2151_6-1-diary

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* Sunday June 17th 1855. Rio de Janeiro - Very hot At 10 Mustered by open list, read articles of War & performed Divine Service - Naori Christian sent for me, saying that the Mr Pridham was to rejoin our mess, and hoped we would manage to be more comfortable, of which I told him, I had much doubt. At 3 two Surgeons, one a Brazilian the other an American dined with us. -

June 18th At 10 went on shore to meet the two surgeons, and with them went over the Hospital de Misericardia, the most comfortable, the cleanest, largest house of the kind I was ever in : had some conversation with one of the Sisters of Charity, and on my mentioning Miss Nightingale's name, she was very much pleased - Walking toward the pier met Drs Byrne and Sole of the "Express", which ship came in after dark last evening. - I went on board, sun quite scorching. Arrived the Red Jacket from Australia with Passengers. Towards evening most of the officers went on shore to the Opera.

June 19th At 4 turned the hands up and unmoored ship, preparatory to going to the coal wharf - 7 Steam up, hour stort: weighed but owing to the anchor being foul, it was ten o'clock before we got to the coal wharf. every thing done in a most confused hurried state, not even having breakfast - Every thing very uncomfortable on board. At 4 finished coaling, slipped from the wharf and steamed down the harbor, taking up an old posiiton closer under the eye of the Admiral - At 9 went on shore with Purser and Mr Deal, had a long talk with some passengers of the Red Jacket from Australia, and having walked till nearly 12 was not at all sorry when we got on board, a little before midnight -

Last edit 2 months ago by chrisb
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Wednesday June 20th 1855 - Being the anniversary of the Accession of our Queen, the ship was dressed and a general holiday made - Red Jacket sailed for England At noon Flag Ship Madagascar fired a Royal Salute, the French, American and Brazilian returning it, and at the same time, giving three cheers. At 3 the Vixen came over and went up to the Coal Wharf preparatory to going home. In the evening there was a grand display of fireworks on shore.

June 21st Very unwell, suffering from headache: Surgeon of Flag Ship came on board to see me - Spy came in from the Nward having Yellow Fever on board, 10 fatal cases: put in Quarantine. In the evening most of the Officers went on shore to the Opera - At 8 a heavy shower of rain.

June 22nd - Exercised at General Quarters - Heard of another death on board the Spy. In the afternoon Drs Byrne and Woodcock came on board and shortly afterwards Dr Crocker and Eversfield - Heard from them that we are all to go out on a cruise with the Admiral on the 28th, after which the Vixen was to sail for England - Spy has sent several of her hands to the Hospital but was relieved from Quarantine - Took a dose of Calomel and Opium and turned in.

June 23rd At 8 the Vixen came down from the Coal Wharf and anchored close to us. Heard of the arrival of the Lindersfarne from Liverpool - Felt a little better and able to attend to the Sick without assistance from Flag Ship. 10 Pridham went on shore to endeavour to enter men being now thirteen short of complement with the prospect of invaliding two or three more - Came off in the evening bringing with him four men; made it Saturday night in

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hot rum and water and turned in after having taken a large dose of Calomel and Opium -

June 24th At daylight went to Quarters, and cleaned guns and arms: at 8 very uncomfortable from the heat spread awnings as a most unusual occurence - Last night a fire broke out in the City, destroying three houses and much valuable property : the Express and Trident were the only ships who sent their crews on shore to give assistance. At 1 a General signal for all the Commanders to dine on board Flag Ship tomorrow at 5 PM. Examined and passed three men for our Ship - At 7 went on board Sharpshooter for some medicine - Most of our Officers on shore. At 8 came on board and turned in.

June 25th Very hot - and unpleasant - Spy's fellows getting better. Arrived and anchored HMS Lyne with Stores &c from Ascension - At noon a Signal from the Flag Ship to prepare for sea at 9 am tomorrow - great excitement among the Squadron in bending & setting sails. At 5 Commdr and the other Captains dined with the Admiral.

June 20th At 9 weighed and made sail with all the Squadron excepting Madagascar and Tyne. 10 Vixen took Flag Ship in tow, wind falling very light and a flood tide commencing - Pridham gave up charge as Commanding Officer - 10.45 Taken in tow by the Trident, astern of the Express and Sharpshooter - 1.30 Sea breeze set in, cast off and made sail. At 3 a general Signal to form line of batch in two divisions, the Admiral taking the lead: shortly afterwards finding we were drawing ahead of Flag Ship, a signal made to us from her ordering us to tack immediately, and in a few minutes again we

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were ordered to go round, and to keep astern and under see of the Admiral : Stood off and on the land making and shortning sail as requisite - At 9 there was a Blue light burned and a night signal made for General Quarters : in three minutes our hoist gun was fired, and we went on firing broadsides in Co with the Admiral, ship, firing in all 55 rounds - 10.30 finished and called the watch.

June 27th At 7.30 A signal from Flag Ship to prepare to fire at a target, and a reprise and at the same time for having hoisted the answering fired out at the fore instead of the main - 9 another signal to get down Screw and prepare for steaming. At 10 the target was out when we commenced firing with shell, grape & ground shot: the other vessels doing the same but there being a good deal of sea on and the craft rolling foully heavily we could not get the guns to bear and consequently made some very indifferent shots, some of the ships nearby firing into each other : after that was over we were ordered to fire at a target with musketry : at this fun we were about an hour, when he made a signal for all ships to wear in succession - It was no sooner dark than he began night signals keeping us backing and filling till ten.

June 28th All was very quiet till 9.30 a signal was made to close, and as soon as we were all pretty well abreast, our first manoeuvre was to reef topsails, and then to shift foretopsail yard and sail, in all of which the Express was first and was complemented for it by signal from the Admiral : at 11.30 I thought all was finished for the forenoon, when we were ordered to make sail, try

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rate of sailing and steer NNW the Trident & Sharpshooter were soon passed, and in a little time we came up with and passed the Flag and the Express, the Vixen taking the lead of all and keeping it - by one, we must have been two miles ahead of Trident and three of Sharpshooter - When we got in sight of Raza Light a signal was made to close the Admiral, when we hauled on a wind and stood off the land : about 10 the Flag tacked without making any signal and very barely escaped running over us -

June 29th At 7.30 there was a funeral on board the Flag Ship, after the corpse was buried, there was an order to reverse order of sailing. At 9 A general signal that there would be a chance of sending letters to EnglandRio At 11 a signal for various evolutions - At 1 Admiral went on board Vixen where his flag was hoisted, where he steamed through the Squadron exercising at reefing, furling &c and frequently firing a gun for any particular ship where they were slow. At 3 the finishing pendant went up which every one was glad to see and the Admiral left in the Vixen for Rio, distant about 15 miles

June 30th Light winds, Sharpshooter a long distance to leeward, ships still in the same order of sailing. Employed cleaning ship throughout - could just make out the Sugar loaf, dead to windward - At 11.30 signed the Quarterly Bills, closed my Quarterly Accounts, & made out Mess Bills - After dinner much to my satisfaction, my friend Clayhills volunteered to relieve me of the Catership after examining the Mess Books, and finding a surplus - At 3 A signal from the Flag Ship to close, Sharpshooter - nearly hull down astern. In the evening had a round game, made it Saturday night and turned in.

Last edit 3 months ago by chrisb
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