Record voyage of the Clipper "James Baines" from Liverpool, England to Melbourne, Australia. The voyage on which James McCullough with his wife Elinor [nee Moorhead] and their four sons sailed.
The "James Baines" sailed for Melbourne on the 9th. December 1854, and broke the record by arriving out in 63 days. Captain McDonnell wrote the following account of the passage to his owners, the "Black Ball Line". This was her maiden voyage to Australia.
"I have great pleasure in announcing the arrival of the James Baines in Hobson Bay at 8pm. on 12th. February, making a run of 63 days 18 hours and 15 minutes mean time from passing the rock till the anchor was down in Hobson Bay. On leaving Liverpool I had strong winds to contend with. The seventh day from Liverpool I touched off St. Ives head. The seventh day I had to tack off Cape St. Vincent and stood to the N.W.. In 19 degrees North in the middle of the trade winds I got the wind at S.S.E., got to leeward of Cape San Roque, and was 18 hours in beating around, I experienced nothing but light Northerly wind all the way across. Sighted Cape Otway on the 54th. day from Liverpool, Main Skysail off the ship only three days from Liverpool to this port. The greatest distance run in 24 hours was 423 miles, that with Main Skysail and Stunsails set. Had I only had the ordinary run of winds I would have made the voyage in 55 Days."
The "James Baines" took out 700 passengers [80 in first class] 1400 tons of cargo and 350 sacks containing over 180,000 letters and newspapers. By her mail contract she was bound to deliver these in 65 days under penalty. Amongst her live stock were a bullock, 75 sheep, 86 pigs and 100 dozen of fowls and ducks.