Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | June 15, 2012

15th June [1847, 1858 and 1860]

Mary Brewster’s entry for this date goes on for three 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages – too long to share here. She writes about her first day preparing for three weeks’ sojourn through numerous, beautiful Maui towns, sites on the road to Hana and up Haleakala (Maui’s volcano).  Therefore, in the coming weeks, instead of sharing Mary’s complete daily entry, I will provide a brief summary of her adventures and excursions.

* Mary’s first day started at 2 am, by 9 am they were to the shore (she doesn’t say which side of Maui’s coast).

* They pitch a tent and begin preparing their noonday meal; change their clothes. Their meal consisted of roast duck, boiled ham, bread, and coffee. Extra clothing and supplies were then loaded on board a boat headed for Hana.

* By 1 P.M. they started for their next stop (not named in Mary’s journal).

* For nineteen miles they traveled on foot (leading their horses) through “black lava”, gullies and deep ravines”. The roads were about “6 feet wide”. The horses feet were shod “to save their feet some and protected them from being cut with sharp edges of the lava”.

* By night they arrived at their encampment; a spot with brackish water, coarse grass, and Tahala trees. They created their beds on the ground by covering it with dry grass, tahala leaves (“very sharp and notched on one side like a saw”), heaps of blankets and riding dresses and whatever they could find to soften the ground. Her face badly sunburnt and very painful, Mary and her companions finally fell asleep; “at length one after another lost themselves in happy forgetfulness…”

However, in order to gain a full appreciation of her journal entries for the weeks starting with today’s entry (through July 9), I recommend reading the entries for yourself. They can be found from pages 235-260 of She was a Sister Sailor, the Whaling Journals of Mary Brewster, 1845-1851 by Joan Druett (1992).

Mary Lawrence, [Tues.] JUNE 15 [1858]: “Clear and strong breeze. We are near the land. Several ships in sight. Some parts of the day foggy. After tea P.M. spoke the Christopher Mitchell. Captain Manchester came on board and spent several hours with us. He has taken nothing as yet and is getting rather downhearted. He brought me some tamarinds which he put up from Lombok, New Holland, which were very nice. Heard the Speedwell having two whales. He told us also of the ship Eliza F. Mason that he spoke several days ago, where the captain had his wife on board and a little infant. That was very delightful news for Minnie to hear, and I presume she will keep a sharp lookout for the Eliza F. Mason.”

Eliza Williams, [Fri.] June 15th [1860]: “We are laying off and on the Island of Monneron. It has been a very unpleasant day, quite rainy and foggy off shore. Quite early this morning the Men saw on shore among the rocks a great number of animals that some of them call Sea Elephants. They afterwards concluded that they were Seals. I went on deck and took the glass to look at them. It was quite a curiosity. They make a great noise. They say that on shore the noise was most deafening, there were such a great number of them. They are hair seals, very large, some of them as large as a young creature. My Husband went on shore before breakfast and took his gun thinking to shoot some, but could not get very near them. They were frightened at the Men, took their young in their mouths and left. It is further down where the watering place is and a pleasant spot, a nice beach and easy to get water. We have about one hundred bbls [barrels], and are now leaving the Island behind.”


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