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Week 16 - towards Australia

[ 5th of June 1836 to 11th of June 1836 ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 16: Crossing the Line ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 16 - towards Australia ]

Both the Duke of York and the John Pirie are now steering south east towards Australia, a novelty they appreciate.  Although it brings bad weather and rough conditions, the travellers on the John Pirie also welcome the cooler conditions, after being ‘almost stew’d alive for a Month’. There is an interesting comment here on the trying conditions of everyday life on board in the tropics, with butter turning to oil and candles literally melting in their sticks. All is quieter also amongst the passengers, but the Captain continues to be anxious about Mrs Chandler’s state of mind.  He orders her husband to keep a close watch on her whenever she is on deck.

Scene: a fair wind and cross sea

A ship enduring a 'cross sea', Edward Snell, 1849.


The Rapid meanwhile crosses the Equator. ‘with the usual absurd ceremony’, as Dr John Woodforde wearily records. He manages to escape the fate of the other uninitiated passengers, pleading illness and bribing the crew with a A form of British currency, the gold sovereign has been minted to exacting specifications since 1817. Each sovereign contains exactly 7.3224 grams of gold (22 carats). It was worth nominally one pound.sovereign  - a substantial fee!

Next week: Mrs Chandler is ill again and as her condition deteriorates, those on board take desperate measures.

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