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Captain Chris Hodder

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Following is an account printed in the Lyttelton Times, Monday 14th October, 1878 by Captain Chris Hodder of the voyage he made as Captain on the Waitangi from Plymouth that year. Its is probably representative of the sorts of journeys he made as captain of the The Waikato that brought the Stringer family to NZ in the same period...

The Waitangi left the South West Dock at 10 a.m. on July 12, swung for adjustment of compasses at Greenhithe, and proceeded to sea the same evening. Towed as far as Plymouth, having fine weather all the way. Sighted ship Crusader off Beachy head. On Wednesday, July 17, embarked emigrants, and on Thursday evening weighed anchor and towed out of Plymouth Sound.

Experienced light winds in Channel and thence to N.E. Trades, which proved very light, and were again lost in 1 deg. N. Light and variable winds then prevailed for a few days after which fresh S.W. and S.S.W. winds were experienced, which carried her to 1 deg N., when the S.E. trades were reached. Crossed the line on Aug 17 in 16deg W.

The S.E. trades were very good, and carried to 23deg. S., after which northerly winds prevailed, and some good running was executed. Passed to the north of Tristan d'Acunha on Aug 31 and on Sept 3, sailed 320 miles, the best days work of the passage. Passed the meridian of the Cape on Sept 5, 10 days from the line. The same night experienced a very heavy S.S.E. gale, which brought the ship under lower topsails.

On Sept 11 experienced a terrific gale from the W.N.W., with high sea, during which a heavy sea broke on board, washing away the skylight on the top of the house and ion the main hatch, breaking one of the surf boats, and carrying most of the movable gear such as sheep pens, hencoops, &c., overboard. Large quantities of the water found its way into the saloon and 'tween decks. On Sept 21 another S.E. gale was encountered, which was as severe as the first, and brought the ship again under lower topsails.

Passed the Leuwin on Sept 26, Tasmania on Oct 2, and the Snares on Oct 6. Carried S.W. wind as far as Nuggets. On Wednesday Oct 8 a heavy gale from the N.E. blew the ship off the land. The peninsula was sighted on the morning of Oct 10, light north-east winds prevailing all day, and increasing to a gale at night, veering round to the north-west , and continuing so all Thursday,. Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday morning the weather moderated, and the ship ran into harbour, dropping anchor at 7 p.m. The Easting was run down in 42S. The chief characteristics of the passage across the Southern Ocean were the variable winds and the wet weather, scarcely a day passing without rain

See Also: Stringer Family | The Waikato | British Passengers Act