A Voyage from Glasgow to St. John’s on board the screw-steam ship Castalia
Friday, April 25th. Started from Stonehaven about nine o’clock forenoon, and after a capital journey to Glasgow we arrived in Glasgow, about 2 o’clock at Buchannon Street Station, and then went down to Mavisbank Quay, where the Castalia was lying. She had only arrived at Glasgow the night before and was getting her cargo aboard, we then got aboard and into our berths, and got dinner. They got the bell for the Church, and the press and type for “The New Kincardineshire.”
Bell was present of the Anchor Line Company. The Rev. Mr. Adams delivered and
impressive address to colonists. We then started down the river and I went to bed.
Saturday- When I wakened in the morning we were lying at the Sail of the Bank opposite Greenock. The Government Inspector came on board in the morning, and after he left, we started down the river for St. John’s. I greatly admired the beautiful scenery going down the Clyde. It was a very fine day, and we passed a lot of vessels going up and down the river.
Sunday- I did not rise at all because I was sick but I did not vomit much but we were out of sight of land, we passed a large bargue in the afternoon. I did not eat any all day.
Monday- I rose up in the morning all right but a little light-headed with the rolling of the ship, saw to large ships in the forenoon, went to bed early.
Tuesday- It was a little rough, and I was sometimes amused to see the men on deck when a big wave came, rolling and tumbling about. They were playing at skittle and quoits,
Wednesday- Still rough and rainy and the wind right against her ship rolling terribly and when taking our meal if the ship gave a heave everything went rolling about. There was a girl born in the afternoon and it is to be baptized Castalia Brown, after the name of the ship and Captain Brown who is to be godfather to her. The ship stopped in afternoon to sort some of her machinery about half an hour, there was a terrible screaming of the children when she stopped and everybody ran on deck to see what was the matter.
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Atlantic. But still the winds were against us, a fine sunshiny day in the afternoon there was
hardly any wind filling the sails which made the ship roll fearfully just about supper- time. You would I thought she would tumble over for everything went rolling about – the water pails which were newly filled were all emptied on the floor, the seats were tumbling over and men and women were lying on the floor and holding on by anything they could get hold off. But Captain Brown and the carpenter came down and got everything sorted up and got the children quieted with apples.
Friday- Rough and terrible rainy, but a fine fair wind, the ship going at a fearful rate, the waves about 30 or 40 feet high, saw a large whale in the afternoon.
Saturday- When I wakened in the morning, the first thing I heard was the seats and tin dishes rolling about, and when I got up to the deck the waves were like the Bervie Braes, saw two ships in the afternoon.
Sunday- This morning saw a large iceberg and three ships, The wind turned by noon in our favour and the ship was going at a good speed. I attended divine service in the saloon in the evening.
Monday- Terrible misty and we have to sound the fog signals frequently, signaled to a bargue in the afternoon. We had capital dancing and singing in the evening in the fore part of the ship.
Tuesday- Ship going fine, but terrible cold, passed some ships in the forenoon and a schooner with a little boat behind her. We spoke to a lot of fishing [? smacks] from St. John’s in the evening.
Wednesday- We passed a large Anchor Line steamer bound for Glasgow in the morning.
Diary of the Voyage
from Glasgow to
St. John, N. B.
[The diary of David Linton Duncan was shared by Sandra Everett Duncan in July 2011. She is his granddaughter.]