In the early and mid-19th century a transoceanic crossing was a difficult, if not a dangerous undertaking. Occasionally, wooden sailing ships, battered by strong winds and rocky shoals, failed to make port. English and Scottish passengers, like those who made their way to Stanley in 1836, could expect to spend four to eight weeks aboard ship if weather conditions were good, longer if they crossed on stormy seas. Crowded below deck, immigrants prepared their own food which made for an unpleasant living environment. Disease and food shortages were common and seasickness expected. Death carried away the weak and the ill, often the young and the elderly.