean run of more than 6000 nautical miles, a cheerless, cold, and solitary track; the only companions Cape pigeons, mollyhawke, albatrosses, and icebergs. Soon it became unpleasantly cold, the sky murky, the scene weird and threatening. The persistent south-east wind continued with unabated violence. Altogether the outlook was not encouraging; and yet onward she plunged, breasting the waves and daring the wind, until she had reached the 47th degree of south latitude, the region of albatross and iceberg; then her course was laid nearly due east for sixteen days, from the 45th degree east longitude, near the Crozets, to the 165th degree, near the treacherous rocks, away to the south of Stewart's Island, called "The Snares and Traps." The equatorial degree of longitude is 60 nautical miles, but it becomes less and less as a vessel approaches the pole, whether north or south. Hence, the farther south a vessel gets the shorter the distance to run. In the latitude of 48 south the degree of longitude, instead of being 60 miles as at the equator, becomes little more than 40. Hence in a run of 120 degrees there will be a saving of fully 2000 miles, equal to a week's good steaming.

Whilst in the Southern Ocean three or four icebergs were seen, also the barque Daphne, from London to Adelaide, and the ship Fiery Cross, bound to Melbourne, which were overtaken and passed so closely that cheers were exchanged. The wind all along this dreary line varied only from S.E. to E. and N.E. and N., blowing fresh and strong. The normal, because prevalent, winds are S.W. which is a fair wind for ships steering east. It has been remarked that for some length of time there has been some disturbing element in Nature's atmospheric economy; it seems to be out of gear. Perhaps someday the secret will come out, the cause will be determined. Meanwhile "they that do business in great waters" have to take the winds as they find them. The passengers beguiled the tedium of the way with athletic sports, concerts, and theatricals, and bore the inconvenience and annoyance incident to a long sea voyage with exemplary patience and equanimity. It is worthy of remark that probably no voyage has been made with less unpleasantness or disagreement among the passengers; no cliques, no sets, no scandal — everyone seemed willing to oblige his neighbour. From the captain and officers down to the steward's boy, uniform consideration and kind attention was experienced; no favouritism, no preference, all served alike, so that from the beginning to the end of the voyage, not the whisper of a murmur or of a growl could be heard. The table was abundantly served, the viands good, cooking excellent, bread sweet and well-baked, tea, not boiled but properly infused, the best ever tasted on shipboard. Nothing could exceed the solicitude of the head-steward and his staff to meet every need and comply with every request. Never was one of them seen out of temper, and not a single dirty word was heard to escape the lips of any one of them. The stewardess was all that the ladies could desire — considerate, sympathetic, untiring in her effort, whether by night or by day, to meet the need of each one under her care. It is unusual to meet with a commander like Captain H. E. Greenstreet. Few are to be met with of his calibre, cultured in mind, refined in taste, at once gentlemanly, kind, affable studying the comfort and amusement of his passengers, mingling with them and setting everyone at his ease, yet retaining in a very sensible, but not at all offensive manner, his dignity and authority as commander. His presence always gives pleasure, and diffused warmth and sunshine in the saloon. Not a tongue was known to insinuate a reflection upon his word or his act. Discipline of the true and only effective type, the contrast of the bullying and supercilious, was felt throughout the ship from stem to stern; it kept everyone in his place, and everything in order. He held the reins firmly, but not too tightly; unconscious of the curb, the most refractory were kept in check, and instinctively submitted — such the calm energy of the captain's own disciplined will; whether on the "bridge" or in the saloon, navigating, chess-playing, conversing, presiding at the concerts, umpiring the athletic sports, or devoutly reading the Sunday service, always the same reliable, sincere, sensible man.


Having fulfilled the fifteen days of dismal steaming from the Crozets to the rocky Snares and Traps —from longitude east 45 to 165 degrees, nearly 5000 miles — with the daylight of Sunday, the 6th of December, the Ruapehu was abreast of the Traps, having passed the Snares, which lie some twenty miles to the south, two hours before, in the darkness of the second watch of the night. Having navigated upwards of 4000 miles without seeing land, it was something to the credit of Captain Greenstreet that he could safely and with certainty steer through a passage not more than twenty miles wide in a pitch dark, starless night, and with the coming daylight find himself just where he had anticipated. Happily the day before was clear, and he was able to fix his whereabouts exactly hence he ventured the shorter cut instead of going further south to give the Snares a wide berth. But he had an anxious night, and was at his post carefully looking out until the danger was over-past. All the initiated, upon coming on deck in the early morning, felt a sense of relief as they looked back, and saw away to the nor'ard the ocean waves dashing upon the rocks - The Traps - and passing over them, and away in foam and spray. Stewart's Island could be made out in the far distance. The day broke clear; the sunshine strengthened as the day advanced; all was bright and cheery, danger passed, drawing nearer the land — Port Chalmers before night: passengers for Invercargill, Dunedin, and Christchurch anticipating the luxury of a good night's rest in a comfortable bed ashore. Signal made at Nugget Point, so that the agent at Port Chalmers might prepare everything in anticipation of the Ruapehu's arrival. After dinner, from the deck the tender could be seen ahead waiting to take passengers and mails ashore as quickly as possible. Having rounded the point, the anchor was let go in quiet water close to the Lucky — a broad, flat-bottomed tug. By nine p.m. the mails, and about 150 passengers, first, second, and third classes, were transferred in open boats from the deck of the Ruapehu to that of the diminutive "Lucky." But alas! the evening was cold, the wind piercing, the sky cloud-gathering, and for a time it rained. It seemed cruel thus to land a hundred and fifty people after a six weeks' voyage, on the Sunday evening, in the dark, penned together with the baggage and mail bags for three or four hours upon the deck of a tugboat, standing and shivering, until they had steamed five miles across the bar and up to the wharf at Port Chalmers; and after this they would have a sorry time of it! Sunday night, no train to Dunedin, baggage to be warehoused or else passed by the Customs, sleeping accommodation scanty and inadequate! And all this in the dark.

The Ruapehu resumed her voyage soon after midnight. The wind became fair, and she ranged up the coast, crossing from headland to headland, bowling along at a good rate, until she anchored in the Wellington roadstead, not far from Lambton Quay, at one a.m., Tuesday, the 8th December, having made the run in twenty-four hours.

Between six and twelve she coaled. The passengers and their luggage were conveyed ashore in a steam tender, at a charge of one shilling each, which, by the-bye, they should not have paid, as the company had contracted to land them at their port of destination. There were differences and altercation re the luggage of passengers booked for Canterbury, and for Nelson via Auckland. The agent said that they must all land, which they refused to do unless their luggage could be landed with them, which was impossible without a serious detention of the vessel; so the agent acquiesced in the only alternative, that the passengers whose effects had been stowed in the hold with the cargo should be allowed to go to Auckland and return to Wellington, and thence be reshipped, bag and baggage, to their destinations respectively. This altered the face of matters, and all continued the voyage in good humour with themselves, and with the very satisfactory compromise which the agent had carried into effect. At ten minutes to one p.m. on Tuesday, the 8th of December, the Ruapehu, resumed her voyage, and steamed steadily on through a calm, rippling sea, undulating with a little ground swell until the night or Wednesday, when the wind freshened from the N W., and made the motion more uneasy. With the daylight of yesterday (Thursday) the Great Barrier was in view, and soon after ten a.m. the Ruapehu was abreast of the wharf, and welcomed by hundreds of expectant spectators. The morning was bright, the sun shone out upon the landscape. From Remuera, Parnell, through Auckland, and then along the more distant vista of Ponsonby, the glow of the sun's rays so lighted up the villas, the steeples, the public buildings, the shipping and the warehouses, that everyone seemed enchanted. Many upon whom the panorama burst for the first time, were loud in their exclamations of delight and admiration. Some expressed the wish that they could settle in so Edenic a spot. As we approached within view of the lighthouse, the scene increased in interest. Rangitoto in bold relief, sloping in graceful curve from its cone to the sea margin, the bold bluffs of the Takapuna Lake coast, the North Head and Mount Victoria, and, towering above the rest, Mount Eden, with its junior mounts studded around (telling of intense volcanic action in the distant periods of the past), made up a picture of Nature's art, at once impressive, thought-inspiring, nearing the soul to the sublimities of Nature — never to be forgotten. On such a morning Auckland had only to be seen to be loved; so practically true was this that more than one exclaimed. "How lovely!" "I am quite infatuated with the beauty!" How delightful!"

It may be well to remark that a large proportion of the ocean passengers are seeking health, renovation, brain renewal, and many make the world-wide round for pleasure. This should be kept in view by hotel and boardinghouse keepers, also by the steamship companies and the managers of the railways. In proportion to the inducement, that is, the facility of locomotion, the urbanity and courteousness of those in authority — captains, stationmasters, hotel landlords, and others — will be the increase of the tidal travelling stream from the old country, and the consequent profit to those concerned. The most obliging, gentlemanly, and attentive will get the preference.

A pleasanter ocean voyage than that just closed can scarcely be expected. Every passenger will endorse the truthfulness of this, its brief record. Gladly would many have prolonged the voyage, had it been possible. We all landed with more or less of regret that it had closed. The New Zealand Shipping Company merit all praise for their liberality in the commissariat department. May they meet with full success and earn good dividends.


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