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ed notes of parting amongst the islands, where we lay becalmed for several hours. Just at evening, a fresh breeze springing up, we took our departure from the light-house, and by Monday noon, were a hundred miles at sea.
Our Captain's wish was to keep out of the Gulf stream and near the northern edge; as he considered the additional rate of the current, (one or two knots, i. e. miles an hour,) more than compensated by the increased exposure to squally weather within. The north east equinoctial wind, drove us off, however, from our course, and it was not many days before we found ourselves in the stream. Our approach to it was apparent from the great quantities of weed, (brought probably from the coasts of Southern America,) as well as from the blueness of the waters, and still more from their increased temperature. My thermometer, which I kept constantly employed, shewed the highest temperature to be 79o.* I had no opportunity of repeating the experiments, which have been made to ascertain the depth of the stream. You know it has been compared to a river of warm water, running like oil upon the surface of the ocean, and gradually becoming broader and more shallow as it proceeds.
During the first week our progress was but slow, and on Monday the 25th. Sept. we were overtaken by a severe gale. This compelled us to lie to, under a single close-reefed topsail for many hours. We landsmen slept little that night, and the seamen manifested considerable apprehension. For most of the follow
* The average of the ocean at a distance from land and without the gulf, was between 71° and 72o.
ing day, the wind continued to blow with unabated violence, though the sun was shining in all his clearness and scarcely a cloud was to be seen.
When at the last our fears began to subside, we gazed with admiration on the mountain waves, crested with snowy whiteness and of the purest green beneath. Among them ever and anon, you fix your eye on one far higher than the rest which comes threatening to overwhelm you, until at the vessel's side, it sinks down submissively, and bears you up on high! But I will not tire you with an often and usually an ill-told tale. Description is in vain to convey an adequate idea of such a scene. They that go down to the sea in ships ; that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep."
Since the gale we have been favored with a fine westerly wind, which has wasted us in our course at the rate of seven or eight knots in the hour. I am quite surprised at the effect of a few days' familiarity with sea-life. Already I feel myself almost as much at home, as though I were on land. But I hear the order, “Give the people their supper,” which is always a prelude to our own. From my resting place upon the fathomless ocean, over, I know not what, leviathans and monsters of the deep, I must therefore, bid you good night. Under the protection, however, of Him, who is with you, the Watchman, and with us, the Pilot of Israel, our sleep may be alike, sweet and secure.
At Sea, October 6. To-day, for the first time since we left Boston, have we had a sight of land. It is the island of Corvo, the most easterly and northerly of the Azores. Flores, a
much larger island is also just visible in the horizon. More than half the breadth of the Atlantic is now passed over.
Wearied with looking out, even for a few weeks, on the wide waste of waters, it is grateful in. the extreme, to meet with these fixed and verdant objects, planted in the midst of the ocean. Yet I suppose the experienced mariner would rather forego this pleasure, in order to avoid the storms which often gather around them.
Straits of Gibraltar, October 21. Having passed Corvo and Flores, we had a distant view of Terceira* and Gratiosa, and ran a little to the southward of St. Michael and St. Mary. We came so near St. Michael's, that we got becalmed under the land, and could see with our glass, the churches and • dwelling houses; the cattle feeding in the pastures: and the laborers busied in the fields.
These islands you are aware, are volcanic, and their surface very irregular. They are laid out into numerous little enclosures, which are exceedingly fruitful, and are now as green as our gardens in May. The vine and the orange are the principal articles of cultivation.
After our equinoctial, and the more violent storm of the 25th, we had eight or ten days of favorable wind, and delightful weather; then succeeded a third gale, more severe than the first, but in neither did we carry away any thing of consequence.
This morning at the earliest dawn, we came in sight of the African coast. It was truly a splendid spectacle to witness the sun, slowly rising from behind the distant hills, which appeared from their elevation and
* Terceira is the island which has so successfully resisted the tyranny of Don Miguel,
whiteness, as though crowned with everlasting snows. My first emotions were rather of a pensive cast, and I exclaimed almost involuntarily, in the familiar language of one of our philanthropists, “Oh! Africa ! unhappy, ill-fated region !" But I recollected the bright and beauteous border, with which liberty and primitive christianity are encircling her western and southern shores. I thought also of the gospel, as carrying around a remedy for all the wrongs, and all the sorrows, and all the guilt of humanity, and remembering the promise, “Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands to God,” could joyfully anticipate the time, when its cheering influence should be shed on every corner of her afflicted land.
How much of life is sometimes crowded into a few short hourş! These painful thoughts of the past, and lovelier visions of coming years, were soon driven away by present and surrounding objects. In every direction were to be seen the light market boats of the country, fitting along with their red and yellow sails; or the statelier ship, bearing in its hold the productions of half a province. The land birds too, came winging their way around our vessel, as if to bid us welcome. They were of various hues, and some poured forth the sweetest strains, but I turned from them all to listen, not to the canary, and to gaze not on the bird of paradise, but our own little chirping bird. In thoughts, and sights, and sounds, like these ; and in watching the varied scenery as we beat from side to side, the day has thus been delightfully past 6 from morn to set of sun.”
We have spoken but a single vessel on our passage, which was bound from Jamaica to Halifax. She had
been dismasted in a hurricane, and on seeing us, stood off her course to enquire our longitude.
Other incidents, which you would be likely to record on your first voyage, are the following. Two dolphins, caught with the harpoon. They are more than a foot in length, and of a most beautiful copper-green and changeable color. The sailors believe they are sometimes poisonous, and the captain directed a piece of silver to be thrown as a test, into the vessel where they were boiling. Had the silver become tarnished, no one would have ventured to eat of them. Several Aying fish, which are very palatable, came on board of their own accord. They are six or eight inches long, with wings resembling those of a bat. When pursued by other fish, or in sport, they will rise in flocks from the water, and glide through the air, a number of rods, before alighting. We made many unsuccessful attempts with our harpoons, upon the shoals of porpoises, which sported around the vessel. For the sharks we threw out our hooks, but only took their pilots,” which are a small eatable fish, usually found in company with them.
For passage to Gibraltar we have paid seventy dollars each. One hundred is I believe, a more common price. For this, of course, we are entitled only to the ordinary provisions of the vessel-hard bread, salt meat, and a few vegetables. Occasionally we have had warm wheat or Indian cakes at breakfast, and a pudding on Sundays. The dried fruit (currants, cranberries and apples,) which our friends in the country put up, were a great luxury. Our soda powders have also been exceedingly grateful. I am thus particular on the subject of sea stores, that should you ever have