On the morning of Sept. 4th, WSO the barque " Cressy," J. D. Bell, master, left Gravesend, and was towed down the river. She sailed down the Channel, was neaily becalmed off the Isle of Wight, and did not drop anchor in Plymouth Sound before Bin the morning of Sept. 7. At midnight she left Plymouth, and had an excellent run out of Channel. On the 10th she was almost clear of theUay of Biscay, the nearest land being Corunna—the antipodes of Lyttelton—but far from her. Five days of very )ight winds succeeded, and on the 18th we made Madeira, and passed to the westward of it j on the 20th made Palma and Teneriffe; on the morning of the 26thvmade S. Antonio, passed to W. of all the islands, tind ran> as far as 26. 26 VV. We had no N.E. trades; and on the 30th, after crossing the parallel of lON., met a breeze from the southward, were fifteen days beating against it, and at length crossed the line in about 25 W. The S^E. tTade came more and more from the eastward, and the extreme westing of the ship was 32. 54 on. the 24th October, in lat. 20. 51-S. ■. For live days made a course nearly due S., then began to make some easting with strong and fair winds. We passed above 60« to the N. of Tristan d'Aeunha, sighting the •nowy summit of the mountain over the clouds on November 6. From the 3rd to the Bth made little way, and then commenced a good run. From Nov. 9 t«. Dec. 5 ran down 100 degrees of longitude between tlie parallels of 37. 30 and 40 S., passing about six milts to the southward of St. Paul's on Dec. 1. After a good run, found ourselves in lat. 47. 30 S., 162.48 E. on Dec. 21, and stood on between the Snares and Traps; had no sight or. the 22nd or 23rd, but rough and bad weather. Made land on the evening of the 23rd, and Rtood mo/c to the N.
Made Cape Molyneu* on the 24th, stood out for Banks'a Peninsula, and at last anchored in Port Victoria before noon on the 27th of December; being 110 days from Plymouth Sound. The fore-top-mast having been badly sprung S. of the Cape will account in a great measure for the length of the passage j no confidence could be placed in jt; the fore-topsail was reefed whenever the breeze freshened. The* ship has now landed 200 emigrants: more than 90 children had embarked in her, but two who were brought aboard hv a most tfickly state did not survive many days. One child was born as we entered the Pacific. During the greater part of the. passage it was)necessary to watch one gentleman and keep him'under constant restraint, his mind being evidently deranged, and he has-been safely landed, as we would fain hope, in a better state of mind. ' '* ' Such is a. rough- sketch of the " Cressy's" passage, and the melancholy event which cast a gloom over .our little party. The details of many incidents, which are faithfully recorded in the " Cressy Times," would luive little interest for the general reader. We were jdull at Gravesend; the .dinner given to ..the. emigrants was followed by too many parting scenes to allow any merriment, and it was with gloomy thoughts and low spirits that one passenger at least tookj'possession of a comfort-. able cabin aboard the " fcressy." But when the ship dropped down the river, the feeling of being afloat had its usual exhilarating influence; the ties of old England were forgotten by the least sanguine, as they cherished the prospect of a better country ; and if a thought of home would occasionally return there was little time for thiese contending emotions. One • new feeling soon absorbed all others. We rounded the N. Foreland, and sentiment gave way to sea-sickness. What a spectacle does an emigrant-' ship present on such occasions, and bow particularly dismal was the "Cressy" with her youthful family of' ninety I But the distress was temporary. In a few days after touching at Plymouth we were on the broad Atlantic, with the wonders of the ocean before us, and few, if any/of our passengers viewed them with indifference, y We passed near Madeira in most lovely weafher, and were equally fortunateioff the Canaries, baring a clear view of the distant peak. On.the 30th a boat from H.M. brig, " Mariner/boarded us and took bur letters for home. In* a few days the Bankagent, who had been-the most lively guest at the cuddy-table shewed great excitement, and a fixed antipathy to one of the passengers. On Oct. 9, it became necessary to secure him, and for some weeks he was watched by his fellow-pawengers. As he became less violent, his wife waa enabled to stay with bin, and under her control he has become quiet. But one feeling c-S sympathy exists for the lady under so sudden and aVfuJ. a visitation. We had little merriment to welcome Neptune when we .crossed the line, but; fair winds in south latitudes soon put us in good humour with our vessel. AH became nautical,' and the passenger who did not know the ship's longitude, and the distance run daily, was viewed with some contempt by his companions. We had sights of the sun nearly every day. until w« neared our new country, but thick weather, when we most needed a clear sky, for two successive days, a bad specimen of our future climate. How wretched was the longest day! Then how variable the weather—reefed topsails at nine, the ship becalmed at noon ! in short we took the Ensiiish privilege of a '■' good growl.' But we had reason to be most thank fill for the escape of a midshipman, who fell overboard when a high sea was running. A boat was lowered, and he was picked up a long way astern jvc did not know that he had besn saved, until we saw him nearly lifeless in the boat on its return. We spent Christmas day most pleasantly at sea, arid on the 27th came into Port Victoria with as good grace as the last in a race can shew to his competitors.
.Two circumstances may have contributed to preserve the general health on board the " Cressy." The shipwasnot beCHlmed in the tropics, and in the hottest part of the world the foul breeze which delayed her was too strong to allow any great heat to be felt on board. Again, the' captain deserves our thanks' for consulting'the health'and comfort of his passengers in not running further to the southward, when a shorter passage might have been made in colder latitudes.
Accident.—During the( afternoon of Sunday last, the sth instant, an accident, fortunately unattended with any serious results, occurred to one of the boats of the " Sir George Seymour." A large party, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Watts Russell, Mr. Wilkinson the" surge*on of that ship, and three maid-servants, were returningi.on board ftpm attending Divine Service. A squally breeze from N.E. was blowing at the time, find, through some mis-management of the junior officer in charge of the boat, she capsized while attempting to w«ar, after missing stays, under the stern of the " Cressy." Boats were quickly lowered from all the vessels; and the whole party were, most happily rescued, after having been for some minutes in imminent danger. We are happy to state that, with the exception of some fatigue, no inconvenience has resulted to anj of the party.
Permanent link to this item
Lyttelton Times, Lyttelton Times, Volume 1, Issue 1, 11 January 1851
THE "CRESSY." Lyttelton Times, Volume 1, Issue 1, 11 January 1851
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.