Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | August 13, 2013

August 13 [1859 and 1861]

Mary Brewster did not make a journal entry for this date in 1849.

Mary Lawrence, [Sat.] AUGUST 13 [1859]: “A calm in the morning. We were several miles from the ice. Sent the boats in after more walrus, and if it breezed up, we were going to meet them; if not, they were to bring the [walrus] heads only. The wind soon breezed a little. As we were standing off, we raised a bowhead and set the colors [signal flags] immediately for the boats to come on board. The bowhead vanished immediately, and we have not seen him since. Eight or ten ships in sight.   After tea we layed aback for a bark to come down to us. Found it to be the Tybee, Captain Freeman, an old acquaintance. He very soon came on board, and we passed a very pleasant evening. We went down to the other ships, but they were gamming by themselves. Consequently we had no more addition to our party. Captain Freeman had been to Hakodate, and he wished Samuel to go on board and look at his wares which he purchased. Samuel returned with him about 10 P.M. and stopped until 1 A.M. He made a few purchases, and Captain Freeman sent me a pair of lacquered waiters and sent Minnie a cabinet, a very handsome present. He also brought a bucket of Hakodate apples and a jar of preserves. Quite a melancholy accident occurred to him while at port. He smoked his ship for rats. The crew slept on deck. The steward and cabin boy went in the house aft to sleep and shut the door. In the morning they were both found dead.   Captain Freeman has taken four whales this season; was fortunate enough to be in the mob of Thaddeus. He reports ice in the Strait, which alarmed me a little, fearing that we might get caught in here and be obliged to stop all winter, but they say there is no danger of that. After we have a southerly gale, which we ought to expect now and which will drive the ice up north to the barrier, then we shall have good weather and in all probability find whales.”

Eliza Williams, [Thurs.] August 13th [1861]: “It has been a fine day and a good breeze this morning. We got one whale off as soon as we could in the morning; had to wait for the tide. We have got him cut now. It was a bad and long job for the whale was bloated so bad by laying so long. There is quite an offensive odor to that I don’t fancy much. That odor with the smoke that comes below from the try works is quite unpleasant, but I can bear it all first-rate when I consider that it is filling our ship all the time and by and by it will all be over and we will go home. We have lost some of the [whale’s] head, not heaving it on deck, and the gum holds the bone was loose and tender and the heft of the bone caused it to give way and it went overboard and sunk. It is a very fat whale, the oil is running out in streams.”


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