Palm Sunday, March 21st (1869) 100 days out
5 Degrees South of the Equator in the Pacific. 110 degrees West Longitude
100 days out, and a good many other things are out, our potatoes will be out soon. Well it ain’t suffering much, when we get potatoes all the time. The South East trades are most out and the North trades will soon be in. The sun crosses the line today and we have tried hard to get there ahead but he beat us. At any rate we are a day ahead of the Fearless last voyage, and 1 1/2 days ahead of the quickest voyage the Franklin ever made under her best commander which was held up as a guide for me, so I won’t complain yet, though we may be left in the lurch yet.
We have had a long spell of delightful weather, so peaceful and quiet that no one would know they were at sea, if they did not try hard to find out. Haven’t had a gale since we left the coast, we have got her all tarred down &C- and she will shine like a new boot. “Tis dreadful lonesome. Nobody but Deck Bucket for Pilgarlic to talk to, he begins to think about his letters now, and hopes to get them in a month. He thinks they are beginning to thaw out down east now, and wonders what they are all about, and how they all are. Danible Durable runs in his mind a good deal, and the two “Hunks.” (Pardon the name, it’s one she gave herself and is quite as good as Pilgarlic.) Pil has been reading Rollins Ancient History lately with…
… all his might and main, and he likes it better than he did. He has also been at work on a piece of poetry evenings, and written seventy verses , and fixed them up Skeleton jackin’s for further improvement. Some extracts he will put in this little Deck Bucket, He don’t pretend to write anything of any account, it was only at the oft repeated solicitation of his Aunt that he wrote, and he has done as well when he could, he hopes they won’t give any offense.
One year ago, we were just out of Manila, homeward bound. Oh how happy were we, I can’t forget it. Those happy days at home. And where is the old Fearless now? She ain’t a patch to the Franklin is she D. B. (Hawkes said ‘twould be so)
I really don’t know- as she would sail so fast. At any rate, I hope we shall be in S. Fransisco in 30 days and then I guess I’ll telegraph that’s all.
Dave Campbell has got so he can steer like anybody now. The second mate is always after him, he has had a good time coming down. How Father L. would laugh at him if he could see him. He told him they’d flush him down when they got him at sea.
I wonder how trick waves roll, now days, and shall I hear from Levi when I get in? And so we spend our Palm Sunday.
Lord be every minstrel tongue
Be thy _____ so duly sung
That Thine Angels harps may ne’er
Fail to find it echoing here
We the while of meaner birth
Who in that divinest spell
Dare not hope to join on Earth
Give us grace to listen well.
North Pacific 8 degrees North, 116 degrees West
1st April (1869) 111 days out
Calm! We have now been becalmed 8 days. It is terrible to be becalmed, after one has been at sea so long. Had we not got plenty of rain, our water would be short now, but thanks to Providence. We have been deluged in rain- something very uncommon here. So we can stand it for a while. We have crossed the Equator- since writing the last paper, the 50th time Pilgarlic has crossed it. We caught a shark nine feet long and it took the whole watch to him (or her up, for it was a female.) She had 10 young sharks in her and each two feet long. And I expect that is what has made all this cabin…
April Fool Day. I wonder who Nancie will fool today, dear little soul, and Danny will be fooling somebody I expect. I expect the ice is about breaking up in the old river. And they’ll have another summer before long. And P——— am all alone, alone. I have been reading Rollins Ancient History and have got most through. It is more interesting than a novel. I began to read the same volume a quarter of a century ago! Father was very anxious for me to read it, but I thought it was too dry. I could not go it. It is different now, I can see why he wanted me to read it. It would have a better boy of me. How changed from the beginning to the ending.
114 days out.
Away we go. The North East trade winds blow fresh and free and never change. And this is Sunday. A glorious day. The old ship marching along, grand as can be. The saucy seas that try to stop her, she throws high up in the air, and keeps straight on. We have had a good many days calm, but this beautiful breeze knocks them all into a cocked hat, so hurrah for San Francisco. It is only 15 days sail away now. A year ago today I was homeward bound from China. Poor D’Almunda died that day. Where are all the happy crew now?
We have had a little incident lately. My steward is a saucy Englishman- tries…
… hard to have his own way, but when he found he couldn’t do that he grew ugly. I brought him out of that, and then he began to heave provisions overboard. And at last I caught him at it. When I charged him with it, he denied it, then I called him a liar and ordered him forward, he then put his foot down and swore he never would go, with several other choice bits of billingsgate language. The result was himself, hung up in the Mizzen stay before he knew it, with his toes just touching the deck. He stood that just two half days and then how he begged to be let down, how sorry he was for what he had done. So it is, at sea.
Pierce is the King Fisher. He keeps us supplied with fresh fish. One day he caught 15 beautiful Bonita (about as large as a large bass) and has got his reputation up as a fisherman.