Weeks 18 – 20

Sunday 23d March – very fine weather. Moderate & favourable breeze.

Monday 24th – change of wind from WSW to N by W up soon after to NNE – at night nearly a calm – fine weather, very cold.

Tuesday 25th – calm all day – very light & foul winds at night – fine w.r rather coolish.

Wednesday 26th – very fine weather – very light & variable breeze – nearly a calm.

Thursday 27th – very fine weather – light & favourable breeze.

Friday 28th – very fine weather. Moderate & favourable wind.

Sat.y 29th – rainy weather with a moderate & favourable breeze from the Westward, intil 11 A.M. when a heavy shower descending, the wind shifted to N & E – foul for us – & was attended with dry w.r

XVIII Hebdomade. We have been sadly out in our calculation of the expected result of this weeks progress – Instead of being 2 or 300 miles beyond the Azores, which we had confidently anticipated, we are in sad reality more than that distance from them. Either the wind has been strong & foul, or very light & favourable – in fact nearly a calm. And thus by going so much to the Southward, we have certainly obtained very fine weather almost every day, but then again we have got involved among winds by no means calculated to send us to our Port very speedily. I an persuaded that if we had taken the Northern passage, altho’ we might have experienced, cold, fogs, & rain, we should have had no want of wind & that favourable & perhaps by this time we should have been riding at anchor in Falmouth Harbour.

XIX Week

Sunday 30th March – fine weather – fresh and foul wind – very much sea – at 5 P.M. wind nearly favourable.

Monday 31st – fine weather. Moderate and favourable breeze.

Tuesday 1st April – fresh and favourable breeze – very fine & very cold weather.

Wednesday 2nd – wind light and favourable in the forenoon. At 11 A.M. it drew forward to East – moderate, with considerable swell.

Thursday 3rd – fine weather – foul wind at E by South.

Friday 4th – foul, foul wind – fine weather during the day – cloudy with slight rain at night.

Saturday 5th – cloudy weather with foul wind till 4 P.M. when the wind changed to our favour but seemed inclinable to calm. At 8 light breezes & nearly favourable.

Summary of XIX Hebdomade. The balance of the winds this week has been greatly against us. Those in our favour have been few, and insignificant in force, whilst those contrary to us have been frequent & strong, with the additional disadvantage of a heavy head swell, which drove us to leeward, & impeded very considerably our advance forwards.

In the present advanced stage of our voyage, these circumstances have been most sensibly felt & acknowledged by us all. We belonging to the Ship are anxious to the determination of a long period of absence – our passengers, lovers of & accustomed to terra firma, long to put an end to the ennuye, which so much harasses them. In this point we both agree, that a speedy arrival in our destined port is greatly to be desiderated. What gives additional point to our chagrin is, that we have been so deceived in our reasonable expectations of meeting with Westerly Winds – instead of which we have had nothing but SE – SSE & Easterly Winds, with a steady cold sky, as if it would last for a month or 6 weeks. There is still another cause of disquiet to us & more especially top our Skipper, viz the low condition of our live stock, we having at the end of this week, but 3 sheep – 1 pig & 30 poultry to supply about 22 mouths, who daily receive fresh provisions. All these will scarcely suffice for 9 or 10 days – & after that, if we are still at sea, our 3 goats & a large Newfoundland dog, must go – & all be put upon short allowance of salt beef, pork & peas – Unless we fall in with some vessels outward bound & procure a replenishment. We therefore very naturally are anxious for a fair wind, by the ad of which we may still hope to reach Falmouth in a week or 10 days.

Situated as we have been, we have not sufficiently enjoyed the fine weather we have had – because we have connected it with the foul wind – & we often longed for the worst weather, if accompanied by a favourable change of wind. The cold has been severely felt by all. Altho’ the Thermometer is at 56 or 58 which is temperate in England, we are glad to have resort to great coats & cloaks to keep out the chilly atmosphere. For my own part, I am obliged for the first time these 4 months to shut my cabin window – & notwithstanding this, I am sometimes awakened by the cold, in spite of two thick blankets, & a large counterpane. You will readily judge that this cold is not actual but relative to the state of our bodies & the very different temperature of the climate we have so lately left. If we had been leaving England, we should have said that the air was delightfully temperate, neither too cold nor too warm – but as it is – our opinion of it is very different.

Sunday 6th April – cloudy weather – Foul wind, not steady during the day – a trifle more favourable at night.

Monday 7th – cloudy weather with occasional slight rain. Fresh & foul wind

Tuesday 8th – cloudy weather – foul & fresh wind, which obliges us to go to the Northward.

Wednesday 9th – variable weather – generally fine. Still foul, foul wind & heavy sea.

Thursday 10th – fine weather – & light foul wind, till 3 P.M. when it came cloudy – the sea rose high – & the wind blew strong and foul.

Friday 11th – very fresh and foul wind. Cloudy weather. Spoke the Eliza of Greenock, out 4 days, bound for Picton.

Saturday 12th – cloudy weather & very fresh & foul wind.

Observations on XXth Hebdomade. This beyond all comparison has been the most trying week to us. At its termination, we were farther away from Falmouth, than at its commencement. The wind has been unremittingly foul, generally at SSE – and altho’ we have been steering by the Compass due East, still with[in] two points and a half of variation against – with a strong NW current – and by the heavy sea driving us bodily to leeward – we have made each [day] – much Northing which we did not want, & little Easting which we were anxious to have. It is a general rule amongst Navigators, steering for the English Channel, not to pass to the Northward beyond 48 or 49 degrees – in order to be enabled to take advantage of any change of wind – But not only did we exceed this accustomed degree, but we went to the Northward of Cape Clear in Ireland, next to the Northward of all Ireland & if we had continued to go on the same tack we could hardly have fetched Iceland itself, from which we were only 8 degrees or 480 miles distant. To this we have been drawn gradually on by the wind. As we got to the Northward, it drew more and more to the Southward, thereby rendering it advisable for us to go upon the [other] tack, than to continue on the one we are on at present.

It is said that it never rains but it pours – So it is with us. The foul wind we have experienced is one calamity – & in its train it brings many others. As if in correspondence with our feelings, the weather throughout has been cloudy & dull – or murky – with a feeling of great cold. Seldom has the sun shown his face but kept it veiled, as if in sorrow for us – Dampness & we have been well acquainted & comfort has been quite a stranger, so that we shall hardly know her as an old friend – when again we meet her.

All these however are petty evils, unworthy to be complained of by a philosopher – & even by us they might have been borne without much murmuring, altho’ we are no philosophers – but then our Stock was getting dreadfully low, low, whilst there was no prospect of a change of wind, or likelihood of procuring an immediate supply, since the wind would not permit us to reach any Christian place within any reasonable distance. On Saturday our last sheep submitted to the knife – No pigs have we besides – & only 6 or 8 of poultry. The three goats & the dog I mentioned are still to the fore, as a stand bye, & and with regard to these, the Skipper on expressing our repugnance to, or prejudice against eating them, has been these three or four days, endeavouring to prove to us that their flesh is equal to the finest venison – Credat Sulaeus – If venison were no better than that, I should not care if I never tried it in my lifetime. I never knew before an occasion, on which I could thank God I had little or no appetite. But this is one where inappetite is a blessing – and a pretty considerable share of that blessing I have at present. All the officers of the ship have made it a rule not to partake of the fresh meat, in order that our passengers (most of whom, heaven bless the mark, have glorious appetites sharpened most probably by the cold) may enjoy it, as they have paid for it. Hence I have never yet eat [sic] so many pies, made with potatoes & ship’s beef soaked in water to take out the salt, since I have lived afloat. I don’t think much of the matter – & I console myself with this that if I mangey a wee bit of the good meat, I have a right to a double share of the still preferable plum pudding which regularly appears on the table every other day. All things are for the best & so I rest me contented.

This week we have passed several vessels steering with a fair wind to the Westward. One of these only we spoke. We found her to be the Eliza of Greenock, out 4 days from that port & bound to Picton. It was rather annoying to witness so many wending their way so merrily, & making good progress – and one day the Skipper, by way of joke [said] – Hang these Scotchmen; they have a fair wind –  to which I said – Hurrah – hurrah – for the Scotsmen, they have a fair wind – they have the weather gage, or the laughing side of the Englishmen – huzza – huzza. Scotland for ever ! ! ! !

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