Sail Away

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Brig Gem of Beverly, Page 5 of 256

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Current Page Transcription [history]

Tuesday April the 22nd/51 The first part of theas 24 houres commence with moderate gales from the W at 1/2 past 1 P.M. tacked Ship laying up SW by W cloash hall by the wind the wind and weather much the sam untill midknight when it began to squall up and the wind canted to the North. at 1 A.M. a tempest commenced which lasted some 2 houres the Wind still canting until 8 A.M. at which time the wind and weather had got settled with moderate gales from the E.N.E. with a verry heavy sharp swell heaving upon our larboard beam, we wer under the necesety of setting up our back stay to keep the brig from [?]oaling away her topmasts so ends theas 24 houres Lat 27=03 Long 76=26

Wensday April 23rd/51 The first part of theas 24 hours commence with moderate gales from the Eastern Quarter with fine weather [stearing] S by W the wind and weather much the same untill 4 A.M. at which time the the [sic] breeze freshened and we steered W.S.W to make the land under Short sail till daylight at which time at 5 Oclock A.M. made man of war keys. on green turtle keys we then hauled up S.W. for Abbyco [or] the hole in the wall about this time saw 2 Spurm grampses and a School of blackfish. at 12 with the sun on the meridion squared the yards and steared our Course for [Berry] Islands Abaco lighthouse baring N.N.W. 2 1/2 or 3 miles distant 4 sail in company Steering the same course with pleasant gales from the East so end theas 24 houres

Lat 25=46 Long 77=10 [77=10 also written above the previous notation]

Thursday April 24th Theas 24 houres commence with gentle breezes from the E. and fine weather at 4 P.M. made Sturap key [Great Stirrup Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas] Stearing from the same at 6 P.M. took our departure Sturap key baring S 5 miles distant across the great Bahama at 8 P.M. weather Squoley and a Strong breeze S.E. by E. with continual flashes of very sharp lightening and some peals of thunder. took in sail and single reafed fore to topsail and double reafed the main. and S.W. by W. we steared, took a squol from the NE [unclear] up try sail

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Current Page Discussion [history]

There are several conventions here that need to be worked out. Grampecs is, I think, a spelling of grampus which, according to a chapter in Moby Dick, refers to a killer whale but so, according to Melville, does Blackfish. Both are used. Also, in a couple places where he gives the longitude, he follows the numbers but an abbreviation which may refer to a method of calculation. I had to guess at a couple of the sails.

On grampuses and blackfish -- yes, you are right; see the note I added to the Page 2 discussion for Friday April 11th. "Blackfish" can also refer to several other different types of dolphin whales. --LindseyBourne

Wensday April 23rd 51

man of war keys This would be Man-O-War Cay, in the Abaco region of the Bahamas

green turtle keys Green Turtle Cay, one of the "Abaco Out Islands" in the Bahamas, and to the northwest of Man-O-War Cay.

Abby co This would be Abaco, as is written further on.

the hole in the wall The Hole in the Wall Lighthouse, built in 1836, the first lighthouse built in The Abacos. ( It sits on "the baron," an out-of-the-way portion of the southeast coast of Great Abaco, almost at the southern tip on the island. The name "Hole in the Wall" comes from a natural bridge that the sea had carved out of the rock of the outcropping beyond the lighthouse. It appeared from sea as a hole in the rock, and is noted on maps at least as early as 1738. Unfortunately, the "bridge" was smashed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and what once appeared to be a hole in the wall, now appears as a gap in the wall. (,

Thursday April 24th

...[Sturep] key ... [Sturap] key Great Stirrup Cay, the northernmost island in a small chain in the Bahamas known as the Berry Islands. "Stirrup's Cay" was a pirate hideout from the time of the British settlement of Nassau until 1815. During the Civil War, Confederates used it as a provisioning landfall in running the Union blockade of Southern ports to export cotton to Europe. It is now owned by the Norwegian Cruise Line and used as a private island for their passengers. (Wikipedia article on Great Stirrup Cay)

brailed up [try] See notes on brailing on the discussion page for Page 3 of the journal, Tuesday April 15.