Sail Away

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Brig Gem of Beverly, Page 1 of 256

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Current Page Transcription [history]

[This page has some penciled additions plus some largely illegible scribbles in ink] N Journal of a Whaling Voyage in the Atlantic Ocean on board of the Brig Gem of Beverly Nathaniel Ryder Marster

of [in pencil] pewinkle in [in pencil] the place of a mate [in pencil]

Monday April 7th civil account weighed Anchor in Provincetown Harbour [set?] Meridian with the Wind N.W. [Issiah J Boslow?] [in different color ink]

Tuesday April 8th Nautical account first part of these 24h moderate, stood out by long point and lay becalmed until 5 P.M. A gentle breeze to the South, at 6 P.M. doubled Racepoint, at 7 P.M. [sharp?] Haul lay up East move ship at [3?] A.M. lay up S.S.W. the next part of these 24 hours continued beating down the shore the Watch employed in Ships duty, nothing more of importence occured So ends these 24 hours all hands well. Norsett lights [Nauset Lighthouse, Cape Cod] bare NW by W 12 miles dist

Dear Madam [in different color ink] 15 12 13 14 [in pencil]

[list in margin, written upside down] 1 – 65 75 50 Meal 20 Meal 70 Brd 60 Sugar 120 Butter 20 Lard 23

Wensday April 9th first part of these 24 houres fresh Breezes from the S.E. lay up S.S.W. at 6 P.M. tacked ship, laying up E. by N at 6 furled topgallant sails and flying gib. at 8 PM [numeral 4 in margin] reafed fore and main topsails 10 O Clock hauled up the spencer [spanker] lay up E by N. at 3 in the morning made sail, fresh gales from the N.W. and fine weather saw on sail in sight Latd 41=17 and Long 69=15 by Crse and dead Rec

[written upside down] [illegible] 20 30 30 [in margin] W M

Thursday April 10th first part of these 24 houres fine wether and a good Breze at the N.W. at 2 P.M. Unbent the cables and coiled them under deck. at 6 saw a Ship standing to the W. and 7 P.M. Crosed our stern. at 10 took in the spanker at midnight moderat breezes and Clear weather. at 4 in the morning a saile in sight runing about SE from 6 to [8?] watch on deck sat up the after riging on the larboard side, all hands imployed in ships duty and overhawling towlines and preparing [the - struck through] our boats for action. Latter part more moderat so ends theas 24 hours with a wach [illegible] [illegible]

Lat. 39=13 by Obn by Dead rec. [symbolic notation]=[symbolic notation] Long 68=30 by Dir [obn?] [illegible]=[illegible; tear in page]

[written upside down in margin] 187[?]4 2 [Ending?]

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Current Page Discussion [history]

Tuesday April 8

lay up East [more] Guessing Eastmore was a location on or near Cape Cod, since the ship has just rounded Race Point. Cannot find it on Google maps, however. Strike that; "lay up" or "laying up" always seems to be followed by a direction. Can't make sense of "more," if that's what it is. Might the writer have intended "moor"? lay up East, moor Ship might make sense.

Norsett lights Probably a reference to the Three Sisters of Nauset, a trio of lighthouses halfway along the eastern shore of Cape Cod at Eastham, commissioned by Congress in 1837.

Wensday April 9th

reafed fore and main topsails ... hauled up the spencer According to Wikipedia, reefing a sail (temporarily reducing its area by folding an edge in on itself) "improves the performance of [a] sailing vessel in strong winds, and is the primary safety precaution in rough weather." Likewise, a spencer (or trysail) is used in place of a larger sail to improve control of a ship in high winds.