April 28, 1833

28 April: Early in the morning we had a gloomy, overcast sky, moderate wind, and rain. We proceeded somewhat farther along [Good] Sun Island and lay to there again, since we found no [navigable] water for continuing the journey. The boat made soundings around us but found no passage; [the crew] therefore began to unload all the loaded wood and other articles in order to lighten the ship. At 7:30, 64°F [17.8°C].

We went onto the island, but its entire ground was overgrown with rushes. Various calls from small birds could be heard, however, [so] Bodmer and Dreidoppel went ahead to hunt. We found many signs of wildlife on the island. A ship’s carpenter, who had gone somewhat astray, heard a large animal near him run away and declared it had been a panther. Dreidoppel had found several birds already known to us, including the towhee bunting (Fringilla erythrophthalma), which is common here.

After the ship had been lightened, the engine was started and an attempt was made to move on, but we soon ran aground again. It seemed as though we were not to get away from here today. At twelve o’ clock, 71°F [21.7°C] with intermittent rain. We dropped anchor. Several heavy downpours in the afternoon. During the past year [1832] the steamboat had been stranded here five days because of lack of water. Various attempts were made to move forward. [When] these did not succeed, however, they let the ship move back somewhat from the place where it had been unloaded, and toward evening they worked it over to the right bank, where we remained for the night.

About five in the afternoon, a flight of at least one hundred pelicans passed over us in a northerly direction. They formed a wedge and occasionally a semicircle and sometimes broke into two flocks but always reestablished the old formation. One could distinguish their black pinions very clearly, as well as the doubled-up neck and the crooked beak in front.[Page 2:42] Since I had never observed pelicans in their natural state, I took them at first for cranes.

Date: 
Sunday, April 28, 1833
XML Encoder: 
Cory Taylor (Automatically Generated)
Zachary Joyce
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