EJANZH: Hulme Chapter Four

Volume 4

Coastal trading in ‘Grenada’ 1855 Prisoners escape ‘Jenny Lind’ to Mauritius Robinson the monkey Storm damaged Short water and rations Safe at last

It was long after dark when we had the ‘Swallow’ secured with good breast lines out and chains forward and aft, before the mate told us that was all he wanted of us, that the voyage was ended. We went below and concluded to stay on the schooner for the night.

The next morning bright and early, bags and sea chests were roused up out of the fore-castle and a teamster alongside to receive them and ourselves to carry us to our boarding house the whole of us going to one house kept by Harry Williams on La Trobe Street.

Sailors as a class are about as erratic as a flock of sheep or geese, where one goes the rest follow; if one man in a vessel’s fore-castle speaks well of a boarding house, his recommendations and influence will often lead the whole crew there; such a landlady, is such a motherly sort of a woman, she makes her boards feel as though they were at home, everything about the house is ship-shape and in order; or, probably it is the husband or boss of the house, as the keeper of a sailor’s boarding house is generally styled, who is the attraction; he is such a nice, accommodating sort of a man, he won’t turn a fellow out in the street as soon as he gets hard up, but will wait patiently until the man can get a ship and then (I never saw one yet, the keeper of a regular sailor’s boarding house who was not around then to squeeze the last penny out of Jack’s advance note) their winning and accommodating ways are all done when Jack is outward bound.

Sailors when they come ashore from a long voyage are easily imposed upon by the bland, oily words the sailor’s boarding house keeper and his wife, who reserve their most winning smile and most welcome words for the homeward bounder with a good pay day to come in a few days after getting ashore.

Sailors generally pay more for their board and whatever accommodations they receive, than any other class of men in the world, so long as he patronizes the common sailor’s boarding house, often nothing but a common doggery, the bar being the most conspicuous part or feature of the boarding house; but the sailor’s homes and Bethel homes are working a change for Jack’s advancement wherever they are started, and that is in almost all the principal ports of the world.

Harry Williams however kept a pretty fair sort of a house, set a fair table, and clean beds, and no liquor sold in the house.

I had boarded with him before when I was there in the barque ‘Edward’; he had just then opened the house, having not long before that run away from the old barque ‘Prince Regent’ of London, in which vessel he came out before the mast, and the charms of one of the passenger girls being stronger than his love for the old Barque, when she was ready for sea, Harry was missing, and after the vessel had gone to sea, the two got married, and having a little money between them, started their present boarding house and, being a sailor himself and knowing sailor’s tastes and habits, and having a kind, pleasant woman for wife, they had made a success of their venture for their house was known as the best and most decently kept boarding house in Port Adelaide.

So long as I sailed out of that port I made my home there, and though I always took a month’s advance on shipping, I also made a point of shipping before I was run out of money from the last voyage, so that I handled my advance note myself.

Two days after leaving the ‘Swallow’ we were paid off. Port Adelaide did not offer much in the shape of amusement at that time, the only place of allurement there then being a concert house known as the ‘White Horse Cellars’, a general rendezvous for all the sailors in port, but as nothing but light draft vessels could at that time come up the river to Port Adelaide, there never were a great many sailors ashore at one time.

But Adelaide city had attractions plenty so that any man who wished amusements could find all he wanted by jumping into a bus, when a crack from the driver’s long whip like a shot from a gun and an ‘All aboard for Adelaide!’ and away you went, spinning along behind two good horses on a good road, and about forty minutes time would land us at the front of the St. George Hotel, High Street, Adelaide City, fare two shillings; and I don’t know but while I sailed out of Adelaide I about paid for one of those buses horses and all in fares up and down the Port Road.

I had been ashore a week or ten days when one morning before anyone had got down stairs Harry was calling for sailors for the ‘Grenada’, four men wanted. Five or six of us turned out and on going down stairs found the Captain of the vessel anxious to get four men to go on board right away. Four of us promised him to come aboard as soon as we had breakfasted.

Board bills were settled and bags and sea chests were got out, loaded on to a wagon and we followed them down to the wharf to where the ‘Grenada’ lay – a brigantine of about two hundred and fifty tons.

On going aboard after getting our dunnage down the fore-castle, we were called aft to sign Articles; wages eight pounds per month and bound to Port Augusta, Spencer’s Gulf, for wool.

We found three men aboard of her who had been in her on her last voyage to Aukland, New Zealand. The fact of these men staying by her told us that she could not be a bad vessel, and from the Captain’s actions in coming up to the boarding house himself after men, we concluded he was all right.

As there were no tugs at Port Adelaide we had to do the next best thing, get ourselves away from the Dock; a line was run out in the river, bent onto a kedge anchor and we hauled out into the stream and we lay there waiting for high water so as to work down the river with the ebb tide.

Having a little wind we got under way as the tide turned, and the last of the ebb tide saw us clear of the river with a leading wind for York Peninsula, a narrow neck of land dividing St. Vincent Gulf from Spencer’s Gulf, at the head of which Gulf lies Port Augusta, to which we were bound.

Before rounding Point York the wind all died away and although the two places are only about ninety miles apart, we were two days getting there. A more unpromising looking place to be called a Port I never saw; protection from any heavy sea there certainly was, for no sea could make to hurt anything with Cape Spencer to the East and York Peninsula to the West, and Kangaroo Island stretching across the mouth of both gulfs.

We came to anchor about one mile off shore and at daylight next morning got the long boat over the side and I now got my first introduction in the Australian wool trade.

Town there was none, only a few straggling houses and two long wool sheds from which as we pulled ashore we saw bullock teams starting out with their heavy two wheeled carts loaded with wool bales which they hauled down to the water’s edge almost, and unloaded; and right here was where our part of the play came in.

The long boat was anchored just clear of the surf, and two of us taking a kind of hand barrow, waded ashore, and loading a bale of wool on our barrow, carried it alongside the boat, into which we rolled it, the second mate and one man in the boat stowed it and six of us carrying the wool from the shore to the boat, which was then pulled off to the vessel, one man left in the boat to hook on the bales and the rest to hoist aboard and stow them away.

I had read before going to sea ‘R. A. Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast’, in which he described the hard, laborious work attending beach combing after hides on the coast of California; but before we got through loading the ‘Grenada’, I could not see where there was any difference between beach combing for hides or beach combing for wool bales.

We were ten long days loading, and before we got through, I believe every man Jack of us forward had imbibed a thorough hatred of the whole wool loading business as carried on at Port Augusta; and when the last bale was aboard and the hatches on, we felt as jubilant as though we were homeward bound from a three years voyage.

We had the anchor hove short and the main sail and fore top-sail made when a boat was seen coming off from the landing and on her coming alongside we were surprised at a visit from the Captain of the Mounted Police asking Captain Brown to hold the vessel a short time until he could get off three prisoners that he wished to send by us, to Adelaide. They were black as the Aboriginal native of Australia is always called.

It appeared that some eight months previous an Italian sailor had deserted from the London barque ‘Irene’, and had got away into the bush and found work sheep-herding for a settler some ten miles from Port Augusta. He had been employed there about one month when one night his dog brought home a part of his flock of sheep alone. Next morning the hut keeper took the dog and went in search of the Italian and found his body lifeless with a black-fellow’s spear through him, left just as he fell. The black-fellows had driven off twenty-five or thirty sheep and left the rest to go home with the dog, the inseparable companion of the shepherd.

The police had been for months on the trail of the black-fellows finally capturing them some four hundred miles up in the bush and had just got them to Port Augusta in time to send them passengers by the ‘Grenada’.

Captain Brown had no objections to taking them provided a police guard was sent along with them. With that understanding the boat returned and in about two hours returned with his prisoners, and as they came over the vessel’s side I though I never saw a more villainous looking trio in my life; an old man and a young fellow probably his son, and an old girl, as the native women are called after they are married; previous to marriage they are called leubras.

They were chained together with a heavy ox chain padlocked around each of their necks. The officer in charge of them told us the old girl was the most vicious of the three and had given the most trouble having got away from the troopers one night when only fifty miles from Port Augusta, and had given the troopers a chase of one hundred miles or more to recapture her. As soon as the police boat left we went to the windlass, the anchor lifted and we filled away on the port-tack with a leading wind out of the Gulf which as we rounded Point York hauled more to the west’ard giving us a good lead across the Gulf but finally dying away while we were abreast of Welunga, about thirty-five miles from Port Adelaide. As the sun rose, for the wind had left us about eight bells of the first watch, we got a light breeze off the land just giving us steerage way but so light that we were all day making the mouth of Torrens when we came to anchor to wait for the flood tide.

Captain Brown not requiring a pilot, when the tide made about 2 O’Clock, in the morning, we got under way with a bright moonlight showing us the two banks of the river almost as distinctly as daylight would have done. We began to work up the river for the wind was right down. We made the mouth of Salt River with that tide. About two miles below the port we came to anchor about twenty yards from the South bank of the River.

Captain Brown and the trooper in charge of the prisoners had engaged in a game of cribbage on deck at the front of the cabin, the prisoners being apparently oblivious to every thing around then squat down on some ‘possum skin rugs on the main hatch and most of us sailors being to work at one thing or another around the deck and aloft, when without a sign of any kind that indicated what they were going to do, the two black- fellows and the girl rose up with the slack chains between them held in their hands, made a few steps towards the rail and went over-board like a flash and were half way to the shore almost when they came to the surface. Having only the one boat the long boat, and that lashed on deck between the cook’s galley and the main hatch, and the boat full of most everything that was small enough to throw into it, spare coils of lines and studding sail gear, two or three small water barrels. It seemed as though they would get away. The trooper emptied his revolver at them while in the water but without any apparent effect.

Just at this moment a skiff with two men in who had been duck shooting, came out of Salt River, a small salt water Bayou known by that name; they were attracted by the pistol shots. The trooper called them alongside and dropping into the skiff gave chase after the prisoners who by this time were lost to view in the dense tea tree scrub that lined the river bank where they landed.

As soon as the Black-fellows went overboard we were called to clear away the long boat and get tackles rigged to get the boat over the side, and after the trooper was landed we kept to work and got the boat into the water and pulled ashore where in a short time we heard shouting in the scrub and the three white men came out on the beach with the prisoners, but the old black- fellow had to be supported and helped along, one of the trooper’s shots having struck him on the hip, rendering one leg almost useless.

Had the black-fellow got ashore unhurt, I believe they would have got away altogether, chained as they were for they had got through the belt of scrub into a large strip of salt marsh when captured. Being all fast together they could go no further than the wounded blackfellow could limp along. They were bundled into the long boat and pulled alongside and a whip rigged and a strap put around the whole three like a bale of wool and hoisted aboard again. That was the last dash for liberty those black-fellows ever got, a close watch was kept on them from that time.

When the flood tide made we got under way and were not long working up to the wharf, and as soon as she was fast the superintendent of police came down with a covered carriage and took the prisoners to the penitentiary, situated on the road from the Port to the City, about two miles out of the City.

As we could not commence unloading for a day or two on account of a large Swedish Brig called the ‘Balder’ lying at the berth, we had to unload at, she being almost loaded, we were kept to work on the rigging setting upstanding and top-mast rigging and overhauling some old sails until the ‘Balder’ was loaded, when she hauled out and we took her berth so as to unload into the same sheds that she loaded from.

The export trade of copper and wool from Port Adelaide at this date had assumed large proportions; the large output at the Burra Burra Mines furnishing the copper for ballast to the ships loading wool at Port Adelaide, but the copper was shipped to Melbourne to ballast wool loaded ships from that port as well. As all hands were staying by the ‘Grenada’, we went to work unloading her as soon as the ‘Balder’ hauled out, and in three days we not only had the last bale of wool out but had received some freight for Melbourne, Captain Brown having chartered her for a load of general cargo but principally flour to that port. Our cargo not coming down very fast we were four days taking in freight before she was loaded.

After getting our water casks lashed and the water boat alongside to fill them, we found a fair wind waiting for us to get down the River with and to sea, and we were not slow to take advantage of it.

On getting out of the River we found a heavy sea rolling in from about South-west though we had the wind then almost due North, and we carried the Northerly wind until we passed Kangaroo Island when the Norther left us rolling in a heavy Southwest swell off Port Elliot in Encounter Bay.

All that night we rolled and tumbled the heavy swell setting us in shore before daybreak. We could hear the roar of the surf as it broke on the beach, our anchors were got ready and chains ranged though we were still in deep water, and when daylight came bringing with it the breeze we had been looking for since leaving Adelaide, a strong Sou’wester and showing us the low sand hills not more than a mile off where the river Murray empties into Encounter Bay.

As our canvas filled with the freshening breeze, the ‘Grenada’ soon gathered headway and with her yards braced up sharp and main sheet hauled aft, she was not long in gaining a good offing from the land when her yards were checked in and with free sheets the ‘Grenada’s’ course was laid for Cape Otway.

Although the sea was still running heavy from the South-west with her increased speed the Brig did not roll so heavy but took the long rolling swells on her star-board quarter with an easy rolling motion that seemed refreshing after the shaking up we had been subjected to after the wind died away, leaving us with the heavy dead rolling sea in Encounter Bay with the treacherous quick-sands of the Murray River’s mouth under our lea.

Next morning as seven bells were made for breakfast, we passed under the stern of the Melbourne and Adelaide steamer ‘Havelah’ just coming out from Portland. She was the Pioneer boat on that line, at that time the only boat running between Melbourne and Adelaide in the casting trade. Though the Peninsula and Oriental Company’s boats ‘Chusan’ and ‘Norma’ the Royal Mail boats between Point De Galle and Sydney, on their trips once a month took in Melbourne, Portland, Adelaide, King George’s Sound and Swan River in Western Australia for mails and passengers, but to the ‘Havelah’ belongs the honor of being the first steamer to engage in the coasting trade of South Australia and at that time considered a crack boat.

The third day out from Adelaide found us running along the land close into Moonlight Heads. I looked for the wreck of the ‘Schomberg’ but could not see anything of her, she had probably gone all to pieces. The Old Man was telling the mate today, if the wind held, Sunday morning would see us in the Bay if not up to Melbourne; this was Thursday and the day bright and sunny, such a day as often precedes one of those fierce gales known on the Australian coast as a Southerly Buster.

In the after-noon the sun began to look red and hazy and the wind began to get unsteady, it was still about South-west but sometimes almost dying away and then freshening up as though unwilling to give out.

We had been carrying studding sails on the starboard side both lower and top-mast and top-gallant studding sails, but before sun set they were taken in and the yards braced up ‘for’, remarked the Old Man, ‘I don’t know but we are too close in to the land if we get a Southerly’. The night set in dark as ink and the fore- royal and main top-sails were taken in but by eight bells of the first watch the wind had just about blowed itself out and the sea was most run down too. ‘Before the watch goes below we will take some canvas off’ the Old Man said to the mate as I took the wheel, and in a short time the flying jib and fore top-gallant sail were clewed down and stowed, the fore sail was then hauled up and stowed and one reef put in the main sail; the watch were then sent below with orders to be ready for a call, but the middle watch passed off quietly and our watch, the Port watch, went below.

We had not been below long before we were called on deck to shorten sail; another reef was put in the fore top-sail and another in the main sail; the wind had sprung up from about south south-east and was freshening all the time.

At breakfast time the wind had increased to a gale, and the sea was now running very high and every indication pointed to a heavy blow. The albatross and Cape pigeons that are usually flying around low in the vessel’s wake, now soared high as though trying to get above the war of winds going on below them.

The Brig was now going off on the Port tack heading about South-west and making some fearful plunges at times, for she still carried her big standing jib. The sun showed himself for a few minutes and the Old Man got his longitude.

At noon the wind hauled about due South, heading us off South-west. ‘We can now do better on the other tack’ remarked the Old Man, ‘We will wear ship’. The main-sail was now closed reefed and the peak dropped and taking advantage of a lull, she was kept off before the wind and brought round on the star-board tack, and with a good pull on her canvas the ‘Grenada’ was making good tracks for Melbourne, being far enough off the land to clear Cape Otway, going East by North.

About four o’clock in the after-noon we were about five miles to windward of a black, deep loaded Brig under close reefed fore and main top-sails, fore top- mast stay-sail and standing jib; she was closer hauled than we were.

‘That looks like the old brig ‘Dart’, says the Old Man ‘He must be bound to Adelaide’. Just then the ‘Dart’s’ signals were run up and answered by us. As she had the wind about as free as we had, heading about west by north, we soon lost sight of her in the gathering gloom as night closed in.

Whatever became of the brig ‘Dart’ no one can tell, she never reached Port again and we were probably the last vessel that ever saw her, adding one more to the list of ships missing, another mystery of the sea. Daylight Sunday morning showed us the bold head- land of Cape Otway, about ten miles to leeward. We could now give her a little better full, though the wind was still blowing too hard to make any more sail, and as there was no need of crowding her and she was making good weather of it with the heavy sea running the ‘Grenada’ was rapidly shortening the distance to Melbourne Heads.

About ten o’clock that night we raised the light, and soon after twelve with the sea running right in, the Old Man needed no Pilot, we ran through the Heads and kept on right up the Bay, and at daylight we found ourselves right among the shipping lying at anchor off Williamstown where we dropped our anchor waiting for a tug to tow us up, for Melbourne has already four or five tugs although as yet vessels of more than ten feet draft could not go up to the City, and it was no unusual sight to see vessels of two or three hundred tons working tide, work up the Yarra Yarra at this period of Colonial History.

The large extensive docks that now line the shore from Williamstown to Sandridge, were not then built. This was now July 10th, 1855.

We had not long to wait before the tug ‘Sampson’ came down the River with some empty lighters that she left alongside a large English Clipper ship the ‘Maid of Judah’ and bringing a leader lighter along with her, brought her astern of us and took both of us along and landed us at Trockmorton’s wharf soon after noon.

The work of unloading was commenced right away; labor saving methods for unloading vessels were not so plentiful as they are now, a whip or Spanish burton was used to hoist out the freight from the hold, but the back and shoulders of the sailors were the conveyances it went ashore on – salt and flour in sacks of over two hundred pounds weight were the kind of loads we were called on to trot off with, grew very heavy before the last of her cargo was out of her, though as we could not unload her entirely, for she would not stand up light, we had some little variety in our labor while taking in and stowing our return cargo between loading and unloading.

We were a week or ten days in Melbourne before we were ready to leave for Adelaide again. We were towed down the river and clear of the shipping at anchor when we made sail and commenced our return voyage.

We had a leading wind down Hobson’s Bay, the wind about north-west, good enough to take us out of the Bay but as soon as clear of the Heads almost dead ahead we went off on the starboard tack close hauled but with all her light canvas set.

Although the wind was blowing quite fresh, we stood to the South’ard and West’ard until the following day and then went about and made the land about fifteen miles to the Eastward of Cape Otway.

We made another long stretch off the land and on coming in shore again brought Warnambool when the wind hauled more to the Northward letting us lead along the land on our course, and we kept that lead until the morning of the sixth day out from Melbourne when we sighted Kangaroo Island and were two days more with light head winds working up to the mouth of the River Torrens and were agreeably surprised to see a good sized tug steam out and head for us to see if we wanted to tow in.

She was a Liverpool built tug called the ‘Black Diamond’ sent out to fill a long needed want at Port Adelaide. She had arrived a few days after we left Adelaide and had gone right into commission and as Captain Brown was only too glad to do so; our tow line was soon passed to the tug and we were soon under way for the Port, behind a powerful tug, and as the distance from the Gulf of the Port is only seven miles, we were not long in getting there and being made fast to the Central wharf.

When we arrived at Adelaide fears were then expressed for the safety of the brig ‘Dart’, she was long over due, she was ten days out from Sydney when we signaled her and nothing had been seen or heard of her since.

I made inquiry about the prisoners we brought from Port Augusta and found they were still in jail, not having been brought to trial.

As we towed up to our wharf I noticed an old fashioned built ship lying at the Oriental Company’s wharf out of whose main hatch was being hoisted a locomotive or railway engine, the first to be landed in South Australia.

After supper I took a walk down to her to look at the engine and to see what kind of purchase had been used to lift that heavy weight out o a vessel’s hold, but when I saw the mast head pennants and chains preventerlifts on her main yard, they explained themselves as to how the unwieldy lump of iron was lifted out of her hold.

Next morning without loss of time the unloading of the ‘Grenada’ commenced and the same routine was gone through for six or seven days, the usual length of time occupied in unloading and loading the Grenada, but so long as Jack is contented with his ship and officers, it is surprising the amount of hard work he will do uncomplainingly, but the ‘Grenada’ was officered I think by three of the most popular men belonging to Port Adelaide, and wherever there is a vessel whose mate and second mate are as well liked by the crew as ours were, there is no limit to the amount of work the crew will get through for them.

Our next voyage was to Sydney, and as soon as loaded we towed down the river out into the Gulf and again commenced our daily line of sea duties; working as sailors or working in the rigging when not at the wheel helps to pass away pleasantly days that would otherwise become monotonous and destroy the sailor’s true interest in his vessel; and the mate or second mate who has the tact of keeping all hands of his watch busily employed while on deck without seeming to drive them, is the man who will always command the respect of his crew. There is always more or less variety in a sailor’s duties that keeps him from getting tired of any one thing or part of his duty.

We had an uneventful passage all along the South coast, light winds, mostly fair, until after passing Cape Schanck in Basses Straits when we took a stiff North-easter that made things lively for two or three days.

In standing off into Basses Straits we passed close under Gabo Island with its lofty light-house on the highest pinnacle of the almost perpendicular rock over two hundred feet from the water’s edge. After the Northeaster blowed out, the wind hauled more Easterly leading us along until we made the land north of Two Fold Bay when standing off shore again the wind came more Southerly and our course was laid for Sydney.

The old familiar land marks as we passed them running along the land, were like so many mile stones telling us how near we were drawing to the Queen City of Australia.

After passing Botany Bay our anchors were cleared and chains bent and preparations made for making harbor, and as Botany Bay Heads are only seven miles from Sydney Heads, by the time our anchors and chains were ready we were entering the Heads and with a fair wind up the Harbor the ‘Grenada’ was soon over the distance with her anchor dropped close in to Miller’s wharf in Darling Harbor, and as soon as our canvas was all made fast a line was run to the wharf and the Brig hauled in to her berth.

Her consignees not being ready to receive cargo until the following Monday (this being Saturday, ten days from Adelaide) Sunday I had an opportunity to visit old friends at old Jim Farrel’s.

I found out that nothing had ever been heard of old Martin since we left in the ‘Star’ a year before. The old man was still plying his vocation at the Circular stairs as waterman, happy and contented, he and his wife taking life almost with out a care; they owned their little property and he earned sufficient to meet their daily wants, and I think the old fellow had something stowed away for bad weather whenever he should get unable to get around in his boat.

At my own boarding house I found Mr. Briers and wife full of business, the house full of boarders and among them was the second mate of the old barque ‘Star’, Mr. McKinnon, whom I had last seen at Port Louis, Isle of France, he and the mate Mr. Holliday having shipped in a London ship the ‘Orient’ for London. I did not know at the time in what capacity they had shipped, but he now told me that Mr. Holliday went second mate and he, himself, before the mast. They had a long passage home to London and after being ashore there until his money was all gone, he had shipped in a new Aberdeen built clipper ship called the ‘Speedy’, of which vessel Mr. Holliday was chief officer; in fact, the mate had got him the berth in her, ‘for’, said he, ‘it was almost impossible to get a berth in any vessel bound to the Colonies without a strong recommendation from some friends as a guarantee against their running away from their ships on arrival in Australia’.

The ‘Speedy’ had been in Sydney about a week; she brought out between eight and nine hundred passengers and a general cargo, her passengers were all ashore but she was not yet unloaded.

From Sydney she would go to Rangoon in ballast to load rice for London, very few of the Liverpool or London ships going direct back to England on their return voyage but generally to some part of India or China and from there home, and the ‘Speedy’ was chartered for a load of rice from Rangoon in Burma to London, he himself, was not going back in her but was going mate of the brig ‘Lizzie Webber’ and would join her the following day. The ‘Webber’ was a fine Clipper built, full rigged Brig of about three hundred tons, trading between Sydney N.S.W. and Launceston, Van Diemen’s Land.

Monday morning the work of unloading the ‘Grenada’ commenced, and before she was unloaded the old man had her chartered for a load of coal from New Castle, N.S.W. to Melbourne. We took on enough back freight for ballast. Almost the whole week was gone before we were ready to leave. Saturday morning however, we made sail right from the wharf and with a fresh fair wind out of Darling Harbor we got away, and after rounding Dawes Point the wind still lead us about tow points free on the star-board tack, the wind being about West-south- west. The wind continued fresh all day. At noon we were passing Broken Bay and before dark we ran past the Nobbies Light and dropped our anchor off the Coal Shutes at New Castle sixty miles north of Sydney.

Next day being Sunday we lay at anchor all day and next morning a large open lighter was sent down from Morpeth a flourishing little town a few miles up the river for our cargo, New Castle at this time being a town of some importance and the only port in Australia shipping coal, there being extensive coal mines close by, situated as it is at the mouth of the Hunter River, only a few miles from the direct course of vessels from Sydney to San Francisco; there was already an extensive trade carried on between the two places.

As soon as our cargo was unloaded and the lighters away, we hauled under the coal shutes and in less than half a day her load was run into her. As the wind by this time had got around to the South’ard, we hauled out into the stream and came to anchor to make room for the American ship George, to load coal for San Francisco.

While laying here to anchor for two days as we did, we had a good opportunity of seeing the large coasting business carried on; there seemed to be an almost endless string of small schooners, cutters and Ketches going up and down, in and out, besides three fine Clyde built Iron Screw boats making daily trips from Sydney to Shoal Haven, Broken Bay and to the up river town of Morpeth and Maitland, forming the Sydney and Hunter River Steam Navigation Company, their boats being the ‘Waritah’, ‘Telegraph’ and ‘Pakeha’, the orange groves of the Hunter River districts largely supplying the larger Colonial cities with their luscious products or oranges, lemons and grapes, though South Australia was a strong rival in the Grape culture.

Our wished for change of wind came at last and with a strong Ebb tide we got under way with a light breeze from the North-east, but after passing the ‘Nobbies’ and getting fairly to sea, the wind freshened and hauled more to the Eastward.

The ‘Grenada’ did some quick rolling and pitching all day for the Southerly sea was not yet run down, and with a five or six knot breeze from almost due East, deep loaded as she was she seemed to be under water about half of the time, but towards night the sea had got to running more with the wind and making better weather of it, for the Brig now went through the water with an easy rolling motion without straining or pitching, and with her fore top-mast and top-gallant studding sails set on the port side, she was making good time for the straits with a good prospect for a good run to Melbourne. We passed Cape Howe during the night and at daylight of the second day out passed Wilson’s promontory.

Cape Schanck was passed before dark and before daylight of the third day from New Castle we ran into Hobson’s Bay but we also ran out of the wind for about the time we were abreast of the Quarantine station we were without a breath of wind, but as we ran into the Bay with almost the first of the flood tide we drifted up the Bay. At sundown we got a light air right down the Bay and standing over on the star-board tack brought over into Geelong Bay, and the wind dying away again after drifting into ten fathoms of water came to anchor on the north side of Point Henry.

Next morning as the first rays of the sun were showing over the high hills of Gipps Land we got a nice little breeze from the South’ard and West’ard that ran us up the Bay at a lively rate, and as we ran for the mouth of the Yarra Yarra, we were fortunate in getting a tug, and going right up to our berth at the Peninsula and Oriental Company’s wharf, to whom our coal was consigned.

Next morning saw us early to work rigging whips and building stages, getting ready for the hour the long shore men would be on hand to receive the coal as we sent it out of the hold. We were almost three days putting out the coal that was run into her in less than half a day. Before she was unloaded Captain Brown had her chartered for another load to Sydney and the work of loading her went right along.

While in Melbourne this time the city was in gala costume the whole week celebrating the opening of the Melbourne and Williamstown Railways and a portion of the Melbourne and Geelong Railroad, the first beginning of the railroad system in the Colony of Victoria.

As soon as loaded a tug was alongside to tow the ‘Grenada’ down into the Bay, and as soon as clear of the shipping lying at anchor, our canvas was made and with a stiff breeze from the westward began to beat down the bay. The prevailing winds on the Australian coast especially during the winter season, are westerly, though the heaviest gales experienced on the coast are southerly gales though seldom lasting over twenty-four or thirty hours.

On letting go from the tug we made a short stretch over towards St. Kilda, and then went round bringing well over on the west shore near Geelong, and the wind hauling more off the land as we got under the land, gave us a good lead, clearing Point Henry and leading clear through the Heads. There is one good feature about all the harbors on the Australian coast; when a vessel is once clear of the harbor or Heads, as the entrance to the harbors are termed, the vessel is at sea with a wide sweep of ocean before them, no shoals or reefs for the vessel to find her way through, either going in or going out of her principal harbors; and as soon as the ‘Grenada’ was clear of Port Philip Heads, with a fresh westerly wind and a long rolling swell along with it, she was kept right off on her course through the strait. We made a splendid run and the second morning out from the Heads we rounded Cape Howe, our Westerly wind still holding on; after hauling up along on the N.S.W. Coast brought the wind off land on our Port quarter and smoother water from Two Fold Bay to Sydney Heads, I think the ‘Grenada’ made the best time she ever did during the voyages I made in her. The log was hove regularly every two hours and deep loaded as she was she logged from eight to ten knots an hour.

Next morning after breakfast we ran through Sydney Heads in a trifle over three days from Port Philip Heads, near seven hundred miles. That was accounted good time for a deep loaded coaster, but with the same wind the ‘Pride of the Seas’ would have sailed the same number of miles in one third less time.

Though we had the wind well on our quarter outside as we opened the Harbor out after running through the Heads, the wind was not the same by about three points and we barely cleared the Sow and Pig Shoals on our first stretch in and up the harbor, and from there up we beat the whole distance and it was after dark before our anchor was down off Miller Wharf ready to haul in to our berth next morning.

Next morning at daylight we were called and lines were run to the wharf and we hauled into our berth for unloading. Work was started right away to unload and to- day for the first time since we joined the ‘Grenada’ we failed to satisfy the mate in sending cargo on deck fast enough; for one reason, the day was very warm and sultry and working at hard laborious work in the hot stifling hold, breaking out and lugging and lifting on heavy baled and boxed goods; and when the mate commenced growling from the deck and urging the second mate who had charge of the work below to crowd the men along a little faster, soon stirred angry words into open rupture that soon ended by our jumping on deck and telling the mate to get down the hold and fly around himself a little among the boxes and bales, that we had got through.

He first attempted to brow-beat us to going to work by threatening to have us arrested for refusing duty. He was told that word might do at sea, but alongside a good wharf it would not act. We went forward and got our dunnage all packed ready to go ashore, when Captain Brown came aboard and surprised at not seeing the cargo coming ashore, went into the cabin to find out the reason, and as we afterwards found out, the mate was asleep and drunk. That state of affairs we never suspected and when we all went aft and demanded our discharge he was angry and not without reason and made a strong effort to induce the whole crew forward to stay by the vessel.

It was to no avail, we had quit and concluded to go ashore out of her. Finding that we were bent on leaving her, he went ashore to arrange for the vessel to be unloaded and then told us he would pay us off next day. The whole crew went with me to my boarding house and Mr. Briers gave us all a hearty welcome, and that night fun was let loose in the hotel parlors, for in addition to the ‘Grenada’s’ crew there was also the whole crew of the missionary brig ‘John Wesley’ just returned from a cruise among the South Sea Islands and paid off that day.

We were not without money although not paid off, and we all felt just like enjoying ourselves, for during the whole time we were in the ‘Grenada’ for over two months, we had scarcely time to go ashore out of her making quick trips. It seemed to us as though we were all the time loading and unloading and felt something like boys just let out of school, as though we had the whole world in a string and held both ends of it. Sailors as a class, enjoy themselves most where there is a crowd of them together. Very seldom is Jack found even on a drunken spree alone by himself, he is not built that way. But there were no drunken sailors that night at the Family Hotel, for although Mr. Briers had generally more sailors boarding with him than any other house in Sydney, it was thoroughly understood that a drunken sailer had no place there.

A pleasanter evening I think I never spent, song and story being the order of the evening. Incidents and some of them of a humerous nature were related in connection with the ‘John Wesley’s’ cruise on her missionary work, telling how the missionaries were received among the different islands or groups, but the whole conversation that night gave good testimony to the great and beneficial results of the natives wherever the missionary vessels had labored, for there were at that time two of them engaged in the good work, the brig ‘John Wesley’ and the barque ‘John Williams’ so named after the great missionary of that name who gave and ended his life among the natives of the South Sea Islands.

The following day we were paid off and received our discharge from the ‘Grenada’. I had been in her almost two months and a half. If she had been making long voyages she would have been a good vessel to be in, for though few sailors object to being kept steadily at work in their watch on deck at sea, as a rule the sailor don’t take kindly to being kept loading and unloading all the time, and though the ‘Grenada’ was in every sense of the word a good vessel, she was a large vessel for short trips, and as the loading and unloading was always done by the crew, it was difficult work to keep crews in some of the large coasting vessels making quick trips.

The ‘Grenada’ unloaded and loaded and went away again to Adelaide, but I never looked for a vessel for near a week, I had been visiting some friends who lived at the foot of Liverpool Street, near the head of Darling Harbor.

Mr. King was an American ship carpenter who was employed to do some work on the ‘Pride of the Seas’ where I first made his acquaintance. In our conversation during the evening Mr. King told me he was doing some work on a nice little Brigantine lying at the foot of the street, called the ‘Jenny Lind’; she was loading red cedar logs or square timber from some small coasters who had brought them from the McLeay and Clarence Rivers two Shoal Water Rivers away north near Wilde Bay.

The ‘Jenny Lind’ was near loaded and he saw no men near her but the mate and the Captain. He had heard the mate say that the cedar was going to Adelaide, and from there the ‘Jenny Lind’ would go to the Mauritious. That decided me – I wanted to go off the coast. I told Mr. King I would try to make a trip in that little brig.

Next morning after breakfast I took a walk to her, myself and one of the men from the ‘John Wesley’ named Charley Beattie. On going aboard Mr. King pointed out to me on the wharf a young looking man in a white linen suit and Bengallee cork hat, telling me that he was Captain Wilson talking with the mate, a short square built man whose name he did not know.

We waited until the mate left the Old Man and then stepped up and asked him if he had all hands. ‘Well’, said he ‘I don’t know how many men I have got, there has been six or seven fellows down here speaking to me about shipping in the Brig, but I am not going to ship any one until day after tomorrow when Mr. Carpenter will be through with his work in the cabin, then we shall be ready for sea’.

On the next morning Beattie and I went down and found five or six men already there but Captain Wilson had not yet arrived, but he came in a short time after and along with him a man I had seen before at Mr. Brier’s named Gleesen.

Gleesen called myself and Beattie over and the mate coming shore then told the Captain there were two men there he would like to have in her, so they were called over too, and after some argument about wages which were fixed at seven pounds per month, we were told to get our dunnage aboard at noon, to go right away to sea. We were all aboard soon after dinner but for one cause or another we did not get away from the dock and sail on the vessel until near dark, but though moonless, the night was far from being a dark one, for the stars were out in full force as though trying to make up for the loss of the moon’s rays, and with a light, fair wind, we had no trouble finding our way out of Darling Harbor and picking our way through the vessels at anchor off Pinch Gut Island, though the wind was so light as to barely give us steerage way. We steadily left the shipping and City behind us, the light in the City showing clearer through the semi darkness, the light of each terraced street showing distinctly one above the other, while the vessel’s wake was clearly marked out by the phosphorescent light in the water as though the harbor was a sea of liquid fire and the passage of a fish through the water left a luminous streak behind them like the track of a shooting star.

We passed out through the Heads some time before four o’clock in the morning, for when our watch came on deck at that time the South Head light was five or six miles astern of us and a stronger breeze driving us along about five knots an hour.

The ‘Jenny Lind’ was not so fast as the ‘Grenada’ but with the load she had, for she was scarcely in good ballast trim, she ought to have made eight or nine knots. She seemed very light sparred and low, though for a vessel of her size about one hundred and fifty tons, she spread a large amount of canvas, carrying a small Fore Royal.

I was not at the loosing of the Royal, but I heard the man who did loose it, a large heavy built German who did not speak English very well, making fun about that little stick hung up for Fore Royal yard. The sail when set did not look much larger than a good sized table cloth. She also carried Fore lower and top mast studding sails for when our watch came on deck at eight bells- noon, the Port watch had sent aloft the starboard top mast studding sail boom and the halyards and tack were rove all ready to set the studding sails before the wheel was relieved or dinner eaten, there were only four men before the mast, Gleesen having been made second mate with myself and Beattie in his watch, and the other two men both German, in the Port watch with the mate whose name I learned to be Mr. Russell.

I had a good opportunity for studying the Old Man a little while I was at the wheel. The reason I commenced to watch and notice him was the elaborate manner in which he was dressed. If he had been going ashore to a reception with the Governor General he could not have taken more pains with himself; there was scarcely room enough on the short quarter deck for him to get much of a promenade, and he could not do much walking on the main deck as we had one course of square timber on deck. But with his fine broad cloth coat and spotless linen and the evident sense of his own importance that he seemed to feel, set me to speculating as to where he had got such high notions that seemed to be so much out of place in a little timber drougher like the ‘Jenny Lind’ even if he was high Lord Captain of her. He would occasionally walk aft and glance at the compass and say ‘Watch her close now’ to which I as often answered Aye, Aye Sir. But the little Brig did not require a great amount of watching for she steered like a yacht.

Just about four bells he went below into the cabin for a few minutes and when he came on deck again he was followed by a large sized monkey who followed him around like a dog.

When I heard the cabin clock strike two, I called four bells and as Beattie stepped on the quarter deck the monkey flew at him as though he would tear him to pieces, and before the Old Man could beat him off with a rope’s end, he had bitten him twice in the leg. Beattie drew his sheath knife but before he got a cut at the monkey the Old Man grabbed him by his short stubby tail and flung him on the main deck.

The Old Man said he was generally ugly with strangers until he got acquainted, but he had never seen him attack any one that way before. As soon as the Old Man could get hold of him he chained him up until as he said, we were better acquainted, but we save Robinson, for that was the monkey’s name, a good wide berth whenever we had to pass him or go by him for a long while.

Our fair wind kept with us for three or four days. After we passed Cape Howe we got rain and thick weather for two or three days causing a sharp look-out to be kept for vessels, for we were right in the track of vessels and steamers running between Melbourne and Sydney as well as those bound to Ports in Van Diemen’s Land. The fifth day out the wind we had carried from Sydney about East-north-east, fell light and finally died away altogether for about twenty-four hours when we got it a nice working breeze from the south-west and clear as a bell.

The ‘Jenny Lind’ was now close hauled on the port tack and next morning we made the land to the westward of Port Fairy, standing close in before we went around, and then we stood off for twenty-four hours and as we got off the land the wind was more southerly, so that when we went about again we headed up West south-west.

We now had a long stretch before us and as the wind was not blowing hard enough to make much sea we made good headway for most of the time we could carry the fore Royal. But it was the eleventh day out before we made the land Cape Wiloughby on the Port bow, so we could keep her off and with her yards checked in made a fair wind up St. Vincent’s Gulf; and when we got to the Pilot station Captain Wilson not being acquainted sufficiently with the river to run her up, for we had a fair wind right up to the Port, a signal was made for a Pilot and we hove to for him to come off.

In about half an hour the Pilot boat was alongside, and as soon as he struck the deck he gave the order to fill away the fore top-sail and keeping her off for the River, where we let go anchor to wait for the flood tide that would not make until after midnight, as we got there with the first of the ebb.

Before slack water we were under way and ready to go up with the first of the flood tide, and before daylight were made fast to the Central wharf and told to go below until after daylight. We were not called until breakfast.

On coming on deck I looked around to see if the ‘Grenada’ was in Port, but I could see nothing of her and on making inquiry found she had left a week previous for Port Littleton, New Zealand, showing that she must have made a quick trip from Sydney, for she always used from six to seven days unloading and loading again.

I found out that the Mate’s getting drunk in Sydney was only a new breaking out of an old habit and that he had been drunk more or less during the whole passage from Sydney to Adelaide, and that Captain Brown was compelled to let him go and ship another mate.

While we were at Port Adelaide with the ‘Jenny Lind’ the blackfellows we brought prisoners from Port Augusta in the ‘Grenada’ were tried for the murder of the Italian sailor and sentenced to be taken back to the scene of the murder and hung there, and I afterwards heard that the sentence was carried out after we had been to sea some time. The object in taking them back was to impress the other blackfellows with the knowledge that if they committed crimes punishment would surely follow.

Our stay in Port Adelaide was short, for less than two days only were taken up in putting off the cedar timber, it was light and easily handled. I do not know how large the trees were that these logs were cut from, but we had some pieces in our cargo that squared off three feet and some short pieces not over tell feet long I think must have been four feet square. As soon as the cedar was out we put about forty tons of sand ballast into the ‘Jenny Lind’ and she was ready for sea. It was now near the end of September, the winter season about gone and we might naturally look for good weather to get to the westward with, and getting round Cape Leuwin.

After we were ready we lay to anchor in the stream for two days waiting for the weather to clear up for we had been having a severe blow from the westward and the Old Man concluded to wait and let the worst of it blow over before leaving.

During the time we were unloading he had not been much around the vessel, spending most of his time up at the City, and after we got to anchor he went back and stayed there almost two days coming back gloriously full, and when he came brought a tug with him and the anchor lifted and Port Adelaide was soon left far astern.

I was sorry to see myself in a vessel whose Captain had not respect enough for himself to keep his head clear from liquor. I had been with one rum soaked captain and never wanted to be ship mate with another, though Captain Wilson, had sense enough to go below and leave the deck to the mate after the tug let go from us and we were fairly started down the Gulf with the wind off the land but some old westerly sea running yet.

During all the time we were in Port Adelaide Robinson the monkey had been confined to the cabin, he was too ugly with strangers coming on board, and while lying at the wharf unloading it was impossible to keep even the quarter deck clear of boys who came down to tease him, and when he could not reach from his chain he would jump on top of the cabin skylight, scratch his sides and chatter and gnash his teeth with rage.

Robinson was better than any watch dog I ever saw, for he would not let a stranger pass or come on the quarter deck if he could reach him, but at sea, after he had got acquainted with all hands sufficiently to be trusted, he was allowed his freedom around the deck, but the steward had to watch him continually for he would steal things out of the cabin and if he was close pressed he would take to the rigging and often drop the article when cornered, sometimes letting them go overboard.

I asked Gleeson one day how he came to get the name of Robinson. He told me that the monkey was owned by a sailor of that name who died aboard the Barque ‘Royal Saxon’ of which vessel Captain Wilson was the mate. After the man died the monkey became his and he gave him the name of Robinson after his former owner.

Captain Wilson had served his apprenticeship in the old ‘Royal Saxon’ from boy up to mate of her, and the ‘Jenny Lind’ was his first command, he had sailed her about one year, but wherever he went the monkey went with him and would follow him through the streets like a dog if unmolested, but had be$n teased so much that he had become ugly.

We lead across the Gulf with the wind on our starboard quarter giving Point York a wide berth passing it after dark going out to the westward of Kangaroo Island, the breeze falling light during the night and unsteady, and when daylight opened out the wind had veered around to North-north-west and looked as though it would keep on backing up to the west’ard. We were all ready close hauled on the starboard tack, Cape Spencer still in sight about twelve miles off on our starboard quarter. I heard the Old Man telling the mate to-day that if the wind backed up any more he would let her go to the South’ard for stronger and steadier winds. But the wind kept steady for the next three or four days from west to west north-west, heading us off to the South’ard. All this time we were now right in the track of ships bound to the Colonies from England or the United States. We sighted several but too far off to know what they were.

After going to the southward for five days the wind showing no signs of going round any further and we went about and stood in on the Port tack. We were favored in one respect, the wind did not blow hard enough to get up a big sea and the little Brig had every opportunity of showing what she could do on the wind. We were now standing into the Great Bight.

The day before we made the land we sighted an American whaler with a whale alongside cutting in although we were five or six miles to windward of her we could see the large blanket piece of blubber being hoisted on board. We exchanged signals with her. She was the ‘R. H. Owens’ of Nantuckett.

As we drew into the land the wind became lighter and hauled more to the Northward when going about again we could lay our course on the starboard tack. The wind now held from the north’ard letting us lead along for the next three or four days with our yards checked in a point or two free.

Twelve days out from Adelaide we spoke the sloop ‘Gem’ five days out from Swan River bound to Port Adelaide, and the same day sighted Cape Chatham. We had passed King George’s sound without seeing the land. We rounded Cape Leuwin the eighteenth day out, but our northerly wind getting lighter all the time though still making to the west’ard. Two or three days after passing Cape Leuwin the wind died away altogether and for a few days we had variable winds, generally breezing up a little during the night from the Eastward, sometimes going all around the compass during the twenty-four hours. We were now right on the Sperm whaling grounds. We raised whales almost every day, and very seldom a day passed without seeing whalers mostly American.

We spoke a Barque one day going almost alongside of her with a whale alongside, flying English colors, the only English whaler we saw, the ‘Caithness’ off and from Peter Head with two hundred barrels of oil on board. We hove to and had a long talk with them, they had been cruising for two months off the Crozetts Islands and the west coast of Australia; two days previous they had left Geographe Bay having been in there for water and other supplies.

While off the coast of the Crozetts in a fight with an old bull whale they had one of their boats stove but were fortunate in not losing any men. After leaving the Caithness the wind continued light for several days when we got the wind fresh from the south’ard that we carried for more than a week, veering and hauling from south to south-west but all the time shortening our trip up.

In this blow we came very near having a disagreement with the mate, some of the rovings on the fore Royal were gone on the Port side, three of them out near the earing, he had noticed it at daylight, he having the eight hours out that night and just before seven bells he came along with some rope yarns and giving them to Fritz the big German in his watch, told him to go up and make fast the head of the Fore Royal, but he could not get Fritz to go aloft and lay out on the small yard to make the sail fast again, and while hot words were passing between them seven bells were made and it was let go until after breakfast and eight bells brought our watch on deck; as it was Beattie’s wheel he went aft and relieved it and the Port watch went below. There was nothing done about the royal for about an hour when the second mate came forward with some rope yarns, ‘Here Bill,’ said he, ‘take these yarns and go up and bend the head of the fore royal, you are a small sized fellow; that big Dutchman in the Mate’s watch was afraid to lay out on the yard to make the head of the sail fast’. Well now, said I, Fritz has not got any more coming to him in this Brig than I have and by the time I strike the deck from where the royal yard hangs I shall be about as heavy as the big Dutchman. Now I don’t care about taking that tumble, did you ever examine those fore royal lifts? I asked him.. ‘No, why?’ he answered. Well then said I, take a walk up there and see if you think they are safe for a man to trust his life on they are only fifteen thread ratline stuff and half rotten too. ‘Well,’ said he ‘that sail has to be made fast if the yard has to be sent down to do it’. So without any more words the yard was lowered and the royal clewed up and I went aloft and sent down the yard sail and all and brought down the lifts with me and they were found to be worse even than we had suspected. We had all noticed some fag ends sticking out close to the end of the service on the outer end of the port lift, but when we overhauled them on deck they were both gone in the splices at the mast head, and after hauling out the earings afresh and mending all the rovings, some new ratline stuff was brought out and new lifts fitted, and when the port watch came on deck at twelve o’clock, the royal yard had been sent aloft and the sail set.

I saw the mate looking at the royal as he came out of the cabin door, whatever he thought I do not know but he appeared satisfied to see the rovings in place without giving a thought as to how it had been accomplished. He had probably never been aloft over her top or cross trees during the time he had been mate of the ‘Jenny Lind’ and was ignorant as to the condition of the lifts and foot ropes on which the crew have to trust their lives day after day and it becomes almost second nature with most sailors when going aloft for the first time in whatever vessel he may have shipped, to critically examine the lifts and foot ropes on yards and jibbooms so that he knows on what he is trusting his life to when he lays out on a yard arm, probably the first night out of port and the night black as ink, to reef or stow as the case may be, groping his way out with the canvas, reef-points and gear, switching about his legs often with nothing to stick to, with his hands on the yards, but the small iron Jack stay that the sail is bent to or made fast to, or it may be lying out on the jibboom on one of those dark stormy nights to stow or make fast on of the jibs that has been hauled down, then the sailors want to know the foot ropes are good.

I have seen two men lost in the prime of manhood through rotten foot ropes stowing a flying jib that had been hauled down during a squall. The ‘Jenny Lind’s’ foot ropes were none too good when we left Sydney, but they had been repaired before it was too late or any accident occurred. There was one thing all hands began to notice too, about this time the old man was drinking heavily; whenever he came around the wheel his breath as Fritz remarked – ‘Just so good as one glass of grog’. When not under the influence of rum he very seldom had much to say about the working of the vessel, but when full he was continually finding fault with every thing the mate could not trim the yards to suit him, the canvas was never set; just as sure as he came on deck after drinking we got a drilling with the watch tackle on all the halyards and sheets until every bolt rope and leech rope was as taut as a harp string.

We had been making good time now for more than a week and had been several days without seeing even a solitary whaler; in fact, we had run away from their cruising grounds and were drawing near to our destination and a sharp lookout was now kept for vessels at night, for we were now not only in the track of vessels homeward bound from India and China but also of vessels bound to and from the Mauritious from the Colonies.

We were five weeks out from Adelaide when we got orders from the mate to get up chain and bend on to the anchors and get them cleared away, though we had seen nothing to indicate a near approach to land, but the weather had been remarkably clear and fine for several days and next morning after the Old Man had taken sights and worked up his longitude he remarked to the mate ‘If this weather holds until tomorrow, we aught to see the land’, but the next day passed without our seeing the land, and the wind freshening after dark we shortened sail so as to let her jog along easy, but we might have gone along in safety for when daylight spread over the expanse of sea the first sight of land we got was the high bald peak of Peter Bote Mountain showing clear over a mass of leaden colored clouds that for a while hid the land underneath them, but as the sun got higher the clouds scattered showing us the land plain in sight about twelve miles off, while Peter Bote stood out lofty and grim like a sentinel guarding the entrance to Port Louis Harbor.

During the time I was living ashore after leaving the barque ‘Star’, I heard a story about the mountain, that during the war between England and France, the British fleet was seen three leagues at sea by the lookout that was always kept from the top of the mountains. From the top of the mountain too, signals are made to the shipping in port to strike royal and top gallant masts and sometimes to send down top-sail yards on the approach of a hurricane during the hurricane season.

We were not long running down off the harbor and a signal for a pilot soon brought one off, and with his boats towing astern we headed for the harbor. As we drew near to the shipping sail was taken off so as to check her headway for we had now a fresh breeze blowing and with nothing on her but the mainsail and fore top sail and two jibs the Pilot ran us through the two lines of vessels lying in tiers and brought us to anchor close to the tier we were to go into, and sending her boat away told the mate to get the sails all made fast while his men went for a lighter to carry our anchors out and moor us head and stern in the manner I have previously described in this work. The work of mooring and getting the brig into her berth in the tier took all day, and long after dark before the Pilot told the mate he thought she would do for all ordinary weather and we got the order to go below. The following morning the old man went ashore to his consignees and before noon a lighter was alongside and we began to unload our sand ballast which work occupied the whole of that day and the next. The last two lighters coming off came loaded with chunks of wood for dunnage to put between the lining plank in the hold, and the bags of sugar that began to come off right away, sugar being about the only export from these islands.

The work of loading was now carried on day after day and every precaution taken to insure the safety of the sugar from contact with any part of the vessel’s inside planking; valuable cargoes like tea, sugar, coffee and spices are generally protected with from twelve to fifteen inches of dunnage wood as a safe guard from or against any possible damage from water that might get on the floor lining by leak or otherwise.

Day after day the lighter loads of sugar came off to the vessel and a steady stream of bags of sugar was going into the ‘Jenny’s’ hold. Port Louis harbor presents a busy scene from about one hour after sunrise until near dark at night, the lighters going and coming from vessels loading to the large extensive warehouses in which thousands of tons of sugar are stored in grass mat bags, the crews of the lighters chanting their quaint native boat songs. The cooly labor here seems to be about equally divided between Madagascar natives and Bengalee Coolies, each boats crew singing their own native boat songs.

The plantation labor is recruited from the same source largely while the population of the town is a mixture of almost every nation known. Although the Mauritious Group form a part of Queen Victoria’s possessions the predominating language spoken is French, in fact were it not for the British flag flying on the fort and on all public buildings a man could very easily believe he was in some French Colonial port while on the streets and in the bazaars and stores he will hear English, French and almost every other European language spoken with Arabic, Hindostanee, Malayan and Chinese, for the bazaar of the Parsee merchant from Madras is side by side with the store of the China man from Hong Kong, while along on the same streets are the stores of Europeans. During the business port on of the day the streets are thronged with this odd mixture of nationalities. At night they retire to their own quarters.

There is a large percentage of French Creoles both in the city and all over the Island; the Creole quarter is mostly in the south-west side, between the City and Fort William has sprung up quite a large settlement known as Blacktown the quarter of the Bengalee, Malay and Mallagassy Cooly. In the Harbor the same mixture of nationalities can be seen – lying in the same tier of vessels may be an Arab Dhow and next to her a homely looking old Dutch East India Man or a frigate built ship from Blackwall one of those splendidly equipped ships the pride of the English Merchant Marine known as Blackwall ships, mostly flying green or wigram and green house-flags while close by can be seen the tall tapering spars and white cotton canvas of some noted American Clipper ship; and Sundays when the ships are all flying their own national colors a man standing on the fountain steps at the landing could very easily imagine that the flags of all nations were flying before him.

During the time we were loading we saw very little of Captain Wilson he having taken himself ashore and staying there, the day after we arrived. We had been delayed some in loading not having sugar alongside all the time there being two other vessels loading from the same house that we were loading from but we finally got our last lighter load of sugar on board after being some nine days here taking it in.

The Old Man came aboard soon after we had taken in the last bag and told the mate he should send off a pilot to unmoor us and get us out to the loaded buoy, and after dinner a pilot with his crew of divers came off and we began to unmoor but we were not ready to haul out when dark came that night so we lay in our old berth another night. Next morning soon after daylight the pilot was alongside to complete unmooring, and by noon we had our anchors and chains all in and we had hauled out to the buoy.

After dinner the water tank came alongside and we filled our water casks. The long boat had been hoisted in and secured in its place and some of the water casks lashed when the Old Man came off in a short boat and told the mate we were going to sea that night. The mate protested saying the vessel was not ready for sea but the Old Man was headstrong and full of French brandy and Dutch courage, he went ashore again and told the mate as he went over the side that when he came off again he should come with the pilot to go out, so there was nothing for us to do but get ready all we could as it was now the middle of summer almost the end of November. We were not required to send down royal and top-gallant masts and yards so they were all in place but our jibboom had to be rigged out again and the head gear all to be set up again. It was almost dark when we finished head-stays, guys and back ropes all set up. AS soon as we were through forward the mate sent us to supper and we went below hoping the Old Man would get filled up with brandy so that he could not find his way down to the boat-landing.

It was now Saturday night, and we had been steady at work from daylight with the exception of our meal times and all hands felt as though we could enjoy Sunday as a day of rest but our hopes were of short duration for before we had been turned to again after supper the pilot boat was alongside and as he came over the side and noticed the incumbered state of the decks for all our water casks were not secured. He told the Old Man he had better stay inside a day or two until the vessel was in better shape for sea, but he replied to the pilot that all he wanted of him was to take the vessel outside; that nettled the pilot and he gave order to loose the fore top-sail and top gallant sail. He told the mate he had done his best to keep the Old Man ashore until morning ‘for’ says he, ‘there is every indication of a change of wind and if we get the wind from the north, look out!’. ‘Sheet home the topsail’ was sung out from aloft; the sail was sheeted home and the yard mast headed; the top gallant sail was also loosed and set, the main-sail was hauled up about half way, the order given for a hand to the wheel to which I responded and the slip lines let go and the ‘Jenny Lind’ had started on her return voyage. The wind as we started from the buoy I noticed was about west or a little north of west, the night was not so dark but that we could see our way through the vessels all right. As we were passing through the lower Harbor the Old Man came on deck and told the mate to have the foresail loosed. ‘Hold on!’ said the Pilot ‘She has all the sail on that I want on her, when I go over the side Captain Wilson you can take charge’. Some angry words passed between the Old Man and the Pilot. The jibs and fore top mast stay sail had been set going down the harbor, the wind then being well abaft the beam on the port side and as we passed out through the Heads the Pilot called his boat alongside and without a word to the Old Man bade the mate good bye, went over the side into his boat; he remarked to the mate as he left the side he thought we should have our hands full before morning.

As the boat dropped astern in the darkness the Old Man gave the Pilot a parting shot telling him he though he could now handle the Brig without his advice and gave the order to loose and set the foresail.

I looked astern to see if I could yet see the boat but they were hidden in the gathering darkness though the harbor light was shining bright and clear. While the foresail was being set the Old Man walked aft and looked at the compass, saw I was still steering East by North, the course the Pilot had given me, he said ‘Keep her off a couple of points’, so I kept her off East by South.

After the fore-sail was set the work of clearing the decks began, the chains were all on deck forward yet and decks cumbered with running lines and gear and some three or four water casks not lashed, the running gear and lines had been cleared up. When the head sails were all aback the yards were braced up and the sheets hauled aft; by the time this was done and the vessel brought to the wind we found the wind had shifted from west north- west to East north-east and we were now close hauled on the port tack and the wind commenced to breeze up rapidly.

When the men left the work they were engaged at the brace up and trim sail, there were then three casks unlashed yet, they were rolled into their places and chocks put under them. All hands were now called to set the mainsail which had not yet been pulled more than a little over half up, it was now all pulled up and the work of clearing up went on again.

The anchors had not been lashed and as she now was commencing to jump some, the anchors were secured and the chain was let run below and by the time the chain was below the little brig was burying herself forward every jump she made.

Before they got the chain all below bights of chain were washing around like so many bights of rope and piles of water going down the hawse pipes of the chain lockers and down the forecastle scuttle, and to help the confusion the water casks that had not been lashed broke loose and before they could be secured two of them were stove so badly that they leaked all their water out afterwards.

In the meantime I was having a hard time at the wheel, there was now too much canvas on the vessel the way it was blowing and sea making. Deep loaded as she was she seemed to have lost all life or buoyancy for instead of being on top of every sea, every sea seemed to break over her; she was carrying a heavy weather wheel and when she got started to come up I could not give her wheel fast enough to check her before she was all in the wind shaking, then when she filled away again she went right off three or four points before I could stop her. I began to realize that the ‘Jenny Lind’ loaded did not steer so well as when light or in light trim. I knew I was doing my best at the wheel and I knew too that I was doing some wild steering. What the Old Man thought about the wild steering I don’t know, he said very little, he stood up to windward hanging on to the weather rail and sometimes when he saw her coming up very fast he would sometimes come and give me a heave on the wheel. I had now been at the wheel some five hours and my arms were getting tired with the continual heavy heaving and suggested to the Old Man that it must be past eight bells, he came to the binnacle to look at his watch by the binnacle light and it was then one o’clock, so he made eight bells of it and Fritz came aft and took the wheel.

On going forward I found the whole crew just through lashing and securing everything that was movable around the deck. ‘Now’ says the mate ‘we will try the pump’. So we went to work and rigged the forward pump nothing but just a common hand brake pump that two or three men could get at and work. During the time we had been in the ‘Jenny Lind’ she had never given us much pumping and when after we had been pumping for nearly an hour and no sign of a suck on the pump we began to ask one another had the little Brig sprung a leak on us. The mate told Gleesen to go down into the fore peak under the forecastle deck to see how high the water had been if it was on the floor lining.

When he came on deck the mate asked him what he had found, he replied ‘I found out we did not start the pump any too soon’. He told us we had lowered the water one foot but that there was yet about eighteen inches of water over the floor telling us that the water must have been high enough in the hold to wet the second tier of sugar bags and on tasting the water we were pumping it was found to be as sweet as salt water could possibly be made.

The Old Man then took the wheel and the steward was called to go to the pump with one man while the rest of us put two reefs in the main sail and hauled down the flying jib and stowed it, we then all returned to the pump when the second mate came out of the fore-castle, the first thing he did was to jam some old junk and bags into the hawse pipes both the outside ones and the pipes leading from the decks through which the chain went into the chain lockers and to secure the forecastle scuttle down, both of these places the water had been pouring down in torrents from the time the wind hauled ahead.

It was broad daylight before we got the first suck on the pump and now although the wind had increased in violence there was a different movement to the Brig, she was livelier and steering better.

The trouble was apparent to all hands that the Brig had almost filled herself through the forecastle scuttle and the hawse pipes of the chain locks from the water coming on deck. But though we had the pumps under control there was now something else to take our attention, the wind had hauled back about North and was now blowing a gale.

As soon as we had the pumps sucking the top-gallant sail had been taken in and a single reef put in the fore top-sail; the cook had lit his fire in the galley and made some coffee that we had drunk on deck not wishing to open the forecastle scuttle for there were big seas boarding us every few minutes. When the wind hauled back our yards had been checked in and the Brig hauled up on her course driving her into a sea that sometimes seemed to almost stop her way. We had just got through with our coffee when an immense sea boarded her by the fore rigging. Every man made a jump for something to hold on by, her decks seemed to be full, for a while it seemed as though she was settling but she gradually lifted herself and freed her decks of water and we found the cook’s galley was gone and the gripes of the long boat carried away on the port side and the boat full of water and her bow jammed down to the lee rail a part of the bulkwarks gone on both sides between the fore and main rigging and that accounted for her freeing herself so quick when she lifted herself.

As soon as the Old Man saw the state of the decks he gave the word to take in the mainsail and keep the vessel off before the wind, and as soon as the sail was fast and the main boom secured the yards were squared and the foresail hauled up and the Brig kept off before the wind and sea which was now running high. As soon as she was off before the wind we got back to the pumps and from the length of time we pumped before they were sucking we concluded she was loading somewhere from the straining and pounding she had been getting almost ever since we left Port Louis.

We now had to rig some kind of a shelter for the cook, for although the galley was gone the stove was still left being bolted fast to the deck, most of his cooking utensils were found jammed under the bows of the long boat, the rest having gone overboard with the galley.

Going before the sea the brig was now under perfect control. For the next two days we ran before the gale before it showed any signs of easing down and during these two days we were kept busy repairing as much as we possibly could the damage to our bulwarks. Having no spare boards or plank around the decks we were sent down the forecastle to tear out the bulk heads or partition between the forecastle and the hold with which we built a temporary house over the stove, for the cook, and the balance of the boards were used on the bulwarks as far as they would go and then we stretched life lines along over the rest of the gap as a safe guard to any one going overboard through the large gap in the bulwarks during dark nights or bad weather.

On tearing down the bulk heads in the forecastle we could now see the amount of damage done to our cargo, three tiers of sugar bags had been thoroughly soaked with salt water and the bottom tier of bags were empty, and for anything we could tell more. The brig was making considerable water, so much that we could not leave the pumps for more than fifteen or twenty minutes or the water was over the floor-lining in the hold and the bilge water still came up sweet as syrup.

During all this time the Old Man was drinking enough to keep full all the time and ugly and quarrelsome; he and the second mate did not get along well together. I had just taken the wheel one morning at four bells, six o’clock, when the Old Man came on deck, we had just got through a long spell at the pumps; the Old Man commenced to growl at the second mate for not having the quarter deck washed down – one word brought on another until they almost came to blows – finally the Old Man told Gleesen to take his traps out of the cabin and get forward. Gleesen took him at the word and moved into the forecastle, and from this morning we counted three wheels in our watch. I liked the arrangement much better for from this day out the Old Man stood his own watch.

We were still running before the wind for the sea was running so high that though she would have laid her course, the Old Man did not dare to haul her up for fear of causing her to leak more. The wind was setting some lighter however and he considered that he was not losing much if we could only get the wind more westerly afterwards.

The fifth day out from Port Louis the sea having run down some the yards were trimmed and the brig hauled up on her course, she did some heavy rolling now for the next two days but we took no heavy seas on board though there was a steady swash of water across her decks taking it in from the weather side when she made a roll to windward, there being nothing to prevent her from rolling in large amounts of water through her broken bulwarks. The norther lasted almost a week before it died out, the sea and wind running down together; our leak wherever it was was a steady one for although we did not have to stand by the pumps all the time we had no time for anything else more than was actually necessary to work the vessel.

We had light easterly winds now for three or four days; during these few days we did not make much headway. But our watch came on deck one morning at seven bells breakfast time, and found the port watch had got a spanking breeze from the south-west, they had been carrying it from sunrise. We now began to speculate on our voyage shortening up rapidly. We had been running three or four days when one morning at daylight a sail was made almost astern, evidently a large ship from her spread of canvas.

We were carrying all the canvas we could show with starboard, fore lower and top mast studding sail, but the ship over hauling us was carrying studding sails on both sides and gaining on us fast. Just as we came on deck at noon the stranger was alongside of us, near enough to carry on a conversation.

She was the Blackwell ship ‘Nile’ flying green house flag with passengers from London to Sydney, Eighty-five days out from London. Captain Wilson asked the Captain of the ‘Nile’ to report speaking him on his arrival in Sydney. By this time the two vessels were getting too far apart as the ‘Nile’ was ranging ahead of us, but before separating Captain Wilson corrected his longitude, we were then in 39 , 27′, 35′ Latitude and 105 , 38′, 40′ East Longitude.

The ‘Nile’ was not long in leaving us far astern, she was a splendid specimen of a merchant ship, only one of a large fleet of just such fine ships then engaged in the Australian, East India and China trades, ships of from 1,500 to 2,000 tons coppered and copper fastened vessels that could be converted into Men of War in a very short time if needed, and she loomed up like a mountain in comparison with our little brig as she came ranging up with a long easy roll showing her bright coppered bottom sometimes to her bends, with her long row of painted ports giving her a Frigate like appearance and with her square yards and studding sails set on both sides. She was traveling about two miles to our one and when dark came the ‘Nile’ was almost out of sight ahead of us, but the ‘Jenny Lind’ was doing her best to keep in her tracks.

The southwester ran us along for near a week before we got any change, when after about twenty hours rolling in a heavy dead swell and no wind, we got the wind from the North-east putting us on the wind again close hauled. Soon after getting the northeaster the cook made the discovery that there were only three barrels of water left with a little in two others, two whole barrels leaked out and nearly the whole of our others and here we were not a great deal more than half way home.

We were put on short allowance right away, two quarts per man a day for all purposed with the understanding that if we did not see a vessel or get a fair wind that allowance would be reduced in forty-eight hours. A sail is always a welcome sight at sea but now to the crew of the ‘Jenny Lind’ the sight of a vessel had a ten fold interest.

If the Old Man could have heard half the curses hove at him that day from the forecastle, he would have thought there was a mutinous spirit breeding and I do not think he would have been far wrong. He had lost the respect of every man aboard of her fore and aft by his drunken habits and bad temper when drunk; when sober he felt and acted as though he was commander of some big Bombay country wallah with a Lascar crew, though his crew of Colonial sailors were not so docile as the Coolies would have been.

Gleesen the second mate was forward in the forecastle and it was very seldom I ever saw Mr. Russell speak to him any more than was necessary, and the cook who was both cook and steward had a hard time with him continually; in fact, the only living thing aboard that had any love for him was Robinson the monkey, that in the heaviest of the gale after leaving Port Louis was crippled by a stroke of paralysis losing the use of one side completely so that when he went along it was with his left arm and leg, the right ones dragging uselessly after him, bu’ that did not make him any the less mischievous but only made him look more ludicrous in his movements.

For the next forty-eight hours after going on short allowance of water (for two quarts is not a great deal) every eye was on the alert to pick up a sail, but we saw none and on the morning of the 3rd day the Old Man called all hands aft and stated that we should have to go on shorter allowance of both water and everything else, saying that the steward had reported to him that morning that there was only one barrel of flour left and the sea bread most all gone and only part of a barrel each of beef and pork.

This news seemed to stagger all hands for a while, it seemed to have taken away the power of speech, but the reaction came and then if Captain Wilson could have sunk into his boots I think he would have done it to escape the torrent of blame thrown at him as the primary cause of all the misfortunes we had gone through since leaving Port Louis, for bringing the vessel out to sea in the condition she was in and for not knowing himself what provisions there were aboard the brig before leaving.

The steward was a man not accustomed to either cooking or going as steward of vessels, this was his first voyage in that capacity, being a baker by trade and had been induced to ship as cook and steward of the ‘Jenny Lind’ by the mate being acquainted with him ashore and he out of employment at the time. He ought to have known there was not enough of provisions on the vessel leaving Port Louis to carry us to Adelaide, but whoever was to blame the fact was before us that we were some fifteen hundred miles or more from Adelaide with a leaky vessel and must go on short allowance of both water and provisions right away.

The mate proposed that we go on half a pound of flour, two ounces of beef or pork and one sea biscuit per man a day and a half a pint of water a day per man; provisions of all kinds to be locked up in the second mate’s room in the cabin, and the water to be under watchful eyes at all times.

Our first day’s provisions were then weighed out and the water measured, and now our cook’s trade as a baker came in good practical use for he proposed as the best way for using the flour to the best advantage would be to take the whole allowance of flour, seven of us all told, three and a half pounds a day and make one loaf of it and then cut it up and draw lots who should have the pieces. That plan found favor with us all and was adopted as it was also a saving of water as the cook proposed to use a little salt water in mixing his flour and take as little fresh water as he could possibly get along with.

The fifth morning after being on our short allowance we sighted the first sail since the ‘Nile’ passed us but she was too far to windward of us to attract her attention. We tried to signal her but she either did not see our signals or if she did, she paid no attention to them.

For the last two or three days we had been making good headway, the wind having backed up to the westward of north and our course had been shaped to bring us more in the track of vessels bound to and from Western Australian ports to Melbourne or Adelaide or by getting closer to the land we might run across some American whaler; but though we saw plenty of them on our outward bound voyage we saw none now.

Christmas day came but it brought us none of the good cheer we had seen on other Christmas days but our northerly wind lasted and that itself buoyed us up as we were now drawing near the coast, but the nearest place we could make sure of getting relief with the wind we now had would be Port Augusta at the head of Spencer’s Gulf unless we sighted some vessel.

We caught two albatross and after towing them for twelve hours overboard to take the fishy taste from them the cook made a sea pie of them using our day’s allowance of flour that was instead of making it into a loaf, but the pie was apportioned out by lots in the same way that the bread was every day.

New Year’s Day we managed to get a porpoise but lost our harpoon overboard. Soon after getting the fish aboard after taking the iron out of the porpoise it was laid on the top gallant forecastle and monkey rail, the brig making a roll then the harpoon rolled overboard before any one could stop it and our chance for another porpoise was gone; that porpoise saved our flour for three days.

Before we got the porpoise the mate had been telling us that we had about one week’s provisions left, but the water would not hold out so long but we might get rain. We had not had rain but very little the whole voyage, very little rain falls on the Australian coast though in the summer season.

The pumping that we were now doing with our scanty fare began to tell on us though both the Old Man and the mate now took turns at the pumps. Her leak did not increase any but it was a steady one.

We now began to notice too that she did not take so much water on deck through her broken bulwarks; we had all spoken about that but the mate was the first one to solve and explain the reason the brig had lighted up near a foot, she was not so deep by one foot as when we left Port Louis. On looking at the lower tiers of sugar bags we found that the second tier had all dissolved after being wet and had been pumped out, and we surmised there were more gone than we could see.

The day we expected to make Cape Spencer we had still two days provisions left but the wind had been working to the east ward for the last day or two and now had got around to East North-east heading us right off the land. This was discouraging to us for we were almost used up with pumping and not getting enough to eat, we were disappointed too, for we had buoyed ourselves up with the impression that about forty-eight hours more would bring us within reach of aid, and the pictures we had drawn to one another and in our own minds as to how we would enjoy ourselves when we got in port and what delicious meals we would have cooked up for us until we had recovered all our lost strength again, but now our hopes were gone.

Getting the wind from the Eastward and light at that we were not making more than two or three miles an hour headway. How we looked and longed for the sight of a vessel the next day and the day after – no one can tell who has not gone through the same experience. Our beef and pork was all gone, one days allowance of water and only two days allowance of flour left when the wind headed us off.

That morning when the water and flour were served out it was agreed to by all hands not to use any more water than was sufficient to make the bread with. The longing for water is never so strong as when it can not be had. For the last week the water had been under lock and key as well as the flour though no one had been seen to take any water more than had been served out, still the water seemed to go away too fast and so it was ordered locked up.

I have been traveling forty-eight hours in the Australian bush without water with my mouth parched and dry but I did not suffer so much then as I did for the three days. So long as I had a few drops of water to moisten my mouth with while eating my piece of bread I got along better, but when I attempted to eat my bread dry, and my mouth dry and hard, I found it almost impossible to swallow the smallest piece. While we had a little water to drink I had tried eating sugar, for having free access to the hold we could get all the sugar we wanted or could eat.

I noticed that the men who chewed tobacco did not suffer so much the first day as I did who did not use tobacco in any form. Eating dry sugar only made me thirstier, so I took some sugar this day to the galley and cooked some making it hard into candy, and I found that I could keep a piece of that candy in my mouth and it relieved the dry parched feeling in my throat.

When the last of the flour was served out there was only enough water left to make the bread and about one pint – the mate proposed that that should be kept for some one who should need it most.

This night there was every indication of a change, we had been standing off south-east for two days and now the clouds were rolling up in black masses from the south’ard and westward. Before dark the mate called all hands aft, I was at the wheel at the time, the mate and the Old Man had been below for about an hour doing some loud talking. From a few words that I occassionaly heard the mate had been telling the Old Man a little of his mind, blaming him for all we were now suffering. However, before the mate came on deck they had got through with recriminations and had begun to talk about the probable change we would get before morning, and from the observations taken at noon he said twenty-four to thirty hours with a good southwester would take us inside Kangaroo Island.

That news itself was good to me, but when the mate called the rest of the crew aft and took them into the cabin I don’t know if the mate himself knew what the Old Man wanted us for. He appeared as much pleased and surprised as we were when the Old Man brought out from his state-room a gallon of the best old cognac – ‘Now men,’ said he, ‘I had this gallon of brandy left unopened when it was found out that we must go on short allowance of water, I sealed up this demijohn then and have not touched a drop of liquor since, but reserved this brandy for any emergency that might arise; now each man shall take one teaspoonful every four hours so long as it hold out’, and our first allowance of the brandy was served out then and the demijohn sealed up again. That small taste of brandy seemed to give us all new strength and courage.

After dark the wind all died away and we lay there all night with water as smooth as a mill-pond. We had the eight hours out that night the starboard watch, and as daylight opened out the weather certainly looked as though we might get a breeze any minute.

There was a small flock of Cape pigeons flying around and after coming from the wheel I got some twine and a pin bent to make a hook and in the pork barrel found just enough pork grease sticking to the sides of the barrel to make a bait and cutting a handful of pine shavings threw them over the side to attract the pigeons down to the water and alongside. I succeeded in hooking three of them when with a slight shower of rain we had the threatened breeze on us; the wind was from almost due south and caught our canvas all aback as we were standing out on the port tack, but we got the yards round as quick as we could, not being over strong any of us. By this time the rain was ill gone with the first puff of wind. How we longed for rain then so that we could have one good drink. We now turned our attention to the Cape pigeons and found the cook had them on the fire already, having skinned them feathers and all, and as soon as they were cooked they were cut up and divided and that small morsel with the strong fishy taste the meat had, seemed to me the sweetest mouthful I had enjoyed for a long time.

The breeze freshened and our spirits rose and our feast of Cape pigeons and our teaspoonful of brandy infused new life into all of us.

Before dark the weather began to look gloomy and we were fearful of another change of wind, but instead we got a small shower for about twenty minutes; but those minutes were made the happiest twenty minutes of that whole voyage; while some got buckets to catch water from the clews of the foresail and what was running off the quarter deck, some more unrolled the lower studding sail and spread it out and before the rain was over we secured nearly a barrel of water that tasted like nectar to us.

The mate and the Old Man both cautioned us about drinking too much but I think every man satisfied his thirst before he listened to any one. After the rain was over a double allowance of brandy was served out and while some went to the pumps the rest rigged out the starboard fore top-mast studding sail boom and rove off the gear and we got the lower and top mast studding sails on her and the little brig was now boiling through the water in a way to gladden our hearts with the prospects of to-morrow putting an end to our hunger. The breeze freshed during the night and before four o’clock we had the studding sails in and the royal off her. I think getting up to that royal yard was the hardest piece of climbing I ever did, I was so weak that I could not reach the royal yard foot ropes until had made three attempts at it, slipping down twice back to the top-mast cross trees when almost up to the yard.

When daylight broke the high hills of Kangaroo Island were in sight. A tablespoonful of brandy was now served out to each man and before noon we passed in between Cape Willoughby and Port Elliot and ran up the Gulf, and when abreast of Welunga took a pilot from Pilot Boat No. 4 and as soon as the pilot learned the condition we were in he sent the boat which was still alongside back to the pilot boat and called out to the Captain of her to send us some provisions. She was lying hove to only a short distance from us and they were soon back with flour, tea and sugar and a dressed carcass of mutton. As soon as received on board our yards were filled away and we went flying along, the land being only five or six miles off.

As soon as the pilot boat ‘Dingy’ started for provisions our cook got his fires lit and when the ‘Dingy’ returned he was all ready and in a short time he had a meal ready for us that tasted better to me than I ever ate before or since.

This was the twenty-fourth day of our being on short allowance and the last two days all we had to eat were the three small Cape pigeons among seven, but after the rain we all ate sugar and that lessened the pains of hunger a good deal, and I think prepared our stomachs for the food we got later, for I know that every man forward ate a good fair dinner and none of us felt any bad effects Prom it.

Before we got to the river we got a tug and towed right up to the port, but it was after daylight before we were made fast and the mate told us he was done with us, and glad we all were to hear him and lost no time in packing our dunnage and getting ourselves up to Harry Williams.

Before we left the Old Man called us all aft telling us he would pay us off in two or three days asking as a favor that we say nothing about the condition of affairs leaving Port Louis and offering Gleeson his berth again as second mate, but the offer was declined, Gleeson telling him that though he bore him no ill will he thought they would get along better if they separated.

We did not go near the brig for three days, by which time she was unloaded and the Old Man in trouble with the consignees about the shortage and also damaged sugar. When she was unloaded there were found four hundred empty sugar bags and a large amount of sugar spoiled through getting wet with salt water. On being unloaded too the leak was found abaft the fore riggings; a butt was found started and most of the oakum out. No wonder we had plenty of pumping. The Old Man was up to the City when we went aboard but before we left the brig he returned and taking us to the shipping office paid us off and gave us our discharge.