Many thousands of Scots left their native land in the 19th century in search of a new life on the other side of the world - a brave step into the unknown which often meant hardship, danger and harsh conditions at sea for months on end. Now the journal of one such young Scotsman who emigrated to Australia by sailing ship in 1869 has been transcribed and edited in a new book, Round the World Flying.
His account of the voyage gives a first-hand account of what it was like on an emigrant ship in the mid-19th century, with a vivid picture of conditions on board the clipper Macduff, describing storms at sea, navigation by the stars, the captain and crew, his fellow passengers, and his thoughts on leaving his family behind during his 75 days at sea.
The book includes an introductory chapter on emigration and sailing ships, along with 28 pps of old photographs including the Macduff and other Scottish-built clippers, his family home on the island of Gigha off the west coast of Kintyre, and contemporary images of Melbourne where he planned to settle. The title of the book is taken from one of his entries, when he gazed up from the deck at the huge billowing sails of the clipper making use of every scrap of canvas to catch all the available wind, commenting: ‘We are going round the world flying.
The book includes each day’s latitude, longitude and total run, the passenger list of the Macduff and the cargo she was carrying, along with references to other sailing ships of the time.
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