Week 1

I Hebdomade

On Saturday 5th July 1834 – we left Falmouth Harbour at 12.30 P.M. The weather in the morning and during the day was fine ~ but at night became cloudy attended with rain. The wind favoured us till 8 P.M. ~ at which time it changed to a foul quarter.

Sunday 6th – cloudy morning – fine day. Foul wind. At 1 P.M. spoke the Plover Packet from Mexico.

Monday 7th – very variable weather – foul wind during the day – More favourable at night.

Tuesday 8th – fine weather. Wind foul during the forenoon – favourable in the afternoon. Calm at night.

Wednesday 9th – cloudy but fair weather with very fresh and favourable breeze, during the day – Cloudy weather with drizzling rain and foul wind at night.

Thursday 10th July – very fine weather. Foul wind.

Friday 11th – very strong breezes, blowing half a gale, with very heavy sea from the SW. Thick cloudy weather but fair. At 3 P.M. a smart shower suddenly shifted the wind to NW accompanied with clear weather.Saturday 12 – fine weather – fresh but foul wind – heavy sea.

I Hebdomidal Period

Behold me then, once more afloat in the Old Duke to which, by the bye I feel an attachment which I never expected to experience to any thing inanimate, simply because you know such objects are incapable of understanding sympathy for sympathy or feeling for feeling. I was not aware of the existence within me of the Amor Navis, till the probability was held out of quitting her for ever. Then I used to be very sorrowful, and the memory of past days so pleasantly spent in her rose to my view. Every thing within her – her ropes – her spars & sails suddenly became dear to me. They had been so long within my sight – I had gazed & meditated secured by them from storms & tempests – in short they were associated inseparably with a host of feelings and emotions, that to part with them for ever seemed such a cruel pang to bear. In proportion to my regret at the probability of such an event, so was my joy when I found that yet for a little time more, I should still be born to foreign shores in the much loved ship.

No doubt it was a great drawback upon my satisfaction that my old Commander and fellow Officers were not to accompany me – and to these I was bound by the ties of long companionship and daily intercourse. But if any thing could make amends for this serious loss, it was the appointment of a New Commander, whom all united to praise, as the possessor of every pleasing quality, calculated to make the Officers under him comfortable and happy – and likewise of a Master, whom I felt very much disposed to like, even upon the short acquaintance I had with him, previous to our sailing on this voyage.

From the various causes, to which in my Journal of last voyage, our stay in Falmouth, instead of being limited to a fortnight, was extended to nine weeks. During that period I lived very comfortably and was beginning to like the shore more than one ought, who has the prospect of soon proceeding to sea. However by the end of that time, I was quite prepared, and on our sailing day Saturday 5th July, all my traps were on board except a few trifling articles, which I was obliged to have with me to the last moment.

I had proposed to be on board by 8 A.M. – but having some indispensable business to transact at the Cornish Naval Bank, which did not open till 10 A.M., I was unable to start for our Packet, until half an hour beyond that time.

When I came on board, I found myself in very good time, as we did not leave the Harbour, until 12.30 P.M. Every thing was in nice order – there was no bustle – no hurry scurry – but all were able to attend to manoeuvring the ship. The weather at this time was very fine, and after one or two tacks, we clear the Harbour, & bodily stretched out in to the Channel with a favouring breeze. We had every prospect during the day, of leaving Scilly behind us ere next morn – but at 8 P.M. with cloudy weather, the wind blew strong & foul.

It is to be observed that in proceeding to Halifax at this season of the year, experience has lead us to expect a long passage out, from the prevalence of light breezes – calms – & foul winds. The wind nine months out of the 12 blows from the Westward – consequently if you have prospect of a tedious outward bound passage, you have contrariwise the probability of a speedy return home, both being from the same causes.

At the end of this our first week we cannot complain. The foul wind we have had we anticipated, & really the tolerable proportion of fair winds might well be considered a boon to us. In general the winds have been more than moderate in force and on two days in particular, we have had it blowing half a gale from SW with heavy sea – indeed quite a summers gale. We have only had one calm, of a few hours continuance – so that in summing up the amount of our progress in miles in our weekly account, we are credited with a larger proportion, than we could have reasonably expected.

As has been our wind, so has been our weather viz. very variable. A day or two of really fine weather have fallen to our lot – but in general the weather has been cloudy, with occasional slight rain. What you will be rather surprised at in this very hot month, – the hottest of the year – all of us have actually been frequently complaining of the cold, & have again been obliged to have recourse to great coats – boots – & worsted stockings.

Read on …