Commencement of III Week
Sunday 20th July – fine weather. Fresh and favourable breeze.
Monday 21st July – cloudy weather. At 7 this morning a shower of heavy rain having fallen, the wind shifted from S & Westward to N & Eastward – of course still favourable.
Tuesday 22d – glorious weather. Moderate and variable breeze – always favourable, being from NE to SE and South.
Wednesday 23d July – moderate and favourable wind. Cloudy but pleasant weather – and fair with the exception of one smart shower.
Thursday 24th – fresh and favourable breeze all last night – same to day. Weather fine with a slight haze on the horizon.
Friday 25th – very thick foggy weather – Fresh and favourable breeze. At 6.30 P.M. sounded on the Banks of Newfoundland – 25 fathoms – Cold, very cold.
Saturday 26th – fine clear weather – still on the Banks – Moderate but foul wind –saw a vessel at anchor fishing – sounded at 11 A.M. – found 40 fathoms.
Remarks of III Hebdomadal Period
Our fears that at the commencement of this week we should have a change of wind against us, were happily vain. The wind indeed has been unusually steady – more so in respect to particular quarters than during last week. Saturday is the sole exception to our having a fair wind. We have never been so fortunate in any previous Halifax voyage – and we hope to arrive at our port of destination in 28 or 30 days if not in less – whereas the average length of the passage out from England is 35 or 40 days.
The weather too has been very satisfactory. Throughout the week it has been in general fine. We had one day of glorious brilliance and delightfulness – as a contrast we have been visited for 24 hours, with thick dense fog, which wetted you in 10 minutes thro’ and thro, and circumsailed [sic] your view to a few yards in advance of your bows. The cold then was not so intense as it was penetrating and I was obliged to upship my light summer toggery and to bend on my winter gear – not I felt the latter too warm – say rather hardly warm enough. This was on Friday 25th – and at 6.30 of that day, we lay to and sounded – finding ground at 25 fathoms, and thereby knowing that we were now on the Great Banks of Newfoundland.
Late as the hour was when we sounded, the men were all activity in taking advantage of the opportunity afforded them by the heaving the lead, for letting down their lines. For some little time no success rewarded them. At last one got a pull and another had a pull, till we had 7 very fine Cod fish on deck – when finding that the vessel drifted much & no more were caught, the order was given to haul in the lines and to fill the foretopsail & topgallantsail. Which being done we wended on our way.
Next day, the weather was what we had not at all anticipated, very fine for in general a dense foggy atmosphere always hovers over these Banks. Hence we were enabled to look far around us, & observe the light blue colour of the water, which plainly indicated that we were in soundings.
Some way ahead of us is a vessel at anchor engaged in fishing. I pity those much who follow such an occupation here. Here they are for a considerable period amidst almost perpetual fog – almost always wet& cold – exposed to the fury of such gales as may arise, and to the danger of being run over and capsized by a vessel even in the day time, and still more during the night. The fishing vessels are generally small – of the class of Schooners – many of them French. I believe their men seldom are kept in pay – but receive each a share proportionate to his rank – so that their gains depend entirely on their success and the state of markets , that is whether the demand be dull or lively.