Copy of Log of a voyage by A. McLean from Liverpool to Natal on the ‘Jane Morice’
Saturday 9th April 1853
We left our native home this morning by the first train to Glasgow, and after taking farewell of our friends and acquaintances who were at the station to see us away, were accompanied by Mr. Robert Whippet who went by the same train en route to Edinburgh as far as Sterling. John threw out a note to Mr. WM Gray at the bridge of Allen station telling him that we were on our way to Natal. There was a good deal of snow on the west hills but the weather was fine. We arrived at Glasgow about 10 o’clock and got our small luggage conveyed to the steamer and put on board, with J. to look after it till we met him at Greenock (We had previously sent our large boxes and bedding direct to Liverpool per railway). As mother and Alexander had to purchase the beads in Glasgow we immediately proceeded to Messrs. Hutchesen & Son and saw the beads and got them packed in the cask. They being old acquaintances of Mother’s we were taken to their house and got some refreshment. Mother had a short crack [chat] with Mr. & Mrs. H. about their friends and acquaintances in Perth. They have two shops and a good deal of property in Glasgow and a first rate furnished house. Mr. H. Jun. told us that he would be glad to have another order from us, when we and the order , after they get the goods and send them to the vessel they send them to the vessel they send us the invoice and we send the cash on receipt of the goods. We had not much time to spend with them, so we hurried away to the train and were soon at the Greenock station. Here we had a job to get the beads from the station to the street,, it being very steep. Mother was much frightened for fear of the package, but we got it safely conveyed to the steamer, and met J. saying there was room for us. Up to this the day was very fine and it commenced to blow hard with a little rain. The steamer was very full so we had to be on deck all night – it was very cold and damp. During the night an attempt was made to take the basket from Mother while she was dozing, but it did not succeed. J. & A. were sick and vomited. Mother was not sick but squeamish. The see was rough and the vessel heaved much.
SUNDAY 10th April
While on our passage to Liverpool we saw a very large American steamer (mail) entering the Mersey along with us. We arrived in Liverpool about 11 o’clock, and got our luggage conveyed to the ‘Jane Morice’. She was not in the Salthouse dock as the agent wrote us, but in the George’s dock and on getting our luggage on board we proceeded to Blue’s a Scotch woman who keeps a soup kitchen – the same person we stayed with in Liverpool last, and got some dinner. Our luggage we sent by the railway had not arrived at the vessel. We made some enquiries about it but it being a Sunday we could get no particulars of it so we slept in the vessel on some of the passengers’ mattresses, just with our clothes on.
MONDAY 11th April
Rose this morning about 6 o’clock after a very uncomfortable night’s rest, and left J. in the vessel and proceeded to the railway station, but our luggage had not arrived at it. We were directed to another where it was. The railway company does not, as we supposed they would, convey luggage addressed as we had it free to the vessel, so we had to get a small cart to convey it to the vessel. It was no sooner on board than the vessel was ready to be got to the river. The Capt. Had sent to Mr. Fox the agent to come and get the remainder of our passage money but Mother was sent for to the office and was back just in time to catch the vessel at the dock gate. During this A. was purchasing some small necessaries for the voyage. The agent promised to give us a week’s clear notice prior to the sailing of the vessel, so were depending on this to be in Liverpool at least three days for the purchase of a good many articles, but we got notice on Wednesday afternoon that the vessel was to sail on Sabbath first. Thursday being the fast day we could do little or nothing, and Friday was the only day that we had to get the furniture sold and everything put to rights. We left on Saturday, arriving in Liverpool on Sabbath, and the vessel left the dock on Monday about 12 o’clock, so we had barely time to get our small articles purchased. We intended to purchase a good quantity of felt hats, brass wire, solder, tarred rope &c, but had no time. We have along with us a box for Mr. Duff, and another for Messrs. Duff (two brothers) some letters to you, Mr. Robertson and Mr. Suttle, also a tin plate for Mr. Robertson. After leaving the dock we were tugged out and cast anchor in the river. In the afternoon we got some tea, beef and biscuits for supper, sorted our beds and out our luggage to rights.
Tuesday 12th April
Still lying in the river with the wind from the north and blowing pretty hard. There is an awful traffic in the ferry steam boats running between Birkenhead and Liverpool. Some vessels are lying like us ready to leave – had our meals pretty regular. When we were in the vessel on Sabbath wrote our letter to you telling we were that length on our way to Natal, and wrote to Miss C. Clement of our arrival. This day wrote to Mr. Harris Fisher, Pert, and to D.J.M.
Wednesday 13th April
About breakfast lifted our anchor and were tugged out to sea – on the tug leaving us we hoisted sail and went scudding along in fine style. The crew consists of the Capt. 1st and 2nd mate, and six sailors, besides there is the Capt.’s Wife, a steward, carpenter and cook, making in all belonging to the vessels 13 souls. There are three cabin passengers and four steerage, and an infant besides ourselves, making on board the vessel 24 souls. While the boy was sorting some of the sails on fore part of the vessel he lost his catch and fell into the sea. It would appear he had been stunned by being thrown against the vessel for he was seen by the 2nd mate who threw out one of the life buoys, but he did not appear to be able to catch it. The life boat was immediately launched and manned, and a sharp look out kept for him, but they did not succeed in getting him. There was a heavy sea running at the time, and it was very cold, which tended to give less chance of getting him. This happened about the middle of the day and a good while after the tug left us – immediately on the tug leaving us the most of us got sick and went to bed.
Monday 25th April
Commenced this day to our log, and being able to recollect with something like certainty what occurred on the first days of our emigration, noted then down in their dates, and as they occurred, but being for a time sick, and after that ill with the lazy fever will not be able to give what occurred in their regular order, but will make up for it by giving it as it comes to memory.
After getting clear of the channel we had light breezes, the vessel rolling very much which continued our sickness, coming through the Irish Sea sighted the east coast of Ireland, a great many vessels in sight. On Friday we got our provisions served out for us in one mess for to serve 6 ½ one week. Getting a little better of our sickness on Sunday we attended prayers in the cabin along with the other passengers, and some of the crew. This day we were not very ill, but in the evening the vessel commenced to roll very much, there being no wind to keep her steady in the water and to got sick again and continued so for 4 days, sometimes better and sometimes worse. Mother during our illness had hard work as you may be sure, for J. & A. were not able to do anything. We got some medicine from the Captain which helped to make us a good deal better. Coming through the Bay of Biscay was not very rough. On Friday Mother got our provisions as a family by themselves. We passed two apparently homeward bound vessels but did not speak to them. We have seen a good many porpoises sporting around. The Capt. Shot at some but did not kill them. Yesterday, Sabbath there were no prayers.
Our apartments are very good – we are in the intermediate part of the vessel and our beds are all together in a little room. The fittings had been very green when put up and are beginning to be very open.
The passengers in the cabin are Mr. Richardson, Mr. Millar, and Mr. Brown. In the Steerage Mesars. Steven & J Franklin, Mrs. Greig, Mrs Macgee and child, and ourselves. Mr. Richardson an Englishman has been out at Australia and gathered gold – at one time was an ensign in the army – has been a good many voyages – does not know whether or not he is to settle in Natal but will know three or four days after his arrival. Mr Millar, an Englishman , is going out to be a clerk to E.P. Lampert Esq. a Mr. Brown, a Scotsman from the ‘land of Burns’ we know nothing of his intention for the future. The steerage passengers are better known – Mrs. Greig from Edinburgh is going out to her husband and two sons. She knows little or nothing of the country, and does not even know the place where he is. She says he has 1100 acres of land. He kept the canteen in Edinburgh Castle, and made a great deal of money there – he freighted the ‘Urania’ from Leith with goods. We think she is still lying at Port Natal. Mrs. Macgee from Ireland is on her way to meet her husband in Grahamstown – he is in the Army. Messrs. Franklin, two brothers, are going to their parents who are situated about 20 miles from P.M.Burg They are real swells. They appear to have been in the haberdashery line and become bankrupt and carried off a great quantity of goods with them. The weather has been very fine and is now slightly warm. Shifted most of our sails to day for light ones – in the evening there was a little rain. The spray from the bows, and the waves, present a beautiful appearance owing to the phosphorus floating about. Average run 6 ½ , wind very favorable. During one of the preceding days we were running 8 knots.
A. Commenced to look over his German lessons, and J, his phonography. Saw a great deal of Portuguese men of war floating past, a very beautiful species of fish, floating, shewing all the colors of the rainbow. They have a very long sharp sting which hangs under water. In the afternoon J. & A. twisting ropes for swabs. Mother wrought a sock to-day and commenced another.6 o’clock pm. Running 6 ½ , wind still favorable – directing our course to S.S.W. The last four or five days the sky cloudy and rainy like… The mate could not see the sun set or rise for the purpose of taking an observation.
Wednesday 27th April.
Sky still cloudy, wind very favorable. The Capt. saw in the afternoon the largest flying fish ever he saw, it was about 2 feet long. It is the first yet seen. Average run 6 ½ knots.
The wind has considerably abated – average run only 4. In the evening the 2nd mate caught a flying fish about 6 inches long. They are something like a mackerel, with good sized wings. The sky is still cloudy, weather rather warmer than at home, but not oppressive.
Friday 30th April.
A. saw a flying fish, the first that he had seen in the water. Mending our sails. The wind is a little stronger to-day. By to-morrow about 12 o’clock, if the wind still keeps favorable, we will be in sight of the island of St Antonio, one of the islands of the Cape Verde group.
Sabbath 1st May.
With the first dawn of the day we were in sight of the rocky island of St. Antonio, situate about 17.30 N and 25.30 W. We ran along the west coast of it and at one part were not more than 5 miles distant. The morning was cloudy and the mist hung a long time upon the top of mountain which cleared away about midday. The mountains were very high and rocky – some parts were like steeples towering very high. One part of the North West coast rose very gently from the sea to a great height and appeared not unlike the back part of Cally fountain when viewed from this side of the farm. Round the west corner we saw a portion having some resemblance to the front of the hill of Kinsale, but destitute of trees or other apparent vegetation, but the places at home are nothing compared with the height and grandeur of the lofty rocks on this island. There were no habitations or cultivated patches visible. A great many sea birds, gulls and others, flying around us.
There were prayers read by the Capt. at 10 ½ am. The service was performed on deck in front of the cabin under an awning. In the afternoon a good many porpoises were sporting about, and the cook was at them with the harpoon and struck two, but owing to the vessel running fast they were dashed against the bows with violence and got loose. They floated past with an ocean of blood around them. We kept in sight of the island is cotton, coffee and salt. Mr. Brown took a sketch of it as we passed along.
During the last night the ship heaved and pitched very much, which is the first touch of pitching we have felt, causing us to feel sickish. Mother and J. vomited a little and felt very unwell. The wind was from the east and kept the vessel on the one side. A good deal of spray came on deck to-day.
Still feel a little sick. Saw a good many flying fish and birds flying about – average run 6 knots. In the evening the Capt.’s lady kindly handed to mother a pot of marmalade. She is a very nice woman and spoke a good deal to mother, but none to the other two female passengers. She tells mother her birthday is in June when the men will have a holiday on board. Will she give a treat to the passengers? The Capt. tells mother that he expects great thunder storms accompanied by awful lightning and rains.
About 121 o’clock last night the wind died away to a breath. A very beautiful bird was seen flying about in the forenoon, which lighted upon the lower rigging of the bowsprit. Mother told it to Mrs. Brown as she was coming out of the cabin from luncheon, who told the Capt. about it. He immediately went out the rigging but did not get near enough when it was off. It then alighted on the main yard arm at the outer point and stayed there till afternoon. Its appearance was not unlike a canary mule. The wings and tail were like a sparrow’s neck breast and belly yellowish like a Canary. The Capt. quarreled with George Franklin for swearing – he had much need to be quarreled with.
As yet there are no particulars of the vessel or crew. The vessel is American built, about 500 tons burthen, with very great breadth of beam. This is her third and supposed to be her last voyage to Natal. The Capt. Steward, and 2nd mate are old hands, all the rest new. When we left Liverpool we had two sheep, 2 pigs. 4 doz. Fowls, and a dog belonging to Mrs. Brown. One of the sheep died about a fortnight ago and after being skinned was thrown overboard. The other was immediately killed, it’s flesh was very good but little fat on it. They were not very well looking after – were kept in the long boat, had very little room, and were not kept so clean as they ought to have been. The pigs are not thriving very well and are very lean. A good deal of the fowls have died and the rest are very lean. The dog has stood the test very well, is very canny and quiet. One of the crew Thom an Irishman, was very ill the first week with a bleeding at the nose, and at one time bled so much that he was not expected to live – he has got quite stout again. He had been drinking all the time he had been on shore. David Dow, an Antiguan, very dark coloured has been twice very ill with rheumatic pains and not able to work much – he is getting better but slowly. When first he came on board he was very stout and full of glee, but during his illness he was reduced to a skeleton. The steward is troubled with rheumatism in his feet which swells them greatly. The Capt.’s lady is not in very good health and sometimes looks very poorly.
Thursday 5th May
Wind is still very favorable but not strong. Two small sharks were following the vessel, tried bait and the grain hook but did not get any of them. They were about two feet long.
Friday 6th May
The wind has entirely left us and there is all likelihood of a calm. In the afternoon there was a tremendous rain which lasted about 4 hours. The water was caught and the barrels which were empty were filled. We filled our cans and dishes as we were to get no allowances for two days. Most of the passengers had even bathed themselves, and almost everyone on board was washing.
Saturday 7th May
Weather very quiet.
Do. No wind yet, weather very warm but not so hot and sultry as often at home. During the forenoon one of the sailors aloft saw a pilot fish coming towards the vessel so we kept a lookout for a shark – in a short time one was seen and a bait immediately thrown over for him. After a while maneuvering about the vessel he took the bait, but not far into his mouth. He was a very large beautiful fish, the king shark, the largest and best looking of his species. The hook was drawn too quick and after splashing a while he dropped off the hook. In the afternoon another came, he was caught and brought on deck – about 4 feet long. So much for the Sabbath, it had been with us a day of fishing for fish.
Who is for shark to breakfast is all the cry. It was cooked and most of the passengers tasted it, I among the rest. It had no taste in particular, just like any other fish, only the thought of eating such a ravenous animal. The last few evenings have seen most beautiful sunsets. Here immediately on the sun setting it is dark – beautiful evenings, very starry, new stars.
During the last four days we have been becalmed. This morning we had a breeze which continued till daylight – the rest of the day was very quiet.
Wind still weak – two vessels in sight this morning – the Polar stars are seen on the horizon – Southern cross, two of the stars seen – very bright lightning.
Early this morning a vessel passed us about three miles distant. Wind right ahead, tacking, all hands are called out to set her on another tack.
Wind pretty strong but not favorable. We are to get salt fish instead of beef if we like. We have had a wind sail down our hatch to catch a current of air into our berth – in the afternoon got our provisions – in the evening some rain. Today the Capt. made a shower bath and got one of our tin plates for it. Course S.S.E.
Wind a little stronger and out of the same direction – in the evening a vessel in sight – as John was looking over the bulwark to see how fast the vessel was running he lost his hat.
The vessel which was seen on the larboard side last night was on our starboard side this morning – when it was a little clear she hoisted her flag which proved her to be a French vessel. We hoisted ours in reply. She was a long way ahead of us then and appeared to be keeping ahead but we gradually made up to her, and about 10 o’clock was opposite. The signals were got ready intending to speak to her, and on hoisting the first we saw she had no signals, couldn’t answer us – she signed to us a happy voyage and we returned the compliment. Prayers were about to commence when the cook threw on decks fish – my line had been hanging out all morning and for a while we had good sport – caught 1 doz. – 4 at 20 Lbs. and the rest about 10 Lbs. each. – Albicose and Minitae., the largest 2 feet long, very thick, small entrails. We had plenty for tea, good meat, relished them much being on salt meat so long. 4 doz, small fish inside one of the largest – caught with fly skin of pork – keeping close to S.W.S.
Monday 16th May
The vessel is very far behind and appears not unlike a post. The wind is taking us away to the West so we will not cross the line so soon as expected – except to cross tomorrow midday. So near the line, long yarns about Neptune and his host – very clear moonlight – stars look very strange, mostly new.
All the talk is about Neptune – crossed the line at ½ past 11 am. In long. 17,47. W. 34 days at sea, 4 hours sooner than the vessel took last voyage – some fun on deck, cock fighting, racing, leaping &c. Neptune is not expected – he is said to be too busily engaged with the Australian passengers at present – still the weather has never been oppressively hot. Our wind sail has gone to the cabin but we have another one which keeps the place cool – when it ..h..is awaiting the smell and heat is insufferable.
Wednesday 18th May
The heat today gave A. & J. a headache. In bed all day. Wind favorable, S.S.W., close to wind.
Thursday 19th May
Still complaining. Mother complains very much of the motion of the vessel – has no comfortable seat.
Friday 20th May
Good deal better today, heat not so affecting – got our provisions, instead of soup and Bouilli green peas soup. The Bouilli is very good, 1 tin at a time, does not keep on being exposed.
Saturday 21st May
Pitching very much – today very disagreeable, strong wind, S.S.W.
Sabbath 22nd May
Set some stun sails. Prayers at 10-30 – not so uncomfortable today – wind same direction.
Monday 23rd May
Mother washing to Mrs. Brown.
Tuesday & Wednesday
No reckoning these days – note book blank.
During the last evening we have kept running 7 knots due South. There had been some noise on deck last night by the Franklins’ and cabin passengers, and Mother had been speaking to Mrs. Brown, and she asked if she had heard the noise, and M said she did. Mrs. B – however the Capt. heard of it and asked the 1st Mate about it and that being his watch he made a great noise about it. The lamp is to be put out at 9 o’clock. J. being the youngest is to see that the lamp is trimmed and filled every afternoon. Since morning the wind has gradually died away only going three knots at 5 0’clock in the evening, no wind.
Friday 27th May
Weather very quiet – expecting a breeze from the west – heavy swell from that direction – got our provisions – evening still and quiet – 2 knots.
Early in the morning the sea was very calm, not the slightest swell to be seen – at breakfast there arose a slight breeze which continued all day but very weak. Seven stars, Sunset twilight.
Still very quiet in the forenoon. Prayers were read by the Capt. as usual – in the afternoon a sail in sight.
Monday 30th May
The vessel that was seen last night is coming fast up to us, and after breakfast the Capt. made preparations to speak to her. On her coming near enough we hoisted our colours and she sent up hers – a British vessel – in answer to our signal, she was 'James Scott' of Glasgow, from Liverpool to Shanghai, out 46 days. In a few minutes she was alongside and the two Capt.’s had a long talk together. They used to see each other nearly every day Messrs. Lamport & Holt’s, he could not get a steamer to tug him out – had never seen so few vessels as this time – only one small brig before us. We told him we had lost a man at Bell Buoy and he was the first we had spoken – after bidding us goodbye he steered her away to our lee side – in the afternoon a long way ahead of us – the men fishing. Wind not strong.
The “J.S.” had gone a good deal to windward – put up all our stun sails.
Wednesday 1st June.
We have made a great way on the 'J.S.' and in the afternoon passed her on the windward side. Saw a few black fish – small whales about 20 to 30 feet long. The wind is aft and have all the fore stun sails set and all the canvas we can carry. In the evening a strong breeze came on suddenly on the starboard side – the main royal had been hauled up, we were all startled by the 2nd Mate, a regular man of war’s man with an awful voice and inclination for roaring shouting 'haul in the lower stun sails'. After the stun sails were hauled down all hands were called up to reef topsails, and before they halted we had only 4 sails reefed. The wind continued to blow very hard, and it took about two hours to take the sail in. After clearing the deck heaved her close to the wind, braced the yards fore and aft, set the mizzen and flying jib, grog was served out to the men and the watch kept below.
Thursday 2nd June.
The strong wind has gone away and comes out of a bad direction – steering East.
Friday 3rd June.
For the last three or four days a few Cape hen and pigeons were flying about and set bait to catch them. The cook tried a few minutes and caught a Mollyhock – it was very greedy and took the bait in style. When set on deck it just paddled about like a duck. It was 4 feet from tip to tip of it’s wings black back and white belly. The Capt. killed it to pluck it but soon threw it away, so full of fleas. In the afternoon one of the pigs was killed – the Capt. intends to keep the other one and sell it in Natal. Wind no better, steering East by North.
Saturday left blank.
Wind still quiet and out of the same direction. Prayers were read by the Capt. In the afternoon the wind veered around a little, shifted the braces – plenty hen and pigeon flying about today. We had a treat for dinner, fresh pork and preserved potatoes. We now get the latter good and tasty as the common.
Monday 6th June & Tuesday left blank.
Wednesday 8th June.
This morning two vessels in sight right ahead and starboard bow. 9 o’clock another visible stern of the latter, good breeze and plenty of sail – the mid vessel very large, think it is a man-of-war. Noon, the one ahead is going to windward and we have made up to her (between 12 & 1 o’c) we spoke her in 1 at 30.10.S and 12.49.West. The 'Parland' of Glasgow from there to Batavia, out 68 days. Asked us to report her – we are only 56 days out. She is a large ship, about 900, carries two stunsails and 3 other sails on her mizzen – one stunsail set – 7 knots all day. We soon passed her after speaking. The 3rd vessel had her ensign flying all day – could not make it out – set the foretopmast stun on course S.E. by E. Evening the 'Parland' far behind – took in royal and stunsail.
Thursday 9th June.
During the night a vessel, passed very close to us and strict watch was kept, and we had to go a long way out of the course for her. Last night very squally like, morning rainy squalls, main top mast stun sails sheet gave way – taken in.
Friday 10th June.
During last night the wind continued strong, with heavy rains – sea broke over after in heavy spray. Morning only main sail fore peak and 2 topsails. At 10 o’clock unbent the foresail for a new one. 7 bells all hands called out to unbend and foretopsail and staysail. 2 o’clock heavy squall, topgallant drawn in, reef topsail, lasted an hour in Lat.33.32.S. and 70. 9. W. New Moon, starry, strong breeze. 8 o’clock set main topgallant, course S.E. since yesterday noon by log 200 miles. 9 o’clock heavy squall, took in some sails, helmsman ordered to keep her off, kept her close, ran awfully fast, long and heavy.
Saturday 11th June.
Last night windy, morning strong breeze, running 10 knots, daylight wind not strong, unreafed the sails. Since we left Liverpool we had the water casks on deck, and after crossing the line got what we needed, began to get the water out of the hold – noon 6 knots. Cape Minister, Pigeon, Mollyhock and Albatrosses flying about – trying to catch them. Evening more wind, reefed the topsails, moonlight clear and strong, squally weather expected.
Sabbath 12th June.
Wind abated, all sails set at stunsails, wind unsteady, strong breeze. The Capt. fishing for birds. J. caught a pigeon, a beautiful bird. No Prayers today. Noon same long. as Greenwich. Lat. 33.42.
Early in the morning reefing sail – last night took in two – at 11.30 a very black cloud seen proceeding over the vessel like a rainbow as it appeared over head. It blew very hard. 3 o’clock all hands reefing sails. A. went to see what was going on, very few sails, dark and cold – rolling very much. During the day wind very strong, heavy sea. At dinner we were set down to a fine mess of potatoes and fish well cooked and baked when a heavy sea broke over her carrying away the pots, and starting the rail, and spoiling our dinner, and wetting everything. Another at 6 and 8.
Tuesday 14th June.
The wind has slackened a good deal, but a heavy sea running – more sails today – squally.
Wednesday 15th June.
Last night the sea broke over pretty often – weather very squally – no accident – during the day not squally but heavy sea.
Had plenty of sail set today – in the afternoon squared the yards – evening reefed most of the sails – very squally – noon Lat. 36.8.N Long 11.3.
The windy and squally weather has disappeared, very calm, shot birds – no distance today.
Still quiet and calm.
Sabbath 19th June
A light head wind – steering N.
A great deal of lightning – sky very troubled – another tack.
Fine Westerly wind – noon same Lat. As Cape Agullas [sic]. Vessel in sight, far distant, homeward bound – 7 6 Knots, moonlight.
Running East – fine wind, run about 140 miles – 8 and 9 knots – squally looking, barometer falling – afternoon, vessel in sight. Noon 36.6. 33.55 Barometer broken.
Wind still strong and squally, increased very much afternoon – put the vessel under reefed topsails 6 o’clock, close reefed foretopsails, reefed foresail, foretopmast stay sail and double reefed main top sail. Wind increased, sea running wild. 9 o’clock the Capt. ordered the hatches to be put on – heard the mate singing out 'stand by the topsail halyards'. At this time it was blowing awfully hard and the sea running mountain high. About 11 o’clock those on deck saw three great waves, the highest they had ever seen. After midnight began to abate.
Friday 24th June
The hatches were taken off at breakfast time and when we got on deck the sea was running mountain high. We passed a very uncomfortable night, no sleep. Plenty of water came on deck during the night and a great quantity came down to us. Open the hatches below to let it run away – in some of the squalls running 10 knots – wind in a good direction.
During the night we have been laying to – rolling very fearfully – heavy sea, many of them broke over the deck, always wet. Saw a large vessel laying to also – long way off, very uncomfortable, all wet.
Sea quiet strong – land wind o motion of the vessel easier
Running in for land – weather quiet, wind Easterly. In the afternoon land visible but barely, sunset. Could see the sun set behind the hills.
Kept the vessel off all night – weather very quiet, kept running along in sight of land all day – afternoon made for shore. On coming close found it was not Natal. Greatly disappointed.
All last night we were tacking every hour – as daylight appeared we saw the land – still tacking – about breakfast saw a bluff about which those that had been here in the vessel before had a great dispute as to its being Natal. The Capt. thought it was not, and was keeping the vessel farther along the coast, the others said it was – at last “about ship and make for it”. At this time we saw a boat far out at sea making for the direction of the bluff. 11 o’clock, could see the flagstaff and house. ½ past 12 anchored 2 ½ miles from the bar. At this time the boat made to us and they shouted to us. They had been from here to St Lucia Bay, up along the coast, trading and hunting seacows. But as they were an hour’s sail from this place of landing the wind changed, so they made everything snug and went below – all night tremendous gale. In the morning the rudder away, rigged an oar and made for here. Wind drove them down – she flew past us and went across the bar in style. The bar is occasioned by the sea abruptly lashing on the sand – wave strikes spray 10 to 20 feet high – watch an opportunity, expecting a boat all day. Weather not clear for a view of the Bluff, which comes to a point one base entrance to the bay. See a small bit along the coast very bushy.
Thursday & Friday.
Bar rough, no boat can cross – very little water. These days have been the weariest.
Saturday 2nd July.
Boat sent out in the morning – got in with what luggage we had beside us. Crossed the bar (put under hatches) beautifully. Saw a [native] working at the breakwater, naked, very black. On coming to the landing place such a Babel, lots of [natives] working here unloading. Most of them naked but working in the water – ordinary dress strips of skins hanging down round the loins. Got carried ashore on their backs. Saw Mr. Ward, late Mate of the 'Jane Morice2'. Was taken to Mr. Burton’s.
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Wonderful read! So very interesting - especially as it is a first hand live account of the trip. Thank you so much for posting this.
Thank you for your positive feedback. Best Wishes, Mole
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