Abbreviated (Details of family sickness not added) Webber Passenger Ship's Dairy; transcribed by Marcia Donaldson
We left Emigration Depot, Blackwall,
At 3.30am while all on board were asleep (sailors excepted) the
pilot steamer, Charles Dickens,
London came alongside and pulled the Mataura down the river many miles
before any on board were aware they had left Gravesend. You might imagine
their surprise when they came on deck & found themselves surrounded by
water, land being scarcely discernable from only one side at
. Discharged pilot & dropped anchor opposite Ramsgate.
held service & singing. Weather very
nice. Several women sick, all others well. Weighed anchor at
and proceeded slowly down Channel. Moon rising, beautiful
evening . At pass
Rather rough during night. Many sick all day. Fine weather. Single girls laying about on deck like a lot of sheep.
Very rough towards morning. All sick again (no dinner), little tea.
Calm this morning, rather misty. Breakfast in bed, little dinner, tea on deck. Red herring, toast & butter. Calm towards night, no sickness.
4 hours watch, rough night. Saw 2 ships at before going off. Late breakfast, toast, eggs & tea. All
feeling sickly all day.
Very rough night. Ship rolling fearfully. Many very much frightened wishing they had never come. much calmer, saw a number of porpoises, 3 came close to ship & went underneath. At 12 calmer still, ship going fine, only 2 sick. All well, rather misty damp on deck.
Damp morning. Continually damp. Fine day for sailing. First time distance sailed posted, 124 miles in 24 hours from to Large German ship in sight going same direction as us. Soon overtook her & left her miles behind before sunset. We have 1 large & 1 small 6 lbs of bread every day. We make toast every morning or else we should not eat it all.
Had a fine night for sailing. Strong head wind, rather cold.
Service at . Distance sailed 181 miles distance from
Very rough night, wind & rain, wet all day. Beautiful baked plum pudding. Very rough towards night.
All awoke at by ship rolling fearfully. Almost every water cans, plates, dishes, sugar, treacles, chairs, stools, in fact every article of every description, large & small was swept from side to side of the ship as she rolled over first one side. All the things were stowed up in ¼ or ½ of a minute every thing was the other side of the ship. Tea, coffee, mustard, pepper that was not tied down to the tables was sent adrift although it was such a fearfull night we could not help laughing to see the things rolling about without any one touching themFor a short time calmer at 8am. Child died at , 6 months old, burial service was read at & the corpse was consigned to the deep through the port hole.
Calmer this morning. fine weather. Boxes taken up from the hold on deck for those that want anything. Distance sailed 157 miles. All well. All on deck laying & sitting about.
Calm night, beautiful morning, much warmer. Potatoe or currant cakes every day or preserved meat pasties one day with an onion (that I brought with me), pepper & salt. It is really nice beef. One day with pickles. Pork & pea soup & preserved meat with potatoes & soup.
Calm night, all well. Distance sailed 154 miles.
Very calm morning, sailed 200 miles. Concert came off this evening but several performances did not respond when called upon it being the first time they were rather shy.
Very calm at night. Sailing very slow, really lovely on deck. Divine Service this morning at . Sailed only 70 miles, scarcely moving afternoon and evening spent in singing hymns as late as . All well.
Calm. Continues getting warmer, splendid on deck. Women sitting down reading & sewing, men reading & conversing, small children to play, large ones at school. Sailed 110 miles. A small flying fish came on deck this morning.
Another lovely morning, wind a little more in our favour. Sailed 134 miles.
My paper keeps blowing up
& the sway of the ship & standing at the bargains as there is no
tables on deck. There is a tables below but it is dull below from what it
is on deck. 2 sheep died tonight through having eaten some biscuits that
were given them instead of hay. Calm & lovely day. Much warmer. Sailed
106 miles. Concert this evening.
Fine morning, going faster. I got up at , tea & wash at 6am. Breakfast, dinner & tea on deck. Fine day, going much faster. Sailed 160 miles. going faster still.
Ship rolling a little calmer this morning. Fine for sailing at
sailed 243 miles, farthest distance since we left
Calm morning. Going fine. Dear Alby better & out of danger. Dear Jessie better today. Sailed 242 miles. Entering the Tropics today. We have lime juice served out to us today. It is very nice, just like lemonade, just as good.
Calm night. Lovely morning. Passed the
September 1st Wednesday
Beautiful morning. Sailed 112 miles.
Thursday September 2nd
Fine morning. Spoke with the British Consul today, a large ship
Very calm, lovely morning. The
Saturday September 4th
Calm morning, all well. Raining at . Sailed 115 miles.
Sunday September 5th
Fine morning. All attended Divine Service at . A ship crodded our bows endeavoured to come side by side
with us again but she could not overtake us, waved pocket handkerchiefs at
Monday September 6th
Very calm morning, scarcely moving. ailed 63 miles. The sailors had a lark today. This day month they received a month's pay do today being pay day as a rule on board of every ship they keep it up. They make the figure of a horse & paint it accordingly. They collect a number of tin pots, pans etc & march around the ship with a man on the horse's back & the horse on the gun carriage. They make a nice monotonous noise, you may well suppose. After the promenade they halt at midships & hoist the horse with the man on its back on to the yard arm of the main sail which projects over the side of the ship (some 3 or 4 yards). They are both hoisted up by the pulley about 30 feet high & then they all sing a song & when nearly finished the man fastens himself to the spar, cuts the rope that suspended them & the horse drops into the sea with a loud splash & is seen no more. It caused some amount of laughter amongst the passengers and as it was dusk a great many thought the man went down with the horse as they could not all stand in front they could not well see the man above but he soon made his appearance & relieved them.
Tuesday September 7th
Calm day. Male child born. Sailed 80 miles.
Wednesday September 8th
All well. Calm morning. Sailed 110 miles.
Thursday September 9th
Fine morning. Sailed 98 miles. Whooping cough is very bad on board.
Friday September 10th
Fine morning. Sailed 98 miles again.
Saturday September 11
Another calm day. Sailed 173 miles.
Sunday September 12th
Beautiful morning, rather warmer. Sailed 98 miles, 119 miles from the Line (Equator).
Monday September 13th
Another fine morning. Sailed 113 miles.
Tuesday September 14th
Crossed the Line at in the centre of the world. Sailed 143 miles. Child died at , 7 months old.
Wednesday September 15th
Fine morning. Child buried at . Sailed 144 miles.
Thursday September 16th
Fine morning. Sailed 173 miles.
Friday September 17th
Sailed 185 miles.
Saturday September 18th
Fine morning. Sailed 195 miles.
Sunday September 19th
Fine morning. Sailed 181 miles.
Monday September 20th
Sailed 161 miles. Very pleasant on deck.
Tuesday September 21st
Sailed 165 miles.
Wednesday September 22nd
Sailed 142 miles.
Thursday September 23rd
Fine day. Sailed 162 miles.
Friday September 24th
Fine day. Sailed 160 miles.
Saturday September 25th
Sailed 141 miles.
Sunday September 26th
Sailed 142 miles. Mr Eastwell's child died this morning, 14 months old. Very wet & rough towards evening.
Monday September 27th
Eastwell's child buried at . Very rough. Sailed 116 miles. Fearfully wet & rough towards evening.
Tuesday September 28th
Most fearfully rough night, the worst we have experienced as yet. Sea mountains high, hundreds of ships would have gone to pieces in such weather. The sailors never knew such a rough night. Many tons of water came on deck over the sides of the ship. Mr Eastwell fell (or he was washed from one side of the ship to the other) & broke his leg. No one is able to walk on deck without holding by the sides of the ship. Another child died this morning , aged 2 years.
Wednesday September 29th (Michaelmas Day)
A little calmer today & sailed 168 miles. A flying fish came on deck, 26 inches.
Thursday September 30th
Very calm today.
Sailed 100 miles. A beautiful
Friday October 1st
Sailed 121 miles.
Saturday October 2nd
Rough night, also morning. Fine for sailing. Sailed 325 miles,
the greatest distance in one day since we left
Sunday October 3rd
Sailed 171 miles. We have all had a splendid dinner today, hot preserved mutton, potatoes & onions (preserved) and as good a plum pudding baked as ever we had in London.
Monday October 4th
Fine day. Sailed 128 miles.
Tuesday October 5th
Wet & cold. Mrs Scott the schoolmaster's wife died this morning at , aged 55 years. Buried at Sailed 161 miles.
Wednesday October 6th
Sailed 207 miles.
Thursday October 7th
Sailed 217 miles. Very wet.
Friday October 8th
Fine day. All others well. Sailed 208 miles.
Saturday October 9th
Fine day. Sun bright, wind rather cold. Sailed 239 miles.
Sunday October 10th
Rough cold morning, hailing & snowing. Mustered on the poop but obliged to relinquish it before all the names were called. We all had a good dinner again today. A beautiful plum pudding we get every Sunday after dinner. Sailed 223 miles. Fine weather.
Monday October 11th
Rough cold morning, hailing & snowing. All hands throwing snow balls. Sailed 261 miles.
Tuesday October 12th
Very cold & sea rough. Sailed 258 miles.
Wednesday October 13th
Calmer this morning. Several large icebergs seen during the night. Again this morning at a huge iceberg came near us within half a mile much larger than Westminster Abbey, a great deal higher. It was the exact shape of a lion crouched down. Splendid imitation of its head & mane. At about 1 third parted from the remainder so it became two and floated along separately. It was a splendid sight, white as milk. Sailed 213 miles.
Thursday October 14th
Very cold & rough, hailing & snowing. Sailed 199 miles. Mrs Pepperel prematurely confined of a daughter which died shortly afterwards.
Friday October 15th
Very rough & cold, hail & snow. Sailed 143 miles.
Saturday October 16th
Rough night. Mrs Pepperel that was prematurely confined died at . She has left two children behind her under 2 years of age. The youngest is only 10 months old so her husband has a handful. Another pretty child, John Carter died at , aged 2 years. Sailed 273 miles.
Sunday October 17th
Very rough & cold, hail & snow falling. Sailed 261 miles.
Monday October 18th
Children not able to go on deck. Sea breaking over the sides of the ship frequently, whilst at tea the heaviest quantity came over the ship. It left hundreds of gallons of water on deck. Children on deck were washed off their legs & as the ship rocked from one side to the other they were washed from one side to the other as there was about 3 feet of water deep before it escaped through the portholes. The adults climbed the sides of the ship & the rigging to escape being up to their knees in water. Our hatches were fastened down with ropes but the force of the water forced it open as if it had been small cord. Gallons came down the hatching. It fortunately came in the right side but the two families on beside the hatchway had their beds drenched as many gallons of water came down. The single girls had a good drenching also. Sailed 250. No serious damage was done only a drenching to the skin.
Tuesday October 19th
Fine morning, Sailed 259 miles. Mrs Cudd at 6.30 was confined, child died an hour after. Mother doing well.
Wednesday October 20th
Hail & snow falling very cold. Sailed 212 miles.
Thursday October 21st
Remains very cold. Sailed 280 miles.
Friday October 22nd
Fine morning. Sailed 253 miles. Brown's child died this morning, aged 14 months.
Saturday October 23rd
Still very rough & cold. We shall sail towards the Equator
again now having passed the
Sunday October 24th
We have had a frightful rough night the sea running mountains
high, the roughest we have experienced since leaving
Monday October 25th
Another confinement this morning. Calm but rather cold. Mother & child doing well. Sailed 154 miles. There are hundreds of beautiful birds following us every day, 10 or 12 different kinds & sizes from the martin to the albatross, a huge kind of goose whose wings from tip to tip is longer than a man's arms when extended from his body level from his shoulders.
Tuesday October 26th
Up at 5.30 this morning. Lovely morning, sun quite warm on deck. A strong wind blowing. Sailed 173 miles. Sailing fast at Faster still at .
Wednesday October 27th
Fine morning. Sailing fast, strong wind blowing. Sailed 278
miles. Mrs Truman's child that was born Sunday died this
Thursday October 28th
Fine morning. Up at 4 at break of day. The sun is warm. Sailing fine. Rice pudding & meat pie for tea. Obliged to eat or it would be spoiled as we shall have more tomorrow. 270 miles.
Friday October 29th
Fine morning. Ship rather unsteady on account of sailing so fast with contrary wind. Sailed 249 miles.
Saturday October 30th
Very calm again this morning. Fine day. Sailed 152 miles.
Sunday October 31st
Beautiful morning. The Captain said we should walk in
Monday November 1st
Very rough all night but calm this morning. Fine day. Sailed
180 miles near
Tuesday November 2nd
Fine morning. Calm. Sailed 170 miles. Very calm all day.
Wednesday November 3rd
Rather showery today. Ship unsteady. Sailed 187 miles. The sailors has wound up the cable this morning, the large chain that lets down the anchor so by that they are preparing for the end of the voyage.
Thursday November 4th
Fine morning, lovely day. Sailed 217 miles.
Friday November 5th
Fine morning. Had all the boxes (required) on deck for the last
time. Expect to reach
Saturday November 6th
Rather rough today Sailed 149 miles.
Sunday November 7th
Wet morning, rather rough head winds. Not making much progress. Sailed only 130 miles. Last Sunday we expect to see on board the Mataura.
Monday November 8th
Rough contrary winds, obliged to keep out to sea as soon as it became dark. Expect to see land tomorrow. Sailed 98 miles.
Tuesday November 9th
Fine morning. Sailed 116 miles. Land in sight was cried at . My glass passed through many hands on that day. We could soon distinguish the hills covered with green trees. Commenced packing & cleaning.
Wednesday November 10th
Fine morning, land in sight (Nelson). Dropped anchor at
. Are all getting ready (the New Plymouthians) to start per
steamer en route for Taranaki, 2 thirds remaining on board are bound for
Nelson & Marlborough. At the steamer came alongside & the New Plymouthians left the
Matuara in the
Thursday November 11th
Beautiful morning at sea again on board the Taranaki steamer.
We were up early in the morning. For breakfast (free of expense) we had
large dishes of splendid soup composed chiefly of meat & then large
dishes again of beef steak & boiled potatoes, plates of butter &
plenty bread & tea. The best breakfast I might say that I ever had.
There a lot of soup & several pounds of splendid beef steaks I never
had better beef all the time I was in
From Blackwall Depot to New Plymouth Depot, throughout the whole voyage we have met with nothing but kindness from all we come in contact with. The Depot is a fine large building on the top of the hill overlooking the town & the sea. It was formerly called the Barracks. There is every convenience imaginable especially for cooking & washing. We have 3 large bags of dirty linens besides bedding. It is a lovely day, rather warm. Splendid view all around us.