June 17, 1832

17 June: Beautiful, clear weather, but again, as usual on this voyage, no wind. The ship lies virtually still and rocks from the swell of the sea. No living creature except for some Procellaria, which hover about us.

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Wind direction still northwest, as yesterday, but the ship is turned in a northerly direction. It advances scarcely at all; on the contrary, the swell of the sea drives it somewhat sideward. Last evening I saw some Fucus, probably Fucus vesiculosus (rockweed). At noon the sun is scarcely visible, but we have an observation: latitude 40°48' north, longitude 44°4' west. Temperature of the air 11°R ⟨[56.8°F, 13.8°C]⟩, temperature of the water 9 1/2°R ⟨[53.4°F, 11.9°C]⟩. It is much colder than yesterday, probably because we are getting closer to the banks. At one o’clock a large school of porpoises appears before the ship, certainly forty to fifty of them. Robbins climbs onto the bowsprit, grips the harpoon, but the fish disappear. At the same time we had seen another fish with a dorsal fin, perhaps a shark; it likewise disappeared.

Figure 1.18

Today the large storeroom on the deck of the ship was opened to obtain zwieback. At the same time I had my gun case removed and a double-barreled shotgun made ready in order to shoot several storm petrels. During the noon meal, the comment was made that we had already eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner together at the mess table ninety-two times, yet we will certainly not get to Boston in less than two weeks. Some rain in the afternoon. The wind is somewhat stronger, at the most 3 knots an hour. Today we shot unsuccessfully at Procellaria pelagica. Rain in the afternoon. Then the wind shifts to the southeast and becomes very favorable for us. At five o’clock the ship was sailing at 5 knots. The studding sails have been set.

We amused ourselves by tossing small pieces of fat to the small black storm petrels, which devoured them instantly. Mr. Bodmer shot two of these pretty birds, which, however, we did not get. The temperature of the seawater during the afternoon was 9 1/2°R, as it was at noon. At six o’clock a ship appears in the distance somewhat to the north. The wind becomes somewhat stronger. At ten o’clock a very strong breezeblows from the east, thus very favorable for us. Until about four o’clock in the morning, the ship is running at 8 knots. It rains, and at daybreak there is dense fog.

Sunday, June 17, 1832
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Charlotte Spires