The Longest Day – 21st December 1878 – 86th day at Sea

“We have today

The longest day same as you have the shortest one.

Some of the largest waves we have had during the whole voyage have been on deck this morning while at tea with the door open, a tremendous wave came over & washed into our parlour upsetting our select circle.

Tea cups & saucers fell over and our cake was found floating round the room.

Of course our house on deck suffered as usual, but that makes little difference now as we are used to it. The nuisance is to bale it out before we can continue our tea. Anyone wishing for a fine view of the ocean cannot do better than take a ticket for Melbourne instead of Brighton where the sea is always calm to what it is here.

Australia map on a globe

We are now off Cape Leewin at the extreme W. of Australia but are too far out to see land – 300 miles from the shore. If this breeze continues we expect to arrive next Saturday. 10 knots an hour all day but this evening they have taken in all sails but 7 and a half (3 being reefed.)

The wind is very high. 2 or 3 waves have just been knocking at our door reminding us that it is time for bed. So goodnight 10.30”

When A.Whelen left England in 1878 for his new life down under he kept a hand written journal about his voyage aboard the Hesperides sailing clipper


3 thoughts on “The Longest Day – 21st December 1878 – 86th day at Sea

  1. Pingback: A Year On | Journey Jottings

    • Thanks for dropping by Lisa!
      It is amazing that when this journal was written (130+ years ago) it took 90 DAYs to sail to Australia with NO GPS, no Satellite, no motors… just the power of the wind and a sextant!

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