June 9, 1832
9 June: Toward morning, calm. The weather is good, the sky overcast. The sea has a heavy ground swell, so that the ship rolls. Jellyfish and Portuguese men-of-war, several birds. At seven o’clock, temperature of the air 13°R ⟨[61.2°F, 16.3°C]⟩, that of the water, 12°R ⟨[59°F, 15°C]⟩. Today the ocean has a somewhat more greenish color. The sounding lead with a 140-fathom line is tossed out but does not reach bottom. The studding sails are again spread, and the men are busy repairing several sails. A Procellaria pelagica. Pounding rain continues. Latitude 43°30' N, longitude 35°51' W.
Toward noon the wind turns southeasterly, hence is favorable but not strong. Thermometer reading in the air at noon 12°R ⟨[59°F, 15°C]⟩, temperature of the water 11 1/2°R ⟨[57.9°F, 14.4°C]⟩. Toward noon it rains very heavily. At about three o’clock, however, a very threatening mass of clouds appears in the northwest. This immediately prompted Robbins to lower all the sails. What luck! For suddenly such a violent storm squall with pelting rain broke upon us from the northwest that the captain assured us that never in his long career had he experienced a more furious one. The wind howled as terribly as though hundreds of bass viols were being stroked; the ropes flew about and emitted sounds like those of aeolian harps. The loosened sails fluttered and sounded terrible until they could be bound up. At the risk of their lives, the sailors worked at this task for several hours during the worst of the storm and rain and finally accomplished it.
The sea was frightfully wild; it stormed in upon us like high mountains, broke on board the Janus, and inundated it. Its leeward side was continually underwater, while the storm drove the surface of the waves as spray into the air and darkened it. Whoever came on deck was drenched. The ship sprang, or rather plunged, [Page 1:10] from the crests into the troughs of the waves; it groaned and creaked mightily, which to us, in our small cabin down below, sounded all the more violent. Robbins had lashed the rudder firmly in the correct direction and was clinging to the foredeck of the ship. Thus the terrifying storm continued in this tense, distressing situation until nine o’clock in the evening, when the wind subsided somewhat. We felt calmer as soon as we learned that the sails had all been taken in, for the ship, to my greatest astonishment, constantly maintained itself upright in the terrible wind.
Since this fierce wind was, on top of everything else, completely contrary, and the sea ahead rolled furiously toward us, Skipper Robbins immediately set our course southward, whereby we sailed more safely. All night long a gale howled, which, however, seemed mild after the previous, terrible storm, even though the gale was severe enough.