Chapter 1 - The Early Voyage
Ship Rangitiki, Pacific Ocean. Tuesday, March 27th 1877. Up to the present time I have written nothing. It was not until the day before yesterday that I found my book. We came aboard on Saturday the 10th expecting to sail at once, but did not get off 'till Sunday (11th) afternoon.
12th. Ten miles outside The Heads and scarcely
moving at all, but a nasty swell, which laid prostrate those who had held up
against sea sickness the day before. I
being one of the number, though I dressed early and went on deck several times.
13th. In bed all day, nothing particular
Wednesday 14th. Went on deck in the afternoon. Fair wind. Albatross flying about and four caught.
Crossed the 180th meridian yesterday or last night, so have two Wednesdays this week, counted as one day.
bought four Albatrosses, which remain in the Second Cabin and Mamma is going to
have them made into muffs.
Thursday 15th. Another very hot day, lay on the deck and enjoyed myself. More Albatrosses caught.
Friday 16th. Nothing particular.
Saturday 17th. Ditto.
Sunday 18th. One week at sea. Sung hymns in the morning, rather strongly.
Monday 19th. Severine can't believe that a week had eight days, she says a week never had eight days and that it is impossible.
She is a Norwegian whom Mamma engaged to come with her as nurse, but she became frightened of so many children and Mamma got another nurse, while Severine went in the second cabin.
Wednesday 28th. I wrote up yesterday as far as the 19th.
Tuesday 20th. Nothing particular.
Wednesday 21st. Fine.
One of the sailors who was at the wheel was not attending to his work and steered the ship wrong so that the water began to come into the lower deck and it took three men to pull the wheel right again. The Captain was very angry and did not recover until sometime later in the afternoon when his favourite man came to the wheel.
Thursday 22nd. Nothing particular.
Friday 23rd. Northeast wind.
Came today into the part where Papa met with icebergs when he went to England with Ma in 1861.
Saturday 24th. Ditto.
Sunday 25th. Mist. Had service in the morning in the saloon.
Monday 26th. Mist and Northeast wind.
Tuesday 27th. Northeast wind.
Mr Bovey climbed up to the mizzen top and wrote his name there. Mr Hamilton* was following when Captain Scotland spoke to the first mate, Mr Basset, to ask a sailor to tie him up there as he had not paid his footing, but Mr Shepherd heard him and called out to Mr Hamilton, who came down, but we are going to try to get him up again.
* Son of a Christchurch Magistrate, Edward Vesey Hamilton (1858-1891), was the art critic for the Lyttelton Times.
Thursday 29th. Tomorrow is Good Friday with us, but in New Zealand today is not. Blowing a strong Northeast wind and we have need to take in several sails, all except the lower topsail on the mizzen mast.
I forgot to say yesterday that a great many Porpoises swam past the ship. They were marked or rather slashed with broad white bands, which seemed from the ship to be two inches wide, but was in realty I suppose four.
Friday 30th. Good Friday and Frank's birthday. Wind Northeast. Thermometer 45 degrees. We had Hot Cross Buns in the evening.
Saturday 31st. Easter Sunday in New Zealand. Wind the same. Thermometer 40 degrees.