Voyage to Adelaide in 1876

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Voyage to Adelaide in 1876
Under command of Captain Edward Alston
Departure port London
Departure date 26th May 1876
Arrival port Port Adelaide
Arrival date 18th August 1876
Voyage duration 84 days

On the 26th August 1876 the City of Adelaide commenced another voyage to South Australia under the command of 34 year old Captain Edward Alston (1842 - 1890). This voyage was his first time in command of the 'City of Adelaide'. Captain Alston was to have the longest running command of the clipper. He stayed in command until the ship was sold in 1887.

The City of Adelaide left London with 31 migrants who were described as labourers from Germany. Recent research has revealed that one of the family groups on board, the Nissen Family, were assisted migrants from the former Danish region of Schleswig which had been occupied by Prussia. It is believed that the two Tilka families may have been Wends from Brandenburg.

South Australian Register, 19th August, 1876

Voyage Out

The City of Adelaide, from London, had several days of disagreeable weather during the last stage of her voyage, and in consequence will require a scrape down and polishing up before she is in harbour trim. She had brought another small lot of immigrants. Captain Alston reports leaving London on the 26th May, and on the 27th passing through the Downs. He had light head winds to beat down the Channel against, and on the 31st discharged the pilot when off the Start.

For several days variables were experienced; in fact there was not a fresh breeze until reaching the trades. The City of Adelaide was then enabled to make a few days good running; indeed, th distance to the Line was expeditiously performed, and on the 28th June she was on it. For the following ten days, however, she had never a breath of wind worth speaking of till she fell in with the S.E. trades, which at times were brisk. By far the best runs of the passage were after passing Tristan, when the ship pulled out amazingly well and kept up an average of 200 miles per diem [8.3 knots; 15 km/h]. After passing the Cape she ran across the easting in about 43°, and had some very bad weather on one or two occassions, but no damage was done of any importance.

On Thursday she sighted Neptune Island, hauled up, and was telegraphed from Cape Borda. She carried the wind along, and made short work of getting up towards the roadstead; but then the wind fell light, and she was anchored some distance down the Gulf, where the pilot boarded her. After daylight she weighed anchor and sailed into a better berth, where Dr. Duncan inspected herm and on the afternoon's tide she was towed into the harbour.[1]

Ocean race between the Bundaleer and the City of Adelaide

The Bundaleer at Port Adelaide.

The ocean race between the Bundaleer and the City of Adelaide proved a most interesting one, seeing that the two vessels have kept almost in the same course during the whole of the track, and as the weeks passed away they made about the same distances, only varied by an occasional spurt which brought them a little nearer to each other. When north of the Line they were in company, and the customary compliments were passed.

The Bundaleer with her superior tonnage, great spread of canvas, double topgallantsails and trim might reasonable enough be expected to outstrip her smaller competitor; but she had very hard work to do so, although she left London on the 25th May and the City on the 26th.

By the 31st the Bundaleer was well across the Bay of Biscay, and the City barely clear of the British Channel. At the termination of the week, on June 7, the Bundaleer was past the Island of Madeira, the City being eight degrees astern: but the little ship made good progress in comparison with the other, for on June 14 the headmost vessel was at the Cape Verde Island and the City six degrees astern.

Then the vessels fell in with the N. E. trades, and the following week enabled the City to reduce the distance until she was very little over a degree astern, the one being in 7° 44' N., and the other in 8° 40'.

The following week was passed in light winds and variables, and the pair were in company and spoke each just the day before reaching the line. The City crossed about seven miles further west than the big ship, but lost slightly during the week ending July 5, when the Bundaleer had the lead by 96 miles being then close to the Martin Vas Rocks.

The following week was one of light variables, and consequently little done; but the Bundaleer took the lead across the Tropic of Capricorn, and was half a degree ahead on July 12. Both vessels then shaped a course to the southward and eastward, leaving Tristan d'Acunha far away on the starboard hand, and on July 19 the Bundaleer had got well to the southward, but the City was ahead by 25 miles.

The next week embraced that part of the passage known as rounding the Cape, and here the Bundaleer's great weight and power told heavily against the City, and the succeeding seven days quite settled her chance of winning the prize.

On July 26 the Bundaleer was seven miles ahead in easting and a degree and a half to the southward as the vessel passed the meridian of Prince Edward's Island. Both headed along to the northward of the Crozets, and the Bundaleer evidently had a liking for the lower latitude.

The week ending August 2 found the vessels in close running. The Bundaleer had the lead and kept on increasing it to a great extent. On August 9 the vessels were in the same parallel, but two degrees apart, and after passing the Leeuwin the northing was commenced, and the most interesting race closed by the Bundaleer coming into Port first, though it must be remembered she had a long start of the City. The performances on the passage show how equally the vessels were matched, and the whole of the distance from England has been sailed by them within a very few miles of each other, and the master of both ships have evidently shaped about the same course.[1]

Passenger List

The following is a list of passengers on the voyage that arrived in Port Adelaide on 18 August 1876 after an 84 day passage.

No. Name in Newspaper /
on Passenger List
Wiki (GEDCOM) Page
Wiki (GEDCOM) Page
Cabin Class Birth Date Age Marital Status Comment Ref.
1 Backer, Max Backer, Max Steerage abt 1841-42 34 Single
2 Bohrs, Friedrick Bohrs, Friedrick Steerage abt 1852-53 23 Single
3 Cadri, Angelo Cadri, Angelo Steerage abt 1846-47 29 Single
4 Corallie, Maris Corallie, Maris Steerage abt 1848-49 27 Single
5 Grunert, Wilhelm Grunert, Wilhelm Grunert Family Steerage abt 1842-43 33 Married
6 Grunert, Wilhelmina Grunert, Wilhelmina Grunert Family Steerage abt 1838-39 37 Married
7 Grunert, Paul Grunert, Paul Grunert Family Steerage abt 1870-71 5 Infant
8 Grunert, Friedrick Grunert, Friedrick Grunert Family Steerage abt 1873-74 2 Infant
9 Klauck, Carl Klauck, Carl Steerage abt 1846-47 29 Single
10 Niesen, Hans Nissen, Hans Christian Nissen Family - F407 Steerage 22 Aug 1830 46 Married
11 Niesen, Christine Boisen, Christine Frederickke Nissen Family - F407 Steerage 24 Aug 1844 32 Married
12 Niesen, Magdelena Nissen, Magdalene Mathie Nissen Family - F407 Steerage 3 Jul 1866 10 Infant
13 Niesen, Dorothea Nissen, Dorthea Bendetho Chatrine Nissen Family - F407 Steerage 25 Jun 1864 11 Infant
14 Niesen, Iensen Nissen, Nis Nissen Family - F407 Steerage 18 Mar 1869 7 Infant
15 Niesen, Hans Nissen, Hans (Harry) Johannes Truels Nissen Family - F407 Steerage 31 Mar 1872 4 Infant
16 Niesen, Marie Nissen, Maren Johanna Marie Nissen Family - F407 Steerage 9 Nov 1874 2 Infant
17 Paulick, Matt Paulick, Matt Steerage abt 1845-46 30 Single
18 Holte, Kein'ek Holte, Kein'ek Steerage abt 1855-56 20 Single
19 Tilka, Matt Tilka, Matt Tilka Family - F410 Steerage abt 1846-47 29 Married
20 Tilka, Marie Tilka, Marie Tilka Family - F410 Steerage abt 1845-46 30 Married
21 Tilka, Louise Tilka, Louise Tilka Family - F410 Steerage abt 1869-70 6 Infant
22 Tilka, Carl Tilka, Carl Tilka Family - F410 Steerage abt 1872-73 3 Infant
23 Tilka, Fred Tilka, Fred Tilka Family - F410 Steerage abt 1876 a few months Infant
24 Tilka, Martin Tilka, Martin Tilka Family - F542 Steerage abt 1841-42 34 Married
25 Tilka, Marie Ksiwan, Marie Tilka Family - F542 Steerage abt 1843-44 32 Married
26 Tilka, Anna Tilka, Anna Tilka Family - F542 Steerage abt 1864-65 11 Infant
27 Tilka, Elizabeth Tilka, Elizabeth Tilka Family - F542 Steerage abt 1867-68 8 Infant
28 Tilka, Marie Tilka, Marie Tilka Family - F542 Steerage abt 1869-70 6 Infant
29 Tilka, Gustav Tilka, Gustav Tilka Family - F542 Steerage abt 1872-73 3 Infant
30 Tilka, Carl Tilka, Carl Tilka Family - F542 Steerage abt 1873-74 2 Infant
31 Tilka, Caroline Tilka, Caroline Tilka Family - F542 Steerage abt 1859-60 16 Single

Crew List

The following is a list of the crew on the voyage.

Template:Crew List to Adelaide in 1876

Cargo List

Template:Cargo List to Adelaide in 1876


  1. 1.0 1.1 South Australian Register, 19th August, 1876.