Frederick Allen’s whaling voyage on the Mexico 1837- 1838
Posted on December 13, 2021 by Jenny ONeill
Westport farmer, Frederick Allen kept a journal. This section chronicles his voyage on the Mexico.
Buys articles for voyage, including 5 lbs. of tobacco;
Ships out of Westport on the Brig Mexico;
Sails south, encountering strong gales.
Saturday, April 1, 1837. Morning rainy ◄ SE. Afternoon fair ◄ NW. Most of the day coutering.
Sunday, April 2. April – clear ◄ NW. To home. Eve. spent to F.B.’s.
Monday, April 3. Fair ◄ SW. Went to General Town meeting. The same old town council chosen that have served for years & years. Spent 8 cents.
Tuesday, April 4. Fair ◄ NW. Most of the day busy writing. Afternoon fell some wood. Eve. to S.G.
Wednesday, April 5. Fair ◄ Ny drawed out manure, sold my music book 66¢.
Thursday, April 6. Clear ◄ NW. Went to N. Bedford, got me a protection & other articles for my intended voyage. 5 lbs. tobacco $1.25.
Friday, April 7. AM clear, afternoon cloudy ◄ S. Coutered some. Afternoon picked stones, sold my penny magazines $1.50.
Saturday, April 8. AM lightening thunder and powerful rain, then foggy ◄ Sy. Fixed some things, went to the Point, got some articles. Eve. bet 25¢ with H. Pero and won the same.
Sunday, April 9. Cloudy, strong ◄ W. To home all day. G. Smith and his wife here. Eve. to F.B.’s
Monday, April 10. Cloudy ◄ NW. Carried my bed sack aboard. 1 lb. tobacco 25¢. Rest of the day busy. Mrs. L. Whalen presents me a junk bottle of elderberry syrup & Nancy Wing with 2 fine sweet cakes for my intended voyage.
Tuesday, April 11. Clear ◄ N. Began to plough green sward & continued it all day.
Wednesday, April 12. Clear ◄ NW. Busy ploughing all day
Thursday, April 13. Clear ◄ S by W. AM ploughed old grounds. Afternoon went over the river.
Friday, April 14. Fair ◄ NWy. AM drawed off stones. Afternoon cut 78 widths, then busy choring.
Saturday, April 15. Clear ◄ Wy. Carried my chest aboard the Mexico. Afternoon ploughed.
Sunday, April 16. Cloudy, afternoon rainy. To home most of the day. Went to the school house to meeting but no minister came. Eve. spent to F. Brownell’s.
Monday, April 17. Fair, fresh ◄ W. Ploughed in grain in the barn meadow
Tuesday, April 18. Showery & variable ◄. Come on board the Mexico down to the turn of the channel by the harbor.
Wednesday, April 19. AM onboard. Afternoon went up to the Point and helped to grind whale irons.
Thursday, April 20. I got up our anchor to sail, but got aground and laid on the sandbar until evening then caged her off.
Friday, April 21, 1837. Clear ◄ Ny. Weighed & sailed on our intended voyage, which God grant may be prosperous one. At night land out of sight. I belong to the starboard watch and pull at the midship oar in the Captain’s boat.
Saturday, April 22. Caught two black fish.
Sunday, April 23. Caught 1 black fish.
Monday, April 24. Last night and today strong gales at NE and rain. Lost our waist boat. The first gale we had and the first I even experienced at sea.
Tuesday, April 25. [No journal entry]
Wednesday, April 26. [No journal entry]
Thursday, April 27. [No journal entry]
Friday, April 28. [No journal entry]
Saturday, April 29. [No journal entry]
Sunday, April 30. [No journal entry]
Cruising the Bahamas; caught first whale.
Monday, May 1, 1837. [No journal entry]
Tuesday, May 2. [No journal entry]
Wednesday, May 3. [No journal entry]
Thursday, May 4. Calm AM. My trick aloft discovered a large tortoise which came along side & our men gafted him onboard, judged him to weigh 200 lbs.
Wednesday, May 5. [No journal entry]
Thursday, May 6. [No journal entry]
Sunday, May 7. Fell in with the bark Dr. Franklin, Westport. Capt. J. Davis, he the Capt. & his boats crew came on board of us.
Monday, May 8. This day raised whales. Lowered & pulled for them. Our boat has the good luck to kill one & one of Dr. Franklin’s another.
Tuesday, May 9. Braised whale, lowered & pulled for them but no use.
Wednesday, May 10. Saw plenty of whales. Lowered twice for them, had a severe pull, got nothing.
Thursday, May 11. AM lowered for whales, had a long pull but could not come near them. PM lowered again. Whales in all directions. Capt. J. Davis struck one which stove his boat and we being near him mated and killed the whale and brought him along the side, our Capt. and Job both said he fought the worse they ever saw one. Bought a pair of shoes for 25 cents.
Friday, May 12. Busy cutting in whale. The sharks as thick as flies around in August, hundreds and hundreds of them.
Saturday, May 13. Rough sea. Busy boiling out blubber, our Capt. discharged his steward for one of our foremost hands for 58 bbls.
Sunday, May 14. Fresh SE and rainy. Finished boiling oil both whales
Monday, May 15. Stowed down oil and put 3 casks onboard the Dr. Franklin for home. Got a waist boat of Capt. Job to replace ours that was lost.
Tuesday, May 16. Rough sea. Unbent the main topsail and mended it.
Wednesday, May 17. Busy mending the boat we had of the Dr. Franklin. Spoke the Brig Delights N. Bedford, Sampson 5½ mo. out, 90 bbls. oil.
Thursday, May 18. Finished mending the boat.
Friday, May 19. Painted the boat. Spoke the Brig. Juno N. Bedford, Ma. 5 mo. out, 25 bbls. Evening the D. Franklin starboard boat came onboard and gammed ‘till 10 at night, spent the time in singing songs, dancing etc. in real sailor stile I s’pose it would be called. The Dr. Franklin leaves for home tomorrow with 730 bbls. 11 mo. out.
Saturday, May 20. To work upon rigging. Evening brig Juno’s starboard boat came onboard us, brought 18 small coconuts. Diversions of the evening about the same as last night.
Sunday, May 21. No work today except watches aloft. C. Tripp one of the larboard watch stood his trick today, for 2 weeks past he’s been sick & unable to do his duty.
Monday, May 22. Letting up rigging. PM broke out our cheese and found it nearly ½ spoiled. 450 lbs. put up for & now its rotten.
Tuesday, May 23. Making spun yarn.
Wednesday, May 24. Fresh gales, Ey & rough sea. Picked up oaheum, plattets, sinnets.
Thursday, May 25. Fresh gales Ey & rain & the sea so rough no work done.
Friday, May 26. AM squally, made & shorten sail after. PM made spun yarn.
Saturday, May 27. Brattled down riggin. Afternoon made the Bahama Keys beaning. L. dist. 3 or 4 leagues. Fine weather and smooth sea, all hands in good health and mince pies for supper.
Sunday, May 28. Smooth sea to home here all the Sunday and evenings too.
Monday, May 29. Fresh ◄ E & rough. I made spun yarn. At 4 in the afternoon raised black fish lowered for them. I killed two, one to a boat; I got the blubber offer.
Tuesday, May 30. Boiled out our black fish blubber, caught a dolphin.
Wednesday, May 31. Fresh ◄ NE & rough. AM saw a merchant ship to windward steering E. Did nothing much today.
Leaving Bahamas after five weeks; taking the Gulf Stream across the Atlantic;
Very rough seas as they sailed from the Southern Ground to the Western Ground.
Thursday, June 1. Mast A raised black fish, lowered & pulled for them but could not fasten. Sold J.E. knife sheath for 12½ cts.
Friday, June 2. Made spun yarn. At AM discovered something to windward. PM lowered the masts boat & pulled to it & found it to be a log Spanish cedar, caught one log fish by the side of it.
Saturday, June 3. Yesterday & today nearly calm. Fixed rigging after sunset. Raised black fish but too late in the day. Eat up the last of my cakes.
Sunday, June 4. Fresh breezes SW and off we go. NE for the southern ground having cruised for 5 weeks on the Bahama grounds. Between the parallels of 27 degrees by 30 degrees N latitude & 77 degrees by 79 degrees W. Longitude PM caught a porpoise.
Monday, June 5. Winds W. And off we go. Across the Gulf stream. Hands plotting
Tuesday, June 6. Sailing across the Gulf stream northerly. Wrote two letters. Afternoon caught two black fish. One to a boat and peeled off the blubber.
Wednesday, June 7. AM fell in with the schooner Herald, New York and sent my letters with several aboard, all for Westport, which I just had time to seal and write the persons home as they were called for. Boiled out our blubber, etc.
Thursday, June 8. We are now cruising on the southern ground. Saw thousands of porpoises but no whales. Bought ½ a lottery ticket 12½ cts & drew a fiddle, the only prize, which the owner drew again.
Friday, June 9. Cloudy & strong gales NW. All lowered for B’s fish but caught none.
Saturday, June 10. Cloudy, real gales NE & rough sea, lay too under clare rufeds main topsails & fore & mainstay sails, boats on the upper cranes. This day a day of confusion, as most all hands making lotteries of knives, cloths, books, etc. I spend 5 cents & swaped a book I bought Dec. 5, 1835 for a new B’k silk J. Co.
Sunday, June 11. Gale continues & very cold ◄ NE. Lay too all these 24 hours, sea rough. Afternoon broke out breads & water & stowed our blackfish oils.
Monday, June 12. Moderate light ◄ NE & cold. Plaited sinnet. Evening spent 6¢ in a lottery ticket & drawed 0.
Tuesday, June 13. Cloudy ◄ SW & a great swell from the NE. Lowered for blackfish but could not come up with them. The hardest standing aloft today I’ve had there being such a head beat sea.
Wednesday, June 14. Squally ◄ Sy. We are now sailing from the Southern Ground to the Western Ground so-called, course ESE.
Thursday, June 15. Squalls of rain & strong ◄ SWy. Course E by S.
Friday, June 16. Real gale of wind Wy & a tremendous sea. About 1 o’clock this morning, the larboard watch on deck the Brig rolled so deep she carried away their second waist boat with all her craft & a new pair of duck trousers for one I had washed & and put into her dry. All went in a moment. This is the 2nd time all hands have been called. AM the ◄ shifted N till now, send afternoon lay too. In Latitude 37°05’N & longitude 60°57’ West.
Saturday, June 17. Light breeze S & great swells, course E.
Sunday, June 18. Smacking breeze S & squalls of rain and rough sea, course E by S.
Monday, June 19. Squalls of rain ◄ W, course E. rough sea.
Tuesday, June 20. Fair ◄ NWW, course E by S, sea still rough.
Wednesday, June 21. AM ▲, afternoon ◄ ESE, course ENE. Unbent & mended the fore top sail and bent it again. One of the starboard watch, J. Earle sick and left his duty, with the TOC.
Thursday, June 22. Fine breeze SE, course E. Broke out water.
Friday, June 23. Wind S & clear, course E by S. Raised finback whales.
Saturday, June 24. Breeze SSW & very smooth sea. Course ESE. Caught a small turtle. To work upon rigging.
Sunday, June 25. Cloudy ◄ WSW. Smooth sea. Lat. 38°16N. Long. 42°00’W. Course E by S.
Monday, June 26. Clear warm & very smooth sea. We are now cruising grounds for whales but none to be seen. Unbent & mended main topsail.
Tuesday, June 27. AM moderate, afternoon fresh ◄ SW & rainy. AM plaited sinnet.
Wednesday, June 28. Cloudy ◄ SW & NW. Sold our cook W. Pratt a book 30¢.
Thursday, June 29. Fresh ◄ SW. All hands busy platting gaskets.
Friday, June 30. Fresh gales SW. Lay too all day. Scrimshawing began today by most all hands. Swaped a book for a box and gave 5 cts.
In the western whaling grounds; celebrated July 4th with grog;
Saturday, July 1. Light ◄ SW & cloudy. Not much done today.
Sunday, July 2. AM light ◄ SW. Afternoon strong breezes SSW & foggy. Lat. 39°13’N, Long. 37°40’W.
Monday, July 3. Morning squalls of rain, thunder & lightning & rugged. Latter part of these 24 hours moderate. No whales seen & not much work done.
Tuesday, July 4, 1837. AM ▲ cloudy & cool. Midday ◄ SW & squalls of rain. At noon raised whales in Lat. 39°15’N, Long. 37°40’W. Lowered & chased them 2 hours but could not come up with them, saw them breech out of water, which was the most grand sight I ever saw. Got onboard at 8 in the evening. Saw one sail. All hands had 2 drinks of grog, thus passed the 4th of July 1837.
Wednesday, July 5. Clear, the pleasantest day we have had for a long time. ◄ N by W. All hands busy picking oakum & looking for whales. Made 14¢.
Thursday, July 6. This morning by 4 o’clock just as all hands were called raised, whales close alongside the Brig. Lowered & chaced them. Our boat steerer had a good chance to fasten, but mixed irons, we continued the chase for about 12 miles from the Brig & it being calm we had to pull the whole distance back to the Brig. In returning we caught a turtle, got onboard at 8 o’clock, then light ◄ SSW & fair.
Friday, July 7. Fair ◄ SW. AM raised Black fish, lowered & got 4 fish, 2 to a boat, heeled them & boiled out the blubber which made 6 bbls. Afternoon spoke the Admiral Lake London from Barbados, bound home at 4 o’clock. Afternoon raised whales but did not lower because we could not keep the course of them nor sight of them. [Ed. note: blackfish = pilot whale]
Saturday, July 8. Fresh gales WSW & cloudy, rough sea. Lay too all day, scrimshanting carried on today. Spent 16 by lottery tickets.
Sunday, July 9. Fair, light ◄ SW. Latitude 34°19’ N Long. 38°17’W.
Monday, July 10. Morning fresh ◄ SW. Fell in with & went onboard the Charleston packet, Ellis New Bedford 2 mos. out 50 bbls. oil. At 10 o’clock AM have too with a brisk gale WSW & wetting all hands scrimshanting.
Tuesday, July 11. Gale continues with some rain & rough seas ◄ WSW. Lay too till 12 hr. AM gale abates, made sail & stood S by W. Sold F. Head my Practical Navigator for $3.00, is to pay me when the voyage is up. At 5 o’clock afternoon I raised 2 large whales, lowered & had a rigged pull for it. Got so mean our boat stern stood up but too late. The mates boat got a turtle. Latitude 39°34’N. Longitude 38°10’West. Nice.
Wednesday, July 12. Fair ◄ W by S. Broke out for bread, water, molasses, beans.
Thursday, July 13. Fresh ◄ SW rough sea & cloudy. AM raised black fish, lowered the mates boat, killed one & coming along side they lost it. At 12 hr. the ship South Carolina, Smyth of Dartmouth 13 days out. At 1 o’clock afternoon raised whales & lowered, the mate fastened first & we soon after, our whale run partly to windward ‘till we fill in with the Capt. of the S.C. boat. The whale running fast, the sea rough & our mates boat had long been out of sight, our Capt., mates the Capt. of the S.C. & as soon as possible we left to look for the mate, at 6 o’clock afternoon, both board of us came onboard, the mate held on 4 hours & then the whale took his line with two irons, one lance & a drag. Latitude 39°4’N, Longitude 38°W.
Friday, July 14. Look ENE & fair. Busy repairing boats & craft today.
Saturday, July 15. Strong & ESE & rainy. AM lay too, AM made sails, Not much done.
Sunday, July 16. Misty, fresh, rough sea. At 4 the Capt. of the S. Carolina came onboard of us & our mate went aboard the S. Carolina. J. Earle stood his watch today for 25 days, past he has been sick. Latitude 39°13’, Longitude 38°.
Monday, July 17. Fair & W. Got our oil aboard from the S. Carolina that we killed in company on the 13th. Twenty three bbls & stored it.
Tuesday, July 18. Fair ◄ W & smooth sea. Fell in with & brought alongside a stick of pine timber 22 ft. long 15 in. square & took it in for damage at 8. Raised black fish, lowered our boat, got 2 and the mates one, boiled out the blubber, which made us 4 bbls. Night caught a small Porpoise.
Wednesday, July 19. Fair ◄ Sy & Wy. Unbent the foresail & mended & bent it again.
Thursday, July 20. Fair ◄ SW good weather & no whales. Afternoon spoke the S. Carolina Smyth again, his Longitude 36°15’W & ours 38° West.
Friday, July 21. Last night lightening, thunder & powerful rain. Today fair ◄ Ny. Evening seven of us went in a swimming. Lat. 38°29’N, Long. 38°39’W.
Saturday, July 22. Clear & almost calm. To work upon rigging.
Sunday, July 23. Clear & fresh ◄ NW. At 9 o’clock AM I spoke the bark Chevalier … of Salem 14 days out, bound to the South Atlantic a whaling & at 11 o’clock AM spoke the Brig. Sarah, Mayhew of Rochester 4 months out 80 bbls. oil. The Capt. came aboard of us a gamming. Lat. 38°55’.
Monday, July 24. Cloudy, foggy & W, calm. Raised a whale, lowered & pulled 2 miles, but did not see him again. After w left the Brig after we got aboard our Capt. threw his hat overboard to have better luck for time to come he said.
Tuesday, July 25. Fair, & W. I raised black fish, lowered & chased them. 1 ½ hours, got fast twice but got none. AM calm & cloudy,
Wednesday, July 26. AM rainy, light ◄ SW at 4. Afternoon fell in with the Sarah, Mayhew of Rochester, out starboard boat went onboard of her a gamming & me too went
Thursday, July 27. Cloudy & foggy ◄ NNW. No remarks today.
Friday, July 28. Clear NW. Not much work done. I saw a ship to windward cutting in a whale. Latitude 39 degrees 2’ N. Longitude 38 degrees 31’ West,
Saturday, July 29. Clear ◄ S foggy. No remarks.
Sunday, July 30. Fair ◄ W by S & warm. At noon fell in with & caught 3 dolphin, 5 oliver cores & 3 log fish. AM fell in with & the Capt. of the Brig. Sarah, Rochester came onboard of us. Lat. 39 degrees 20’. Long. 39 degrees 18’W.
Monday, July 31. Clear ◄ W by S. Our compass on this ground this is 18° Westerly, variation on their abouts. Saw three sail to windward.
Active whaling in the Atlantic. Arrives in the Azores and
sails off of Flores, Faial, Pico St. George & Terceira.
Tuesday, August 1, 1837. Cloudy WNW, some squally. AM raised black fish twice & lowered twice but got nothing, saw several sails.
Wednesday, August 2. Clear ◄ WNW. AM I raised black, lowered & got to each boat & peeled off the blubber. I fell in with & went onboard of the Brig. America Huchinson of New Bedford, 8 months out 50 bbls of oil.
Thursday, August 3. Fair NW. Boiled out our blubber which made 4½ bbls. oil. Evening caught a dolphin.
Friday, August 4. Clear, warm, all calm. AM light breeze SW Broke out for bread & water & stowed our black fish oils. Yesterday & today 3 sails in sight.
Saturday, August 5. Clear & warm S by E. AM caught a small turtle, the last & all the potatoes cooked for dinner today. Some work done on rigging.
Sunday, August 6. Clear, light, S at noon raised a sail & at 5 came up with & the starboard board went onboard of the brig. Mattapoisset, Southworth of Rochester 4 mos. Out 250 bbls. Oil & an 20 barrels whale alongside killed this morning got from her 6 buckets of potatoes & two Junks of mahogany. We caught 2 dolphins. Lat. 38 degrees 50’ N. Long 38 degrees 4’.
Monday, August 7. Fair & low several sails bounds W. Paid 5c. to the cook for
Tuesday, August 8. Clear & E. No remarks today (washing shirt
Wednesday, August 9. Clear fresh from SE to L. Law several sails of merchant must
Thursday, August 10. Squally of rain & strong SSE & rough sea, lay too all day, scrimshanting carried on by all hands & the cook. Latitude 38° 25’ N. Long. 38°W.
Friday, August 11. Fair & SSW, moderate weather. No remarks.
Saturday, August 12. AM squalls of wind & powerful rain, thunder & lightning. Fresh SW & fair, some scrimshanting this
Sunday, August 13. Fresh gales WSW & rain, lay too all day sent down fore & main top gallant of very rough sea. Latitude 39°15’, Long. 37°00’.
Monday, August 14. Cloudy N & great swells. A fall in with the Sarah Louisa, Lamford of N. Bedford 8 mos. out 200 bbls. oil. Capt. S & our Capt. gammed all day but none of either crew. Unbent the jib & benta.
Tuesday, August 15. Squally N & cool. Some work done on rigging (new one.
Wednesday, August 16. Clear N. I fell in with & went on board of the bark Popmun, met Nickinson of Falmouth, 7½ mo. out 550 bbls. oil bound home. I spoke brig Delight Lanford, N. Bedford, 8 mo. out 150 bbls. oil at 4 o’clock. To the larboards boat went aboard a gamming. Lat. 39° 20’ N, Longitude 35° 12’ W. [Larboards is the opposite of starboards, i.e., port side.]
Thursday, August 17. Fair, strong W & rough sea. Course E & running for the Isles.
Friday, Aug. 18. Fair W at 8 o’clock this A made Flores, one of the Western Islands in Lat. 39°26’W, Long. 31°07’W bearing E distance 50 miles. I spoke the brig Rising States Cuffe of N. Bedford 28 days out 10 bbls. of Fishoil, officers & all the crew darkies. At 5 I spoke ship Paladium, New London 14 days out bound to the cast cape whaling, starboard boat went aboard not, I caught a noble turtle.
Saturday, August 19. Smoky air ◄ Wy. Afternoon I stood along the south side of Flores & had a tolerable prospect of her lofty hills, her yellow wheat fields & dark green vineyards. Unbent the fore & main topsails & bent better ones not new. Also, unbent & a new topsail.
Sunday, August 20. Strong ◄ SW & squally. AM lay too. Afternoon made sail & fell in with the brigs Sarah & the Mattapoisett, both of Rochester. I had a regular gamm all round, stuck it out ‘till dark. Sailing along side of Flores.
Monday, August 2. Fair, strong ◄SSW, Run from Flores to Fayal course SE dist. 120 miles made Fayal 5 o’clock. Rough sea & a brisk run today.
Tuesday, August 22. Fair ◄ SW at 2 o’clock this afternoon the Capt. & all the starboard watch of us went ashore at the Town of Fayal & cruised round ‘till night, spying wonders & drinking grog & as for myself got pretty hot & the rest nothing to brag of. Spent $1.12 got on board at dark & as I see & heard so much, I shan’t begin to describe anything, except we all got aboard safe without the least accident so far.
Wednesday, August 23. Last night squalls of ◄ rain, thunder & light. Today squally ◄ NW. This morning Fayal, Pico St. Georges, Gracious & Terceira all in sight. Saw two water spouts this AM 1½ miles to seaward.
Thursday, August 24. Squalls of rain, fresh N and rough sea. I saw plenty of gramproes & porpoises, but no whales.
Friday, August 25. Last night & today fresh gales W & rain & rough sea. Banging rain Terceira.
Saturday, August 26. Fresh W & of rain squalls of rain cruising round the island of Terceira at 4 o’clock. At the starboard boat went aboard of the Mattapoisett, Southworth a gamming & his mate came aboard of us which is called a regular gam not
Sunday, August 27. Cloudy & fresh ◄ SW. Laying along the lee side of the island of Terceira. Morning spoke brig Fanton, Collins of Fall River 3 mo. out not a whale. A.M. spoke brig Delight Lanford of N. Bedford and got a boat from her she being bound home 9 mo. out 150 bbls. oil. Gammed all the A.M. with her. Our crew sent four letters home by her. The reason I didn’t write was I had nothing particular to write & not hearing a word from home I shan’t trouble myself to write until I do. They having several chances to write me.
Monday, August 28. A fair, AM squally ◄ Westerly. Broke out for bread & water at 4 AM spoke of the starboard boat came on board as Brig Troy, Heart of Bristol, 6 mo. out and 100 bbls.
Tuesday, August 29. Fair WNW. Caught a Porpoise. No other remarks.
Wednesday, August 30. The fairest day and smoothest sea we have had since we made the islands. AM spoke brig Juno Sowle of Westport 3½ mo. out 100 bbls. oil. Had a prospect of the town of Villa da Praya on the isl. of Graciosa in lat. 39° 02’N long. 27° 40’W. Knotted yarns and made spun yarn.
Thursday, August 31. Clear, light ◄SE AM run in near the north end of the island of Fayal (Faial in modern Portuguese), to trade with the Portuguese egges, etc. but none came off to us as we did not go ashore to them. Made spun yarn & painted the larboard (i.e., port side) boat.
Whaling in the Azores
Friday, September 1. Clear fine breeze SE. Knotted yarns for spun yarn. _____ the starboard boat went aboard brig Lagrange, Daggett of Rochester 4¼ mo. out 220 bbls. oil.
Saturday, September 2. Fair, fresh ◄ NE Cruising round Fayal. All went aboard of the S. L. Sanford; a Mr. Gilmore gave me a pipe. AM gammed aboard brig Annawan (Capt.) Snow of Rochester 38 days out 3 bbls. oil. Had a real fine time & company enough; their being our Capt., Mayhew, Daggett & Snow & their boats crews; good music on the violin, pipe & drum & dancing in abundance, even all the Capts. Except our danced, an old darky beat on the drums which was about as good a play as any of the sports we had got aboard 7½ o’clock this evening.
Sun. Sep. 3. Clear, light ◄ SE course N.W. At 4 o’clock AM spoke brig Brian Wing of Rochester 4⅓ mo. out 80 bbls. raised black fish and lowered but nether boat.
Mon. Sep 4. Clear, light ◄ Southerly & warm. At 2 AM spoke brig Love / of us got fast to um. Reb, Manter of N. Bedford 4⅓ mo. out 120 bbls. oil. Made spun yarn.
Tues. Sep. 5. Fair, ◄ S. Made and finished spun yarn. Spoke brig Amity. Whitehaven two months agoe she had a gale of(f) Cape Hatteras & carried away her mainmast beside other damages. Jury mast. A sorry looking craft.
Wed. Sep 6. Cloudy, ◄ S by W. Cruising NE of Flores. AM raised black fish. Lowered & the starboard boat got one, and the larboard nothing. Pecked the blubber and boiled it out, made us 2 bbls. of oil. Our ship keeper P. Hoxsie got the Portuguese ladies fever at Fayal, Aug. 22. All the rest of the starboard watch well yet. / looking fishes
Thursday, September 7. Fresh ◄ NE and squalled of rain. Raised a sulphur bottom whale, a huge.
Friday, September 8. Fair ◄ NE and part of the day calm. Run along the SW side of Pico and had a fair prospect of his lofty summit, a bank of clouds laying along its sides which almost always havens about it.
Saturday, September 9. Fair ◄ Northerly. Run from the Westward through between Pico, Point de Espartel & Fayal, had a most enchanting prospect of the town of Fayal, her white houses, high steeples, lofty hills and green fields, the ship lying off the harbor at this time & small lateen sailboats cutting to & fro.
Sunday, September 10 – at sea off Fayal. Clear ◄ Westerly and rough sea, run from Fayal toward Terceira at 4 AM fell in with & the starboard went aboard of brig June, Macomber of New Bedford 9 months out 100 bbls. oil. / in sight
Monday, September 11 – at sea off Terceira. Strong ◄ WNW and fair. Cruising off Terceira, six sails of whalemen.
Tuesday, September 12 – at sea off Terceira. Cloudy strong ◄ WNW & rough sea. Off the East side of Terceira, six other brigs on the same ground. AM spoke brig. Gov. Hopkins, Simmons of Bristol RI 30 days out. Bought of our Capt. an ivory spool stand. Turned with him toward payment the $3 due me from F. Head for Bowditch’s Navigator I sold him July 11, 1837. My Capt. owes me $1, payable when the voyage is up. The stands of ivory by way of trade cost me $2.05.
Wednesday, September 13 – at sea off Terceira. Clear ◄ Northerly & Westerly. Off Terceira, I fell in with & went on board of the Bark President, Hathaway of Westport 2½ mo. out 220 bbls. oil. Besides seeing 2 or 3 I was acquainted with I received two letters one from Mip HCM & the other from N. Howland, my old school mate & much respected friend, but not a word from my parents or sister.
Thursday, September 14 – at sea. Fair weather, light ◄ NE. Bound to Fayal. Mended the old fore top.
Friday, September 15 – at sea. Pleasant gales and fair. At 10 AM fell in with the brig Thos. Winslow, Seabury of Westport 3 mo. out 100 bbls. Gammed with her all day. Was quite disappointed in not finding a letter there for me. AM spoke brig Le Baron, Rogers of Rochester 6 weeks out 230 bbls. of oil. Off NE of Fayal.
Saturday, September 16 – docked at Fayal. Last night and this AM strong ◄ NW. AM strong gales SW. AM the Capt. & larboard watch went ashore to the town of Fayal, & by what they said, had a high time, one got shut up ashore, three completely drunk & some of the rest not. Came aboard 4 AM. [Sent] dawn main topgallant yard. Powerful squall of rain.
Sunday, September 17 – at Fayal. Rainy strong ◄ SW & rough sea. Lay to all day. Capt. Davis says it is the galeist season thus far he has ever experienced on this cruising ground.
Monday, September 18 – at Fayal. The gale past and fair. ◄ NNW. Run for Fayal having been drove off in the late gale. Broke out of bread & water.
Tuesday, September 19 – sailed from Fayal. All fair fresh. ◄ WNW. Went into Fayal and got 30 bushels of potatoes for our winter store. AM strong gales NNW & rough sea. AM spoke brig Agate, Cornell of N. Bedford 9 mo. out 30 bbls. oil. Zo rain. We are now bound off for Cape Pelanco (?) on the E (?) coast of Africa in Lat. 20°55’ N. Long. 17°10’W.
Wednesday, September 20 – at sea. Last night the gale abated. Today Fair ◄ Northerly. Course S by E.
Thursday, September 21 – at sea off St. Michaels. Fair, light ◄Westerly. Run along the N. side of St. Michaels one of the largest and most uneven of all the Western Isles. It counted 147 hills at one view from aloft. Lat 37°54’ N. Long. 25°58’W. Mended all main topsails.
Friday, September 22 – at sea to Canary Islands. Pleasant gales NNW & fair. Course S by E. Netted up potatoes.
Saturday, September 23 – at sea. Strong ◄ NE & cloudy. Course S by E. (in the Fore Castle)
Sunday, September 24 – at sea. Fair light wind ◄ NNE. Course S. Lat. 32°40’N. Long. 21°10’N.
Monday, September 25 – at sea. Pleasant gales W by N smooth sea & fair. Course S by W.
Tuesday, September 26 – arrived at Palma. Clear ◄ WNW SSE, AM made Palma one of the Canary Islands in Lat. 28°39”N. Long. 17°50’W bearing ESE dist(ance) 14 leagues. Mended jibs.
Wednesday, September 27. Clear, breeze NW. Course SSW. Made spun yarn.
Thursday, September 28. Calm & clear & very warm. Turned in the fore-rigging & bent it etc.
Friday, September 29. Last night & today calm. Finished the fore rigging. Swaped a knife with OM for a jacket. /bent again the foresail.
Saturday, September 30. Last night calm wind. Today breeze ENE & clear. Unbent, mended & bent again the foresail.
Whaling off the Canary Islands; sailing for Cape Verde;
Sailed off of Salt, St. Vincent, & Brava Islands.
Sunday, October 1. Clear, light breeze NE. Course SSW. Lat. 25°49′ N. Long. 18°59′ W.
Monday, October 2. Cloudy, ◄NE. Course S by W. At noon Lat. 23°43′ N. We are now this ( ? ) in the Torrid Zone. Tonight took in sail & hove too, the 2nd night we lay too since we left the Western Isla. No work done today.
Tuesday, October 3. Cloudy, ◄ NE. Course S. At 10 o’clock AM came into green water. We are now fairly in the NE Trade winds, Lat. 22°17′ N. No work.
Wednesday, October 4. Fair, fresh ◄ NE. Course SE. Broke out for wood & water.
Thursday, October 5. Clear, ◄ NE. Midday raised black fish, lowered & had a strong pull but could not come up with them. After sunset raised black fish again close alongside, lowered, the Mate got fast, but neither of us got anything. Lat. 21°06′ N. Long. 18°07′ W.
Friday, October 6 – off Canary Islands. Clear, fresh ◄ NE & rough sea. At 8 o’clock this morning (Lat.21°06’N. Long. 18°07’W raised B[lackfish], lowered, the starboard boat got 3, the larboard 2, in coming alongside lost one. The Mate broke both gunnels of his boat holding on to the fish. Got aboard at noon. Had a real good time. Midday peeled the fish. I raised Finback & sulpher bottom whales.
Saturday, October 7 – Canary Islands → Cape Verde. Fair, but misty, strong ◄ NE rough sea. Lat. 20 °53′ N. Long. 18°30’W. Boiled out our blubber, made 4 bbls. Raised black fish, but the sea was so rough didn’t lower. Repaired the boat etc. At 4 o’clock midday we leave Cape Blanco for the Cape Verde Islands. Course WSW.
Sunday, October 8 – at sea. Clear, course SW by W ◄ NE. Lat. 19°15′ N. Long. 20°12′ West.
Monday, October 9 – at sea. Smoky air ◄ NE. Course WSW. For 10 days past or nights heavy seas. Broke out meat, fitted the starboard anchor for casting etc.
Tuesday, October 10 – to Cape Verde, off Salt Island. Thick smoky air, ◄ NE. At 12 noon made Salt Island in Lat. 16°__’. Long. 22°56′ W.one of Cape Verd Islands. At sunset fell in with the D. Franklin, Davis of Westport 40 days out one B[lackfish]. Went aboard & gammed till 10 at night. Expected a letter from home but found none.
Wednesday, October 11 – off Salt Island. Fair, ◄ wind NNE. At 10 AM our Capt. & Capt. Davis of bark D.F. [D. Franklin] left for the shore on W. side of Salt Island in their boats, but before we got there the D.F. raised a Whale, so we tacked & came aboard, got our craft & put off for the whale he going to windward, we chaced him 3 hours & then gave it up. At 4 midday went aboard the D.F. & gammed till 10 at night, had a fine time & good company. Fell in with Capt. Mayhew, had done nothing since we spoke him last.
Thursday, October 12 – on Salt Island and departure. Clear, ◄ NE. This AM our Capt. Davis & Mayhew went ashore on the west side of Salt Island for hogs, goats etc. but the Governor being on the other side of the isle, none of them got anything. Saw about 300 goats, some hogs & jackasses, a few miserable huts & inhabitants. The isle is a barren a looking place as ever I saw. Midday all three of the vessels put away for St. Vincent. Fine weather & smooth sea.
Friday, October 13 – arrive St. Vincent. Smoky air ◄ NE. Course WNW. At 4 midday came to an anchor in St. Vincent harbour in Lat. 16°59′ N. Long. 25°06′ W for wood & water. Ground 3 old axes for cutting wood. At 9 o’clock this eve saw the moon totally eclipsed.
Saturday, October 14 – at St. Vincent. Fair, strong ◄ NE. This morning went ashore to the village, then went to cutting wood. The trees are small, the wood looks like sycamore & the leaves like cedar. At 12 hr. a French sloop of war came to an anchor.
Sunday, October 15 – at St. Vincent. Clear, strong ◄ NE. Eight o’clock this morning all hands, except the Capt. & me, went ashore to the Town in this harbour & stayed till dark, [.] They had a tiresome day I think by what I hear, six got hot (?) & more or less played with the Portuguese – – – As for myself I think I have enjoyed myself much better aboard. Midday I had 2 Scots. sailors to see me.
Monday, October 16 – at St. Vincent. Fair, ◄ NE. Morning went to Town, then cut wood & got it aboard, the Portuguese jacked it to the beach. Part of the crew too worked aboard cleaning & painting the brig. I. Earle who has been off duty for 27 days past with the p(?) for getting about drunk yesterday, now has to do his duty.
Tuesday, October 17 – sailed toward Brava. Fair, light ◄ENE. Got the rest of our wood aboard, which made 3 boat loads, the water was so bad we didn’t get any. Midday went to Town the Capt. got 6 pigs, & at 3 o’clock midday weighed & sailed, course S by W for Brava. The island of St. Vincent is as barren & the most uneaven land I ever saw.
Wednesday, October 18 – at sea. Wind WSW. Course S by W. Unbent, the fore, main & trysails / saw and bent old ones, also, mainsail & bent a bran new one.
Thursday, October 19 – sailed past Brava. Last night showers, [.] Today clear, wind N.E. Course S. by W. at sunset past just W of Brava Isle in Lat.14°50′ N. Long. 24°43′ W. Repaired the stern boat. Eve. the Sarah, Mayhews boat came aboard & had a spree fiddling, fluting & dancing.
Friday, October 20 – at sea. Fresh ◄ E. & fair course S. Painted the boat.
Saturday, October 21 – at sea. Clear, wind E.N.E. Course S by E. & a bad sea. No remarks.
Sunday, October 22 – at sea. Fair, ◄ ENE. Course S by E. Latitude 9°26′ N. Long. 22°27′ W.
Monday, October 23 – at sea. Squalls of rain ◄ S & E. Broke out for bread. Four sails in sight.
Tuesday, October 24 – at sea. Nearly calm clear & warm & so it has been for 10 days past & so I expect it will be as long as we are in so low latitude. Painted the starboard boat etc.
Wednesday, October 25. Light, shifting ◄ & squalls of rain.
Thursday, October 26. Calm, cloudy & some rain. At 4 midday the starboard boat went a gamming aboard the Sarah, Mayhew of Rochester. Not I.
Friday, October 27. Calm, cloudy. Rainy sunshine & windy & warm. Made two air sails, one for the forecastle & the other aft. Midday three sail[s] in sight. But no Whales.
Saturday, October 28. Squalls of rain, ◄ Easterly. AM fell in with the D. Franklin & got 22 bbls of fresh water from her. I had a gam. The Capt. and 1st & 2nd mates of the D.F. & Capt. Mayhew of the Sarah & some of their crew was aboard of us, & quite an agreeable time we had.
Sunday, October 29. Clear, light ◄ E. Course S. Our Capt. & Capt. Mayhew went aboard the D.F. to dine upon rost pig but none of either of the crews, stayed till 8 this eve. Latitude 4°53’N. longitude 22°0’W.
Monday, October 30. Last night & today, thunder lightening & rain, ◄ Ey. Our Capt. & Capt. Davis went aboard the Sarah to dine upon rost pig. None of either crew.
Tuesday, October 31. Squalls of rain night & day with thunder & lightening, small ◄ E’ly. No remarks.
Sails across the southern Atlantic Ocean to the Abrahlos Banks off Brazil;
sends letter to “Miss H.C.B.” on homeward-bound ship;
kills and processes a whale.
Wednesday, November 1. Squalls as usual. Picked oakum.
Thursday, November 2. Last night, rain. Today fair, good ◄ SSE. Picked oakum. Small ◄ E’ly. No remarks.
Friday, November 3. Fair, fresh ◄ SE. Course SW by S. Latitude 8°59’N. Long. 23°35’Wy.
Saturday, November 4. Fair, fresh ◄ SSE. Course SW. Rough sea. Latitude 0°48′ South, Longitude 25°00’W. Some talk about Neptune’s coming to see his boys but he no come.
Sunday, November 5. Clear ◄ SSE. Course SW. Lat. 2°21′ S. Long. 26°07’W. Killed a pig & had the Capt. & his mate of the D. Franklin to dine. This morning saw the Magallan [Magellan] Clouds. The north star we run in 8 °N latitude.
Monday, November 6. Clear ◄ SE, course SW by S. No remarks.
Tuesday, November 7. Clear ◄ ESE. Course SW by W. Eve. the Capt. & larboard watch went aboard the D. Franklin.
Wednesday, November 8. Clear ◄ E by S. Course W.S.W. Lat. 6°56’S. Long. 30°05’W.
Thursday, November 9. Fair & pleasant weather. Course WSW ◄ E. For 5 days past scrimshanting has been carried on by all hands, the lathe has been turning most all the time, but the tarboo [taboo] is now put on for a season.
Friday, November 10. Clear ◄ ESE. Course W.S.W. No scrimshanting on deck.
Sat. Nov. 11. Clear, wind E. & warm. Course W.S.W. At 5 in the afternoon raised black fish, lowered & chaced them but got nothing. The mate of the D. Franklin got one.
Sunday, November 12. Clear, fine ◄ E by N. Course WSW & W. Latitude 11°01’S. Long. 36°12’W. So we sail along the coast of Brazil, for the Abrohlos banks to cruise for sperm Whale. This morning fell in with the Ship Erie Dennis of Newport, 20 mo. out, from New Zealand bound home with 3300 bbls. oil. Put aboard of her a letter, I wrote the most of Sep. 19th to Miss H.C.B. Five others sent by crew.
Monday, November 13. Clear ◄ E. Course WSW. 8 o’clock this morning made the land on the coast of Brazil. Eve. Capt. D. of the D. Franklin & boats crew came aboard & gamed till 9 o’clock. I learnt a tune of one of the crew.
Tuesday, November 14. Clear, ◄ Ey. Co. SWy. A.M. sailed by in sight of the entrance of the harbour of St. Salvador in lat. 13°01’S. long. 38°32′ W. Saw several Polacca’s & Catamaran sail or fish boats.
Wednesday, November 15. Clear, ◄ NE. Co. SE’y. The Capt. had a bit of a row with the cook for scrimshanting on deck.
Thursday, November 16. Fair ◄ NE. In latitude 17°05′ S, long. 36°38’W. AM. fell in with bark Winslow, Gifford N. Bedford 3 mos. out 200 bbls. oil. Our Capt., the larboard boats crew & Capt. G. gammed with the D. F. till 3 midday when the Winslow raised Whales. Then every man to his own craft [drew picture of pointing hand]. The D. Franklin boats & ours won nothing but the Winslow got an 80 barrel Whale. No luck to us yet.
Friday, November 17. Last night took in sail, lay too & stood quarter watches, whale watches nearly all the time since we left the Western Islands till now. Today Fair ◄ NE. We have kept company with the D. Frank. most all the time since we fell in with her at Salt Isle till today.
Saturday, November 18. Cloudy, strong wind N.E. & rough sea. Broke out bread & meat. At 4 midday raised Whales, lowered & the Capts. boat steerer stood up to dart but too late. Just at sunset the Mate fastened & both boats soon sat him to spouting thick blood. Got him alongside 11½ o’clock at night & in 15 minutes after in a squall parted the fast & lost him. Judged he would make 90 barrels. Latitude 17°56’S. Longitude 36°43’W.
Sunday, November 19. Powerful rain & squalls of ◄ NE rough sea. At 12 o’clock noon raised our dead Whale & got him alongside again at 4 in the afternoon. Having had a very tedious day of it making & taking in sail, pulling & hauling all day long & as wet as water too. Just so much for the Abrohlos Banks.
Monday, November 20. Some cloudy, fresh gales NE. & very rough sea. Morning got up our cutting gear, but the sea was so bad we parted some of it & then we pulled off what we could on one side by hand & cut from him at 10 AM. Then began to fit for boiling. Midday boiled between squalls.
Tuesday, November 21. Last night ▲, then ◄ S & rainy. Boiled bluber & today finished & turned up 15 bbls. oil. Strong ◄S & rainy mucky weather.
Wednesday, November 22. Cloudy, strong ◄ S & very rough sea. Lay too all day. Morning killed a pig & had a fine dinner. Two sails in sight.
Thursday, November 23. Cloudy & rough sea ◄ SSE. Stowed down our oil & other work. At
6 1/12 o’clock in afternoon raised Whales, the Mate lowered & got a mast to them when we lowered, the Mate fastened, but our Capt. killed the Whale. Got him alongside complete 9½ o’clock evening. Lat. 17°25′ S. Long. 37°West.
Friday, November 24. Fair, ◄ ESE & rough sea. Cut in our whale, had rather bad luck in parting the gear, etc. Tonight began to boil junk or head.
Saturday, November 25. Fair day & smoother sea, midday bailed the case, then to boiling.
Sunday, November 26. Beautiful day & smooth sea, light wind E. Busy boiling blubber. Not a sail in sight. Latitude 17°12’S. Longitude 37°00’W.
Monday, November 27. Fair & smooth sea, air NE. Finished boiling. Midday went to striking oil below or stowing it below.
Tuesday, November 28. Some showery ◄ NNE. Finished striking down oil. 80 bbls. sperm oil this fair. Then cleaned off decks; & at 2 o’clock this midday the Capt. raised another Whale, both boats lowered but the Mate had the chance & we got him along side 8 o’clock this Eve. The whale cracked his boat when he struck him but not bad. Thus far good luck.
Latitude 18°05’S. Longitude 37°80’W.
Wednesday, November 29. Fair ◄ NNE. Cut in our Whale, stranded one fall & broke a blubber hook, then bailed the case which took from 4 in AM till 9½ o’clock in the evening & worked hard too.
Thursday, November 30. Fair ◄ NE. Busy boiling blubber. I may observe that now we have only 6 hours out of 24 below, the try works being kept hot all time.
Cruising around Abrohlos Bank off Brazil;
Catching whales and processes them though with difficulty due to rough seas; Celebrated Christmas with fresh-killed pig.
Friday, December 1. Rainy & most calm, busy boiling bluber, The decks nasty, slippery & wet & crew too.
Saturday, December 2. Last night & this morning rainy ◄ NNE. Boiled blubber till it was so far spoiled we could boil no more, having had to cool down the works 3 times, put the rest into casks to drane out on account of the rane. Calculated the Whale would made 75 bbls. oil if we could have saved it. We shall now turn up 54 bbls.
Sunday, December 3. Fair ◄ N & rough sea. Stowed down oil till 10 o’clock AM then
raised a Whale, lowered & the starboard boat fastened & killed him & got him alongside 12 ½ Noon then finished striking down oil & began to cut in the whale, the first time we hooked on the hook slipped out & came against the Mate who stood in the main chain & hurt his arm badly, thus have we laboured all this day. Afternoon two sails in sight. Latitude 17°28’S. Longitude 36°45’West.
Monday, December 4. Cloudy, ◄ Ny & rough. AM cut in the body of the Whale. Midday the wind blew so & the sea was so rough went to boiling.
Tuesday, December 5. Yesterday midday raised Whales off deck, but we had other business enough & at night powerful squalls of wind, rain, lightening & thunder. Today squalls of rain wind Ny. Busy boiling, although very slow, the sea was so rough we could not boil the pots more than half full.
Wednesday, December 6. Cloudy ◄ N. Finished boiling, midday began to strike down oil till it rained. Cut away the head of the Whale because it was spoiled, the sea being so rough could not get it in before. Caught a dolphin.
Thursday, December 7. Last night & today, very rainy & hard squalls of wind N. All hands busy washing there clothes. Caught 2 dolphins.
Friday, December 8. Fair day ◄ NE. Finished striking down oil. The last whale made us 47 bbls. Then cleaned off decks, broke out meat & molasses.
Saturday, December 9. Pleasant day, light ◄ NNE. At 6½ o’clock this morning raised Whales, lowered & the mate got one, got him alongside 11 o’clock A.M. Midday cut in the body & tonight to boiling. Lat. 17°46′ S. Long. 37°15’W.
Sunday, December 10. Calm & hot. AM cut in the junk & bailed the case. Midday busy boiling blubber. Caught a dolphin. Lat. 17°46’S. Long. 37°15’W.
Monday, December 11. Fair ◄ E. Busy boiling. Saw a sail to windward, boiling.
Tuesday, December 12. Last night finished boiling & turned up 75 bbls. Today busy breaking out & stowing down oil. Caught a dolphin.
Wednesday, December 13. Fair ◄ Ny. Finished stowing down oil 73 bbls. & washed off decks. Caught a dolphin.
Thursday, December 14. Cloudy, fresh ◄ Ny. Spoke barks Dr. Franklin, Davis of Westport 200 bbls., Sarah, Mayhew, Rochester 250 bbls. & bark Champion, Sowle, Westport 3 mo. out 170 bbls. oil & 100 bbls. whale cutting in Lat. 17°S. Long. 37°W.
Friday, December 15. Rainy, ◄ NNW & rough sea. No remarks.
Saturday, December 16. Rainy ◄ NE & rugged sea & weather. No remarks.
Sun. Dec. 17. Cloudy & rainy ◄ NNE. Lat. 17°25’S. Long. 36°50′ W.
Mon. Dec. 18. Cloudy ◄ NNE & smooth sea. Fell in with the D. Frank. Midday Capt. & boat crew except me gammed with her till night, got from her 3 bbls. of meat, 2 of beef & one of pork.
Tuesday, December 19. Cloudy, squalls of rain, fair, calm & ◄ Ny. This morning Capt. raised Whales in my watch aloft; the only time anything has been raised in my loft except by myself but once & then only black fish; lowered & we got fast, the Whale parted the line & we lost him. Afternoon spoke ship Louisiana, Standish, N. York from Richmond bound to Rio, cargo flour, oat & corn meal. Eve. starboard boat went aboard brig Thos. Winslow, Seabury, Westport, 230 bbls. oil & a 90 bbls. Whale along they killed today. Several other sails in sight.
Wednesday, December 20. Squalls of rain as usual, otherwise, ◄ NE. Made scrubbing brushes. Eve. Capt. Gifford of bark Winslow & boats crew came aboard who holds 600 bbls. 5 mos. out. Several sails in sight, most are all Whalemen.
Thursday, December 21. Cloudy ◄ NE. Fixing whale craft & etc.
Friday, December 22. Cloudy ◄ NE. At 10 AM. raised Whales, lowered & the Capt’s boat fastened, split off the chocks of the boat & then the whale stowed us stern foremost. The line got half a turn round the Capt’s leg & bruised it some, however at 12½ o’clock got him along
& this midday busy cutting him in. Midday Sowle of Champion came aboard. Tonight boiling.
Saturday, December 23. Clear ◄ ENE. Finished cutting in the Whale, broke a cutting pull & some other mishaps. Then to boiling.
Sunday, December 24. AM fair, midday squalls of rain ◄ ENE. Busy boiling.
Monday, December 25. Last night rainy, cooled down twice. Today most clear, ◄ E by N. Finished boiling & began to stow down oil. Eve. Rodgers of LeBaron, Rochester & boats crew gamed with us. Lat. 17°41′ Long. 37°.
Tuesday, December 26. Fair ◄ E by N. Finished stowing oil 67 bbls. & cleaned off decks, etc. Eve. Mayhew of brig Sarah & boats crew came aboard of us & gamed. They hold 341 bbls. Caught a dolphin.
Wednesday, December 27. All sorts of weather, clear, cloudy, rainy, squalls of wind, calm, smooth sea & rough. No other remarks except caught a dolphin.
Thursday, December 28. About the same as yesterday. Saw several sails, one of them boiling.
Friday, December 29. Calm & rainy. Four sails in sight.
Saturday, December 30. Cloudy & some rainy ◄ NE. Spoke the D. Frank. who had just finished boiling out a 90 bbls. whale. Bent better foretopsail & foresail etc. Caught a dolphin.
Sunday, December 31. AM calm & hot. Midday rainy, air Sy. Scraped off the moss of the brig. Saw 4 water spouts not far off. Morning killed the last pig out of 5 & had a fine dinner. Eve. fell in with Brig Elizabeth Sowle of Westport, 4 mo. out 100 bbls. oil. Several of the crew had letters from home, but not one for me. Thus have I penned down the incidents of another year. Lat. 17°30′ Long. 37°W.
Celebrates New Years’ Day with four-boat gamming;
Whaling off the coast of Brazil;
Monday, January 1. Brig. Mexico, Abrohlos Banks. Cloudy & rainy ◄ Ny. Capt. Davis of D. Franklin, Manter of Brig. Laurel of N. Bedford, 8 mo. out 400 bbls. & Mayhew of Brig. Sarah & boats crews came aboard here to dinner & gammed till night. Had quite an agreeable time, singing, fluting, fiddling & dancing.
Tuesday, January 2. Squalls of rain, ◄ N. Other ways sunny. No remarks.
Wednesday, January 3. Nearly clear, fresh ◄ N. No remarks.
Thursday, January 4. No rain, ◄ N. Picked ocum & plaited sinnet, eve. rain.
Friday, January 5. Clear, fresh ◄ N by E. Plaited sinnet. 4 sails insight. Evening starboard boat went a gaming aboard the D. Franklin, not I.
Saturday, January 6. AM. calm & hot. Midday breeze E. Bark Winslow, Gifford, this midday raised a Whale & we seeing their maneuvers lowered & had a long tedious pull being off 5 hours, the D. Frank’s boats were in the fray. However, the whale run too fast & to leeward too for the best of us, all gave up the chace.
Sunday, January 7. Clear ◄ E by S & rough sea. Spoke brigs Thos. Winslow & Elizabeth both of Westport. No news worth writing. Latitude 17°25’S. Longitude ….
Monday, January 8. Fair, except squalls of ◄ & rain, ◄ E by S. Six sails insight.
Tuesday, January 9. Clear, light ◄ E’y. Broke out bread & bent better main topsail Midday
& eve. had a gam with Champion & quite agreeable time.
Wednesday, January 10. Fair ◄ E’y & some squalls of rain. No remarks.
Thursday, January 11. Fresh ◄ E’y & rough sea. AM spoke Brig Sarah. No news.
Friday, January 12. Cloudy & rough sea, ◄ E’y. No remarks.
Saturday, January 13. Fair day ◄ Ey. At 4⅓ o’clock midday raised a Whale, lowered but didn’t see him while we were off, saw him again just at sunset but too late & too far off to lower again.
Sunday, January 14. Clear◄ N & E’y. Midday saw Brig Thos. Winslow with a whale alongside and at 5 1/6 o’clock midday raised a Whale about 5 miles to windward, saw him at only one rising. Eve. went aboard brig Sarah who has got a large whale alongside she killed today. Lat. 17°50′. Long. 37°25’W.
Monday, January 15. Squally & rough sea, fresh ◄ NNE. No remarks.
Tuesday, January 16. Clear, fresh ◄ N by E. & rough sea. Midday gammed with barque President, Hathaway of Westport, 7 mo. out 420 bbls. oil. Not a first rate gam.
Wednesday, January 17. Hazy ◄ NNE & rough sea. Evening 4 sails in sight.
Thursday, January 18. Fair ◄ NE. Fixed the bowsprit rigging. 2 sails in sight.
Friday, January 19. Clear ◄ E’y. Made thumb line. Saw English Brig Meanwell, London steering SSW. Midday gammed with barque Champion & brig Sarah, had a fair gam, got aboard the Mexico 9 o’clock eve.
Saturday, January 20. Clear ◄ NE. Caught a porpoise. Midday came up with & went aboard of brig Laurel, Manter, N. Bedford, who had just killed & got alongside a large whale, which will fill her up. Carried letters aboard of her for home.
Sunday, January 21. Clear, light ◄ NE. Our Capt. gave us our protections which he has kept ever since he cleared out. Lat. 17°33’S. Long. 37°.
Monday, January 22. Fair ◄ NE. Had down main-top gallant sail & repaired the rigging, new bent the sail & sent it up again, etc.
Tuesday, January 23. Clear ◄ E’y. Broke out for molasses, beans etc. Ripped up an old fore sail, etc. Three sail in sight.
Wednesday, January 24. Clear ◄ E’y. Busy plaiting sinnet. Let J. Wing have $6.00 to buy a spool stand of the Capt. to stop his dreaming me for mine. He the Capt. telling Wing he should have it for $6 cash not thinking he could get it, however he let him have it.
Thursday, January 25. Fair ◄ NNE. Plaited sinnet. Saw a lump or porcupine fish.
Friday, January 26. Some squally ◄ ENE. Platted sinnet. Midday 2 sails in sight.
Saturday, January 27. Squalls of wind & rain ◄ ENE. One sail in sight.
Sunday, January 28. Fair ◄ ENE & rough sea. Not a sail in sight. Lat. 17°30’S. Long. 37°20′ W.
Monday, January 29. Squally & rough sea ◄ ENE. Midday saw a snow rigged brig NNW. Broke out for wood & water.
Tuesday, January 30. Fair ◄ E. Today at noon the sun exactly overhead, & the declination 17°43′ S was took for the latitude. No other remarks.
Wednesday, January 31. Squalls of rain ◄ E’y. Today at noon the sun was 30 miles to the North of us. AM fell in with brig Sarah, Mayhew, Our Capt. gammed with her till midday & then Capt. Mayhew came aboard of us & stayed till 9 o’clock at night. Also bark Winslow, Gifford fell in with us & gamed till 9 at night he being just out from Cabbage Isle where he went for refreshments. Some of the crew having the scurvy neither of the sails got any oil since we spoke them last. Fair gam.
The Mexico leaves the Abrohlos Banks, sails north through the Equator,
passes Cape St. Augustine off Brazil, heading for the West Indies.
Thursday, February 1. Light ◄ N & E’y & squalls of rain. No remarks.
Friday, February 2. Clear ◄ NE. AM fixed the bowsprit rigging. Midday fell in with barque President & had a gam, she has seen no whales since we saw her last. 2 other sails in sight. Doughnuts for supper, the first I’ve seen.
Saturday, February 3. Good weather ◄ NE. Two sails in sight. No remarks.
Sunday, February 4. Two smart squalls of wind & rain, then fair ◄ NE. Midday fell in with brig Le Baron, 330 bbls. oil. Capt. & boats crew came aboard of us, had an agreeable gam or visit. Latitude 17°31’S.
Monday, February 5. Good weather ◄ N & E’y. Repaired old main topsail.
Tuesday, February 6. Strong squalls of wind & rain ◄ Ny & E’y. This morning J. Earle fell & hurt himself, as he is now off duty.
Wednesday, February 7. Some squally ◄ N’y & E’y & rough. Tonight we carry sail to clear out from the Abrohlos Banks, the most squally place I ever saw by all odds.
Thursday, February 8. Fair ◄ E’y. Lat. 16°55′ S. Hurrah says our Capt. This morning off we’ll goe for the West Indies, having cruised between the parallels of 16°45’S & 18°30’S. Lat. & 36° & 37°30′ W. longitude for 2 mo. 22 days & took 336 bbls. of sperm oil. Began to graft block straps. One sail in sight.
Friday, February 9. Fair◄ ESE. Course NE. Finished mending the old topsail, broke out wood, water, bread & apples.
Saturday, February 10. Squally ◄ N’y & E’y. Grafted block straps, etc.
Sunday February 11. Clear, light ◄ N’y & E’y. Saw one sail. Latitude 12°25’S. Long. 33°09’W. We are now to the north of the sun again.
Monday, February 12. Light ◄ E’y & fair. Turned in the main rigging. Tonight we stand whole watches. J. Earle came on duty today.
Tuesday, February 13. Clear, light ◄ E’y. To work turning in main rigging. Midday a brig passed to leeward of us, had the appearance of an armed vessel.
Wednesday, February 14. Clear, small ◄ NE. This morning made Cape St. Augustine bearing N. Saw nine cattamaran fish boats on floats. To work on the rigging.
Thursday, February 15. Clear ◄ NE, beating by the Cape. Finished the main rigging
Friday, February 16. Clear, light ◄ E by S. Latitude 8°07’S. Long. 34°44’W. We are now past Cape St. Augustine whose lat. is 8°29’S, long. 34°51’W. Sat up stays & made spun yarn. At 5 o’clock midday raised a Whale, lowered & chaced him till after sunset, saw him at only two risings.
Saturday, February 17. Clear, fine ◄ SE. Course N by W. Fining rigging. Midday one sail in sight.
Sunday, February 18. Clear ◄ SE. Course N by W & N. Latitude 3°59’S, Long. 34°33’W. Saw four sails & several flocks of gulls with black heads & brown backs, other ways similar to our bass gulls.
Monday, February 19. Clear, nearly calm & hot. Turned in the fore & main topmasts rigging.
Tuesday, February 20. Last night & today squally ◄ E & large swells. Course NNW. Rattled down fore & main top mast rigging & broke out wood & water. Saw one sail, steering W. Lat. 0°39′ S, Long. 37°54′ W.
Wednesday, February 21. Rough sea, strong ◄ E. Cloudy & some rain. Course NW by N. So off we goe now to the north of the equator again.
Thursday, February 22. These 24 hours cloudy, rain, rough sea ◄ E. Took in & mag sails often.
Friday, February 23. More than ½ these 24 hours powerful rain lightening & thunder & rough sea ◄ ENE. Course NW by N. Lat. 3°56′ N, Long. 42°.
Saturday, February 24. Fair, strong ◄ NE & rough sea. Course NW by N.
Sunday, February 25. Fog clouds, strong ◄ NE & rough. Course NW. Lat. 7°41’N, Long. 46° 18’W.
Monday, February 26. Clear ◄ NE. Course NW by W. Last night saw the north star about half an hour high. We have now laid the Magalan Clouds.
Tuesday, February 27. Clear ◄ NE. Course WNW, lighter wind & smoother sea. Worked upon rigging & broke out wood & water. The last 48 hours we have run 384 miles, the greatest run for the time.
Wednesday, February 28. Clear, light ◄ E. by S. Course WNW. Unbent, mended & bent the main topsail. Then worked upon rigging.
Cruising the Caribbean off Martinique, Dominica, Guadalupe, Monserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, Crab Island (Vieques) & Porto Rico; Docked two days at St. Thomas;
Whaling in the Bahamas
Thursday, March 1, 1838. Clear ◄ E’y by S. Course WNW. Tarred rigging etc.
Friday, March 2. Clear ◄ E by N. Course W by N. Tarred rigging etc.
Saturday, March 3. Fair ◄ E’y & bad sea. At one midday made Martinique one of the Windward Islands in Lat. 14°24’N. Long. 60°56’W. At 5 o’clock midday raised finback Whales. Tonight took in sail & stood quarter watches. This morning saw a brig steering N.
Sunday, March 4. Fair ◄ E’y & very smooth sea. AM raised Black fish, lowered & chaced them, but they were so wild we could not come up with them. Midday caught a dolphin. We are now off the West side of Dominica in Lat. 15°14’N, Long. 61°28’W. The isle is very uneaven, composed of high hills & deep vallies & covered with green vegetation. Saw several vessels at anchor on the West or lee side.
Monday, March 5. Clear AM ◄ NNE. Midday nearly calm. Sat up stays. Now off west of Guadeloupe Lat. 16°20’N. Long. 61°56′ W. Saw 4 sails. J. Wind has gave back to the Capt. his spool stand & to me the $6 again.
Tuesday, March 6. Some cloudy, fresh ◄ NNE. Midday raised hump back Whale, lowered & gave him chace but no use. Several sails in sight.
Wednesday, March 7. Squally ◄ NNE. Midday Mate & his boats crew went ashore & got a little fruit & vegetables consisting of 7 sorts. Let Mr. Phillips $1.00.
Thursday, March 8. Fresh gales NE & fair. Midday saw thousands of haglets [seabirds]
Friday, March 9. Showery ◄ NE. Broke out bread & scraped the outside of the brig. Midday Mate went aboard of an American schooner Tropic & got some newspapers. She was bound to Martinique, cargo lumber.
Saturday, March 10. Clear, fine ◄ ENE. For 4 days past we have been under the lee of Guadeloupe. This morning left & steered NW ½W. Passed by in plane sight of Monserrat, Nevis & St. Kitts & came up with St. Ustalia. We are now bound to St. Thomas in Lat. 16°22’N, Long. 64°55’W. Busy scraping & cleaning the gearing of the old craft. J. Earl off duty again.
Sunday, March 11. Clear ◄ ENE. Midday raised Whales in sight of the island of St. Thomas, lowered & the starboard boat struck & killed one; the Mate did nothing. Got him alongside at sunset both boats of us had a hand full.
Monday, March 12. Clear ◄ E’y & S’y. Cut in our whale jaw & all, then to boiling & I to mincing blubber. Midday raised Whales but too far to windward to lower for. Saw a buoy, lowered & found a large can attached to it with three beautiful fish in it, weigh about lbs. apiece.
Tuesday, March 13. Last night finished boiling & turned up 23 bbls. of sperm oil. Today fair ◄ W’y, busy cleaning etc. & at 8 o’clock this evening came to an anchor in the harbour of St. Thomas. Saw a large number of sails.
Wednesday, March 14. Clear, light ◄. This morning the starboard watch went ashore to the Town of St. Thomas on liberty & I had cruising enough about the Town & climbing the high hills, from where I counted 68 sails in the harbour. There appears to be a great deal of business carried on here. One of the watch got drunk & one hot. Came aboard at sunset. Spent $1.32. Lent T. Gifford 50 cts. & J. Wing one dollar.
Thursday, March 15. Clear. Today the larboard watch went ashore on liberty; our watch got aft 7 casks of water, one of bread, 2 of meat etc. Spent 40¢. Put J. Earle onboard barque Jasper, Shockly, N. Bedford bound home, he being sick. At 5 in the afternoon got under weigh & went to sea ◄ NNE. All hands sober, except Mr. Phillips who got drunk aboard.
Friday, March 16. Clear ◄ NE. At 5½ o’clock in the afternoon came to anchor at the SW part of Crab Island in Lat. 18° 10’N, Long. 65°30’W. In company with brig Sarah, evening had a fair gam aboard of her. Stowed down our last pair of oil which made us 24 bbls.
Saturday, March 17. Clear ◄ SE. Cut & got aboard 3 boat loads of wood. The isle almost all covered with wood of various sorts. I shot a Pelican, measured 7 feet from the peak of one wing to the other, bill 11½ inches long, the greatest exploit of the day. Sarah’s crew were a wooding here also. Gathered a few eye stones & 5 prickly ash canes.
Sunday, March 18. Clear ◄ SE. 9½ o’clock AM weighed & sailed from Crab Island for the Bahama banks to cruise for Whales.
Monday, March 19. Clear ◄ E’y. Sent down, mended & sent up again the fore topsail. Midday spoke Brig R. Bruce, Bradford, E. Haddam, CT. 6 mo. out 90 bbls. oil Eve. went aboard of her a gamming.
Tuesday, March 20. Clear ◄ E’y. Cleaned & painted the bulwarks.
Wednesday, March 21. Clear, ◄E’y. Raised Humpback Whales but didn’t lower. Thursday, March 22. Fair fresh ◄ ESE & rough sea. Three sails in sight.
Friday, March 23. Fair ◄ Ey then calm. Finished painting bulwarks. For five days past been cruising about the S & W side of Porto Rico. Tonight rainy, stand whole watches. Now for the Bahamas. Course N by W.
Saturday, March 24. Cloudy & rough sea ◄ E’y course N by W. Mid-morning a brig showing Spanish colours spoke us, had very much the appearance of a pirate.
Sunday, March 25. Rainy & rugged ◄ SSE. Course N by W. F. Head quite a profane swearer, says from this date he means to leave it off entirely.
Monday, March 26. Last night & today strong wind E. & N.E. tough squalls, heavy rain & great sea. AM all hands called to take in sail. Morning one ship in sight.
Tuesday, March 27. Very rough sea & some squalls of rain ◄NE. Course NW.
Wednesday, March 28. Clear, light ◄ N by E & quite smooth sea again. Course NNW.
Thursday, March 29. Fair, fresh ◄ WSW & cold. Unbent the old & bent a better trysail. Midday 2 sails in sight. Course WNW.
Friday, March 30. Smoky air ◄ SW. Course W by N. Saw 4 sails.
Saturday, March 31. Smoky air SW by W. Course NW by W. Grafted block straps etc. O.M. & the cook had a squabble, the Capt. parted them.
Arriving in Caribbean; catches whales & fills ship with oil; sees moon eclipse;
Homeward bound – passes Block Island, visits Newport RI, arrives in Westport.
Sunday, April 1. Smoky air, wind SW. Course NW by N. No remarks. Lat. 28°20′ N. Long. 75°50’W.
Monday, April 2. Smoky air ◄ SW. Midday raised Finback whales. Broke out water. Tonight took in sail & stand quarter watches.
Tuesday, April 3. Fair ◄ NE. Course SW by S. Caught a Porpoise.
Wednesday, April 4. Fair ◄ E’y, course SW. Found both main topmast back stays stranded, knotted, served & set them again, which took all day.
Thursday, April 5. Fair ◄ N by E. This day arrived on our cruising ground. At 7 o’clock AM raised Whales, lowered & chaced them 2½ hours, when they run us out of sight. Saw 3 large tortoises, gafted 3 of them but couldn’t save them. Midday raised Whales again, lowered & the Mate fastened & killed one. We a pulling after them, full split, that’s all we did. Got him alongside 4 in afternoon. Lat.
Friday, April 6. Fair ◄ Ny & Ey. Cut in our Whale & then to boiling, no accidents happened thus far. 2 sails in sight. Caught a dolphin.
Saturday, April 7. Fair ◄ Sy & Ey. These 24 hours busy boiling & at night finished, turned up 45 bbls. Saw 2 sails & caught 2 dolphins.
Sunday, April 8. Fair, strong breezes S. & rough sea. Stowed down oil 43 bbls. Raised Whales off deck, twice, lowered once but didn’t see them after. Saw 8 sails, 7 of them ships all bound Northerly.
Monday, April 9. Cloudy & some rain ◄ Wy. Cleaned off decks. Caught a dolphin. Saw 2 sails & this evening my watch on deck, saw the moon eclipsed.
Tuesday, April 10. Calm, cloudy, some rain & thunder. No remarks.
Wednesday, April 11. Clear, light ◄ Sy & smooth sea. At 9½ o’clock AM raised Whales, lowered & the larboard boat, soon fastened. The whale cracked the boat when he struck him, but soon killed him. We a chacing another tough drag, fastened once but the iron drawed; however after rowing 4 hours hard pull we got fast again & killed him, which was a larger whale than the Mates. Got them both along side 4½ o’clock afternoon. Then to cutting in & tonight to boiling. Lat. … Long. …
Thursday, April 12. Fresh ◄ N. Rough sea & fair. AM cut in the bodies of our whales, Midday to boiling blubber. Saw 2 sails.
Friday, April 13. Fair ◄ NEy. First 12 hours boiled, then cut in one junk & boiled 2 cases. It is now 23 hours since we had a watch below.
Saturday, April 14. Clear & calm. These 24 hours hard at boiling & stowing down oil. Hove in the last junk or head. Very smooth sea.
Sunday, April 15. Clear, AM flat calm, afternoon light ◄ SSE. This AM finished boiling then to stowing down oil, both Whales made us 106 bbls. which fills all our casks, having stowed down 589 bbls. sperm besides blackfish oil. At 5 o’clock afternoon made sail for home. Course steered NE by N. Latitude 28°22’N. Longitude 79°35’W. Very smooth sea.
Monday, April 16. Clear ◄ SSW. Course NNE. Finished stowing down oil. Began & finished ratling down fore & main rigging. Capt. paid me $1 due since Feb. 1837.
Tuesday, April 17. Clear ◄ SW. Course NNE. Cleaned off decks, tarred down lower rigging fore & aft. etc. etc. Saw 2 sails.
Wednesday, April 18. Fair, fresh gales SS by W & rough sea. Midday sent down fore & main top-gallant yards. Course NE by N. Lat. 33°30’N. Long. 76°16′ W.
Thursday, April 19. Last night the hardest gale of wind we have had the voyage SW. Today fresh ◄ WNW & some rainy in the AM. Midday very cold. In the gale a bbl. of slush fished away & made awful works on deck & with the rigging. Saw one sail.
Friday, April 20. These 24 hours cold ◄ N. Saw one sail & a 1000 Porpoises.
Saturday, April 21. Very cold with squalls of snow ◄ N. Lat. 37°N, Long. 72°40′ W. Unbent main topsail which was split & bent another, very tedious.
Sunday, April 22. Clear & pleasant gales WSW. Course N by E. Lat. 38°N, Long. 72° 46′ W.
Monday, April 23. Last night at 12 the wind came out NNE where it now blows. Today at noon Block Island bore N, distance 120 miles, very cold.
Tuesday, April 24. This morning at 9 o’clock began to snow & continued it 15 hours & steady & fast too, brisk wind E by N & cold enough, good snowballing on deck. At 6 o’clock midday sounded & found 50 fathoms water. [1 fathom = 2 yards] Saw one loon & black fish.
Wednesday, April 25. Clear & cold light wind E by N. Snow on deck all day, stacked the anchors for casting. Montauk Point bears NE dist. 50 miles. Saw 5 sails.
Thursday, April 26. These 24 hours have part cloudy, latter part cold & rainy ◄ ESE. At 4 AM made Block Island light. At 2 midday came to anchor in New Port [Newport RI] harbour. Evening went ashore to the town spent $1.25 for trifles, at 9½ o’clk. came aboard, two of our company some groggy.
Friday, April 27. Fair day ◄ SW. Ashore most all day & evening, rambling from the S. to N. end of the Town spying wonders. Spent 75 cents.
Saturday, April 28. Cloudy & flat calm. AM went ashore, midday aboard & evening ashore again. Spent 65 cents. Heard my Grandmother Allen was not living. Yesterday 2nd mate went home & today the Captain.
Sunday, April 29. Last night lightening, thunder & rain. Today light ◄ NE & S & fair. This morning got underway in Newport harbour and at 2 o’clock afternoon came to anchor in Westport harbour and at 3½ o’clock afternoon returned home after an absence of one year & eleven days.