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Week 16 - towards Australia

[ 5th of June 1836 to 11th of June 1836 ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 16: Crossing the Line ]

Both the Duke of York and the John Pirie are now steering south east towards Australia, a novelty they appreciate.  Although it brings bad weather and rough conditions, the travellers on the John Pirie also welcome the cooler conditions, after being ‘almost stew’d alive for a Month’. There is an interesting comment here on the trying conditions of everyday life on board in the tropics, with butter turning to oil and candles literally melting in their sticks. All is quieter also amongst the passengers, but the Captain continues to be anxious about Mrs Chandler’s state of mind.  He orders her husband to keep a close watch on her whenever she is on deck.

Scene: a fair wind and cross sea

A ship enduring a 'cross sea', Edward Snell, 1849.

 

The Rapid meanwhile crosses the Equator. ‘with the usual absurd ceremony’, as Dr John Woodforde wearily records. He manages to escape the fate of the other uninitiated passengers, pleading illness and bribing the crew with a A form of British currency, the gold sovereign has been minted to exacting specifications since 1817. Each sovereign contains exactly 7.3224 grams of gold (22 carats). It was worth nominally one pound.sovereign  - a substantial fee!


Journals from passengers at sea:

Sunday 5 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

5th June. Found the 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. latitude by the stars at midnight. 16.28. being about 90 miles and 30 miles to The direction from which the wind blows. The other direction is termed ‘leeward’. windward of the Brazilian shoals.

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Sunday 5 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This 24 hours moderate breeses from the NWd
all drawing sail set steering SE
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.Lattitude Obsd 33.7 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.Longitude the The meridian of Greenwich passes through the Royal Observatory there and has been adopted world-wide as the starting point for recording longitudes to the east and west of it.meridian of Greenwich
In the morning in private read the psalms for
the day morning with prayer in the forenoon in the
cabin went through the church service and read
a surmon from Books of sermons were quite common in the early nineteenth century and were used both privately and during religious services. The text for this particular sermon refers to the story in the Gospel According to St Luke, chapter 6, which compares a life of faith to building a house upon a solid foundation.Dr Walton Luke 6th chapt 46th 49th verce
I felt it a solemn and profitable time to my soul
and hope others did allso being on the meridian we
worshiped at the same time God people at home
did worship the great congregations a privalage
we may not have again on earth or sea God only
knows …

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Monday 6 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

The Weather remain’d very fine all Yestdy, untill 11, P,M,
when it came on to blow a heavy Gale of Wind, from S,E,
so strong that the A sail immediately above the lowermost sail of a mast and supported by a topmast.Fore top SailThe topgallant mast (pronounced and sometimes written t’gallant) is the mast immediately above the topmast, or an extension of the topmast. See ships’ rigging for further discussion.Top gallt SailA triangular sail carried on a rope stay running between the foremast and the jib boom, an extension of the bowsprit.Jib,
and Rather than a foresail permanently secured to the fore yard, the John Pirie had a square-sail which was hoisted to the yard when required.Square sail, were taken in, and the The mainsail is the lowest sail on the mainmast, as is the fore-sail on the foremast.Main sail,
close 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’d, which has contd the whole of this Day, accompd
by a tremendious A cross sea arises when the waves raised by a gale continue after the wind has changed direction. Continuing changes, such as during a cyclone, may result in the waves rising up in pyramids and sending their tops perpendicularly into the air.cross jump of a Sea, that makes the
Vessel, A ship pitches when its head plunges up and down under the action of waves.pitch and roll about dreadfully, and causing
her to leak very much, being upon the The old term for the left hand side of a ship looking forward. The right hand side is starboard. To avoid mis-hearing an order, it is now referred to as ‘port’larboard Ships could not sail directly into the wind, but they could sail across it at an angle. So, to move forward in the direction of the wind they set a zigzag course, sailing across the wind at alternating angles. That procedure was called tacking.Tack   ___

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Tuesday 7 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

The Gale contd rageing with unabated fury the whole
of last Night, but at 8, A,M, it became a little more
moderate, and the close 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’d a sail immediately above the lowermost sail of a mast and supported by a topmast.Fore top Sail was set,
although the Wind, which is now due East, has still kept
blowing very strong, in the A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed.Squall’s, all this Day,
During the Night, we crossed the The imaginary line dividing the tropics from the rest of the southern hemisphere, and marking the limit of the sun’s apparent movement southwards during summer. The northern limit is the Tropic of Cancer.Line of Capricorn,
in about 29E40’ West 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.Longitude    _________

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Wednesday 8 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

On Wednesday 8th. June we crossed the Equator and the usual absurd ceremony was performed on all the uninitiated except myself – my state of health and giving the Ship’s Company a A form of British currency, the gold sovereign has been minted to exacting specifications since 1817. Each sovereign contains exactly 7.3224 grams of gold (22 carats). It was worth nominally one pound.sovereign exempted me –

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Thursday 9 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

… ________  The late high Winds have cool’d
the Air very much indeed, which is uncommonly grate-
-ful to us, after being almost stew’d Alive, for a Month,
besides making our Butter run to an Oil, and
Candles unable to stand upright, without having
props to support them   _____________

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Friday 10 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

10th June. Passed the Brazilian shoals steering fro Rio.

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Friday 10 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

During last Night, the Wind gradually veer’d round
to the Northward, and having had a fine Breeze, from
that Quarter, all this Day, we consider ourselves now to
be out of the S,E, Regular winds which move towards the equator within or near the tropics, the earth’s rotation dragging them such that in the northen hemisphere they blow from the north-eastward and in the southern from the south-eastward. Trade Winds    ___________
Mrs Chandler being greatly recover’d, from the effects
of her late attempt of drowning, the Capt has given her
Husband strict orders, that whenever She comes upon
Deck, his is to watch her closely, as it is not improbable
That She might make another attempt   _________

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Saturday 11 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

11th. Wind from the S. West.
N.B. On Thursday the 9th. ship’s head steering E. of South hauled up to Westward for Rio.

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Saturday 11 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

There has been a smart Breeze all Night, and the
whole of this Day from N,N,W, causing our Vessel to
run at the rate of 7 or 8 The speed of ship or wind in nautical miles per hour. A float is dropped overboard and the speed is indicated by the rate at which the ship sails away from it. Spacing of knots in the log-line connected to the float is in same proportion to a mile as the half-minute sandglass used is to an hour, thus the number knots counted off in the time is the speed in knots. Knots an Hour, in a S,E,
direction, which Course, is something new to us, after
having been Steering to the S,Westards, ever since leaving
Dartmouth, untill the last, two or three Days

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Next week: Mrs Chandler is ill again and as her condition deteriorates, those on board take desperate measures.

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