Weeks 8 & 9

Commencement of 8th Week

Sunday 24th August – foggy weather and favourable breeze. Spoke the Brig Zephyr from S.t Andrew’s in the Bay of Fundy, out 28 days, bound to Cork. We heard her bell striking long before we saw, nor did we see, until she was close aboard of us.

Monday 25th August – thick foggy weather. Moderate and favourable breeze 0 much rain at night.

Tuesday 26th – cloudy weather. Fresh and favourable breeze.

Wednesday 27th – cloudy weather with occasional showers, & slight. Fresh and favourable breeze.

Thursday 28th – cloudy but fair weather – very fresh and favourable breeze.

Friday 29th – very variable weather – with frequent squalls, accompanied with slight rain, high tumbling sea – Smart gale of wind from WNW.

Saturday 30th – variable squally weather – breeze still very fresh and favourable – not so violent as yesterday.

Summary of VIII Hebdomade

Who says we are not lucky fellows? What could we wish for more than the fresh and favouring breezes, which have followed us during the whole week, and shortened out distance from England by 1,100 miles. Our good fortune, as often happens came quite unexpected. ‘Tis true we anticipated favourable winds, but we judged that at this season of the year, they would [be] light and moderate. Instead of that for the last three or four days the wind has blown a gale from the NNW, and kicked up such a bobbery in the sea, that I could get no rest and worse still occasioned such a strain in the ship, that her old timbers opened, and admitted the briny sea in sundry places in my little domicile, concurring, as much as the motion itself to murder sleeps. I faicks I must confess, I would much rather be a day or two longer on the passage, than gain our port so soon as we are likely to, as under such cruel auspices. But remember however I say this, because our voyage has been so short, only 8 weeks out at the end of this week. Had we been returning from a 29 weeks voyage from Buenos Ayres my sentiments would have been very different.

You will judge perhaps that, if we had strong gales, we had fine weather, to counterbalance them. No such thing. The two first days were thick foggy & murky ~ the best of the others very cloudy and the worst, squally with frequent showers.

On Sunday we spoke the Brig Zephyr from S.t Andrews in the Bay of Fundy, out 28 days and bound to Cork. I have said we had thick foggy weather. We were all at divine service, and were drawing near the conclusion of the service, when the clear sound of a ships bell struck upon our ear, as if close at hand. A pause took place in the service. One hand was ordered forward to sound our bell in answer, and see if he could rout where the vessel has. He tolled the bell, which was repeated again by the stranger – but the man could discern nothing, so impenetrable was the mist beyond a very short distance.

The Commander, under these circumstances hastily concluded the service and left us all free, each to exercise to the utmost his powers of seeing. For some time in vain – altho the vessel could not be far off from the distinctness with which we heard her bell. At last on called out there she is, there she is. I looked in the direction pointed and believed that the man was mistaken. After regarding the place attentively I then thought he was correct. But what he directed our attention to was not at all like a ship. It seemed a spot, of rather indefinite dimensions, rather darker than the surrounding mist. Regarding this very attentively, the dark appearance became more & more precise – still no sign of a ship. And one could hardly credit that this could be a ship even of the largest class. It appeared to us very very high and in circumference to exceed half a dozen ordinary sized vessels. And yet this was a very small brig ~ much less than our own. In a very [short] time her size appeared to diminish and so continually, until when with[in] a few yards of us, she was seen in her natural dimensions. I though then if such a small craft loomed so large in the fog, how tremendous and terrific must be the sight of a line-of-battle ship, advancing towards you, like a vast spectre towering to the heavens, and embracing a span in circuit which would seem to leave you no space to escape from being reduced to atoms. As one we had been late in seeing, so we soon lost sight of our short acquaintance the Zephyr.

Commencing the 9th Week

Sunday 31st August – very fine weather. Fresh and favourable breeze. At 2.30 P.M. made the Island of Scilly. At 10 made the Lizard.

Monday 1st Sept.r – at 1 a.m. came to anchor in Falmouth Harbour. At 8 a.m. the Steamer Sir Francis Drake came alongside of our vessel and received on board Capt.n Marshall’s luggage for Plymouth. As  soon as all was on board she left us carrying with her Capt.n Marshall & family consisting of his wife, 2 very young children (Anthony aged 5 years and Gregory two years) and a servant called Anne.

Captain Marshall belonged to the Royal Engineers. He was six [feet] high with a military air. He had served 3 years in the Peninsular and had been twice wounded, once very severely thro’ the thigh. I found him a very pleasant sensible fellow, with a strong religious tendency, but which he never unnecessarily intruded to common notice.

His lady M.rs Marshall was a very agreeable woman, with no great pretensions to beauty. She was very short sighted and always wore glasses. She also was a strict follower of the Baptist persuasion ~ but she was not sad or severe like some who considered religion calculated to make one sad and downhearted. The only fault which I could perceive her liable to be charged with, was overindulgence to her children. These she never chastised or ever reproved and the consequence was that they were the most disagreeable, noisy, yelling brats which it has yet been my fortune to sail with.

~~ Finis ~

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