Departed 31st December, 1848. Gravesend is about the most dismal port one could start from and how the wind howled that first night! The ship Chasely was not A1, but considered good enough to go to the Antipodes.

Our fellow passengers in the “cuddy”, as the saloon used to be called in those days, were Dr. Hobbs, ship’s doctor and his mother, Mr. Bowden, a sugar planter, and his wife and child. These were all; but we found a good number of nice people among the emigrants, who had availed themselves of Dr. Lang’s arrangement with the British Government that on payment of £200 they should have land privileges on arrival in Brisbane.

It was very cold. I think there was snow or sleet that night; the wind blew hard.

We had not many excitements on the voyage, and those we had were of an uncomfortable kind. The first was that we nearly ran into Madeira during a thick fog. We were near a great rock that loomed black and frowning upon us, but the ship “put about” all right.

The next adventure was getting so close to Pernambuco, South American coast, that we saw the lights of the town quite distinctly; a strong current that our captain knew nothing of was responsible for this. Our Captain was young, and evidently inexperienced.

We had a disagreeable experience of rats both by day and night. My husband knew my antipathy to these rodents, and had brought two terriers with us, one from Skye, the other English. One we always had in our cabin; the other was invariably out on loan! At meals I always sat with my heels under me, the only protection I could have at these times. These rats became so numerous that water had to be put out for them to drink as it was found they were gnawing the ship, seeking for water since they were so thirsty.

At 10 p.m. Mrs. Hobbs, the doctor’s mother, used to have supper in the cuddy, which was usually bread and cheese and porter. One night a large rat came on the table and went straight for the cheese, when there was quite a tussle, but the old lady came off victorious.

In spite of all these drawbacks, we had pleasant times. Among the emigrants were some very nice people, well connected and well read. Their wives were very pleasant and one of them played the harp. We all did needlework, and often we sat together in my cabin, where we spent happy hours. We were all young married women, full of wonderment about the faraway land that was to be our home.

A good many (of the passengers) were young couples, several of the husbands were clergymen’s sons.

There was a minister on board whom Dr. Lang had asked to conduct the Sunday services, etc. I think he was a Congregationalist, and I daresay a good man, but his exposition of Scripture was so very lame, to say the least of it, that a deputation was appointed to ask him to read the Scriptures without explanation, which request he complied with. In later years he had a small church not far from Ipswich. On one occasion, at the time of the Races he determined to preach a sermon in Ipswich on “Death and the Pale Horse”. Taking his horse to be shod, Campbell the smith, said to him, “And so I hear you are going to preach Sabbath next on “Death and the Pale Horse”. “Yes,” he said. “Well, tak’ ma advice an’ stick to the Gospels, dinna ye meddle wi’ the Revelations”. I do not know whether he took the advice or not.