|The Maria Somes
Passage Sydney to Calcutta
The following extract from a letter received by a gentleman in town, from Captain Baker, of the Maria Somes, shows the advantage of going through Torres Straits by the route laid down by Captain Blackwood, to that of taking the inner passage, which vessels conveying troops are compelled to pursue by government:-
"Barque Maria Somes,
11th December 1844.
Dear. Sir, The good ship arrived here on the 11th November, all well, I fell in with the Blundell and her companions - the St. Vincent, London, and Meg Merrilies, four days after leaving your port, they having had four days' start of me. I delivered the letters which you gave me for the Blundell and then parted company.
We were only nineteen hours and a half under weigh in the Straits; anchored the first night under the Bird Islands, and at two the next afternoon in Mount Adolphus Bay, the island having previously been visited by a number of the natives from the main. They came down abreast of the ship, waving boughs of trees, inviting us to come on shore. We did not go near them but landed well armed on a point, to paint the ship's name on the white rocks, as we found the surveying vessels had passed through and left their names and dates also. We landed on Booby Island, and found that we had gained eleven days on the four troop ships, which left Sydney twenty days before us; they passed through all well. I arrived here before any of them ; the Royal Saxon was the first that arrived, the Lloyds next, and then the Enmore. The Briton has not yet arrived, but has been reported lying at Singapore; he has taken a very curious route, preferring to go through all the straits in preference to an outside passage.
J. Baker Master,
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