“Up at 8.30. The wind has dropped a little today & we are not doing so much now. We are now in Lat 40 S & Long139 15”E & we hope to sight Cape Otway tomorrow & end our journey by Saturday. Have been very busy all day getting our things into respectable order before leaving the ship. Today our thinking is about the quietest Boxing Day I ever remember spending amongst Englishmen.
It is now 11pm raining hard & I have just been out to help the men haul on some of the ropes the wind having just changed. Tonight we have the side lights out for the first time for many weeks so this is a good sign for nearing land. Played cards till 12 then Joey kept me awake by chanting till 1.30 but he will suffer for his sport tomorrow night as he shall have scarcely any at all if I can help it.”
Extract from A.Whelen’s Australia travel journal aboard the iron clipper “Hesperides” sailing from England to Melbourne in 1878