‘Wedi ei gau rhwng 4 wal goed ar long’: Mordaith o Gymru i Awstralia

Mae llawer o eitemau yn Archifau Morgannwg sy’n ymwneud â thrigolion Morgannwg a ymfudodd i ddechrau bywydau newydd yn Awstralia a Seland Newydd.  Un o’r rhain oedd Levi Davies o Bontypridd, a adawodd ei gartref ar 21 Awst 1863 a chyrraedd Melbourne o’r diwedd ar 6 Ionawr 1864.  Mae dyddiadur Levi yn nodi manylion ei fordaith ddewr dros y moroedd i ben arall y byd.

Ni chafodd Levi y dechreuad mwyaf cyffrous i’w daith:

Left Pontypridd August 21st 1863 By the 9 o clock train to Cardiff thence by the Great Western Railway through Gloucester to Paddington Station arrived there at 4.45pm…

A rhai dyddiau yn ddiweddarach roedd e dal yn Llundain:

Tuesday 25th August: This was the great day appointed for the ship to leave London for Melbourne, went on board in the morning and soon ascertained she would not sail that day.

Tuesday 1st September: Went on board in the morning and was told she would sail some time in the evening remained on board all day, at 6.30pm she made her first start, went as far as the lock the other end of the basin, stayed there until 3pm the following day

Er gwaetha’r dechreuad llai na mawreddog hwnnw, o’r diwedd fe hwylion nhw Ddydd Mercher 2 Medi.  Ond unwaith eto, chyrhaeddon nhw ddim yn bell:

…at 3pm it being at full tide, the first mate gave the signal to start and we did… we had two Tugg Boats (steamers) to tow us as far as Gravesend where we casted anchor for the night…

Roedd gwynt i’w herbyn yn golygu y bu’n rhaid iddynt aros lle roeddent am fwy nag wythnos:

Thursday 10th September: At 4.30am was awakened by the sound of the sailors heaving up the anchor… was informed by the First Mate that the wind had changed and was amenable for us to sail… now opposite Dover Castle

Unwaith i’r fordaith fynd rhagddi’n iawn, canfu Levi nad oedd pob un o’r teithwyr yn addasu’n dda i fywyd ar y môr. Ychydig ddyddiau yn unig ar ôl gadael Llundain, mae Levi yn nodi:

…sea very rough, ship rocking worse than a cradle, men women and children vomiting and purging effected by sea sickness.

Ond am Levi ei hun, Rwyf hyd yn hyn yn weddol rydd rhag ei effeithiau lleiaf.  Ei gyfrinach?   Mae yfed dŵr heli yn dda iawn i atal salwch môr.

Mae’n ddiddorol darganfod o’r dyddiadur sut y goroesodd y criw a’r teithwyr fordaith mor hir heb alw mewn porthladd i gasglu nwyddau.  Yn amlwg roedd cyflenwadau ganddynt ar fwrdd y llong, ond fe wnaethant y gorau o’u hamgylchiadau hefyd, ac mae Levi yn cyfeirio at rywfaint o’u bwyd:

Saturday 26th September: Threw 3 alive pigs over board, the remainder of 15 that died from distemper.

Friday 11th September: …spent the morning in company with the Mate of the ship fishing, caught 2 Dog fishes, their skins as hard as Badger

Saturday 3rd October: …at twilight caught a fish called Baracoota…

Tuesday 13th October: …caught upwards of 2500 gallons of rain water for drinking and cooking etc.

Sunday 29th November: …caught a porpoise weighing about 150lbs ate some of it for breakfast.

Mae Levi hefyd yn manylu ar arferion ei gyd-deithwyr, nad oedd o hyd yn eu croesawu.  Pan oeddent yn dal i fod wedi angori yn Gravesend, yn aros i’r gwynt newid, mae’n nodi:

Wednesday 9th September: …some of the passengers proposed going on shore in a Boat, to which I objected… about 1pm they went and returned at 6pm, more than half drunk…

Roedd y rheiny a oedd yn teithio gyda Levi ar y Trebolgan i Melbourne yn dod o amrywiol lefydd, ond yn tueddu i ffurfio’n grwpiau ar sail cenedligrwydd:

Thursday 3rd September: …Irishmen gathered together to give us a jig, Englishmen took to play cards, Scotch men to play Draughts, and Dutch men to play Chess, I and my partner amused ourselves by walking backwards and forward on the Deck…

Gwnaeth Levi a’i gydwladwyr, oll yn anghydffurfwyr, bob ymdrech i gadw’r Saboth yn ystod y daith:

Sunday 6th September: We Welshmen gathered together and formed a Bible class, we are only 4 Welshmen on board, one man and wife besides Thomas and me, the others are English, Irish, Scotch and Dutchmen, very little respects they show towards Sunday more than any other day.

Fel y gallech ddisgwyl, roedd y daith ymhell o fod yn un esmwyth.  Ar adegau roedd hi’n hollol frawychus i’r rheiny ar ei bwrdd, yn deithwyr a chriw ill dau:

Friday 18th September: …explosion of thunder such as I never heard before nor any other one on board this ship, the forked lightning exhibiting in various shapes on the sky, dividing the heavens as it were, the howling of the wind, the roaring of the big waves raising up like mountains tossing the ship like a ball and the pouring of the rain… was enough to sink us all in despondency and give up all hopes of ever reaching any port… all of us expected every moment to be dashed to atoms and buried under the waves…

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Sunday 20th September: Was awakened this morning by the loud splashing of the great waves against the thin planks which separate us from sudden death…

Thursday 22nd October: Tremendous heavy squalls at 2am which aroused us from bed, ship almost capsized several times…  I was asking some of the sailors at breakfast time what did they think of the weather last night… they said, that is just the sort of weather for us… but actions and manners speak louder than words sometimes, although they answered in that way when the uneasy moments were over, they did not mean it, there was seriousness imparted on every countenance at the time the squall occurred…

Ar adegau o anobaith o’r fath, ac ar siwrne mor faith, byddai meddyliau Levi yn naturiol yn troi am adref ac at y ffrindiau a’r teulu a adawodd ar ôl:

Thursday 24th September: …many times I climbed up the rigging turning my face towards home anxious to know the state of your mind concerning me, but many a long month must pass before it is possible for me to hear from you on account of the long journey which is before me.  Please God I shall see the end of it.

A dechreuodd ddyfalu os oedd wedi gwneud y penderfyniad cywir:

The 115th day of our voyage: The light of another Christmas Day has dawned upon us  …I had some thoughts of sadness about the past and some of anxiety when I looked into the uncertainty of the future…

Ac, er bod bywyd ar fwrdd y llong yn ddiflas o dro i dro…

Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday the 11th 12th 13th and 14th November

Nothing of much moment occurred these last few days…

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The 115th day of our voyage: Now I am upon the sea with nothing to relieve the dull monotony which I have now had (with little exception) for four weary months, confined within the 4 wooden walls of a ship, with nothing but strangers for our companions.

…roedd y profiadau newydd y daeth Levi ar eu traws yn ystod y daith yn rhyfeddol a dweud y lleiaf:

Wednesday 30th September: …saw a big fish called by some Turtle, by others Tortoise, it’s a fish with hard shells on his back.

Saturday 24th October: Crossed the line (Equator) at 6pm when old Neptune’s Secretary came on board… stated that his Divine Master was ill of cold which confined him to his room… medicine exactly to his disease not being obtainable in the waste of waters… wishing it to be understood that that particular kind of distilled spirit called rum was particularly suited to his Master’s disease…

Sunday 1st November: A meteor commencing eastwards flashed up and along the sky, towards s. west, lighting the whole heavens more clearly than anything I ever saw except the sun itself, it must have lasted about 5 seconds and then exploded in sparks, leaving a luminous streak in its course behind it, which gradually disappeared, leaving everything in darkness as before…

Wednesday 4th November: A matter of considerable excitement occurred today, a report spread among the passengers and crew that a shark was to be seen hovering about the prow of the vessel… the assertion was repeated that the rapacious monster was still there… The Captain… making his appearance with a large fishing hook in one hand and a piece of pork in the other (about 2lbs) the bait was fixed immediately and the hook attached to a rope which was carried by the Captain to the side of the ship and thrown over, in a very short time Mr Shark made his appearance… his jaws closed upon the bait… the word past, hoist away, and in a few moments we landed him safely on the Deck.

Tuesday 1st December: In this part of the world it is not dark until 9pm.  I never saw daylight before at 9pm on the 1st December.

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Thursday 10th December: …sighted an iceberg about twice as large as this ship…

Wedi misoedd ar y môr, daeth Levi a’i gyd-deithwyr o’r diwedd i olwg eu cyrchfan:

Monday 4th January: Was called this morning at 5am by the First Mate (Mr Armstrong) to see land Cape Otway which was on the left of us just before we entered into Hobson’s Bay…

Ac o’r diwedd, fe lanion nhw ar dir Awstralia:

Wednesday 6th January 1864: At 3pm went to shore on a boat, walked about in Williamstown landing and St. Kilda Hill…

Wyddom ni ddim rhyw lawer am dynged Levi unwaith iddo gyrraedd Awstralia.  Mae ambell nodyn yn y dyddiadur yn rhoi cliw ynghylch yr hyn a wnaeth am y blynyddoedd cyntaf wedi iddo gyrraedd:

Commenced work at a Farm near Bald Hills ‘Henry Loader’ on the 13th January 1864.

L. A. Davies was appointed Secretary of the Bonshaw ‘Accident Fund’ on the 13th day of March 1868.

Os oes unrhyw ddarllenydd yn gwybod hanes Levi Davies yn dilyn ei anturiaethau ar y môr mawr, byddem yn falch yn wir o gael gwybod.

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