Diary of Frederick Bullock

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Voyage to London in 1867
Under command of Captain David Bruce
Departure port Semaphore
Departure date 27th December 1866
Arrival port London
Arrival date 10th April 1867
Voyage duration 106 days
Port of Call
Port of call Cape Town
Arrival 13th February 1867
Departure 16th February 1867

The folowing is a transcript of the diary kept by 15 year old Frederick Bullock during the voyage to London that arrived in April 1867. Frederick W Bullock was first elected to the Adelaide City Council in December 1884, then served two terms of three years as an Alderman. In November 1891 he was elected unopposed as Mayor of Adelaide.

Contents

Journal Foreword

It may be necessary before commencing my diary to make a few remarks that the reader may be enabled more fully to comprehend the incidents that I have endeavored to narrate in this my journal.

We sailed from Adelaide on the 26th December 1866 in the ship "City of Adelaide", 1,000 tons register, commanded by Captain David Bruce the second in command being Mr. John Bruce.

The passengers were about seventy in number - thirty saloon and forty second class or steerage passengers. Our fellow cabin passengers were all very pleasant people which rendered the voyage one of a very agreeable character.

The following are their names:

  • Mr. Armbruster
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ballantyne - servant and five children
  • Mrs. John Bullock
  • Mr. David Bruce
  • Mr. F. W. Bullock
  • Mr. Campbell
  • Mr. and Mrs. Hubble and three children
  • Miss Hunt
  • Miss Hubble
  • Mr. James
  • Mr. and Mrs. Prince
  • Mr. and Mrs. Pearce and four children - C.T. -
  • Mr. Harry Prince
  • Miss Smith

Our passage to Cape Town was a very pleasant one although we occasionally experienced some rough weather. We arrived in Table Bay on the night of the 13th February, on the following morning we landed and after spending three days on shore sailed within fifteen minutes of each other the Yatala, our opponent.

It may be remembered by many that the two ships City of Adelaide and the Yatala sailed from Adelaide within five hours of each other the latter having the start it was therefore a 16,000-mile race to the Mother Country. - The Yatala arrived at Cape Town three hours before the City of Adelaide and again sailed within a very short time of each other. The second part of our voyage that is from Cape Town to London was as agreeable as the former notwithstanding that we narrowly escaped shipwreck on the Flores, one of that group of islands known as the Azores. We arrived in London on 11th April 1867 - the Yatala was the victor having passed Lands End the day before us and arriving in London three days before us.

The race was indeed a close one and great credit was due to the City of Adelaide which is 200 tons less than the Yatala, however, many pounds as well as new hats were lost and won.

We spent seven months in England during which time I visited several towns and places of interest the sights of which I have endeavored to describe in this my journal.

We sailed from London on the 21st of October in the ship Duke of Sutherland 1,400 tons register Captain Thomas Louttet commander.

Our passengers were only six in number namely:

  • Mrs. John Bullock
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • Mr. Kennerson
  • Mr. H. Kenwick
  • Mr. F.W. Bullock

Our voyage was rather a dull one which is to be ascribed to the small number of passengers and the length of the passage.


Voyage Route to London in 1867

Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from Adelaide to London in 1867.
29 Dec
31 Dec
2 Jan
4 Jan
6 Jan
8 Jan
10 Jan
12 Jan
14 Jan
16 Jan
18 Jan
20 Jan
22 Jan
24 Jan
26 Jan
28 Jan
30 Jan
1 Feb
3 Feb
5 Feb
7 Feb
9 Feb
11 Feb
11 Feb
17 Feb
19 Feb
21 Feb
23 Feb
25 Feb
27 Feb
1 Mar
3 Mar
5 Mar
7 Mar
9 Mar
11 Mar
15 Mar
17 Mar
19 Mar
21 Mar
23 Mar
25 Mar
27 Mar
29 Mar
31 Mar
2 Apr
6 Apr
Voyage of the 'City of Adelaide' from London to Adelaide in 1867 from the Diary of Frederick Bullock.


Diary Transcript - Adelaide to Cape Town

December 1866

December 26th 1866

Left Adelaide for the Port by the 1.40 p.m. train. The steamer Eleanor was engaged to convey the passengers and friends to the City of Adelaide which we reached about 5 o’clock luncheon was provided and several of the leading colonists were present. The Eleanor left at 5.30.

December 27th 1866

Under weigh at 8 o’clock but we did not sail till 11 o’clock a.m. on account of the Captn. having forgotten some of the necessary papers, thus the "Yatala" had the start. Passed Glenelg 3 p.m. Towards evening the feeling of seasickness began to creep over me.

Friday 28th Decmber

Passed Kangaroo Island. The day was fine but very little wind. The "Yatala" in sight all day. At night my seasickness commenced in earnest.

Saturday 29th Decr.

Latitude 35° 42'. Longitude 134°.6 E. Distance 147 miles. Very seasick had no breakfast and was glad to go to bed at 5 p.m.

Sunday 30th Decr.

Latitude 35°.32' S. Longitude 134°.6 E. Distance 147 miles. I was not at all sick and was able to take all the meals. At 11 o’clock Captain read the Church Prayers and in the evening Mr. Geo. Prince preached. The weather was foggy all day.

Monday 31st Decr.

Latitude 35°.43' S. Longitude 129°.3'. Distance 90 miles. The weather was rather foggy with little wind. In the evening Mr. Prince gave a short address after which Mr. Ballantyne offered up a prayer in consequence of this being the last night in the year 1866.

January 1867

Tuesday 1st January 1867.

Latitude 35°.42' S Longitude 126°.50' E. Distance 127 miles. I spent the day in reading and playing Quoits (made of rope). The wind was very strong all day and in the evening flew a regular gale attended by rain thunder and lightning this rough weather again brought on the sea sickness from which I suffered for three days.

Wednesday, 2nd January.

Latitude 35°.57' S. Longitude 125°.44' E. Distance 136 miles. All the passengers but two or three were sea sick as for myself I was in bed all day.

Thursday 3rd January.

Latitude 35°.39' S. Longitude 122°.57'. I succeeded in reaching the poop by 10.30 o’clock where I remained for the whole of the day. The weather was rough.

Friday 4th Jany.

Latitude 35°.53' S. Longitude 120°.57' E. Signalized a barque but could not read her signals the distance between us being too great I was much better and was able to eat a little food.

Saturday 5th Jany.

Latitude 34°.54' S. Longitude 119°.40'. The passengers were all on deck again and Mother (who had suffered from seasickness much more than myself) was very much better.

Sunday 6th Jany.

Latitude 35°.6' S. Longitude 118°.17' E. Passed King George’s Sound about noon. In sight of land all day. Church Prayers in the morning and sermon in the evening by Mr. Prince. Distance 110 miles.

Monday 7th Jany.

Latitude 35°.11'S. Longitude 114°.52'. Distance 168 miles.

Spent the day as usual reading. Towards night a nice wind sailing rate of 10 Knots.

Tuesday 8th Jany.

Latitude 34°.11'. Longitude 111°. 35' E. Weather very fine. Distance 161 miles.

Wednesday 9th Jany.

Latitude 34°.23'. Longitude 110°.43' E. Distance 54 miles. The weather was exceedingly calm.

Thursday 10th Jany.

Latitude 33°.12'. Longitude 110°.25' E. Distance 73 miles. The ship was followed by a shark for some time but we did not succeed in catching it. The weather was very foggy.

Friday 11th Jany.

Latitude 31°.50'. Longitude 107°.13'. Distance 176 miles. A very fine day with a good wind.

Saturday, 12th Jany.

Latitude 30°.59'. Longitude 102°.39'. Distance 145 miles. At 11 o’clock a.m. a ship in sight from the mast head with double topsails supposed to be our friend the "Yatala" which caused a great deal of excitement.

Sunday 13th Jany.

Latitude 30°.14' S Longitude 102°.1' E. Service morning and evening. The "Yatala" still in sight. Distance 144 miles.

Monday 14th Jany.

Latitude 30°.41' S. Longitude 99°.33' E. Distance 111 miles. Prayers for the first time at 10 a.m. The ship which is thought, beyond doubt, to be the "Yatala" within sight all day.

Tuesday 15th Jany.

Latitude 29°.38'. Longitude 96°.58'. Distance 155 miles. At 1 p.m. had luggage up from the after hatch for the first time. The day was fine which enabled us to spend a pleasant afternoon on the Poop.

Wednesday 16th Jany

Latitude 29°.21' S. Longitude 93°.3'. Distance 204. A heavy sea running all day.

Thursday 17th Jany.

Latitude 29°.24' S. Longitude 89°.42' E. Dis. 174.

Friday 18th Jany.

Latitude 29°.15'. Longitude 84°.4' E. Dis. 138.

Saturday 19th Jany.

29° 4' S. Longitude 84°.56' Dis. 112. Very calm. At 4 o’clock p.m. a dead Calm which lasted till midnight.

Sunday 20th Jany.

Latitude 24°.58'. Longitude 83° 20'. Distance 84 miles. Service morning and evening as usual.

Monday 21st Jany

Latitude 28°.40'. Longitude 79°.30'. Distance 200. Blew a gale all day attended with rain and occasionally by thunder and lightning. We shipped a great deal of water and the rain came running down through the skylight so that we could not remain in the saloon with the slightest degree of comfort. The weather was so rough that Captain was obliged to lay-to for eight hours with only one sail set viz, main topsail and that was split. Boxes falling, bottles breaking and causing a great confusion. Several of the passengers were again seasick. Mother being amongst the number.

Tuesday 22nd Jany.

Latitude 27°.25'. Longitude 76°.43'. Distance 156. Still very rough.

Wednesday 23rd Jany

Latitude 29°.31'. Longitude 72°.21'. Distance 235 miles. This was another rough day and shipped a great deal of spray over the sides. The weather was close and our cabins were quite suffocating on account of having to keep the ports down for so long a time. Mother was very seasick.

Thursday, 24th Jany.

Latitude 29°.12' S. Longitude 71°.23'. Distance 50 miles. The weather was sultry. From 6 a.m. till 3 p.m. very heavy rain 4 p.m. a calm.

Friday 25th Jany.
John Longstaff, Arrival of Burke, Wills and King at the deserted camp at Cooper's Creek, Sunday evening, 21 April 1861, oil on canvas, 1907, National Gallery of Victoria

Latitude 29°.51'. Longitude 70°.49'. Distance 30. A dead calm. It was proposed by some of the passengers that we should establish an Improvement Society the meetings to be held twice a week. The gentlemen to give readings lectures etc. and the ladies to sing. The proposition was carried unanimously and we had our first meeting in the evening at 8 o’clock. Mr. Geo. Prince chairman and Mr. Campbell secretary. A reading on the explorations of Burke and Wills by Mr. Pearce. Mr. Armbruster gave a lecture on the Germans in Adelaide after which he sang a German song. The next meeting was arranged to take place on the following Friday night.

Saturday 26th Jany.

Latitude 30°.22'. Longitude 69°.20'. Distance 80. At 6 a.m. thunder and lightning lasted for about half an hour and ended in a calm. The weather fine but the wind was very light and irregular.

Sunday 27th Jany.

Latitude 30°.30'. Longitude 66°.50'. Distance 130 miles. Service morning and evening. In the afternoon at 1.30 Sunday school held in the saloon for the first time. At 2 p.m. commenced to rain and continued till 10 p.m.

Monday 28th Jany.

Latitude 30°.21'. Long 64°.58'. Distance 97. A beautiful day fair winds.

Tuesday 29th Jany.

Latitude 30°.0'. Longitude 61°.28'. Distance 182. A good breeze all day.

Wednesday 30th Jany.

Latitude 29°.18'. Longitude 58°. 24'. Distance 164. A calm.

Thursday 31st Jany.

Latitude 29°.1'. Longitude 56°.31'. Dis. 111.

February 1867

Friday 1st February 1867.

Latitude 29°.5'. Longitude 52°.33. Dis. 200.

Saturday 2nd Feby.

Latitude 29°.31' S. Longitude 48°.29'. Dis. 212.

Sunday 3rd Feby.

Latitude 29°.52'. Longitude 44°.53'. Dis.187. Very calm will 1.30 p.m. when we had a sharp squall which lasted for half an hour - thunder and lightn. after which we had a fine breeze that carried us on at the rate of 12 Knots.

Monday 4th Febry.

Latitude 30°.7' Longitude 44°.53'. Distance 237.

Tuesday 5th Feby.

Latitude 31°.5'. Longitude 36°.33'. Distance 204. In the evening the society met when Mr. James gave us a lecture subject Travels on the Continent.

Wednesday 6th Feby.

Latitude 32°.27'. Longitude 33°.21'. D 206. A dead calm. Four ships in sight all day.

Thursday 7th Feby.

Latitude 32°.54'. Longitude 31°.52'. Distance 57 miles. A calm.

Friday 8th Febry.

Latitude 33°.56'. Longitude 27°.23'. D 235. A heavy wind blowing. 10 p.m. the main royal split and also tore to gallant - shortly after we were struck by a white squall. I was on the deck at the time. The squall came on without any warning and lasted for about two minutes. We had a great deal of sail set at the time. The masts bent as though they would break and the ship lay right on her sides. There was a good breeze all day. In the evening Mr. John Bruce gave a lecture after which there was music by the ladies.

Saturday 9th Feby.

Latitude 35°.10'. Longitude 25°.5' E. Distance 135. A drizzly day. The decks were very wet and slippery and I had the misfortune to fall no less than five times sprained left wrist.

Sunday 10th Feby.

Latitude 34°.43'. Longitude 24°.13'. Distance 57. Service on deck in the morning 11 o’clk afternoon and evening as usual. At 2 p.m. we signalized a bark name "Pursuits" from Singapore to Boston.

Monday 11th Feby.

Latitude 34°.44'. Longitude 22°.27'. Distance 87. Sighted the African coast.

Tuesday 12th Feby.

Latitude 34°.55'. Longitude 20°.49'. Distance 81 miles. Commenced to get the cable out and bend on the anchors. The weather was very fine.

Wednesday 13th Feby.

A fine breeze blowing all day and we sailed very near to the coast. The scenery was most beautiful. At 5p.m. we passed a steamer from Cape Town to Natal - 6 p.m. Rounded the Cape point (Cape of Good Hope). 8 p.m. a very strong wind the lights along the coast as far as Green Point had a fine effect. 9.30 p.m. we passed the revolving light and at 10 p.m. anchored in Table Bay. Our anchor was scarcely down when a boat came along side and informed us that the "Yatala" had arrived the same evening at 7 o’clock. It was then blowing a gale and in attempting to anchor she ("Yatala") lost an anchor with a great length of cable and was in danger of being driven ashore.


Diary Transcript - Cape Town

February 1867

Thursday, 14th Feby.

Before breakfast we had several bum boats from the shore. At 9.30 a.m. we all went ashore at the landing stage. There were about one hundred fellows of all countries but principally Malays who were anxious to carry our bags etc. They were all talking at once and creating a regular Bable. We went to the Commercial Hotel where we agreed to stay. During the morning we walked about the town eating fruit etc. and after lunch we hired three carriages and went for a three hours’ drive round the town and suburbs we obtained permission to see the convicts at work. They were about 700 in number nearly all of whom were colored. After tea we walked a short distance but went to bed early. Three of us namely Mr. David Bruce Mr. Harry Prince and myself were shown into a room in which there were only two beds and there were three of us we therefore put the two beds together. I unfortunately was the last to get in and so got the middle place and to make matters worse one bed was lower than the other and the night was very hot so that there was little comfort to be obtained.

Friday 15th Febry

After breakfast at 8.30 a.m. we visited the museum and Botanic gardens where we signed the visitors book. The gardens are well laid out but are inferior to those in Adelaide. One thing worthy of mention in connection with the gardens is a beautiful avenue of oaks leading to them. The museum comprises a fine collection of curiosities animals etc. At 10 a.m. we hired a cab and five of us namely Mr. James Mrs. Bullock Mr. D. Bruce Miss Smith and myself went off to Wineburg and Constantia. The scenery was beautiful. Constantia is situated about ten miles from Cape Town, and is very famous for its wine. We returned to the town about 4 o’clock after which we visited New Market where we bought a quantity of fruit we then engaged a boat to take us off to the "City" but we were not ready for some time and then it was rather rough so we agreed that the ladies should remain on shore under the protection of Mr. Campbell and then we, Mr. James, Mr. David Bruce and myself should go off to the ship. We accordingly took our heavy luggage down to the boat and at once set sale but we had not been gone many minutes when it began to blow hard and there were we in an open boat pitching about like a nut shell expecting to go down almost at any minute however we reached the ship in a very short time none the worse for the wetting and shaking that we had received.

A few Remarks on Cape Town

The scenery at Camp Town is very beautiful and grand. The first thing, which strikes the eye of the traveller, are the Mountains the principal of which are Table Mountain and The Lion’s head and rump. This mountain resembles a lion lying down the head and rump being most prominent. The Table Mountain is so called on account of its resemblance to a table being flat on the top its height is 3,580 feet. The Cape point (Cape of Good Hope) is about 20 miles to the south its height is 880 feet. The inhabitants of Cape Town are very mixed. The majority are Malays. The climate is a very hot one and it not only blows dust but stones some of which are as large as peas. The gales of wind are very frequent and many ships are wrecked there during the year. The town is very dirty and badly laid out. Adelaide is undoubtedly far in advance of the Cape.

Diary Transcript - Cape Town to London

February 1867

Saturday 16th Feby.

At 9.30 a.m. the remainder of the passengers came off to the ship; - 12.30 a.m. began to weigh anchor or rather to take in the slack of the cable when unfortunately one of the men had his great toe crushed and was laid up for the rest of the voyage. At 4 p.m. we sailed the Yatalahaving the start by 20 minutes. We kept about three miles astern of the Yatala till dark. A fair wind.

Sunday 17th Feby

Latitude 32°.56' S. Longitude 16°.31' E. At daylight the Yatala was about eight miles astern of us we having passed her in the night. The weather was fine but rather calm.

Monday 18th Feby.

Latitude 31°.14'. Longitude 13°.25'. Distance 152. The Yatala was not within sight. Sighted a ship with painted ports. Weather dull and cloudy.

Tuesday 19th Feby.

Latitude 29°. 48'. Longitude 10°. 6' E. Distance 192. A fine day little wind. A great many porpoises about. In the evening Mr. Hubble gave a reading.

Wednesday 20th Feby.

A fine day - good wind.

Thursday 21st.

Latitude 27°.46'. Longitude 7°.13'. Distance 220. At 2 a.m. the Fore topsail stunsail yards fell it came down with a great crash staving in about 2 feet of the Forecastle deck. The third mate (Mr. A. Bruce), was on the look out at the time one end of the yard struck him but fortunately he was not hurt. A strong wind all day.

Friday 22nd Feby.

Latitude 26°. 42'. Longitude 3°. 30'. Distance 210. At night the phosphorous was very bright. 8 p.m. Mr. George Prince gave a reading subject "Fall of Jerusalem" after which there was music by the ladies.

Saturday 23rd Feby.

Latitude 24°.49'. Longitude 36' E. Dist. 194. A dull day but steady wind.

Sunday 24th Feby.

Latitude 23°.30'. Longitude 2°.14' W. Dist. 174. 8.30 a.m. a heavy shower of rain rather an unusual thing in these latitudes. Service as usual.

Monday 25th Feby.

Latitude 22°.21' S. Longitude 5°.41'. D 204.

Tuesday 26th Feby.

Latitude 28°.18'. Longitude 7°.24'. D 156. The weather was warm but there was a little wind. In the evening at 8 o’clock we met for our usual entertainment when Mr. David Bruce gave a reading on the Norman Conquest and recitations by Mr. Campbell and myself "The Christian Martyr".

Wednesday 27th Feby.

Latitude 49°(29°).8'. Longitude 8°.34' W. Distance 97. In the evening the ship was followed by a large fish about 5 feet in length but we did not succeed in harpooning it. At 10 p.m. the stars comprising the constellation of the Great Bear could be seen distinctly.

Thursday 28th Feby.

Latitude 18°.0'. Longitude 19°.11'. Distance 98. The weather was very hot.

March 1867

Friday 1st March.

Latitude 16°.15'. Long 11°.30'. Dis 144. The weather was fine. At 8 o’clock the society met when there was a reading by Mr. Harry Prince. A recitation by Mr. David Bruce viz. "Pay the Piper" also one by myself "Wreck of the Hesprus". The meeting was closed by singing "God Save the Queen".

Saturday 2nd March.

Latitude 14°.39'. Longitude 13°.5' W. In the evening one of the passengers quarreled with the Doctor over a game of cards which lead to a very great deal of unpleasantness but I am happy to say that this was the only quarrel on board during the whole of the passage. Distance 134.

Sunday 3rd March.

Latitude 12°.32' S. Longitude 15°.0' W. Distance 170. Service as usual. At 11 p.m. while on deck in company of the second mate, Mr. Robins, a beautiful meteor crossed the sky at first it appeared as large as the moon it bust into several pieces it color was a beautiful green.

Monday 4th March.

Latitude 10°.26'. Longitude 17° W. Distance 172. The weather was very hot the thermometer stood at 82° in the saloon.

Tuesday 5th March.

Latitude 8°.21'. Longitude 19°.3'. Distance 174. The weather still hot 83° in the saloon. In the evening Mr. Harry Prince gave a reading "Domestic life in China". Mr. D. Bruce recited "Venice" and the "Downfall of Poland". Mr. Armbruster sang a German song and I recited the "Slave's Dream". Music by the ladies.

Wednesday 6th March.

Latitude 6°.21'. Longitude 20°.56'. Distance 167. The thermometer still standing at 83°.

Thursday 7th March.

Latitude 4°.49'. Longitude 22°.19' W. Distance 124. Weather hot 84° in the saloon.

Friday 8th March

Latitude 2°.59'. Longitude 23°.42'. D 138. Mr. Campbell gave a lecture subject "The Fine Arts". The Captain kindly sang two songs. Thermometer 85° in the saloon.

Saturday 9th March

Latitude 50° S. Longitude 24°.46' W. Distance 145. At 4 p.m. two ships in sight. Between 9 and 10 p.m. we crossed the lines. The weather was cooler than the previous day.

Sunday 10th March

Latitude 10°.25' N. Longitude 25°.6' W. Distance 135. A very wet day in consequence of which we were unable to have the usual morning service. At 5 p.m. a steamer in sight.

Monday 11th March

Latitude 2°.25' N. Longitude 25°.53' W. Distance 60 miles. Rain from 8 a.m. till 12 o’clock when it cleared up and the afternoon was beautiful. I must not forget to notice the sunset which was very grand.

Tuesday 12th March

Latitude 3°.39'N. Longitude 26°.30' W. Distance 82 miles. At 11 a.m. signalized a bark namely "Zephyr" from Swan River for London 69 days out. The wind was very good all day having got into the N.E. Trads. Trads.

Wednesday 13th March

The weather was very rough it was blowing a regular gale all day. 4 a.m. our Fore top sail was split and at 8 a.m. the Main top sail went. Nearly all the passengers were again seasick. Mother and myself being amongst the number, - at 9 a.m. I succeeded in reaching the poop when a heavy sea came over and wet me through.

Thursday 14th March

Latitude 8°.33'. Longitude 32°.30'. Distance 258. The weather was quite as rough as on the preceding day, however, the gale abated a little towards night and we were able to have some tea.

Friday 15th March

Latitude 11°.10' N. Longitude 33°.53' W. Distance 175. A fine breeze blowing all day. In the evening Mr. R. W. James gave us a lecture on the poop subjects his travels through Ireland. Captain Bruce sang us two songs. The Polar star was visible for the first time.

Saturday 16th March

Latitude 13°.3'. Longitude 36°.13'. Distance 178. At 3 a.m. a vessel in sight.

Sunday 17th March

Latitude 15°. 20'. Longitude 38°.44'. Distance 201. At 9 a.m. whilst we were at prayers the distressing cry was raised "A man overboard A man overboard". The excitement was great we all rushed upon the deck where the enquiry was made "Who is it" we learnt that it was a young fellow about the age of 17 who had imprudently ventured into the "Fore chains" and was washed off. The ship was at once laid to and the port life boat lowered and manned in about three minutes her crew consisted of four sailors under the command of Mr. Robins (Second Mate) in about ten minutes they succeeded in reaching the poor fellow who was bravely swimming for his life he was pulled into the boat and the cry ran along the deck "He is saved" "He is saved". Very great praise was due to the officers for their conduct and promptness. The ship was going very fast at the time. Service as usual. A good breeze blowing.

Monday 18th March

Latitude 18°.13'. Longitude 39°.56'. Distance 185. A very fine day. In the evening Mr. James accompanied by Mr. Prince held a service among the sailors and Fore-cabin passengers. Mr. Prince preached them a sermon and the boy who fell overboard gave out the hymn.

Tuesday 19th March

Latitude 21°.20'. Longitude 41°.5'. Distance 196. In the evening Mr. Ballantyne gave a reading on the siege of Lucknow after which the Captain sang a song.

Wednesday 20th March

Latitude 23°.40'. Longitude 41°.51'. Distance 147. There was a great deal of seaweed floating about. It is called the Saragosa weed and is of a light yellow color. We had it about for three days on examining some of it was found to contain small crabs etc. A fine sunset followed by a splendid moonlight night when the ladies enjoyed a dance on the poop.

Thursday 21st March

Latitude 24°.43'. Longitude 41°.49'. Distance 63. A fine day At 8 p.m. Mr. Prince and James held their usual service amongst the sailors.

Friday 22nd March

Latitude 25°.14'. Longitude 41°.9'. Distance 48. A dead calm. Mr. Hubble gave a reading subject "Othello" after which there was music by the ladies concluding with "God Save the Queen".

Saturday 23rd March

Latitude 26°.40'. Longitude 40°.18'. Distance 100. At 4 p.m. a ship in sight.

Sunday 24th March

Latitude 30°.16'. Longitude 39°.29'. Distance 220. Rain from 6 a.m. till 3 p.m. A very good breeze. Service morning and evening.

Monday 25th March

Latitude 30°.20'. Longitude 37°.43'. Distance 92. A very cold day. Thermometer 65°. In the evening usual service among the sailors.

Tuesday 26th March

Latitude 30°.50'. Longitude 36°.50'. Distance 55. A ship in sight which the Captain thought was the "Yatala". We signalized to her but she did not take the slightest notice of it. In the evening our usual meeting was held in the saloon Mr. John Bruce read a portion of the life of Sir Walter Raleigh.

Wednesday 27th March

Latitude 34°.26'. Longitude 36°.57'. Distance 220. The weather was very stormy all day. The wind blew a gale and the rain came down in torrents. The following sails were split inner and outer jibs and main topmast staysail. About 4 p.m. the chain of the main sail broke it was about one inch in thickness. We were under short sail all day. At 6 p.m. a heavy sea struck us on the poop it reached as far as the mizzen mast. A large coil of rope was washed for several feet on the main deck. In the evening Mr. Ballantyne gave a short reading. I was exceedingly glad to turn in at an early hour having spent one of the most wretched days on board of the "City". Mother was very seasick.

Thursday 28th March.

Latitude 36°. Longitude 35°.6'. Distance 100. The weather was still very rough. At 6 p.m. it commenced to rain and continued all night attended by very vivid lightning. During the evening we had on each of the masts what is called a corposant (a ball of electric matter) which lasted for about half an hour.

Friday 29th March.

Latitude 38°.20'. Longitude 33°. Distance 175 miles. A fine breeze blowing but the day was foggy so that the Captain was unable to "take the sun". This was the third day that he had to calculate by "dead reckoning". At 8 p.m. Mr. Armbruster gave a lecture on Hamburg including an account of the great fire at which he was present. The night was very damp and foggy. There was not a star to be seen. I went to bed at 10 p.m.

Saturday 30th March

About 3 a.m. I was awoken by a great noise on the poop and some one knocking at my cabin door saying "Get up and dress for we are close to land". I was very soon in my clothes and on reaching the main deck I heard the facts of the case, which were as follows. Mr. Bruce (First mate) was on watch and thinking he heard the sound of broken water (he could see no land on account of the fog and the darkness of the night) he ran down and called the Captain who at once went upon deck with nothing but his shirt on. In the mean time it was discovered that the ship was within one mile of land which was an island called Flores (one of the Azores). The Captain took the land for the Covo Island which is the last of the group, however, the ship was speedily turned and we were soon in safety. When we were two miles off the fog cleared a little and the rocks could plainly be seen. It was a most Providential escape from shipwreck. The majority of the passengers (they were all up) remained up till daylight drinking etc. but at 4.30 a.m. I went to bed but did not fall asleep till passed daylight.

At 7 a.m. I awoke by hearing the Captain crying out "Land on the starboard bow". I was soon on deck helping to square the yards etc. and in a very short time we were out of all danger. This land was the Covo Island for which the Captain had taken the Flores, - The Covo Island is very much like the Flores in appearance having a very rocky coast. The day was fine with a good freeze. At 8 p.m. a meeting was held in the saloon to return thanks to the Almighty for having preserved us from one of the most awful of deaths shipwreck.

Sunday 31st March

Latitude 41°.33'. Longitude 26°.18'. Distance 222. The weather was beautiful the sun shone we were glad again to see it not having had that pleasure for four days.

April 1867

Monday 1st April

Latitude 43°.12'. Longitude 21°.18' W. Distance 244. A fine day. Distance from Lands End 760.

Tuesday 2nd April

Latitude 43°.59'. Longitude 19°.2'. Distance 110. At 11 a.m. we passed a large boat turned bottom uppermost having the appearance of having been but a short time in the water. In the evening our society met as usual when Mr. H. Prince gave a reading "Activity of the mind asleep and awake". Music and songs by the ladies also recitations by Mr. David Bruce "Invincible Armada" and myself "Inschape Rock".

Wednesday 3rd April

Latitude 45°.4'. Longitude 17°.26'. Distance 95. A calm. 4 p.m. a vessel in sight.

Thursday 4th April

During the morning a number of young whales came within 50 yds of the ship.

Friday 5th April

Latitude 46°.37'. Longitude 14°.4'. Distance 86. The weather was cold 58° in saloon. In the evening we held our last society meeting. Mr. Prince gave a lecture on the blind closing by making a few remarks on the past events of our voyage. The Captain sang a Scotch song.

Saturday 6th April

Latitude 47°.20'. Longitude 12°.6'. Distance 92. During the afternoon we passed a large cask. In the evening the contributions for the Sailors’ Widows and Orphan Fund were collected amounting to over £5.0.0.

Sunday 7th April

At noon met a large ship and signalized her name was "Yorrick".

Monday 8th April

At 1 a.m. passed The Lizard. At 5 a.m. passed Plymouth. 8.30 p.m. passed St. Catherine’s lighthouse 6.30 p.m. the Isle of Wight which was the first English land we sighted. About 9 p.m. saw the lights of Ventnor. The weather was rough stormy and foggy so that we were unable to see the coast during the day.

Tuesday 9th April

5 a.m. at Dungeness where we lay to for about 15 minutes till a pilot came on board at 1.30 we passed Dover and we could distinctly see its castle. We could also see the coast of France we next sighted Deal then Ramsgate where we anchored on account of a head wind and we were obliged to remain there for the whole day.

Wednesday 10th April

5 o’clock under weigh with a steam tug from the Captain of which we learnt that the "Yatala" had arrived three days before us. At 5 p.m. we arrived at Gravesend where a boat came along side with Custom House officers. At night the town presented a beautiful appearance with its hundreds of lights. The weather was cold the thermometer stood at 47°. We received two letters at Gravesend, one from Mrs. Charles Wait and the other one from my Uncle Bell informing us of Uncle Wilson’s death

Diary Transcript - London

April 1867

Thursday 11th April

There were a great many vessels anchored at Gravesend from small crafts of 20 tons to large one of 12,000 tons. At 12.30 p.m. we got under weigh and with the assistance of two tugs we got a start. Passed Greentithe at 2 p.m. then Woolwich with its dockyard etc. Victoria docks East India docks West India Docks also Greenwich we obtained a very good view of its Hospital.

At 4 p.m. we arrived in London where we had a great deal of trouble with our luggage in having it examined and passed through the Customs, and to make matters worse, it was raining the whole of the time. However, we at last succeeded in passing it and after bidding "good bye" to our fellow passengers we hired a cab and drove to the Waverley Hotel, - which was a temperance Hotel and had been recommended to us by one of the passengers.

On our arrival there, however, we were told that we could not be accommodated. We then thought of some private lodgings in the Strand, which Mrs. Wait had mentioned, and at which we expected she was staying. We therefore took another cab and drove to No. 13 Norfolk St. Strand where we took two rooms and had tea. Mrs. Wait was not there but we found a letter waiting from Mr. Bouch expressing his regret at being unable to be in London on account of his mother’s illness.

After having some tea I walked to Chancery Lane in which there is a telegraph office and I wished to send a message to Cousin Emma Bell to let her know of our arrival but much to my disappointment I found it closed. I therefore returned to my lodgings at once (passing through Temple Bar) and wrote letters to Mrs. Wait and Emma. We were glad to go to bed early being very tired etc. but having got to bed the next thing was to go to sleep which is not the easiest task for a stranger in London the confusion being so great.

References