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This was no “unpleasant message” to us, because there were many other things upon which we could live for weeks together; and moreover we had a quantity of preserved meat with us, which was very little consumed, and proved of the greatest use and convenience to us, as it only required warming a little and it was fit to eat. But we were extremely sorry to hear that we should have to endure the discomfort, as much again as we had already experienced.
It was very fortunate that the ship did not sustain any other injury or loss than that of her jib-boom and the sprit-sail yard, and much of it is to be attributed to the excellent management of Captain Hopkins and his officers. The boom and the yard were soon replaced, but the poop and the upper deck now became very leaky; by the constant rolling of the ship the caulking became loose, and there was every passenger complaining about it; no remedy however could be done to it before the gale subsided.
On the morning of the 5th the wind moderated, and we were able to set sail. Oh ! how delightful was it, every body was full of joy, and every heart forgot all the past trouble, and looked forward with pleasure to reach Simon's Bay the day after the following. In the evening there was only a slight breeze and the sea considerably smoother, and we made towards False Bay.
On the morning of the 6th we fairly entered the
Bay, but the wind being against us we had to tack about, or beat to the windward, to enter that safe, long-wished haven-Simon's Bay,
There are very high mountains on both sides of False Bay, and there was little verdure on them on account of its being winter, but they appeared destitute of wood. The ship's company and the officer had a hard work to tack the ship about the whole of the day, and at three o'clock on the morning of the 7th, we fairly cast anchor at Simon's Bay.
Simon's Bay is about twenty-two miles northeast of Cape Town; it is much frequented by ships during the north-westerly gales for which the Cape is celebrated; it is entirely sheltered from the winds by high mountains with which it is surrounded ; many of them are more than three thousand feet in height from the level of the sea. We saw her Majesty's ship Melville, 74 guns, bearing the flag of Admiral Honorable George Elliot, and two or three other ships of the navy.
Simon's Town is situated opposite the bay at the foot of the hills, and is much warmer and pleasanter than Cape Town, which lies exposed to the wind. The view of the town from the .harbour is very good. The houses are principally one story high, detached from each other, and facing the bay.
We were anxious to see Cape Town, and as our friend Mr. Stuart was going there, we wanted
to accompany him, but he informed us that there was only one carriage by which he was going, and as he had other friends with him it could not take us all, and we must consequently wait till the same carriage should return back, to which we agreed, and, upon our request, he promised to arrange about our lodgings at that place.
Many of the passengers proceeded on horseback to Cape Town and some of them were content to spend a few days at Simon's Town.
We were very much tired of the ship, and our friend assured us that the carriage would come for us on the 11th and we were to proceed by it at once to Cape Town. Accordingly we went on shore at the appointed hour, but to our great surprise there was no carriage, and we were told that it might possibly arrive in the evening but not before. We consequently took up our abode at a place called “ Clarence Hotel " the only one of the kind. The houses in Simon's Town are mostly built of stone and whitewashed, with flat roofs. The inhabitants are principally the Dutch and the Hottentots. Here is a naval yard with storehouses, &c. to supply the Queen's ships, and a beautiful building appropriated for the residence of the Admiral and his suite. Shops are very few here and the place from its lonely position is very dear, no provisions are to be got in any quantity; the ships are supplied from Cape Town, from whence things are conveyed to this place by
waggons drawn by horses and bullocks. Water is very plentiful here and exceedingly good; here the houses are supplied by pipes leading from the very many beautiful springs that flow from the mountain in every direction.
Evening came but no carriage arrived, nor was there any intelligence about it, we were therefore compelled to remain at our present quarters till the next morning.
At length after a great deal of anxiety on our part, at seven in the evening we saw a chariot with six horses coming towards our Hotel, and we concluded it was for us; it brought one of the lady passengers of our ship, and we had a note from our friend stating, that he did not reach Cape Town before the evening of the 11th, in consequence of his carriage coming in contact with a waggon on the road which disabled it from proceeding onwards and which accounted for the delay. At six o'clock on the following morning we started by the coach, and we were very much astonished with the driver, who sitting on the coach box drove six horses at a very rapid pace. It must be a very difficult task for one to hold and manage six horses in hand, and driving furiously. There was another man with a long whip in his hand by the side of the driver, who kept urging the horses. Cape horses though not possessing the beauty and the speed of the Arabian are very strong, and capable of standing a great deal of fatigue. The
first three or four miles of the road from Simon's Town is rerr bad and irregular, but the rest is good and eren.
We passed through a beautiful part of the country and saw many beautiful cottage's farms and woods, the sænery altogether was rery lively and romantic,
We were driren to the George's Hotel, a largr and respectable place where arrangements were made for our reception, and we found every comfort at this place. We here found our friend Colonel Henderson, late Clothing Agent at Bombay, who having heard of our arrival was kind enough to come and see us. We remained three days at this place, and were farored with a call from John Warden Esq. the Chief Magistrate of Bombay, and we were introduced to two merchants of some note, Mr. Burnie and Mr. Rutherfoord, from whom we received much kindness and attention.
The colony of the Cape of Good Hope was taken from the Dutch by the British in the year 1802, and its capital is Cape Town. This celebrated Cape was first doubled by a celebrated Portuguese navigator, Vasco de Gama in 1494, and who was the very first European that came to Hindostan, and the first place that he landed at was Calicut on the coast of Malabar; thus he opened the way for other adventurers, and many discoveries were made by the Portuguese after