Sarah A. Wilkinson
The Diary of Sarah.A.Wilkinson

Transcribed by
Debbie Arseneau

April 15th

    Edward & Uncle come in the night, have breakfast. I & Pa start in buggy Uncle Joe on horseback. At 11 dine at the french man's halfway house at dark. Stay night.

April 16th

    Called up to soon 1/2 past 2- wait till 5, raining heavily all night- start for Geelong- reach Mack's Hotel at 10. Breakfast, rain- go to see Mrs. Cameron. Mr. McLaughlin, Mr. Thorne there, take a cab, call on Mrs. Griffin & Mrs. Woods - back to Mrs. Cameron's to tea - down by train to Melbourne, stay at Scoll's Hotel.

April 17th

    Rain all morn Papa & Uncle out bring a cab- take me & all luggage on board. Marco Polo very wet- return- I and Papa go to St.Kilda to Frasers.

April 18th

    Good Friday- rain & wind - write to Mama. M.J. Mr. Howells & Aunt Martha M. A. Cronch comes - Play at Bayalette til dinner- In eve Alec & his wife Harry, J Pearson, Mr. & Mrs. Cronch & M.A. there to tea, spend the evening very pleasantly. I go to Mrs. C to sleep with Mary Ann.

April 19th

    Papa come for me- to town- rain heavily, hear that vessel leaves at 4 go back to St. Kilda for my bag- say good-bye to Rebecca - then to Lankards - meet Edward there get his likeness- he goes with us on board at 4 - have to take a boat vessel left landing. Say good-bye. The first is very unpleasant night - so much confusion - The Captain is brought down & introduced. There is great trouble getting lady on board, who has come along on boat. Mrs. Gunn - she is drawn up the side in Captain's Chair, after some difficulty - towed out by steamer- great trouble with him & pilot. We got a fright by a lighter coming close under the stern and dashing at the windows. The Marco Polo has a beautiful salon & also ladies cabin- easy chairs etc, our State Rooms appear very small. My companion is a Miss Goodlugh who I like at once.

April 20th

    Very calm - going slowly on deck all day, but sick when I go down - It is Sunday but not like one - such noise and some gents on board from Melbourne playing.

April 21st

    Pilot leaves - going very slowly very sick in eve, but night weather calm.

April 22nd

    Beautiful morn, up for breakfast., many fishing- Papa caught barracuda, down to dinner & tea & music in eve.

April 23rd

    Rather rough, last vessel in sight.

April 24th

    Fine but cold - going along 9 - 11 knots the hour - see coast Tasmania & lighthouse & Cinders & Clarke & Island. The Blue Jacket passed us bound for Melbourne. Papa very poorly but better at night.

April 25th

    Saw many Albatrosses - many fishing for them.

April 26th

    Sick. Captain comes in evening. Music & Cards - going 11 knots.

April 27th

    Sunday - no services walk & talk on deck. A whale seen.

April 28th

    Very rough night - gone 250 miles.

April 29th

    A large Albatross caught measuring 9 ft 9 in from tip to wings. 2 others caught.

April 30th

    Very rough night - no sleep - boxes falling about, feel very sick all day - A Cape Pigeon brought down very prettily marked, went only 100 miles since 12 yesterday - very little progress - land seen New Zealand..

May 1st

    Good night's rest but great deal of motion in vessel- wind against us. Chairs moving in every direction. Mr. Ramsay very poorly. Mrs Gunn faints on deck for an hour, very cold, get dish of soup on lap at dinner, great motion. Sleep on floor of my cabin.

May 2nd

    Very rough night, little sleep. Very cold on deck, come below and faint in cabin.

May 3rd

    Better night

May 4th

    Sunday, up breakfast, Miss D in bed her birthday. Something mysterious going on, an order for gents to appear in full dress to dinner. The Captain does not seem very pleased. Miss D.S health drank by all gents at desert. Mr D proposes it in champagne after Miss G & Mr Gunn whose birthday's passed quietly last week. Captain leaves table before desert. Mr Blakley reads prayers after tea & lessons sing 100 Psalm, 18th service on board. May we have many such.

May 5th

    Good night, going beautifully, rather rough but fair wind 10 & 11 knots per hour, pass Antipodes Island at 12 o'clock, gone 253 miles, dishes rolling. This the Captain say's is to be another Monday, as we have to make one day on the passage home & and lose one going out, gone 248 miles, ship very unsteady. Get another fall, and return of sickness.

May 6th

    A good night. An order issued that gents are not to appear in ladies saloon before 12 on after. Gone 290 miles.

May 7th

    Had a fearful night, no sleep rocking about in every direction. Lit a candle at 4, heavy sea rain came into our berth through portholes. Gone 295 miles.

May 8th

   Better night, but deal of noise on deck, time for meals to be 1/2 hour later.

May 9th

    Have a long walk on deck with Miss G & Mr. Ramsay. Fanny very busy trying to arrange for marriage to come off. Change seats at tea with Mr. Ramsay who has said I would not succeed. Not very good temper about it.

May 10th

    Quiet night, not on deck, very busy preparing invitations for a party to come off next week.

May 11th

    Sunday, very cold. Miserable not on deck. Mr. Blakely reads prayers after tea, gone 173.

May 12th

    Going on well at night. Mr. Deguoy fell on deck last night & cut his head. Very busy making Fanny's dress, rather sick in afternoon.

May 13th

    Rough, had bad night, no sleep, gone 205, feel very sick.

May 14th

   Very unfortunate so many sick. Mr. Jenkins still very ill, steward & boatsman ill, had better night, gone 142 today. On deck took lesson on compass from Mr. Ramsey, cards in saloon.

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