Sail Away

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Brig Gem of Beverly, Page 7 of 256

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Monday April the 28th/51 the first part of theas 24 houres moderate gales from the N.E. and fine weather, a plenty of flying fish, and sea fowl 3 P.M. made keys on salt key bank at 7 P.M. made Elbow key light from aloft baring SW. x W at 8 in site of deck baring S.W. 6 or 8 miles distant we at this time have a very strong current against us sailing at the rate of 4 or 5 knots before the wind through the knight the light on elbow key was plain in sight of deck at 5 in the morning latter part of theas 24 houres moderat gales from the NE saw a sail standing by the wind to the Northward so end theas 24 hours Lat 23=37 Long 81=11

Tuesday April the 29th/51 theas 24 houres commence and end with fresh gales from the Eastern quarter with fine weather Stearing W by S. at 8 A.M. saw three sail of ships and brigs standing by the wind saw two spurm grampuses and 1 Logerh[aee]d turtle saw a number of peces of Squid, a plenty of the spanish galleys and flying fish So ends theas 24 houres Lat 24=15 Long 83=26

Wensday April the 30th/51 ["dn" written in above "Wensday"] theas 24 houres pleasant gales from the East 3 or 4 sail of vessels in sight by the wind saw 1 Spurm grampus also 3 turtle lowered waist boat and hove an iron into the second [sised] one and brought him alonge side he wayed about 200 pounds, at 1/2 past 6 P.M. having arived on to our Crewsing ground hove to under short sail commenced standing Quarter woches, at 6 A.M. moderat breeze from E and pleasant weather but a heavy swell heaving from the N.E. w[ind] W N.W till 8 A.M. our vessel roaled so bad that we jibd over and ran SW by S the latter part of theas 24 h all well Lat 25=12 Long 84=00

Thursday May the 1st/51 theas 24 houres commence with moderate gales from the E.S.E. at 4 P.M. saw a small breach on our weather beam stearing W by S suposed it to be porpeces 5 P.M. saw an [onth] breach in the same direction hauled up for it and verry soon saw a spout spray prooved to be spurm whale, we lowered for them theay wer then bound to the windward and our crew being green and not accustomed to

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Monday April the 28th

...Elbow key light... Elbow Cay is part of the Abaco Island group in the Bahamas. The first permanent settlers were English loyalists fleeing the newly-established United States at the end of the American Revolution. The candy-striped Elbow Reef Lighthouse at Hope was not established until 1864, so could not be the source of the light mentioned here. The only other lighthouses in the area that I can find any reference to the existence of by 1851 were at Hole-in-the-wall, on Great Abaco Island, and on Gun Cay, just south of Bimini. The Elbow Reef Lighthouse was strongly opposed by the local population at the time it was built, because the islanders made part of their living from salvaging ships that wrecked on the reef and were even known to shine false lights to try to lure ships onto the reef.