Living Age, then in other ownership, sailed from New York with a cargo of general merchandise for the Sandwich Islands.
It was mid-winter in the Southern hemisphere, when for thirty days, with scant food and scurvy-smitten sailors, she was beating around Cape Horn. One hundred and fifty-three long, hard days elapsed ere anchor was cast at Honolulu, where her cargo was discharged.
Thence she sailed in ballast for Shanghai, where she took on a cargo of tea and silk valued at $200,000. On December 25 she started on the homeward stretch of the voyage round the world, one destined not to be completed, but to end in disaster.
The Living Age was then under command of Captain Holmes, and in all twenty-three persons were on board.
They were captain and wife, three mates, and eighteen men and boys before the mast.
This crew were American, English, a few Swedes, and one Italian, and are described as an excellent set of sailors.
The cook was French.
The northeast monsoon was a favorin