–MS-Col-20-1950 Alex Turnbull
Library (New Zealand)
Library (New Zealand)
Journal of a Voyage to
Zealand [on the Katherine Stewart Forbes]
Embarked at Gravesend on board the Katherine Stewart Forbes, Friday
October 1851. Inspected by the government officer the next day and the ship
pronounced ready for sea
came on board on the afternoon of Saturday. Weighed anchor at about ½
past 5 on Sunday morning and proceeded, with light breeze, down the river. Went
along very quietly as far as the North Foreland, when we were obliged to anchor,
the wind being contrary.
Dropped down anchor at ½ past 1pm about a mile astern of the “William
Hyde”, which ship left Gravesend at the same time and also bound for New
Zealand. The Captain and Chaplain came on board in the
afternoon to exchange civilities with our Captain.
Up anchor at
10am on the 20th and
proceeded to beat through the Gull Stream into the Downs, where we again came to
anchor, and landed our Pilot.
at 5 am on the morning of the 21st.
Came on deck and found we were gliding through the water very comfortably. Some
of the passengers began to feel queer. Got as far as Beachy Head.
wind, fine day. Reached as far as St. Katherine’s Point, Isle of Wight.
23rd. Fine weather, light wind. Run along the coast of Dorset shore, passed the Bell of Portland at about ½ 11am and
Torbay at 5pm.
E.S.E. delightful weather.
Boarded by a Plymouth fisherman who sold us some fish and took our
letters, the last in all probability we shall send for some time.
E.S.E. Passed a brig standing to
the N orthward.
Fine day, with strong breeze
from the South East.
casting up their accounts.
Lat.46º 14 N Long 10º 41W.
warm day, wind continued from the S.E.
wet and strong wind from E.S.E. running across the Bay of Biscay.
warm morning, sea smooth as glass.
wind all day, but showery.
Lat.38º 31 Long.14º 51W.
Splendid weather, fine breeze from the S.E.
Beautiful weather. Sighted Porto Santo and spoke the Dutch ship “Catherine”,
13 days from Liverpool bound to Rio Janeiro. All Well.
Lat.33º 41N Long 16º 49 W.
Passed Madeira in the night.
Fine weather, good breeze.
Lat.32º N. Long.17º 49W.
3rd Fine wind
wind variable, afternoon almost a calm.
Fine, light wind.
Noon Lat.26º 45N.
Spoke a Portuguese Barque 12 days out from Sparta, bound
to Rio Janeiro, 74 passengers on board. A boat came from the Barque when
we rated his Chronometer the same having run down 7 days before. Two of the
passengers came on board and brought some grapes, we in return giving them
Cigars and tobacco.
On our Captain’s birthday, he invited us all to dinner. Spent a very
pleasant afternoon and finished up the evening with dancing and other
Lat 26º 44
Nothing worth noting this day.
wind from S.W. Cloudy.
Saw a whale rise, several tons, quite close to the ship.
Thermometer at breakfast 77º
in the Saloon.
into the Tropic of Cancer.
warm. Light wind from the east.
a Brig showing Dutch Colors.
Lat.18º 50 N. Long.24º
16th. And in the morning we sighted the islands of Hugo and Bravo. Ran close into the island of Bravo within 2 miles of the land, we wishing to procure some fruit, but here too we were disappointed not a house being visible. The island presented much the same appearance as St. Antonio, they being all volcanic formation. We saw 3 blacks in a boat, spearing fish, but they would not come on board.
remained becalmed fro 3 or 4 hours and amused ourselves by fishing for sharks,
several of them being quite close to the ship, but did not succeed in hooking
one. We got the wind in the evening and steered on our course, the Captain not
being willing to waste any more time.
21st. Fine morning, light wind.
Lat.5º 55N. Long. 21º 26W.
Noon: Squally with heavy rain.
Cleared up again in the afternoon. In the evening squally, with
heavy rain throughout the night.
22nd. Very hot day. Wind contrary. Tacked to the eastward but made very little progress.
10pm. Heavy squall with
tremendous storm of rain which lasted ‘til midnight
23rd. Sunday, fine day
with strong breeze from S.E. A rolling sea, which made
several of the passengers feel rather uncomfortable. Divine Service performed as
usual in the morning, but not in the evening, the Captain fearing a squall.
24th. Fine. Strong wind from the S.E. Commenced a French class.
25th. Fine weather. Steady breeze from S.E. Made all sail.
13W. Spoke a Brig and exchanged
26th. Very warm Thermometer at breakfast 83º. Noon this day 56 miles north of the Equator.
Long. 25º 31W.
Wind S.S.E. Steady breeze.
27th. Crossed the Line this morning, ¼ past 7. Light Trade winds.
Noon Lat.2 º
52W. Mr. JACKSON held his birthday
this day, each of the Cabin passengers celebrating one in turn
wind from S.E. Noon Lat.2º
42W. Thermometer at noon 85º
29th. Fine. Schooner in sight. Nothing worth noting.
Lat.4º 57S. Long.28º 52W.
30th. Sunday. Delightful weather. Passed on American Whaler.
1st. December. Wind E.S.E. Steady Trade wind. Thermometer at breakfast 83º
2nd. Fine weather, easterly wind. Lat.12º 17S. Long.30º 14W.
Midnight: Light wind E.N.E.
3rd. Wind N.E. Passed 2 Barque steering same course. Lat.14º 10S. Long.43º 13W.
McDONALD’s birthday passed
off exceedingly well. Altogether the best one we have had yet.
4th. Steady, westerly wind. Cloudy. Noon Lat.15º 13S. Long.27º 51W.
Afternoon: Heavy rain.
Midnight: Variable winds with
east. Splendid weather. Noon Lat.15º
wet, miserable day. Confined to Cabin all day.
Noon Lat.17º 36S. Long.26º 6W.
In the evening squally, with heavy rain through the night.
8th. Wind E.S.E. with heavy head sea.
9th. Steady breeze from the east. Fine weather.
10th. Steady breeze E.N.E. Hazy weather.
11th. Moderate breeze. Made all sail.
12th. Light breeze E.S.E. Cloudy.
13th. Steady breeze from the N.E. Clear weather. Passenger’s boxes had up on deck.
Noon Lat.27º 10S. Long.21º 57W.
Heavy rain in the evening.
14th. Sunday. Another wretched wet day. Continued the whole day. Divine Service performed in Cabin by Doctor.
15th. Tacked to eastward. Moderate breeze. Heavy rain.
Noon Lat.27º 63S. Long.20º 53W. 4pm. Tacked to the southward.
16th. Wind S.S.E. 8am. Tacked to the eastward. Noon: Tacked to the southward.
17th. Wind E. Course S.S.E. Light airs and cloudy weather.
Lat.29º 20S. Long.21º 13W.
6pm. Heavy squall with rain. In
all Studdingsails, Royal and Top Gallants. At 7 tacked to the westward.
19th. Wind S.E. Course S.S.W. Weather more moderate. Set Top Gallant sails. Noon: fresh breeze, clear weather.
Lat.30º 28S. Long.21º 13W. 4pm. Wind E.S.E. Course south.
Midnight: Steady breeze, clear
20th. Fine day, strong breeze E.S.E. Weather getting much colder. Thermometer this morning 65º. Saw several albatrosses flying close to the ship but could not succeed in hooking one.
Lat.32º 25S. Long.21º 6W.
5pm. Wind east, course S.S.E.
Moderate breeze, gloomy weather.
21st. Sunday. Strong breeze E.N.E. Course S.E. by S.
Divine Service performed in Cabin by Doctor LUBATH.
Noon Lat.34º 9S. Long.20º 12W.
We are now in the same latitude
as the Cape of Good Hope.
22nd. Beautiful fresh morning. Thermometer 8am. 65º.
Strong breeze N.N.E. Course E.S.E.
Noon Lat.31º 22S. Long.16º 31W.
Evening: Fresh, steady breeze.
Cloudy weather. Set all possible sail.
23rd. Splendid weather. Strong breeze from the N.E. Course E.S.E.
8am. Sighted a full rigged ship, steering S.E. by E.
The last 2 days we have been getting on gloriously, an improvement very much needed as we had made but little progress the week previous.
Noon Lat.35º 50S. Long.12º 52W.
Passed a full rigged Brig at 4pm. Steering the same course. Evening squall with rain.
24th. Very wet day. Moderate breeze from the north. Course E.S.E.
Noon Lat.37º 6S. Long.9º 30W. 2pm. Wind shifted to the S.E. In all Studding sails. Light, variable winds.
25th. Xmas day. Splendid weather. Wind North. Course S.E. by E. Light wind.
Lat.36º 17S. Long.6º 11W.
In the afternoon the passengers
formed themselves into small parties to drink etc. but I, fearing some
disturbance would take place, did not join in either. Things went on pleasantly
enough until about 10 at night, when one of the passengers, having taken a
little too much wine, commenced quarrelling with the Captain because he had
promised to take wine with them had failed to do so. After a good deal of abuse,
the Captain went on the Poop deck to take the Watch, the 1st Mate
being confined to his berth with a bad arm. Mr. W. immediately followed and
recommenced the quarrel. After a few minutes they were scuffling together when
Mr. W. knocked the Captain down. The Captain immediately rose and seized a chair
with which he knocked his opponent down, with a blow on the head, at the same
time calling loudly for the Watch. By this time, several of the passengers had
assembled and got between them to prevent further violence. The Captain
immediately ordered him to be seized and confined to his Cabin, which was
accordingly done. I was then engaged in addressing the Captain’s leg which had
been injured by his falling on the corner of the Hen Coop, when struck on the
Poop, and afterwards in attending to the arm of Mr. W. which was also slightly
grazed, when he suddenly made a rush out of the Cabin and struck him over the
forehead with a life preserver, which brought him on his knees. He was then
taken back to his Cabin and the straight waistcoat put on, after which his head
was dressed, the Cabin door locked and a Watch put at his door. The Captain
after ordered the ship’s course to be altered, having made up his mind to take
him to the Cape of Good Hope and have the case tried there.
26th. Very wet all day. Passengers very seedy.
Wind North. Course E. by N. Strong breeze. Lat.35º 49S. Long.3º 11W.
confined to his Cabin with his leg. Mr. W. also
quite quiet today. He is now entirely under my charge.
27th. Strong, steady breeze, gloomy weather.
34S. Long. 9E.
Wind in W. Steady breeze, cloudy weather.
Lat.34º 9S. Long.2º 54E.
waistcoat removed today at my request and handcuffs substituted, which, after
remaining on a few hours, were also removed on my interceding with the Captain,
he being now perfectly quiet.
29th. Wind variable.
30th. Wind N.W. course E.S.E. Light steady breeze.
31st. Wind N.N.W. noon Lat. 34 5S. Long. 8 30E.
squall from Southward split the fore and main topsail. Unbent and
bent new ones.
1st. Wind S.S.W. course S.E. by E. Strong breeze, heavy swell.
Lat.34º 50S. Long.11º 33 E.
Squall with heavy rain.
2nd. Variable wind, cloudy weather.
Lat.34º 14S. Long.14º 14E.
chains and got the Anchor over the bows.
3rd. Wind S. Light wind and clear weather.
52S. Long. 16º
4th. Sunday. Sighted the Table Mountains of the Cape.
past 8 came to anchor about 2 miles from the shore. The appearance is very
beautiful being almost surrounded by Mountains which rise about a thousand feet
behind the town. The Lion Rock is a remarkable object, so called from its
resemblance to a Lion couchant.
appearance of the town with the sun shining on the white houses is very pretty.
Before the anchor was dropped we were inspected by the officer of health and upon my report of all well, were immediately passed, a flag being hoisted at the main to signify that boats might come off to us. In a very short time we were surrounded with them and in which Natives brought fruit, vegetables, bread, meat, fish etc etc.
Immediately after breakfast we landed to inspect the town, the appearance of
which with its long straight streets and white houses has a very clean and
pleasing appearance. None of the houses appear more than two storeys high. About
one half the population are English and Dutch, the remainder of every imaginable
shade of color and cast of feature, which presents a very remarkable appearance.
We were not a little surprised to see the Police with his white Trousers and
Blue coats, precisely the same as in London. They are in fact the same, being
volunteers from the different divisions. In the afternoon we took a walk in the
Government Gardens, which consists of a long Avenue of trees about a mile and a
half in extent, and forming a very nice shady promenade. Here, also, is the
Governor’s House and opposite is the Botanical Gardens possessing a fine
collection of Tropical plants. After wandering about until we were tired, we
returned to our Hotel to tea.
8pm I went on board for the night.
weather. Amused ourselves fishing for Caw-fish of which we caught a great many.
The taste is not unlike lobster. Three of the Crew
refused to work in consequence of not being allowed to go on Shore. They
were taken before a Magistrate and two of them committed for 6 weeks. The other,
on the plea of ill health, was remanded until next day with the option of
returning to his duty. He returned the next morning. I examined him and found
his heart diseased. I therefore advised the Captain to Land him, and through the
interest of some friends I had formed at the Cape, procured his admission to the
five fresh hands.
About 3pm we found the ship was drifting. Let go some more chain, but as
she still continued to drift, let go the other Anchor and hove upon the first
Chain, when we found both
flukes had parted from the Stock.
9th. The glass stood higher today than any day since we left England, being in the sun 125* and in the shade 98*
At noon shipped a new Anchor and made ready for sea. At 6pm weighed Anchor and proceeded to sea with strong, westerly swell.
S.E. Course N.N.W.
10th. 4am tacked to Eastward, at 8 tacked again Westward. Breeze increased in the Top Gallants and one reef in the Topsails.
8pm. Tacked to
4am. Split 4 Main Topsails and Mainsail. Wore ship to westward and bent new Fore Topsail set with a double reef.
8pm. Tacked to eastward.
S.S.W. Course W. by S. Weather more moderate.
Set Jib and Mizzen.
Lat.33º 26S. Long. Not
S.S.W. Course W. by S. Moderate weather.
Set all sail. Bent a new Foresail.
Lat.34º 40S. Long.15º
8pm. Calm, cloudy weather.
W.N.W. Course S.S.E.
4am. In Royal and Flying Jib.
Noon Lat.35º 39S.
Shipping a great many seas.
west. Course S.S.E. Squally weather.
Afternoon: Strong wind from N.W. Fine clear weather.
N.W. Heavy cross seas.
Noon: Barque in sight showing British colors.
Afternoon: Strong breeze and showery.
N.W. Course S.E. by S. Steady breeze and showery.
Noon Lat. 39º 30S.
Long. 25º 20E.
Afternoon: Very heavy rain.
Wind S. Course E.S.E.
afternoon heavy, strong swells.
19th.Wind N.N.W. Strong breeze with heavy rain.
Lat.40º 29S. Long.31º 11E.
swell. Shipped several seas, which afforded a good deal of amusement.
20th. Wind W. by S. Course S.E. by E. Breeze decreasing. Dark, heavy weather.
Lat.40º 55S. Long.35º 6E.
We are now
getting into colder weather. The last three days temperature 58*.
21st. Wind N.N.E. Steady breeze, clear weather.
22nd. Variable wind. Caught an Albatross this morning with a hook and line, the first we have taken. Measured from tip to tip 10 feet 6 inches across.
Lat.42º 4S. Long.41º 26E.
Light winds and variable.
23rd. Light wind and hazy weather.
Lat.43º 20S. Long.43º 12E.
Wind N. Course S.S.E. Steady, moderate breeze. Heavy swell
24th. Wind W. moderate breeze, very cold, but fine.
Lat.45º 4.S. Long.47º 11E.
Strong breeze, cloudy weather.
Lat.46º 40S. Long.49º 53E.
heavy head sea. Divine Service
performed by self. 8pm. Breeze
increased. Double reefed Topsails. Brisk gale, heavy rain.
26th. Weather more moderate. Made sail.
Noon Lat.46º 23S. Long.50º 15E.
Isles of which we had a good view passing quite close. Breeze
increasing. Dark, cloudy weather. Had some fine
sport today hooking Albatross, of which we caught several.
27th. Moderate breeze, clear weather. Wind W. by S.
Lat.45º 4S. Long.52º 4E.
decreasing. Cloudy weather
28th. Light breeze. Set all sails. Noon much rain..
brisk, steady breeze, gloomy. 8pm. Showers
of hail and sleet, very cold
29th. Steady breeze from the N.W. Showery.
6pm. More hail and sleet. If this is a specimen of summer in this part of
the globe, I should not be very anxious to remain in the winter.
with heavy showers of sleet.
Strong breeze N.N.W. and strong, westerly swell.
moderate breeze. S.W. Showery.
1st. [February] Brisk, steady wind. S.S.W.
Brisk, steady breeze. Set all sail.
wind and dense fog
Afternoon: Moderate breeze and fine rain.
Evening: Stiff breeze and thick foggy weather.
Evening: Stiff breeze and thick foggy weather.
Noon Lat.46º 52S.
Afternoon: Breeze increased, steady rain.
Midnight: Strong breeze with rain. In all Studdingsails.
Midnight: Strong breeze with rain. In all Studdingsails.
Strong breeze. In Royal and Top Gallants. One reef in Topsails.
3pm. Steady, moderate breeze and hazy.
W.N.W. Gloomy weather.
Noon Lat.46º 50S.
57S. Long.100º 14E.
Moderate breeze. Wind W.by N. Course E.by S.
Light breeze, steady rain.
Lat 46º 28S.
3pm. Light breeze, steady rain. Wind W by N.
Moderate, steady breeze.
5pm. Steady breeze and cloudy.
west. Course E. by S.
3pm. Moderate breeze, steady rain.
variable. Gloomy weather. Becalmed.
Several large birds were taken this day.
Noon Lat.46º 17S.
3pm. Light, variable wind. Dark, gloomy weather.
N. by E.
Light wind and cloudy.
variable. Course E. by S.
8am. Light air inkling to Cabin.
Lat.45º 45S. Long.120º
Wind N. Course E.by S.
One reef in Topsail.
Shipped a great many seas, which kept the deck clear of passengers.
Noon Lat.46º 4S.
Wind S.E. Course E.N.E.
3pm. Squally. 8pm. Squally, with threatening appearance. In Jib and Mizzen.
8pm. Squally, with threatening appearance. In Jib and Mizzen.
Midnight: Strong gale with heavy cross sea. Double reefed the Topsail and
stowed the Mainsail. The ship’s roll prevented us from sleeping.
Squalls heavy and frequent. Winds S. Course E.
About 8pm. Shipped a heavy sea which went down the After Hatch and washed
out the Cabins of some of passengers, obliging them to take refuge with their
neighbors for the night.
Midnight: Strong gale with very heavy cross seas.
W.S.W. Course E.
4am. Squalls less frequent.
3pm. Strong, steady breeze with
19th. Wind W.
Course E by N.
8am. Steady breeze, dark, gloomy weather.
One of the sailors harpooned a porpoise in the night. Measured from tip
to tip 6 feet. The blubber was stripped off and will, when boiled, produce about
3 gallons of oil. The flesh was cooked and eaten by the sailors.
Wind W.N.W. Course E. by N.
Moderate, steady breeze.
Moderate breeze. Cloudy.
Long. 141º 22E.
3pm. Dark, heavy weather.
21st. Wind W.
Course E n E.
Moderate, steady breeze and
Afternoon almost calm.
Calm, and showery.
3pm. Moderate breeze. Hazy.
wind from N.W. Made sail.
Noon Lat.46º 17S. Long.149º
3pm. Strong breeze. Dark, cloudy weather.
Noon Lat.44º 47S
3pm. Wind S.W. Course S.E. by N.
Light breeze and hazy.
Calm and clear.
Noon Lat.44º 14S.
8pm. Increasing breeze in Top Gallant sail and one reef in Topsails.
Squalls less frequent.
8am. Wind S.W. Course N.N.E.
Noon Lat.43º 52S.
3pm. Strong, steady breeze from S.W.
Set port Studdingsails.
8pm. Moderate, steady breeze, fine weather.
S.W. Course N.N.E. Decreasing breeze, fine weather.
Noon Lat. 42º 8S. Long.160º
3pm. Light wind, dark, cloudy weather. Wind variable. Course N.N.E. Calm.
8am. Light, steady breeze. Set all sail.
Noon Lat.42º 15S.
3pm. Steady breeze and cloudy. Wind N.N.W. Course N.E.
2am. Wind S.S.W. Course N.N.E. 8am. Out reef. Set Studdingsails on both sides.
8am. Out reef. Set Studdingsails on both sides.
Noon. Lat.40º 56S.
Divine Service performed by the
Doctor.3pm. Wind S.S.W. Course N. by E. Moderate breeze, fine weather.
Midnight: Steady breeze and cloudy.
1st [March.] Wind
west. Steady wind and cloudy.
Noon Lat.38º 26S.
Hands employed in putting the rigging in order and cleaning the ship,
ready for going into port.
S.S.W. Fine weather, steady breeze.
Noon Lat.35º 38S.
The last 24 hours is the best day we have done in the voyage, having run
S.E. Course N.E.
Long.170º 36E. Light breeze
Midnight: Tacked to the Southward.
Tacked to the East.
8am. Tacked to the Southward.
3pm. Wind E.S.E. Course N. by W. Brisk, steady breeze and gloomy.
8am.Tacked to the Northward. Fresh breeze and gloomy.
Noon: Wind E. Course N.E.
Breeze increasing. Double reefed the Topsails and furled the courses.
Noon Lat.33º 58S.
3pm. Strong gale with heavy sea running.
The men, with the exception of 3 or 4, refused to go aloft to finish
reefing the Topsail, so that the Captain, 1st and 2nd Mate
with the Carpenter and Steward, had to go aloft and furl it, which after
some difficulty they succeeded in doing. The storm now raged fearfully. Part of
the quarter galley was washed away and the Poop Cabins deluged with water. The
hatches were battened down and the pumps attended.
Strong gale with a very heavy cross sea.
Wore ship to the eastward. Ship laboring heavily. Pumps carefully attended.
3pm. Wind N.W. Course E.S.E.
Strong gale with heavy counter sea.
The Poop Cabins were deluged with water.
4am. Set the Foresail and Mizzen. Wind N.N.W.
Noon: Wind N.W. Course S.S.E.
Saw Cape [to] South about 30 miles distant.
8pm. Passed Cape Brett about 4 leagues
Passed the Little Barrier.
9th. 8am. Within 10 miles of Auckland. Wind dead against us.
Took a Pilot on board and, after tacking about all day, dropped anchor within ½
mile of the shore 6pm.
Distance run from the Downs as shown by the Log Book
Top the Cape of Good Hope
From Cape to Auckland 8150 Miles Total 17172 Miles
Diary Part 1
Other Diary Part 1
Diary Part 2
Other Diary Part 2