Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 28, 2014

28th August 1849 – Storm at Sea!

Mary Brewster, TUESDAY [August] 23rd [1849]: “Wind shortly increased to a gale. I had not gone to bed having the toothache. At 10, put out the fire, too rough to boil [the whale blubber into oil]. At 12, wind got to the West blowing a hard gale with a very bad sea so I had to go below — had hardly got down when the cry of all hands on deck sounded — Soon I heard, all the boats gone, sir. I felt so wretched having had no sleep for some nights and such a toothache that this last cry did not frighten me — I felt as if I did not care — The boats were not all destroyed, lost one, davits, craft and all and stove the other two. Ship all broke out and in bad order for gale, lost one davit to the waist boat and had the second mate been a less active man should have lost that boat.  He made out to secure it. Split the foresail. Got the ship laying to, rolling heavily. Towards 6 AM wind moderated a little but sea increased which made the ship labor hard. Had snow squalls through the day with tremendous gusts of wind — Latter part wind subsided and sea got more regular. Ship on starboard tack, wind from West. This truly is a bad country and I shall be glad to have the weather better or leave it. I am getting nervous and dislike these gales, after such a time I feel sick and good for nothing. During the last one I have not suffered from fear; one can’t think of any greater trouble when they are half crazy with a toothache.”

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 27, 2014

August 27, 1849

Mary Brewster, MONDAY August 27th [1849]: “Good weather most of the day. Lots of whale but did not lower — got as much as can be taken care of. Decks all full, grease and try smoke — Stowing down oil, after hatch broken out, all full of business — Weather is getting cooler and we have had several snow squalls — Ends rugged wind from South blowing hard.”

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860.

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 26, 2014

25th August 1849

Mary Brewster, SATURDAY [August] 25 [1849]: “First part fine smooth weather. Plenty of whale and 4 ships in sight near. Got another whale and at 9 this eve they have got it in. I have been half sick the last week with the toothache; feel cross enough.”

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 24, 2014

August 23, 1849

Mary Brewster, THURSDAY August 23rd [1849]: “Early at 4 this morning noise of whaling caused me to get up and look out. Saw our boats were fast to [had successfully harpooned and killed] a whale less than an hour had it to the ship. Spoke the Marengo — Capt. [Zebedee] Devoll came on board and took dinner. Would have stopped longer but it began to blow, being rugged he left. Spoke the Two Brothers Capt. [Isaac H.] Jenney — ship laying to wind blowing rain a -pouring and thick weather.”

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 18, 2014

18th August 1849

Mary Brewster, SATURDAY August 18th [1849]: “Commenced with light southerly winds and fine weather, close in with the land. Mountains are beginning to be covered with snow. We are again wending our way north — Capt. Chappel [probably William of ship John & Elizabeth] in company with us — Saw several ships. At 10, thick weather wind from N and a bad swell.   LAT. 61.29   LONG. 170.16.”

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 17, 2014

August 16-17, 1849

Mary Brewster, THURSDAY [August] 16th [1849]: “Strong breeze from NNW all day — At 6 this morning got up the anchor and set some sail found we were about 15 miles from land — Latter weather thick and rainy — One ship in sight –“

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Mary Brewster, FRIDAY [August] 17th [1849]: “Strong gales and rugged. Cleared up and we found out where we were — a great ways south and near land. Spoke the Harvest of N Bedford. Mr. B. went on board and spent the day and I have had a fine time regulating, have at length got everything dry and put up — It has truly been a disagreeable week — The ship is once more in order — decks clear — oil stowed down and all ready for whaling — when the wind is favorable we are bound North again — No whale here — The sea has gone down and it is very smooth and sun shining finely –“

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 16, 2014

13-14th August 1849 – HORRIBLE STORM at SEA!!

Mary Brewster, MONDAY [August] 13th [1849]: “Wind increased to a gale. At 4 AM Mr. Brewster got up and told them to put out the fire [built to render the blubber into oil]. I got dressed and got everything snug in the [deck] house. By this time wind was blowing a gale — I had just laid down when a sea struck the house, stove in [broke/damaged]  two boards on the side and it filed it half full of water. I was not long getting on my feet but the water was knee deep. From the noise on deck I thought everything had been washed overboard — Made my way to the door and looked out. I had only time to see that everything was confusion on deck when husband made his appearance and said, go right below; leave the house for it may go next — there was no chance to get dry clothes and it was rough so I could hardly stand. The ship lay on one side rolling and pitching. Anchor out but of no use — ship dragging – I went below — the sea had gone down  and the cabin was half full of water then. The deadlights were not half-latched and it was pouring in from that source — I got into the berth and by holding on made out to keep there but I was cold enough. The stove had fallen down and could not be put up — fire all out in the galley [ship's kitchen] — no breakfast not dinner save a piece of hard bread. They tried to get up the anchor but found it was no use — another ship in sight and we were dragging and fearful we could nor clear her — could not right the ship for blubber had shifted to leeward and was obliged to stay as we were….Latter part it moderated….6 PM wind more moderate but the sea running very high and every way….At 9 PM I came up a fire being built to dry up….Put our trunks below — but they were soaking wet….charts all wet….”

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Mary Brewster, TUESDAY [August] 14th [1849]: “Did not sleep much during the night and an early hour was up and commenced regulating — had the floor scoured up, cleaned the dirt from the sides of the house, had a great fire made in the stove — then up came the trunks &c. — oh sad array of dresses, gloves ,ribbons; hardly a garment but what wanted drying, some completely saturated with salt water — I could have cried but made out to keep quiet — stretched a line and hung up the things. The weather was better but the ship pitched badly owing to a bad sea — coal would not burn — had some pitch pine covered with oil, this made a dreadful smoke — and kept the house full of smoke. Opened the door, then it was try [works] smoke which covers every object it touches [VERY greasy smoke from the whale blubber; produced when trying out the blubber into oil] — I felt very uncomfortable for several hours to see my things so spoilt and in such condition till better feelings prevailed; and I think at the close of the day  I felt thankful we had been kept from the danger which the sea might have done us, for had it [sea waves] not broken before it struck the house, they all said it would have swept the decks taking the house and perhaps some of our number. As it was, we were all spared and what was a few paltry clothes in comparison –“

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 10, 2014

August 8-10, 1849

Mary Brewster, WEDNESDAY [August] 8th [1849]: “The last few days we have had fog and wind ahead; it is not from the south and we have been sailing north all day. Weather warm and pleasant . At 4 PM spoke the Jeanette of N. Bedford [MA]. Mr. B. went on board, Capt. West came back with him and stopped some time; he is bound north so we shall have company. At 11, saw a whale but it is getting too dark now to lower at this late hour –“

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Mary Brewster, THURSDAY [August] 9th [1849]: “Pleasant weather; made Burney’s Island [along the Siberian coast] the stood to east. Soon fell in with whale and got one — the Jeanette chasing but got none. Saw 2 ships some ways off — 11 o’clock and the whale is cut in.   LAT. 67.34   LONG. 173.55.”

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Mary Brewster, FRIDAY [August] 10th [1849]: “Weather continues good. Lowered for whale; did not get one for it [fog] came in thick. Boats came back quite lively. On board boiling and catching many more [whales] in thought.”

 

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860.

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 6, 2014

5th August 1849

Mary Brewster, SUNDAY AUGUST 5th [1849]: “Thick most of this day. I have been alone. Mr. B. went on board the Catherine [home port of New London, CT]. Two other ships in company so they have had a fine gam. I have read and passed the day as pleasantly as I could but I cannot help longing for some of the blessings of home and I am very much disappointed at having to stay out another season. I never was so anxious about anything before and I would never have encouraged our coming here had I not thought we should get oil enough to have gone home with. Well, it is of no use to fret or murmur; let what will come. I will try and make the best of it and think no more of seeing home till another year has passed with its troubles and trials and will try and be thankful that it is thus well with us.”

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860.

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 4, 2014

August 3-4, 1849

Mary Brewster, FRIDAY AUGUST 3rd [1849]: “Scene changes — from dismal to more dismal — Early this morning saw whale. The bow boat went alone and fastened [harpooned a whale]; whale hit the boat [broke it] stove it badly, knocked the men overboard and we all felt anxious as we could see only 4 men. Got a boat started and it did not seem to me they would get away nor the boat — they did however and brought the men to the ship. All were there, one a kanaka [native Hawaiian] badly hurt. We did not think he could live. Another one had his lip badly hurt and wrist sprained; said it was broke but he could use it so we were not alarmed. The third [whaling] brother was examined and not a bruise could be found he was nearly frightened to death; did not speak during the day. Those who were hurt was brought into the house, wounds sewed up, dry clothes put on, and then put below, this took till about 8 o’clock — I had no appetite for breakfast. A [another] boat was sent to pick up the [stoven] boat and oars and this took up the rest of the forenoon.”

“We were close in shore and calm. I thought we were nearing the land and was on the point of speaking when they sounded and found we were going 3 knot stearn towards the land. Down went the anchor. Several of the natives came on board, I saw many a familiar face amongst them, having seen them down in the bay. They brought several articles of no value and a few common furs which we bought for tobacco. They are very sly and will cheat in trading. [They] will show all their poor stuff first and if they cannot pass it off, they will soon show their best. They will not let a thing come up to the ship till they are paid for it — their demand is usually for rum, but as we have no liquor they have to get it somewhere else….”

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Mary Brewster, SATURDAY [August] 4th [1849]: “Thick weather all day no whale in sight. Spoke John Elizabeth New London [CT], Capt. Chapel on board part of the day. Our sick men are doing nicely and will soon get well. So ends this week we are one whale better off. Ships in sight doing nothing; wind from the North, we are bound there first chance — ” 

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860.

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