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Week 11 - 'dangers stand thick all around'

[ 1st of May 1836 to 7th of May 1836 ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 11 - Fishing ]

At long last fair conditions prevail for the travelers and they make good progress.  But danger still stalks the Duke of York. Lucy Beare becomes dangerously ill and almost dies.  Reading between the lines, it seems likely that she gave birth to a child (family history says it was a daughter) who was still-born. Her health remains fragile, perhaps as a result.  And then a young crew member almost drowns while bathing.  Captain Morgan is much troubled by these events. ‘Dangers stand thick all around to push us to the tomb’ he writes in his dairy.

By contrast the John Pirie has an uneventful week in which the passengers and crew have time to observe their first A family of marine fish (Exocoetidae family) consisting on some 64 species. The species' defining feature is their wing-like pectoral fins used for gliding above the water's surface for up to 50 metres. Flying fish live in all oceans, but are particularly prevalent in warm tropical and sub-tropical waters. flying fish and to indulge in a spot of fishing, while the Rapid, commanded by Colonel William Light, begins its journey.

1849 sketch of men bathing on deck.

Sea bathing in the tropics. Edward Snell, 1849.


Journals from passengers at sea:

Thursday 5 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This 24 light airs and Without wind. calms all sail set thundering
and lightning at times employd fitting Whaleing
guier saw a strange sail had a man at the The top of the mast. mast
head
 for the first time looking for Whales
Lattd Obsd 4.30 N Longd by chro 21.20 West
In the morning read the 9th chapt of Numbers with
commentry in the everning read the 24th chapt of
Joshua with parts of Mr Wesley surmon taken from
that chapt ten was present we sung and prayd
togather and no doubt most felt the love of God
in thier hearts and bless the God of all grace
we had a Mother restored to her husband and
four children after a hard strugle for life the
Lord had mercy on them and not only
them but me allso for how painfull whould have
bing the event I hope never to forget this event
the young man Glansford has bing ill I gave him
medicine and visited him and found him reading
a prayer book and token for good

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Friday 6 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This 24 hours light airs and Without wind. calms with all draw
ing sail set employd as needfull a look out for
Whales saw none Lattd Obsd 4.00 N Longd 20.54 West
Read the scriptures after gitting up with prayer
and a short time after had to pass through another
scene likely to have given much pain a young man
son to a missionary in the east was batheing with
me over the quater of the ship carelessly let go the
rope knowing he could not swim which I did not
know he cryd out for me I see he was likely to
drownd I To throw overboard. hove over an oar and jumped over board
and with the assistance of another young man
who jumped after me we held him up till
they lowered a boat and picked us all up
this young missionarys son is I believe a Christ
ain prays to God continually the Lord saved
him his cry was Lord save me or I perish
Dangers stand thick all around to push us
to the tomb –  …

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Saturday 7 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

There has been a fresh Breeze all Night from E,N,E,
and at 8, A,M, took a Seafarers reduce sails in strong winds so that ships can move more safely and comfortably. Sails are made with rows of small ropes attached to them and these are tied around spars to reduce the amount of sail exposed to the wind. The amount of sail taken in by securing one set of ropes is called a reef. The action of reducing sails is called reefing and the knot that is used to tie the ropes is called a reef knot. In light winds all the reefs are taken out and the full size of the sail is exposed to draw full power from the wind. reef in the The top sail on a foremast. Fore-top Sail , for the
first time since leaving Dartmouth, and at 11, A,M, had
the Islands of Brava and Fogo, (two of the Cape Verde)
right abeam of us, the former about 20, and the latter
40 Miles distant, on the larboard Side, it then fell
Without wind. Calm , and remain’d so untill the Eveng, during which,
the heat was excessive  ____  We saw a great number
of A family of marine fish (Exocoetidae family) consisting on some 64 species. The species’ defining feature is their wing-like pectoral fins used for gliding above the water’s surface for up to 50 metres. Flying fish live in all oceans, but are particularly prevalent in warm tropical and sub-tropical waters. flying Fish , this Morng and in the Afternoon were
follow’d by a Shark, that broke two fishing Lines, and
a strong Hook, when One of the Sailors found a proper
Shark-hook, on to which he put a piece of Pork,
for Bait, and gave it to the Short for Captain. Capt , who in his eagerness
to catch the Fish, did not notice, that there was no Line
made fast to it, but immediately threw it overboard, which
caused a hearty Laugh, and most probably saved the Sharks
life, for we could not find another One, strong enough
to hold him   ___________

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Saturday 7 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

1 May to 8 May, 1836

On Sunday the 1st. of May, 1836, we left the City Canal, Blackwall and were towed down the river in the Nelson Steamer to the The Nore is a sandbank in the mouth of the Thames River outside London. It was a hazard to shipping so a lightship (a ship carrying a light similar to a lighthouse) was anchored there from 1793. The light warned ships away from the sandbank and provided a marker that showed ships where they were. Nore where a contrary wind compelled us to anchor at 7. p.m.  At 8 p.m. the breeze freshened and increased to a gale which detained us till Tuesday when we again weighed and made fast in the A steamer is a steam ship or steam boat. Small paddle steamers were used to tow ships in confined waters such as the Thames estuary. Steamer . We finally cast off from her at the North Foreland on the 4th. at 1 p.m. and made sail with a moderate and fair breeze down Channel, taking our departure from the Lizard on the following Sunday.

[ Read the full journal extract ]


The Duke of York passes the Equator with some skylarking on board – much to Captain Morgan’s disgust at the ‘old heathen practice’!

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