The Waimate

Built by J Blumer and Company at Sunderland in 1870 of 1123 tons. During her voyaging to New Zealand, she held the record for the fastest passage from London to Lyttleton of 74 days, port to port.

The Lyttleton Times noted that the Steamer Northumberland left London while the Waimate was still loading, yet in spite of this she still came in seven days before the Northumberland. On one run home to London, the Waimate narrowly avoided disaster under Captain Peek. It seems that owing to the lack of a suitable clear sky giving no opportunitiy to fix her position, she suddenly found herself land locked off the Patagonian coast. The position was described as critical. Like all vessels making the run home, her anchors had been unshackled and stowed along with her large chains which were run down into the chain lockers.

In this condition, the Waimate found herself off a rocky rugged coast full of indentations with very deep water right up to the cliffs on a dark and dirty night. The chances were desperate as normally it would have been a folly to anchor here. However the ship was being pushed towards the shore so the crew had no choice but to round the vessel by canvas, and bring up and put out the anchors. Fortunately the anchors held and the ship and her compliment were saved. During her many runs to Lyttleton,Wellington, Port Chalmers and Auckland the Waimate never met with any other serious situations.

Sold to the Russians in 1896 she was renamed the Valkyrian and lost without trace between Newcastle, NSW and Chile in 1899, while bound for Iquique.

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