June 24, 1832
24 June: Already by four o’clock in the morning, as mentioned, the wind began blowing from the northeast, and the ship ran continually at 7 1/2 to 8 knots. In the morning the sky cleared up. At eight o’clock, air temperature in cool wind 10°R ⟨[54.5°F, 12.5°C]⟩, water temperature 8 1/2°R ⟨[51.1°F, 10.6°C]⟩.
On the previous evening I had a long discussion with Master Robbins about the nautical observations on board a ship. Measuring the altitude of the sun at noon is very easy; I have learned it almost perfectly, and it provides much pleasure and entertainment. In order to determine whether one has brought the sun down on the horizon properly, one describes an arc (takes a sweep) with the instrument, whereby the sun must then precisely touch the horizon at the lowest point.
The solar disk appears especially beautiful in the green glass. Another very necessary observation is the variation of the compass with the azimuth compass. This has diopters with which one fixes the setting sun. In the amplitude tables, one finds the daily sunset calculation for the entire year. If one subtracts the two numbers from each other, one has the variation of the compass, which differs in various latitudes. Lunar distances are important for correcting longitude. My sextant corresponds splendidly with Captain Robbins’ instrument; that of Mate Gooden deviates a little.
The wind grows stronger and stronger. The sea even sprays into the cabin. Noon observation: latitude 42°59' north, longitude 57°40' west. Air temperature at noon 8 1/3°R ⟨[50.8°F, 10.4°C]⟩, water temperature 8°R ⟨[50°F, 10°C]⟩. At twelve o’clock we are now some distance directly north of Porpoise Bank. The royals are taken in; the upper studding sails remain. A brig appears to the north. Today we did not have lunch until two o’clock; pudding indicated that it was Sunday. The brisk, favorable wind continued all day until ten o’clock in the evening.
They finished scraping the deck. Since it has a surface of white fir, it must now be impregnated with a varnish made of boiled oil and turpentine against the weather. In the evening at about seven o’clock, porpoises appear. Master Robbins [Page 1:17]harpoons one of them, but since the ship was sailing at 7 knots, and no one was pulling on the harpoon rope except Mr. Bodmer and the small, weak Mate Gooden, the harpoon tore loose and the dolphin escaped. At six o’clock temperature of the air 8°R ⟨[50°F, 10°C]⟩, of the water 8 1/4°R ⟨[50.6°F, 10.3°C]⟩. During the night the wind becomes weak and shifts to the northwest, hence directly ahead of and opposed to us. Two ships beside us.