Sail to Halifax

Journal of a Voyage from Falmouth to Halifax & Bermuda & back

Sailed 8th April – Returned 14 July 1829

Wednesday 8th April 1829 – at ½ past 10 oClock A.M. Lieutenant Sullivan, whom Captain Snell, as he intended to remain one voyage at home, had appointed in his own stead, came on board with the Mail, when we started from Falmouth immediately. The wind blew from the SW, as foul as could possibly be, and during the whole day, the weather was very variable and cold. At 9 P.M. we had got on no further than a few miles from the Lizard Point.

Thursday 9th – wind in the same quarter. During most of the night a calm prevailed, so that this morning, we were nearly in the same Situation as yesterday, near the Lizard. Weather cloudy but fair, with occasional gleams of sunshine. At 2 P.M. we stretched out to sea and in the evening, tacked again to land.

Friday 10th – fine day – wind unfavourable. Course S 148º W distance 47 miles. Lat 49º 11’ N. Long. 5º 31’. Chronom.r 5º 20’.

Saturday 11th – weather wet & disagreeable with very strong but unfavourable breeze. Course S. 73º W. Distance 31 . Latitude 49º 01’ N. Longit. 6º W.

Sunday 12th April – weather changeable – wind unfavourable. Course N. 72º W. Distance 61 . Latitude 49º 15’ N. Longit. 7º 48 Chronometer  8º 16 W.

Monday 13th – fine day – wind rather more favourable. At 5 P.M. spoke with H.M. Cutter Bramble [1] bound with the Mail for Lisbon, left Falmouth on the 10th April. Course S 6º E. Distance 53 . Latitude 48º 22’ N. Longit. 7º 40 W. Chronometer  8º 8’ 30”.

Tuesday 14th – morning & forenoon changeable. At ½ past 12 P.M. a furious gale of wind came on, which obliged us to take in every stitch of sail, and lay to. The wind continued the whole day with abated and then [un]abated violence. Course S. 52º W. Distance 96 . Latitude 47º 23’ N. Longit. 9º 22’ Chronometer 9º 45’ W.

Wednesday 15th – weather squally – In the evening a calm. Course S 45º E. Dist.ce 33. Lat.e 47.1 N. Long 8.50 W. Chronom: 9º 14’ W.

Thursday 16th – fine weather – wind unfavourable, with sudden squalls. C.rse S 22º W. Dist.ce 65 Latitude 46º 1’ N. Long. 9º 26’ W. Chronom: 9º 58’.

Friday 17th – weather fine nearly a calm the whole day. Course S 12º E. Dist.ce 66 miles. Lat.e 44º 56’ N. Long. 9º 10’. Chronom: 9º 23’.

Saturday 18th April – most beautiful weather. In the morning a favourable breeze sprung up, which soon lulled into a calm. At 4 the breeze again freshened and continued so during the night. Course S 44º W. Dist.ce 48. Latitude 44º 24’ N. Longitude 9º 59 W’. Chron: 10º 16’ W.

Sunday 19th – fine weather favourable and fresh breeze. C.rse S 53º W. Dist.ce 149 miles. Lat.e 42º 58’ N. Longit.e 12º 44’. Chron: 12º 55’ W.

Monday 20th – fine weather in the forenoon – afternoon cloudy, with occasional slight showers of rain. Wind again changed against us. C.rse S 42º W. Dist.ce 136. Latitude 41º 16’ N. Long.tde 14º 46’. Chronom: 14º 56’ W.

Tuesday 21st – weather fair but cloudy, wind strong & unfavourable. Course S 6º N. Dist.ce 125. Latitude 39º 20’ N. Long. 15º 15’ W. Chronom: 15º 18’4” W.

Wednesday 22nd – weather cloudy – breeze very strong but unfavourable. Course S 5º W. Dist.ce 114. Latitude 37º 26’ N. Longitude 15º 30’ W. Chronom: 15º 36’ W. Terceira bore N 79º 39’ W. distance 400 miles.

Thursday 23rd – wind favourable and we are on our proper course, but there is a very heavy swell. Weather changeable. Course S 8º E. distance 99 miles. Latitude 35º 47’ N. Longitude 15º 13’ W. Chronom: 15º 9’ W. Bearings and distance from S.Mary’s island, one of the Azores N 79º 43’ W. 478 miles.

Friday 24th April – beautiful weather – wind again unfavourable, so that we cannot make any Westing. In the evening it became more favourable. C.rse S 65º W. Distance 59. Lat.e 35º 41’ N. Longit 15º 28’ W.

Saturday 25th – wind again unfavourable – fine weather – breeze more favourable in the evening. Course S 30º W. Dist.ce32. Latitude 35º 14’ W. Long.e 15º 47’ W. Chron. 15º 37’.

Sunday 26th – Fine weather, with occasional showers & squalls – Wind sometimes changeable but generally quite favourable. Course S 41º W. Dist. 81. Lat. 35º 59’ N. Longit. 16º 36’ W.

Monday 27th – fine weather with passing showers & squalls. Wind fresh & favourable. Course N 81º W. Dist. 83. Lat: 36º 12’ N. Long. 18º 15’. Chron. 18º 6’.

Tuesday 28th – weather in the forenoon fine with nearly a calm. In the evening the wind freshened, & frequent squalls & showers accompanied it. Course S 71º W. Distance 111. Latitude 35º 45’ N. Long. 20º 28’ W. Chronom: 20º 19’ W.

Wednesday 29 – beautiful weather – heat excessive – a calm the whole of the day. Course S 71º W. Distance 59. Latitude 35º 26’ N. Longitude 21º 29’ W.

Thursday 30th April – light airs but favourable – caught a porpoise this morning – fine weather. Course S 62º W. Dist: 57 – Latitude 34º 59’ N. Longi 22º 31’ W. Chron: 22º 18’ W.

Friday 1st May – morning cloudy with light winds. In the forenoon a violent shower of rain fell, during which the wind lulled – but it became very strong and favourable, as soon as the rain cleared – fine weather in the afternoon. 3 sails in sight. Course N 89º  W. Dist. 84. Lat. 35º 0’ N. Longit. 24º 14’. Chrona. 24º 1’ W.

Saturday 2nd – in the morning breeze much abated but still fresh, weather cloudy. At noon nearly a calm – with fine weather. Today the Men were exercised in firing, which beguiled the time very pleasantly. In the evening light airs springing up, but from an unfavourable quarter. Course S 86º W. Dist.ce 154. Latitude 35º 50’ N. Long, 27º 22’ W. Chron: 27º 12’ W. Sable Island bore N 69º 56’ W. Distance 1615.

Sunday 3rd – weather variable – wind changeable, but against us. Course S 69º W. Dist.ce 48. Lat.34º 34’ N. Long. 28º 25’ W. Chron: 27º 56’ W. Sambro light N 70º W. Distance 1746.

Monday 4th – weather variable – wind nearly favourable. Course N 68º W. Dist. 98. Lat. 34º 53’ N. Long, 29º 11’ W. Chron. 28º 53’ W.

Tuesday 5th May – fine weather – calm all the day, till about 4 P.M., when a breeze sprung up quite favourable & continued to encrease. Course N 68º W. Dist.ce 43. Lat. 35º 9’ N. Long: 29º 59’ W. Chron: 29º 51’30” W. Sable Island N 69º W. 1511 miles.

Wednesday 6th – the fifth week of our voyage has been auspiciously marked at its commencement by fine weather & a strong favourable breeze. Hitherto we have got no further than Corvo, the westernmost of the Azores – but if the breeze lasts we shall soon make up for our tardiness. Course N 69º 30’ W. Distance 104. Lat.e 35º 45’ N. Long. 32º 2’ W. Chron 31º 39’30” W.

Thursday 7th – weather cloudy – wind strong & favourable. Evening very rainy. At 10 o’Clock P.M. owing to the darkness & drizzling rain, an American bark from New York approached so near without being perceived, that she had almost run us down. Fortunately M.r Geach saw her – hailed her & just in time she passed close to us. Course N 76º W. Dist. 166. Lat. 36º 26’ N. Long. 35º 21’ W. Chron: 34º 46’30”.

Friday 8th – weather cloudy – wind changeable but generally favourable. C. N 69º W. Dist. 112. Lat: 37º 6’ N. Long. 37º 32’ W.

Saturday 9th May – weather cloudy but fair – wind favourable, but sometimes variable in Strength. Course N 82º W. Dist.ce 151. Latitude 37º 27’ N. Long: 40º 37’ W. Chronom: 40º 25’ W.

Sunday 10th – beautiful weather – favourable wind. Course N 76º W. Distance 123. Lat.e 37º 55’ N. Longit: 43º 8’ W. Chron: 42º 56’ W.

Monday 11th – Weather fine but cloudy – breeze favourable. Course N 76º W. Dist.ce 113. Latitude 38º 23’ N. Longit: 43º 8’ W. Chronom: 45º 15’ W.

Tuesday 12th – cloudy weather with occasional slight showers – Wind favourable but variable in strength. Course N 65º W. Distance 140. Latitude 39º 23’ N. Long: 48º 8’ W. Chronon: 47º 46’. Evening wet and foggy.

Wednesday 13th – in the morning very little wind which has also shifted its direction. Very dense fog, accompanied by a heavy drizzling rain, which soon drenches to the skin. During whole of the afternoon and night nearly a calm. Towards evening the fog cleared up. Course N 69º W. Dist.ce 75 miles. Latitude 39º 45’ N. Longit: 49º 27’ W. Chronom: 49º 10’ W.

Thursday 14th – in the morning light and favourable breezes – during the rest of the day and night a calm or nearly so. Fine weather. Course South. Dist.ce 54. Latit.e 38º 51’ N. Long 49º 22’ W. Chron: 49º 10’ W.

Friday 15th – weather changeable – In the morning a breeze sprung up favourable to us, but which became a little contrary to us in the afternoon. Course S 85º W. Dist. 23 miles. Latitude 39º 51’ N. Longitude 49º 51’ W. Chronom: 49º 39’15” W.

Saturday 16th May – in the morning a fine strong and favourable breeze prevailed, which continued all day but fell off at night. Weather cloudy in the first part of the day but very fine in the latter part. Course N 44º W. Distance 87. Latitude 39º 51’ N. Long. 51º 10’. Chronom: 50º 47’ W.

Sunday 17th – delightful weather. In the morning very light breeze, which in the course of the day encreased so much as to carry on at the rate of 9 knots. Course N 62º W. Distance 137. Latitude 40º 55’ N. Long. 53º 51’ W. Chronom: 53º 43’ W.

Monday 18th – at 2 o’Clock this morning a sudden & violent squall came on – the wind immediately became contrary, with a heavy swell of the sea – & it also rained “cats and dogs” – At day break weather cloudy and wind continued contrary thro much less strong, till at night it lulled to a calm – Course N 53º W. Dist.ce 118 miles. Latitude 41º 57’. Longit. 56º 7’ W. Chronom: 55º 59’ W.

Tuesday 19th – fine Weather – Light breezes in the morning, which became strong during the day, and were nearly favourable. Course S 5º W. Dist.ce 10. Latitude 41º 42’ N. Longit. 56º 8’ W. Chron: 55º 58’ W.

Wednesday 20th – strong breeze but unfavourable. Weather cold and attended with frequent heavy showers of rain, during which the wind died away. At night very little wind. Course N 36º W. Dist. 129 Lat. 43º 0’ N. Long.e 58º 3’ W. Chron: 58º 25’30” W.

Thursday 21st – weather cloudy & disagreeable. The wind changed from the South to the North, which occasioned a degree of cold such as I have not experienced the preceding winter. Breeze partly fresh but great swell of the sea. At 6 P.M. the wind fell off and a stark calm prevailed till 4 oClock A.M. Course N 70º W. Dist.ce 41. Lat. 42º 56’ N. longitude 59º 36’ N. Chron: 59º 23’ W.

Friday 22nd – weather wet and foggy with alternate calms & light breezes. We are abreast of Sable Island about 130 miles from Halifax. At Midnight we were on sable Bank in 47 fathoms water Course N.78º W. Dist.ce 43. Latitude 43º 5’ N. Long 60º 30’ W. Chron. 60º 20’ W.

Saturday 23rd – weather cloudy in the morning but soon cleared up. In the forenoon fresh breezes & rather favourable but will oblige us to make Shelburne light instead of Sambro  Saw a schooner anchored on Sable Bank and employed in fishing. In the afternoon the wind changed direction in our favour Extreme cold to day. At Midnight I came upon deck Saw the Sambro light house, and we came abreast of it about 2 oClock A.M. its placed on a small island, surrounded by breakers, against which the Duke of York, in her last Halifax voyage, nearly struck, owing to the distance from it having been mistaken, in consequence of foggy weather. Very few Packets enter Halifax by night as besides Sambro (15 miles distant) there are other small but dangerous rocks, which when the atmosphere is hazy, are often fatal to mariners. The moon rose at 12 to night, but was soon totally obscured by cloud, which discharged partial showers of rain.

Arrive at Halifax

Sunday 24th May – altho’ the wind nearly died when close to Halifax, it again sprung up & we succeeded in reaching our destination at ½ past 5 A.M. As we shall return to Halifax from Bermuda and (as I hope) make a stay of a few days there, I shall defer any particulars respecting that place till then in order to preserve more order and connection in my Journal. I may mention, however, that upon our arrival, we learnt that several vessels, sailing both by the Northern & Southern passages, that had short passages – one in particular had left Falmouth several days after us & had performed her voyage in 28 days.[2] From all this, it was thought at Halifax, that we had been lost, as had been the fate of two Packets this year (ArielMyrtle).[3] With respect to the latter, we were told, that when about 90 miles from Halifax, with a fair & moderate breeze, such was the dense haziness of the weather, that she went right between two portions of rock, got jammed and went to pieces. Fortunately this disaster was attended with no loss of lives – all succeeded in getting on shore where they erected a sort of tent, collected what provisions they could, and finally managed to reach Halifax.

With respect to the Ariel, about which no intelligence could be gained hitherto, it seems that there is a vessel here which went under the stern of the Ariel, while she was lying to in a gale of wind & spoke her. This was 12 days after she had left England, and not one hundred miles off.

The weather today is excessively hot and oppressive, while only yesterday we were shivering with cold.

[Miss Powell our Passenger landed]

We [landed here the only two passengers whom we carried out with us] viz. a [lady and gentleman. The lady was call’d Miss Powell] and [had come out to Halifax as Governess to Sir Peregrine Marsland the Governor’s children. She seemed to be a very pleasant and agreeable lady “of a certain age,” from] whose [manners a residence of four years in Normandy has served] to rub off [that reserve and irracability] which is so often cast up to us as the characteristic of our nation. [She was also an excellent sailor – as after the three first days she suffered little] or nothing from sea sickness. [If I were asked] what was the extent of [her accomplishments] I could give a correct [answer- for as many points of History, & useful information, she showed either real or affected ignorance] – but as to the more elegant [accomplishments of languages, Music and drawing in these she showed herself an excellent proficient.] Upon the whole I believe [she] was as the world and education now go fully qualified to give the most complete satisfaction [to her fashionable employer.]

[Senhor Young our Passenger – Leave Halifax]

I shall now say a few words regarding [our gentleman passenger Senhor Young.] I found that [he had] been 6 years at [Liverpool] and that during the two last [he] was [in the] same [office as Andrew Maclean, who] of course, will probably know [much about him. He appeared] to be a very [informed] young [man] 

 a good deal [in good society. His manners however were so me_mes unequal – and he betrayed occasional traits of impatience & rudeness which] may be attributed to the circumstance that, during the whole voyage [he] was [seldom free from indisposition a single day – and on] this ground alone [could an excuse] be found. But I may say generally that [He contributed his share to the common] amusement & information.

Read on … Bermuda