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ABSTRACT OF THE JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE FROM NEW SOUTH WALES TO ENGLAND.

By a Lady.*

HAVING embarked on board the Buffalo man of war, with a number of passengers, amongst whom there were eighteen women and twenty-one children, besides ten convicts who were to be landed at Norfolk island, we sailed from Port Jackson, in company with the Francis schooner, on Tuesday, October the 21st, 1800, at 9 a. m. with a fresh breeze from the westward.

On the following day, at noon, we descried a vessel to the northward, which, on bearing down, proved to be the Speedy whaler. At night a tremendous gale came on, accompanied with thunder, lightning and rain, which continued till the 23d, and during which we lost sight of the schooner.

On the 29th, in the morning, we passed Lord Howe's island and Balls's pyramid, which are situated in latitude 31° 35′ south, and longitude 159° 9′ east.

Nothing particular occurred till the 5th of November, when at dawn of day we discovered Phillip's island, and at 9 a. m. Norfolk island. A large sail appeared in the N. W. quarter. As a very heavy sea broke on the beach of Sydney, we sailed to Cascade, a landing place on the opposite side of the island, where the ten prisoners were landed. Cloudy damp weather. Norfolk island lies in latitude 29° 2′ south, and longitude 168° 5' east.

November 6th and 7th. The surf being very high both at Cascade and at Sidney bay, it was impossible for a boat to land at either place during these two days. The weather was fine and clear, and the island wore a beautiful appearance, being covered with lofty pine trees, intermixed with lesser trees of the brightest foliage. The banks and many of the steepest hills were covered with native flax, which grows in the greatest luxuriance. The large sail we had seen proved to be the Albion, Captain Bunker, who touched at the island for pro

visions.

On the 8th, the weather being perfectly fine and the surf moderate, I was induced to go on shore immediately after breakfast. We landed without much difficulty at Cascade, and walked to Sydney. The road was just wide enough for one carriage, and ran between pine trees, whose majestic height screened us from the scorching rays of the sun, and rendered the walk to Sydney,, which is about three miles and a half distant from Cascade, extremely pleasant. After descending at very steep hill, we reached Sydney, where, the governor's house excepted, there is not one good building. The town is built close to the water side, and the inhabitants must, I think, be greatly annoyed by

the

*The same from whose papers we formerly gave an account of the south west side of New Caledonia. Vide Athenæum, Nos. 9 & 10.

the noise of the surf, which is continually foaming and breaking with such violence as to render it difficult to hear what any person says. The land in every part of the island has a fertile appearance. The government-garden, which is situated in Arthur's Vale, is extensive and in high cultivation. Beyond it is a piece of water of a circular form, with a small islet, covered with flowering shrubs, rising in the centre of it, which gives it a romantic appearance. This pond abounds with eels of the finest kind, and its water turns a mill of considerable size. The farms extend all along this vale, and their luxuriant fields, in which the grain was nearly ripe, yielded a rich prospect. Major F. the lieutenant-governor, paid me every polite attention, and, at my departure in the evening, had a horse with a sidesaddle and attendants in readiness to convey me to Cascade. Being rather fatigued, I gladly availed of his politeness, and had a most pleasant ride in the cool of the evening to Cascade, when we reembarked in the Buffalo's jolly-boat. A heavy swell had drifted the ship to a great distance from the island, and we did not reach her till after a row of three hours, when it was quite dark.

On the 9th, at 9 a. m. the Buffalo fired a salute of fifteen guns on governor Hunter's leaving the ship. On the 10th we made sail and stood off, and on the 11th hoisted in the boats and took our departure from Norfolk island; Mount Pitt bearing S. W. three or four miles; wind at E. S. E.

We had light breezes and good weather. On the 16th, being Sunday, divine service was performed on the quarter-deck, by the Rev. Mr. Johnson. The greatest part of the passengers and the whole of the ship's company attended, and behaved with great decorum and proper attention. The performance of this duty was continued every Sunday during the voyage, except when prevented by the weather, or such incidental occurrences as will be noticed.

On the 19th it fell quite calm, with slight showers. A large green turtle was seen within a few yards of the ship.

On the 22d we had fresh breezes and cloudy weather. North Cape of New Zealand bearing S. S. W. distant about ten leagues; saw the land very distinctly. A sperm-whale was this day seen from the ship. On Sunday, the 23d, light breezes and hazy weather. Lost sight of the land of New Zealand. Great numbers of porpoises were seen. Much of my time was this day passed in rendering every service in my power to one of the female passengers, a Mrs. Molloy, whose life was despaired of. Her being within three weeks of lying-in, and some other cruel circumstances, rendered her situation truly calamitous, and called forth every feeling of humanity.

On the 24th we had uncommonly fine weather; the ship going seven knots an hour under a steady breeze from the westward. The fine weather continued for several days, with moderate breezes, and clear moonlight nights, which are peculiarly pleasant and desirable at sea, in which I frequently indulged myself with walking the deck till a late hour, viewing the waves by the mild rays of the orb of night. No fitter time or scene for contemplation; and my mind at those times

enjoyed

enjoyed a tranquillity which led my thoughts to soar beyond the extensive sweep of the ocean, and the wider expanse of its spangled canopy; even to that unknown world which the spirits of the just inhabit.

On the 26th Mrs. Molloy, the person before mentioned, and who was at this time supposed to be near death, was, to the great surprise of every person on board, safely delivered of a girl, after a very easy labour, and both seemed likely to do well.

On Sunday the 30th we had such frequent and heavy showers of rain, with fresh gales and hazy weather, that the performance of divine service was prevented. We this day calculated our distance from Cape Horn to be 4,384 miles.

For the three or four first days of December we had fresh breezes and squally weather. Vast flights of birds of the albatross, pintado, and peterel kinds, passed the ship on the 2d. On the 5th it blew violently hard, with frequent heavy squalls, accompanied with rain` and a great sea running. The next day the weather moderated. A large whale was seen within three yards of the ship, and on the 9th another of an enormous size was near enough to have been struck from the cat-head. A gale came on on that day, which increased in the night and on the next day, so that the ship was obliged to lie to. The sea ran very high, and struck her with such violence as to lay her repeatedly on her broadside. Towards noon the wind veered round two points to the westward, which enabled the ship to continue her course with the foresail and mainsail set. The gale became more moderate in the evening, and gave us hopes that the succeeding day would see it out. On the 11th our hopes were more than realized, for the gale not only abated, but a pleasant breeze sprung up from the wished-for quarter, and we went the whole day with studding sails set on both sides.

On the 13th we carried away the maintop-mast studding-sail-yard in a squall. It continued squally with fresh gales till the 18th, when a great storm came on (the most serious we had encountered since we left Port Jackson) from the north-westward, with frequent heavy rain and hail; the ship scudding under her foresail, seven and eight knots an hour, with a great sea running. The storm continued, with unabated violence, till the 20th, when it subsided, and the weather became clear and pleasant.

Saturday, 27th December. Some days have elapsed since I laid aside my pen. A dreadful catastrophe, which I will endeavour to relate as circumstantially as possible, prevented my resuming it till I found my spirits more collected. It was Christmas eve, and we were sitting round a good fire, anticipating the pleasures of the ensuing day, for which great preparations had been making for several days, when we heard a great noise on the main-deck, which we soon learnt was occasioned by Mr. L. one of the midshipmen, who was excessively intoxicated. Stripped to his trowsers, his face flushed with liquor, his countenance (which, I must observe, was, at the best of times, one of the worst I ever saw) dark and malignant, and his mouth foaming with

with passion, he was uttering the most horrid oaths, and threatening to strike or destroy every person near him. He refused obedience to the orders that were given to confine him to his cabin, which was under the half-deck, till menaced to be punished at the gangway. He then went in, and the door was shut upon him, but not fastened. In less than five ininutes afterwards he appeared, stark naked, just under the main-chains on the gangway, having got out at the port in his cabin. He was discovered standing on the gangway, by his calling out, “make haste, messmates, bear a haud, I am going to drown myself; bear a hand, messmates, tell them I am going to drown myself." All hands thronged to that side of the ship; he looked up and said, "call my messmates, tell them I am going to drown myself, I wish well to all the Buffalo's ship's company;" and instantly plunged into the deep, before any means could be used to prevent him. The ship was going at the rate of seven knots, directly before the wind, a considerable sea was on, and night had just set in, it being between nine and ten o'clock, so that he must have been out of all reach before a boat could have been lowered. To describe the horror and dismay it occasioned throughout the ship is impossible. One moment we had all been witnesses to the dreadful state of drunkenness he was in, and had heard his blasphemous oaths, and the next, whilst they were yet quivering on his lips, we saw him rush into the presence of his Maker, "with all his imperfections on his head." It cannot be expected that the next day, the joyful anniversary of our Saviour's nativity, would pass over very chearfully, while the circumstance was still so recent ; and it appeared to have had a very serious effect on the minds of his messmates, and I hope will be a warning to some of them, who were known to drink very freely. The weather at this time was cold and dreary, the atmosphere dark and cloudy, and all around was gloomy. We had nothing to chear our spirits but the consciousness that every passing moment lessened the distance between us and our native country. We had likewise an earnest desire to see land again, having lost sight of it for nearly two months; besides which, the coast we were next approaching, the southern extremity of America, had the charms of novelty, if it possessed no other, to recommend it to most of us, as very few of the passengers, and none of the women on board, had seen it. Our distance from Cape Horn being reduced to 1,057 miles, gave us hopes of seeing it at the expiration of another week, provided the winds continued favourable.

January 1st, 1801. The weather beautifully clear, inclining to calm, and as warm as a fine spring morning in April in England, which was highly acceptable to us, who had so long encountered the blustering cold weather of the Southern Pacific. We are only, by estimation, 363 miles from Diego Ramirez, an island near Cape Horn. I had not the least expectation of meeting with such fine weather in the south latitude of 56° 36'. It put us all in high spirits: a large party dined in the great cabin; we had a dance in the evening to the drum and fiddle, and, upon the whole, passed a very pleasant Newyear's day.

On

On Sunday, the 4th, a strange sail was seen in the north-west quarter, distant about seven miles. Every thing had been put in readiness for action some days before, in case of falling in with an enemy off Cape Horn, and the crew had, at the intervals of fine weather, been exercised at the great guns. The sight of this vessel appeared to give fresh life and spirits to the officers and ship's company; far different sensations did it excite in me, and my spirits were not a little raised when a thick haze came on about six o'clock, which entirely concealed her from our sight. It cleared, and the sun shone in three hours afterwards, but no vestige of the vessel appeared till between four and five in the afternoon, when the strange sail was descried as far as the eye could reach to windward, and in half an hour afterwards we thought, by the help of glasses, a schooner was in company with her. Shortly after we saw clearly that they were two large ships, under a great press of sail; upon which nothing was heard on all sides but "I hope they will bear down upon us; we are ready to give them a warm reception," &c.; but the result proved that their sails were set to get clear of us; they steered a course directly contrary to our's, and before the evening set in they totally disappeared, and with them my fears. The general opinion respecting them was, that they were two outward-bound whalers.

On the 6th we had heavy squalls from the westward, with flying showers of hail and rain; and being within a short distance of Cape Horn, with a great sea rising and night coming on, it was judged best to bring the ship up by the wind, under close reefed topsails. On the next day it blew very fresh from the S. W., and the horizon clearing up, we saw land, supposed to be Statenland, bearing W. N. W. distant 13 leagues. Upon this the cables were bent, and every thing got in readiness to anchor in New-year's harbour, where it was intended the ship should water, for, by the consumption during her long run, she was so high out of the water, and crank, that it was dangerous to put much sail upon her. As we drew near the land, a strong current set us off a considerable distance; it foamed like breakers, and seals were seen leaping in it in all directions. We got within four leagues of Cape San Juan, and nearly abreast of New year's harbour, but without any hopes of getting in. We persevered for twelve hours in attempting it, and then finding the ship losing ground, and every appearance of a storm coming on, she bore up, and I took (in all probability) my last look of Statenland. I cannot say any thing in favour of its appearance. Not a tree is to be seen; the land is in general very high and peaked; the tops of many of the hills, or rather mountains, were enveloped in thick dark clouds; patches of snow appeared on their steril sides, and even in the inlets, which had the advantage of streams of fresh water, no herbage was to be seen.* It will, therefore, be easily believed that we left it without regret, and VOL. IV. the

C

* Since I wroto the above, I have been credibly informed by a gentleman, who has been on shore at Cape San Juan, in Statenland, that impenetrable woods are to be found in several of the deep vallies, so that my supposition of there not being a tree on the island is erroneous,

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