Diary: James P. Stabler, 1827 (Volume 1)

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Serious accident had like to have occurred _ the rope gave way and the block was jerked against the breast of one of the sailors, by the force of 6 or 8 men _ he fell but recovered his breath in a few minutes and in a couple of hours was aloft at work. _ Another Sail (a ship) bound westward. - Still a fine breeze _ and the Sea Sickness all gone except now & then the poor cabin boy Jno {shorthand} 7th day Morning 23rd A fine breeze all night and our course this morning East by North the wind from SW nearly. _ The Canvass nearly all spread and in addition to that yesterday we have out a Skysail & Moon Raker, instead of the [Sile?] & flyg gib. Lat today 39' 26' Long 53' 30' West of Greenwich

_ For want of something better to do and relieve that most curious listlessness and indisposition to [confine] the attention for a moment to any particular object, The passengers, commenced their amusements on deck, of pitching _ climbing ropes Jumping hop scop &c _

Last edit 2 months ago by PrenthgiLW
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I have been quite disappointed in the quantity of fish to be seen at sea _ scarcely any to be seen at all, and they are such a rarity, that when one is observed, there is quite a fuss _ I particularly expected to see them on the Banks of New foundland which we are near - 1st day morning 24th A fine breeze this morning, but towards dinner it left us, with a real Calm upon our hands, except that we move from 1/2 to a knot pr hr. The sea as smooth & glassy as a mirror except the swell _ No fish except the portuguese men of war that like the little nautilus, hoist their transparent sails to catch the breeze _ Some of them are beautiful indeed and were it that they would be degraded by comparison I would say the caps of our English {shorthand} {shorthand} [Sketch of portuguese man of war] The above is something like a draft of their appearance, the upper part being transpar[en]t and sometimes tinged with reds like a soap

Last edit 2 months ago by PrenthgiLW
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bubble - The 123 & 4 etc. appear to be a kind of anttenae used as balast 2nd day Morng 25th A little wind this morning from SSE but quite transient -- at 10 o clock entirely calm - the sea resembling one entire sheet of glass as far as the eye can reach on every side -- the water as transparent almost as ether -- at least is appears as if we could see 25 or 30 ft down I can distinguish clearly a nail head in the rudder which is 15 ft 6 inches from the surface -- We are now opposite the Southern Edge of the Banks of New Foundland and the thick fogs that rim there envelope us as a cloud -- passed out in half an hour, and a clear sky but still damp -- have in vain made the attempt to write this day journal for the edification of a few favourd one, left behind that this thing of a sea voyage does seem to be like an annihilation of every mental power & faculty -- In vain does the vacant mind fly to books, for with

Last edit 2 months ago by PrenthgiLW
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a good library of 150 volumes we cannot read -- the chefs boards all lie idle -- and the cars are trumped -- walking is tiresome lying still more so -- and talking is a thing of nought -- the only resource is to sleep it off - as to writing, it is too [much?} for any body to undertake [?] to avoid the pilory or whipping post which is about equivilent to being lashed up to the yard arms. 2nd day 25th Lat by observ. this day 41° 7' A dead calm nearly all the morning -- 2 large whates spouting (see by the captain) about a mile from us -- a little breeze about two o clock - a school of black fish - somewhat similar to the whale or grampus - a large fin on the the back and from 10 to 20ft from snout to tail -- some of them very near the ship. For the want [drawing of fish] of something better to do --- as the calm was so complete that the [?] actually went backwards

Last edit 2 months ago by PrenthgiLW
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sometimes: I corked up tightly a bottle emptied of its wine, and with the sounding line let it down about 150 Fatham -- drew it up and found the cork forced into the neck and the bottle full of water. several degrees cooler than that on the surface and about "....." times as salt as salt itself -- gave the bottle in charge of the steward to take to N York for me and he let it get broken. Intended to let you see how briny this said "deep is and to be eye witness of the fact which is no doubt occasioned by the Head of water on the air contained in the bottle. 3rd day 26th Another dead dead calm -- After many fruitless efforts caught with a hook and line one of the Cary Mothers chickens. They weight I suppose about 2 to 3 ounces and are from 11 to 12 inches from the tips of wing to wing web footed -- and a bill somewhat like a hawk's -- voted away our 12 o clock luncheon and changed the dinner now from 4 to 2.

Last edit 3 months ago by Sandy Spring Museum
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