Tuesday, Feb’y 2nd 53 days out Lat. 53 ¼” South,
Long. 64” 58’ West
Pilgarlic has not written for some time so he thinks he will scribble a little today. We are getting along nicely though a little slow. “Staten Land”, the S.E. point of South America, is 75 miles south of us and I hope to see it tomorrow. One thing about this passage: we never have gone back any; every day we have made something and the result is we have made a very decent passage thus far, though we may spoil it all yet. Certainly I don’t aspire to anything very high in the Franklin. Still, if God should will it, we could go to our port in 125 days easy from N York; wouldn’t that be fun. They have such a poor opinion of the Franklin’s sailing qualities at
home. It has been a very pleasant passage thus far, just the one for a lady. Smooth water, no gales, no calms, and all we could wish. Somehow or other, I don’t see so much bad weather as I used to; perhaps the stormiest part of my life is over. Never was youth more battered and tossed about that I was.
We have been surrounded by whales today. It seemed as though they were watching us, inquiring into our business, spouting the water up all around. Large quantities of kelp are floating past. Then the birds fill the air. Great white albatross wheel about, watching us, as much as the whales. We have not seen any vessels since we passed the Plata River. We passed a number then. One day we sailed through a sea of stuff that
looked as though all the old straw beds in the world had been thrown into the Atlantic Ocean. It was fish spawn (on a large scale). There is a kind of bird here that lives under the weather a long time; I don’t know their name but they have a peculiar cry, like a human being. One evening, at eight bells, the second mate sung out “Where is the watch”. “Where” was echoed way off on the port quarter. I jumped and looked. “Here”, it called again, almost human. It fairly startled me, it was so like the last halloe of some wretched castaway; it was one of the birds.
The sun rises now at 4 in the morning and sets at 8 in the evening. The last time I came along it set at 3 in the afternoon. It is some different now. No passengers this time; all gone. Where are the stout hearts that followed me for so long? Noble old Pearson, how fares it? Poor old Sails, where are you? And Chips, I wish you were here. But it’s all right. The heart’s strength is not well known ‘til it is thrown among strangers, it loses strength. But God bless ye old hearts, wherever ye are. You will learn to love the days passed in the Fearless.
Ah, well do I remember the day we saw Staten Land last voyage. It was the 4th! We were a happy crew, we killed 6 pigs for a feast. We saw our consort, the Annie E Weston. We flaunted our biggest flags and pointed away for our destined port. But how soon the sun went down in gloom. “The awful shadow of death was over us.”
Sunday, Feb’y 7th 58 days out.
Cape Horn in sight north of us. Pretty good for the Franklin, Pil. How are you today? Sunday is a great day for you to look back. Well, yes; nine Sundays ago I was in New York; ten I was at home and went to Sabbath school with my little girl. I look with great pleasure on that. But here we are. This old ocean that treated me so stormily last voyage is now as calm and peaceful as though it never knew a gale. We have had summer weather all the way, not rough weather enough to excite us. Two days we have been becalmed off Staten Land with weather that would do justice to July in Maine. We saw it just as I expected, in company with 4 other ships.
The chronometers were just right and the compass that bothered me so I had fixed just right: so much, but these things are getting to be matter of course; I ain’t so proud of them as I used to be. Ah! I remember well my first exploit: it was coming through the Straits of LeMaire in the night of a gale, close by here. How proud I felt; and one there was, peace to his memory, that felt as proud as I did. He was my companion then; is his spirit with us now? Noble Payson, he has gone to a better world. And we are left to go through these same battles again and again. Then ‘twas all gales; now it is pleasant. It did not seem then as though as ever it could be pleasant. So I keep on thinking. I have lots of time to think. We have had as many as eight vessels of every description in sight at once.
One was a whaler: the Emily Morgan of New Bedford; left N.B. Nov 10th, just 32 days ahead of us, had been in company with us two days; he sent his boat to us with requested papers; I sent him whole files. He said the captain had just been married, had his little boy on board (by a former wife). His wife was coming out to meet him at the Islands next fall, after he had been a season at the Kodiak. How it set me to thinking about my wife; she must come with me next voyage. How I envied that man. We saw a Bath ship, the “Charles Davenport”. Then we signalized an English ship, the “Bristolian” of Bristol, bound for San Francisco, 76 days out; he wanted us to report him.
The Franklin sails as well as any of them. This morning we saw Cape Horn at daylight; then it went in thick fog and so remains. Where are the boys that were with me the last time I saw it? We are all strangers now.
Well, Pil, you are just as well off, perhaps better. You have a good ship, good officers and crew. “Yes, but one is never satisfies, you know”. Dan Campbell came aft the other day, looking terribly disconsolate; I thought somebody had been whipping him. Well, says P., what’s the matter, Dan. “I want to study, Sir.” Indeed, who hinders you? “I want some books.” Well, I haven’t got any, you will have to study what you’ve got until you get in. Pierce is studying Physical Geography; gets a lesson every day; he would shirk it if he could, but I make him.
Story behind the Trade Wind Journals and Jewelry Collection
Where does inspiration come from? Where do the creative sparks for design begin? For Cross’ new Trade Wind Jewelry Collection, we find ourselves drawn into the story of Captain John Henry Drew, from Gardiner, Maine. Born in 1834, he grew up the son of a Ship’s Carver, and went to sea at the age of 15, eventually becoming Captain of a series of clipper ships, and traveling from New York to China and back home, when that voyage took more than seventeen months.
Instead of carving or knotting or other hobbies that were characteristic of sailors, this mostly self-educated man read books, memorized details from newspapers, and wrote about his journey—his literal and his inner journey. His hand-written and personally illustrated journals tell us of his longing for Maine, for his family, and for “making something of himself”. He is very much like you and me, and it makes his story that much more compelling. He savors apples from home, as tasting better than apples from anywhere else. He imagines the scene he might see looking in the window at home, where his family sits, and he chastises himself for not getting more done at home when he was there.
The jewelry in our Trade Winds Collection is made by his great-great grandson, Keith. This young man went to sea as well, at age 18. As part of his service to the US Navy, his travels took him to many of the same places his great-great grandfather’s clipper ships visited. Keith also had a hobby unconventional for sailors— he had a fascination for gems and he studied gemology. He studied so that when his service was completed, he could become a jeweler. As Keith traveled the world, he collected exquisite gems, and after leaving the service and returning home, he mastered the art of fine jewelry making.
It is now decades later. We met Keith for the first time in March, 2014. We were impressed with his jewelry, and as we talked further, discovered he had a clipper ship sea captain ancestor and became intrigued with the parallels of his journey in life with that of his sea captain forebear.
The parallels in the two stories are expressed in the jewelry itself—the exotic colors, the flow of the designs, the attention to detail which is something passed down in this family—whether it is to protect the ship, its cargo and its crew, or to create a design that will last and protect its valuable gems, giving the wearer the same pleasure we experience when a ship at full sail goes by. You can’t help but stop and exclaim, “Isn’t that beautiful?”
We were hooked by this story, and by the jewelry. We think you will be too. In fact, we’re posting pages from Captain Drew’s journals from the Voyage of the Franklin in 1868 on our website, along with all the jewelry from the Trade Wind Jewelry Collection. Take a few minutes to join in the journey, and think of those you love most, and rejoice if they are right there with you.