The middle of March found both the John Pirie and the Duke of York still anchored close to shore in the English Channel, as strong adverse winds and torrential rain delayed their departure still further. But by 19 March the winds had swung around and Captain Morgan prepared his ship once more for sea. His duty called, [...]
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Ships were broadly classified according to the way they were rigged – that is, according to their masts and and the sails they carried. The ships that sailed for South Australia in 1836 included barques, , and a fully-rigged . The Africaine, the Cygnet, the Duke of York, the Lady Mary Pelham and the Tam O’Shanter were rigged as barques [...]Read more about the Ships' rigging
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On 26 March the John Pirie seemed to be making progress, as it finally cleared the English Channel and struck out for the Atlantic Ocean. But just west of the Bay of Biscay the weather worsened dramatically into what one of our informants described as a ‘perfect Hurricane’. All but overwhelmed by ‘a most tremendious Sea’, the little ship was literally [...]
After six weeks of bad weather and no progress, all of the travelers were unhappy. The passengers on the John Pirie were still suffering the after effects of the terrifying storm, (one left the ship at Dartmouth never to return,) while the captain and crew saw about extensive repairs to the ship. There was also general [...]
Clear of the Channel at last, the Duke of York was finally making progress, although conditions were still uncomfortable for the passengers. Captain Morgan reported that the seas were high and that ‘great quantities’ of water continued to swamp the decks. This was bad news for those below, who would have been wet, cold and [...]
With good sailing conditions at last, both the Duke of York and the John Pirie were making good progress, both heading south off the coast of Africa. By 30 April the Duke of York sighted the Island of Brava, the southernmost island in the Cape Verde group, off the coast of present day Senegal, while the John Pirie passed [...]
At long last fair conditions prevail for the travelers and they make good progress. But danger still stalks the Duke of York. Lucy Beare becomes dangerously ill and almost dies. Reading between the lines, it seems likely that she gave birth to a child (family history says it was a daughter) who was still-born. Her health [...]
It is a week of high drama on board the John Pirie. First bad weather whips up heavy seas. The passengers all huddle on deck trying vainly to escape the leaks, only to be drenched by a sudden wave that washes right over them. This frightens the ship’s cat so much that he leaps overboard [...]
Both the Duke of York and the John Pirie are now steering south east towards Australia, a novelty they appreciate. Although it brings bad weather and rough conditions, the travellers on the John Pirie also welcome the cooler conditions, after being ‘almost stew’d alive for a Month’. There is an interesting comment here on the trying conditions of everyday life [...]
Both the Duke of York and the John Pirie are making good progress, as freshening winds drive the ships forward at speeds of between eight and nine . But the wintry conditions bring other discomforts. On the Duke of York weather swamps the ship, wetting all the bedding and clothing in the deck cabins and spoiling some of [...]
This week we see the Cygnet in Rio Harbour, where it has called to replenish stores and take on fresh provisions. From the terse comments in Finniss‘ diary we are led to believe that the decision to call at Rio was taken by Kingston, perhaps acting on John Morphett’s advice, but against the wishes of the [...]
In South Australia It is a slow week for Colonel Light and his surveyors. On 23 October deputy surveyor George Kingston finally arrives at Rapid Bay, after some weeks on Kangaroo Island. It is not clear why he delayed there so long, but his arrival means that Light can divide his forces to cover a [...]
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