Dundee to Brisbane
By the Ship “Duntrune” 1488 tons
Friday 31st Aug, 1883
This being the day of embarkation the day I had to leave behind me, dear old Scotland, and all my dear friends. No wonder though at times the thought of it made me feel somewhat strange. Nevertheless I kept in pretty good spirits. In company with my brother John, I had a stroll through Dundee, till about 1 o’clock when we made for the Camperdown Pier. On the way to it we overtook my companion John Mason, and his wife, who came with him to see him off. Mr & Mrs Mason were both in very good spirits. There was a large crowd on the pier, comprised of the emigrants and their friends who had come to bid them good-bye. It was amusing to see the difference of feeling manifested throughout the assembly, some were very melancholy, some crying, while some were laughing, singing & dancing to the music of the concertina or fiddle, but the merriest of all were a few young men over in the corner, who were enjoying a drop of “John Barley” from some bottles they had brought with them, and which they said had to be emptied before embarking, as there was no “grog” allowed on board.
About 1 o’clock the first batch, consisting of the single girls, and married couples commenced to go on board the tug “Iron King” and were conveyed to the “Duntrune” which lay anchored in the bay. Most of us seemed anxious for the “King’s” return, but we had not long to wait. About 2 o’clock the door was opened for the single men when they began to pass out; the doctor making a slight inspection of each as he went by. At length the moment came when Mr Mason and I must bid good-bye to the last of our friends. He took leave of his wife and me of my brother, & went on board the “Iron King”. After we got on board we had the pleasure of seeing our friends in the crowd a short distance off, but too far away to speak to. Just as the boat was beginning to move away, John threw an apple toward me which I caught, being the last article I received from any of my friends before leaving the land. As we moved away there was hearty cheering, and hundreds of hankerchiefs waving till we were a long way off; then we turned our faces to our floating home, the “Duntrune”. As we neared her we got a good view, & I think were all of opinion that she was a good vessel, but a few were disappointed when they discovered that she had no funnels – they thought she was a Steamer. The tug drew up on the port-side, & John and I got on board about 2.30pm. We made our way to the fore-hatch to look for our berths No. 104 & 105. We found these situated near the aft end on the Starboard Side of the ship.
They were in a block of ten thus:-
101 103 105 107
102 104 106 108
Mine was on the top ( 105) & John’s on the bottom row. After getting all on board we were summoned aft to the poop, formed into messes of 8, or 10, & supplied with our mess utensils. Then dinner was served out, which consisted of beef, broth and potatoes. Every one appeared to be ready for dinner and I think enjoyed a hearty meal. After dinner some time was spent taking a general survey of the Ship; then tea was served at 6pm. At 7 o’clock we were all invited to the quarter deck, where Service was conducted by the Rev. F. Fraser, Newport, & the Rev. Mr Tait, Seamans Missionary. Mr Fraser gave us a good advice, & a few encouraging words regarding the new country, wishing us God-speed. Mr Tait delivered a very appropriate discourse from Psalms 71 & 16 “Go in the Strengths of the Lord”
Mr. Ritchie, Supt. of the Sailors Home, led the singing of some very nice hymns. The Service over, those gentlemen left by the “Iron King”, & as the tug left the Ship, we gave them three hearty cheers. I spent the remainder of the evening walking about the ship, always on the outlook to see if I could discover any old faces, but I found none. Instead of the most of them being Scotch, as I expected, I could see the large majority were English & Irish. I had many a look over to “bonny Dundee”, till I went to bed at 10, still in very good spirits, but often thinking of all the dear friends I left behind me.
Saturday 1st Sept.
After an almost sleepless night I rose at 5.15am. When I went to bed last night I continued to think of bye-gone days, & was long ere I could get to sleep, & when I did fall asleep I soon awoke, dreaming that I was still on the land amongst some of my old acquaintances.
I rose soon after 5 o’clock not much refreshed by my first nights sleep on board. At 8 breakfast was served, consisting of coffee, bread and butter. Soon after breakfast some news – paper boys came on board with bundles of papers, which they got good sale for. All forenoon the sailors were busy putting things in sailing order. Soon after 11 the spokes were put into the capstan, & “volunteers” called for to assist in raising the anchor. This request was quickly complied with; as many as space would allow were very soon circling round, with one of the emigrants sitting in the centre, on top of the capstan, with a concertina playing some lively tunes. The anchor was raised with great glee, the tow- ropes got ready, while the tug lay a short distance off waiting to take us in tow.
As the bold “Iron King” in front of us steamed,
How silent each stood, how anxious each seemed,
But when the tug attached & lightened the string,
Then burst the bomb, cheers thrice made the air ring
At 11.45 the tug got the rope attached & right ahead of us, when Mr. Pye, chief mate, gave the order, “follow the Steamer now”, and thus commenced our voyage, with hearty cheering. As we passed Broughty Ferry there were large crowds assembled on the beach. A salute was fired from a gun on the beach, which was promptly responded to by our gun, amidst loud cheering. At 2.45 we passed the Steamer “London” when a gun was fired from both vessels with much cheering.
The day was beautiful, bright sunshine all throughout, with a gentle breeze. Everyone seemed very happy. I went to bed at 9pm, somehow not in so good spirits as the previous night.
Sunday 2nd Sept.
I slept pretty well up till about 5 when awoken & found that we had got on to a rougher road than when I went to bed. By sounds I heard throughout the ship I knew that sickness had already found its way into the “fore-hatch”. I got up at 5.30 feeling quite well & thinking that I might be fortunate enough to escape, but I was not long out of bed till I could feel that I had caught the disease also. I hurried up on deck, supporting myself by anything I could catch hold of to keep me from falling, as the ship was rolling too much for my little experience. I had scarce got on deck when I got my stomach emptied like the rest & it did not cause a pleasant sensation – I did not wish for it a second time but I had to endure it several times before night. After recovering from the first shock I had a look around, but nothing to be seen except our tug in front, still towing us along, but very slowly. The waves were tossing it about fearfully, it seemed very powerless at times. It would give the rope a pull, then it would slack & fall in the water again. Sometime about midday our tug was detached owing to the rough state of the sea, & followed us a short distance behind. There was a very strong “head wind” with frequent showers of rain & a heavy sea all day. The ship rolled very much and nearly all on board except the sailors were sick. I was the only one in our mess (numbering 10) who was able for any tea ; all the rest were in bed, so I did not strive with my mates that time. Many other messes were similar, some produced 3 or 4 & some none at all at tea-time. Notwithstanding the bad weather & sickness we got our passenger list increased today. A birth on board, Mrs. Creech of a son. Another birth-day I had to mind to-day my, sister Mary Ann’s – I wish her many happy returns of the day but I hope it will never again be such a miserable day to ? Owing to the bad weather & sickness amongst the passengers, Church Service was never thought of but during the day I managed to read a few chapters from the old book. About 9pm I went to bed pretty well contented thinking that I had been lucky getting over my sickness easier than many others.
Monday 3rd Sept.
Slept fair; rose 6.30am felt nearly all right again; ship still rolling heavily. I went up on deck, & saw the weather had changed very little – if anything it was calmer, but still wet. The tug had got us in tow again. We sighted John O’Groats House & Duncan’s Bay Head, steering our course to go through the Pentland Firth, but head wind set in & made it impossible. The majority of us were a little recovered today, & able to take some food, but a few thought themselves still too ill to get up, some still trying to vomit, which must have been very painful having nothing in their stomach. I was not in very good trim for using the pen but managed to write two letters to send off by the tug when it left. About 4.30 the “Iron King” took our mail bag on board & left us to paddle our own canoe. I went to bed about 9pm feeling a little sick but in pretty good spirits. Found out Mr. & Mrs. Kerr whom I had a note for.
Tuesday 4th Sept.
After a pretty good night’s sleep I rose at 6am. Still feeling a little giddy. I was not long up till hunger attacked me – not a bad sign I fancied – I thought I could not endure it till 8 o’clock, I felt so hungry; so off I went to the biscuit box. This was my first attempt of the sea biscuits, and being very inaquainted with their hardness, I soon broke a corner off one of my grinders which caused me a little pain & I threw the biscuit as far as I could into the water. At length breakfast time came when we got porridge for the first time. They tasted pretty well, but according to the quantity they gave us I think they must have thought we were all sick. As we could not get through the Pentland Firth with the head wind we are now steering our course to go through between the Orkney & Shetland Islands. Most of us are now a good deal recovered from our sickness but a few are still complaining badly. Weather still stormy.
Wednesday 5th Sept.
I went to bed last night about 9 o’clock but slept very little although I was very well rocked. If my cradle had not had very deep sides I think I would have been often in the floor. I am sure the sea must have been very rough all night as the ship rolled fearfully. I rose about 5am & found the weather still cold, & stormier than yesterday. In the forenoon we passed very close to the Orkneys; Pomona being the principal island seemed to have plenty of pasture on it, but few trees. There are a number of rugged rocks scattered around which seem to be mostly barren, some of them scarcely visible above the water. In the afternoon we sighted Sumburgh Head the south most point of Shetland. The whole scene looked romantic & dangerous to the navigator. Very rough till afternoon when it moderated a little.
Thursday 6th Sept.
I went to bed last night about 9pm & slept pretty well till 6.30 this morning – a long night but it took it all to make up for my last nights loss. A great change of the weather this morning a nice breeze & all going well. The scene is changed; every looks more cheerful, & apparently most of us have got over our sickness. After breakfast, at our request we were allowed into the hold to open our boxes & take out anything we needed.
The boxes were lying all on the top of each other, very roughly packed & sometimes a great many were to shift before the one wanted could be got. Many of the boxes were a little damaged, & two or three nearly knocked to pieces. Some who had been more careful in providing luxuries than packing them, got a disappointment when they found their whiskey bottles, and jam pots smashed, & their clothes died with the contents. The spectators showed their sympathy by giving three cheers for the “good old whiskey”. I found my two boxes all right & everything in good order. As the boxes were being too much tossed about we were ordered up & promised to get them up on deck the first suitable day. Ship in sight this evening.
Friday 7th Sept.
I went to bed last night about 9o’c feeling quite well & in grand spirits thinking all my sickness was over, & that we were going right on our course to Queensland, but when I got up this morning at 6am I was a little disappointed to find that we were lying becalmed. There was a heavy swell on the water causing the ship to roll & in the afternoon I had a slight headache which made matters still more unpleasant, but we will hope for better things tomorrow. The wind has risen a little now, 6pm
Saturday 8th Sept.
I rose at 6am this morning feeling all right again. Ship in sight at 9am. At 11am sighted Butt of Luis, scarcely visible. In the afternoon we passed between the Flannen islands on the 7 Hunters & the Outer Hebrides. I saw nothing on the former but a few sea-birds hovering about. The Hebrides looked very hilly in the distance. A proposal was made to start a weekly paper on board, & accordingly the first number of the “Duntrune Weekly News” was read on the quarterdeck by the editor Mr. Notty at 2.30pm. It was earnestly listened to and considered very good for a start. We have made a little more progress today, but the wind is not very favorable.
Sunday 9th Sept.
This morning will be remembered so long as we are on the Duntrune. We have had no wind all day but an awful swell on the sea causing the ship to roll from side to side in a fearful manner. In the morning the cooking utensils though pretty well secured were upset several times. The “Ship’s Cook” got severely scalded with a copper of boiling water & was removed to the hospital. The “emigrants cook” had several very narrow escapes while trying to replace the coppers when they shifted. He did receive some slight burns but none of a serious nature, What caused as much excitement as anything was some bacon which had been put into the oven in tin dishes, & when it melted run into the fire, filling the galley with flames & smoke. This was my first morning to act as Captain of the Mess & as ill luck would have it I did not get down with the coffee till 9.30am. I hope to be better up to time tomorrow. One of our noble policemen of the fore-hatch thinking he could do a bit of the sailors went up the rigging in the afternoon, but ere he had gone far he was followed by a number of the sailors who soon tied him fast with ropes & left him to look down on the cheering crowd below.
Constable Jack struggled to get free for some time & at length got one arm free, but was soon secured again. After being a prisoner for about half an hour he was liberated by order of the Captain. We had no Divine Service today owing to the rolling of the ship in the fore-part of the day but I think Jack’s adventure did many as much good as a sermon with the heart laugh they got. 7pm the sea a little smoother now.
Monday 10th Sept.
I considered myself very busy to-day taking in the weeks provisions. Being Captain for this week that duty fell to me. Our condenser has broken-down & it is rumored that we are to put in to Queenstown for repairs. We have sailed a little today.
Tuesday 11th Sept.
Rose at 5.30am this morning all going well. In the afternoon was passed the steamer “Ethiopia” bound from New York to Glasgow.
Wednesday 12th Sept.
Today our condenser has been repaired by the ships engineer assisted by a few engineers we have on board.
Thursday 13th Sept.
Fine day but little wind. Sighted a steamer supposed steering for some port on the Irish coast.
Friday 14th Sept.
Showery; little wind; most of us grumbled- at our slow passage. In the afternoon a shoal of porpoises passed us which amused us for a little being the first we have seen. They came plunging through the water at a great speed, nearly in the opposite direction we were steering & leaping above the surface every now & than. They are of a dark color, measure about 8 or 9 feet long, thickness in proportion & of shape somewhat like a salmon, but a rather round head. The sailors tried to harpoon some of them but failed in their attempt. The ships position as taken from the sun at noon was shown on a board to-day for the first time. It was Latitude 53 49’ North Longitude 14 42 West.
Saturday 15th Sept.
Foggy, a little wind. Paper read at 3pm a decided improvement to last week’s. Our latitude could not be taken to-day owing to the fog.
Sunday 16th Sept.
As we had a fine forenoon we were able to hold Divine Service to-day fro the first time. The service was conducted by one of the emigrants Mr. Milner, who gave a very good discourse, & was earnestly listened to by all present. I had to remember my father especially to-day being his 64th birthday; I wish he may live to enjoy many returns of the day. In the morning we had a fresh breeze which gradually increased till now it is blowing a gale, but not in the right direction.
Monday 17th Sept.
The wind has almost left us again with a heavy swell on the water. I have been down the main-hatch seeing Mr. Kerr’s child who has been ill for some time, & is getting gradually worse. I is very low to-night & they have about lost all hopes of its recovery. It is said to be bronchitis that it is suffering from.
Tuesday 18th Sept.
I was sorry to hear this forenoon that my friend Mr. Robert Kerr’s child died this morning at 8.30. Its death was much regretted by its parents & great sympathy was expressed for them by all on board. At 12.15pm it was buried or rather committed to the deep when 340 miles west of Cape Clear. Captain Rolls remarked that on a previous voyage he buried the ships carpenter in the same place.
Wednesday 19th Sept.
Light head wind all day. In the forenoon I saw some deals of wood floating past supposed to be the deck cargo of some wood leaden ship.
Thursday 20th Sept.
This morning I rose at 5 o’clock & commenced my first washing on board. I had 2 shirts 2 pairs of socks a towel & a handkerchief. I finished a little before 8 thinking I had had a hard mornings work. I took them in the afternoon clean & dry. I considered I have done well for a start
We have now got as far south as the southernmost point of the British Isles. We are 200 miles off Lizard Point. There is a strong breeze blowing, the ship is steering her right course & we now flatter ourselves that we have made a start for Brisbane at last.
Friday 21st Sept.
I regret to have to record the death of two more children to-day making three deaths on board now. The ship’s position was chalked on the board to-day again; Lat. 44 20N. Long. 15 00 W. at noon.
Saturday 22nd Sept.
The wind has almost died away again to-day. Paper read as usual & promises to be a success. We are now three weeks at sea & only 1200 miles from Shetland.
Sunday 23rd Sept.
Too little wind yesterday but too much to-day. Two jib sails torn to pieces, a number of ropes broken & two or three blocks lost overboard. A strong gale blew all day with frequent showers of rain which prevented us from getting to church as last Sunday. I have felt rather miserable all day.
Monday 24th Sept.
Strong “head wind” Sailors busy mending yesterdays breakages. We are now almost through the Bay of Biscay which is usually rough & stormy.
Tuesday 25th Sept.
Still head wind running 2 or 3 points off our course Lat 40 03 N Long 13 46 W
Wednesday 26th Sept.
At a stand again, becalmed all day, bright sunshine & calm sea. This was considered a good chance for taking up our boxes so accordingly at 8.30am the hatch was opened, the boxes drawn up with block & tackle, & placed along the deck. An order was given by the boatswain that no box was to be opened till they were all drawn up, or the hatch would be immediately closed again. This order stood good for a little, but ere long some one opened his box, & the others whose boxes were up, were so eager to be into them that they could pull the rope or wait no longer. Many of the boxes were a little damaged, but as they were spread along the deck the contents were not exposed as on the previous occasions when we opened them in the hold so we could not see who had suffered the loss of their brandy jars this time. I heard little complaint of anything being damaged in the boxes. I had a look through mine & found everything right. They were all put down again in the afternoon. Some excitement was caused to-day on discovering that a number of that noble regiment, the “Scotch Greys” has got on board. They had taken position of a blanket which was out airing, but as soon as discovered by our outposts, a gallant charge was made, & both the blanket & them were dashed into the sea, causing the death of thousands of the enemy. On another blanket that was hanging near the same place, a few more were found camped, & they also got a watery grave. Our old dunkey engine has broken down again. Ship in sight but a good distance off.
Thursday 27th Sept.
A fair wind to-day for the first time but still too little of it. A great change in the attire of many of our citizens is to be noticed to-day the majority of us having got into our boxes for the first time yesterday. At breakfast time we were served with very bad water which caused a great deal of talk during the day & at night we were supplied with hot water for tea which seemed to be worse. It had a bad smell & no one would use it. Part of it was taken & shown to the doctor who ordered it to be emptied out as it was utterly unfit for use. The coppers were then all emptied & water taken from the main tank to boil for tea. Meanwhile a deputation waited on the captain asking him to put into Madeira to get fresh water & the condenser repaired. The result was that at 6.30 we changed our course & are steering straight for Madeira Island which we hope to sight to-morrow afternoon. Our position at noon was Lat 36 20 N Long 15 15 W
Friday 28th Sept.
I got up this morning at 5 & finished my second washing before breakfast-time. I think I will soon be a practical hand at it.
Through some miscalculation of the distance we had sailed since yesterday at noon & thinking we might be as far south as Madeira the ship was “hove to”at 10am till we could get our position again from the sun at noon. This caused a little disappointed as we had a favorable breeze but at noon the officers were all on the alert with their glasses & although rather cloudy they managed to catch the sun at 12 o’clock. They found that we were still a good way off & immediately the sails were set & we sighted the island about 3pm. About 4.30 we were opposite the N.W. corner of the island & about 2 or 3 miles off the land It was a lovely afternoon & we were all on deck, & as we sailed along the west side we all greatly admired the beautiful appearance of the island. We passed Lloyds Signal Station situated on the highest summit of Port Santo & signaled for a pilot. As it got dark the wind gradually died away & we were becalmed for about 6 hours. In the evening the sailors went through the act of burying the dead horse a ceremony which they go through when on month at sea. It was a good amusement to most of us who had never seen the act before.
Saturday 29th Sept.
When I rose at 5.30 this morning I was surprised to find that we were sailing along with a strong breeze & no land to be seen. However land was soon visible on the starboard-bow & about 9am we came to within two or three miles of Madeira. We signaled for a pilot & at 12.30 one came out in a small boat with two men rowing it. After waiting another hour & a half, a small steam tug, not much bigger than one of our life boats, came along side of us & offered to tow us in. About another half hour was spent before the captain & them could agree as to the payment. At length they got us in tow, but pulled us in very slowly the tug being too small for a big ship like the Duntrune. Just before we started a number of small boats arrived with natives the most of them apparently of the better class!
In one of the boats there was an English gentleman dressed in the old country style with a native rowing the boat, he drew up to the poop & had some conversation with the Captain. On our way in we were greatly amused by several boys who met us in small boats & dived for some coins which were thrown into the water. They could not speak much English but enough for the occasion. They shouted “throw sixpence me dive”. A few coins were thrown into the water & it was surprising to see how quickly they leaped from their boat into the water then swam underneath to where the sixpence was sinking & brought it up in their mouth. Sometimes they had a good distance down to go but they never missed their mark & were always ready for another. About 3.30 we dropped anchor & hoisted the “quarantine flag” in accordance with the custom of this port, as well as most other ports, to signify that no one could get on board or within a short distance of the ship. Several small boats came to within about 40 yards of us with fruit & bottles of wine & brandy; we signed to them to come alongside & sell us some but they knew the quarantine rules too well to venture in daylight as the police boats were near us watching all that was going on. They pointed to the yellow flag on the top of our main mast, shook their heads & pointed to the police boats indicating that they dare not come near us so long as the quarantine flag was flying & the police on the watch.. As soon as it got dark, however, they ventured to come to the ship’s side & then there was a rush to get to the boats to purchase some of their fruit. We got some of the ship’s water buckets tied to a rope & drew up the fruit with them. They could not keep quiet they mad a noise like a lot of wild beasts & soon betrayed themselves whereupon the police came on them & some exciting scenes took place as the police pursued them in their boats. Sometimes they were not long away till they were back. About the last time they ventured back two young lads were clinging to a rope on the side of the ship handing up apples & bottles of wine when the police boat came upon them so suddenly that they did not get time to get into their boats as the lads who were left in the bum-boats had to make off without giving their comrades time to get in order to avoid being caught by the police. They were obliged to come on board & they seemed very frightened that they would be handed over to the authorities as they are pretty punished for this offence. Constable Jack thinking to get his name up went & told the doctor that there was one on board whereupon the party was brought before the Captain but soon set at liberty. When the other party heard that his mate was taken to the captain he leaped into the water & swam to-ward a boat lying some distance off thinking that it was a bum-boat but instead it was a police boat & the shore being too far distant he was oblige to return to the ship again. About 9.30 a bum-boat came alongside & rescued both the parties. Constable Jack’s action is ridiculed by all & many threats were used to-ward him some declare that if he come out of his cabin to-night they will throw him overboard before morning.
Sept 30th Sunday
When rose this morning I got a glass & had a good survey of all the island within view. It was a fine bright morning & the Island looked beautiful. I wish I could get ashore to get a closer examination of the town but I fear I am as near it as I shall get. By 7am the bum-boats were at us again but as the yellow flag was still flying they dare not come within reach of us as the police were watching every movement.
During the forenoon a number of ladies & gentlemen came out in small boats, mostly having awnings stretched above the boat to shade them from the sun. Some of them wore broad sun hats & all of them were dressed greatly different from the old country style. They rowed around us & cruised about for some time inspecting the ship but always kept a short distance off. Divine Service was held on the poop at 11am, conducted by Mr. Milner & well attended. A little past 12 o’clock a message came from the shore relieving us from quarantine; the yellow flag was then hauled down & free trade allowed which caused great rejoicing among the Duntrune as well as the bum-boats. The boats then flocked to the ship’s side & the next few hours the bustle & noise were terrible. Every one wanted to get close to a boat, & Johnny ( as we called them all by name ) wanted to get the highest possible price for his fruit & wines. Many of them cannot speak much English but quite sufficient to make a bargain & they make sure of the money before they part with their goods they must have it first. Divine Service was conducted in the after-noon at 5.30 by an English Missionary from the island. It was pretty well attended but many preferred the bum-boats instead. At sun-down they all left us & are settled down again many discussing the topics of the day but few thinking about the Sabbath.
Monday 1st Oct.
I occupied my time to-day for a couple of hours writing a letter to Jas. Hogg & another to Lissi Smith to be ready for the mail bag when it is made up. The bum-boats were at us by 7am & have been busy all day. A number of passengers who had paid their full fare were allowed to go ashore. They remained the most of the day & came back some of them a little elevated. Part of our “dunky”engine was taken ashore to get repaired & some of the engines went along with it. The water tanks are being cleaned out & refilled with fresh water from the island. The Natives bring it out in close boats made for the purpose & thus it is put into our tanks by means of a fore-pump. The water seems very good. Constable Jack has been dismissed to-day for being too efficacious I suppose.
Tuesday 2nd Oct.
A Mail Steamer came in this morning with lady Brassy on board to meet her husband Sir Thomas Brassy MP presently on board his yacht the “Sunbeam” now lying in the harbor. The usual stir went on all day among the bum-boats till sun-down when they had to leave according to the law of the place. A big gun is fired for a signal for the time, & after it fires darkness comes very quickly, there is little or no twilight here.
Wednesday 3rd Oct.
A number of passengers went ashore again to-day. Some of them had a quarrel with some of the natives & I believe got worst of it; they had drunk too freely of the Madeira water after getting ashore I suppose. One of the married men came back at night totally incapable & had to be hoisted on board with block & tackle. They have brought a quantity of drink on board which is the cause of a great deal of noise to-night.
Thursday 4th Oct.
The bum-boats were at us as usual about 7 o’clock. They brought some baskets of bread which they got disposed of very quickly. Their bread is far superior to the ship’s bread. Their fruit is getting much cheaper now about 50 apples for 1/-. I bought a broad rimmed straw hat for sixpence; I think it will do very well for the sun but it is too broad for a storm. Mr. Reille was taken ashore to the British Council charged with assaulting the doctor & brought back at night. I understand he got off with a caution. A short lecture was given to-day by the same gentleman as preached on Sunday. I wrote a letter to E. Keay.
Friday 5th Oct.
Three steamers came in this morning to get coaled. One of Donald Currie’s R.M. Steamers also called. This was our last chance of getting off letters. Our N. Sea pilot returned by this Steamer being the first chance he has had since we left the North Sea. Our dunky engine was brought on board this morning & fitted up. It was afterwards examined by Sir T. Brassy’s 1st engineer of the “Sunbeam” and passed as being in good working order. Sir Thomas, & Lady Brassy, & some other ladies & gentlemen came on board & spent about 2 hours. For the last three days many of the emigrants & sailors have been bathing & this being the last day we expect to be here thought I would have a dip too. I got prepared, went on to the side of the ship & leaped into the water but being my first attempt of diving I felt rather strange going so far down in the water. However I soon came to the surface again & swam off from the ship a short distance very easily but when I turned I found the tide was against me. I had a hard pull to get to the ship again but managed with a struggle to get to the ladder which I ascended thinking I had got enough of it for a day. Our fresh water tanks were filled by mid-day having received 3,000 gallons at 2 pound per ton. A little before 7 o’clock we started to raise the anchor & as before one of the emigrants was seated on the capstan with a concertina, while as many as could get to the spokes went merrily around the anchor till the anchor appeared once more above the water. Just about 7 we made a start again but there is very little wind & we are moving along very slowly. We have all enjoyed our stay at Madeira very well but at the same time we are pleased to be once more on our way to Brisbane.
Saturday 6th Oct.
We lost sight of the lights of Madeira about 9 last night. The wind was then very light but it has increased a little to-day. We are making little progress but what we are doing is in the right direction.
Sunday 7th Oct.
This commences my week to act as Captain of the Mess again so I have been rather busy but I managed to get to church at 11 & heard a pretty good discourse by Mr. Milner. In the forenoon there was a keen fight between two sailors, a Dutchman, & a Scotsman – I think “Scotty” had the best of it. Our position at noon was Lat.27 50 N Long.20 21 W.
Monday 8th Oct.
Light wind. We passed the Canary Islands this afternoon but a good distance off them. Our condenser is now making 40 gallon of water per hour. Two blankets belonging to an Irishman were thrown overboard & 5,000 lives lost.
Tuesday 9th Oct.
The cooks & a few others got on the spree last night & this morning breakfast was an hour late. It has been a fine day but little wind except for a few minutes about midday, when a breeze sprang up & a heavy shower of rain came on all in a moment; the drops of rain were as big as beans nearly. Awnings were stretched on the poop, & main deck to shelter us from the scorching sun for the first time to-day. I have just witnessed a fight between two young men of 14 Mess, one an Englishman, the other a Scotsman. The later jumped out of his berth with nothing on but his shirt, & a sharp combat ensued, but he was soon obliged to retire.
Wednesday 10th Oct.
Fine day but little wind. I have taken a sheet to a tailor in the main hatch to cut for a jacket & trousers for the warm weather. The first of a series of concerts was held on the main deck at 7pm presided over by Dr Lang. The attendance was good, & there was some good singing. Some of our musicians were also in attendance & played their part well. A very enjoyable evening was spent & a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the Chairman & actors when the meeting closed about 9 o’clock.
Lat.25 51 N Long.25 05 W.
Thursday 11th Oct.
Sailing along pretty well today. In the evening a “tug of war” took place between the married & single men. The single men gained but the married men are to pull us again & have their wives to assist them & we are going to ask the single girls to help us. Fashions are always changing; the fashion here among the women is to have their hair cut short like a man. A great many of them have adopted this style lately. They say it is for the heat but I think it is for the “Scotch Greys” Lat.20 14N. Long.21 53W.
Friday 12th Oct.
I went into one of the life-boats last nigh to sleep as I felt it rather warm below. I awoke at 1.30am & found the boat had the opposite fall; I had to go to my berth again. We have had a fresh breeze all day. We are now in the tropics of Cancer being within 23 & a half degrees north of the line. Our Lat. at noon was 22 06N. Long. 21 20W.
Saturday 13th Oct.
Strong breeze all day. We got lime juice for the first time to-day. A tug of war took place between 12 married & 12 single man; the single men gained with a hard pull. We sighted two full rigged ships a good distance off.
Sunday 14th Oct.
Fine day but light wind. I attended Divine Service in the forenoon conducted by Mr. Milner; it was pretty well attended. Some very loud peals of thunder were heard to-day followed by vivid flashes of lightning & rain powered down in torrents while it lasted. This was in the afternoon the forenoon was fine. Lat.16 09N. Long.26 17W.
Monday 15th Oct.
Thunder & lightning accompanied by heavy showers of rain. We spoke to the “Bell of London” from Auckland New-Zealand homeward bound. We asked her to report us “all well” in Lat. 12 35N Long. 26 21W 755 miles north of the line. I saw a great shoal of flying fish. They measure about 9”long, they are of a dark color with a little white on their belly & can only fly when their wings are wet. Flying is their only escape from the mouths of dolphin & porpoise which we see in great numbers. About 7pm just as darkness set in a heavy squall struck us all in an instant. We were utterly unprepared for it being under full sail at the time. It caused great alarm among the passengers especially among the women; some of them are said to have fainted. All hands (sailors) were immediately ordered on deck & commenced to take in sail with all possible speed. The emigrants gave all the assistance they could down below, but they dare not venture aloft in such a night. The sailors had a very trying task to perform but they were equal to it; they seemed quite at home while they mounted the rigging to gather in the sails. While they were strapping them to the yards they kept singing the “Highland Ladies” or some lively tune to keep their spirits up. Before the required number were got in, 8 of them were torn to pieces. Between the bursting of sails – breaking of ropes & rapping of blocks a frightful noise was caused & our situation for some time seemed dangerous, but when we got sail reduced stood nearly upright again & the excitement ceased as it was seen that the ship was then behaving well & was likely to suffer no farther damage. The wind continued in full force for half an hour & then gradually moderated. The place where the squall struck us (about 12 degrees north of the equator) is termed by the sailors “the graveyard of Australia”. Squalls are very frequent in that vicinity causing many ships to go down. They come off the Great Sahara Desert of Africa sweeping right across the ocean to South America. Our latitude at noon was Lat.12 35N. Long.26 21W.
Tuesday 16th Oct.
After all the squall was over last night the moon came out bright which was favorable for the sailors in getting the damages repaired & new sails up. They have been busy all day but they have got almost everything put in order again now. Lat.10 01N. Long.26 18W.
Wednesday 17th Oct.
A slight squall came on about 11.30am & lasted half an hour but did no damage. Our concert which was to be held, has been postponed owing to bad weather.
At noon 12 ships were in sight. In the afternoon we spoke to the “Marion King” of New Brunswick bound from Liverpool to Chittagong 29 days out. Lat.70 39N. 459 miles north of the line.
Thursday 18th Oct.
Last night I lay down on top of the engine-house with some others & slept there all night among some torn sails which were blown down in the late squall. I awoke at 5am quite comfortable & pretty well slept. The morning was calm & bright sunshine; the day all through was the same.
I finished 12 verses of a poem entitled “The First Stage of Our Voyage” which I intend sending to the office of the “Duntrune Weekly News” for insertion.
Friday 19th Oct.
Becalmed most of the day. We passed close to the Danish barge “Domisle” which we spoke & asked her to report us “all well” We gave her three hearty cheers as we passed. Our concert which was postponed on Wednesday night came off this evening & was a great success.
Three of our Sailors went through a hydro performance which caused great amusement.
Saturday 20th Oct.
Calm & showery in the fore-noon; a breeze sprang up in the afternoon. A number of the emigrants & a few of the sailors have lately formed themselves into a society which they term “The Kangaroo Society” A few days ago the Kangaroos wrote out a challenge & posed it up on the end of the engine house challenging 16 of the nonmembers to pull an equal number of them at “tug of war” After a little discussion the non-members decided to accept the challenge & 16 men were chosen for the contest which came off this evening resulting in the victory of the non-members. I was one of the winning party & pulled with all my might. We beat the Kangaroos three times in succession amidst ringing cheers. After the concert was over we received the prize money from the stake-holder & went to the doctor & purchased a few bottles of wine with it which was taken to the fore-hatch, for the refreshment to the victorious sixteen.
Sunday 21st Oct.
Mr. Anderson conducted Divine Service this fore-noon, but I thought very little of his discourse & listened to him only a short time. I enjoyed my book better than his sermon. Two ships in sight – one a “four master” We are now 300 miles north of the line. Lat.4 42N Long.25 58 W.
Monday 22nd Oct.
Fresh breeze most of the day. A number of periodicals which were presented to the ship at Dundee were distributed among the emigrants today.
Tuesday 23rd Oct.
A good breeze still blowing. There is much talk about crossing the line which we are fast approaching. Lat.2 21N. Long.28 21W.
Wednesday 24th Oct
We crossed the line which has been so much talked about at 4pm. The day was fine but as it was high water at the time when we crossed the equator we did not see the line. I wrote a letter to the Editor of our paper. Another concert was held to-night & proved a great success. Lat. at noon 00 23N.
Thursday 25th Oct.
Strong breeze. I composed four verses on the “tug of war” Mr. & Mrs. Neptune came on board about noon & caused great amusement wheeling round the deck in their coach & four with their attendants. Shaving those who had not crossed the line before, commenced soon after the ceremony ended. I was fortuned enough to, but there were a great many others got well soaped with tar! This is the Fast day in Eden. I think I hear the church bells tolling but have the pleasure of attending to their call now. A barque has just passed our bows in the dark; we heard its crew churning in answer to us but we could not recognize any of them in the dark. Lat.2 06South Long.35 00W. Distance sailed since noon yesterday 126 miles.
Friday 26th Oct.
I rose this morning at 5 & washed a few articles before breakfast. I hung a white jacket over the ship’s side, attached to a rope, to let it wash in the sea; it was quite clean when I pulled it up 2 hours after but one of the sleeves was all tattered to pieces. The ship has been going too fast through the water for this operation. A great shoal of dolphins passed in the fore-noon. In the afternoon we sighted two ships one on each side of us. Lat.2 42S Long.33 02W. Dis. 36 miles.
Saturday 27th Oct.
Wind still very light. I tied a pair of trousers to a rope & put them over the side but I was more successful this time than with the jacket. The paper was read as usual at 2.30pm. Lat.3 01S. Long.32 44W. Dis 19 M.
Sunday 28th Oct.
This morning a man was placed on the top of the foremast to look out for coral reefs off the coast of Brazil. These reefs appear only 10 feet above the water & extend a distance of 8 miles below it. I attended Divine Service at 11am conducted by Mr. Milner; he gave a very good discourse today. If I had been in Edinburgh, very likely I would have been in the Iron Church, celebrating the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. About 2pm we spoke the “Crown of Scotland” steering the same course as us, & also bound for Australia. She had a number of passengers on board & being but a short distance off we could see them quite plane though not so near as recognize their features. We cheered them heartily but as the wind was blowing to-ward them we could not hear their voices but we could see their handkerchiefs flying in every direction & a man sitting on the point of the jib waving his hat. We soon left her behind us & by dark she was a long way off. Lat.4 22S. Long.33 28W. Dis 81 miles.
Monday 29th Oct.
When I rose at 5am I saw a vessel on our lee bow which looked very much like the “Crown of Scotland” we passed yesterday. In the forenoon we sighted a Cape on the coast of Brazil. I went up to the top of the foremast in order to get a better view of the land but it was so far distant I could give no description of it. About 6pm I witnessed a fight between a whale & a thrasher; it lasted about half an hour. Lat.6 37S. Long.34 25W. Dis. 135 M.
Tuesday 30th Oct.
Fine day: fresh breeze. About 7.30pm I went on deck to have a walk but as the deck was very crowded I found it difficult to get along, so I lay down on the bulwarks at the side of the ship & fell asleep. When I awoke at 9.30 I found the deck almost deserted, thus I had a walk for half an hour & then I went to bed. Lat.9 12S. Long.33 56W. Dis. 154 M.
Wednesday 31st Oct.
Another of our concerts came off to-night & proved a great success – the best we have had yet. Some of the occupants of the gallery were a little noisy at times & had to be called to order several times by the Chairman. We passed under the Sun to-day 780 miles south of the equator & 1824 nautical miles west of the meridian of Greenwich. Lat.11 55S. Long.32 26W. Dis. 163 M.
Thursday 1st Nov.
Two months at sea & only 900 miles south of the equator. I fear we are to be a long time till we see Brisbane. Lat.13 05S Long.32 04W. Dis. 70 M
Friday 2nd Nov.
Very light wind for the past two days. Four ships in sight. Lat.15 00S. Long.30 29W Dis. 115 M.
Saturday 3rd Nov.
Fine day. “Paddy West” had a great fight to-day & came off victorious. This is not the first time Paddy has fought here but it is the first time he claimed to be champion of the ship. Lat.16 49S. Long.30 47W. Dis. 169 M.
Sunday 4th Nov.
Strong “head wind”, running 3 points off our course. After breakfast I dressed & went to church as usual. Mr. Anderson conducted the service to-day but had a very small audience. I thought very little of his lecture; I thought more of the “duff” that Mr. Mason prepared in the morning & as I felt very hungry; I went off to the galley, thinking that it would be boiled, but I got a disappointment – the service was over before the duff was ready. I read St. James’s gospel in the afternoon. Lat.18 31S Long.30 36 W. Dis. 110 M.
Monday 5th Nov
We sighted a ship supposed to be the “Crown of Scotland” again. The sailors have been putting up life lines & new sails for the expected rough weather rounding the Cape. I had a long walk with Mr. Benson in the evening. Lat.20 08S. Long.32 36W. 197 M.
Tuesday 6th Nov.
I did some needle work to-day & composed a few verses on The Middle Stage of our voyage. Lat.22 43S. Long.32 00W. 155 M.
Wednesday 7th Nov.
Strong breeze. One of the jib sheets were torn I saw an albatross to-day the first one we have seen yet. We also saw the Southern Cross to-night for the first time. Another concert was held to-night & was considered very good. Lat.26 35S. Long32 08W. Dis. 235 M.
Thursday 8th Nov.
This morning I went to the top of the fore-mast to have a look for Brisbane but there is no appearance of it yet. We got up all our boxes to-day again; the last time we expect to get them on deck till we take them up at Brisbane. Many of our things were a good deal moldy , I got mine up among the first, & turned everything out to the sun for 3 or 4 hours. The day was very favorable for the occasion. Lat.30 33S. Long.31 39W. Dis. 251 M.
Friday 9th Nov.
Going along splendid to-day. I did some more tailoring to-day; by the time I get to Brisbane I think I will be a pretty good hand. There was a great noise in the fore-hatch to-night; Some shouting & singing while others tried to ring them down rapping with their tin dish or anything that would make a noise. Lat.30 10S. Long.27 32W. 255 M.
Saturday 10th Nov.
This morning I made up a dish for Mason & I for breakfast, and took it to the oven, but when I went back for it was nearly burned to a cinder, so John & I had to make a breakfast of the sour bread (as it is usually sour) & the hard biscuits. John broke a corner off one of his teeth & this put all the blame on me for not attending to my duties in the morning. We saw some Molly hawks to-day for the first time. At noon we were on the same latitude as Cape town. Lat.36 00S. Long.20 58W. Dis. 208 M.
Sunday 11th November
I commenced my duties as Captain of the mess for another week. A complaint was made to the doctor that we were not getting our full weight of bread & he gave orders that we should get one lb per a 10 mess more which makes the weight up to 6lbs. 10 ozs. I attended Divine Service as usual at 11am.
Monday 12th Nov.
Very foggy all fore-noon; blowing the fog horn every few minutes. A great row took place about the water as they are giving us less than the contract quantity. We got an extra supply. Most of us were not supplied with our full “ship’s kit” & a discussion took place regarding that. A petition was got up & presented to the Captain asking him to supply us with what we are deficient of or cause us to get paid the value of the same. His reply was “find another address for our complaint” I wonder what subject we will get to take up our attention next.
Tuesday 13th Nov.
I awoke early this morning & not feeling inclined to sleep I rose at 4 & had a walk for an hour & a half on the deck. Before I commenced my walk I met the Chief Mate & had a long talk with him. He assures me that we will be landed before Christmas; I hope he is right. The four water-pumpers came out on strike this morning owing to the stoppage of their bread. They have been getting each a small loaf a day extra for their work but it is to be discontinued. Lat.37 21S. Long.15 50W. Dis. 260 M.
Wednesday 14th Nov.
The weather is getting cooler now. This morning I awoke at 2am feeling quite cold & had to take down the other half of my blanket which had been hanging above my berth since we put into Madeira. We spoke the “North” of London bound for Sydney with emigrants. For some time we have been lying about the deck, the heat making us too lazy to walk but all of us seem to be feeling the cold now & have to do something to keep themselves in heat. We started a procession & marched two & two round the deck for over an hour while a few kept singing some well known song the whole joining in then or at times we marched to the concertina. The evening was spent very pleasantly. Lat.38 39S. Long. 50 40 W.
Dis. 240 M.
Thursday 15th Nov.
For the past few days we have been getting along rather better, & the last 24 hours we have done the largest days work since we left Dundee. We are all a little cheered with the thought that we have caught the right wind now. Lat.39 36S. Long.00 40East. Dis. 301 M.
Friday 16th Nov.
We had another water battle to-day. The tried to cut us short of boiling water for our preserved potatoes by making us give cold water out of our allowance in exchange for the hot water but we rebelled against this proposal & got our water as usual. Being in the same meridian as Greenwich gave us home time to-day. Lat.39 44S. Long.20 50E. Did. 110 M.
Saturday 17th Nov.
One of the married women died this evening. She has been ill for some time & confined to the hospital. I don’t know her name. Lat.39 47S. Long.50 47E. 145 M.
Sunday 18th Nov.
As I have been so busy the past week being Captain I thought I would have a long lye this morning as it is Sunday & nothing to do. I did not go to Church to-day as the weather is very cold & we have not got a stove into our church yet. I am told by one who had been more religious than I that the service was short & as short an audience. Lat.40 05S. Long 8 30E. 130 M.
Monday 19th Nov.
In the fore-noon we spoke to the German ship “Rollelli” bound for Java. Lat.40 33S. Long.14 19E. 258 M.
Tuesday 20th Nov.
The procession that started a few nights ago has been continued every night & causes much fun & amusement. It is now generally known as the lunatic procession. I had a march to-night with the lunatics in company with Mr. Swan. We commenced with a moderate pace & marched in regular order for some time, then it was increased to a run. Someone soon slipped & fell and of course caused the couple immediately behind to fall also; thus a number of others got piled on the top of them as they were going at too great a speed to stop before colliding with the others. After the road was cleared the march & ended in the same way several times. Lat.40 41S. Long.18 49E. 200 M.
Wednesday 21st Nov.
Some burglars have got on board & broken into our bake-house. Between last night & this morning the front door was forced open & a quantity of loaves stolen. The emigrants blame the sailors & the sailors blame the emigrants. I suppose it has been nobody that did it but one thing we all know is that the baker is grumbling about the extra baking he has had to-day. Some say the baker sold the bread & then forced open the door himself to make us believe the loaves had been stolen & get another supply of flour. We know he has a few favorites. Lat.40 49S. Long.22 44E. 190 M.
Thursday 22nd Nov.
The sailors took in most of the sails this morning as a storm was expected. During the fore-noon the wind rose to a pretty strong gale & we shipped some heavy seas throughout the day but no damage was done. Lat.41 20S. Long.29 20E. 300M.
Friday 23rd Nov.
Paddy West had another fight to-day & as he usually does come off victorious but with a hard struggle this time. He is sly enough to pick on one that he thinks he can easily manage but this time he had made a slight mistake. There was a little blood lost on both sides & Paddy’s opponent got his shirt torn to pieces. Lat.41 21S. Long.35 14E. 272 M.
Saturday 14th Nov.
I got little sleep during the night as the ship rolled so much; this is not a nice cradle to sleep in but we hope to be soon where a troubled sea will not disturb us. There are a number of wagers laid when we are to be landed & I think all of us are of the opinion that we will be within sight of Queensland if not Brisbane by Christmas. Lat.40 52S. Long38 14E. 122 M.
Sunday 25th Nov.
We had no service to-day owing to the weather so very cold. Our attention was taken up a little in the afternoon with a whale which kept steering with us along the same course as us a short distance off, & blowing up spouts of water every now & then. Lat.41 12S. Long.44 20E. 220 M.
Monday 26th Nov.
Strong cold wind & showers of hail. I stayed below most of the day & had a few games at draughts. Lat.41 03S. Long.51 20E. 330 M.
Tuesday 27th Nov.
I got a piece of wood & commenced to make a picture frame today. Ship rolling heavily. Passed off the Crosset Island to-day. Lat.41 52S. Long.55 02E. 240 M.
Wednesday 28th Nov.
This morning I made up a dish for John & I & took it to the oven but when I went for it, I was disappointed to find that it was nearly empty. The ship rolling so much & causing everything to shift about. A great shoal of grampuses past us between 3 & 4pm. Some of the sailors tried to harpoon them but were unsuccessful. There is a great noise going on in the fore-hatch to-night & I fear we will not get asleep very early. Lat.42 06S. Long.61 10E. 280 M.
Thursday 29th Nov.
Passed between St. Paul & Amsterdam Isles. About 1pm a very heavy sea came over the portside & dashed into the midshipman’s room covering the floor 2 or 3 feet deep with water. The water rushed through a hole in the floor into the fore-hatch & caused a great commotion. It rushed into some of the berths & thus a run was made by the owners of these berths & their bedding removed with all possible speed. Those whom the water did not disturb seemed to think it good sport & gave their less fortunate mates three cheers for their activity. In a few minutes after, we got another good laugh at a number who had been standing opposite where the wave came over & had received the full benefit of it. They came down drenched to the skin, some of them had been knocked over by the force of the sea. Lat.42 19S. Long.67 22E. 280 M.
Friday 30th Nov.
I spent most of the day making a picture frame. Frame making is a great industry here just now, & some very nice frames have been made & well as a number of very handsome paper knives. Lat.42 12S Long.72 15E. 230 M.
Saturday 1st Dec.
I washed a few articles to-day but unfortunately some of them blew away while they were drying, & I had not time to get back to look for them. The “Duntrune Weekly News” was read to-day as usual & a paragraph appeared in it remarking about the loss of the “Srathmore” on the Crosset Isles, which we have just passed, in 1875. Lat.41 39S. Long.78 30E. 285 M.
Sunday 2nd Dec.
No Divine Service to-day owing to the cold weather. I read St. Luke’s Gospel during the day. Lat.41 46S. Long.84 12E. 260 M.
Monday 3rd Dec.
I have been busy at my picture frame all day. It is rather tedious work but I am getting on pretty well. Lat.41 30S. Long87 40E. 145 M.
Tuesday 4th Dec.
The evenings are still very cold & our Lunatic processions still continue. I had an hour of it to-night along with Mr. Swan. Lat.41 40S. Long.91 20E. 174 M.
Wednesday 5th Dec.
Between last night & this morning the Bakery was broken into. The baker states that 100 loaves have been stolen there from. There is no clue to the burglars as yet. I cut out the last letters of my frame to-day. Lat.42 00S. Long.97 07E. 254 M.
Thursday 6th Dec.
We were becalmed for a while to-day & during that time some of the sailors cast their lines into the sea to try & hook some of the many albatrosses which are flying about in great numbers. One of them hooked a large bird & pulled it into the ship’s side. After lifting it clear of the water & thinking he was sure of it he said I have the b____ now & at that moment the hook lost it’s hold & the bird dropped into the water & flew away.
Dr sent for to Dr Fleming – a lark – Dr Fleming all right.
Friday 7th Dec.
A great shoal of porpoises passed to-day we tried again to harpoon them but as before were unsuccessful. One of the sailors in women’s clothes has just been down in the fore-hatch at “Jumbo” pretending to be one of the single girls & wanting to go to bed with him. “Jumbo” was in bed & made great resistance when the female wanted to get in beside him so she had to retire. She then went to Jamie White’s berth & stretched herself in it. Jamie was sent for but less fun was got with him; he soon made her clear out. Lat.45 50S Long104 02E. 100 M.
Saturday 8th Dec.
A slight accident occurred to Joah Green, better known as “green Joe”. He fell through a hatch into the hold & received some severe bruises but none of a very serious nature. Lat.43 17S. Long106 57E. 135 M.
Sunday 9th Dec.
Dull day with slight showers. No Church Service held to-day owing to the inclemency of the weather. I had a lesson from the old book at home. Lat.43 50S. Long108 02E. 62 M.
Monday 10th Dec.
This morning between 4 & 6 one of the sailors was successful in hooking & drawing aboard 2 albatrosses & 1 Cape hen. The largest of the albatrosses measure 10 and a half feet from tip to tip of wing & have bodies in proportion. They are much larger than they seem when flying over the water. We have been almost becalmed gain for the last two days. Lat.43 28S. Long.108 54E. 75 M.
Tuesday 11th Dec.
I spent most of the day mending my old trousers & other articles which are beginning to get a little ragged now. Lat.43 05S. Long.112 42E. 175 M.
Wednesday 12 Dec.
A great noise in the fore-hatch last night, & lasted till after midnight, shouting rattling among tin dishes sing & playing the fiddle or concertina. After breakfast I went to the top of the fore-mast to look for Queensland but there was nothing to be seen but water, water all around. There was no wind & the sea was as smooth as a loch scarcely a ripple on there to be seen. I have never seen it so calm before. Lat.43 10S Long.114 30E. 80 M.
Thursday 13th Dec.
The night birds gave us a grand entertainment last night, which continued till 2 o’clock this morning. Some of them were playing the fiddle or concertina some singing & others shouting & roaring at the top of their voices; using yarns such as the officers & sailors use when working the ship while others kept rapping with some of the tin dishes or tin cans. The noise at times was deafening. Those who wished to sleep threatened to commence the uproar soon after the other party retired but they paid no attention to this. About 2am they seemed to get tired of it & the noise ceased & there was 2 and a half hours of a silence. I went to sleep & awoke about 4.30am & all was silent but it was not so long. I awoke some of the other morning burds in order to carry out our threats & the pantomime was at once resumed. We managed to make as loud a noise as the opposition did & made it impossible for them to sleep till it was time to get up for breakfast. They declare that they will do the same at night again but we shall see when night comes. One of the 2nd class passengers caught an albatross measuring about 10 feet from tip to tip of wing. John Brown & I went out to the point of the jib & remained there for an hour. The ship was under full sail & looked splendid. Lat.43 48S. Long.119 10E. 215 M.
Friday 14th Dec.
The night birds were silent last night. During the day many of them declared that they continue their old game till after midnight in spite of anything we could do, but when night came they retired to their nests in good time & the evening passed off very quietly. This afternoon I saw a pretty large whale on our port-bow about 30 yards distant. We were sailing along splendid & nearly run it down. Lat.44 11S. Long.124 00E. 205 M.
Saturday 15th Dec.
Strong breeze all day. When our captains went for the cheese this morning they were told that it was done being all served out last Saturday. Other provisions are reported to be running short so it is well that our journey is also drawing to a close. Our Weekly paper was not read to-day, the Editor being suffering from a severe cold & there being no correspondence sent to the office there was nothing except what remarks the Editor might have had. Many of us were not little disappointed. Lat. 44 56S.Long.129 44E. 250 M.
Sunday 16th Dec.
Strong breeze all day. I commenced my forth week of being captain of the mess this morning. I attended Divine Service at 11am conducted by Mr. Milner. As it is thought probable that this may be our last Sabbath at sea Mr. Milner preached his farewell sermon. Lat.45 00S. Long.135 57E. 310 M.
Monday 17th Dec.
The wind continues favorable & we are in good hopes of being in Brisbane before the new year if not by Christmas. Lat.45 28S. Long.143 5oE. 290 M.
Tuesday 18th Dec.
We passed Tasmania this morning & are now steering N.E. for Moreton Bay Lat.44 41S. Long147 29E. 232 M.
Wednesday 19th Dec.
Still a strong fair wind. If the breeze keeps up we may expect to drop anchor in Moreton Bay by Saturday. Lat.42 18S. Long.151 36E. Dis. 240 Miles and 960 miles from Moreton Bay.
Thursday 20th Dec.
Becalmed 6 hours in same latitude as Brisbane. Three beautiful albatrosses caught by some of the passengers while lying becalmed. We expect to cross through Bass Straits to night where it usually blows a strong gale. Dis. 106 Miles. Lat.41 45S. Long.153 40
Friday 21st Dec.
Last night the wind increased to a strong gale blowing from the Indian Ocean right through the Bass Straits. It has lasted all day; waves sweeping the deck every now & then making the ship pitch & roll something terrible. We have made fast everything movable, and many of us have got sick again – my friend John Mason for one but I have not felt the least effected. One may imagine the strength of the wind when we were flying through the mountainous waves at the rate of 6 knots an hour with only 6 out of 27 sails set Sometimes. Lat.37 39S. Long.156 17E. 283 M.
Saturday 22nd Dec.
Last night on account of the high wind & heavy seas most of us went to bed with our clothes on to be ready to jump at a moments notice if an accident occurred but fortunately not a hitch took. This morning the wind has almost died away & during the forenoon there was a thick fog; the fog horn was sounding every two or three minutes & we could scarcely see 60 yards before us. The “Duntrune Weekly News” was read as usual & some very interesting letters appeared in it.Lat.36 34S. Long.154 30 106 Miles.
Sunday 23rd Dec. 1884
Last night about 11P.M. a squall struck us right ahead which no doubt would have caused some amount of excitement had we been on deck to see it, but fortunately we were asleep, or at least most of us, & it has now changed round to a fair wind. At noon we were in the same latitude as Sydney. Many sunfish peeping above the water with their heads. No Divine Service today Mr. Milner having preached his farewell services last Sabbath with the expectation of it being our last Sunday at sea. Lat.34 42S. Long.154 55E. 120 M.
Monday 24th Dec.
About 5 this morning we sighted a Steamer towing a sailing vessel on our port-bow; this being the first sail that we have seen of any description for 5 or 6 weeks. They passed our stern about 150 yards off apparently steering for some New Zealand port. In the morning we were lying becalmed but now it is blowing a strong fair wind which has cheered us with the hopes of dropping anchor by to-morrow night.
Lat.32 05S. Long.154 32E. 162 Miles.
Tuesday 25th Dec.
Though we are at sea we did not forget last night was Christmas eve nor did we let it pass without some ceremony. A little before midnight our ships bell commenced to ring & chimed in Christmas morn while a great number paraded the deck singing & dancing till about 12.30 all went to bed in good hopes of seeing the “promised land” before Christmas day closed. I rose at 5A.M. a fine morning a strong breeze & all going well. About 6.30 the sailors commenced to put the anchor over the side in position ready to drop when required. This was a welcome sight to all of us but yet a more welcome sight appeared soon after breakfast about 8.45. Some one discovered land, Cape Byron, on the port bow & raised the cry “Land Ho” & in a few seconds the forecastle-head was soon thronged being the part where the best view could be obtained from. Of course we gave three cheers for Australia when we discovered that we had found it after traveling such a long road. The land we saw first was part of N.S.Wales but we are still in view of it & steering along the coast so will not lose ourselves now. It is a blithe sight to see the land so near after paddling in the water so long. Soon after discovering the land we sighted two ships one the schooner “Alpha” of Sydney which we spoke & asked latitude which we were told was 29South as we passed her at 11.30. Next was the “Lismore” of Newcastle, N.S.W. which we passed at 12.15 a short distance off. Although we have been caged up here we have spent a very merry Christmas owing to getting within view of the long looked for Australia’s sunny shore. We had not much choice of Christmas dinner but we did our best to have something better than usual. We had no brandy but we did not require that to keep up our spirits; a sight of the land was a good substitute & we will have no sore heads in the morning. The land we have seen as yet looks very hilly & mostly covered with trees, or bushes, with a few houses in some places but we have not been near enough the shore to see the structure of the buildings.
Wednesday 26th Dec.
Last night we got as far along the coast as our Captain seemed to think advisable to go in the darkness without a pilot. The wind was blowing a strong breeze from landward, nearly all our sail was taken in, we hove to & signaled for a pilot. We could see the lighthouse on the port-side not far off & we thought that before day-brake a tug might be sent to tow us into Moreton Bay.
When I rose at 7.30 this morning we were still in the same position & no appearance of a pilot or tug but at 7 o’clock we saw we spied a boat steering towards us which turned out to be a boat with a pilot for us. Before 8 the pilot was aboard the “Duntrune” & very soon the sails were set once more & we tried to beet our way along a little farther but as a strong head wind was blowing we made little progress. A little before noon we gave it up & dropped anchor in 15 fathoms of water. We were all very anxious to hear and news that might be brought aboard by the pilot after being so long shut out from the world & hearing of nothing that was going on. Many reports were soon circulating such as “England & France at war” Emigrant ship “Kincardineshire” never landed, supposed to be wrecked & “Kincardineshire arrived all well in 88 days” We could not know what to believe & there were so many contradictory reports. In the afternoon we signaled “send fresh beef & bread to-morrow” so if all go right we may have some of the Australian produce to-morrow. It is reported that there is a tug in Brisbane available to tow us in at present. Two Steamers passed outward to-day. We are nearly surrounded by land now, it looks very wild & hilly all covered with bushes more or less. Part of the shore seems to be very rocky. The sun is getting strong throughout the day but at night there is a fresh breeze springs up usually from the land. I commenced a letter to Jas. Hogg, Echt, to-day to be ready to post the first mail after landing.
Thursday 27th Dec.
I got up at 3.30 this morning very glad to see that the tug had come to our assistance. In the grey day-sight we could see her lying stern about ¼ of a mile off. We soon commenced to raise the anchor & by the time we had it above the water the tug had us in tow. At 4.20A.M. the powerful tug, the “Boks” of Brisbane, had us in tow & we were once more on our way to Moreton Bay where we arrived about noon & dropped anchor again. Between 3 & 4p.m. the magnificent Steam boat “Kate” of Brisbane came steaming down the river with some government officials on board to inspect our vessel also a supply of fresh beef potatoes bread & etc. Kate also brought a quantity of letters & papers which had been addressed to the Duntrune but I had not the pleasure of receiving any. Our provisions were conveyed between Kate & the Duntrune by means of one of our ship’s boats. We are not alone here; there are a number of ships lying not far off one the “Dora” as emigrant ship which had arrived just the day before us; we could see her deck crowded with people watching us approaching, but we are not so close as have any conversation with them.
Friday 28th Dec.
I went to bed last night thinking that it would be my last night on board, as it was expected by all that we would be landed to-day. I got up at 4.30 this morning & changed all my clothing, pitching some of it overboard like many others as we all expected to go ashore to-day. At 6A.M. the sailors commenced to take up our boxes, so we made sure that we would be on dry land by night, but at 7 o’clock “Kate” was back at us with more provisions, and told us that we would have to remain in the bay for another day which put the “damper” on us again. However the raising of the boxes was continued till now they are all on deck. It is surprising to see the great change that has taken place amongst us. Many who were dressed in old ragged clothes yesterday are now dressed in very stylish suites; some in the old country fashions & others in the stile that I expect we shall see in the new. We had a dinner of Queensland produce for the first time to-day, but I don’t think a very favorable opinion was formed of it – the beef seemed rather tough & the potatoes somewhat wet & not good tasted. In the afternoon the form of a man was made up of some old clothes & some pieces of wood etc, & after being carried shoulder high round the deck was dropped into the water with great ceremony, as if burying some highly respected friend. The procession round the deck caused great commotion & laughter, but the funniest part of the proceedings was when the body floated close to where another ship was anchored. The crew beheld the dead body with profound sorrow, and gallantly launched a boat to pick up the unfortunate man, but when they saw that he was a foreigner they let him rest & returned to their ship again. The emigrant ship “Darren” was towed up the river in the forenoon. One steamer passed outward; & another inward in the afternoon.
Saturday 29th Dec.
Our boxes were allowed to lye on deck all night uncovered, but fortunately the night was fine & there was little fear of thieves as there were plenty of watchmen patrolling the deck. Like many others I did not go to bed – in fact I had no bed as I pitched it overboard yesterday forenoon – but lay down & had a sleep for a short time in any place I could find suitable. In the fore part of the night a number of songs were sung which helped to wile the time away till day light appeared again. About 7.30A.M. the powerful tug Boks made her appearance once more, which was a pleasant sight to all of us. When she arrived we commenced to raise the anchor & at 8.30 she took us in tow when we gave three hearty cheers & commenced the last stage of our voyage greatly rejoicing. We were all on deck watching proceedings & scanning the banks of the river as we sailed slowly along guided by the river pilot who took up his position in the rig & appeared to give great attention to the navigation of the vessel. It was noticed that the ship drew most water astern, & at a part of the river which was expected to be somewhat shallow, we were all ordered on to the forecastle to equalize the draught till we got into deep water again.. At the mouth of the river there was little to be seen but low bushy trees but as we proceeded we soon saw some cattle & sheep with a wooden hut here & there. The farther up the river the more numerous the houses got & of a larger size & all wood but many of them looked very pretty being painted white generally. Many of them had nice gardens & greens attached to them but the grass looked very brown & scorched as if from want of rain. We passed the steamboat “Katoomba” of Sydney with a large number of passengers on board apparently on a pleasure trip. While passing we cheered them heartily & promptly responded. We passed one or two other passenger steamers which also was the occasion of much cheering. We got a good view of Brisbane as we sailed up the windings of the river & everyone admired the appearance of the city. We dropped anchor about 12.15 & had our last dinner before leaving the ship. Between 1.15 & 2.30 we got on to the Boks e taking any small packages in our hands & leaving our boxes on board the Duntrune. Before we parted from the ship we gave three cheers for the Captain ( John Rolls ) Mr. Pye, Chief Mate Mr. McLeod second mate, the doctor, Mr. Lang & a great many others. Three groans were called for the baker, which was also promptly answered. We left the ship & sailed up the river till we came to the emigration depot where we landed at 3 o’clock in the afternoon thus completing our voyage from Dundee to Brisbane in 120 days. We were all very glad to get ashore again after so long a passage but many of us were greatly disappointed with the prospects of the new country. The sun was burning hot the country looked dry & scorched there having been no rain for over six months. With the great drought many kinds of work was brought to a stand still & by what we could learn work was very scarce. Soon after landing, I enquired my way to Fortitude Valley & found Mr. James Hendry whom I had a small parcel for from his father & mother. I found that he had got married about 3 months previously & had got a house of his own where he & his wife were living. I received a very friendly welcome from them & had the pleasure of having my tea with them the first meal I enjoyed in Australia. In the evening I had a walk along the town & engaged lodgings at Leopraik’s Temperance Hotel corner of Wharf & Adelaide Sts. I parted with Mr. & Mrs. Hendry about 8 o’clock & went along to the emigration depot where I found my friend John Mason amongst my other fellow-voyagers much dissatisfied with the accommodation in the depot. Mr. John Brown accompanied me to the Hotel where we both stayed for the night. I had a good nights sleep & rose in the morning quite fresh. Though it was Sunday I did not incline going to Church but had a stroll through the town till night compelled us to retire to our lodgings again.
22nd May 1856------------------12th January 1935
Very grateful thanks to John Long, Sydney, Australia and the family of James Hogg for allowing us to publish this family and historical treasure.