from the book "A Quota of Qualtrough" Pages 31-40

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Diary of James Qualtrough, written of board the "MERMAID" which sailed from Liverpool UK, on 11 July 1859 and arrived in Auckland, New Zealand on 19 October 1859.

For the Mermaid Passenger List Click Here

For the Map of the Voyage Click Here

Wednesday 20th: Though the ship does not roll as she did yesterday many of the passengers are still very sick. The ship brings her course southwards. We have not seen land since we saw Wales and Ireland and the sailors say it is no great matter if we do not see land till we see Australia.

Thursday 21st: We have still a fair breeze but rather little to our liking. The Captain says he has patience with everything but calm. This is rather idle time with many of us on board. While we sat awhile reading the life and labours of Peter Cartwright two or three played at cards on one side of me and a fiddler on the other. I could say with the

"Calm on tumults wheel I sit, 
Midst busy multitudes alone…..etc"

Ned Gale’s wife and a Mrs Oldham from Yorkshire are very ill. Both of them in the family way.

Friday 22nd: Nothing particular has happened with us today. Last night we were very much annoyed by a company that would have a concert on deck; who, by singing comic songs, laughing, clapping of hands, cursing, swearing, fiddling, dancing etc., took some away from our prayer meeting.

Saturday 23rd: Thank God we are still improving in health. At noon the sun is very high. About 3 o’clock we discovered the island, Madeira. We have now just enough fair wind. It is not much warmer with us yet than it was in the Isle of Man when we left. At 5 o’clock now when I write, the MERMAID sails at about 12 knots.

Monday 25th: On Saturday night the ship rolled very much by a heavy swell. Yesterday morning, Mr Caley preached from "As a father pitieth his children ..etc." The ship rolled too much to hold the Sunday School in the afternoon. Mr Oldham of the Kilhamite Society preached in the afternoon "Our Saviour Transfigeration."

Last night the ship rolled terribly by a heavy swell in her quarter. Little Annie woke in great fear when tin vessels and all things movable rolled about in every direction.

Today the ship sails 7 knots an hour. We have sailed in all 1800 miles. We are now in latitude 29.20. It is beginning now to get very warm. We are surrounded by all sorts of evil doers. I hope the Manx that are here will not dishonour their country.

Tuesday 26th: We do not see a vessel scarcely now nor a sight of land, but one wide ocean. The sun is very high but the day is about two and a half hours shorter than in the Isle of Man.

Wednesday 27th: James is getting a deal better but his appetite is yet rather bad. Mrs Gale and Mrs Oldham are still very low. The rest of us are very well. Thank God. We are now between the tropics. It is still very warm indeed. Some are asking what we shall do tonight.

Thursday 28th: Most of the passengers spent rather a restless night with the heat. The sun at noon is just over our heads. There is not a vessel to be seen.

Friday 29th: It is very fine, though warm, and the ship sails between 3 and 4 miles an hour with a breeze fair. We are now in latitude 29 long 24 west, for the sake of catching trade winds. This morning some flying fish were seen. Mrs Corlett and Mrs Joughin are very bad with stomach ache.

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