“Seven weeks on board today & not there yet. It seems as if we had only been out 2 / 3. Time flies here & the days are like so many hours. If we continue this pace we shall be in Melbourne by Xmas so they say, making up for lost time. Sighted the ‘Chasca’ homeward bound from New Zealand to Liverpool, 50 days out. She is a regular coffin to look at, painted green, belonging to the White Star Line. Sighted another small barque on the lee side. Weeks stores in this afternoon being Friday. Had some games during the evening & some beer for supper & so to bed at 9.30.
I forgot to mention that last night we had a great slaughter of the innocents at 11. The 3rd mate, Arthur & I hunted for cockers [cockroaches] & roasted them in the lamp. The smell from them was refreshing.
Bought some more baccy the only thing to complain of it is, that you buy it in cakes & are obliged to cut it yourself, but as time is no object it does not make much difference.”
Extract from A.Whelen’s travel journal aboard the Hesperides sailing from England to Australia in 1878