Thursday March 8th
In Lat. 38º 15' Long. 44º 12’. In morning tacked ship and running W, wind having hauled S. Want to make W some degrees. Driven off by the gale. Light breeze. Set top gallants. Made but little headway having a heavy head sea. Today the men caught three albatrosses. The largest measured ten feet from ends of the wings. Tonight the moon fulled. An eclipse covered the moon about two thirds, a beautiful sight. Very fair and moderate through the night. Today busied myself in mending clothes, cleaning guns, and fixing up for bad weather.
Friday March 9th
Lat. 38º 42' Long. 45º 30'. Eight weeks have elapse since we set sail. No one sick nor have been seriously. Everything goes on very harmoniously. Petty quarrels the same as there is in any family. The weather makes them feel a little cross, but the prevailing impression is that this is the pleasant part of our expedition. The water is rather bad. Begin to live rather poor in comparison to our last living before we reached La Plata. All are preparing for bad times. Plans are made, adapted for the digging of gold, experiments tried, and all manner of speculations made as government actions what is going on. Not having any news from the gold regions for most two months, we conjecture that enormous heaps are found and the whole NE states are on the move and other country. The Barometer yields us some amusement, but what a Boston Post would, we can't imagine. We know one thing. They would sell on board at California prices.
Some talk as though they were going ashore and make a fortune in six months and as though they would take their trunks and march on the ground as though in some town in the vicinity of Boston, but they will get woefully mistaken but imagine not but hard work, trials to overcome, rivers to ford, miles to walk under a melting sun with but a little to eat nothing to cover up, but fever and ague while the wild animals muse us to sleep.
Today is a beautiful day. Fresh breeze from the E. All standing and studding sails. Going only five knots. We make but slow progress, but we have enough to entertain us. Watch the birds which have grown quite numerous. Today ate some preserved stewed oysters with Bagley who appears to be a fine fellow. He with Goodrich have brought with them luxuries such as milk, corn, oysters, sardines etc preserved in jars. They also have salmon. They appear to be fine follows, and I think I will make them my particular friends. They share with me their luxuries as they would a brother. We talk of messing together, getting three more after we get to San Francisco, but it depends altogether on circumstances.
Sat. March 10th, 1849
In Lat. 39º 39' Long. 47º 49’. Commenced with gentle breeze from the N. Going six knots with studding sails. Signs of an approaching storm. This morning took a bath for the last time. Had a diner green cornbread and preserved salmon from Bagley and Goodrich. Towards night commenced raining. Wind hauled E.
Sunday March 11th
In Lat. 40º 26' Long. 50º 45'. Commenced foggy and stormy. Not any wind till afternoon from the NNW. Had religious services. Sermon in the forenoon by Mr. Bradbury. The poorest attendance yet. Disliked very much hypocrisy and acquisitiveness. Very large sermon in the afternoon by Mr. Benton. Well attended. A good sermon.
Cleared up about nine with a good seven knot breeze from the WSW. Some of the sailors caught a porpoise, they are very numerous, by harpoon about 10 P.M. Had him cooked fried made a mess for the whole Company. It was very good and delicious as well. His liver very much like a hogs.
Monday March 12
In Lat. 41º 58' Long. 52º 55'. Commenced fair with a fresh breeze from the W. All drawing sails set. Run well all day. Towards night the Capt said it was coming to blow, blow, blow. He paced the deck looked wild, barometer falling. About nine the wind ceased breezing. Thunder clouds lay all round. Lightened sharp. About half past nine a heavy cloud passed over us accompanied thunder, lightening, and rain. The yards were shifted eight or ten times. Wind was coming from somewhere. Mid the confusion I fell asleep.
Tuesday the 13th
In Lat. 42º 58' Long. 53º 54'. Commenced with a strong breeze from SW. Increased every moment. At ten hauled in all sail but fore main and mizzen double reefed top sails, staysails and main spencer. At eleven layed to under main spencer and fore top mast stay sail. The wind blowing almost a hurricane. All looked wild. This, for the first time, a sailors called a hard blow. The ship trembled but rode the heavy sea like a bird. Toward night shipped a heavy sea which made a complete breach over her fore and aft decking into the cabin with violence. Stove the lee bulwarks and water three feet deep in the lee scuppers. Clewed down fore top stay sail. At night threatened to wash over us but shipped very light. Calked down main hatch and made preparation for a hard night.
Got no sleep this night being the most disagreeable night and day I have ever experienced. Many made the remark if they knew as much before they started as they know now, they would not have come this way, but after all I suppose this is a paradise to most any other ship bound the the same destination. The gale resembled a strong N. Easter at home. Probably the equinoctial storm. This morning while laying to, the men caught four or five albatross. Great numbers were seen and a variety of other birds, sea hens, cape pigeons. Any quantity of them.
Wednesday the 14th
In Lat. 43º 03' Long. 52º 56’. In the morning the gale had decreased, but the seas run very high. This was high life. Nothing could be cooked. What they tried was thrown out almost as soon as it was put into the coppers. All was confusion. Nothing to eat but boiled junk and crackers, and to get that down had to hold on with one hand and eat with the other. Squally all day. In the afternoon about four set close reefed top sails, fore and main sail, and tacked ship and running W by N. Ran W all night, varying a five points.
Next week will be published on Sunday Feb. 23