Weeks 16 – 17

Wednesday 12th – fine weather. Fresh and favourable breeze.

Thursday 13th – fine weather. Fresh and favourable breeze.

Friday 14th – fine weather. Moderate but foul breeze.

Saturday 15th – cloudy weather. Fresh & nearly favourable breeze.

XVI Week. The weather throughout this week has been generally very fine – but we have found it very cold, not so much from the actual low temperature, as from the direction of the wind, & the comparative difference between our present climate & that which we have left. Having now left the Gulf of Florida, we have been steering as much to the Eastward as possible & rather to the Southward than the Northward. The Captain wishing to make as good weather as possible, & in order also to avoid falling in with the icebergs, and furious gales, which prevail to the Northward, and accordingly on Friday 14th we passed the Bermudas, about 120 miles to the South.d Fortunately for the plan of our Skipper, the wind has, with only two exceptions, favoured us, so as to enable us to make almost a due east course. The wind has been all round the compass, never continuing long in one direction – at one time to our regret, at another to our great joy. In consequence of this sudden & violent changes, we have had much pitching & rolling, making our way against the heavy seas, which the wind, which had blown from the quarter we were steering, had caused to rise. On the whole we have been very comfortable – I mean in particular our passengers – as for us old hands, it makes little difference in our feelings which way the wind blows or what sort of weather we may have.

XVII Hebdomadal Period

Sunday 16th March – moderate and favourable breeze but variable in its direction – variable weather – frequent showers.

Monday 17th – dull gloomy w.r with rain & heavy sea – strong and foul NE wind.

Tuesday 18th – strong NE wind – foul – high sea – fine weather.

Wednesday 19th – fresh gales with heavy squalls – with occasional showers, the weather being otherwise fair. Wind favourable, did the high swell permit the vessel to steer her course.

Thursday 20th – variable weather, with frequent showers – frequent squalls from NW with very heavy sea.

Friday 21st March – cloudy, gloomy w.r attended with much rain. Fresher breezes from SW.

Sat.y 22nd – variable weather – generally fine – fresh and favourable breeze.

XVII Week. The sum total of the whole (vide Hume on popular arithmetic) week is in our favour – I mean in regard to the winds we have had, and the progress we have made. On Sunday 16 March the wind was moderate & favourable and we were beginning to found our home arrival calculations on its continuance. But lo for the next three days we had a regular NE – which was almost the point we wish to steer to – and by it we were compelled in order to make Easting to run to the Southward so far that we were once more within the limits of the Trades. We were almost in despair & our only consolation was to look forward to what the Equinox would bring us. Thursday 20th was ushered in with strong squalls from the NW – a fine wind _ & the day succeeding, being that on which the sun passed the Equator, we were equally fortunate in having a S Wester. With this aid we soon made up for leeway – & bagged, to use a sporting phrase, a good round number of additional miles. We were very well content to have met with these the Equinoxial gales – notwithstanding the inconveniences we had to submit to. What mattered it to me that I was nearly drowned at night by a half dozen leaks over my bed, thro’ which, it every sea which struck the side, the drops fell fast & furious, pop, popping now on my eyes – now on my nose – & ever & anon into my mouth; filling it with a most nauseous taste, worse than Glauber’s salts – & at the same time practically reminding me that I ought not to lye with my potato trap open to every visitor. What saved me, if we could not walk – or sit comfortably – or sleep at all – or be dry anywhere – or enjoy a moments bodily comfort, so long as we hastening to put a speedier period to our long peregrination. Roll on my old ship, said the Skipper one day at dinner, who cares – when lo away goes a trunk & hit him on the leg – an event which changed his temper & his tune. You are in a very bad hoacha observed the German to a Spaniard at the head of the table, while he fancied himself to be quite secure, when whack a hump of a sea struck the side – separated that part of the table against which my German friend rested & away went he & all his accompaniments to Jericho – Twas 2 no use to put on a clean table cloth – for in less than 10 minutes, what thro’ carelessness or unavoidable accident a very complex map of some unknown land would be drawn, without much attention to accurate outlines – & the various countries very well defined by here a mark of oil – there of peas soup – at this end by vinegar & at the other by mustard.

But all these and a thousand others were petty evils not to be compared to the pleasure of a fine dashing breeze – and therefore born with in a very different spirit from the very same, when we experienced them in a strong & foul N Easter.

Throughout this week the weather with only one or two exceptions most dolorous. Seldom has the sun shewn his face – clouds ever obscured his glories, & frequently descended from their elevation in slight showers or heavy pourings. But N’Imparta, give us still our fair winds – & let the weather be ever so bad, we shall not repine, being thankful that while we are labouring under very great bodily discomfort, we have a consolation to our mind sufficient to counterbalance it.

Read on …