With light and baffling winds, alternating with calms, we saw the old year approach its end and up to its latest hour nothing gave us any indications that the new year would commence under more favourable auspices. About half past 12 however, the breeze struck up from the right quarter, at first gentle and dying as the expirations of a timid reign, but soon forcible & strong as the voice of the leather-lunged hero giving the word of command to his soldiers amid the uproar of battle. From that time throughout the remainder of the week it blew fresh and fair – and on Saturday 4th exhibited no sign of diminution – on the contrary it seemed to be on the increase.
The weather was all we could wish – fine to a degree and delightfully attempered by our new years gift of a North Easter.
Wednesday 1st Jan.ry 1834 – as New Years day recalled to my recollection scenes of olden times, when hope was young and the cares & harassments of the world were yet unknown, in which my relations and friends were intimately associated with my pleasures and my sorrows. With all my heart and soul I wished them all many happy returns of the season & breathed a prayer that I might yet once more behold their faces & hear their loved voice in my dear native land.
In England this season is comparatively little regarded and beyond an occasional expression of health & happiness to a particular friend, no traces are to be discovered in everyday life that a New period of time has begun its course. As to myself in order to mark out the day, I had some shortbread made according to your receipt, & tho’ vastly inferior to yours at home, I eat it with much pleasure in remembrance of Auld Langsyne.
On Friday 3rd – We made the Island of Deseada, which you may remember I mentioned to be the next landfall usually made after leaving Madeira by the Packets bound to S.t Domingo. We also saw Guadeloupe and Montserrat – but not Antigua owing to the haziness of the atmosphere.
Saturday 4th January – very fresh and favourable breeze. Fine weather.
Sunday 5th – fine weather. Fresh and favourable breeze.
Monday 6th – fine weather. Fresh and favourable breeze. At 5.30 P.M. saw Alta Vela – at 9.40 P.M. abreast of it.
Tuesday 7th – fine weather – becalmed all day in sight of the entrance to Jacqmel. Left Packet at 4 P.M. and landed at 6.40. Returned on board at 10 P.M. and set sail for Jamaica with a very moderate land breeze.
Wednesday 8th – fine weather – moderate and favourable breeze. In sight of S.t Domingo all day.
Thursday 9th – fine weather – Moderate & favourable breeze. Made the East End of Jamaica at 1 p.m. At 5 P.M. sailing along shore, with the Yallahs point ahead – At 8 lay to till day light.
Friday 10th January – fresh sea breeze all night. At day light made sail. At 8.30 came to anchor at Port Royal – difficult to obtain Pratique. At 2 P.M. admitted to Pratique. Remained on board all day. Found laying here the following ships of war The Vernon – The Tweed – The Fly – The Larne – The Magnificent – The Racer.
Saturday 11th – fine weather – went to Kingston – bother about bill of health.