The Squadron
Plymouth Sound
Passage to Bahia
Rio de Janeiro
Crossing the Atlantic
Cape of Good Hope
Japanese Characters
Towards Bahia
Bahia Revisited
    The Cruise of The Flying Squadron

    1869 - 1870


"We made eighteen tacks to enter the harbour (the anchorage is in a sort of arm of the sea one and a half miles wide which runs up between two ridges of high land). We laid three miles from the town so our steam launches used to ply to and from the shore. I went onshore as soon as we anchored and went up to Christchurch by special train, put on for the flying squadron, to see the races which were going on. Lyttleton is only a seaport town to Christchurch it being about 12 miles inland. I thought the races very good for a place like that. In the evening I came across a very amusing fellow. He was one of the gallant 600 and was nicknamed Balaclava Jack. He was head ostler in an American circus. There was nothing of importance at Lyttleton the same crowds came off to see the ships. As in other places a public holiday proclaimed and ball etc."

The Town of Lyttleton, New Zealand

"I took my Tasmanian cousin onshore one day to give him a browse and in coming off he jumped overboard and I had great difficulty to recapture him as he is a good swimmer."

Maori Chief - hostile

"You must know in this as in all the other places people think nothing of coming from up country 2 or 3 hundred miles to see the squadron."

"I heard here of the death of poor Duncan Gordon Boyes 1. He jumped from the window of a house in Dunedin in a state of the D.Ts and smashed on the spot."


"Sailed for Wellington. The usual steamers followed us to the mouth of the harbour. On our way to Wellington we passed several high snow-capped mountains."

    1     At 17 Midshipman Duncan Gordon Boyes was the toast of the Navy after winning the Victoria Cross after carrying the Queens Colours through a hail of musket balls during action against Japan in 1864. Sadly Boyes was soon to be court-martialled for breaking into a Naval Yard after having been refused entry for not having a pass. The disgrace was more than he could bear and he began to suffer from fits of depression and took heavily to drink. On the 26th January 1869 aged 22 years he committed suicide whilst in Dunedin, NZ. On his death certificated the cause was listed as delirium tremens.

© Copyright Charles Fountain May 2002

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