August 1st, 1870
61 days out.
“ A Sail! A Sail! a promised prize to hope Her nation flag. How speaks the telescope?
An English ship 45 days out from Cardiff to Callau. She is just a match for the Franklin. We have been in company three days now and there seems to be no difference in the sailing of our two ships. one comfort.. We are in the South East trades now and they blow fitfully and and equally with the rain. An ugly sea strikes in the bows and send staggering backward a mile an hour, but will weather it all yet. Would we deck bucket? Poor weather for for drafting. I have nearly finished one. A stern view of the ship. Large size. I wish I could build ships and own them as fast as I can draw them. But I can’t draw the clouds. I wish I could. They are so picturesque and beautiful. We have them with us always. It is great comfort to match them, they assume so many we passed. _______ ____ of the shapes.
…principal seaports of Brazil last night. I will give the names of clouds as we sailors know them. Cirrus, or Curl Clouds, the most elevated of all clouds and the first lightened that forms in the sky after fine weather. The Stratus, or Full Cloud, is an extended sheet cloud- sometimes small shapeless, and undefined, like a creeping mist. The Nimbus, or Rain Cloud, are horizontal, heavy looking and shapeless from which rain is falling. The Cumulative, or Stack Cloud, which increases from below in dense convex and conical leaps, and is the the grand prognostic and accompaniment of foul weather.
The Como id, Hairy Cirrus, commonly called “the Mare’s tail” is the proper cirrus. The current. The cumuli reflect a strong _____ light when opposed the sun, like Alpine Mountains covered with snow. The Ciro-stratus forms the beautiful “Mackerel Sky”.Nomenclature of the celebrated meteorologist- Mr. Luke Howard
Now for Cape of Good Hope.
Hues of the rich unfolding morn,
that, in the glorious sun be born
by some soft touch invisible
Around his path are taught to swell
Thou rustling breeze so fresh and gay,
that dancest forth at opening day
And brushing by by with joyous wiry
_______ each little leaf to sing
Ye fragrant clouds of dewy steam
By which deep grove and tangled ____
Pay, for soft rains in Season given,
Their tribute to the genial Heaven
Why waste your treasures of delight
Upon our thankless, joyless sight
Who day by day to Sin awake
Seldom of Heaven and you partake
-Kebles Christian Year
August 4th, 1870
South Atlantic, 65 Days
Here we go poking along. We have a beautiful South East Trade wind, but the ship don’t go. Today is magnificent. We had a glorious sunrise, and our sunsets at home are celebrated, but they are nothing compared to the gorgeous sunrise of the Southern tropics.
Today, a Dutch Brig. that we signalized fifteen days ago north of the Equator, have us in sights. And so we have done as well as he, and the ship that we have been in company with so long- Last night we had a splendid rainbow.
“Rainbow in morning, sailors take warning-
“Rainbow at night, sailors delight.”
Someone told me that was wrong- it should be thus-
“Rainbow in morning, Sailor’s Delight
Sailors take warning, rainbows at night.”
Sunday August 7th, 1870
20 south Lat.
67 days out
Bowling off finely today, but made only 8 or 9 hundred miles last week. We were 30 days to this place last voyage! 37 days difference!! No help for it! It’s all for the best. And now we strike out for the East, and leave our old well beaten Trades to Cape Horn, for a long stretch in the Orient. For the first time in many weeks, we have a fair wind. A new top mast Stud”g” sail, which I have cut and made is set and pulling up bravely-( we only let Studding sails in a fair wind).
This morning a heavy rain squall came down towards, but before it reached us it split. the sun shone through and we actually sailed through it, with the water seething and boiling on both sides. And it closed up soon as we were through. As the red sea did after Israel passed through. But there was no Pharoah’s army to be swallowed up. Was this a miracle??
August 11th, 1870
24 degrees.30 South,
32 degrees.00 west 71 days out
Across the Tropics at Last!!
A long pull, and now we have a fine breeze from NE and are clipping along finely- a Norther ship with us. it is splendid air to breathe- this delicious fair wind. It goes to every part of one’s body- Pilgarlic is himself again. He takes a cold shower bath of salt water on deck at 5 o’clock in the morning, takes a small mug of coffee- and then reads a chapter in the bible. Studying Paul’s Epistle to the Romans now. It is not daylight ‘till after six. When the men go to work, he sees to the cutting and making of the new sails, which we are mostly at work on now.. He lays various plans about his ship, taking care of provisions. The other day overhauling provisions, found the rats were eating right through the flour and bread. That never will do. That flour must be taken care of. So, Pilgarlic gets all the pieces that have had molasses, tar, varnish, oil & etc.…
… burns them out, which is great fun for the boys. Into each one he puts a bomb of flour, barrel and all and heads it up. Now rats, gnaw through two stout barrels if you can!
He has a general chart of the world- on the board now- which he has projected as a mercator plan- nearly done. It is pretty work and he is going to put some of the different voyages he has made around the world, onto it and give it to his family.
He has finished the reign of Charles the fifth of Spain- 3 volumes. What a cold hearted, cold blooded scoundrel that was.
His next will be Bancroft’s History of the United States -7 volumes. Last night we had a little fun in speaking at dutch brig. She came in sight before dark and let his colors, which we answered. at dark he…
… was up to us, it was a pretty sight. So strange to see that vessel right alongside under the perfect control of the captain. Not a voice was heard, not a soul to be seen. The sails and hull in dark bold relief. “Ship Ahoy… Halloo…Where are you from Sir?” Boston. Where are you bound, pray? Batavia. Thank you, What brig is that? Yours, Pilgarlic. A Dutch name follows which we can’t understand. “Where are you from, pray?” Rio de Janeiro. Where are you bound to? New York! What is your Longitude? 32 degrees! Ours is given and then heswings his yards back, steps the long’ till we shoot ahead then fills again and crosses our stearn. We salute and part. He to our native land, and us to his country’s colony. “Then soon, too soon, we part again, to sail those silent seas again.”
We find new beauties in the sky every day- The clouds all Cirri. today- and stretch the…
… Heavens in great ribbons, thus, N. East. They say their ends point to the direction from which the wind will come. These point to NE.
August 18th, 1870
Latitude 34 degrees south. 78 days, a great change has come over the weather from the hot sultry days of the Tropics. We have come down to sleeping in blankets, wearing underclothes. And the sailors have been after mittens to wear at the wheel. The days are short, and everything looks wintry. All this in the height of summer. The birds have come too. Beautiful Cake Pigeon that have not been seen for many a day, fill the air. Stately Albatross, sail majestically past us, and Molemokes are impudent as can be. Sailors have a superstition that molemokes are the spirits of departed seaman come back again.
Lat. 40 degrees South, 83 days out August 23rd
Today we have the last of our first gale. It has run through six days. Four days we never got the sun so we have been trying our navigation a little. It is no small source of anxiety to a ship master, to know where his ship is after so long a storm. For when there is no sun, or planets, or stars to be seen, we run by calculation and judgement. But the best is bible to many em____. We passed near “Tristan D’ Acucha” in our storm, and a reef called Lennorous. When I got my observations yesterday, I found my reckoning just 10 miles different, having run 100 miles by it in four days. But the anxiety in a great ocean is nothing to what it is in an intricate sea or running for a coast, and all you can’t see more than a ship’s length ahead, it is so thick. Our gale did not come without giving us ample warning, that never failing monitor the barometer. The barometer told us of it three days before hand. And that sad weird sound that the wind makes, like the wail of a lost soul. You may hear it at home sometimes in old houses, moaning under the door and through broken easements. There is an old house near where I was…
…born, where I used to go and hear it. There was a mysterious arch down cellar that I thought had everything to do with it. And I always peopled it with departed spirits and ghosts and when the low wail would begin, I would have a fascination to go and peer into it. I was telling the mate about it before our gale began as we sat at supper, and the wind had begun on it’s many stringed harp, the ship’s rigging.
“Mournfully! Oh, mournfully,
This midnight wind doth sigh,
Like some sweet plaintive melody,
Of ages, long gone by,
It tells a tale of other years,
Of hopes that bloom to die,
Of sunny smiles that set in tears,
And joys that mouldering lie.
For four days the wind foisted, shrieked and most of the time the rain fell in torrents. Our ship staggered along as fast as she could be driven, for the wind was right after us her very smallest sails were set, and then only needed to keep her steady. I stood on deck nearly all one night. It was one of awful grandeur, and as dark as Erebus, save when a wave of lightning would lower, then pass off. No such lightning as we see at home, but a brassy, coppery illumination that made things look like the infernal regions. Then there was the balls of fire at all the mastheads, that sailors are afraid of.
Sunday I spent on top of house, well protected in my oil coat, and ________ matching the steering of the ship, and thinking of home and friends. I asked myself a thousand times- had I done the best I could for them all, and every time found myself wanting. Thinks I, Danny will be a great boy nearly four years old if we live to meet, Johnny will be a stout little fellow-too. And Mary will be quite a
young lady. I thought if I were coming home at the close of a wet day, how, Lulu would have me dry clothes. Mary would bring my slippers- Dan & John would climb into my lap, and all would be so nice, and is what so many men actually enjoy. till I felt it almost real. But when I went down to my comfortless cabin, with no words of sheer, or a bright fire, I said” Oh! Foolish heart, why will you be
ever dreaming thus back to your quarterdeck again, that is the peace for you. See to the safety of your ship, see that she is properly steered, and so I look at my charts. The coast is clear, all but that reef. Nevermind- can’t help it, and look at the barometer, it is still going down, and buttoning my coat tight
around, we took again for my port of duty.
And now anxiety can come along. The safety of the ship depends on how well she is steered and managed. How long will these sails stand? How long can she scud? Must she behave too? For if one of those by-seas come on board, it will smash something. She is running now splendidly. Yes, everything is stout and strong. And she must go on. So mind your wheel then my boy, steadily meet her, and it is something to be proud of, after all, to direct such a splendid fabric through such a storm. And then I think of how different it used to be when we would run along here in the old Dolphin. With her deck submerged in water. A cold wet berth to sleep in, and the never ceaseless clank of her ______. Often would her old galley get stove to pieces. And more than once have I with Capt. Hoyt searched for the pieces of the stove in water to our waists. I think of the miserable uncooked food we used to get and how I used to get from the table as hungry as I sat down to it, but that was going to see in those days, and this is another thing. Then, I never got a good watch below. Would roused from two hours sleep by the merciless “All hands…
…reef topsails ahoy!” But now, our men are never called up from below, ‘till is their watch. And so I spend another night. Yesterday the sun came out in full splendor. all day, but the gale blew harder. And not till then did we see the ocean in all it’s grandeur. Little waves running up the sides of ___ and all a cold grey streaked with white. Not the ordinary sea at all, and the Spoondrift flying on the top of all. One of those great seas would roll up to us, and breaking and breaking against our stern and sides -send out a flood of milk white foam for many a yard all around. But as all things pass away, so did our gale. And today, “ Full many a league old ocean smiles.” Though he rolls on in grand great seas yet. Old Franklin, from his perch on our bow, looks over a different scene from what he has the last four days. The birds still hover around us in great flocks, but they are tired and weary, and I think they would be. When do they rest? Do they ever eat? Do they sleep? These things bugger me more than a little.
“ Is this a time for moonlit dreams,
Of love and home by wags and streams,
For fancy with her shadowy toys,
Ariel hopes and pensive joys?
No. rather steele thy melting heart
To act the martyrs sternest part,
To watch with firm unshrinking eye,
Thy darling visions as they die,
Till all bright hope, and hues of day,
Have faded into Twilight gray.
Yes, let them pass without a sigh,
And if the world deem dull and dry,
If long and sad thy lonely hours,
And winds have rent thy sheltering haven,
Bethink the what their art and whose,
A sinner in a life came.
Keblis Christian Year
Eleventh Sunday after Trinity
We are now running off longitude on the 40th parallel of South Latitude, and today cross the Meridian Tsumurios(?). The Thermometer stands at 50 but it is as cold and cheerless as it is in Maine in December
All my drawing of charts and ships must stop now if I make a bracket or two I shall do well. I have
enough else to take up my attention.
The storm is over and Hark! A still small voice steals on the ear, to say,