Sail to Madeira

Friday 24th August 1832 – a most beautiful and cloudless morning ushered in this our day of departure, and imparted a feeling of regret that we could not remain on shore to enjoy the promise of pleasure which it held forth. We are always unlucky. We ought to have remained in harbour instead of proceeding to sea to day – if strict justice had been done to us. On our arrival from Mexico we came in for the Brazil Mail, which besides giving us the prospect of a very agreeable voyage, would have required [us] to remain another fortnight in Falmouth. The Lapwing [1]was to have gone to Buenos Ayres and for some days after her arrival no word was heard of any objection on her part – but just when she was about to be reported in London for that Mail (which would have fixed irrevocably) the Captain pretended to discover that some repairs were indispensably necessary, which would not be completed previous to the time of sailing of the Buenos Ayres – and unfortunate we, being the next in date, were shoved in for a long & a tedious voyage. But you will say – oh according to the regulations he must go there next month. If indeed he must have gone at all, you may be sure that he would have been ready to go at the first opportunity & not have lost a whole month. But the cunning rogue knew better – that changes were proposed – and willingly gave us the honour of being the last Packet to Buenos Ayres. He was well aware that by next month a man-of-war schooner called the Cockatrice [2] was to take out the Mail thither & be employed in future in conveying the Mail between Rio, Monte Video & Buenos Ayres, thereby rendering it unnecessary for the Falmouth Packets to go further than Rio – and consequently doing away with the monthly mail from that former port to Buenos Ayres.

Thus we were tricked of an excellent voyage & cheated of our stay at home, which I the more regretted on account of my friend M.r Wilson, who had come to spend a week or two with me. [3]

At half past ten we left Falmouth with light and foul winds, which continued till evening, when the wind increased, still foul & the weather became cloudy and cold with slight showers of rain.

Saturday 25th August – strong and foul wind with heavy tumble of a Sea – Very cloudy weather – less wind in the afternoon but much sea.

Sunday 26th – fine weather – Moderate and favourable breeze with heavy NW swell

Monday 27th August – miserable rainy weather Fresh and foul wind.

Tuesday 28th – dull gloomy weather with occasional showers all day. Fresh and nearly favourable breeze, with long heavy swell from NW – passed several sails – In the evening the weather cleared up and the wind drew more aft.

Wednesday 29th – beautiful weather – fresh and favourable breeze – In sight of the coast of Portugal weathered Cape Finisterre at 3 P.M.

Thursday 30th – very fine weather. Moderate and favourable breeze.

Friday 31st – very pleasant weather. Fresh and favourable breeze.

Saturday 1st Sept.r – beautiful weather. Moderate and favourable breeze.

Sunday 2d – very hot weather – calm all day – towards evening light and foul breeze.

Monday 3d – fine weather – foul wind.

Tuesday 4th – fine weather – foul wind.

Wednesday 5th – saw Madeira and the Desertas this morning Beautiful weather – had calms & variable winds all day. At 8 P.M. we were abreast of the Desertas lay to all night.

Read on …