Saturday 7th February 1835 – there being only one Mail to make, to day and that ours, we left the Harbour at 10 A.M. Gloomy weather. Fresh and foul wind.
Sunday 8th – squally weather. Fresh and foul wind – heavy sea.
Monday 9th – this morning at 3 passed Ushant at 8 or 10 Miles off. T’was touch and go with us. We were obliged to carry a heavy press of sail in order to be able to weather it, otherwise we should have gone on shore. Wind during the day nearly favourable & more moderate. Cloudy weather with heavy sea.
Tuesday 10th – cloudy weather. Fresh and favourable breeze, with heavy swell from NW.
Wednesday 11th – cloudy weather with one or two light showers. Light variable winds from N & E all day.
Thursday 12th – cloudy weather. Wind moderate & nearly favourable, till 3 P.M. when the weather became showery and the wind fresh and favourable.
Friday 13th – light variable winds, mostly favourable. Cloudy but very pleasant weather.
Saturday 14th – up to Noon. Light favourable breezes. Very fine weather.
Now we are again launched upon the deep, to encounter, as we expect, the most severe weather and the most bitter cold. We consider ourselves as having been very unfortunate in coming in for a Halifax trip at this season, especially as we have been there so very lately, and as it is likely that this will be the last voyage of the Old Duke.
But after all, every thing is ordered for the best, and if we were allowed to carve out our own outgoings and incomings, we should prove ourselves regardless of the justice due to others and selfish in the highest degree.
About a week after we came in six of our hands left us, three of whom had been several years on the ship, and the other three only one or two voyages. I hardly see an old face among the whole ships company. I do not love to see new & strange faces. You have to find out their character & for a long time you must study them in order to judge whether you will like them or not.
I do not exactly know the various reasons which influenced our late shipmates to leave. Some allege one & some another. As this is likely to be the last voyage, & that considered a severe one, they perhaps thought it not worth while to remain – while they might join a vessel going to the Southwards. If so, I consider their conduct to have been exceedingly unhandsome, and like that of persons who stand by a friend only so long as they can make their advantage of them, but leave him to his fate, when all hope of deriving good from him is lost. I have also heard it said that our old Boatswain who was the first to leave, and who persuaded the rest to follow his example, had dreamed a dream – and in consequence had acted as he did. But of the truth of this I am not certain – only this I know that he is superstitious and inclined to place confidence in omens, auguries & dreams.
One week has now passed over our heads at sea, and the weather we have had has agreeably disappointed us in the main. For the first three days we had strong blowing weather & heavy sea, which, considering we were in the Channel, kept us in much anxiety. On Monday morning we passed so close to Ushant, that tho’ it blew se very strong, we were obliged to carry a press of canvas to be able to weather. Had we not done so, we should most certainly have gone ashore – so says our worthy Master M.r Pascoe. After that we went on very comfortably. We have generally had favourable breezes and cloudy but pleasant weather – really very unexpected at this season of the season. The winds have been in general very light, with now and then a pretty considerable puff. The Thermometer has been on the average at 54* – Maximum 51* – Minimum 46*
Saturday 14th Feb..ry from Noon – beautiful weather. Light variable winds now foul now fair.
Sunday 15th – fine weather. Light and foul wind.
Monday 16th – light and foul wind – Foggy weather at times clearing up fine.
Tuesday 17th – cloudy weather. During the day, wind moderate and foul – at night very strong and foul.
Wednesday 18th – most beautiful weather. Fresh and foul wind during the day – moderate at night with heavy rolling swell.
Thursday 19th – moderate Gales of foul wind. Cloudy but fair weather.
Friday 20th – cloudy weather with strong gales in the morning – very fine day and more moderate – still heavy sea.
Saturday 21st up to Noon – wind fresh & foul – hoping for a change. Cloudy weather.
That we have had foul winds the whole of this week is a circumstance on which we had calculated. At the commencement the wind was very light and the weather was delightful. For the three last days we have been visited by rather moderate gales and a high sea. We consider ourselves as in tolerably good luck not to have experienced worse or more bad weather than we have. As yet we have felt no cold – or rather we find the air too warm. The stove we brought with us from England after being lighted for a day or two & being found rather a nuisance than a benefit, has since been disused – but still remains in its place as a memento to remind us of the cold weather we have yet to expect.
Our way of being is very dull – but not more than it would be on any similar occasion when we have no passengers. Time sometimes seems to have stopped, on purpose to tantalise us, so slow in our imagination is its progress. The times for quib [quil ?] are glad specks in our diurnal history and serve as the point from which we set out, or mark the precise time when such an event happened. However as the woman in the story, said of the eels she was skinning I am used to it – and as I expected such a thing, I have recourse to various expedients to while away the lagging hours.
We are in hopes of soon getting a favourable change of winds – of [which] there is some prospect – & we wish it the more in order to be able to be able to get to the Westward of the Azores – a great point with all Navigators bound to the Coast of North America. Thermometer 54 to 60.