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high seas

1880

I only stayed a night at Melbourne on my return, and then went on board the great P. and O. boat, Malwa, and on by it to the harbour of Adelaide ; but the sea was very high, and though I had written to warn Dr. S* that I would land and see his famous gardens, I gave up all thoughts of doing so when I saw how it was to be done. We took a whole day landing twenty-four passengers, as no steamer could keep within reach of us for two minutes together. All the twenty-four had to be let down over the side in an arm-chair into a tiny steamer, which was tossing about and knocking itself to pieces against us in the most terrifying fashion, the waves washing over the deck every moment. One girl from the Melbourne Exhibition wanted to go down with a pair of glass vases in her hand. Most of the women fainted before they were stowed away in the little vessel. One little girl alone went down smiling and as if she liked it, close locked in the arms of one of our jolly ship’s officers.

Recollections of a Happy Life, by Marianne North

*Richard Schomburgk (1811-1891)

In search of Marianne
Adelaide Botanical Garden, December 2016