Voyage-of-the-Mermaid-Page-5-of-9

from the book "A Quota of Qualtrough" Pages 31-40

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Diary of James Qualtrough, written of board the "MERMAID" which sailed from Liverpool UK, on 11 July 1859 and arrived in Auckland, New Zealand on 19 October 1859.

For the Mermaid Passenger List Click Here

For the Map of the Voyage Click Here

Saturday 27th: We have now just enough fair wind. It has become very cold. What a change from summer to winter.

Monday 29th: I preached yesterday morning just as well as I could, in the Intermediate, to a good congregation. Dr Aiken read the church prayers in the second cabin in the afternoon. Mr Caley preached at 7 in the Intermediate. We are now at Latitude 35.6 south long. 72.24 west. We have fair winds from the west.

Tuesday 30th: Last night we slept very little with the heavy swell and the ship rolled terrible. This morning at 9 o’clock, while the passengers were at breakfast, a deal of their platters were broken with a heavy roll of the ship.

Wednesday 31st: A favourable day, but very cold. We are now in the latitude of Auckland, but the second mate was telling me that we would be taking a round of ten degrees further South yet, and would by that make the voyage many hundreds of miles shorter. The course we steer is south east.

Thursday September 1st: We are all in good health. Thank God. The children are in very good spirits. Tommy imitates the loud coarse order of the boat-swain, with regard to sheets and braces and then the sailors notes. Richy says he don’t care to go on land anymore.

Friday 2nd: We are now in latitude 40.15 south. It is very fine. Winter weather with us now. The round of the new moon is at the left hand side as the last quarter would be in the Isle of Man. The sun rises on our right hand and sets on our left.

Saturday 3rd: The ship sails at 7 knots an hour in full sail in a fair wind. There is a general longing with adult passengers to get to the end of the voyage. Some who boast of the morrow, without any mention of the Ruler of the Land and Sea, are wagering and betting about the time.

Monday 5th: Yesterday we were in lat. 41.15 south, long. 10.31 east, 75 miles of the Cape of Good Hope. The wind today is ahead of us. We took another tack southward about 8 o’clock and I was up early in the morning taking a walk on the poop. It has been very like a March morning in the Isle of Man.

Tuesday 6th: Last night at 8 o’clock it came on a foul wind from the West. The breeze continues yet. When I write, about 8 o’clock, the ship sails about 8 knots an hour. Thousands of fouls are about the ship with a few albatrosses. The most of the conversation is Auckland, with the expectation of reaching it in a month.

Wednesday 7th: We have very favourable weather this morning. The ship sails about 5 knots an hour. About 8 o’clock the wind blew fresh from the N.W. Now about 4 o’clock she sails about 9 knots an hour. We are in good health. Thank the Lord.

Thursday 8th: The ship sailed all last night at 10 to 11 knots an hour and yet, when I write at about 3 o’clock, it is 11 o’clock with you in the Isle of Man. If the wind would continue as it is, she would make the voyage in 24 days more.

Friday 9th: In the last 48 hours the ship sailed 510 miles. This morning we had just a dead calm. At noon it blew a fresh breeze from the south. It is very much colder now with us. Last night we had much to do, with walking ,running and jumping on the deck before going to bed, to get heat in our feet.

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