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Here Ensign Best's Journal begins, without any heading, as his manuscript began on 26 June 1837, when he embarked on the James Pattison for New South Wales
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On Monday the 26th of June the Detachments of the 4th 28th 50th and 80th Regiments drafted as Guard of the Convict ship "James Pattison", mustered at the pump in Chatham Barracks at 1/2 past 12 oclock P.M. in heavy marching order. At that time I was in the Mess rom of the Provisional Battalion (of which I had been an "honorary member") settling my accounts & by the mess mans neglect was detained untill the Detacht had left the Parade ground, but overtook them before they had passed the "Sally Port". We marched to Gravesend where we embarked on board a lighter and reached the ship at Deptford at 1/2 past 8 the same evening. On coming along side we found that we were not expected untill the next morning & consequently no preparations had been made to recieve us. No alternative was left but to spend the night in the lighter or to make the best of it on board, which being proposed & explained to the men they chose the latter. We soon had all the baggage on board and Lieut Bridge 1 leaving me in command, I placed my matrass on the floor of his Cabin and was scarcely laid down before I fell asleep. The men did the best they could two of them siezed on my valise as a lawful prize and with the assistance of their great coats converted it into a comfortable resting place the others passed the night in the way that each found most agreeable. Thus ended my first day of active duty which passed to me very pleasantly. We had some amusing fellows in the guard & on the march & on the river our ears were continually assailed by such phrases as these. "Out of the way you Battalion men, make way for the 80th. Look at that Stame vessel be the Pow'rs sh'ed go 15 miles an hour and never sweat a hair", While another blackguarded his messmate for saying that we should soon reach the Nore and professed himself shocked at such ignorance, we also had some music (vocal) which came from the heart if not from the soul and served to amuse us (Bridge & myself) as we sat in the Cabin of the lighter making our dinners off bread and cheese and porter.
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27th I awakened this morning at an early hour and was on deck at 5 oclock. I got the deck in some sort of order and shared the mates breakfast at 11 Bridge came on board and of course took the command, the Captain of the ship followed and in the evening I got on shore for a few hours and dined with Jordan did one or two little things and returned on board took possession of my own cabin which is 8ft by 7ft and once more reposed on the floor.
28th Up at 7, got some real breakfast this morning, and went on shore early did some commissions and brought Nettle (a thorough bred bull bitch my property) on board with me ordered my cot, having gone ashore again for that purpose, when I returned I found the Surgeon & his better half on board introductions of course followed & then I turned in and was once more floored.
29th Was up in good time and presently found that the ship was moving a steam boat had taken us in tow and was buissily hauling us down to Woolwich when arrived there Bridge who was unwell requested me to go to London and tell his wife not to come that day. I started accordingly & found her already gone, saw the Christies & returned; found my cot on board and slung it, was alarmed by a cry of "man overboard" jumped up & found that one of the soldiers Wilson had gone over but had got hold of a boat he got a good ducking and had his grog stopped for a week, was introduced to Mrs Bridge & the Masters wife went to bed soon after 10 jumped nimbly into my cot but outdid myself in the velocity with wich I pitched out the other side was not hurt so jumped in again & went to sleep. Having now the acquaintance of all my shipmates & also of some not destined to accompany us I will attempt to describe them according to my poor abillities.
1st "The Surgeon" A raw boned sandy hair'd Sawney his appearance not by any means prepossessing; a kind of careworn countenance embellished with a small pair of grey eyes and a huge nose which I suppose nature intended for a Roman but the delicacy of its shape having been destroyed and its having a considerable inclination towards the left ear its effect is not good & it has the appearance of a handle to his whole person I strongly suspect that it has on some occasion been smashed, his disposition I should pronounce on so short an acquaintance to be a singular compound of easiness, obstinacy & pevishness he has a wife at present on board and is anxious to arrive at Sheerness (I don't mean to insinuate) The name this animal rejoices in is Robertson. He is commanding officer.
I will now introduce you to (in truth) his better half, one of the coarsest Irish women I ever met with, she is what a certain friend of ours would
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call a "horid great hog" of a woman she weighs I suppose 14 stone and has evidently a temper. I find some amusement in teasing her as she flares up like a flambeau. The subject is disagreable & I shall dismiss it as I hope to dismiss her, shortly. She goes at Sheerness.
The Skipper seems an obliging man is reported a good sailor and is a Yorkshireman he is not a jack tar in appearance being too thin and foxy looking his name is Crommarty. The first mate is first mate every bit of him. Tauttitt is his curious cognomen. His Wife who I believe leaves us shortly.
Lieut Bridge commander of the Guard is a gentlemanly man but not very polished seems to know his own mind is goodlooking and has the gift of the Gab, but he can't play chess is a good officer & behaves in a kind friendly manner towards me I like him at present. Finally comes Mrs Bridge a quiet ladylike investing little woman which means that she is very helpless. I understand that she draws well. Add to these your humble Servant, Crew 40, Guard 30, 4 women 5 Children and 270 convicts & you will be able (with the addition of 1 Dog, Goats, sheep, pigs, fowls, and provisions) to form some idea of the contents of the good ship James Pattison.
The eventful day has at length arrived June 30th at about 11 oclock the Guard was mustered on the Poop and the buissiness of recieving convicts commenced. To get them stowed away occupied some hours. To my great surprize they only had irons on one leg and none on their hands and even these the Doctor declares his intention of knocking off when we are at sea, they are also all allowed on deck at once which the Surgeon does because it is good for them (I understand that a premium of 10s. 6d. is paid to him on each prisoner safely landed at his destination. The sentries and watches were duly posted and instructed Bridge went ashore and I went once round the posts and made each man repeat his orders correcting his mistakes and supplying his omissions about 1/2 past 8 Bridge and his lady returned at 11 I went to bed to turn out again at 2 A.M. on July 1st when I pulled on my coat and went my rounds found everything "as it should be" and turned in again untill 7 we breakfasted late this morning as we expected visitors one of whom came. The Capt was not on board the whole day and as contrary to our expectations we did not sail I went ashore & procured some things I wanted. I percieve that I have made a mistake it was the previous day that the Capt was absent; today he came on board after breakfast and in the afternoon the Crew signed articles. One of the owners or the Nephew of the owners came on board a regular specimen of a Quill driving cockney I longed to kick him overboard the misserable wretch pretended to bully the sailors and say sharp things he was in fact just what one would expect from his looks. I do not know why it was but I was fairly done up this day and when once safe in bed did not turn till 8 the next morning.
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July 2nd When I awakened angry with myself for I had not visited my sentries during the night as I ought to have done, such proceedings will not do. The Guard mustered for Parade and at about 11 the Steam boat came to Tow us to Sheerness I visited the barracks found them in tolerable order and then sat down and wrote in my journal the events of the two previous days. My abhorrence came in the steam boat again. We were tow'd down as far as Gravesend and then beat down with the wind right ahead untill we were within 6 miles of Sheerness when the tide beginning to flow we could get no further & we cast anchor at about 7 P.M. Went to bed at 1/2 past 10 but this time I directed the Sergeant of the watch to call me which he did at 1/2 past 1 on the
3rd I turned out & visited the sentries demanding their instructions. Soon after I had turned in there arose a prodigious clatter, I was just turning out again when I discovered that a vessel had run against us as it could not get away until 7 oclock we could not drop down with that tide as we had intended I went to sleep again and did not wake untill my servant called me at 8 oclock I then breakfasted counted my caps and was agreably surprized to find that instead of 750 I had nearly 1400 I then sat down and wrote journal. This morning a prisoner was reported insolent to the sentry and was dismissed with a reprimand it appeared he was speaking without looking and thought that he was addressing one of the other convicts. We got under way again about 1 oclock and in the course of the afternoon arrived at Sheerness. There was a good deal of motion & Mrs Bridge opened the campaign by effecting a diversion in favour of the fishes, a few more followed her example but I was not among the number although very near it in fact I was obliged to leave the dinner table but the fresh air on deck soon revived me. We this day carried away our Mizen Topsail Yard that is to say finished it, it had been injured in the ships last voyage and not discovered. I visited the Sentries at 9 oclock and went to bed about eleven but was out again at 1/2 past 3 on the morning of the
4th visited the sentries and found all well turned out at 8 and after breakfast went ashore in the Bum boat was back again in about two hours wrote a letter to Hayes reporting a deficiency in the mens tobacco and then sat down to journal. Mem Mrs Robertson licked her child well in the morning and repeated the operation at intervals during the day. Recieved letters among which was one from my Father. We got up a new yard. In the afternoon the Doctor & Bridge went ashore and left me to box the prisoners for the night the Doctors lady went as well and when they all returned in the evening she was in a good temper having by her own account been to an Inn where she swallowed about (I cant say how much) brandy but I believe it was two shillings worth, Betts Brandy is
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10th a Gallon. Nettle all this time was in high spirits and grabbed the Doctors child by the nose I thought it was gone for the little devil sang out as if it was killed but Nettle was only at play. I went to bed at 11 after visiting my sentries and snoozed untill 1/2 past 3 on the
5th When I again visited the Sentries. We took the rest of our prisoners on board about 7 oclock. I was not by any means well this morning and after breakfast swallow'd a dose of rhubarb forgot to say that the first thing I heard at my second rising was the little child crying out O don't and from the sound of its voice I suspect it was being pinched. Entered sayings and doings in my log. While I was writing I was called upon to settle a quarrel between the men which I did in the very simple manner of threatning to punish any men who preferred charges which they could not substantiate. Bridge & his wife went ashore this morning but returned early. I wrote to William Jopp & read some of Vivian Grey. 2 After dinner I walked on the poop & visited the sentries. We were amused some time with the antics of two of the negroes (we have seven on board, felons) one of them a stout hearty man was singing in a most singular language composed of English, French & something else, at the same time accompanying his song by tapping on the bottom of a tin pot while the other a little miserable fellow was dancing away with great vigor. There was "lots of mopping" after they were both fairly exhausted they recieved the plaudits of the delighted 268 with great ease & selfpossession. I went to bed at my usual hour and was awakened at 1 on the
6th I lay awake untill a few minutes past two when the Sergeant of the watch came to beg me to get up as the Convicts were making a great noise & paid no attention to either the Sentries or him I was then getting up so I expedited clapped a pistol in my pocket & went to see what was the matter. The Sentry reported that he had spoken several times but that no attention had been paid him I took the number of the convict watchman who said he had spoken also but of course could not tell what birth the noise came from. I reported it to the Surgeon the next morning but he paid little attention to it & remained satisfied with the watchmans answer that he could not tell which birth &c. Had I been commanding Officer I would have kept him in the cage untill his intellect brightened. The next time I am turned out as the Surgeon takes things so easily in the morning, I will try how he likes the night air. I got up at 7 and after breakfast was edified by seeing Mrs Robertson teach her child to read at the same time
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administering a good piece of rope. I then retired to Bridges cabin cut the first volume of Lyell 3 and wrote journal. The convicts this morning got a fiddle. I visited the Barracks which were regular & clean directly after breakfast. Bridge went ashore and also the Doctor so that I was left in sole command. Stopped the Grog of Private Wilson for one week for talking on his post. In the evening saw the prisoners down and arranged two quarrels. At about 10 Bridge & the Surgeon came on board before the surgeon arrived the men begged me to lend them the Fiddle and having procured it for them a glorious dance was the result sailors and soldiers all together when they tired they returned it with many thanks. At 1/2 past ten I visited the sentries and turned in. Got out of a warm bed on a cold July morning at 1/3 past 3
7th and went my rounds all was right I went to bed and slept most soundly untill near breakfast time. Mrs Bridge came out this morning after breakfast looking very seedy. After breakfast I retired to the cabin and read Lyell for some time, having eaten a bad breakfast I found the bread and cheese at 12 oclock very satisfactory. I then went up on deck to amuse myself and found Nettle guarding it from any attempts of the Surgeons boy to go on it she was furious I visited the Barracks after breakfast. Left Nettle to cool and went and wrote in my log Bridge and his wife soon came in. This day fat Mary pleaded guilty to 15 stone she also applied to me to know whether the child behaved best in the absence of her or its father. I said that I thought it made least noise when they were both out of the way for it depended who was with it in the presence of either of them whether the noise came from the right or left side of its mouth. I forgot to say that last night it blew very hard & it was very cold in the morning but it soon cleared & has been a splendid day. In the afternoon it came on to blow again and continued blowing hard all the evening. At 10 I visited the sentries and then went to bed.
On Saturday the 9th I rose at 1/2 past 3 and went my rounds I got up at about 8. At night Nettle slept in my room to give her eye a chance of getting well. We were disappointed in not getting our sailing orders even the Captain did not arrive. The Doctor and his wife went ashore and remained there the whole day. I was in a lazy humour the greatest part of the day and after reading some pages I went on deck and amused
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myself with Nettle I got the shoes of the Doctors boy and gave them to her to watch which she did with the greatest vigilance. In the evening I visited the sentries turned in early and enjoyed a sound sleep untill 1/2 past 3 on the
9th I then got up and went my rounds and slept again untill 8. After breakfast we paraded and inspected the Troops. The Surgeon shortly after read prayers to the prisoners, the Guard remaining under arms on the Poop. I sat down in the Cabin after Prayers to write my journal but was soon interrupted by the arrival of a couple of Officers from the Garrison. I went ashore with one of them while the other remained for some time longer on board (Their names are Collet & Hague 67th Regt). We had a most infernal pull as the tide and wind were both against us and the distance a good mile and a half. I lunched (& afterwards dined at their mess) took a walk came in to Collets room and was beaten three games of Chess in a very short time. Then went to dinner where I found a small mess of seven. I approved of the members who composed it they were gentlemanly and amusing. In the evening we were joined by Capt Pagett R N who afforded us much entertainment. I did not leave untill near 10 oclock & had great difficulty in getting a boat to take me on board. One fellow had the impudence to ask 8 shillings so I sent him about his buissiness and eventually got a boat for two I retired to bed directly.
10th About 1/2 past 12 this morning I was aroused by a tremendous shindey got up rubbed my eyes and listened and heard Bridges voice ordering them to be quiet so I knew that all was right snoozed for an hour and then visited the sentries was told by the sergeant of the watch that the noise was raised in the following manner; some of the prisoners began fighting, the sentry sang out most lustily for the sergeant of the Guard while one of the sailors by way of assisting bawled out for the guard. This cry spread to the barracks and supposing that "something had happened" muskets and amunition was siezed and they all commenced tumbling up, merely to be sent down again. I got up about 1/2 past 7 and through my blinds percieved the Doctors boy making preparations for a start. The Captain had come on board the previous night. After breakfast Irons were put on both legs of the man who caused the disturbance of the night. I was going into Bridges cabin to write log but was told that Mrs Bridge was writing a letter to her sister which operation was of course accompanied by a proper proportion of water to dilute the Ink with. I therefore went to the Cuddy table. On opening my book I was astonished to see the handwriting of another person which was a little increased when I found my journal which I had left on the day preceding in Bridges cabin had been read either by Mr or Mrs Bridge or else by their friend Hague. This was
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a proceeding completely at variance with my creed I should as soon have thought of reading anothers letter of other private papers nor should I have allowed such a thing in another to have been done in my cabin having I suppose perused the whole the next thing was to write the remarks before adverted to. They were not of a very agreeable nature stating among other things that I was fond of what the writer was pleased to style a little brief authority which accusation arose I presume from an inclination I had shewn to enforce the Government orders to the fullest extent of my power and to save my commanding officer as much trouble as I could. In the latter case I shall certainly not do more than my duty absolutely compels me for the future as I have no idea of giving myself trouble to subject myself to unpleasant remarks either made or approved by those who I wished to assist. The other remarks are not worth alluding to. One useful lesson it will have taught me "Never to judge of anothers actions and opinions by ones own" and also to remember the use of a lock and key.
I remained writing a considerable time Bridge and the Captain had gone ashore. We filled up our water casks and made the other necessary preparations for sea the following day. In the evening I went ashore with the 2nd Mate and brought off some fishing lines and a straw hat Bridge had brought me some cod lines in the morning but when I looked at them I found that they would just do for Mackrel his hooks were also too small. I bought a shark and dolphin line & some cod hooks I went to bed soon after I got on board, 10 oclock, soon after the Captain came. I had requested the sergeant of the watch to call me but I slept so sound that I never heard him although the Pilot who had also arrived said that he heard someone at my door at two oclock on
Tuesday the 11th and that I answered him but I was not aware of it. I forgot to say that yesterday I wrote a letter to my Father and to Landon. We looked out most anxiously for the signal for the doctor but alas! none was made. I amused myself this morning by stretching fishing lines which occupied me all the morning. In the afternoon we tripped our anchor & sailed outside the point it was blowing fresh and when we came to anchor I thought fit to keep the deck. Mrs Bridge was very ill all this day. It was late in the evening when Bridge came off & it was blowing hard. I went to bed early having requested the ships officer on watch to wake me but he never did so & I missed a second night visiting the sentries.
12th Rousing the doctor at 6 oclock awakened me but I did not turn out untill past 7. The doctor went ashore to be ready to recieve the despatches & sailing orders and thus save time we watched most anxiously for the signal and the moment it was made up went the anchor. Soon after we saw the doctor coming off and lay to for a few minutes at 1/2 past one the
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tide would no longer serve us and the wind being N E. we let go anchor I humbugged about deck. I had finished Vivian Grey the preceeding day. As I was anxious to get on as fast as possible I put into the pilots head that we might take advantage of two hours evening tide. Reported a Convict for insolence to a sentry and two soldiers to Bridge for quarrelling the one was boxed and the others prevented from getting groggy. Three prisoners were also reported for stealing, two were ironed the other was a previous offender and his allowance of meat was stopped or reduced. I stretched the Mackrel lines. At past 6 we weighed again but the wind was very light. In the morning I had visited the Barracks. After I had watched the ships progress a few minutes I sat down and wrote log. I went to bed about 10 oclock directly after visiting the sentries and was awakened by the officer on watch at one oclock on the
13th The watch was very lively then so I waited untill 1/2 past two all was right. Soon after I was in again I heard the Pilot called and when I got up about 7 I found that we were off Reculver. I had not been up long when the sentry reported that one of the convicts was insolent Mem (This was the previous day) I reported it to the Doctor and his meat was stopped and he was put in the box. Private Wilson was ordered Kit Drill & his grog stopped for insolence to Bridge. He was first punished for having his Firelock 4 in a dirty state and then turned saucy I was the more sorry for this as I had reduced his previous punishment from 7 to 4 days on his promising better conduct. The wind which was very light in the morning at S. W. gradually increased intill it blew quite fresh we past within sight of Ramsgate, Margate, &c &c and arrived in the little Downs at about 1/2 past four. I sat down and wrote two letters to my Mother 5 and Sister Fanny which I sent off by the Pilot who left us here. One of the convicts was handcuffed in the morning but I forget for what. I amused myself by trying to sling my cot fore & aft but it was no go. I also this day took to pieces and cleaned the lock of one of my pistols which for want of a proper instrument to close the spring was a long and tedious job and I did not finish it untill I retired for the night. I visited the sentries and then went to bed at 1/2 past 10 or 11 but I did not actually turn in for some time. At 1/4 before four on the
14th I visited the Sentries and found Benson sitting down on the step of
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the ladder. I ordered Corpl Connoll to relieve him and as I had spoken to Markham (who had committed a similar fault) seriously, I reported him to Bridge the next morning at breakfast but he merely reprimanded him. On reading my log of the preceeding Saturday night or Sunday morning I find that I omitted stating that I found Private Harwood of the 28th in a suspicious state of Drowsines but as I could not say that he was sleeping (although I suspected it) in the morning I remonstrated with him at the same time assuring him that if I felt certain he had committed that fault I would certainly bring him to a court martial & I also enjoined greater vigilance in the future. How I came to omit this I do not know. After breakfast I sat down and wrote my journal and while I was doing this they heaved up the anchor. We came to again in about an hour or rather more in the Downs in a situation which would enable us to take advantage of the first fair wind. It continued blowing hard untill the evening when it moderated. I had not been able to eat my dinner & Mrs Bridge was as usual very sick after dinner I continued walking the deck had a game with Nettle and having visited the sentries went to bed.
15th Turned out at a quarter past two all was well eat a good breakfast and as it still blew sharply I took exercise on the poop. Some fine ships passed through the downs inward bound and some joined us. Among the former two American Liners one of which had carried away its Mizen top mast & step of her Main Mast & had also got other damage she was followed by a schooner which had also carried away the step of her Main mast. These I am told are the names of the parts injured by Cromarty who by the way is a scotch man & not a yorkshire man. * The wind continued S. W. with little variation the whole day consequently we remained very contentedly at least I did. We employed our men for some time cleaning the ships Fire locks. Bridge excused Wilson his punishment this day upon a promise of better conduct. One of the men Harwood of the 28th got rather intosticated how we could not discover. In the evening I gave Nettle her run & proved her superiority over one of our Goats which she obliged to retreat. A kind of Merry Andrew of ours by name Culter 6 an universal genius amused me excessively by telling one of the men who is addicted to fly catching that he was just the man for India as he would always have a belly full of Muskitoes. I wrote my days log and while I was doing this up went the anchor and we made what we hoped would prove our final start. Dover & Rye were both past and in the evening we made Dungeness. Here I began to feel very queer I find that I am making a mess but excuse shall be made. It was Sunday 16th my birthday about
*so no wonder he lies--original footnote.
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two 7 oclock that we sailed with the wind moderate and right ahead. At Dungeness which we made about 10 oclock I got sea sick so I made quick work visited the sentries and went to bed the wind had increased so that I was obliged to unsling my cot and lay it on the floor down I went upon it & was soon eagerly employed casting up my accounts.
17th busy all day at the same work very sick indeed.
18th Very bad in bed still. 8
19th Was a little better and having made a desperate effort got on deck sick unwashed and wretched could not eat & relished nothing but water which was no sooner down than up again. In this manner I moped on the poop the whole day.
20th Occupied an hour and a half alternately washing puking and lying down, then another scrub spew and sprawl at last I got up and out. My case improved considerably this day I ate a little soup and surveyed Alderney and the Caskets as we passed them. The day before I had a good view of the Isle of Wight. In the evening the Captain entertained Bridge & me with an account of "As how he took out some men of the 4th Regt of Kings Guards and their having 3rd & he thought 4th Lieuts - all which we of course assented to. Beat the Doctor at Back gammon and having Visited the Sentries went to bed more comfortably than for some time.
21st Awakened rather queer but got up eat very little breakfast and went on the Poop fired a few Rifle shots at a Bottle nobody could hit it one of the Grenadiers made the best shot, we towed the bottle astern. Mem. Lock of Rifle still rather weak. Sent a couple of bottles into the air smashed both with Double barrel Bridge one and I the other. Eat an improved dinner. Wind for the first time fair so made sail. After dinner went on deck and walked & talked and then O joyful to relate, Wrote log up to the present from Saturday quite correct except the mistakes which were numerous enough. In the evening played at Back gammon with the Doctor and got beaten. Must here state that Nettle who had been sea sick as well as the other ladies had nevertheless picked up amazingly and had grown as fat as a pig. I visited the Sentries and went to bed having requested the Mate to pass the word to the next officer to awaken me
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but he never did it so that I did not awake untill the Steward called me at 7 on the
22nd but I did not stir untill my servant called me and brought me water &c. &c. I was as hungry as a hawk and eat a good breakfast. I sat on the Poop reading Lyell the greater part of the forenoon the rest I played backgammon with Bridge, laid in a good dinner and then read Byron. The day had been most splendid and we glided over a sea like a pane of dark green glass with all the canvas we could well carry at the rate of from 4 to 5 knots an hour. In the evening I cast some ball and let Nettle loose for her run while thus occupied one of the men told me that we had passed a great number of flying fish which I soon found to be Mackrel, having finished my casting I gave out to my servant the necessary linen & then beat the Doctor a few hits. Logged the days work and after visiting the sentries went to bed.
23rd Was roused at one oclock by the Corp of the guard but fell asleep again untill called by the steward. At 1/4 past 10 went to Parade and remained on the Poop untill Divine service was over which by the way is performed by the Doctor in a very so so manner. It was even a more agreable day than Saturday not being so hot, we saw several shoals of that kind of porpoise called by the sailors '(black fish)'; For the future I shall most certainly take the part of that most calumniated place the "Bay of Biscay" we were in the centre of it (or to speak properly) of its outskirts with a fine smooth water breeze we had passed Ushant two days before. Benson of the 80th was this day punished by Bridge for throwing water on one of the watch, Lying, and insolence he was put in handcuffs and his grog stopped untill further orders. The sunset was one of the most beautiful I ever remember witnessing and gave every promise of a continuance of favorable wind and weather. I dived rather deep into Lyell today and with increased interest I think it one of the most delightful works I ever read. In the evening I loosed Nettle and gave her a dose of castor oil which she did not seem to relish but It was quite necessary for the preservation of her health. After grog time I sat down to write what nonsense I could collect and having finished that important occupation visited the sentries. I had ordered the sergeant of the Guard to call me at one oclock and therefore went quietly to bed.
24th Was called at the abovementioned time but did not turn out till 1/2 past two. I could not go to sleep when I got to bed again and when the bell struck not hearing the sentries I got up at 7 bells in order to admonish them but it was unnecessary. The prisoners were to wash this morning & I ought to have been up at 4 oclock but after my second excurtion I went to sleep and did not awake untill my servant came in a few minutes
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before 8. After breakfast I was sick and unwell but I do not think that it was sea sickness but something which disagreed with me. Our run during the last 24 hours was 162 miles and this day there was more wind than we had yet had. Some of Mother Careys chickens 9 were about the ship and Bridge fired at one of them but I am happy to say did not hit it. I was on deck very little untill the evening so that I made a large hole in Lyell. Saw nothing of Mrs Bridge the whole day infer therefore that she was again ill. Benson had Kit drill & was of course obliged to report sick but it was no go I got better than I was in the morning but bowels still out of order. Gave Nettle another dose of Castor oil as the first had not operated properly. Passed close to a Schooner bound to Madeira she seemed deeply loaded and rolled heavily this was the only Vessel we had fallen in with for some days indeed since we got fairly quit of the channel. The wind is blowing fresh I am sleepy & shall close Log, visit sentries and go to bed. Must not forget to add that we have been on board one month today.
25th I was called as I desired at 1 oclock but was not roused sufficiently to get up. Could not eat much breakfast felt very queer. This was a very blank day all I did was to visit the barracks and read Lyell. Mrs Bridge was taken very ill in fact it appeared to me dangerously but got better. We passed a fine Spanish or Portuguese bark homeward bound but our friend astern had disappeared. One of the Doctors constables or watchmen was detected keeping his hand in and was put in double irons and solitary confinement. In the evening he was siezed with fits but not having the desired effect they went off. I got a cask to make Nettle a kennel when I went to chain her up after her run I found her reposing with the watch under their coats & I was begged to let her be as she was very comfortable, she is a general favorite her temper is so good and gentle untill excited. I ran over a few of the scenes in Tom Cringles Log 10 for the five hundreth time and then wrote my log. A good run up to 12 A.M. 192 miles we have been not idle since but the wind has not been so favorable we are well quit of the Bay of Biscay. I visited the sentries and then turned in desiring the sergeant of the guard to call me at one oclock on the
26th but I never heard him although Bridge who slept in the cuddy told me that he had been. Breakfast Luncheon dinner & supper passed in the
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usual manner the doctor & captain feeding as usual most voraciously N. B. The only thing the Married men do all day is to eat & talk of Drink by which they corrupt me woefully. I visited the barracks in the morning and read Lyell at different times of the day. In the evening I played a few hits with the captain at backgammon and after going rounds went to bed. I was delayed in the latter operation by the doctor who had prigged my good wax candle & substituted a nasty stinking mutton fat but I paid him out and made him confess and beg mercy.
27 Got up at 7 bells having passed an uninterrupted night. After breakfast took up Lyell and read the greater part of the day in various positions sometimes setting sometimes standing & part of the time reclining most luxuriously on an awning which they were preparing. The wind had died away and part of the day it was foul our run the last 24 hours had been short not more than 125 miles. The breeze freshened a very little but was all day very light. Private Wilsons conduct does not seem to amend I found it necessary to report him for disrespectful conduct but in consequence of the difficulty of inflicting any punishment which would not make the duty fall heavier on the other men he escaped with a reprimand. Yesterday Murdock P 80th was punished for disrespectful conduct towards the 1st mate but as he is a good character and it appeared his offence was unintentional he was pardoned. Saw Jim Crow jumped 11 for the first time today by one of the prisoners it was a poor performance. Let Nettle loose and discharged & cleaned my pistols having done this went and walked on the poop and when supper was over wrote Log. Heard a Grampus for the first time today meant to say tonight. Shall take the hint afforded me by Mr Tauttitts snooring to close my manuscript visit the sentries and then betake myself to my cot. Nearly omitted to state that Bridge detected Shearing (Private 80th) holding sweet converse with the prisoners. He was reprimanded. Mrs Bridge better today. I am here led to remark the difficulty a commanding officer has in treating an unruly or insubordinate man in a situation like ours. If put in confinement his duty devolved on his comrades if given kit drill his punishment is percieved by all the prisoners who will not fail to draw their own conclusions especially if such an event is of frequent occurrence; the only method seems to be stopping the allowance of grog and then it is to be remembered that a punishment looses its effect by being universal or applied to all purposes. This is a digression relating to a subject I shall notice more fully at some future period.
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28th Turned out at 7 bells and after breakfast got a lesson in snooding fishing hooks and splicing ropes. I prepared two lines and several hooks this occupied me all the morning. I finished the first volume of Lyell. Must not forget to mention that the cause of my exertions in preparing fishing apparatus was that several Dolphin had been seen about the ship early in the morning one of which carried away a small fishing line I had lent to one of the men. In the evening I smoked a cigar and then retired to the cuddy to write my log but it was bed time before I could finish and therefore I was obliged to knock off and go to bed where I remained untill a little after 4 on the
29th at which hour I go up to visit the sentries I had been roused at one. A great part of the day was occupied in hearing a complaint concerning the appropriation of the guards allowance of water which was stated by Cutter on the part of the guard (whether he was deputed or not I cannot say as I was not at the commencement of the buissiness) to be misapplied by the women who he said used it for was washing I only heard part of the story but heard enough to have induced me had I been commanding officer to have ordered that no fresh water should be used for that or any other purpose xcept culinary or for drinking and further if the allowance of any individual was more than sufficient for those purposes & if they had not the means of preserving the surplus that it should be returned to the cask; but my opinion was not asked and after the lesson I had recieved I did not consider that I was justified in offering it. We had made a short run on this and the previous day 99 and about 120 miles but while at dinner the wind freshened and soon we were driving along at near seven knots our distance from Madeira was 140 miles at twelve oclock. Tried a few jim cracks after dinner and tea Bridge anxiously trying to take me in at a bet however as I pretty well knew my man it was no go. It was late before I sat down to write I had been listening to some of Mr Tauttitts yarns and visiting Nettle who I found was refreshing herself after her evenings run with a nice piece of paunch from a sheep which had been just killed. I then visited the sentries and turned in.
Sunday 30th I was called at one oclock and awakened in a violent perspiration the night air came in upon me and in an instant I was chilled to such an extent that I was glad to huddle every thing upon me. I did not get out but slept untill breakfast time in a restless uneasy manner I then rose very unwell with a sore throat, which had troubled me some days much worse. After breakfast I went on the poop to take a look at Madeira which was just in sight but it was a misty day and we lost much of its beauties. We paraded on the poop and the Doctor read divine service, at the conclusion the view became very fine we passed the western side of the Island which I am told is inferior in beauty to the other some light gleams
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of sunshine partially favoured us but the hills were never clear from clouds and mist. Our distance was about eight miles so that with the assistance of the telescope we could see that the cultivation which appeared of the highest order, was carried nearly to the waters edge. The coast was excessively bold & gave no appearance of a landing place of any kind terminating in steep cliffs intersected by deep ravines evidently water courses during the rains. We saw only two birds "Mother Caryes chicks" which disappointed us much for we had reckoned on killing a few boobies or so. The announcement of dinner called me from the survey of this beautiful scene & when I came up again the trade wind which we had caught in a shower about 12 oclock had carried us so far as to render the view quite indistinct so I went down again and did not stir untill I heard that Private Harwood 28th Regt was in handcuffs this intelligence brought me out I found him free & on sentry his crime was striking Private Cooper 4th . Mem Mrs Bridge dined in the Cuddy and reported herself convalescent. 24 hours run 145 miles. I went to bed unwell very early but hardly slept all night.
31st at a quarter to two I went my rounds and after that I fell asleep but arose unrefreshed could not eat breakfast throat sore the wind increased in the night and it rained a little. I read Tom Cringle and mooned about very queer saw flying fish for the first time thought that they had been larger. Was employed some time in making an important alteration in my cabin. The Doctor taking pity on my miserable resting place the floor, gave me permission to open the door into his cabin and sling my cot so that my head was in his dominions. The next thing done was to move my washing stand. The carpenter was busy during dinner time and after that meal was concluded I had the pleasure of surveying my cot nicely slung it looked so comfortable as it vibrated to & fro that I quite longed for the time when I should be rocking in it. After dinner I read Byron and feeling better took exercise on the poop. We were charmed in the evening by the vocal music of the detachment and about nine I adjourned to my cabin and wrote up the log untill the middle of the day. My days work being thus ended I went my rounds and was soon asleep comfortably swinging in my cot. Whether it was that Somnus was promoted in his gentle endeavors to lull me into a state of quiescence (as a reward for the suffocating and sleepless nights I had for some time endured by the gentle rocking of my canvas cradle) I cannot say but this I know that I did not awake untill a lurch of the ship upset my pitcher with a force which sent it onto the floor and shivered it into a thousand pieces about four oclock.
August 1st I was soon asleep again but not untill I had discovered that it was blowing very fresh. The Doctor roused me at seven bells and I turned out refreshed with my nights sleep. Soon after breakfast Bridge
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brought in a flying fish which had flown into the main chains but it is so well known that I will not describe it. I read Don Juan getting through one canto also a part of Tom Cringles log and naval officer. 12 I began to be quite free from sea sickness and to have an enormous appetite and my comforts increased every day. One of the greatest accessions was the discovery of a shower bath in the Doctors quarter gallery when I say discovery I only mean that this was the first day that we thought of making use of it. I tried it but all the water ran into the cabin so for the present it was useless. I do not recollect the run of the 24 hours but that of the preceeding day was 198 miles. In the afternoon a sail astern was reported which to the captains great chagrin in spite of all attempts to prevent it gained on us rapidly various were the conjectures as to what she could be but none were satisfactory or conclusive. Preparations were made to speak her but night closing rapidly in effectually prevented it. When I could see on deck no longer, I went into the cabin and scribbled for some time I needed it as by hook or crook I had got in arrears when tired of that work I returned to the Poop and walked there untill a late hour I then went my rounds and turned in. Out again at three oclock on the
2nd Visited the sentries and talked to the second mate on the Poop for a few minutes then turned in again and slept most comfortably untill seven bells when the Doctor roused me saying that he had an idea that it was time to get up but I was not in an humour to turn out so he came very properly and tortured me. I sat on deck reading all the morning suddenly there was a cry of "a fish a fish" how very odd thought I but seeing every body run to look I raised my eyes and sure enough there was a fish I had heard of the immense sise of whales but never could concieve it although I fancied I could untill I saw this creature which was a Finner 13 and consequently not near the size of a Whale proper. Some said that it was only a Grampus but I give the captains account. He kept wallopping about some time so I ran for my rifle with the intention of startling him but I was not quick enough and when I came up he was gone. The other ship was by this time out of sight she had passed us during the night steering more westernly we saw her at a distance in the morning. Just before dinner I got my chest out of the hold and had my hair cut. I ate an enormous dinner off a mutton pie which being duly finished I went to work got all my uniforms out of Chest and substituted dirty linen the former were not injured and were stowed for the future in my drawers I worked untill I was tired and then went on the Poop to enjoy the charming
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sweet & intellectual society of the Captain. I was loathe to leave the poop it was such a beautiful night nothing but being thoroughly tired would have got me off went round the sentries and turned in. In the course of the evening I took an opportunity of speaking to Cutter I had seen him whip off the cap from one of the prisoners while coming from the forecastle. I pointed out the folly of such proceedings to him and let him go.
3rd I got up at four oclock and went out paid all necessary visits and also one to Mr Tauttitt. Slept till 6 bells then got up and had a most delightful shower bath and wash. As we were to enter the Tropics today I doffed the pea coat & put on a flannel jacket. After breakfast I prepared my chest for the hold again and then went and interrogated one of the convicted niggers who was from Barbados. 14 Could not get much out of him he said he was an house servant in the town therefore I concluded that he was a great scoundrel gave a cigar to a little half witted miserable Negro; it made him as happy as a king. Sat down and wrote log for more than an hour. Mem. Servant an Essex man knows Dunmow has lived there, knows Uncle Wade, before writing log played a few hits at Backgammon neither lost or won. After dinner I read Byron and then went on the Poop where we amused ourselves with Jimcracks. The cook of the Detachment resigned his situation this evening in consequence of the difficulty he found in pleasing the men this was the ostensible cause but it is my opinion that certain petty jealousies among the women were at the bottom of the evil. He was succeeded by Private Manson 80th Regt. Bridge on this occasion administered his usual quantum of jaw but I cannot discover that it has any good effect, I never yet found that so much general talking has although no doubt it may do when an individual only is concerned. Nettle was loose and seemed much edified by the proceedings which she expressed by working away at my legs during the speech. When all was over I returned to the Poop and remained there untill bed time. I dreamed untill 6 bells of quarts of Castor oil and reduction of food to be endured by Nettle when arrived at her destination.
4th As soon as I was out of bed took a shower bath. Read two cantos of Don Juan after breakfast and then walked on the Poop untill near dinner when the doctor challenged me to a game at backgammon which I accepted and was beaten. After dinner the Capt Dr & myself had a long debate regarding the cause of the difference of climate under the same parallels of latitude I appealed to Lyell but Bridge did not consider his evidence by any means conclusive in as much as he quoted the opinions of others and had not proved all he states in his own person: Most sapient argument?
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More jimcracks on the poop I went to look at the coppers of the Detachment in hopes of finding out the cause of the dirty appearance of the soup think it may partly be attributed to the copper which from its formation admits the smoke and also to their method of making it not being quite correct. I was beaten again at backgammon by the Dr and Capt. In the Morning an attempt had been made to spear or harpoon some porpoises by the sailors but they were not successful some flying fish however came on board I believe two were caught. I was not very well which always follows plumb pudding so I shall abjure it in future.
5th The sergeant of the watch called me at one at 20 minutes to four I got up and went out found a handspike down the main hatch which made a very nice seat for the Sentry blew up the Sergeant (Briscoe) and ordered him to take it up. Stayed on deck till four then turned in and slept till seven bells took a shower bath breakfasted and shortly after sat down to write a ship is reported in sight astern I must go and see what it is. When I got on the poop I found that it was a Whaler. I had not been out long when a devil of a shindey arose. One of the Men Murdock 80th quarrelled with P. Wright Grenadier 80th and abusing him rather grossly got a crack on the head for his pains which was more than his scotch blood would bear. A battle royal was fast approaching when Bridge saw what was going on and interfered but was some time before he could pacify the contending powers. Great was the talking when this was at last effected the whole detachment was in a ferment every body talked the principal speakers being Bridge Sergt Horton and A D Best Esqre Ens 80th Regt. After dinner I read either Lyell or Byron and then adjourned to the Poop. This was destined to be a day of events for in the evening when I went my rounds I found Private Hill of the 4th fast asleep on his post I went and called the Sergeant of the watch and returning found him still napping I then got down the hatchway and shook him untill he awakened. Of course the first thing he did was to deny that he was asleep but finding that no go he tried another tack and pleaded most pittifully. I verily believe that he expected to be put in Irons untill we arrived at the end of our voyage and then shot or flogged to death. I went and reported it to Bridge Hill was then relieved and suitably admonished was told all the things which would have happened to him if he had slept on his post in the Peninsular war under Wellington and a lot more much to the same purpose after which he was boxed for the night and also the following his grog was stopped for one week. *
Monday 14th A great vacuum occurs from the 5th up to this day in our journal which I shall account for. I had been far from well for some days and on the Sunday evening was so much worse that I could not write
*I am not clear whether I reported Hill that night or the following.
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the Doctor gave me some calomel but it took little effect and after the lapse of a day or two it was repeated with success I also suffered much from sea sickness and for a day or two was very queer and always sea sick when I got up in the morning. As I cannot pretend to write all the little odds and ends for eight or nine days I shall lump the whole From Sergt Hortons defaulter book I gather that the punishments are as follow for this time - Private Shearing grog stopped for one week for disobedience to Corp Connoll when ordered to go on Sentry, P. Cooper Reprimanded for disrespectful language, P. Wilson grog stopped until he found his shoes which he had lost. The weather during the above named period was mostly squally with heavy rain but the wind untill today tolerably fair. We passed at different times several vessels going different ways one of them was a most beautiful Schooner which was pronounced by those who understood such matters to be precisely the style of craft generally employed in the slave trade her position was favorable to such a surmise but no signs, of guns were to be seen on her deck. On another day no less than five sail were in sight one a homeward bound but we did not go near her. I think it was on Monday after dinner that an immense number of fish were seen about the ship I scrambled out upon the Jib boom end to try my luck at catching some of them but I could not succeed. On the Sunday or Monday night the sea presented one of the most magnificent spectacles. I ever witnessed as far as the eye could reach it was a perfect glow of blueish fire while the most vivid flashes illuminated it at intervals it is difficult to concieve how such an accumulation of phosphorous for no. doubt the light was phosphoric could be produced. The Captain told us that he had witnessed a similar appearance, when on taking up the water he found it to be a mass of fish spawn which as there was no wind surrounded them a great part of the next day and almost poisoned them with its stench. On the Friday or Thursday the rain and squalls commenced and continued until Sunday a large quantity of water was caught but most of it was only fit for the stock. The Guard and sentries were more like so many spunges than men they did not seem to mind it much but caught and drank the water as it fell with great gout declaring that it was "capital". On Sunday morning the weather cleared and we had no more rain nevertheless there was no divine service. The men gladly availed themselves of the opportunity afforded them of drying their clothes; a more curious, assemblage of coats trousers shoes boots and pea Jackets were I should think not to be seen every day in the week. In the evening a Whaler was seen coming along she rapidly overhauled us and passed to Leeward at a short distance but at that time it was nearly dark. I brought out my pistols and discharged them which I had some difficulty in doing as they had been loaded at least 10 days and were very damp. This is all I can say untill the time I am now writing with this exception that Shonk who had like me been very sick told me last night when some sail or rope was blown away
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that he thought it was all over with us and that we were going to the bottom at once. After writing my log I went on deck and read Don Juan untill dinner this important duty being concluded I occupied all the evening in tying a certain knot which had been given to me by the Captain and by performing which I earned the sum of 20 shillings sterling. The night was so extremely warm and fine that I could not induce myself to go to bed untill near twelve oclock so I spun yarns on the Poop with the Boatswain then went round the sentries and turned in.
15th Rose at seven bells and took a shower bath. After breakfast Sergt Horton reported that he had found P. Wilson sitting on his post on a barrel at five oclock in the morning but was uncertain whether he was asleep or not Bridge ordered that his grog should be stopped (which by the way had since the rainy weather been served out twice during the day and neat) and that he should be put in the box at night and his name struck off duty. I read more of Don Juan and lounged on the Poop watching the men who were cleaning the ships small arms. In the afternoon the wind still continuing the same we put about steering nearly W. N. W. When the Prisoners had gone down Wilson was removed from the Poop where he had been all day and placed in the box; a little music he thought would amuse, so he drummed away on its top which intellectual amusement produced a pair of handcuffs. Seeing a crowd about the box I went to see what was the cause and was told of his exploits and how he told Bridge that he knew that he could do as he pleased with him on board but he would see what would be the consequence of using him in that way when we reached Sidney I suggested that the quarter gallery would be a very proper place of abode for him during the day which hint will I believe be acted upon. I had some conversation with Horton concerning this man and he told me that Wilson said when struck off duty for punishment that that was just what he liked for then he could sit and do nothing. Beat the Captain a rubber out of three the conqueror at Backgammon and then it being half past nine wrote days journal closed and put by book and ink-stand and went on deck to get a little of the fresh air which after a lull or calm I heard blowing merrily. I remained out untill eleven and then after visiting the sentries and the prisoner in the box and desired the sergeant to call me at two oclock turned in.
16th found on getting up that the wind had become rather more in our favor so that we were going west by south which course we continued the whole day with a strong breeze. I went out after breakfast and found the prisoner Wilson sitting on the Poop but he was soon ordered into the quarter gallery. This was a move which astonished the men not a little even the Non. Com. officers could not at first exactly understand it, the culprit did not seem to relish such an abode and would not at first get in
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but the Surgeon having been officially called on and having pronounced that the situation [was] healthy, the presence of two of the watch induced him to change his mind & in he went. I read Byron untill I felt a little sea sick and then went on deck. I should not forget to mention that I overheard one of the men remark that he never before heard of one of the 80th being put in a privy. Dinner, tea, a game with Nettle, a chat with the Boatswain, Backgammon &c &c were the other occupations of the day, which I wound up by going my rounds and visiting the prisoner who had resumed his place in the box, he made no complaints & had made none during the day (except that he was hungry and begged a little more bread. As he had had proper allowance, one pound, and it was considered that the way to his heart was down his throat this was refused) he seemed rather more tractable, and had not his usual independent, swaggering, bullying manner. I desired to be called at two which the Sergeant (Creek) had neglected to pass the word for, the previous night for which he had been suitably admonished and then wrote my log and turned into my Cot with much satisfaction. Blows hard.
17th The Sergeant called me at two but it was three when I got up and went round. The prisoner complained that the irons hurt his wrists which were much swollen this I reported in the morning to Bridge. I remained on deck untill four got up again at seven bells. At breakfast the Capt. told us that he expected to fall in with homeward bound ships and advised writing letters which recommendation I acted upon immediately commencing one but of course not finishing it. The[re] was a flare up among the convicts today, accusations of embezzlement made against the overseers and constables by one of them who was an inspector and who behaved in a most insolent manner to the Doctor for which he was put in double irons imprisoned and is to be flogged tomorrow along with another. P. Shearing was brought up on suspicion of talking to the convicts but the charge although no doubt correct was not proved. Wilson is more tractable his handcuffs have been taken off and he begged Bridge to remit further punishment but his appeal was not successful. I passed the evening in reading Lyell playing backgammon with the Capt walking the poop and jabbering. Some of those rascally convicts have stolen Nettles collar but fortunately I have another. Mem. Expect to find some of our men moon blind some of these fine mornings as they will sleep with it shining directly on their faces. It is now only half past nine but I am solitary in the cuddy they are all such a sleepy set. The wind is a little fairer and has blown rather fresh all day. I visited the sentries and the prisoner and took an airing and cooling on the Poop talked a little while to Nettle and then followed the example of my companions.
18th Going to bed so early made me awaken early in the morning and I
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was just thinking of getting up and was wondering what oclock it was when the Sergeant called me saying that it was two oclock. I got up at three it was not my intention to have gone so soon but the sentry in the main hatch did not call the hour untill after the other so I bundled out to know the reason; it was that he was at the moment the bell struck handing up the lamp to the Sergt to be freshed trimmed. I went to bed again directly and remained there untill seven bells. At half past ten the Parade mustered for punishment we formed in four subdivisions, two on the quarterdeck under Lieut Bridge and the remainder I commanded on the Poop, the A. B.s were on the quarterdeck armed with cutlases and the ordinaries and boys in my rear. It was reported that the prisoners had said that they would not allow their comrades to be tied up tho' it appeared in the sequel that it was all talk. The first man punished was the man who was insolent and used mutinous language to the doctor he was an old hand at it and bore his four dozen well, the second began to cry out at the third lash but bore his second dozen which was all he got much better in fact after the seventh or eighth lash he was quite quiet only moving his leg when the cat fell; the other never flinched. I must say in justice to the Boatswain that he either was too humane to flog or else is but a very poor hand and his cat was without knots. My idea of flogging on board ship had been very exalted I was now convinced of my error but the punishment light as it was was more than some of our men could witness and two of them Shonk and Benson were obliged to fall out. I wrote some more letter untill dinner having previously amused myself with Lyell. Must not forget to state that Bridge called Wilson up in front of the Guard and forgave him further punishment at the same time assuring him that if ever he acted so again that he would take on himself to inflict a punishment similar to that he had just witnessed. In the afternoon there was some disturbance in Sergt Briscoes watch about his method of putting the men on sentry this was soon arranged he being ordered to adopt that of Sergt Creek I played a few hits of Backgammon and wrote my log after tea. As I have never stated our hours of meals I will do so here. Breakfast half past eight, Luncheon twelve, Dinner four Tea six and Grog or Supper (as you may please to call it) eight. Just this instant nine oclock the sentry called without the bell being struck I went and blew him up Shonk was the offender. The Doctor is not well tonight. Never was a man in a greater state of agitation than he has been since he resolved on flogging he cried out repeatedly during the night and has been in a nervous tremor all day he is a man of too mild and soft a disposition to deal with such fellows and is not fit for it although a better creature or more benevolent never lived. I do not think that he would have flogged had the mans insolence been in a tete a tete instead of in our presence. An awkward accident had nearly befallen Pe Lee of the Grenadiers this evening; he was jumping down the fore hatch when he saw that the hold had been left open just in
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time to save himself going down. This piece of carelessness on the part of those whose duty it was to see it closed before the sentries were posted for the night might have cost the poor fellow his limbs or life. We have a strong breeze this evening I believe the much wished for trade. Our days run up to twelve oclock was 151 miles and our Latitude three North with a longitude of twenty west. Writing kept me up rather late for it was past eleven before I went out to visit the sentries I then put away my writing materials and went to bed.
19th The Sergeant called me at two but as the sentries seemed very lively and sang out lustily at the half hour and hour I thought it advisable to nap a little longer so I turned round and by some unaccountable accident did not move again untill the Steward called me at six bells. It was impossible for a day to be much duller than this was. After writing some more letters I sat down to read and read without being disturbed some hours first on deck and afterwards on the poop. Swarms of Black fish were leaping in every direction and an attempt was made by the Boatswain to spear one of them he struck it with the harpoon but it got away. My first half hour in the morning was passed in a very disagreable way the door of the bath having jammed so as to prevent my getting out when I had got enough and there I was obliged to stay shivering and shaking untill the carpenter came and released me. In the evening the second mate fetched his harpoon more fish being about the ship but he did not get a chance. Walking on the poop and playing backgammon served to pass the evening untill ten oclock I then went round and went to bed. Doctor has eaten too much boiled beef for his supper and is not well.
Sunday 20th Got up at a quarter past two and visited the posts, from them I ascended to where the Boatswain was rolling up and down to spin or hear spun, a yarn, he told me some wonderful stories in one of which a sea passed right over the main yard of the vessel he was in a ship of three hundred and fifty tons after talking to him for half an hour or more I went to bed again. At seven bells I was very loathe to get up being very sleepy nevertheless a desperate effort succeeded. I manufactured and devoured a cup of chocolate for my breakfast and then sat grinding the Captains razor untill I was late for Parade. Just before the church service the Captain threw his straw hat overboard which rejoiced us greatly as we got rid of a vast source of the malee which made the ship nearly unbearable this happened just as we were crossing the line so that old Neptune got a benefit. 15 The crossing the line was of course a great event in our voyage and deserves to have the very minute registered this I could not ascertain but believe that it happened as near half past eleven as possible.
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Before and after dinner I read Lyell. The Boatswain got hold of me in the evening his first observation was the regret he felt that Neptune had not come on board in the morning. Something or the other induced Bridge to pay his respects to the sentries about nine oclock when he came back after having been absent a considerable time he told me that he had detected Pte Markham who was sentry in the main hatch in full confab with a convict that he had relieved him and put him in the box. The Doctor has turned out to be an arrant old thief he got hold of the Captains keys and stole a bundle of cigars. One more event is to be recorded this day the serving out of linen and a clean pair of sheets. Wrote log then visited the sentries and went to bed.
21st At four oclock I got up and went round found all well and was going full trot to my nest again when a sea came over which gave me a regular drenching. Every thing combined to annoy me all day my cabin door would not keep shut, was sleepy in the morning, the flies teased me and I was as cross as the devil. After breakfast I read and walked on the poop untill dinner directly after a Booby 16 came in sight I suspect it was the same which had followed us all the previous day while I was getting my gun the Captain fired a musket at him and knocked a feather out of his wing or tail he soon came again crack went a cap, try the other barrel again no go, fresh caps, the same result, the Captain got another musquet I pricked my nipples bind a long shot fired, down he came squattering on the water thanks to a heavy charge of powder and a light charge of No three. I suppose that I tried a dozen times before I could get the other barrel to go off but I did at last. Killing this fellow put me in great glee as it was the first which was shot on the voyage. Gave my gun 17 a thorough dry rubbing and oiling as a preparitory motion to a good cleaning by
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the time I had done it was tea time. After I had drank about a gallon I went to refrigerate on the Poop where I remained untill eight bells and then wrote my log. It has blown fresh all day our four and twenty hours run was 181 miles and our speed has not decreased since twelve oclock. It is now while I am writing exactly eight weeks since we hoisted in our baggage at Deptford. When I had written my log I went out on the deck it was then raining fast so I went round the sentries and went to bed.
22nd At half past one oclock I was wide awake the bell struck "All's well" sang out the Sentry in the main hatch I listened some time but could not hear the cry echoed, by the other. I was bundling out to ascertain the cause of his silence when Corp Connoll came to call me I asked him if the sentry had challenged and his answer was yes but not loudly this satisfied me and I slept untill five oclock on going out I found some of the cooks up it being still pitch dark. I slept well again untill near eight oclock and then got up but did not take a bath. Cleaning my gun occupied me the greater part of the morning and then Bridge challenged me to a game at backgammon which I accepted. After playing I went with him on the poop where he forgave Markham, his punishment was two nights in the box a prisoner on allowance two days and his grog stopped for a week, light enough considering his crime. While on the poop after dinner another Booby came in sight I ran down and got my gun the Captain was beforehand with me as the fellow flew over he whipped up a musket and fired, missed, up went the little Eggite, 18 no hanging fire this time, the fellow staggered in his flight then dropped a feather and finally settled on the water ahead of the ship with his head ducking under every swell. I fired again as we passed him and I think that I hit his wing but he required no more, the first shot had settled his hash. Having wiped out my gun and put it by I walked on the Poop talking to the second mate when Shonk came to say that the Doctor would play at backgammon I went down and got beaten. Fetched my pen and ink and scribbled a page or so. While I was playing with the Doctor one of the sentries sang out, "Ar Ar Alls" well as loud as ever he could roar a loud burst of laughter following from one of the guard or other person; not approving of play on duty I went out to blow him up. Frost was the sentry. The beauty of the night induced me to remain on deck untill 6 bells the southern Cross made its appearance distinctly for the first time having heard so much of its splendor my ideas of its beauty were very exalted but it was decreed that they should fall from boiling point down to zero or in other words my present opinion is that Orion is vastly superior and
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the Bear quite equal to this far famed constellation. After going my rounds I went to bed.
23rd I did not hear the Sergeant call me as directed (must remember to ask) but about eight bells in the middle watch I awakened and got up. While at breakfast I saw one of the men slip something into the hand of the sentry at the larboard gangway (Markham) it was immediately secreted in his hand as I had some little suspicion as to its destination I watched him some time, he continued pacing up and down with it in his hand two or three times the parcel had the appearance of something done up in a bit of white rag or paper and I concieved it was tobacco. To give him an opportunity of disposing of it when he approached the barricade I withdrew my eyes looked again; it was gone, and one of the prisoners smiling most complacently through the bars. When I mentioned this to Bridge he merely said that I might enquire into it. I went on deck called Shanks who I suspected was the man who handed it up he denied it. Cutler said that he had just come on deck but said he had brought up nothing. On going to Markham and asking him what he had given to the prisoner at the same time telling him what I had seen he said it was a raizor to be sharpened for him and that Cutler had brought it. Having got this far I returned to Bridge who then came out Cutler said that he had come on deck since the time I spoke of (when I accused him of attempting to decieve me) a dirty quibble. Markham was then relieved he said "that the prisoner had asked him if he had a razor which wanted sharpening but the prisoner said when questioned by Sergt Horton that Markham had asked him if any of the men could set a razor and that he answered that he could and would if he would give it to him (which was done) that he was sorry for his part in the transaction and that he ought to have known better being an old soldier. This, Horton is my authority for. After some little deliberation Bridge decided that he Markham should be a prisoner at large untill the end of the voyage remaining on the Poop during the day under charge of the watch sleeping in his birth and recieving his full allowance of provisions excepting his grog only. I am induced to be thus particular and lengthy in my statement as I shall in the event of his being brought to trial be the principal witness against him. The convicts Number on board is 76 and his name is Daniel Tim. All this business being finished I went to my cabin for a few minutes then returned on the deck and learn't the use of the Quadrant also tried the Sextant while thus occupied Bridge sent me word to inspect the Parade. Dismissed them, got out my book and wrote up to the present hour half past eleven. On referring back I find that I have omitted stating that one evening I think it must have been the evening of the 4th of August the guard was put through the movements to be observed in case of any alarm in the night I read the remainder of the day and turned
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in at eleven oclock leaving orders to be called at one or half past on the
24th I never heard the call (although the Capt assured me that I answered the Sergeant) and slept soundly untill 6 bells when I got up. After breakfast I sent for Shonk into my cabin to give him a practical lesson in gun cleaning, theory I found had not its proper effect. My gun pistils and rifle all recieved a thorough cleaning and oiling which they greatly needed this occupied me untill past twelve. I suffered a good deal from headache during the day reading was painful to me although I went on the poop with my book I could not remember a word I read, it went in at my eyes and out at my ears, while thus employed the steward came and announced dinner after which I was a little better but not in my usual spirits. Won a bet from Bridge by putting into a bottle as much as he could I had to thank the steward for this for while the bet was being discussed he shewed me the way it was to be done but before I had accepted the bet. Bridge wished to make out that the bet was null and void in consequence but the Doctor who had been appointed umpire gave it against him. I gave one of my bullet moulds to my servant to be cleaned and beat the doctor at backgammon in the evening. Mem. The way to fill the bottle is to pour the water into its interior first then cork it and afterwards turn it up and fill the cavity at its bottom. I walked on the poop for exercise some time and then went to bed at ten oclock having first gone round the Sentries.
25th The Captain awakened me at half past two in the morning telling me at the same time that I had been called about an hour before and had answered which must have been in my sleep as I was totally unconscious of having been called. I got up and found the sentries on the alert as is generally the case with the Corporals watch. It was my intention to have gone again after the relief being rather suspicious of one of the men but I fell asleep (I was still suffering with the headache) and dozed rather than slept untill past seven. Breakfast had been over some time and I was just reading Lyell on Lamarcks theory of progressive advancement when Sergt Horton came in to propose to me to use my influence with Bridge on behalf of Markham at the same time giving me to understand that he had had some conversation with Bridge on the subject but was sent by the prisoner. Although I considered that he richly deserved punishment yet I said that I would speak to Bridge on the subject I did so; his answer was that if I would ask [for] his forgiveness, the offence should be pardoned not certainly in those words but as much was implied; this I would not do considering that it would in some measure make me answerable for the mans after conduct a responsibility too heavy for so young an officer. It appeared also that Markham made an attempt to criminate Corp Connoll who came to me and begged that I would examine the convict the result of which was as follows. The Corp was serving out the raizors
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in the morning, Markham being sentry, the prisoner asked for the stone and was told that it was in Hospital Markham then asked if he could set a raizor the Corpl was then called away to take charge of his child I have already related what followed. I read that part of Lyell where he treats on the Lamarckian theory of progressive advancement how anything so preposterous could have entered into a mans head I cannot concieve and as to believing that he wrote his own sentiments I never can. 19 For some days we have seen neither fish, flesh, fowl or sail nothing but sea and sky the arrival of a large shoal of porpoises was therefore hailed as a Godsend all hands turning up for a look the second mate prepared his harpoon but the fish did not come near. In the evening I wrote my log up to the morning I also had a long confab with Sergt Horton with regard to the prisoner & between dinner and tea cast about sixty slugs for the benefit of the Albatross when we fall in with them which I hope will be soon being in great want of something to break the monotony of a sea life. The wind has been rather fresh but the sea is very quiet yesterdays run was one hundred and forty miles making our Latitude 10th 30 S and our Longitude 32 W. I went to bed soon after ten leaving orders to be called at one on the
26th I awakened at half a minute after five I was going to say half an hour instead of five and am thus exact for the sake of appearance a book full of scratches not looking well. I found the prisoners up washing the sentries being at the barricade I thought that the Sergeant had forgotten to call me Sergeant Creek assured me that I had been called if I was I certainly was not awakened. I did not get up this morning untill after seven bells. As soon as the breakfast cloth was removed I sat down and wrote my log. Yesterday Shonk broke my rifle ball mould which I had given him to clean very fortunately I have another of the same size or its loss would have been a serious affair. The wind freshened considerably in the morning continuing to blow during the day. While I was writing my log the Capt came to say that a sail was in sight and that he believed it to be a homeward bound ship it was on our lee bow and in hopes of having an opportunity of sending letters he hauled away half a point but it was fated that we should be disappointed as the hull rose he pronounced it to be a Spaniard but when we hoisted our colours she displayed the American ensign. Later in the day another vessel passed us but far on our weather bow and still later quite in the evening the second mate reported a third sail but night closing in prevented our seeing what she was. I finished the second volume of Lyell and dived a little deeper into Byrons works. I did not stay up much after nine not feeling very well it was blowing very
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102 JOURNAL OF ENSIGN BEST
fresh but I managed to scramble in the dark as far as the two hatches and then turned in.
27th The effect of going to bed so early was awakening a few minutes after twelve not knowing what time it was I got up and went my rounds and not sorry to have so much time before me for a snooze soon popped into my cot again. I got up at seven bells rather seasick. At ten oclock we went to parade and prayers. Standing on the poop was no easy matter our line was none of the most perfect and Bridge did not load only a few of the men being served with amunition. At twelve oclock the Capt announced the days run to be one hundred and ninety four miles beating the best days work we had yet made by two. Feeling still sea sick I went and laid down untill dinner after which I could hold out no longer and up it all came again breakfast following, in opposition to the usual course of things. I came to the charge again at tea much better and then walked on the poop untill time to go to bed which I again made early desiring that I might be called at one oclock and well roused.
28th At the appointed hour Corp Connoll came to my cot head called me I answered him but he was not contented and asked me if I was awake and if that would do I answered yes and then he retired. I had a striking exemplification of a doctrine which I had hitherto doubted that of dreams passing thro the mind in a very short period of time. After being called (the bell had gone one oclock) I lay awake some time then fell asleep and dreamed a long dream awakened again lay some minutes and was up and dressed by half past one this was what I call making good use of ones time. At four oclock the Capt called me asking me if I was going my rounds I was happy to answer that I had been out some hours before I got a very poor nights rest my door made a terrible noise and Bridges cot kept knocking against the bulkhead all night besides which the ship always makes a great fuss when going with any speed. I found it quite necessary to keep in the open air untill past twelve oclock when feeling better I came in and played a few hits at Backgammon. Returning on deck again I took a nap on one of the hen coops untill near dinner time after tea my time was spent in writing up my journal and finishing Don Juan what a pity it is that it should end so abruptly I had always fancied that he was fairly started on his road to the infernal regions or some other place of rest. At eight my studies were interrupted by the arrival of the common herd, it being another feeding time when the animals had eaten and drank I attacked the Doctor at Backgammon coming off victorious. The wind had become fairer and more moderate studding sails were set in the forenoon I have been near commiting high treason by not registering a splendid run of two hundred and eleven miles which we had made as close to the wind as we could lay (or lie) I do not know which is the word to be used
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in this case. At ten oclock I went round the sentries and retired for the night leaving orders to be called at one oclock.
29th I was awakened by my cot striking against the Bulkhead of my cabin got up and tightened the guy I use to prevent it then slipped on my things and went out. The Sergeant said that he had called me at the hour I had named (it was just half past two when I got up). Soon after I was in again the Captain called me I answered him and went to sleep untill half past seven. As soon as the breakfast cloth was removed I took up Byron and read the "Siege of Corinth" it pleased me in parts more than "Don Juan" this I attribute to the superiority of the principal characters as much as to the force and beauty of the poetry: how beautiful is the contrast between Alp the Renegade and the old Minotti and then the midnight scene beneath the walls it "gars one grue" to think of it. As for that fellow Gifford he merits death for his curtailings and amendments. 20 While reading Shonk came to tell me that there was a large bird different from the others flying about the ship I laid down my book to go and see what it was arriving just in time to see it going away as quick as it could. Bread and cheese at twelve and then I finished a match of 50 games at Backgammon with Bridge coming off the conqueror. Exercise on the Poop untill dinner which being laid in and the cloth removed I proceeded to cut the third volume of Lyell and then came in and wrote my journal days run one hundred and eighty miles. Wind getting light and sea smooth Themometer about seventy five. Returned on deck after tea was challenged by the Doctor beat him a rub. Part of my days work had been to visit the Barracks which were clean and in good order. It had been our custom to have music during dinner consisting of a flute and fiddle played by two of the Convicts for which they recieved a glass of grog between them but today the Fiddler was detected stealing tobacco and a knife for which he was put in irons this will stop his music for some time at any rate. Tried some corned beef for supper but it stunk, so I eat some ham and then wrote up down hill [sic] from the top of the page and joined the Captain on deck remaining there untill ten oclock when I visited the Sentries and turned in made a mistake here I came in at ten and read the first chapter of the third volume of Lyell and at eleven went my rounds & turned in.
30th At one oclock the serjeant called me I awakened again at three and also at four. Got up and went out found Corp Connoll as he always is
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on the qui vive. After breakfast I read Lyell on the Poop. A Cape pigeon 21 came to pay us a visit I went and fetched my Gun to get a shot at it. It soon came within distance but I missed him the cunning varmint took good care to fly right across the stern and so a little forward which prevented his getting the other barrel. After my failure I attacked Bridge at Backgammon but it was not my day at anything and I got grievously licked. The bird came again rather later but did not give me a chance. Between dinner and tea I cleaned my gun with the assistance of Shonk and laid it by. When I went on the poop I was delighted to find that it was almost a calm the ship not going more than a mile or a mile & a half in an hour soon after she would not steer but Alas the breeze came down and we once more quickened our motions. I had once hoped and expected that we were going to enjoy a delightful dolderum of a week's duration a[t] least with plenty of sharks I now fear that I shall be disappointed. The days run was one hundred and fifty two miles the Latitude 24° South the longitude 30° West. Private Cooper 4th recieved his grog yesterday it had been stopped a week for being dirty on parade and the prisoner Markham 80th had his grog stopped also for sending it below where there is reason to believe it came into the possession of the wife of Sert Briscoe this woman is the devil on board she is declared by Horton to be at the bottom of all mischief. I am now writting the bell having just struck eight, time to give over. I went onto the poop and remained there untill near eleven talking to the Boatswain it was very calm the sails flapping against the masts I then went mv rounds and turned in.
31st Shonk coming in awakened me only a few minutes before eight bells. The Corporal had called me in the night without effect for I slept well and only awakened for a few minutes while they were cleaning the decks. Breakfast being over I took Lyell onto the poop. A pair of Cape pigeons soon interrupted me I did not however succeed in killing either of them although I fired four shots. It was dead calm (our twenty four hours' run had been only fifty miles) and the Dolphins were playing about us in every direction saying catch me who can. I tried a piece of rag and pork neither of which proved tempting thus things went on untill dinner (all wondering at the absence of Sharks) when a loud cry outside announced the arrival of the much wished for monster. I was not long before I was out and sure enough there were two and I think three swimming about the ship. Bridge got his line out of the stern window I had mine over the quarter while the Second Mate got his harpoon he soon succeeded in spearing the smaller of the two the Larger kept sailing round and round at last he charged my bait I served out my line he carrying the bait in his mouth had I gone on and waited patiently untill he gorged it I have no
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doubt that I should have caught him but Bridge and some others called out to strike which I did and out came hook and all and he made off for a time. Mean while Mr Knight was playing the lesser, at last a Bowling knot was passed round him he was hauled up as far as the quarter gallery and the harpoon cut out he was about six feet long. By this time the other had returned he was literally rushing at my bait when the Mate who had no idea of giving another a chance let drive at him with his harpoon missed and frightened him away. He kept boxing about and while he was thus employed Bridge shot a pigeon thereby winning a bet from the Captain. Just before dusk the shark returned to the baits gave mine a lug then pitched into the rudder most viciously rushed at Bridges bait and got a taste of it, turned again and was hooked. Some fears were now entertained for the hook and line both of which were small the Mate was called to assist and at the sixth throw fairly pinned him while by way of assisting I drove as many bullets into his upper regions; after a game resistance he was got on board stretched on deck and surveyed by candle light; he was a noble fellow at least eight feet long and very thick. After a minute examination he was carried forward and soon demolished soldiers and sailors all cutting away at discretion, the other was disposed of in a similar manner the heads are to be preserved for the Doctor and myself I wished for the backbone of one but both were destroyed, the one by the harpoon and the other by the men so that I am likely to go minus. All the sharking being over a quarrel arose between Mr Knight and Cutter the latter was cleaning his piece of fish somewhere Knight told him to remove it he said he would not, the order was repeated and the Mate told to do it himself, the reply was I'll see you d----d first, and I'll see you d----d first said Cutter. Thus outraged Knight who came & reported the mans insolence to Bridge there was lots of jaw the Captain was called to assist and it was decided that no more sharks shall be admitted on board the James Pattison. All being now over I came into the cuddy and eat a breadbasket of Biscuit. Sergt Briscoe chose to take his dinner below again today although it is forbidden he pleaded illness as his excuse but I know that it is Mrs Briscoes pleasure to dine there because there is an order against it. A sentry is to be placed in future to prevent its repetition. Pte Hill in spite of the warnings of the Boatswain would put his fingers into the sharks mouth after his head was taken off he won't try it again for he is severely bitten. We have had a vessel in company all day at the distance of three or four miles it appears to be a foreign Whaler. The calm continued up to the time when I was writing about ten oclock; two hours or so after a light breeze sprang up, when I left the deck at eleven we were going about a knot before turning in I visited the sentries.
September 1st Not many of the sportsmen in merry England rose earlier than I did on this day of death to many a Partridge although our motives
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might be different three oclock was the hour I got out at; found all right spent an hour with the boatswain then slept till six bells. I went forward to look after the head of the shark when I returned I found the Captain up he told me that one of the convicts had informed him that the Inspectors robbed him when they went down into the hold to recieve the provisions. They were searched and on one of them the[re] were five stolen biscuits and a quantity of raisins the fellow was flogged after breakfast he got two dozen and roared like a bull. When the punishment was over and the parade dismissed I sent for Shonk and cleaned my gun and pistols while doing this the Doctor came to tell me that the head of my shark (Bridge had given me his) was broken all to pieces I suspected treachery went to see and found that it was his which was destroyed. One of the convicts an old seaman was cleaning it. I went into the prison where I had a long talk with the old man he seemed quite au fait at this work told me the age of the brute (a year and a half) as how they began with one row at their birth which they increased by another every year. The jaws only were cleaned all the back the sailors threw away before I got up. What a contrast today is to yesterday the one so calm clear and hot the latter although not rough yet dirty cold and disagreeable. While at dinner the ship gave a sudden pitch having previously been quite quiet, for a second she blundered about and then settled down again. Several Pigeons tempted me a long time at last I loaded & dropped one which frightened them away. A Ship now came in sight bore down for us we did not speak yet from appearances we judged that she might possibly be distressed. Our Sow farrowed this evening a litter of twelve an important event. As soon as it was dark I came in and wrote my log my pen was abominable I could not get on atall atall time now to put by and take something to drink. Supper being concluded I went on to the poop where I remained the greater part of the evening at eleven I went my rounds and turned in. Note down that today I shot the first pigeon which was killed from our ship this voyage. * (* correction. Bridge shot the first as already mentioned.)
2nd At one the serjeant called me I waited half an hour before I went out paid a visit to the long boat as well as the sentries as the prisoner who acted as butcher was there sitting up with the sow all was right one of the sailors being there one of the baby grunters had however presumed to defunck. I slept untill the Doctor called me about seven bells then got up just in time for breakfast. While I was in my cabin for some purpose or another I heard a gun fired on going out I found Bridge at war with the pigeons I soon joined him the campaign was splendid on his part he shot three pigeons and a petril I only shot one petril and one pigeon not killing either of them dead. My plan of operation was this, I took up my seat on the poop with my book in my hand and my gun by my side the men always told me when a bird came near so that in the intervals I got through
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a good portion of Lyell. An Albatros 22 came in sight in the morning the first we had seen in fact it was it that brought me out. In hopes of getting a shot I had loaded with ten slugs in my right barrell. Just as he came a pigeon was shot this was a good feast for him he dropped astern and we did not see anything more of him untill the evening when he again came. From the nature of my charge I could reach him at some eighty yards with sufficient force to do execution and at that distance he gave several good opportunities of shooting him but Bridge (who had nothing but No. three in his gun wanted a chance although the idea of hurting him with such stuff was absurd) * kept up a cry of dont fire yet he is too far off &c &c I waited as long as I could at last Bridge half raised his gun I thought he was going to fire and therefore blazed away though he was sweeping along the crest of the waves and any thing but a good shot Bridge also fired I had covered his back he staggered shook himself and then made off rapidly I think I marked him and am now more of that opinion having seen nothing of him today this concluded the days sport. Cleaning my gun walking the poop and backgammon passed the evening my visits were paid at halfpast ten I then went to my pillow & was soon locked in the arms of Nurphey.
Sunday 3rd Corporal Connoll called me according to orders at one I did not awaken untill he closed the door when I was fairly roused I was conscious that I had been talking infernal nonsense to some one and the Captain the next morning confirmed me in the fact telling me that when the Corporal called I said I was wide awake and knew it was one oclock and to convince him of this began to clap my hands together. After three bells I jumped out went as quickly as possible round the sentries and into bed again it has now got too cold for moonlight sojournings on the Poop. After breakfast I shaved for parade at a few minutes after ten the Surgeon read prayers the Guard being formed according to orders on the poop but their arms were not loaded. An immense number of pigeons were round the ship all day I tried to catch some of them with a hook did not succeed and lost the line. Our days run was 179 miles that of the two proceeding days united only 140 the first Albatross that of yesterday came on the 27th parallel of Latitude. A point was hotly discussed during dinner regarding the respective commands of the officer commanding the Guard and the Surgeon superintendent. Nothing was satisfactorily settled and the dispute waxing warm was mutually dropped it arose from the Surgeon asserting that his orders gave him power to command the officer in cases of emergency which we disputed. Between dinner and tea I walked on the poop and after tea wrote two days log. This being finished I applied my-
* I am informed that the Albatross may be killed with very small shot.
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self to Lyell with considerable perseverance but the others made so much noise that I gave over at nine oclock and by half past was in my cot for the night.
4th At half past three I got up to go my rounds when I learn't from the serjeant of the watch that while sweetly sleeping we were all nearly going to the bottom of the sea the look out being so sharp as to allow us to pass within a very few yards of a Barque, so close in fact that although it was very dark the man at their wheel could be seen, here was a pretty specimen of the discipline on board a merchantman. The serjeant reported the lamps very dull and badly trimmed. I had intended a regular campaign against the pigeons today, I rose earlier than usual and by breakfast time was all ready to commence slaughtering them I kept at this work all day reading in the intervals, and shooting just decently before dinner, but afterwards could not kill a single thing. Some Cape Hens 23 were about us but none came within shot. An Albatross came in the evening slugs were substituted for small shot in hopes of a chance which he never gave. Bridge not being well (he is apt to be hipped and there is scarce a disease under the sun which he does not imagine he suffers from) it fell to me to inspect the parade in the morning. We had less wind today, yesterday we were running nine to ten knots. It rained in the afternoon and was altogether dirty and uncomfortable. After tea was over I set to work at my gun which I gave a thorough cleaning. Beat the doctor at Backgammon then went onto the poop walked about untill eleven oclock then came in and reported the lamps of the previous night to the Captain turned in and went to sleep. Visited sentries first found the main hatch lamp dull ordered it to be trimmed.
5th At seven oclock the second mate came in to rouse up the Doctor when I asked the reason of this uncommon proceeding I was informed that one of the convicts a boy was to be flogged on a gun. I got up took command of the watch on the poop; the fellow was brought out tied on a gun and then the Boatswain applied his cat a la posteriori, much to my astonishment. One dozen was laid on as a punishment for stealing another prisoners tea. A second boy was also to have been flogged but the Doctor forgot him: his offence was so unique that I must register it. It appears that he bet four days allowance of pudding that he would eat the breakfast of eight men which would be no less than one gallon of oatmeal gruel or porridge; he eat it, but as it came up again he was under the painful necessity of taking it in a second edition in order to win his bet, which the beast actually did. The watch being dismissed I returned to my cabin washed and dressed and after breakfast took up my gun but I could
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not shoot, out of ten shots I missed eight this sent me down in something very like a tantrum took up my log and wrote some of it; dinner came next, afterwards I again tried to kill a pigeon fired 6 shots, two of which told but not well, one on a cape hen. At twelve the captain got an observation on calculating our two days run he found we had gone three hundred and seventy two miles. After tea I again took up my pen to finish my days work writing up to seven oclock when the wind was still on the increase having been rising the last two hours. Have omitted stating that I did not hear the serjeant call me in the night and not waking untill late in the morning did not go out. Beat the Doctor at backgammon and also the Captain, then walked the poop untill past ten oclock with the latter who then went to bed; I went to visit the sentries. On putting the usual question to the sentry down the main hatch he answered that all was not right & requested me to come down I did so he then told me that there was a knocking in the prison as if a hammer and chisel was being used I listened but heard nothing the two sentries who were on before heard it Shonk was the first Frost the second & Billington the one who reported it to me serjeant Creek also heard it, I then went to the fore hatch the sentry there had heard nothing returning I listened again & heard a distinct rapping, called to the convict watchman and asked what the noise was. He was a long time coming when he did arrive he said that there was no noise I went and reported it to the Surgeon who came out and eventually went into the prison I mustered the watch on the poop by the arms, placed a man to rouse up the sleepers if necessary, and made all needful preparations for action. The Doctor came out from the prison said he could find no cause for the noise that all was quiet and all the men in bed to which place he betook himself. At twelve I followed him having ordered that the deck should be patrolled all night, that I should have a report made at one, be called at three and five and in case of any alarm be roused instantly, lastly that the serjeant should frequently visit the sentries and see that the privy doors were securely fastened.
6th All was reported right at one. At three I was called got up found all right countermanded the five oclock order for I had slept little having laid down half dressed and been annoy'd by the rats, at breakfast the alarms of the previous night were of course discussed the opinion seemed to be that the noise was occasioned by some of the things hung up in the prison or hospital striking against the bulkhead when the ship rolled. I am not satisfied with the explanation because I heard when listening a noise like the shutting of a knife. Mrs Bridge said that Bridge who is still in his cot was very uneasy while the noise we made continued I had not called him because he was sick and it was no use to frighten her. I paid him a visit after breakfast don't think that he will die this time; inspected the barracks at parade all the men were clean except Cooper.
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Duty being over I took up my gun, improved today killing eight out of eleven. Weather rather hazy, wind strong the days run 202 miles, the wind dead aft. After tea beat the doctor five games then sat down to write my journal. Am informed by the Doctor that the convict watchman went to sleep last night he was reported for coolly leaving his post and fairly turning in. While walking the poop I noticed that the sentry in the main hatchway did not call out when I enquired the cause he said that he could not raise his voice because he had not recieved his proper rations the fact was that he (Sheering) had been trafficking with Benson and Bridge stopped the grog of both I reported it to Bridge who told me to do with him as I pleased. He had to go on another hour to make up the time he had lost when a prisoner before he was reported to Bridge for his former offence so I sent for and told him that if he did not call out in a proper manner I would put him in the box for the night. Cooper of the fourth had his grog stopped for spitting on a prisoner, the day I do not know but will discover and leave a space for the date - 4th . At ten oclock I went round the sentries ordered the Corporal to call me when Sheering was put on sentry in order that I might hear if my threat had had any effect. I was call[ed] at twenty five minutes past eleven the man certainly did call out but in an improper and unsoldierlike manner, so I ordered him into the box he would not go at first, the Corporal called a file of men and he was put in I again went to bed and slept till three on the
7th Got up visited the sentries and the prisoner who wanted to argue the reason of his imprisonment this I would not hear he then began to say that the box was not a proper place to put a man in I cut this short also by ordering the door to be closed and locked. It was blowing very hard from the North West, such a banging of doors was kept up that I could not sleep, a tremendous crash aroused me from a doze about seven looking up I found all my small chattels mingled together on the floor they had gone off the top of my chests. In one heap lay a watch, glasses, books, boots, shoes, bullet moulds, and other articles too numerous to mention, when I got out I sat laughing on the floor the Captain was similarly employed peeping through my Venetians, at last I recovered my gravity and began to grieve at my losses by fracture but was soon restored to my usual equanimity by the reflection that I looked like Marius among the ruins of Carthage. I was late at breakfast where my misfortunes caused much mirth: the wind increased, we were all the forenoon running between eleven and twelve knots rolling heavily. The arm chest fetched away crushing the legs of two of our best men Jones & Wright who were sitting on it but most fortunately not severely. Dire were the tumbles and duckings for we rolled at times gunwales under and shipped several seas at one time four of the guard were on their beam ends sliding over the wet deck as the ship sallied to and fro. Bridge was still ill in his cot I excused the parade &
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visited the barracks which were all things considered in tolerable order. Stopped the grog of Pte Wilson for fighting and disorderly conduct and gave Sheering his choice either to go to his duty and perform it in a cheerful soldierlike manner or to go into the box every night for a week he chose the former. I also (as he seemed to doubt the legallity of his grog being stopped) gave him all necessary information in case he chooses to prefer charges against Bridge on his arrival at Sydney. Our days run was two hundred and twenty miles. About five P.M. the wind shifted to S. W. I gave the second watch extra grog as they were very wet it had been raining hard. Mrs Briscoe in my hearing chosing to make this the subject of an impertinent observation I called up her husband and admonished him to keep her in some control I reported her to Bridge who ordered her wine to be stopped. In the afternoon I got an indifferent shot at an Albatross. As the two reliefs came on I served out grog to all excepting Wilson and Sheering. Benson received his Grog again which had been stopped as well as Sheerings. After supper I wrote my journal & am now hoping that the days work is nearly over for I am very tired both in mind and body. When I went round the sentries I found serjeant Briscoe who assured me that the speech I had overheard was said in joke talking to serjeant Creek this altered the case I then bundled into bed and in spite of being called at one slept with the exception of a few minutes untill eight oclock.
8th Found on getting up that the wind which had fallen during the afternoon and night had come round untill it was nearly foul. There were plenty of birds about pigeons, Cape hens, petrils both the stormy and snowy and an albatross or two. I killed two hens striking several others but the shot took no effect unless they were struck in particular spots. I tried slugs on an albatross and missed. When I have had a good look at these birds I will describe them in due form. Our days run was 180 miles. Our Captain is an abominable nuisance perpetually boring us as at present with his old logs which he no doubt thinks very entertaining we wish them and him at such times at the the bottom of the sea. I shot away all day at the birds not giving over untill the evening. I inspected the parade and the barracks Bridge was still in his bed but better I suppose that he will be out again in two or three days. Corporal Connoll was put by the Doctor on the sick list I appointed private Wright to act as a Non commissioned officer untill he is well again. A pig was killed today this is another improvement on the state of affairs ducks and fowls every day are intolerable another pleasant thing is that the weather has cooled down to 56 or 57 of Farhenheit. I played several games at backgammon with the Doctor coming off victorious. I see that Nettles name has not appeared in this valuable work for a long long time know then that she is very nearly as fat as Basil Halls pet pig Jane but is grown a mortal coward. It is now about nine oclock the wind is as foul as it well can be there is little of it
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hope that it will remain so for a week at least. At ten oclock the wind shifted round to the North east at the same time freshening a little the night cleared up all things promissing a fine day on the morrow. The Captain put the ship about I remained with him untill this manoevre was completed then visited the sentries and went to bed.
9th The Serjeant of the second watch called me when he went off. At half past twelve I got up and visited the sentries; acting corporal Wright reported all well & I turned in again. It was so cold that I was glad to get my counterpane on for the first time since I left England. I could not persuade myself to get out untill eight oclock it was a squally rainy morning as soon as I was dressed I went on deck where I found the crew reefing the main top sail, came in to breakfast and afterwards paid Bridge a visit he is still in his bed fancies he is going to have a brain fever and that he is going to do anything except get well. Kept the Deck nearly all day read a few pages of Lyell. Ordered all the Guard below out of the wet except the watch. There was no parade and I did not visit the barracks. Allowed Sheering and Wilson to have their grog today. In the evening it cleared a little got a few shots at the cape hens killed one missed one and wounded two. There was nothing but reefing and unreefing all day the wind got still more Northerly which enabled us to lay our course. Gave Nettle a good bed of straw (the poor beast was quite wet) she found it so comfortable that she got into her kennel & would not come out again. Went onto the poop for a few minutes after tea then came in and wrote log up to a quarter past seven. The Doctor now came down to play a few hits of backgammon we played untill he considered himself sufficiently beaten to authorize his going to bed. I went onto the poop the log was hove which gave us near eleven knots visited the sentries and followed the example of the Doctor.
Sunday 10th At one oclock the Serjeant called me it was then blowing very hard the ship kicking my cot about like a ball nevertheless I managed to fall asleep again untill past five oclock when the Captain came in having been out poor devil all night "case viz" the Boatswain was drunk, it was his duty to keep the larboard watch the chief mate being like sir Jerry Go Nimble, lame of one leg, he had been most conveniently so far at least five weeks and will not get well. No fool he, for he now sits and smokes his pipe like the great Mogul. At eight oclock I got out arriving rather late at the breakfast table but in time to get a little bit of Sausage before the Doctor who is a perfect Boa Constrictor an Alligator, Secretary bird or any other ravenous animal had finished them all. It blew too hard for parade or divine service raining at intervals untill twelve when it cleared a little. Ordered all the coats up from the barracks to dry. During the day we shipped several seas one came over the poop in sufficient quantity to
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duck us well. Shortly before dinner we carried away our fore top sail studding sail boom, in an attempt to set the sail, since noon we have been running from ten to ten and a half knots per hour rolling heavily. The wind has moderated a little (half past eight) I am now doing my best to write my log a matter of no small difficulty considering that at times I am obliged to hold on to the table with might and main. Bridge still in his cabin, but rather better. What would I give just now for a moments peep into our drawing room at home when shall I again be made happy with the presence of those I have left in the other hemisphere I cannot help being a little pathetic when I reflect that perhaps at the moment I am now writing all I hold dearest and nearest are on the same meridian of Longitude with me and that if I could only cast my eye along a long long line I might by chance obtain a glance if only for a moment of one of those faces now dearer to me than ever. God bless them all perhaps they may now be saying or thinking the same of me especially if the Equinoctial gales are blowing with them as with us. About ten I went round the posts and to bed.
11th I awakened about half past twelve got up and went out at first I could not find the watch but after a minute search discovered them stow'd away in the galley, at this time it was blowing very hard the sea continually washing over us. I paid a flying visit to the poop coming down again just in time to be caught by one of the seas. I did not get out again untill eight bells. The weather moderated a little during the day but not soon enough to prevent our days run being two hundred and thirty eight miles. Bridge came out today for the first time I cannot say he is much pulled down by his illness. There was a long dispute between him & the Captain regarding a bet which had been made Bridge betting that the James Pattison would not run two hundred and thirty seven there was no doubt concerning the days run but the Captain mantained that he had run two hundred and fifty three in the previous twenty four hours which Bridge would not allow. Although the weather was rather more moderate yet it was impossible to read, write, shoot or enjoy oneself in any way except trotting up and down the poop. When I went down to the barracks in the morning Private Norris of the fourth reported to me that he had fallen on the corner of the hatch hurting his side severely he had been to the Doctor but his side had not been examined I suspected that some of his ribs were broken and requested the doctor to examine the result was (I am happy to say) that I was wrong. On Sunday evening at six oclock Corp Connoll returned to his duty. At half past ten I went my rounds then turned in a[nd] slept untill eight oclock on the
12th Having finished breakfast I took my gun on the Poop and soon shot a Molymauk which I am told is the name of the birds I have hitherto
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called a Cape hen. Returning to the Cabin or Cuddy I was asked by the Doctor to play a game of Backgammon while thus employed one of our men rushed into the cabin calling out Mr Best a man overboard I was on the Poop in a minute where I found some of the sailors and the watch getting out the boat. My Idea was that it must be one of our men and for many minutes I could not get any intelligence as to who it was then a man said that it was one of the sailors another one of the convicts and one or more that there were two of some sort overboard. No one who has not been at sea and witnessed such a catastrophe can imagine the sensation produced by that appalling cry "A man overboard" especially where as in this instance it is heard by hundreds for the first time, while running seven or eight knots. I was only roused to a sense of what was my duty in such a case by the Surgeon calling out to the watch (I had been assisting to get the boat down). By the time this was effected all traces of the poor fellow had disappeared when I first came on deck all that marked the spot where he was probably making his last struggle was the sea birds who would not allow him to go down in peace, no doubt his last look of the sky was taken before he sank for good beneath the waves. After a useless search the boat was again hoisted in and the ship once more pursued her way through the billows which had closed for ever over a human being and yet rolled on as they ever have and always will roll. With truth the epithet "cruel" is well applied to the ocean she sheds no tear she heaves no sigh at the time she engulphs the best and bravest. A remarkable fact connected with the death of this poor lad (for on the return of the boat we discovered that it was one of the sailor boys) is that nobody seems to know where he fell from or what was the cause some say he slipped in coming out of the fore chains others that he fell from the fore rigging a third party contradict both of these accounts without being able to throw any additional light on the subject. One more word before I drop this painful subject. What I would now allude to is the custom (common I believe in Merchant and Convict ships) of keeping both the gig and jolly boat with an awning over them instead of having one or the other always ready to lower in case of accident. In this instance much time was lost in getting the boat down had it been otherwise I am not prepared to say what the result might have been. In an hour or rather more we sat down to dinner the wine I observed circulated more freely than usual yet a gloom was visible on the countenance of all which seemed to me to be only heightened by the efforts made by some to appear careless or light hearted. While writing my log one of the sailors brought in the decease'd bed and bag of clothes this again was not calculated to remove the painful impression left by the event of the few last hours I closed my book and took a solitary walk on the poop. The wind increased again towards night at about ten oclock I visited the sentries and to bed having ordered that I might be called at one oclock on the
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13th Which the Serjeant of the watch accordingly did the weather was very bad the ship labouring heavily at seven it blew nearly a hurricane when I got up the sails were double and treble reefed of course the Royals Top gallant sails & other light canvas snugly stowed away soon after the royal yards were sent down, but to our great joy the wind moderated about ten AM a heavy shower succeeded which proved to be a clearer and in a few hours our only motion was the pitching caused by the head sea. Yesterdays run was two hundred and ten miles today we went about one hundred and sixty. In the afternoon I got a capital shot at an albatross but missed which I attribute and I think justly to the Captain who was bothering me all the time I was endeavouring to cover him. Towards night the wind died away entirely leaving a very disagreable head sea. Great coats were ordered up from the births and a system of drying commenced which was carried on till night fall. After supper I wrote my log and gave my gun a soldiers lick just to quiet it untill the morning then played a few games at backgammon with the Doctor and about eleven went round the posts and to bed.
14th Got up at three to see that all was right turned in again untill eight. It was a beautiful day all the men employed in examining their dress caps and boxes which were brought up for that purpose some of the former were in a miserable condition, shakos as well as bearskins being crushed untill there was no shape left in them. I had my chest up among the others in order to get out some warmer clothing. A quarrel between Mrs Briscoe & a man of the name of Benson was referred to Bridge today for his arbitration it appeared in evidence that a certain cloth used by babies and which had just been removed from Mrs Briscoes child had been placed in the mans dinner bowl this of course produced a disturbance the man said he would report it she thought she would have the first word and therefore came complaining that the man had abused her there was great cry and little wool but the culprit could not be discovered although this beastly trick was supposed to have been done by one of her elder children. To save further quarrelling Benson was removed from his birth which was next to hers to another. In the afternoon I got an indifferent shot at an albatross missed again, came down, sent my chest below, took my tea, shot a pigeon, wrote a considerable quantity of log drank some grog, went on the Poop, it was raining fast and a fresh breeze springing up, then at the doctor again. At ten visited the sentries and went to my nest. The days run was only fifty miles up to twelve oclock but we regained a small part of the Southing we had lost which had amounted to about two degrees and a half bringing us disagreably near the longitude of the cape.
15th As soon as I was out of bed I jumped into the shower bath a thing I had not done for a long time. Did not get up in the night although called
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by the Serjeant at one and the Captain at three. Omitted stating in yesterdays log that while the boxes were being put below the Doctor came and requested Bridge to come on the poop he said "presently" the Doctor then turned to me I went up and found all the watch gone the men mixed up with the prisoners and only the sentries on the alert nothing would have been easier than to have taken the ship (had the convicts been so inclined) at this moment. The men when asked by Bridge why they went off the poop said that Sergt Horton had ordered them to come and assist in getting the boxes down what passed between him & Bridge on the subject I do not know. I employed all the forenoon in trying to reduce a chart of the ships track but I failed as I found it would be a most tedious task, the chart being a Mercators projection consequently only two degrees of Longitude could be the same length on the scale, on shore I might do such a thing but not at sea where I might only be able to work half an hour in a week. One of the Messes reported their Pork short today their complain[t] was well founded and precautions were taken to prevent its occurring again. Days run one hundred and sixty miles. I again tried to shoot an Albatross and again failed. The wind increased very much during the day and by night out vessel had commenced tumbling about in great style. After tea I wrote my log and that finished played a game with the Doctor. At half past ten went to the sentries and to bed in excessively high spirits.
16th Could scarely sleep for the motion of the ship tried to secure my cot with a dog chain in doing which I awakened the Captain who thought that one of the prisoners had got out, soon after one went my rounds found the lamp in the fore hatch out from circumstances suspected that the Sentry (Hill) was again asleep but as it was too dark to see him of course could not be certain. We shall complete our second month from the Downs today expecting to pass the Cape before morning. Several large Albatrosses about the ship kept me on the qui vive the livelong day what with these and other birds, the storminess (if I may be allowed to coin a word) and coldness of the weather the themometer having been down as low as fifty one or two, Lyell and my other books have been too much neglected. Several showers served to diversify the day; at the commencement of each of these I dived down with my gun coming up again as soon as it was over. Have not noted down that on thursday (I think) Norris returned to his duty. In the afternoon I suffered from a severe headache imagining that want of exercise must be the cause took to the poop and walked it nearly off, while thus employed the Doctor sent his challenge I accepted it & went down. Lost a bet of half a crown by staking it that the flame of a candle would not light gunpowder. Among the other events of the day Bridge informed us that he would have visited the sentries during the night if he had not been afraid of catching cold.
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Soon after nine before the half hour I went my usual walk before going to bed.
17th The Serjeant of the watch called me at one at a quarter past four I got up it was dead calm and all was right. When I got up at eight she was just beginning to move again. At half past ten Church parade Guard on the Poop Bridge only served out amunition to the front rank the rear went through the motions "Absurd" as if the convicts were blind. The Parade being dismissed Serjeant Horton came to report that Hill was making a fool of himself he had seen a Ghost while down the hatch on the same night I thought him dozey. I got hold of the man this evening to hear his story which was nearly as follows. Soon after I went on sentry I seed him (it was the ghost of the sailor boy) standing with his back to the Galley alooking at me. How was he dressed? In a pair of dirty duck trowsers a Monkey jacket and a south wester. Did he look wet or pale? No Sir he looked as he always used to do afore he was drowned. Did he speak to you or did you speak to him? No Sir. How long was he there? He stood looking down at me untill I began to walk about and then I saw him turn round and walk away as plain as ever I seed anybody. Why did you not call the Serjeant of the watch? I was not afeard on him Sir & I did not think that there was any harm in his being there. This was the sum of his story but he is not the only man who has been honored with a visit, one of the sailor boys has also seen him at the same place. I suppose that he was starved when on board and that his ghost is hungry. Markham again applied to Bridge not to be taken a prisoner into Sydney he said that he would rather endure any punishment on board. Bridge among other things said you have no security to offer for future good conduct if Mr Best would be answerable for you &c. I said nothing to this he then said in reply to the man I do not see how I can excuse you, do you Mr Best? to which I answered "not unless you take the responsibility upon yourself"; and so the conversation terminated. While the men were at their dinners an immense number of pigeons congregated about the stern it was too good a chance of catching them with a hook and line to lose. I got out my tackle box fastened a hook on a long piece of gut took my trolling line baited the hook with a nice piece of mutton fat threw all overboard and in a very few minutes hauled up a couple of nice little birds. These pigeons are about the size of a wood pigeon, the bill black upper mandible long crooked and sharp at the point, the under shorter and rounded, the eye dark, legs black or nearly so, web footed with small claws at the extremities of the toes, the breast back wings, white more or less spotted with a brownish black, head black. 24 When put into a hen coop they fought hard. One of these birds I let go the other I skinned which operation
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took me all day one of the men begged the carcase I do not yet know whether it was good eating or not. I suspect it is the same bird called in Bewick the sea Pye. In the evening walked the Poop with the Captain after I had written a page or so he gave me one or two hints which will be useful to me and which served to convince me of what I had before suspected that Bridge had no good will towards me he also told me of one or two little transactions not much to Bridges credit. At half past ten I went round the upper decks and soon after eleven was safe in my cot. I could not a[t] first go to sleep for the heat but having thrown off my counterpane the obstacle was removed and I never awakened untill eight oclock on the morning of the
18th Jumped out of bed and dressed in a hurry. Ship going from nine to ten and a little later eleven knots. Having procured some corrosive sublimate out of the medicine chest I proceeded to cure my bird first dissolving the crystals in spirits and then washing the skin on the inside well with the solution. I took up Lyell while all was preparing. Just at this time (eight bells) Anglice noon the Captain came in to work his reckoning, shortly reporting that we had had an extraordinary run of two hundred and fifty three miles exceeding the distance given on the log slate by forty seven miles which could only be accounted for by the prevalence of a strong current setting from West to East our Latitude 39° 30' Longitude 24. One of the men caught a pigeon & the other having been reported prime mess the poor thing was consign'd to the pot. I again made several attempts to kill an Albatross without success. In the morning I inspected the Barracks they were clean and in good order. During the day the wind decreased at six we were running from eight to nine knots I cleaned my gun and put it by for the night. Walked the poop with the Captain untill ten, a few drops of rain falling I considered it advisable to go my rounds and to bed had hardly got into the latter when the rain fell like a water spout drenching the Skipper who was still on the Poop to the skin at eleven he came down saying that the wind had failed. I omitted to state in its proper place that the first thing I did after breakfast was to write the finish to my log of the previous day.
19th The Serjeant on watch called me at one at half past three I go up meeting Crommarty who had just come in, in the Cuddy. Got up about eight it was then nearly a calm. Went on the Poop after breakfast with my gun several large birds were flying about shot the first I fired at a Moly Mawk of great size dead. Inspected the parade and Barracks and soon after broke the two pinions of an Albatross what other dammage I did him of course I cannot tell. Caught skinned and cured another pigeon, the same man who had taken the bird yesterday pulled up no less than six today. I tried hard to hook a very beautiful bird which I think was a
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variety of the Petril tribe but had not the good fortune to be successful. Put away my gun and tackle, one of the men has disordered my check reel which is a serious injury to me. Norris of the fourth Regiment lost his cap overboard in the morning. We have two men on the sick list with violent colds Cutler and Port both 80th men. The Wind quite failed about nightfall it is now calm ten oclock. While walking the Poop my usual promenade of an evening Corp. Connoll called to me that there was fighting in the barracks I went down and found Cutler and Garbutt had quarrelled that Cutler had struck Garbut who returned the blow and a set to was the consequence. I ordered Serjeant Horton to report it to Bridge who went down but punished neither party. Every body had gone to bed by nine oclock I sat writing untill past four bells then closed my book and went out to look at the state of the weather and visit the sentries. Saw the Maginal Clouds for the first time they were very distinct and all three easily seen; for the information of those who may not know what they are I write the few following lines containing all I know concerning them. The Maginal Clouds so called because discovered by a person of that name 25 are three in number two white and a black the latter is directly over the Constellation of the southern Cross or was when I saw it the other two to the Eastward the one directly over the other they were for many years used as points to steer by untill superseeded by the Compass. I left the deck at half past ten went to bed and slept until one on the
20th At which hour the serjeant called me. Got up at a quarter past four found all right and a strong breeze from the North East which had sprung up about twelve. Between five and six was awakened by a loud crash jumped out to see what was the matter in my shirt the Corp told me one of the booms was carried away there was a great noise and cries of all hands turn up just as I was in bed once more something heavy fell on deck Bridge just then came in to my cabin in his shirt & told me that the Main top gallant mast was gone. I got up again went out a[nd] to my surprize found that the Main & Mizen top gallant masts and also the fore top Gallant yard had all been carried away by a squall. Seeing that Sheering was on sentry I went to see if he could keep his tongue quiet and soon caught him talking to a prisoner. Reported him to Bridge and went to bed
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till eight. After Breakfast went on deck found the crew busy repairing our damage. The parade being dismissed Sheering was called up and his grog stopped untill further orders the fellow said he did not know that it was a prisoner he was talking to but thought it was the Guards cook as great a lie as he could well tell this did not astonish me for I had expected from the character of the man that he would take advantage of my having no witness to deny the Charge in toto. This case being dismissed Prisoner Markham was called up and after a proper allowance of palaver about mercy and leniency to another regiment which he would not shew to his own &c &c was fully forgiven by Bridge so that the fellow has had a glorious time of it during the bad weather and is now to make up his duty as he best can a capital example to the good men. Bridge talks of this mercy having a good effect (and his keeping the man so long a Prisoner shews his determination not to be trifled with) I trust it may. At eleven came down to write the mornings log. Sheering only yesterday recieved his grog again. The ships company were employed all day rigging and getting up fresh spars in place of those we had lost. I fired some shots at Albatrosses but did not kill any. In the afternoon soon after dinner the wind having moderated an attempt was made to set the fore top sail studding sail by some mistake one of the lads let go a wrong rope which caused the boom to break. One of those disgraceful scenes which I have heard are of frequent occurrence in the merchant service immediately ensued the captain was beside himself with rage cursed and swore at the man at the same time abusing him in the grossest manner calling him names which it would not be fit to write this continued about ten minutes bad as it was I had hoped that it would end in words but not so; no sooner had the poor fellow come on deck again (he had gone aloft) than the captain flew at him like a tiger commencing by kicking and ending by siezing a rope of considerable thickness with which he belaboured him right and left over the shoulders and head in fact where ever he could strike him most easily. I thought at first that the man a short sturdy fisherman of about 20 or 22 years of age would have returned the blow but regret to say I was disappointed had I been a private passenger I would certainly have called to the man to defend himself, as it was I could hardly refrain. I was in the cuddy reading all the evening where Crommarty scarcely showed himself I presume that he felt some small sense of shame for the manner he had behaved before so many in various capacities, Prisoners, Guard, the crew, would not I presume so much signify. The captain has just been in he asked me to let him see what I was writing I told him he would not like it he however read it through which I am glad of as it will give him some idea of what is thought by many of such proceedings. I went round the posts at half past nine and then to bed.
21st At one Corporal Connoll called me and reported a disturbance in
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the prison I went and enquired into it. The sentry who had been just relieved said that it was caused by a man of the name of Richard Jones who was either mad or drunk and that he had carried on a full hour in spite of all that he (the sentry) said I called the convict watch who told the same story but when I asked for the man they said he had fallen asleep. I was content with the noise having ceased and went to bed. In the morning I recieved such information as convinced me the man was drunk the captain said he could prove it but would not bring it before the doctor who investigated the case in prison (without attending to the sentries account) and could only gather that the man made a noise once by falling over a cask which he swore at so that the sentries and myself are to be annoyed with disturbances and expected to do our duty without being supported in its execution while the rascals who cause it are to escape scot free of course to laugh at us for our pains. At breakfast the Captain told us that another studding sail boom had gone in the night this seems to be the wind up of our misfortunes. Everything went on as usual untill dinner (I read and wrote almost all the forenoon) which we had nearly finished when Corp Connoll came in and gave the Doctor a note from one of the prisoners the purport of which was that if the Doctor would give him a private audience he would inform him how rum & other articles found their way into the prison. Mrs Bridge having retired we adjourned to the Doctors cabin & the writer of the note was called. His evidence as well as that of other prisoners who were examined clearly showed that the Doctors confidential man and hospital assistant was in the habit of carrying rum into the hospital from the spirit room in a small square bottle that he had been seen to take it out of his pocket and had also given some on various occasions to some few of the other prisoners; and also implicated Sergt Horton (who they stated had been seen handing the said bottle through the bars on more than one occasion) the 3rd Mate and one of the apprentices who during the illness of the 3rd Mate officiated for him. The Doctors man has been dismissed what steps have been taken to prove the innocence or guilt of the ships officers I do not know but with regard to Sergt Horton he is laid up with an attack of the Piles and is too ill to be examined. He strongly denies the charge. The cases being dismissed another came on, one of the inspectors was proved to have stolen biscuit for which he was to have been flogged this morning but it has proved too stormy for the operation. After the convicts had been sent below for the night the Padlock of one of the privys which has a door opening on deck and having a communication from below was found to be broken a new one was put on and the door secured. Still later Sergt Creek begged a few minutes with Bridge he went out remaining some time he afterwards told me that the Ships Cook had told Shonk that there was a mutinous spirit among the Prisoners that it behoved the guard to be on the alert, and that he had overheard the prisoners say that
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the amunition was getting low. I asked him if he had made any enquiries he said he had called Shonk and also the Cook but the latter was in bed and asleep and that he thought it was only the talking of the old cook exagerated. I visited the sentries about ten and went to bed. There had been a calm in the afternoon in the evening the breeze sprang up with much lightening to the North West the barometer fell and when I went to bed all things foretold a heavy gale I gave the Serjeant my watch to keep the bells going by and fell asleep.
22nd I was called at one oclock but did not get up for which I plead a heavy cold which prevented my usual wakefullness after being roused; so heavily did I sleep that I was totally unconscious that at three there had been a very severe squall accompanied with vivid lightening and much thunder (I believe I was the only person who slept through it on board) untill my servant told me of it in the morning. The early part of the day was wet, no parade. I wrote a days log after breakfast and between the storms tried to kill an albatross with as little success as usual. The grogs of Shonk, Ferguson and Wilson were stopped the two former for quarrelling and the latter for interfering & when Corp Connoll desired him to be quiet threatening to throw a piece of Dough or something of that sort in his face. I thought Shonk was hardly dealt by as the provication given him was great if he had not been my servant I would have said so, as it was I let the matter rest. Our days run was only one hundred and forty six miles the barometer at 29° 50' rising a little themometer 52°. I was playing a game of backgammon with the Captain in the evening about eight oclock when a Squall came down the Captain went on deck where I soon followed him (the wind increasing) to see sport. While dancing on the poop to keep my feet warm I heard the Captain singing out "heave", "heave" and looking round saw him with the two men at the wheel endeavouring to turn it I ran to help, it moved a little and then stuck fast the ship was taken aback fortunately the wind just then lulled and there was very little sea otherwise the decks would have been swept fore and aft and per[haps] we might have gone down stern first. Finding the wheel was fast the next thing was to discover the cause it was evident the ropes were jammed but it was too dark to see where; at length the Captain found that the rope had slipped off the spindle and got jammed close down upon the pivot on which the wheel turns. Lanterns and Marlin spikes was the cry, the former was soon procured but blew out I got another Marlin spikes came in on all sides, (the sails had all been let go) the wheel ropes were cleared and again secured and by nine all was once more right, the sails again set and the vessel under way. The women & prisoners were dreadfully alarmed Mrs Bridge behaved very well she did not faint & I am told did not scream although Robertson who is a very timid man cried out in the cuddy that the tiller ropes were
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gone. I enjoyed the scene amazingly there was something to excite one in it the only thought which came into my head was to look which way the masts would go so that when I heard them crack I might step out of the way. I kept walking the deck untill five bells then visited the sentries and went to bed.
23rd Called at one again fell asleep not waking untill Shonk came in. He reported a beautiful morning clear, cold, all sail set the ship going about seven knots. After breakfast went on deck think I shot a cape hen but yielded the honor to the second mate who claimed it. Came down to write my log which occupied me untill twelve. Ship going four knots. Shonk tells me that the prisoners were so frightened that they scarcely slept all night. One of them last night implored Bridge (who was looking through the loop holes) in Gods name to tell him if all danger was over the poor devil was overjoyed at the answer that it was this was when the ship had just begun to steer again; in the height of the disturbance & alarm I went to the posts where I found the sentries on the alert and steady. Luncheon being finished and the ships reckoning worked as well as the indifferent observation taken yesterday would allow which gave us two hundred and fifty miles as our days run I went on deck. A large albatross was flying about us which after missing once I shot dead we were going four knots so that it might easily have been picked up if the Captain was a man who was guilty of such proceedings, but the devil was so occupied with his lunars or something of that sort that he hardly deigned to congratulate me on my success. Mem Slugs will penetrate the breast of an Albatross coming end on, the doctor swore they would not. Fudge. We went sailing on smoothly untill after dark when it clouded over and became squally I remained on the poop untill half past ten, going on about half past eight during which time two studding sails came in without assistance one of them being much split. At the hour I mentioned the royals and top gallant sails had been taken in and the wind coming more aft the spanker was brailed up I visited the sentrys and went to bed.
Sunday 24th Was lying awake when the Corp called me. In about half an hour got up and went out making the best of my way back again for it was cold. A little before eight Shonk came in told me that it was very stormy with much sea and rain. I had heard something heavy fall on the poop about seven asked what it was & was answered "the Gaff". Ten weeks from the Downs today. It proved too stormy for Divine service or parade there was more sea on than I had yet seen. I turned to at Lyell what a capital standby that work has proved to me one can read it over and over again. Shonk was very unwell and sea sick all day Cooper of the fourth was also so sick in the night that the Corp, sent him below. At five oclock the weather moderated and it rained heavily untill past six
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having held up since ten. Days run two hundred and forty miles. After tea again attacked Lyell reading untill nine then got out my journal and wrote, a matter of no small difficulty as she is rolling so that I can hardly sit in my chair. Shonk, Ferguson and Wilson recieved their Grog again today at the intercession of Sergt Creek who pleaded for Shonk stating that he was the only man of his watch who had been ever before Bridge for any offence, which by the way is not quite correct although his is a watch composed entirely of good and respectable men. Broke one of the blades of my knife (it was poor Rycrofts) today cutting a piece of rope off Nettles kennel; it is my painful duty to record another misfortune while drawing the skin of my best pigeon over its skull I pulled the head off next time I shall know better than to attempt to turn the skin after it has dried. Having finished my days log I visited the sentries and went to court repose and either sweet dreams or oblivion in the arms of Morpheus.
25th Turned out at a quarter to four had some little trouble to keep my footing during my short excursion it was colder than the night before. Heard talking down the main hatch looked down and saw two soldiers there Sergt Briscoe who was on watch told me that the Sentry who was on last begged to be allowed to remain as it was warmer and that he had permitted him. I ordered him up at the same time reprimanding Sergt Briscoe for allowing such an irregularity. I read and walked the poop the whole of the day it blew hard and we walked along in great Style at one time going twelve and a half by the log our days run up to twelve oclock was two hundred and thirty miles. In the evening I played at backgammon with the captain. In the course of the day I got a pound of Tobacco so that I might give some to one or two of the prisoners who had done little things for me such as cleaning the sharks head and casting slugs. By the way we have a butcher on board of the name of Findall a Yorkshireman who by his own account is worth two hundred thousand pounds which he has inherited since his conviction his crime is bigamy and if we are to believe his story his case seems hard. Billington was reported this evening for smoking in the barracks in defiance of the Non commissioned officers I am not aware what his punishment for this breach of discipline was. At half past nine I went to bed having first made a tour of the ship ascertaining that all was right.
26th I am not aware of being called during the night at all events I was little incommoded by anyone disturbing me untill past eight. I got out my gun and shot two cape hens or Moly Mawks the Cape hen is a different bird we have only seen three of them. In yesterdays log I omitted a hearing I gave Cooper of the fourth for using the prisoners privy while they were going in and out. Having shot some time I came down to examine our days run two hundred and thirty miles by the log slate but by observation
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it was twenty more, thats the way we of the James Pattison "bowls em off" as our worthy Boatswain would say. This done I again turned to Lyell as usual with increasing interest. After dinner I shot two more Moly Mawks hoped for a shy at an Albatross, did not get it. Gave my friend the Blacksmith some lead to cast me slugs. Since the morning the wind has decreased leaving a nasty sea which tumbles us about in a very uncomfortable manner it is now annoying me much; every minute I fetch away some few inches in spite of the lashing I have round my chair. Among our crew we have a most curious almost singular character he shipped himself to be generally useful but has proved to be of none atall, he has had a good education, has tried all trades from a bookbinder to a brick maker, and to crown all is an arrant thief and scoundrel; he is also a compound of the knave and fool in which the former predominates as a proof of his rascality I will only mention that he is now in irons for stealing pork from a prisoner and that he has been in irons before for pilfering from his shipmates his folly I will prove by the following extracts from his sayings. 1st He has all along maintained that he is sometimes mad today he said that he ought never to have come to sea, as he had only just been let out of a lunatic asylum on trial; when the sailor boy was drowned he said that it was a great pity for he had gone without [returning?] a pair of drawers he had lent him, he also says that he could live very well on potatoes, only he can't get any. This fellow has now taken up his abode among the convicts untill the end of the voyage, when the Captain hopes to get rid of him. It is now half past ten everyone is in bed so I will go my rounds and follow their example. To return to my story this genius met the Steward a few nights ago in the dark who held up his fingers which had a little phosphorous on them the fellow called one of the crew to come & help him & then running aft told every body he met that he had seen the ghost who burned two blue lights, that he took it by the arm when it immediately vanished; being questioned by the Steward he stuck to his story swearing he would tell the Captain the same for it was nothing but the truth.
27th According to orders the serjeant called me as he afterwards told me at one oclock I did not hear him but awakened of my own accord at four I immediately got out & went my rounds. Up again at eight it was a stormy morning and cold. I was almost all the day on the poop running backwards and forwards to keep myself warm. Our days run although good did not equal that of yesterday being two hundred and twenty seven miles; the wind had been rather light and uncertain in the morning but towards noon it increased & it became squally we walked along at a great pace everything giving promise of a longer run than we had yet made for the next twenty four hours. I let my gun rest in peace today only giving up running up and down when it rained, then I went below and read. I was
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obliged to throw away the skin of my second pigeon it beginning to have a strong savour which did not decrease by keeping so I have nothing left now but the two wings. Among the other means I took to warm myself (we have no stove or fire in the Cuddy) was an excursion to the Mizen top to fetch down my sharks head or jaws. I shall succeed in preserving them if they go on as they promise to do. The wind shifted in the afternoon coming more forward and consequently putting a stopper on our expected splendid run, sailing close hauled not being our forte. I spent the evening as I had the day mostly on the poop spinning yarns with the Boatswain who told me that "We took from them poor things (the Molymawks) what we could not give them again & expressed his opinion that they might have souls as well as any one else." At half past ten I left the poop visited the sentries and turned in.
28th Blowing very hard at one when I was called by Sergt Briscoe who said that it was very stormy. Got up a little after four blowing hard, the watch busy double reefing the fore, main, and mizen top sails. I remained on deck about ten minutes the sentries were wakeful. At eight Shonk called me. The day remained stormy untill the afternoon when the wind backed and moderated. I shot part of the forenoon but executed so badly that I became disgusted and went below to read in the Saturday Magazine some papers on New South Wales. Bridge shot a Molymawk which fell on deck it was perfectly black (by which I mean black all over not that the black was perfect for it had a touch of brown in it) with the exception of its legs feet and the Iris of its eyes which are of a dirty white its bill black, long and of the same shape as that of the pigeon before discribed but it wanted the short sharp claws on the feet which are webbed; the wings extended six feet from tip to tip I preserved some of the pinion feathers but did not attempt to cure the skin, it smelt very strong nevertheless the men skinned and eat it declaring it capital good, much better than a pigeon; the body when prepared for the kettle was about the size of an ordinary fowl. 26 It was extremely cold the whole day with showers of hail snow & sleet the themometer 49°. Our days run was two hundred and twenty miles making twenty five miles northing. Lat. 40° 30' Long. 67° 57' . I read before & after dinner untill I was nearly perished the only thing which warmed me was a good pull at a rope and racing up and down the decks. About nine I commenced writing my log going to bed soon after ten first visiting the Sentries.
29th Awakened of my own accord just before dawn went out found both the sentries Markham & Sheering very dozey thought I could catch them napping but Nettle who would go round with me made such a noise that
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she roused them up I did not say a word of what I suspected as I intend if they do nap, to nab them one of these fine nights. At eight it was a beautiful warm English March morning but it soon clouded over & is now two oclock rainy and dull, wind increasing. Days run one hundred and seventy six miles due course. Visited the stock in the long boat young pigs in fine condition fit to eat soon: came in and wrote log. After I had written up to the above mentioned time I commenced an index and paper of reference to the whole. 27 The announcement of dinner interrupted me when I had got as far as the twenty fourth of July. I paraded the poop after dinner came down to tea & played some games at backgammon. Argued a point with Bridge concerning the wheeling step he maintaining that it was thirty six inches I that it was only thirty by a new regulation; Torrens's Field exercises being referred to gave thirty three. I remained on the poop untill past eleven the wind was very fresh dead aft we rolling along at the rate of ten knots an hour being satisfied with this and the appearance of the sentries I turned in, sleeping untill one on the
30th When the Corporal called me told him to come again at half past two which he did. Got up a little before three both the sentries on the alert. Got up at eight after breakfast shot a couple of birds then came down; at twelve Ships run two hundred & twenty miles. Read Lyell after which I wrote my log, bell just gone five. Dinner being concluded went on the poop I had made a bet of half a crown with the Doctor that I would produce a gas which would light gunpowder so I went forward with a pipe to the ships galley & made some gas from coal it would not burn the draught being too great. I then enquired for some zinc but could not get any the next thing was to make some steel filings I worked away at an old nail untill interrupted by the tea. I played at Backgammon with the Doctor a great part of the evening. At half past nine visited the sentries and went to bed.
October 1st Sunday. Was as fine a morning as you would wish to see in the corresponding month of the other hemisphere. After breakfast I shaved (the first time for a fortnight) and prepared for parade and divine service; the amunition was served out to the front rank and returned without loading when the prisoners were again before the barricade. I went below and was reading when one of the men came & asked for a piece of pork to catch an Albatross I went up but found the Albatross had dwindled into a Moly mawk which was too cunning to be caught. At three oclock we went to dinner. Mrs Bridge had retired from the table we were sitting enjoying a glass of wine when that appalling cry "A man overboard" again grated in our ears. All were instantly on the poop; the ship at that
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time under a press of canvas (royals being set and the lower studding sail only just taken in) & running near ten knots (one studdinsail had just come in of itself) was rounded to at the risk of carrying away the masts and the boat lowered this although done as rapidly as possible occupied at least ten minutes by this time he was far astern. When first we came on deck he was close by swimming stoutly with the birds hovering over him; the watch were all forward on the poop with their fire locks in hand. The anxiety shown after the boat was down exceeds discription and no doubt these circumstances increased it; the man whose name was the same as that of the boy we had lost (yet no relation "White") was the best seaman in the ship, a fine, hadsome fellow whose civil manners and good nature had endeared him to all he had been pulled overboard by the Studding sail sheet but had caught the downhaul while falling which he held while in the water for upwards of a minute untill its rushing forced him from his hold, being compelled to let go he struck out boldly for his life passing the stern breast high above water and rising with every swell; an attempt to throw him a rope was made but it was too short; add to all this the fatal termination of our last accident & you may concieve our feelings. Many of us felt a kind of sickness come over them and I among them even the second mate a man accustomed to such things told me that he felt as sick as death. After the boat had gone off I ascended the Mizen rigging & again saw him still swimming but he soon disappeared. The boat was recalled and nearly stove in getting it hoisted in, they had seen nothing of him. All this occupied a full hour all had been done that could be done and sail was once more made. The general impression is that a life buoy would have saved his life but we had none a hencoop might have answered the same purpose if anyone had had the presence of mind to throw one out. Before we were again under sail I tumbled down the Poop ladder escaping with a bruise on the thigh Bridge also got a fall of less height but did not get off so easily he says he put out his elbow but put it in again at all events his elbow is much strained and is greatly swollen the Doctor does not think that it was dislocated. After tea I walked the poop till eight I took no grog & shortly after sat down to write a log which I trust will not again find its parallel. Our days run was two hundred and twenty four miles yesterdays was reckoned two too much. The first Mate just now told me that he had engaged White & discharged him while in port & afterwards engaged him again for good, better for him if he had not. There seems a fatality in the name for an old prisoner also White was expected to die & even now his arrival at Sidney is uncertain he is the only survivor of that name out of three. At eleven I closed my book went round the ship and being satisfied that all was right went to my bed.
2nd Was at eight oclock as bad a morning as one would wish to see. After breakfast I paid Bridge a visit he was in his cot going on pretty
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well having taken my departure I read untill twelve then visited the barracks came in and read again, walked from two to three on the poop at the latter hour saw the dinner going in & came down. At half past four the kits of the two poor fellows we had lost were sold at the capstan head, fetching as is usual in such cases much more then they were worth. The carpenter was employed making a safety buoy out of a couple of casks. The grog of Pte Murdock was stopped yesterday for insolence & insubordinate conduct towards Sergt Horton. It has continued raining the whole day a sort of scotch mist no observation could be taken our days run is uncertain and a gloom pervades the whole ship even the sailors usually the most light hearted and careless of beings are seen moping about the decks evidently oppressed & downhearted. I just now visited the posts having finished a game of backgammon it is as dark as pitch (nine oclock) and the wind rising. I continued writing from half past nine untill near eleven part of the time I was occupied making out my index. I then went round the sentries again and went to bed. Fourteen weeks since we embarked.
3rd The captain tapping at my blinds awakened me a few minutes before eight bells. I could not at first recollect whether I had been called during the night or not, decided on investigating my cranium that I had. Bridge got up after breakfast he is much better. The day was very fine themometer 60° but there was too much motion for a parade. I visited & inspected the Barracks & walked the poop a considerable time. The Cross Jack yard was found to be sprung & sent down to be fished. Towards noon it clouded over and became wet the Captain however got a squint at Phoebus which gave four hundred and thirty five as the two days run not by any means bad work. I am in hopes of making the quickest passage yet known if we can but keep our present rate of going. The weather cleared again in the afternoon by eight oclock it was a beautiful night. While we were sitting at tea one of the goats houses fetched away during a time of roll carrying about half the Guard before it men women & children were all in the lee scuppers one of the women who expects to be brought to bed very soon was knocked down her back falling across the combings of the hatch we were at first fearful that it might produce serious consequences but all is right at present though she swears her back is broken. Harwood who was nursing Mrs Creeks baby was knocked down he saved the child at the expense of his wrist which is I am afraid badly sprained. While it was raining I wrote part of a long letter home. Between seven and eight a strong smell of fire was reported by the head constable of the prisoners I ordered the watch to reinforce the sentries & guard the privy doors sent Corp Connoll to prepare the rest of the Guard for service if required then came in pocketed my pistols and remained on deck while a strict search was made throughout the ship nothing could be
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found and the watch was dismissed. I walked the poop from eight till nine then came in and wrote my log visited the sentries at half past eight and again at a quarter to eleven immediately before I retired for the night.
4th I did not awaken during the night. Got up at eight and after breakfast went to see Bridge who keeps his bed today by the Doctors direction. At ten the men paraded without shoes or stockings I observed that the feet of one of the Grenadiers (Shanks) were dirty about the instep this he explained assuring me that it was only the tan produced by not wearing stockings during the hot weather unfortunately on going round by the rear his heels were found to be also tanned but of a much darker hue so I stopped his grog untill the cold weather bleached his feet again, at twelve oclock a brace of trotters which would have vied with a sucking pigs petty toes were produced. The wind continued strong from the North and west all the morning our run was 243 miles. My amusements during the day were walking and reading; in the evening, backgammon. After every body had gone to bed I went onto the Poop; it was the Mates watch he wished me to remain some time with him but he did not spin a good yarn so I cut my lucky & turned in. Visited sentries at 1/2 past eight and half past ten.
5th Turned out at half past one all was right. Paid the Boatswain a visit he was in high spirits told me how she was "bowling on it off" and that he would take care to shove her along &c &c. At eight oclock it was blowing very fresh the Captain talking of two hundred and sixty miles as a matter of course but when the days work was wrought he found that we had only made two hundred and forty and twenty fives miles northing, this was easily accounted for, the binacle compass had for some days been afflicted with a fit of the palsy running round in a manner which rendered it next to impossible to steer the course by it: during the day we had others on the poop but at night it was the only guide to the man at the wheel unless he had nous to steer by a star. The wind failed us after twelve, by night it was nearly calm. In the evening a noble Albatross came in sight I got my gun out but he did not give me a chance. Our invalids were all better today Harwood told me that his hand was capital Bridge was better as for Mrs Smith, she was neither better or worse. I remained on the poop and in the Cuddy writing untill eleven I then went my rounds all was right. I had visited the sentries at twenty minutes past eight and in the morning inspected the Parade and Barrack room.
6th The serjeant called me at one at a few minutes to one bell in the third watch I turned out & went round. Went to see Bridge after breakfast staid with him untill the Parade was formed; after dismissing it inspected the Barracks & ordered all windows to be opened. Mrs Smith was better.
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The weather has become much warmer the themometer standing as high as 61° there is a delightful breeze and the masts are crowded with canvas Top Gallant Studding sails and flying Jib. Our run was 168 miles. An Azimuth was substituted for the Binacle compass it fortunately fitted the Binacle with very little alteration. The Doctor gives me the credit of this having asked the Captain a day or two before if such a thing might not be done. I believe this was done the previous day I have been rather in arrears these three days. The Albatross came again I could not induce him to come near so I killed a couple of Molymawks, Wilson was reported to me by Sergt Horton for Gambling with cards, as is usual with him he threw out insinuation against Sergt Horton ending with what by the evidence of Harwood was a lie. I stoppped his grog for a week. I cleaned my gun in the evening. I have omitted that on Wednesday evening having observed the Sentries talking and larking with the different persons sailors & soldiers going in & out of the barricade doors I sent for the Non commissioned officers & gave them a "hearing" which has effectually stopped it. In the evening I played backgammon with the Doctor visited the sentries at a quarter past eight, a quarter to ten, and at halfpast ten then lighted my candle & followed the rest to bed.
7th At four the Captain called me I turned out directly and went my rounds. The doctor was not of our breakfast party being called in to perform the same office for Mrs Smith which the butcher had done for the sow. In due time a male child was born which is to be christened James Pattison. Paid Bridge a visit after breakfast he was so much better that I found him sitting on his sofa. Having enquired into the state of his health I went out and inspected the Parade. The Guard remained on the deck nearly all day it was very fine and warm I do not think I exagerate when I say that I must have walked at least ten miles during the day up and down the Poop. Our days run was two hundred and forty miles and no sea on. While prancing up and down one of the men, by the way it was my Servant came to tell me that my bed chest was stove all to pieces I went directly into the hold and there it was smashed to atoms I found on search that the box containing my table was also injured. They were both hoisted on deck and the bed carried into my cabin. The other I soon repaired on deck and sent down again. Having procured hammer & nails I turned to & in the course of the day rendered my box if not as good looking at least as strong as ever. The manner in which some of our baggage has been used is really shameful the third mate has been ill the greater part of the voyage the consequence is that one of the apprentices a boy who has never been to sea before has the care of the hold he knows nothing and every body prisoner or sailor throws out [sic] chests about without the least care; it is no use asking where will be the best place to stow them one is pointed out and in two or three days the baggage will be found on going
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down at the the other end of the hold most probably injured. Ought not the Resident agent for transports, Bailey, to see that a proper place is told off for the baggage of the Guard, officers and men. I visited the sentries repeatedly during the evening & at half past ten went to bed. During the afternoon Corp Connoll came to me & said "that Wilson had just threatened to report him & that having frequently done so before he wished me to enquire what his complaint was. I did so Wilson told some frivolous story about being told to hold his tongue when on sentry he was going on at a great rate when I ordered him to be silent gave him a little advice which I might as well have left alone for the good it will do & then sent him away. It is not possible to concieve a more mutinous blackguard character than this man neither kindness or harshness have the least effect upon him.
Sunday 8th Visited the Sentries at three oclock I had been called by the Serjeant at one. At eight got up. Went to see Bridge after Breakfast his arm is worse which I attribute to certain Pork, Mutton, & ale he took yesterday at dinner. At half past ten Parade & divine service I loaded with ball according to orders. This being concluded went in & wrote my log untill the Serjeant reported the Barracks ready for my inspection. Mrs Smith as well as can be expected. I walked the Poop from one untill dinner our principal dish consisted of a sucking pig five weeks old about the size of a yearling Rhinoceros however it was not bad eating. Talking of eating pigs, the Sow eat another the night before last. I walked the poop untill eight bells all possible sail set smooth water & ten knots at 6 P.M. we made Cape Lewin, 28 Days run two hundred and thirty miles. After grog time wrote log & at halfpast nine visited the sentries. I should have said passed the meridian of Cape Lewin instead of made it being some five hundred miles south of it. After I had written my log I again went round the posts at half past ten. This being done I went to bed. The days work kept time to the old song of two hundred and forty miles. The night set in wet.
9th Corp Connoll called me at one oclock it was then raining heavily by hook or crook I fell asleep in which happy state I remained untill awakened by the Doctor who was abusing every body in the ship & also that gentleman or lady, the gender in our case being doubtful. The cause of his execrations was the rain which had come into the cabin during the night & thoroughly soaked the old mans jacket. The weather would not allow of any parade the wind was strong but too much forward for us to get along. At twelve oclock the observation gave two hundred and thirty miles for our days run. Bridges arm is rather better today but he has not left his
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cot. In spite of the rain & squalls I walked the poop the greater part of the day. A number of birds were about the ship but the day was too wet for shooting. Nettle has not been well these last few days in the evening I gave her a strong dose of sulphur. In the evening I read Lyell and played backgammon with the Doctor who beat me miserably. By Bridges direction I gave Wilson his grog again. Visited the Barracks at half past ten they are intolerably close but with Mrs Smith lying there it cannot be remedied. I visited the sentries repeatedly during the evening and also the last thing before I went to bed at half past ten.
10th I did not hear the Sergt call me yet awakened at three. For some cause or other I was in such a profuse perspiration that I was afraid to go out into the cold morning air. When I came on deck I found the wind two or three points more free than it was the preceeding night it continued Westing untill about twelve when it became stationary right aft while [it was] shifting a considerable quantity of rain fell in heavy showers. The men fired & cleaned the ships muskets and then proceeded to discharge their own the rain put a stop to the cleaning. I went round the barracks. Mrs Smith is better & Wright has returned to his duty. Bridges arm improves very slowly he is afraid that there is a formation of matter in or near the joint. While walking the poop Frost one of our Grenadiers & best men came up & reported that Mrs Briscoe had called him a blackguard & liar, I sent for her husband & insisted on his preventing a repetition of such conduct assuring him that if he could not, I would. The quarrel it appears arose in consequence of a man in Corp Connolls watch refusing to allow the child to go through the barricade. I reported the whole transaction to Bridge who directed me to stop the boys going through more than once a day, & to tell Sergt Briscoe that as a Non. Com. he might have a man to fetch his meals from the copper provided he found one who was willing. Nettle is much better this evening. I played backgammon again tonight & was again beaten. I also wrote my log rising now & then to go my rounds. There is a nasty head sea which must have been raised by an easterly wind so that it has just shifted in time to take us through the straits. We are also in the good luck to have a beautiful moon nothing can be prettier than the appearance of the sails from the forecastle as they belly out from the yards looking as white as snow. When I had written up my log and added a little to my abstract I went onto the poop remaining there untill a quarter past twelve as soon as I had seen the watch relieved I turned my steps to the cuddy and by the half hour was in bed & asleep.
11th I was called at three but as it was Sergt Creeks watch I did not get up, I slept again most soundly untill past eight when I was awakened by Shonk dressed washed & eat a capital breakfast, off curry and rice
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at twelve oclock the night before I was ravenous but could get nothing except live stock to eat. Paid Bridge a visit after breakfast he is much better. It appears that there is now no cause to doubt that Sergt Horton sells the grog to the prisoners the evidence against him is too strong to be doubted what will come of it is hard to say. In the forenoon I sent for Frost to cut my hair. The day was a[s] fine as the preceeding night the wind has however quite failed us I fired a few shots at some birds, doing nothing. Two whales were seen about the ship I saw one spouting I had imagined that they blew the water up in a column to the height of thirty or forty feet or even more instead of which it only appeared like a spray certainly not attaining a height of more than ten or fifteen. Parade without shoes or stockings today Murdoch, Wilson, Markham & Cooper paraded again at twelve being dirty. Our days run was two hundred & one miles since twelve we have done nothing. On visiting the sentries at a quarter to ten I saw a bundle of sailors & soldiers working away most diligently at something on the ground I soon found that they were engaged at a game similar to the "game of the goose". One man was placed on his hands & knees the others sat or knelt round him one singing a song to the tune of "The Highland laddie" the burthen of which was a[s] follows. Could never discover what the words were; they seem to be either a state or Freemasons secret of the strictest order. I finished my log about ten & remained on the poop untill just before eleven at which hour I went to see that all was right & turned in.
12th At two Corp Connoll called me I was soon out, & in again before the half hour there was not a breath of air. At eight we were running nine knots close hauled. Bridge came out of his cabin after breakfast. I inspected the parade and barrack room then came in & read we were lying over so much that walking the poop was far from agreable. Every one is busy making preparations for our arrival in Sydney. The soldiers cleaning their accoutrements the sailors taring painting and cleaning the rigging great guns, decks & boats. After dinner I heard Young (one of the prisoners the man who shot the mate of a vessel in the river he being captain of a collier) tell his story this much I will say in his favour that he is certainly the best man among our whole cargo his story does not differ from the newspaper accounts except that he says he did not know the gun was loaded & never intended to shoot the man only to frighten him. Our days work in spite of all obstacles & impediments was one hundred and forty miles this is by far the shortest run since we passed the meridian of Greenwich. Walked the poop & played backgammon during the evening at half past nine came in and wrote my days log we are still close hauled and going rather faster than in the morning I shall now visit the sentries for the second time and go to bed. Saw my watch fly today from the Corporals hand into the lee scuppers he says that it is
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not hurt & goes very well if so the fall has improved it for it has not kept anything like good time for the last year & a half.
13th I did not awaken during the night. At eight we were still getting on at a tolerable pace. This being one of the days for discharging the firelocks there was no parade. Twelve Oclock came as usual (the interval between breakfast & that time being occupied with reading) but no observation accompanied it our run was therefore worked by the dead reckoning which gave two hundred and thirty miles. After luncheon I had some shots at a kind of large bird three of which were flying round us I succeeded in killing two and wounding the other so that he did not come again, by dinner I had cleaned my gun & put it by. Part of the morning was occupied in hearing a complaint made by Barclay Grenr 80 that Sergt Briscoe had government stores in his possession which the Grenadiers had paid for as lost. Nothing could be proved which would authorize a search in his boxes. I had told Bridge in the morning of a speech reported to me by Shonk as having been made by the same person it was that there were those in the draft and he (Shonk) was one who he would pay out when arrived at Sydney; this Bridge thought proper to investigate Briscoe denied it & Bridge talks of a court of enquiry as Shonk says he can & will bring several men to prove it, who are willing to come forward, he named to me Frost, Cutter, Markham, all 80th. In the evening there was a most absurd fight between the fellow I have described page 98 [page 125 here] and one of the Sailors it chiefly consisted in the sailor being the stronger man of the two catching the other by the waist or legs and throwing him down thereby gaining the victory. The vanquished hero has been some days released from his imprisonment on promise of better behaviour. I walked the poop till half past ten visiting the posts repeatedly during that time & then went to bed. It was dead calm; the wind left us at noon.
14th I enjoyed interrupted sleep untill eight in spite of the Captain & Serjeant who both called me. The ship as still as a rock, the morning rainy and cloudy. A faint observation gave us forty or fifty three miles I am not sure which as our days work. Missed five or six shots with my rifle at an Albatross. Cleaned the piece directly after dinner. When I had finished I went onto the poop the ship moving a little steering N. E. by N our course being E by N suddenly the wind flew round the sails were trimmed she then lay S. W. worse than before. Wilson & Ferguson quarreled and fought this evening about eight Bridge has stopped their grog till further orders. I read and wrote log which occupied the evening. At 10 minutes past nine I visited the sentries. In the morning my watch stopped I succeeded in setting it going again but it gains awfully. Five minutes to eleven. I have just visited the Posts & looked at the compas there is just wind enough to keep the ships head S. S. E. varying a little to
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the East now and then. The night is fine but cold & as I must be out in the next watch I shall wish you a good night.
Sunday 15th By some accident after I was called by the Serjeant at one I fell asleep again. Shonk was in my cabin by half past seven at eight I got up. It was another calm day with a little rain in the forenoon in consequence of which the doctor did not at first decide on having prayers the instant it held up he came out book in hand, I ran & dressed as rapidly as possible when I came out I found the service begun & the guard in their great coats formed on the poop but their arms not loaded, Bridge was on the poop but as he was not in uniform, I dissmissed them. It being Sunday we commenced fishing for birds just before dinner I hooked a Molymawk & had nearly got him in when the line broke. Dinner being concluded I tried again & instantly caught a large white one, it was a noble bird exactly seven feet across the wings which are of a dark slate colour nearly inclining to black, the under part of the wings, head, neck, breast, belly and shoulder white, the tail the same colour as the wings, the beak about six inches long of a pale yellow, the under mandible rounded & the upper crooked at its extremity the legs & feet of a dirty, greyish, white and its eye large & piercing of a beautiful yellow with a narrow flesh color'd iris. 29 I skinned this lovely creature & am in great hopes of being able to cure it I am sorry to say that it is a good deal soiled. The wind in the evening became exceedingly unsettled we had been steering N. E. by N. all day but at about five oclock we went about the wind having shifted she then lay nearly south. The days run was sixty two miles. I visited the sentries two or three times during the evening the greater part of which I sat in the cuddy reading at ten minutes to eleven I again went round the posts & to bed. I must notice that the moon was the most brilliant I ever remember seeing.
16th Three months at sea today was the first thing I thought when told on going my rounds that it was four oclock. It was at that time dead calm & raining. After breakfast I went down into the hold to see what more mischief had been done to my baggage but found it uninjured. They were filling up the empty casks with salt water as our ship is now too light to beat to windward. Days run fifty one miles. The morning was calm varied with occasional squalls untill noon when it cleared & became so warm that I sat on the poop with my book & gun I shot five or six black & white Molymawks & saw a snowy Petril it was a[s] white as milk all over. There were also two fine Albatrosses about the ship indeed it was them which induced me to bring up my gun yet I never got a chance. Between
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dinner & tea I cleaned and put away my fowling piece. We fired our signal guns this afternoon. In the evening played backgammon visited posts at half past eight and then wrote log. For the last four hours we have gone our course at a rate of seven miles an hour but all the wind has just gone. Mrs Smith came on deck today for the first time. I remained on the deck untill eleven oclock and then visited the sentries and went to bed.
17th I was called by the Serjeant at one I did not hear him but awakened before the half hour. The Captain was getting up at the same time. I found it, as it was when I left the deck, dead calm; all was right with this exception. At a quarter or twenty minutes before eight Shonk came in to call me he said that there was not a breath of wind when he returned after cleaning my shoes he reported that a light breeze had just sprung up & that we were going from four to five knots. The breeze continued increasing, by two we were going nine knots with every prospect of a splendid run, about this time it began to rain continuing to do so all the afternoon. There was some disturbance between Harwood 28th and Benson 80th what it was I do not exactly know as I was not on deck but it ended in Bridge ordering Harwood to eat his soup (it was dinner time) on which he threw kid & all overboard. The kid is a tin pot the men get all liquids in. For this offence his grog was stopped until further orders. The pace we were running put almost every body on the qui vive all hands expecting to make land at an early hour the next morning I therefore visited the posts at ten or soon after left orders to be called at one and again at daylight and turned in for the night. I have not mentioned that a great number of black and white Molymawks and also Cape pigeons were about the ship I am particular in mentioning this as I had heard that we should see no more after entering the straits. Our days run was only seventy one miles.
18th The Corporal roused me at one I immediately visited the posts and went to bed again untill it became light. About four the Corpl came again & said that it was just beginning to dawn. Before I was out of bed there was a great noise upon deck which could not be mistaken for the trimming of sails the ship laid over very much beginning to pitch in a manner which showed that she was close hauled and that our course was altered. I quickened my motions & saw on going out the coast rising in a very bold manner on our lee it had been first seen by the Captain (who had been up all night) from the poop at about two miles distance when I went out it was not more than a mile distant at the utmost. Our offing soon decreased to a quarter of that distance every thing being ready to go about at a moments warning if required. In this manner we weathered Cape Otway when our distance from shore increased. I should have mentioned before this that the morning was excessively thick and hazy with a good
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deal of rain our view was therefore much circumscribed although very beautiful the coast exhibiting the greatest variety of scenery sometimes terminating in hard bluff rocks of different colors, at others falling gently away into small green bays with sandy beaches and again differing from both a soft clayey cliff being opposed to the surf which beat furiously against it. The shapes of these different formations also varied but the prevailing form of the cliffs was a sharp wedge in the rock & a slope occasioned by the waste of materiels in the other. In the latter I observed a cave evidently of great extent. The interior as far as could be seen seemed to be a succession of high ridges running in all directions and mostly covered with trees far different from any I had ever seen. A series of reefs intervened between us and the land over which the sea broke, dashing up into the air many feet. The only birds we saw were a couple of Gannets and a small black bird all our own old companions had disappeared. You may ask how we came to be so close on a lee shore I answer that when we attempted to haul off from it the wind shifted four points forward which effectually prevented the intended manoevre. By eight oclock we had passed cape Pattan where we soon lost sight of land so I went in & dressed for breakfast. To give an idea of the varied scenery of this part of the coast of Australia I will record two answers I got to the question what do you think of it? Mr Connoll. Sure I think its a very savage looking place. Shonk. I think Sir that it must be a very fertile fine country. Contrary to my expectations the Convicts seemed to care little for the sight of land and rather rejoiced than otherwise. After breakfast I read in my cabin, while thus employed Corp Connoll came & asked me if I recollected his reporting on going my rounds that he had allowed Benson to go below as he was unwell I replied that I did not. Bridge had heard of it from Harwood and Connoll was reprimanded. In the afternoon and evening I wrote my log. Our days run two hundred and thirty four miles. The wind has moderated since twelve we have averaged about five or six knots an hour this is our pace at present. I can hardly describe the feelings with which I first saw land they were a mixture of pain & pleasure the latter at the sight of so interesting a country the former when I reflected on the distance which divides me from my native land containing all that is near & dear to me doubly dear from that very circumstance. A ten when I laid down my pen & went to visit the sentries preparatory to going to bed my attention was called to a most singular appearance in the sky a bright rose color'd vapour varied with white stripes completely covering all the Southward beyond was a bank of thick black clouds I watched it half an hour and then went to bed. I can only account for this phenomenon by supposing it the reflection of a volcano from its resemblance to the shade of a large fire & to the drawings of eruptions. While writing this it has clouded over and all fiery traces have disappeared. The Themometer today was as high as 63°.
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19th Shonk who was on watch called me at five telling me that land was again visible that it was an island called Rodundo 30 but that we were at least ten miles from it & that it was so thick that no one could see what it was like. When I got up at eight oclock Rodundo was scarcely visible. The wind had shifted during the night & by nine in the morning was dead foul, we stood south by East all day running about six and at times seven knots. At six P.M. we were within forty miles of Van Diemans Land in a direct course for Launceston. The Captain then put us about when strange to say the wind instantly shifted to such a quarter as to compel us to retrace our steps and thereby lose all we had gained during the last twelve hours. I occupied the greater part of the day in packing away my books and other little traps, having done this (with Shonks assistance) I went into Bridges cabin to divide the shot & afterwards sewed up my share & stowed it away in my bed chest. In the afternoon, or I should say evening the Steward told me that Shonk was very unwell. Cutler of the 80th is also on the Doctors list with a feverish cold. After Grog time I played a game of backgammon with the Doctor there was a nasty head sea into which the ship kept driving her nose. After every body was gone to bed I walked the poop for an hour or so discussing the probabillity and possibillity of the spirits of the departed returning to the lower world again. A few minutes before eleven I visited the sentries, all was right. While going to bed I heard the Doctor talking in his sleep, his cry was that there was not enough pepper & that the charge was too much; while considering what he could mean I fell asleep.
20th At one oclock Sergt Creek called me I heard him but did not get up. The Steward called me at seven bells, land being in sight. I was soon up & out. The position of the ship was nearly that of the previous day at the same time but being very clear the view was beautiful and very wild. The ships head was South by West Rotundo and the main being on our starboard bow, the island was passed at a distance of twelve miles and at 3 being close to the shore we went about. This time the wind was more favorable although light, & we coasted slowly round Wilsons promontory, & passed Rotundo at a miles distance. This island merits a page to itself but not being in a humour to give it I shall go to bed. It is now more than a quarter past ten the breeze freshens & the night is clear & fine. To resume. Rodundo so called from its singular shape is a mass of rock rising from a sea forty fathoms deep to the height of many feet it is nearly circular & for the first fifty feet rises nearly perpendicularly it then slopes sharply upward terminating in a point near the centre I
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am informed that its base is coral but could gain no information as to the formation of the superior parts from what I could distinguish with the telescope I conclude that it is of volcanic origin I got a sketch of its shape & also of Sir Roger Curtis's islands which appear to be formed of similar materiels I likewise tried to take an outline of Wilsons Promontory but we were moving to[o] rapidly for such work, the view constantly changing. Both Rodundo & Sir R. Curtis's islands appear to be covered with lichens & slightly wooded. The description of Cape Otway is not at all applicable to Wilsons Promontory, the latter being all hard rock it is like a mass of mountainous rock tumbled together without regard to any order & presents the most singular combination of forms but not anywhere attaining a great height. In places the rocks jut out forming deep bays or inlets even these do not appear to have any beach the waves beating against the cliffs. In the fore ground there is a succession of barren islets one of which contains a vast cavern which seems to occupy the whole of the interior and no doubt is, or has served as a vent for the discharge of vapors or perhaps substances of a volcanic nature. The Captain likewise ascertained the real situation of Crocodile rock which many consider a mere bugbear; the sea was very smooth yet the breakers on it rose to a considerable height it lies nearly midchannel between Rodundo & Sir R. Curtis's islands. The Doctor informed me today that the appearance in the sky on the night of the 18th was the southern lights. In the afternoon I prepared my lead for packing away. During the forenoon the Second Mate forgot himself so far as to strike the Cook of the Detachment. He quarrelled with him about a bucket. All the men particularly the Grenadiers were most indignant & were a long time before they could be pacified. The rest of the days log is already written. It rained in the afternoon & heavily in the evening accompanied with lightning but no thunder.
21st I got up at seven bells and took a shower bath after breakfast I wrote my journal & got up my canteen. The wind though light was fair studding sails were set & we went along at the rate of seven knots. We had not done much during the night. At ten A. M. saw a sail steering E. S. E. a brig. At half past ten I came down and wrote my journal up to that hour. The day was excessively fine and hot with little or no wind up to four oclock when a strong breeze sprang up and away we went at nine and a half knots an hour. All the men were employed cleaning their accoutrements every one expecting to make the place of our destination on Monday. In the evening I played a few hits at Backgammon with the doctor and went to bed at an early hour after visiting the Sentries.
Sunday 22nd I was called during the night by the Corporal who told me (when I asked him in the morning if he had) that he did not disturb
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me much as he thought I was wide awake for I answered him & when he told me that it was raining I replied "that I did not feel it." By the way this occurred the night before for at half past three I went out to visit the sentries we were then off Cape Howe but it was too distant to see it. I did not get to sleep untill past seven bells they were holystoneing the deck and Cuddy and making all sorts of disagreable noises. From this short slumber I was roused by the Steward announcing breakfast. After breakfast shaved & dressed for parade. When the Service was over we had a general inspection of the arms & accoutrements all of which did credit to the men except those of Shanks Grenr 80th which were in a disgracefully dirty state; for this Bridge stopped his grog untill further orders. Shonk & Cutler are both better today. The fine breeze of the previous night gradually died away & by noon what little was left took a turn & became foul. After Dinner we saw two whales of the finback species they spouted about the ship a considerable time I was under the painful necessity of ordering Mrs Briscoe off the Poop this evening for indecent behaviour she is highly indignant, and says thank God she shall not be here many more days. At eight oclock fearing to run on any longer onto a lee shore we went about & stood South East. At a few minutes after nine I visited the sentries and went to bed; in less than ten minutes the Serjeant of the watch called me saying that there was a noise in the prison. Suspecting drunkeness the doctor & myself got up & had the noisy individual out, he proved to be sober was sent to bed & I once more turned in.
23rd Putting the Ship about at four oclock awakened me I got up and went out. Wind dead foul. Went to bed again untill eight bells. At ten it was blowing too hard for Parade; double reefed topsails. Soon after twelve furled mainsail blowing excessively hard from the North east land right ahead, at two it cleared a little saw mount Dromedary on the larboard bow rising from the sea to a height of upwards of three thousand feet. Visited the sick, Cutler worse, Shonk better, Sergt Horton laid up. Saw an Albatross this morning. At half past one came in & wrote log. After dinner I went onto the poop the weather promised a change of wind. At six being near enough to the land we went about her head was then east by north I remained out untill the doctor sent for me to play backgammon. At the conclusion of the third game the wind suddenly became fair blowing in heavy gusts thinking something might be going good for my log I went on deck behind us was a bank of clouds as black as night which occasionally sent forth vivid flashes of lightening hearing the Captain say that the wind would soon be on the quarter I went down to see all secure in my cabin I was soon up again & had scarcely set foot upon the poop when Sergt Briscoe who was on watch came to the Doctor & reported that the prison was full of water & the men in great alarm he went down & I followed. By hook or crook I was first down the hatchway
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& asked what was the matter my only answer was that the water was rushing in in a torrent & begging me to open the prison doors. The Doctor sent for the carpenter & his mate, Mr Knight followed & in they all went I remained outside. They soon came out saying that the water was pouring in forward through the Dunnekin & that every thing was afloat; we were pitching heavily, the water came in through the hawse holes, & then through the hatch in the Dunnekin. Having ascertained this the next thing was to stop it. The guard was turned up Bridge went with some on the Poop I took my pistols & went forward as directed. The second Mate failing in his first attempt to stop the hawse hole began to show symptoms of fear & sing out in a manner calculated to increase the alarm of the prisoners so I gave him a few words which effectually checked his vociferations. One of the guard a Scotchman of the name of Ferguson also wanted to know if we were going down soon but his noise I very quickly stopped. In about an hour the leak was stopped a vent cut through the Dunnekin for the water & the Prison dried out again, as soon as this was finished I dismissed the men who had been with me forward and went to change my shoes & stockings having been standing half way up to my knees in water, having done this I set the captains raizors & wrote my log. This accident is a fine wind up to our passage it caused more alarm at the time than any thing during the whole voyage. By a quarter to eleven I had written the days work I then went my rounds and to bed.
24th About half past two I got up & went my rounds without being called by the Corporal who was on watch. All the wind was gone again I asked what oclock it left us & was told at twelve it backed (it had been on the starboard quarter) and then gradually died away. At seven we did not steer, at eight we got a foul wind & stood in for the shore North East braced sharp up. After breakfast I went out to look at the coast which takes its name from a singular mount called the pigeon house 31 a little distance inland. A succession of hills of no very great height with table land on their summits form the principal features of the land those in the interior approach nearly to the character of mountains & in places are broken & fissured in a singular manner frequently representing sea cliffs of hard rock. Just before the most extensive of these cliffs stands the Pigeon house a conical hill with a smaller one on its top 32 I thought I could distinguish a kind of cleft in the pigeon house with the telescope. At ten being about four miles from the land we went about I then came in & wrote my journal. Shonk is on deck today much better. Cutler &
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Sergt Horton have also improved. As I am now sitting I have a good view of the country through the stern windows, it appears well wooded & has a fine sandy beach. We are close to the place where the Hive ran ashore, steering a wrong course a fine moonlight night & carrying top gallant studdingsails. 33 In the afternoon it again fell calm yet the scud contrived to change its direction which was taken by the Captain as a good omen. At half past ten I visited the sentries & turned into my bed.
25th I was out at one to see all was right. At four the Captain came & called me to see the coast and remark the singular way the wind was behaving. I was soon dressed & up on deck it was a grey morning the wind fair and coming down in cats paws all sail was set & singular to say with such good effect that we continued for some hours actually to keep pace with the breeze which had headed us about fifty yards as we could see by the ripple on the water all beyond being dead calm this continued untill the breakfast hour. During this time we had past a variety of headlands most of which presented a front to the sea as perpendicular as the angle of a wall & equally free from all roughness or breaks. I spent a few hours putting my things away in my drawers. At three we made the South head and by four were snugly anchored off the Sydney batteries at a place called the rock fort. I do not feel equal to describe the scenery on entering Port Jackson or Sydney Cove which ever may be the proper name. A singular series of inlets & islands are the principal features bounded by Bluff rocks covered with trees of a species quite new to me, all stem & no leaves. I cannot say that Sydney looked very prepossessing from this point of view, but my meditations were soon disturbed by the numerous boats crowding alongside & which I had received directions to warn off. Two of the men Hill & Ferguson having considered it necessary to show their skill in pugilism were stowed away down the after hatch so that they could not see all that went on, this was under existing circumstances a severe & I thought an unkind if not cruel punishment. At lenght after various tackings the cable rumbled through the hawse pole splash went the anchor in the water and my first voyage, from London to Sydney was finished.