Leave Port Royal – land Mail at Crooked Isl.d
Saturday 17th – October Early this morning we weighed anchor from Port Royal – but by night we had advanced only as far as the Yallas. Weather fine.
Sunday 18th – calm all the morning – in the afternoon a fresh breeze sprung up, which enabled us to tack about from the shore – fine weather.
Monday 19th – fine weather and moderate breezes.
Tuesday 20th – fine weather and moderate breezes – heavy squalls at night.
Wednesday 21st – fine weather and moderate breezes, still in sight of Jamaica.
Thursday 22nd – this morning Domingo and Navaza (which is a small uninhabited island) in sight.
Friday 23rd – fine weather – wind unfavourable – sometimes a calm – off Cape Tuberon in S.t Domingo.
Saturday 24th – fine weather and strong breezes.
Sunday 25th – d.o d.o
Monday 26th – Tuesday 27th – Wednesday 28th [&] Thursday 29th – we have had very fine weather, but wind generally unfavourable during these four days – we saw the islands of Cuba, of Tobago, and the greater Inague.
Friday 30th – fine weather and favourable breeze.
Land at Crooked Island
Saturday 31st – fine weather – fresh breezes. In the morning saw Castle Island and Fortune island, upon which our vessel struck last voyage she made to Jamaica, and at 12 A.M. landed with M.r Geach on Crooked Island. Had I not been anxious to go on shore, the immense Swell of the sea and the heavy surf on the beach would otherwise have deterred me. As it was, I soon became completely wet from the waves dashing over us while at the same time, our hands were obliged to be constantly bailing, as the water came in rapid thro’ large seams in the boat. When we approached the beach, we put the gig stern foremost and thus by presenting her sharp bows to the advancing billows, their force was cut as it were and in this manner we eventually succeeded in landing. We found a young man waiting for us, who conducted us to the house of his Uncle, a M.r Moss, whom we found to be a very pleasant old gentleman & somewhat eccentric withal. He had lived upwards of 30 years on the island and, had scarcely had a days illness. He set himself up as the Insular Doctor and talked very learnedly and I must say sagaciously on Medical subjects, the knowledge of which he had picked up from Buchari. He is looked upon by the very few inhabitants of the Island, as the patriarch, or father and none incline to dispute his decision. He shewed himself very attentive to me, which I probably owed my profession & partly to my country, for he is a Scotchman to.
After partaking of refreshments at his house, we proceeded with the mail to the Post Office – which is a small building on an eminence lying about 3 miles from the shore. The road to is most abominable, being stony, irregular, and traversed in several parts by pieces of water, ankle deep. The walk however was not unattended with advantage, since we saw better the nature of the island. It is essentially stony, with but little soil – and the Guinea Corn, which we saw in great quantities seemed to be thriving very well. There is also a great deal of wood, some of it very valuable. But after all, no man would ever think of coming here to make his fortune – if he were tired of the world and wished to be remote from all society, the situation is admirable. I have been told, that at one time even larger fortunes could be made – but then the honesty of the means was very questionable.
In gales of wind & thro’ the ignorance of those who navigated them many unfortunate vessels have been totally lost and the crew` drowned. When such an event happened, the inhabitants of Crooked Island used to take to their boats and seize what they could from the devouring ocean, which in their opinion became their lawful prize, and was appropriated to their use without any scruple or misgivings. Thus many became possessed of considerable property – but now there is a person appointed to look after the Cargoes of wrecked vessels.
At ½ past 4 we returned on board by which time the fresh breeze had nearly failed us and we made slow progress
Sunday 1st November – morning rainy and day fine – moderate breezes.
Monday 2nd – weather variable – fresh breezes.
Tuesday 3rd – fine weather and favourable breeze
Wednesday 4th – wind unfavourable – Weather Cloudy with much rain.
Thursday 5th – pleasant by cloudy weather – wind unfavourable.
Friday 6th – wind nearly favourable – weather pleasant – at night much rain.
Saturday 7th – fine weather – fresh and favourable wind.
Sunday 8th – fine weather but cold – wind very fresh and favourable.
Monday 9th – fine weather – wind moderate.
Tuesday 10th November – fine weather and very strong and favourable breezes.
Wednesday 11th – gale of wind during the night – much clouds and rain in the morning, wind favourable and fresh.
Thursday 12th – fine cold weather and favourable breeze.
Friday 13th – d.o
Saturday 14th – fine weather – wind unfavourable.
Sunday 15th – variable weather – wind shifting but favourable.
Monday 16th – weather cloudy with rain – wind foul.
Tuesday 17th – fine cold bracing weather – wind unfavourable in the forenoon but favourable in the afternoon.
Wednesday 18th – fine weather and favourable breeze.
Thursday 19th – thick foggy weather – favourable breeze.
Friday 20th – d.o d.o
Saturday 21st – beautiful weather in the morning and cloudy in the afternoon – wind favourable.
Sunday 22nd – w.r variable – wind favourable.
Monday 23rd – squally weather, with rain & hail – very fresh unfavourable breeze.
Tuesday 24th – d.o d.o
Wednesday 25th – squally and cloudy W.r – foul wind.
Thursday 26th – squally W.r – wind foul in the morning but favourable in the afternoon.
Friday 27th – fine clear day – night cloudy and squally – wind not very favourable.
Saturday 28th – fine weather – fair wind.
Sunday 29th – weather variable – strong and favourable breezes.
Monday 30th – fine W.r and favourable breezes.
[three day break in entries in the original Journal]
Read on … Passengers