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Week 14 - steady progress

[ 22nd of May 1836 to 28th of May 1836 ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 14 Conflict Onboard ]

All six ships are making steady progress, sailing south in the Atlantic. The weather is fine and conditions pleasant, but relations on board the John Pirie and the Cygnet are tense. On the John Pirie the First officer directly coming under the command of the captain. Ships' Mates were responsible for supervising watches, crew, navigation and safety equipment, and sometimes even served as the ship's doctor. first mate and the ship’s carpenter come to blows over a seemingly trivial matter – the supply of nails, but it seems there is a history of discontent with the carpenter. On the Cygnet meanwhile George Strickland Kingston and Captain Lipson have yet another argument. Both seem to be fairly quick tempered.

Image of a ship's chronometer housed in its wooden box

Ship's chronometer, c.1907. South Australian Maritime Museum collection.


Journals from passengers at sea:

Monday 23 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This 24 hours gentle breeses from the NEd all sail
set steering SE 2 sail in sight Longitude is the distance, measured in degrees, of the meridian on which a point lies to the meridian of Greenwich. On the other side of the earth to Greenwich is a point with a longitude of both 180 degrees east and 180 degrees west Longd  22.54 west by A ‘lunar distance’ was observed by measuring the angle between the sun and moon. Taken at a time related to the midday as determined by the sun’s passing, the longitude could then be calculated and use of this method was indicated by the symbol ‘À and Å’. lunar
Latitude is the distance of a point north or south of the equator as measured in degrees. The poles are at 90 degrees north and south. Lattd  Observed Obsd  20.13 South L 23.17 west by Chronometer. A chronometer is an instrument for accurately measuring time, important in navigation. A ship’s chronometer would be set at Greenwich Mean Time, and the difference between Greenwich Mean Time and noon at the location of the ship could be used to calculate longitude. chro

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Thursday 26 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

The Wind has contd from the S,Eastward, since Tuesday,
accompd with most beautiful Weather   _______
This Afternoon a disagreeable Quarrel took place between
Mr Davies, (our First officer directly coming under the command of the captain. Ships’ Mates were responsible for supervising watches, crew, navigation and safety equipment, and sometimes even served as the ship’s doctor. chief Mate ) and the Carpenter,  ___
It appears the latter wanted some Nails, when the Mate
told him to be more careful of the Provision of food, drink, medical comforts, and equipment for all passengers and crew to survive the voyage. Ships Stores , and
charged him with having recd a great many things in
London, of which he could give no account, this was
passionately denied by the Carpenter, and caused very
angry Words, that soon produced Blows, however they
were parted without having hurt each other much, after
which Capt Martin coincided with the Mate, and blamed
the Carpenter for not fulfiling his duty, in many respects,
but all of which the latter strongly denied, and complain’d
of having recd very hard usage, ever since leaving England,
however, after making use of very strong Language, to each
other, they separated mutually displeased   _________

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Thursday 26 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This 24 hours moderate breeses with passing A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed squalls
with rain all sail set steering to the SEd employd
as needfull served out clothes to the people Latitude is the distance of a point north or south of the equator as measured in degrees. The poles are at 90 degrees north and south. Lattd  Obsd 22.47 S
Longitude is the distance, measured in degrees, of the meridian on which a point lies to the meridian of Greenwich. On the other side of the earth to Greenwich is a point with a longitude of both 180 degrees east and 180 degrees west Longd  by Chronometer. A chronometer is an instrument for accurately measuring time, important in navigation. A ship’s chronometer would be set at Greenwich Mean Time, and the difference between Greenwich Mean Time and noon at the location of the ship could be used to calculate longitude. chro 17.23 West
Read the 51st chapt Isaiah on my knees with my heart lifted up
to God and fervently for my dear boy being His 7th birthday. seven years
since he had a being
 …

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Saturday 28 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Within 18 miles of Bahia on the Brazilian coast, steering S.W. This being the King William IV’s birthday was celebrated in May 1836. His 71st birthday actually fell on 21 August 1836. Historically, official birthday celebrations of the British monarch bore no relation to the actual day of the current monarch’s birthday. King’s birthday , drank Abbreviation of ‘His Majesty’s’. In 1836 William IV was reigning King of England. H.M.’s health with 3 times three, and sent several bottles of wine to the The area of between-decks occupied by steerage passengers, that is, those travelling at the cheapest rate. steerage . Kingston and the Captain had another row. Saw a large species of gull.

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There is high drama on board the John Pirie and a tragedy is only narrowly averted.

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