On Thursday last there arrived in Simon's Bay, the Mystery, a small fishing smack of 16 tons, from England, bound to Melbourne. The little gallant adventurer has made an excellent passage of 60 days. On her arrival in Simons Bay, she was considered to be a Table Bay cutter, and on that account was not boarded by the Harbour Master. He did not know the real character of the diminutive craft, until he observed he captain and his crew quietly beaching their bark and hauling her up with ease on the shore.
No date or source given ; but taken from a Cape newspaper by the Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List, of 26 Mar 1855.
The little mackerel boat of 16 tons burthen, that sailed from Penzance on the 19th November, , last, has arrived safely at the Heads [Melbourne], with her adventurous crew. She is only 16 tons register, and has made an astonishing short run for so small a craft. She is to be exhibited to all who may be curious to see this "little sovereign or the seas." A small charge will be made for the benefit of the adventurous crew.-
Argus, March 15, .
The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List 26 Mar 1855.
March 14. Yarra Yarra (a.), from Sydney; Belle Creole, from Wellington; Xarifa, from Newcastle, N.S.W.; Wanja, from Valparaiso ; Mystery, from Penzance.
Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List of 26 Mar 1855.
The Log of the Log of the Fishing Smack Mystery.
As everything connected with the little fishing smack Mystery, and her adventurous captain and crew, possesses great interest, we present our readers with a brief abstract of her log, which has been forwarded to us for publication. From that document it appears that the smack sailed from Newlyn, Cornwall, at 9 am. on the 18th November , and after passing through many rough seas, arrived of the west end of Madeira at 8 p.m. on the 25th November. The island of San Antonio was passed on the 3rd of December, and on nearing the Equator, the smack encountered very heavy weather, and had her jib split. At length the line was crossed on the 15th December, in longitude 28 °26 ', and the course was shaped for the Cape of Good Hope.
On the 23rd December, the island of Trinidad and Martin Veza's Rocks were made, and three days afterwards the brig Callao, from the west coast of South America, to Liverpool, was spoken and communicated with, and her captain was entrusted with a letter detailing the progress made by the smack.
Very boisterous weather was afterwards encountered ; but on the 17th January the captain and his gallant crew had the satisfaction of sighting the Cape of Good Hope, a name that must have appeared to them peculiarly significant. The anchor was dropped next day in Simon's Bay ; and, as a matter of course, the little craft was visited by numbers of persons whose curiosity and wonder had been excited by the arrival of the stranger. After remaining five days in that bay, the smack again put to sea amidst the cheers of the crews of the ships in port, who considered that increased interest attached to her from the fact of her having a mail on board. For several days after leaving land, the smack encountered heavy weather, but she passed through all dangers unscathed. The wind moderated afterwards, but squalls again became the order of the day. On February 18 a terrific gale succeeded to several days of fine weather, but though the sea ran very high, the little vessel rode it out in safety.
On the 23rd, another storm was encountered, but the smack was brought head to wind, and rode very easy with a rate which had been prepared for the purpose. In latitude 40° so south, and longitude 101°, there was a severe snow-storm, and the vessel scudded under bare poles. These snow-storms were of frequent occurrence, and squalls also were met with while the vessel continued running in that course. On the 3rd March, in latitude 39° 55', longitude 122° 9', a terrific gale was encountered, and the smack was run under bare poles ; and for several days afterwards the weather was extremely heavy.
On the 9th instant, the Australian land was sighted, and, from observations, it was discovered to be Cape Northumberland. Two days afterwards, the vessel was abreast of Cape Bridgewater, which was distant about two miles. At four a.m., on the 12th, Cape Otway was passed, and on the 14th, the little craft came to an anchor in Hobson's Bay, and the Captain and his gallant companions experienced delightful sensations in knowing that they had thus accomplished their arduous and dangerous task.
The smack has been the theme of conversation amongst maritime men since her arrival ; and has been visited by numbers of parties, who have thus paid a practical compliment to those who, in bringing such a tiny vessel from England to Australia, have evinced wonderful energy, courage, and judgment.-
Argus, March 20, .
The lugger Mystery, lately arrived from Penzance, reported to be lost, is safe, and waiting to load.- M. M. Herald, June 3, .
SG Page 128 ; 11 Jun 1855.
The Mystery.- The captain of the Mystery, Mr. Richard Nicholls, has returned to this place after his adventurous voyage to Australia. His friends have given him a hearty welcome, and only wish their neighbour had met with better success in the fifth quarter of the globe. We have seen the log-book kept during the voyage out by Captain Nicholls. The incidents noted in it have long since been given to our readers from other sources, but it is only just to Captain Nicholls to state that we never saw a log-boot more accurately and regularly kept than that which registers the voyage of the Mystery. We cordially echo a sentiment expressed by a Melbourne contemporary, that on his next trip Captain Nicholls may hold a more lucrative situation, and observe with much pleasure that the Mystery reflected credit during the voyage alike on those who built her, those who fitted her out, and those who navigated her.-
SG ; page 276 ; 24 Dec 1855.
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