"Beyond the Reef"


There is no known picture of the "Bordeaux".
However, thanks to the Ville de Havre archives, I have obtained a copy of her sister ship, the "Dupuy de Lome" (California).
I believe that she resembles the "Bordeaux" in many details.

The "Bordeaux" left Madeira on July 22, 1884 containing 708 immigrants
bound for the Hawaiian pineapple plantations.
One of the passengers on board was my grandfather,
Francisco "Cibola" Gomes.
He arrived in Honolulu on October 3, 1884.

The "Bordeaux" was owned by the short lived French company - Compagnie Commerciale de Transports a Vapeur Francais. She was a 3,400 gross ton ship, length 379ft x beam 40ft, one funnel, four masts, iron construction, single screw and a speed of 12 knots. She was built in 1882 by Chantiers de la Mediteranee, Havre. In 1884, she was hired to transport the Portuguese immigrants to Hawaii. She sailed to Hawaii arriving in October 1884. From there, she continued on to San Francisco, St. Vincent, Cape Verdi Islands and then back to Havre. The company lost five of their seven ships, including the "Bordeaux", and went into liquidation in 1894, selling their remaining two vessels. [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P. Bonsor, vol.3, p.1138-9]


The steamship Bordeaux, left Madeira on July 22, 1884, and after the ship set sail away from Madeira, it was found there were 20 stowaways on board. During the trip to the Islands, there were 12 births and 72 deaths, 69 of which were children under the age of 10 years. Two of the adults died of consumption, the third adult was handicapped at 19 years of age, and died the day before the arrival at Honolulu at 5 o'clock p.m.
after suffering from consumption for nearly 3 years.

This steamer had a greater carrying capacity than the "S.S. City of Paris", but she brought a lesser number of immigrants. The mortality, it is claimed, was due more to the introduction of measles at the port of Madeira than from any other cause, although the change of climate might have caused some of it.

The trip of the vessel was made as follows: She entered the Straits of Magellan, passing Cape Virgene, August 19, and cleared Cape Aeiler and entered the Pacific on August 22, 1884. The ship's baking apparatus having broken down, she went to Coronal, Chile, for biscuits on September 17, then sailed again on September 19, and arrived in Honolulu on October 2, 1884, making a trip of 72 days from Madeira. The "Bordeaux" anchored at Wilder's wharf at 9 o'clock a.m.

Dr. Parker of the Board of Health and Dr. Henry McGrew, the port physician visited the vessel and after an examination, found no evidence of contagion. They learned that the greater part of the mortality was noted when the vessel was crossing Cape Horn, mainly attributed to the cold atmospheric effect on those who had the measles. Through the efforts of a new port captain at Madeira, the "Bordeaux" was allowed to bring only a portion of the immigrants who were prepared to sail to Honolulu. About 400 Portuguese were left behind. It was expected that another vessel would be sent from London to bring the remainder of them to Hawaii. The circumstances was caused by a change of interpretations of the regulations for emigrants, which said that the vessel may carry 2 person (adults) for every 5 tons of register.

NOTE: Excerpts taken from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser - 1884