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ARRIVAL OF THE MATAURA., Otago Witness, Issue 1251, 20 November 1875
ARRIVAL OF THE MATAURA.
The performance of the ship Mataura this voyage should be no less gratifying to her owners (the iNew Zealand Shipping Company) than it is creditable to her new master, Captain Corn. 1 She " is from London, and, as our readers are aware, called *t Nelson to land a number of immigrants with whom she was entrusted. 255 souls, exclusive of the crew, found safe and comfortable quarters on board the good s>hip, and were landed at Nelson on the 93rd day from Britain, and would have reached their destination two days earlier but for exceptionally thick dirty weather, that detained the ship on the West Uoasr. before she could make a landfall. She has reached here on the 100 th day from London, and, it must be admitted, made remarkably smart work of it since she arrived in the Colony, having occupied only seven days in landing the immigrants at Nelson, and found her way round the coast this far. Our Nelsen contemporary (the Mail) speaks highly of the condition of the ship and her passengers when she arrived at that port. She waa the veiy pink of cleanliness and good order, and the passeugers were in excellent health and loud in their praiies of the ship, her captain, doctor, and officers, and demonstrated their gratification in a cordially worded testimonial. Strict discipline was preserved during tlie passage. The immigrants were told off in batches, were exercised in fire and boat drill, aud cheerfully played their pat t iti the precautions adopted to stave off those dire calamities ftie and wreck. Captain Gorn and the Surgeon Superintendent (Dr Kennedy) used every reasonable means to promote the h ippiness of thuir numerous charges. Concerts were held frequently, and a weekly AIS. paper, entitled tlie " Mataura Magaz-ne," was published on board. Twelve deuths occurred, ttn in the case of infants under one year of age and two adults. The Mataura left Gravesend on. August Bth, worked down Channel against westerly winds with very thick weather, and took- her departure from the Siart on the 10th. Westerly winds still holding, she had to beat right to the N.E. Trade, finding it on August 24 in lat. 35. It was a light Trade, and jrave out in lat. 16 N. on the 3 1st, Hence to ;i,lO north latitude, where theS.K. Trade was found on September 13th, the worst of doldrum weather prevailed— calms, variables, and rain. The Equator waa crossed on the 14th, long. 23, and the S.E. Tjide— a poor affair— uave out on September 23, lat. 23 S. Varhbie winds then prevailed until the 30th, when the Westerlies found her, and she entered upon a course of straight running to the eastward, passed between Tristraii D'Acunha and the Inaccessible Islands on October 2nd, racing paat them— her running on that day being her best during the pasture, ;}2."> miles being logged. On (he 6th October she crossed the meridian of Greenwicji, lat. 37, and that of the Cape on the lMh, lat. 42. Keeping on about the 43rd puallel she bowled along until "the 12th, when, her Jong, then being 32 E., and night draw ing in, the look-out man shouted out ■' ice ahead." And ice there was for mile. 1 ) on both bows, a heavy fleet of berjrs through which the Mu.te.ura, had to pass. She was running 12 knots when she entered the fleet, but on observing its magnitude. Captain Gorn reduced sail to. the topsails and jib, and picked his way through six longitudinal degrees of an ice strewn sea. This was the same fleet of bergs that was encountered by the Calypso and other vessels, and must have broken away from its icy moorings to the southward very early in the season to have reached so far north in uctober. The bergs were of all sizes, from 300 and 400 feet high, and large area, downwards. After clearing the ice, the Mataura packed on sail, and with strong, but unsteady westerlies, made fair running. The weather was intensely cola, heavy snowstorms being of frequent occurrence, and morning after morning the accumulated snow had to be shovelled off her decks. She made her easting between the 45th and 48th parallels, only once touching the higher parallel. The cold weather and snow held until she crossed the meridian of the Leuwin, after that she was favoured by more genial weather, passed Tasmania on the 3rd inst., and on drawing up with the laud met northerly winds and very thick weather. On the 6th inst. her position, according to dead reckoning, was close in to the land off Grey River, and she was then rounded-to for soundings and struck ground at 50 fathoms. By that time the wind had veered to the S.W., but as the weather kept intensely thick, she was dodged about until it cleared to make a safe landfall. A favourable change did not occur until the morning of the Oth, when, the mist lifting, the land was sighted ab«ut Hocks Point. Here she was kept awa-, pnssed Cape Farewell in the evening beat up BlinU Bay, and anchored off the Boulder Bank at noon on the 10th, 93 days from Graveaend, allo.vhi" tor difference of time. Landed immigrants and left on the 14th, was bee timed a few hours in the Strait ana then picked up a N.W. breeze, which carried her through and to the Kaikonras. Thence she experienced light variable winds until early yesterday moming, when a N.E. breeze sprung up aud br- m/ht her into port. She sailed up harbour and anchored off Deborah Bay. The Mataura has abine 700 tons of cargo, chiefly railway plant, for this port.
A Board «f Trade return shows that, from the sth August, 1873, to the 20th June, 1875, 550 vessels were reported for survey on account of alleged unseaworthiness. Of this number, oiily 16 were found seaworthy 31 were dismantled and broken up, and 19 surveys were pending. J The Maritime Register of August 13 gives the termination of the enquiry into the loss of the steamer Vickaburg, held at Liverpool The report of the Court concludes as fjllows:— "The Court ha 3no doubt upon the evidence before it that the Vicksbur" was a good ship, inexcellent order, and well equipped When, at 10 p.m. on the 31st of May, ice was reported on both bows and ahead the Court was of opinion that the master should have hove-to t-11 daylight Such a proceeding would liave been in strict "accordance with the very proper printed instructions of the Company with which their commanders and officers were furnished, and copies of which were handed into the Court. Had this course been adopted in all probability the catastrophe which subsequently occurred would not have happened. When the' disaster" took place, it would seem from the evidence that there was a want of due preparation on the part of the officers and crew in the arrangements for manning the boats Printed forms for this purpose had been prepared by the Company, copies of which were handed in but beyond mustering the crew in the river Mersey previous to her starting on her outward voya"e anil giving each man a badge with the number of his boat no further steps were taken during the voyage .to practise the men at their boat and fire stations, and the result was that at the time of the disaster considerable difficulty occurred in manning' and lowering the boats, and sertoinly some of the men did not know their places in the respective boats. The Court was strongly of opiniou, looking at the fact that there were seven boats attached to this vessel, four of which were Jife-boats, calculated to hold at least 120 persons, that had the instructions of the Company been property carried out aa intended, and harf the boats lowered earlier, every life on board might have been saved The Court could only account for the delay to reluctance on the part of the masterto abandon his vessel aa long as the slightest hope remained of saving her. The Court was of opinion that the chief officer 01 the steamer was entirely exonerated from the charge of intoxication made by one witness."
ARRIVAL OF THE MATAURA., Otago Witness, Issue 1251, 20 November 1875
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