My voyage on the Ingoldsby SS

The Return Voyage


Rose at 7-30 had breakfast & then had a look at the russians taking out some of the grain to make us light enough to cross the bar at Ochakov. At about 11 oclock I went on shore for a walk and went to the railway station to see what it was like. I saw a passenger train this morning. The russian trains are constructed on the American principle, you can walk from one end to the other if you like without getting off and attendants in each train supply every want of the traveler. But with all this advantage there is one great drawback and that is the slowness of the pace but the careless way in which the lines are constructed will not allow the train to go very fast. In fact if the Engine drivers were to attempt even a moderate rate of speed the sleepers and rails would inevitably give way.

This afternoon we brought the ship up to her anchor the men & women (russians) working all the time till four oclock, when they had a general meal of bread & raw fish. Then they went to work until they finished discharging.

Good Friday (homeward bound)

Rose at 7 then went on deck & nearly fell over one of the russians that was asleep on the deck with his skins over him we were towing the lighter that held part of our cargo down to Ochakov where we will reload, we started from Nickolieff at about 5 oclock and arrived there (? here?) between 10 & 11 oclock, and have been loading ever since so we may expect to finish by tomorrow morning.

We had some nice hot cross buns for breakfast & tea today it being Good Friday, I expect they are having a jolly good time in England today, anyway they are doing so here they have holidays on Friday Saty Sunday & Monday here.

The steward brought a black cat on board yesterday to catch the rats there are dozens here.

When we were coming down from Nickolieff we nearly knocked seven frills (?) (??) of another vessel, we were in the channel & she was coming right on the other side of us there was another steamer so we could not get out of her way without going smash into the steamer so we did the best we could but we knocked her jib boom away but saved her side & she broke one of our boats davits & bulged our side a little. I was quite close to the place when they came together & was looking on to see the fun you should have seen the russians jump up when they felt the shock they were sleeping & so could not see the ships coming together it was a lark to see them (??) run.


I woke up this morning by hearing the propeller going round this morning at 6-15 so I got on deck as fast as I could & saw that we were going out of Ochakov. Uncle was on the bridge giving orders to the man at the wheel it is a very nasty place to navigate here as you can't see the marks till you get quite close to them and the marks are only different coloured sticks just like brown handles with a coloured rag on the top.

As we were going along this morning & keeping our side the sticks with a black rag (so we thought) we were going at a slow speed when I'm bothered if the black rag did not fly away the blooming thing was a dirty old crow stuck on the top, so we saw the red rag only then & Uncle gave orders to the man at the wheel to port his helm but it was too late & so we stuck on the mud bank.

We had to take part of our cargo out again today & got off the bank at 19 oclock. The russians gave cheer after cheer when they saw us moving & then began to put the cargo back again.


Rose at 6-15 & went around to see what was going on. The russians were reloading & had nearly finished just before breakfast they had finished & then came aft to ask Uncle & me for presents for working hard. Uncle gave them some of their paper money. I expect they made more in that day and night (it being holiday) than they made in the last six months. At 8 oclock we started for home once more. I was on the bridge looking out with Uncle the marks are very bad here & we had to use the glass to see them.

I got sick again this evening but made a very good supper after.

Monday (Easter Monday)

We are now sailing down the black sea it has been a very misty day and there are dozens of birds on board, I suppose they have lost their way or got blown off the land. They seem quite done up when they get on the ship and some of them are easily caught & we caught a lot of them I caught a stork a hawk a gold-finch but there were others caught besides. There were about 2 storks, 3 hawks 4 rooks 1 greenfinch 1 goldfinch a pretty little bird with a green beak 2 green feet & pink eyes, & a pigeon. The storks made a thunderous row when we caught them & stretched out their long necks at you as if they would like to pick your eyes out.


Rose at 8 & went on deck thinking to see the land but there was a thick fog on the land & so we could not find our way to the mouth of the Bosphorous. There were other steamers going the same way as oursleves but they were going round & around till they saw that we had found the entrance & then they followed us. We arrived outside Ravak by 12-30 but we ought to have been at Constantinople by that time & would if the fog had not hid he land from our sight. The Bosphorous is a very beautiful river and there are lovely places on its banks. There is the pallace of the sultan that was put there a prisoner they said that he was not of sound mind. Then there is the summer pallace of the present sultan & his 150 wives. The turks are alowed to marry six but not unless they can support them & the sultan can marry as many as he likes, the people ladies & gentlemen (Pashas) think it a great honour to give their daughter to the sultan as one of his wives though, it will spoil her young life.

We arrived at Constantinople at 14-30, where we took in some coal for the Engines & left at 19 oclock. Uncle got some papers from home so we saw what was going on there.

Mr Fraser took his steward the hospital as he has been ill since we were at Nickolieff. We have had the diver here this afternoon looking at the bottom of the ship to see if she was all right & found that there was not a mark on her. So she did not damage herself when she ran on the mud bank at Ochakov.


Rose at 7-20 & went on deck to see what was to be seen, saw that we were passing through the sea of Marmara, and were just then at the entrance to the Dardanelles. At 8-45 we passed the town of Gallipoli which is a large town at the northern entrance of the Dardanelles on the west side of the strait, & has 17,000 inhabitants, who carry on a great trade. It is noted for excellent leather. It is built on a projecting peninsula & has two harbours protected by an old castle.

At 11-15 we got close to the man-of-war ship just outside Chanak when we had to stop while the mate took our papers on board to show them that they were alright. We had to stop between two forts, they are very strict out here.

We have had a lovely day quite hot & down the cabin it is like a furnace.

After tea it came on to blow so we set some of our sails.


When I went on deck this morning we were passing through the Doro channel, that is between the Islands Andros and Euboea (Negropont).

At 9 oclock we passed through Zea channel, with a strong and hot wind, we had some of our sails set. There has not been a cloud to be seen today except in the evening when it came on rough. At 18-30 we passed Belo-Poulo Island with a strong wind and rough sea. The old cock has been found eating the hens eggs so we have put him by himself ha we like to have the eggs for breakfast & I dare say will have him for dinner tomorrow.


There is nothing of any account to say this day only that we have had a beautiful fine day.


Rose at 7am went on deck to see how the weather was found it still fine & saw that were out of sight of the land.

I am first rate in health but for a pain in my left side but I had that before I came away but it leaves me for a time now & then. This evening it came on to blow squals with thunder and lightning such as is never seen in England. There was also a shower of hail-stones the size of marbles soon after that shower there was a large waterspout not very far from us. I sat in the chart-house looking at it. I never saw a water-spout before it looked like a spout narrow at the bottom & going wider until it was lost in the clouds. They say it is through the water-spouts that the Mediterranean is so salty.


I woke at 7 this morning & got to the chart-house as quick as I could as I felt rather sick. The weather is very rough and we have been sailing along the coast of Sicily as close to the shore as we could saftly go. This weather stops our progress very much the wind being right ahead & the sea dashing over our bow. At 19-30 I went below & had a little music (?) then got to my berth.


The weather has been lovely the sea going down so I left old Punch (my hawk) run about the deck he is getting quite tame.

At 12 oclock we passed Pantellaria Island & a few steamers. Mr. Fraser has been repairing the whistle this morning so I had a job with him. One of his dogs (Judy) had a fit today & made a fine row.

We passed Cape Bon this evening at 18-30 oclock, and shortly after we passed the little Island called Zembralta. There is another Island a little further on called Zembra but I did not stay on deck till we came up to it. I went below to my berth but could not get to sleep it being so hot.


Rose at 5-50 then went on deck & saw that it had been raining. Uncle was on deck & had been there nearly all night.

At about 8 oclock we passed the Island Galisa which is about 3 miles in length 1 mile in breadth & of moderate height off its north eastern point are the Stanfou and the dog rocks. We have been sailing along close to the African shore today and have had some beautiful views. One of our fowls died this morning so the steward gave it to Punch & he eat the head of it. Aunt has been washing a few of her & my own things such as collars, towels &tc.

This afternoon I had a nice job to paint.


Rose at 7-15 went on deck and found the weather rather dull but after breakfast it cleared up fine & I had another painting job I had to paint the standard & the ports of the quarter deck. I had nothing on my neck and Uncles old Egyptian hat on my head.

It came on to rain about dinner time so I had to leave off.

The black cat caught another rat today so Punch had some fresh meat for his dinner.


The weather is very rough, so I had dinner with aunt in the chart-house, but I went below to tea.


The is still very rough so I had breakfast in bed, (What a lazy fellow.) & got up at 10-30 then went to the chart-room where I remained for the rest of the day. Uncle was up there too he has been up all the night and is very tired. If old Jack knew what it realy was to be a sailor I guess he would not be one. He thinks it is very nice has do many others but I can assure him that if he was to come on such a ship as this at this time of year he would have enough. Uncle has got one of the best berths to be had but he has a lot of trouble I can tell you.


The weather is quite fine again today & the sun makes you feel quite hot.

We have been passing a lot of beautiful views today & a lot of mountains with their summits covered with snow. We have been sailing along quite close to the land from Cape-de-Gasa towards Gibralter we expect to get to Gibralter by breakfast time tomorrow. I have been painting all this afternoon, I made a bet with Uncle and the Mate that I would paint all the black around the lower bridge in the afternoon & I did so I will get the bets tomorrow. The bet was for a box of cigarettes and a pound of tabaco.

When I was painting the life boats old Punch the hawk fell over board, I was very sorry to lose him he was getting quite tame.

Just before tea the weather came on rather rough again so we left off painting.

Sunday at Gibralter

Rose at 6 then went on deck to see the sights we were passing we were going towards Gibralter & arrived there at 8-30 before we got there I wrote my letters for home. Gibralter is a very pretty (?) place & looked very powerful with all the guns pointing at you. As we were going towards the hulk (?) to coal the ship Chandlers boats came along side with the letters. I had three one from home one from Neath & one from Llanelly. As soon as I got my letters I put them in my pockets & went on shore to see the place. I suppose you know that the shops are all open here on sunday just the same as on any other day.

Well when I got on shore I was quite surprised at the things I saw the place was so clean. There were hundreds of soldiers there. I had a horse and Carriage to take me to see the Calmatar gardens & the hundred ton gun. I enjoyed myself very much it was a grand place and the gardens were beautiful there were cannons all over the place, with piles of shot & shells placed by them, there were a lot of sentries pacing back and fore. The flowers in the garden were lovely there were a lot of Tropical plants with great leaves about one foot long six inches broad & one inch thick. There were a lot of pink flowers on them.

I had not time to see half the things there or go through the rock it would take a day to do that and I only had an hour.

When I was coming back I passed the soldiers chapel & saw them drilling outside, the weather was lovely on shore & I should like to live there.

We had rather rough weather to get back to the ship so the boatswain (?) took the oars after sculling a bit & I steered.


It has been a lovely day so I did a little varnishing for the mate.

We have been sailing along the portuguese coast & saw a lot of nice views. We passed Cape St. Vincent & a few steamers.

I don’t think they get peas so early in England as they do here, we had roast lamb and green peas for dinner today & it was proper.


We have had another lovely day and at 9-15 we passed between Cape Carvoeiro and Berlingas. The sea was quite calm, just the same as when we came through on the outward passage. We signaled to the shore again today so I expect they will see our name in the papers.


Rose at 7 went on deck and found the weather very dull the land was out of sight. The fog cleared by 12 oclock just as we were passing Cape Finistere. It came on to rain at about two oclock when we got into the Bay of Biscay ??


The weather is much colder and is still rather dull with showers of rain and the sea rather rough.

We are about the middle of the bay now & are sailing away with a fair wind. I am not quite so well today but have not got the pain in the side like I had it before we got to the mediterranean. I suppose it is the dull weather.


The weather has been & still is very rough. I & Aunt have been shut up in the cabin for fear I should be washed over-board. One of our sail gave way this afternoon. The seas are like mountains, and when they break on board they make the ship bend & shake frightful, Uncle has been on deck all last night & the day only coming to the cabin to look at the Barometer. At 16 oclock we had to lay too & bring the bow to face the seas. I got to my berth at 20 oclock but did not take all my cloths off in case I should have to jump on deck smartly. Aunt did not retire till 22 oclock and did not disrobe, she was a little bit afraid & I must say I did not feel very pleasant myself. The steward came into my berth for a bit to have a talk and a smoke. I could not go to sleep for a long time the water coming on board in tons.


I woke this morning at 2 oclock by hearing the donkey engine going very fast. Uncle told me when I got on deck at about 6 that it was because the Engines broke down. It took three hour to put them right again. It was lucky they did not give way yesterday or we would have had our decks ?? if we did not go down which would not have been unlikely. Uncle had been up now for 2 days & nights. The weather cleared up fine this afternoon so Aunt came up to the chart house where I was writing my diary. There were dozens of steamers passing us (we’re in Bristol Channel) all going outwards I suppose they were kept in by the bad weather that is outside, but the sea is going down now. At 20 oclock we passed Lundy Is so we may expect to get to the mouth of the avon by the morning.


We arrived here at the mouth of the avon at about 9 oclock & expect to get to Bristol tonight. The owners sent two of there tugs left to take us up but we are to late to go up this morning (I write this at 10 ocl).