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The Journal of Captain Mason

Part Five

Sunday March 1st

19  .  24  S  31  .  51  W                                                                       N E  N N E  Ditto

Very dirty looking day and pretty strong breeze with squalls but very variable.  Came round as usual dead ahead at night

Monday 2nd

19  .  9  S  31  .  58  W                                                              N E  N N W  North & N N E

Fine day wind still very bad & a heavy swell making her pitch a good deal

Tuesday 3rd

18  .  28  S  32  .  54  W                                                                     N N E  N E  N N E

Fine day tho' squally.  Wind much as usual

Wednesday 4th

17  .  28  S  33  .  44  W                                                                   N N E  &  N E by N

Fine breeze but still from the old Quarter.  Her head still pointing for Bahia.  Squally with light showers.  A large ship seen in the morning steering to the Srd

Thursday 5th

16  .  24  S  34  .  44  W                                                               N E by N  N E  &  N E by N

Fine day stiff breeze & nasty cross swell.  Wind much the same as usual

Friday 6th

N N E  &  N E by N                                                        15  .  15  S  35  .  47  W

Fine day rather inclined to be squally wind still the same with a nasty cross swell

Saturday 7th

14  .  26  S  36  .  42  W                                                               N N E  N E  &  N N E

Fine day heavy shower of rain with squall almost calm in the afternoon

Sunday 8th

14  .  3  S  36  .  47  W                                                                North  N E  E N E & N E by E

Fine very hot.  Suppose we have got with the Current again

Monday 9th

13  .  25  S  37  .  1  W                                                                N E by E  E N E  &  N E

Fine day rather inclined to be showery & squally in the morning & almost calm between.  A nice breeze sprang up about 1 oclock.  Land on the Lea Bow at 2 p.m.

Tuesday 10th

12  .  51  S  37  .  9  W                                                                E N E  East  &  N N E

Fine day wind much the same as usual

Wednesday 11th

Bore up yesterday for Bahia the wind still remaining at N.E. giving us no chance of clearing the point to make Pernambuco.  Made the light house about 2 a.m. this morning and came to anchor at 3 p.m. nearly abreast of the Town.  The harbor appeared a very splendid one of a very great extent the Town is situated on the side of a very precipitous hill on the right or N side of the harbor.  Found two Brazilian Frigates and a small English 25 gun Ship the North Star.  Capt. Harcourt. Lt. Maud the second Lt. boarded us and was very kind both then and since.  Dined with him the next day.  Found only Lt. Hope & the doctor on board and the rest having being on an excursion up the bay.  Went on board the Brazilian Frigate after dinner which we found in very tolerable order.  She is commanded by a Capt. Greenfield an Englishman.  Took a cruise on shore with Hope who got a ducking landing and.  Slept at an English hotel which was very tolerable.  Maud came for us the next day and took us to Mount Vittoria which is about 2 miles from the Town & to which we travelled in caduras..  Found this a very comfortable way of travelling far superior to the one I tried at Rio.  We were dissappointed in the boat and were therefore obliged to trudge back on foot.  Being late for their dinner hour on board we dined with Maud at the hotel.  After dinner we were waiting on the Balcony sipping our coffee to see a procession when in came some of the other Officers of the North Star from their boating excursion among whom was a broth of a boy a Marine a friend of Chambers.  Took a cruize with them in the evening and all went on board and the Redman at night.  Took a parting glass with Maud & the other Northern Stars and then went to bed quite satisfied that our stay at Bahia was at an end

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Saturday 14th

The anchor was got up about 8 oclock when we made sail but the old Tub missing stays we ran foul of the B. Frigate and very luckily got off with only the compound fracture of our flying Gib Boom.  cleared the harbor about 8 p.m. but the wind will barely let us stand up along the shore

Sunday 15th

Fine day squally during the night with heavy rain.  Not quite so clear of the coast as we could wish

Monday 16th

13  .  42  S  37  .  12  W

Fine day heavy squalls in the night & heavy rain in the morning.  Calm in the forenoon.  All hands having a dip

Tuesday 17th

13  .  17  S  36  .  54  W

Fine day wind variable & shy

Wednesday 18th

13  .  3  S  36  .  52  W

Fine day wind light & not very good.  Strong Westerly Curren

Thursday 19th

12  .  39  S  36  .  53  W

Fine day wind as usual.  A Barque and Schooner on our L. Quarter about 5 miles.  Inclined to be squally with rain

Friday 20th

12  .  35  S  36  .  33  W

Fine but rather squally with rain

Saturday 21st

12  .  32  S  36  .  11  W                                                                   E N E  &  East

Fine day wind as usual

Sunday 22nd

12  .  15  S  36  .  2  W                                                                    East

Fine day but wind as usual

Monday 23rd

12  .  12  S  35  .  35  W                                                                   East

Squally with heavy rain.  Catching a number of small fish from the Stern Windows

Tuesday 24th

11  .  11  S  35  .  30  W                                                                   East

Fine day wind much the same

Wednesday 25th

10  .  35  S  35  .  40  W                                                                   East

Fine day rather inclined to be squally with rain.  Came in sight of land at daylight very close in, a flat sandy coast

Thursday 26th

10  .  33  S  35  .  29  W                                                                   East

Fine day morning squally with heavy rain.  Came in sight of land about 11 oclock having stood off yesterday evening finding 14 Fathoms water.  Ship in sight at 9 oclock.  Several Fishing boats

Friday 27th

10  .  21  S  35  .  21  W                                                                   East

Fine day.  Five Months at Sea.  All getting very cross & surly.  Boarded a Catamaran yesterday to try and get some fish.  Found their whole stock consisted of one large & two small fish which we took paying for the same.  The Catamaran made on this

Coast is nothing but a few slabs of wood fastened together with three forms fixed on, a large lateen sail and a large stone for an anchor, which is encased in a kind of wickerwork of a bell shape

Saturday 28th

10  .  12  S  35  .  14  W                                                                   E  or  E S E

Fine day but almost calm.  L and myself boarded another Catamaran yesterday which we managed to catch after a long pull and had better luck than with the last as we managed to get a capital dish of fish.  Boat very leaky obliged to take off our shoes

Sunday 29th

9  .  45  S  34  .  45  W

Heavy squalls of rain during the night & morning.  Calm with heavy swell

Monday 30th

9  .  46  S  34  .  38  W                                                                    E N E  &  E S E

Fine day light wind no land in sight for a wonder

Tuesday 31st

8  .  50  S  34  .  49  W

Came in sight of the land again yesterday evening obliged to go about.  Very fine day with light wind heavy rolling swell from the West East.  Boarded two Catns and had rather a long pull after the last from which we got a good dish of Fish.  A large Church on shore & two small hills called Nosa Senhora de Argualupe

Wednesday 1st April

8  .  23  S  34  42  W

Fine day light wind in sight of Cape Augustina at 8 oclock.

Thursday 2nd

7  .  16  S  34  .  5  W

Fine day with strong breeze from the S.E. which sprang up about 6 oclock yesterday p.m.  Passed within about 10 or 12 miles of Pernambuco which we could see plainly with the glass & one or two vessels lying at anchor.  The country about it seemed very hilly more especially in the back ground.  A very bad light house to the South of the harbour on a high hill standing rather back from the shore only showing a light for about 10 seconds once every two minutes

Friday 3rd

5  .  54  S  33  .  18  W

Fine day with nice breeze from the S.E. which rather moderated towards noon.  A brig coming up with us on our weather Quarter

Saturday 4th

4  .  34  S  32  .  51  W

Fine day tho' rather thick.  Spoke the Nymph Brig bound for the Mediterranean from Rio.  Her fore main mast sprung near the Top

Sunday 5th

Very dirty looking day with heavy squalls & rain.  Passed to the Westward of Fernando at day light which I could see from my skuttle appearing like a ship in full sail

Monday 6th

2  .  38  S  33  .  43

Fine day but calm and very warm.  Rather moist & cloudy in the evening

Tuesday 7th

2  .  21  S  34  .  44  W

Still almost calm doing very little good & almost roasted alive

1.26S  34.55W                                        Wednesday 8th

Fine day with nice breeze tho' rather light.  Threatening to be showery

Thursday 9th

0  .  29  S  35  .  8  W

Fine day light wind & threatening to be showery tho' very few drops have fallen

Friday 10th

0  .  25  N  35  .  10  W

Squally with showers coming on with very little notice.  Crossed the line during the night

Saturday 11th

1  .  47  N  35  .  17  W

Fine day with a nice light breeze making about 4 Knots with S Sails set

Sunday 12th

2  .  55  N  35  .  28  W

Fine day wind rather light.  S. Sails set.  Squally with heavy rain.  The Drip Stone left its mark on the Deck but luckily met nothing more than a bird Cage in its flight across the Poop

Monday 13th

4  .  2  N  36  .  14  W

Fine day but the wind has drawn ahead rather too much being about N.E.  In S. Sails.  Yards sharp up.  Showery.

Tuesday 14th

4.59 N  37  .  17  W

Fine day with strong breeze from the N & Erd.  Not making better than a N.W. Course

Wednesday 15th

5  .  55  N  38  .  42  W

Fine day but blowing pretty strong from the N N E and N E

Thursday 16th

7  .  34  N  39  .  34  W

Fine day but blowing strong from the N.E. with heavy sea running.

Friday 17th

9  .  3  N  40  .  58  W

Fine but blowing very fresh from the N.E.  Vessel becoming very leaky from the pitching & knocking about from the cross sea.  Can not carry on much longer the mens provisions getting short.  Suppose we shall have to run for Barbadoes.  A most miserable good Friday instead of passing it with our friends in England

Saturday 18th

10  .  46  N  42  .  22  W

Beautiful day wind still strong.  Pumping all night.  The leak growing worse.  Captain & Carpenter over the side trying to find out the leak but could not make much of it.  Supposed to be in the bottom of the vessel and increased from being over strained

Sunday 19th

12  .  3  N  43  .  24  W

Beautiful day with fine breeze still leaking very much the men constantly at it.  Making about 17 inches per hour.  Bore away for Antigua about 11 oclock the Captain finding the men could not last out

Monday 20th

12  .  29  N  45  .  35  W

Lovely day with a steady light breeze.  All S. Sails set and new Spanker.  Tried a spell at the pump for 20 Minutes which I found quite sufficient

Tuesday 21st

13  .  8  N  47  .  44  W

Fine day breeze steady but rather light.  Making rather more water than we did but all the men seem healthy

Wednesday 22nd

13  .  48  N  49  .  39  W

Still very fine wind rather light  A schooner crossed our bows at about 4 oclock yesterday evening steering to the Nrd but we could not get within hail of her

Thursday 23rd

14  .  14  N  51  .  44  W

Very fine day with good breeze rather light as usual towards noon

Friday 24th

14  .  50  N  53  .  24  W

Fine clear day with nice steady breeze tho' rather light.  Almost calm part of the night with a little rain.

Saturday 25th

15  .  35  N  55  .  29  W

Fine clear day with nice breeze as usual a little light in the middle of the day.  A topsail Schooner on our weather Quarter at 5 a.m. steering about W by S

Sunday 26th

16  .  22  N  57  .  58  W

Beautiful day rather squally in the night wind came for a short time during the day from the E by S.  Making about 6 knots.  Found she makes much more water when upright.  The last pump Spar but one broken in the afternoon

Monday 27th

16  .  52  N  60  .  22  W

Beautiful day wind very steady going about 5 & knots.  came in sight of the Island just at sun down

Tuesday 28th

Came up with the Island at day light.  The Pilot came on board at about 9 oclock when we found that we were on the wrong side of the harbour Island for English Harbor and had a dead beat to get round the point.  The old man left his Son on board and we tried to beat round all the day but did little good.  The Old Man came on board again in the evening when Lonsdale and myself thinking beating round a hopeless case took passage in the boat with the young Pilot who took us in to St. Johns where he landed us safe and sound just after dark.  Slept at Mother Applebys & the next day when enquiring about the shipping were surprised to hear the Redman had Anchored outside the bar and soon after we met the whole party walking up the street who gave a most wretched account of the vessel and their nights attempt at beating the Captain being determined not to give up the attempt till the next morning when finding it was a hopeless case he was at last obliged to bear up for St. Johns and even then he nearly got foul of the reef in getting in.  They had a very blowing night the Skipper was kicking up a great row with the Pilot & in short the whole party seemed very well pleased to be quit of her.  Found there were only three good vessels likely to sail shortly two of which were full of passengers but the other the West Indian had only one cabin engaged.  Capt. Murray & Lt. Curteis & Connor of the 36th called on us the former of whom I remember at Spike Island Mr. Eldridge also called with the American Consul.  The former of these asked the whole party of the South Sea Whaler to dine with him that day which we all did.  Gave us a very good feed but slow party.  No women but Mrs. Eldridge who was rather an ordinary person & by the way sister of his former Wife "on dit".  Dr. Smith was lucky enough to get a passage on to England in the Jamaica which sailed on Thursday with a large party.  Dr. Fairfowl & Lonsdale being in a great hurry to leave Mother Applebys took a very ordinary lodging at Mrs. Smiths in a very out of the way part of the Town.  Curteis showed Blackburn & myself a very comfortable one, in the fashionable end which we took at Mrs. Bowers.  Dined at Dr. Peddies the next day whose brother is in the 21st at Van Diemens.  He is a capital gentlemanly fellow and Mrs. Peddie a very nice person indeed but wears rather short petticoats for a married woman with two very nice little children however she certainly is rather singular in having a very pretty foot and ankle.  We were rather surprised to find a most formidable circle of ladies in the drawing room on our being summoned to tea tho' I can not say there was any great display of beauty with the exception of the two Miss Bennets lately imported who were very fine looking girls.  After tea Quadrilles & Waltzes were the order of the night which were kept up with great spirit till about 1 oclock

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Saturday May 16th

Embarked on board the Barque West Indian Capt Cook for London Capt Murray took us off in his boat with a select party of our friends and I think I may with truth say I never was so short a time in a place which I have left with more regret than the little Island of Antigua.  Got the Anchor up at about three oclock and started with a very nice breeze a pleasant party & no ladies

Sunday 17th

Fine day with beautiful breeze tho' rather too much to the Nrd.  Find a great difference in the two vessels style of sailing tho' our present one is very deeply laden

21  .  49  N  62  .  45  W

Monday 18th

Still fine weather tho' rather thick.  Passengers Mr. Gordon Mr. Hoggat young Athol Alpike & our old party with the exception of Dr. Smith who went on in the Jamaica

22  .  55  N  62  .  20  W

Tuesday 19th

Got my cabin in order yesterday which tho' small I have contrived to make pretty comfortable.  Capt. seems a very good fellow & keeps his vessel in very excellent order with very little noise & bother

25  .  7  N  62  .  20  W

Wednesday 20th

Fine day wind rather light more especially during the night.  Two ships in sight on our Lea Bow

26  .  48  N  61  .  49  W

Thursday 21st

Splendid clear day but the wind is very light.  the two ships some distance to Leaeward  Various means of killing time resorted to there being little room for reading or any kind of studious employment

Friday 22nd

28  .  16  N  61  .  9W

Beautiful clear day wind very light.  The two ships fallen off to Leaeward very much since yesterday

Saturday 23rd

29  .  35  N  59  .  37  W

Splendid day with fine breeze, all S Sails set going about 7 knots

31  .  54  N  53  .  52

Sunday 24th

Blowing very hard during the night with heavy rain.  Mr. F. washed out of his birth from the Skuttle about 12 oclock.  I was obliged to desert my birth about 6 oclock in the morning a sea having washed right in & drenched all my bedding.  Blew very hard in gusts all the morning but cleared up in the afternoon

                                                      Monday 25th                             idem  2  days

Beautiful day but almost calm.  Heavy cross swell


Tuesday 26th

32  .  9  N  53  .  25

Very fine day but calm.  Rifles & pistols the order of the day.  Knocked two bottles from the S S boom

Wednesday 27th

32  .  17  N  53  .  17  W

Fine day but calm.  A brig in sight in the doldrums like ourselves

Thursday 28th

32  .  30  N  53  .  1  W

Fine day calm in the morning light breeze afternoon

33  .  1  N  52  .  4  W

Friday 29th

Beautiful clear day but almost calm

33  .  39  N  50  .  25

Saturday 30th

Fine clear day with steady breeze but very light

Sunday 31st

34  .  31  N  48  .  50  W

Showery & rather squally fine breeze & clear between the squalls

35  .  28  N  46  .  25  W

Monday June 1st

Fine clear day wind right aft all S Sails set.  Rattle very bad, fear he will not weather it out

                                                              Tuesday 2nd                  36  .  4  N  44  .  43  W

Fine clear wind fair but very light

36  .  27  N  43  .  19

Wednesday 3rd

Fine clear day with nice steady breeze right aft tho' rather light

37  .  27  N  41  .  2  W

Thursday 4th

Fine day but showery north with squalls.  Splendid breeze taking us about 5 Knots

                                                              Friday 5th                        38  .  5  N  38  .  50  W

Fine clear day strong breeze rather too much ahead

38  .  5  N  37  .  17  W

Saturday 6th

Fine day but very nearly calm what wind there is rather too much ahead

37  .  17  W     38  .  47  N  35  .  40  W

Sunday 7th

Beautiful day with fine steady breeze right aft again

40  .  0  N  33  .  0  W                              Monday 8th

Hazy weather with drizzling rain.  Fine breeze wind right aft.  A vessel in sight yesterday evening steering across our bows for the Western Islands

40  .  44  N  30  .  20

Tuesday 9th

Fine day tho' rather hazy in the fore part breeze rather light.  A vessel ahead steering the same course as ourselves

41  .  18  N  28  .  52  W

Wednesday 10th

Fine day wind aft but very light.  Spoke the Brig yesterday evening after dinner.  She was the Anne & Mary from Demerara with passengers 6 weeks out in want of salt provisions

42  .  0  N  27  .  7  W

Thursday 11th

Fine day with nice steady breeze with which the brig came nearly up with us early in the morning but we soon left her a long way astern, and by noon she was scarcely to be seen

43  .  2  N  25  .  13               Friday 12th

Fine day but the wind has drawn rather too much ahead which will not let her lay better than N.N.E.

44  .  33  N  24  .  27  W                           Saturday 13th

Fine day but very cold the wind being from the Eastrd.  A Barque crossed out bows on the opposite tack & showed her number The Zanthis

45  .  11  N  24  .  16  W                           Sunday 14th

Beautiful day rather cool wind still ahead

44  .  55  N  xxxxxxx

Monday 15th

Fine day nearly calm what wind there is still against us

44  .  55  N  20  .  40  W                           Tuesday 16th

Beautiful day but very light wind rather more favorable than it has been for some days

Wednesday 17th

Fine day but wind very shy

Thursday 18th

Fine day wind strong but more ahead 

Friday 19th

Blowing very strong and squally with a little rain.  Wind still from the Nd & Erd

Saturday 20th

Wind still ahead blowing very strong & squally

Sunday 21st

Fine day & clear.  Wind still ahead

Monday 22nd

Fine day wind rather more favorable during the night but very light.  Came round at about 10 a m after a short lull from the Westward blowing steady.  All S Ss set before dinner.  Met one outward bound Ship, and two Brigs

Tuesday 23rd

Gloomy in the morning fine at noon.  A Vessel astern all day.  Very heavy cross swell.  Wind right aft at noon

Wednesday 24th

Fine day overhead wind very heavy strong with heavy squalls & showers.  Heavy cross sea running.  Blowing great guns & small arms

Thursday 25th

Still blowing very hard from the N.W.  heavy sea running.  Not making so much water from the leak it being on her weather bow.  Fine over head but hazy on the horizon

There follow 31 blank pages

The next page has two concentric circles drawn in ink, 74  mm and 59 mm in diameter with no inscription

The six next pages have tabulated details of Barometer readings at Sun Rise, Noon and Sun Set,  Thermometer readings at Sun Rise, Noon and Sun Set and 'Wind & Weather & Landing' or  'State of the Weather' from March 1832 to February 1933

The inside front endpaper has written instructions 'Take the Altitude'

The inside back endpaper has two pencil sketches inscribed Bahia 1835 Cadura and Catamaran


The Journal has been divided into a number of parts:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four



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