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HOMEWARD TRIP OF THE SHIP WAIKATO.

The Graphic, of Oct. 19, has an illustration of the ship Waikato making her w*y through a barrier of pack ice off Cape Horn, on July 26 last, from a Bketch made on board by Captain J. C. Maling, 23d Eoyal Welsh Fusiliers, who was a passenger in the ship. The situation of the ship at the time was undoubtedly very critical, hut she managed to get through without injury. The Graphic, in referring to the illustration, says : — As Cape Horn extends beyond lat. 55deg. south, homeward bound vessels from Australia and New Zealand aTe compelled to pass through high southern latitudes where icebergs are not an unubual spectacle. But this phenomenon is chiefly observable duringthe summer season when theicebergs have been loosened by the warmth of the sun from their original habitat, and when they aro floated by winds and currents towards the Equator until they are melted. The dangers of collision are, at this time of year, lessened by the length of the days, and during winter time, fortunately, the bergs are usually fast frozen up in rarely visited regions within the Antarctic Circle. There are, however, exceptions to this rule ; ice is sometimes met with in the depth of winter. The writer of these lines came homo in a vessel, the Swif tsure, which was for several days beset with ice off the Horn in July, 1861, and now we have a similar experience to record of the New Zealand Shipping Co.'s ship Waikato on her voyage from Canterbury, New Zealand, %o London. On July 25 last, in lat. 57 south, long. 58 degrees west, after passing several large icebergs {one about two miles long and several hundred feet high), the Waikato was completely surrounded by pack ice, but by picking out a place where the pieces were smallest, she got through into cloar water. At noon, however, the captain of another vessel informed Captain Worater, of the Waikato, that there was another barrier of pack ice to the north, and soon after the latter vessel came in sight of it. As nigbtwas coming on, and the only clear passage was right to windward, Captain Worster resolved, if possible, to keep his vessel in the space between the two barriers until daylight. This was no easy und rtakin.?, as the night was 16 hours long, and thera were every now and then heavy snow squalls. During these squalls the vessel struck against a great many pieces of ice, and twice went through a barrier, but fortunately kept clear of bergs. There were three other vessels in the ice at the time. At daylight on Friday, July 26, says Captain Worstor, I found myself close to a large barrier of paok ice, with great quantities of pieces large and small all round ns. As one of the ships in company, tho Ellerslie from Callao (this vessel is long overdue, and is supposed _to be lost) had gone through the barrier, I determined to try and got through alao. I did not like tho idea of remaining in tho ice another night, especially as the weathor began to lO(3k threatening. I therefore steered for the pack, and, picking out a place where tho pieces appeared smallest, got through, though not without a good many hard knocks. Fortunately most of tho pieces appoared rotton at the edges, and therefore did us no harm. After getting through wo had comparatively clear water, aud on the following day not a particle of ice was to be ..son. Had we, while in the ice, encountered boisterous weather, and rough seas, I am fully persuaded wo should nevor havo got through, tho Waikato bning aa iron ship, and therefore not able to stand the knocks ana ru'us we should have roceived."

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HOMEWARD TRIP OF THE SHIP WAIKATO. Star, Issue 3364, 20 January 1879

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