24th December 1878 – 89th day

“Up at 7.30. A fine day, dry but cold wind & going along beautifully. We have now only 800 miles to do & if the breeze continues we are certain of arriving there this week. Some very large seas have been over today & one came through the ventilators on the roof swamping Joey & one of the apprentices while playing cards. This wave also filled the ladies berth & went into the cabin. In the evening we had some visitors in & spent a very jolly time together by 12.

Christmas drink

One of the apprentices was found lying in the scuppers afterwards & I was rather fresh as were the others. They gave the apprentice one of his Wellington boots to be queer in. This is the way things are done on board ship so do not go & do likewise should any be on a similar voyage. The sailors got grog tonight being Christmas Eve & now we will turn in it being 1.30am & wishing you all a Merry Xmas I shut this up for the day”

Extract from A.Whelen’s Australia travel journal aboard the iron clipper “Hesperides” sailing from England to Melbourne in 1878

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