Page 21 - Voyage from Boularderie to Waipu
ISSUE : Issue 69
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1995/8/1
Voyage from Boularderie to Waipu Murdoch Fraser's Diary: December 24,1857, to February 24,1858 On December 24,1857, the ship Breadalbane set sail for New Zealand, taking the fifth boatload of Cape Breton pioneers fol? lowing in the wake of Rev. Norman lUlcLeod. Flora McPherson writes in her book Watchman Against the World: "Charles Campbell of Baddeck, the owner of the barque Breadalbane, had no intention of moving with his ship to New Zealand. She became the first of the migration to make the voyage under the sole command of her captain. With the exception of a few from St. Ann's and Big Harbour, most of the Breadalbane's passen? gers were from Boularderie, of the congregation of the Rev. James Fraser who had strongly opposed Norman's views.They were not sailing to rejoin a lost leader, but in response to the enthusiasm of their friends who had moved to New Zealand. So their journey was not a pilgrimage but a hopeful expedition to? ward a more prosperous life." What follows are selections from Murdoch Fraser's diary. (Most of the omitted portions deal solely with ordinary weather.) THE DIARY We went aboard of the Barque Breadalbane about 2 o'clock (n r 24 18'7' '??'* '' ''' ''''' detained for about 2 uec. Z% 153 /J jjQ'j-g' Qj' account of a little dissatisfaction of some of the passengers regarding the passage money. At last we weighed anchor, spread our canvas to the fair breeze, and in a short time, we were out of sight of what once used to be our happy homes. However, it being dark, and no pilot aboard, we put into Kelly's Cove for the night. About midnight it began to blow very strong from the West, and very cold. Sketch of the barque Breadalbane, 250 tons, by one of the Waipu pioneers running 8 knots per hour. The amount of water allowed for each passenger is half a gallon per diem, which is rather too short an allowance. All our family was pretty free from seasick. Duncan, Bella, and Alex was pretty bad with it. We were at anchor all day and blowing a regular gale, but to- fripp 1' 18'7' wards night, it began to grow calmer. You L>ec. ':>, 153 /J jjj'y j'g g'j.g 'Yiat it was not warm to stand on deck ankle deep in snowy mud and the wind blowing hard with an incessant sharpness. Cold as it was we had some visitors from land. In the morning the Pilot came aboard, but it being too calm he (Pj l#i 18'7' would not venture to take her out of the en- uec. zo, 153 /J trance, it was a little warmer through the day, and had plenty visitors from the shore, we have the anchor short so as to be ready if any wind should happen to come. The day was employed putting everything on deck and between decks to rights, which indeed had a great need of it. We had to put 3 of our boxes on deck to enable us to have a small space in the steerage. About eight oclock A.M. we weighed anchor, with a fair wind and in a very short time Boularderie was for? ever lost to our sight. We were no sooner out than some of the passengers began to grow 1st day out Dec. 27,1857 seasick. In the afternoon the wind began to rise. We passed Scaterie Light about 2:30 P.M. and lost sight of land at 4:15 P.M. It was cold through the day and a good many of the pas? sengers seasick. About dark the breeze was harder, and the sea rough, which caused us to shorten some of the sail, and still Oh native land Dear native land Far! far! from thee I go Thy mountains high and valleys green No more shall I behold Now launched upon the ocean wide To seek a warmer clime I bid adieu to childhood scenes To joy and mirth combined In the morning the wind was very light, but fair, about 9 A.M. 2nd day out ' "''de all sail, already we experienced a great n '>?? 18'7 ''''S' i' the chmate, the ice on deck is pec Z5,1537J thawing all day but we felt as the wind chilly enough, about 5 P.M. we had to put a single reef in the topsails before night the decks were all clean and washed, about seven she was laying S.E., 3 points out of her course, the sea was very heavy, but in the 2nd cabin everything was lashed pretty well so that nothing moved, although the sea washed clean over the decks. She rolled a great deal more than I expected she would. In the morning we had a stiff breeze from the west, which ena- 3rd day out ' '''' "' '? ''' ''' course with ease, through n '?Q 18'7 '' ''' '' ''" '' ''' warm, but the wind JJec. Zy, lo'/J chilly. A great many of the passengers were very sick. The ship rolled a great deal occasioned by her run- Danena's Restaurant and Take-Out LICENSED OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK ( Home Cooked IVIeals * Home Baiting j 383-2118 SOUTH HARBOUR on the Cabot Trail near Cape North Mostly Books NORTH SYDNEY MALL 116 King Street, North Sydney, NS B2A 3R7 Phone (902) 794-1094 • Fax (902) 794-6000 Family Books • Inspirational Greetings • Religious Supplies Gifts • Local Authors with Great Cape Breton Stories Our Store Is Beyond Words.,. 21
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