Memorandum written on a Voyage from Falm.o to Madeira, the West India Islands & back again to Falmouth in the Anna Teresa packet Boat. by E.L.
Sunday ye 9th June 1776 was the Day appointed by the Post Office for our sailing but Calms and contrary Winds prevented it, how very irksome to be detained, when we know that we must go.
The 11th at 8 o’C’k in ye Evening I rec.d the Mail & Goverm.t Dispatches from M.r S. Bell his Majes.y’s Agent, with Orders to sail with the first Spurt of Wind.
The 12th at 10 o’C’k morn.g the Wind sprung up at S:E. a fine Breeze, waited the Tide, not having Water to carry us over the Bar, at Noon sliped the Chain and worked into the Road, but falling little Wind came to an Anchor, how fickle are the Elements we have to deal with, no sooner had we drop’d anchor but a strong westerly Wind sprung up, this obliged us to weigh it again & to work up to our Moorings in the Harbour where we rode ‘till Fryday y:e 14th when at 7 o’Clock in the morn:g thinking the Wind w:d be off Shore.
Made an other Attempt and towed into the Road again, here we were once more disappointed how little a way can we short sighted Mortals see into what shall happen, for the Wind when it sprung up blew from the opposite Point of the Compass we expected it, and that too very strong, so that once more we quitted Carrick Road and returned to ye mooring, how vexatious; but what right have we to complain whatever is, is right, and no doubt ordered by that Allwise Being who rules the Universe, on the other hand how pleasing is the Disappointment, when I reflect that a separation of five or six long months was so near at hand, which w.d part me from all I loved, what pleasure I say must one feel in once more spending an Evening with her I hold most dear and once more hear the prattling of my dear little ones, when the married are happy, how cruel the Seperation, what must they feel, the parting is too, too much.
Twenty weeks, what a time to look forward, how short when past, happier by farr is the peasant who earns his dayly Bread by the Sweat of his Brow, than any Sailor in the Universe, be his Rank what it may, how delicious must be his homely repast when prepared by the hands of her he loves. They smiles content and rests in peace very different from the Lordly Great who know not how to kill their Time, but by Dissipation and reversing Nature, great they may be, but happiness is I fear not oftimes their Lott, how pleasing was this short Reprieve, like a Respite to the Criminal whose Life is forfeited, tho’ ’twas but a Day ‘twas to him an Age.
Saturday 15th, wind at S.W. moderate but right against us, in the Morning rec:d some further Dispatches from the Agent, and at same Time Orders to sail though Wind not fair (the reason for it was, in a great measure owing to the Eagle Packet Boat Cap.t Nichols sailing this morning, having on board Sir Rob.t Ainsley Ambassador to the Porte, who having outstaid his Time was impatient to be gone). With Cheerfulness I obeyed his Orders, but at same Time could have wished the Wind had been more favorable, how distressing to leave Home & that too with a contrary Wind, but patience must be the only Remedy, when Duty is to be done, they that are to execute it must not repine, at ½ past two took my last Farewell and at 3 got under sail in Company with the Duke of York Packet Boat [*], Richards for Lisbon, at 10 Wind right ahead standing off Shore satt the Lizard Lights bearing from us WbN ab.t 5 Leagues distant, bid adieu for one while to old England’s Coast, happy Clime the Queen of Isles & happy people wou’d they be content, saw the Duke of York 3 or 4 miles to Leeward, the Evening remarkably cold very great Dew falling, a head Sea, made Miss Teresa plunge very much.
The 16th Little winds & Calms and what we had as unfavourable as could be, with a tumbling Sea & small thick cold Rain, saw the Duke of York all this day ab.t 3 Leag:s to Leeward, several Vessels plying to Windward, got the Lines out in hopes of taking some Mackarel but our Bait was not tempting enough, found ourselves this day to be in 49º 24’ North Lattitude and 14 Leagues SW from the Lizard
Monday 17th- made very little Progress – light winds and that at S.W. all the morning, the air very cold & damp, some small Rain, at 10 saw a Snow to Leeward stand:g to the S:o ward, but imagine not our fellow Traveller, as she had no foretop gallant mast. Before Dinner employed myself getting my Papers Cloaths &c:a at rights which done, I began for my Amusement, this what you may call it Journal, and w.ch I hope my dear Peggy will have the perusing of next November. How vexed should I be should it fall into any other person’s hands, if ‘twou’d divert them they shou’d be welcome, but I am certain that w:d not be the Case, if it is to be so, they must take it for better for worse. At Noon got an observation not very good Latt:de 48º 53’ North and 5° 57’ Long;de The Lizard bore N 33º 0’ E dis:t 27 Leagues.
18th Light Breezes all Day hazey thick Weather, the Wind came to the S.S.E, saw a Snow with a Ringtail and M. T. G:l Roy:1 standing in for the Channel, towards Evening more easterly satt studd.g Sails, this day noon so thick a could not get an Observation by our Reckoning the Lizard bore N:º 37º: 00. : 51 Leag:s dis.t
19th Very thick foggy Weather not unlike the Banks of Newfoundland cou’d scarce see the Bowsprit End for 10 Minutes together, Light Airs of Wind from ESE satt o all our small sails to catch what we cou’d of it, two sail in sight ab.t 3 Mile to windward a Snow and a Brig steering the same Course with us and no doubt as well pleased having a fair Wind at noon was in Latt.d 47º: 09’ N and 08º: 25’ Longditude. In Even.g saw nothing of the Vessels, I believe they drop’d astern. Lizard N 37º: 08 71 Leag.s dis.t
Thursday 20th what a heavenly Breeze all this morn:g ESE – from 6 to 8 Knots all sails satt and the Fogg quite dispersed may it continue are my sincere Prayers, got up at six delightful Morn.g a clear Stage at six in Even.g began to grow hazey again, less wind, not going more than 4 knots and what was worse the wind more southerly, this day noon by Observation was in Latt:d 45º. 22 N and 09’: 48’ west Long:de Cape Finistre bearing South 43 Leag:s dis.t
Fryday 21st hazey Wea.r and light winds all Night mostly from the SE – catched what we could of it, got up at half past six – reading writing and working all morning disappointed in our Observation at noon the Haze so very thick prevented the Sun’s Appearance, but to make up for it , the wind sprung up a gentle Breeze from NNE and continued upon that Point ‘till 12 at night, going at an easy rate about 4 Mile an hour, at noon this day by account was in Latt:de 44:º 06’ N and 10º: 40’ West Long:de Cape Finistre bear:g of us S 39º E – 23 Leag.s dis.t Lines out all day in hopes of taking some Bonettas but were disappointed.
Saturday 22, hazey but fine weather, and beginning to grow warmer, great Dews at Night. A fine gentle Gale from the NE going 7 or 8 miles an hour all the Day, got up this morning at half past 5o’Clock – saw a Ship upon a Wind, upon our starboard Bow, standing across us, kept on our Course with all Sails sat, at 7 she cross’d our Forefoot at about one mile and half distant, shew’d our Colours, which she answered by hoisting a Portuguese Ensign By Observation this day was in Latt:de 42º: 17’ N and 11º: 05’ W Long:de Cape Finistre bear:g N 26:00 E distant 26 Leag.s
23 Very fine day with a most pleasing Gale at NE this morn:g at 5 o’Clock saw two Brigs one on the Starboard Qua:r upon a Wind stand:g to the Northward the other on our Starb:d Qua:r by Course imagine bound to the West Indies as she steer’d WSW. at 2 this aftern:n saw 2 large Ships upon our Lee Beam close upon a Wind no Jibb or TopG:t sails sat, very hazey cou’d not make out with the Glass what they were, at 5 this afternoon wind began to g incline to the Westward by six cou’d scarce lay our Course & by 8 it was a dead Calm, at 9 a little Breeze from the S.E. very fine Even:g great Dew, By Observation this Day was in 39º: 39’ N: Latt:de and 13:º 50’ W:t Longd:e Porto Santo S 13:14 W – 139 Leag:s dis:t
Monday 24th These 24 hours very fine Weather rather hazey, at night a great Dew, the Winds from the WbN at SW very veerable moderate Breezes going after the rate of three miles & half an hour, Lattit:de this Day at noon 38º: 03 N: and 14º: 20’ W Longitude Porto Santo bearing of us S 13°:14’ W dis:t 101 Leagues. How soon are our spirits on Tip toe and how soon lowered, as no longer than yesterday was in great Hopes if the Gale had continued to have reached Madeira the Thursday next, but in the midst of our pleasing hopes it almost of a sudden from going 8 knots fell a Calm and then sprung up a S: West Wind directly in our Teeth, hard very bad. Got up this morning at 6 Bells employed myself reading, writing and drawing.
Tuesday 25th Light Breezes of hazey Weather, this very pleasant, as for several nights past great Dews, wind from WbN at S.W often veering between these points, got up at Six o’Clock and employed myself about various Things, Latt:de in by Observ:n 36º: 57’ N & Long:de 13º: 48’ W:t Porto Santo by our Reckoning S 25º: 00 W dis:t – 81 Leagues.
Wednesday 26th the first and last Part of this day gentle Breezes the middle part rather fresh, the wind from SW at West, at 7 this Even:g had a little squall attended with rain but it soon blew off ag:n hard hearted Wind Latt:de this day by Observ:n 34º: 56’ N and our Long:de S 40º: 00 W W:ly Porto Santo dist:t from us 45Leag:s bear:g S 40 W:ly.
Thursday 27th – fine fresh Breezes all day, at 3 this morning the wind shifted from WbN to the North a fine gentle breeze at 11 hawld down all the studding sails & hauled up West having run down the Latt:de of Porto Sancto, at noon was in Lattitude 33º: 02’ N our Long:de this day 15º: 33’ West, the above Island by our Reckoning bear:g from us S 45º W dist:t 5 Leag:s at 5 o’Ck this afternoon made Porto Sancto bear:g WbN about 8 or 9 Leag:s dis:t at 8 satt the Island bear:g NWbN about 6 Leag:s at same Time took in our Top G:t sails and 1st Reef of the Topsails being squally attended with little rain steered for ye East End of Madeira. Very fine night.