The Dairy of Margaret Jollie: June, 1877

Chapter 4: June - North Atlantic

Friday, The Glorious 1st of June.  Very little sleep had we last night, for the ship was rolling so much that it took all our care to keep in our berths. I don't think I had more than three hours sleep altogether.

Carrie and May couldn't sleep this morning, so they dressed and went on deck at half past three.  There were some vessels in sight and about four it grew calmer and the Captain had some more sails put up.  But they hadn't been up long when the wind came as strong as ever and they had to be taken in again, till we were as before under our lower topsails.

About five we passed the Scilly Isles so near that you could see the beach and two vessels at anchor.  At eight this evening we passed the Wolf Rock lighthouse and we are now a little past the Lizard, so near we could see houses and green fields.

Last night they set the staysail again, but the strain was so strong, that though the sail held, the mizzen stay; a thick wire rope strong enough to lift fifty tons, gave way and it all came down on deck.

Saturday 2nd.  At seven this morning we passed Beachy Head and at nine we arrived at Dungeness and took our pilot, who is a fat rosy man with black hair.

Hastings, Dover, Ramsgate and the North Foreland are all passed and we are now being tugged to Gravesend by the Hibernia*, the same tug that towed the Rangitiki last voyage.

*An Iron Paddle Tug (1874-1917).

It was rather fun to hear the two captains bargaining.

Captain Scotland said he wouldn't give any more than £50 and the other captain said at first £70.  Then no less than £55 and at last he shouted, "I'll tow you up for £52.10 shillings."  But our captain held firm and he was obliged to give in

The Pilot brought news of war between Russia and Turkey, but says that England is not likely to be drawn in.

Monday 4th.  Arundel Hotel, Arundel St. London.

We arrived at Gravesend at eleven o'clock on Saturday night and some friends of Mr Bovey coming off in a boat, they went on shore with him.  The Health Officer and Customs came alongside and passed us.

At one o'clock we again weighed anchor and arrived in the South West India Docks at half past five in the morning.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a very sunny day - the first they've had this summer.

I fear that we were obliged to stay in the dock all day while Papa went to look for an hotel.  He didn't get one till it was too late for us to go there last night.

Mr Bealey,* an old colonial friend of Papa's came to the vessel with him yesterday, and we saw him again today.  And Mamma, Papa, Carrie and I are going to his house to dinner this evening.

* Described as “a shopkeeper in mind and manners” Samuel Bealey (1821–1909), early settler, pastoralist, and second Superintendent of Canterbury, returned to England in 1867.

We arrived here at half past eleven this morning, amd Mamma, Carrie and Frank have gone out to buy a few necessary things.

The Crusader (69 days) and Otaki (68 days) were home before us, but we have beaten the Avalanche.

Tuesday 5th.  Been shopping all day.

Wednesday 6th.  Mamma, Papa, Carrie and I went to dinner at Mr Bealey's and spent a very pleasant evening.

Mamma has been out shopping all day, but I stayed at home.  I never saw a street for stranger dress; Christy Minstrels, dancing monkeys, old clothes men, Watercress sellers, Corkscrew sellers and fireplace ornament sellers, even those who live here say so.

Thursday 7th.  Papa's taken new lodgings today at Cambridge Terrace* and we going there this afternoon.

*The move was from the vicinity of Trafalgar Square to a fashionable terrace overlooking Regents Park.