Week 2

Commencement of 2.d  week

Sunday 13th July – fine weather – Wind fresh and dead-on-end.

Monday 14th – fine weather. Very light and foul wind. In the afternoon nearly a calm.

Tuesday 15th – nearly a calm all last night, and to day till 2 P.M. when a light and favourable breeze sprung up. Fine weather.

Wednesday 16th July – very fine weather. Moderate and favourable breeze – sometimes inclined to draw forwards a little but again coming aft.

Thursday 17th – cloudy weather. Fresh and favourable breeze.

Friday 18th – glorious weather p Moderate and favourable breeze.

Saturday 19th – delightful weather. Very light and favourable breeze – fell calm at night. Today exchanged colours with a Dutch ship and caught a porpoise.

II Hebdomidal Period

This week has been all we could wish and more that we could have expected. With the exception of Sunday and Monday, when the wind was foul, on all the other days we have had a favourable breeze, variable in strength – sometimes fresh – sometimes light and at other times nearly a calm. To our surprise and unexpected gratification – the wind, after hovering from NW to SW & from SW to NW, at last settled into NE – afterwards coming round – gradually blew at East, and finally at SE. Now, when every mile of a fair wind is a mile gained, we have benefited largely by our good fortune, and at the termination of this our second Hebdomade, we have featly accomplished one half of our distance to Halifax, being enabled to pursue our course, nearly in a straight line. We cannot expect this to last long – it is too good and may be considered a reverse of the established order of things. Even now while I write the wind seems on the eve of change by inclining to the Southward, with every appearance of a Westerly wind. Should the wind hang on to the SW we shall be all right.

If we have had reason to rejoice at the unlooked for circumstance of a fair wind, much more have we to rejoice and be glad in the enjoyment of fine weather. A single day excepted (& even that was not bad), we have been visited with a wonderful succession of fine weather. To apply the term of fine weather to the three last days of this week would but faintly convey an idea of the glorious, the heavenly weather which then prevailed – so cool – so sun-shiny – the heavens clear as a bell, without a cloud & the sea smooth and equable as the surface of a mill pond, which is gently rippled by the mild Zephyrs.

Every thing and every body on board are in the most comfortable order. The work of the ship has been carried in the utmost harmony, and when the labours of the day are gone by, all hands come upon deck, to recreate themselves with a little harmless amusement, and many a hearty laugh betokens a heart at ease and ready disposition to be pleased.

Much business has been done this week – both useful and ornamental. Our present Master keeps all alive and attentive to their duties – and that in such a way, that altho’ he is sufficiently peremptory, the men set about whatever they are ordered to do, with alacrity and spirit. I have said that ornament has been studied as well as utility – and so it has been. One who knew our old craft well before, would hardly recognise her as the same now. The Gig has been painted and dandified in Capital style – flags and pendants have been neatly painted on … [space left blank] and by this means an air of smartness has been imparted, where before nothing but dull uniformity & sameness prevailed before. Other attentions and improvements are contemplated – for alteration & change or transmogrification is the order of the day – and when all that is intended is completed, the Old Duke will look better by far than ever she did, since she became a unit of the Post Office establishment.

Now all this has and will be accomplished, simply thro’ the good understanding which subsists between the Master and Commander and the liberal spirits which actuates the latter in every point that relates to the safety, comfort and improvement of the ship. It is not here meant by hectoring such high praise on the present administration to cast reflections on the late one – especially on the late Master. He it was known could not possibly have acted as M.r Pasko has done – for the very plain and simple reason that he had not the power to do it. M.r Snell, from various causes, could not be so liberal in his expenditure on the ship, as probably he would have wished – and consequently as all alterations would have been attended with expense, which he could ill afford, the necessary alterations remained unaffected. To do only what was absolutely called for, by considerations involving the safety of the ship, seemed to be the only things to be done. Whatever was connected with ornament or might be attended with effect was left undone. Hence the difference, and since I am very well pleased to see my old ship titivated up a little, and looking youthful and smart, as if she had just come off the stocks & was preparing for her maiden voyage.

Read on …