SOUTTH-WEST AFRICA 125
my proposed course justly, whose good opinion if I succeeded would be of far more value to me than the approbation of a multitude of less wellinformed persons, however numerous or laudatory they might be.
I left England on April 5, 1850. My voyage deserves a few words of description, because it was made under conditions that are now obsolete, which had some advantages to counterbalance their many disadvantages. The ship was called the Dalhousie, an old teak-built East Indiaman, quite incapable of beating against a head wind, and occupying nearly eighty days in reaching Cape Town. It was chiefly used on this journey to carry emigrants at cheap rates with rough accommodation, but a few cabin passengers were taken besides, who had the use of the high poop to themselves. I n a long voyage like that of ours, the elements .count for much, and the manipulation of the ship is of continual interest. The charm of the Northern Trades, of the calms and sudden squalls of the Equatorial Belt, and of the crisp, strong Southern Trades cannot possibly be experienced in an equal degree by those on board a fast steamer, that rushes through all of them at an equal speed and holds its course almost regardless of wind and weather. I was glad, too, of the abundant opportunities of familiarising myself with the sextant, by which I mean a much closer acquaintance with its manipulation and adjustments than nautical persons are usually contented with or rc(Illirr. I 11,1.u1 kit En lri.nd without any
ractical instruction either in obtaining latitudes and longitudes, or in surveying, for I failed to find anybody who would give it, consistently with the limited