NEFA - The North East Folklore Archive

"Windward"

Taplin's Diary, March 26th - July 12th, 1860.

We left the Peterhead harbour on Monday the 26th of March 1860 but not having our full stock of bread on board we had to wait about in the bay until March 28th when we set sail at 7 a.m. with a good NW wind but rather a heavy sea. In about three hours we lost sight of land and through the day we managed from five to nine miles per hour.
7 p.m. The seas now very calm and the wind is gone down a little but we hope to sea the Shetland Isles in the morning. The glass, or rather Thermometer in the cabin is 65 and on deck 30 so that it's not very cold yet. We have seen no ships of any kind all day.

March 29th.
This morning at 2 o'clock we saw the lighthouse on the Orkney Isles, it has been a very calm night, the wind being NW. At 5 a.m. we came in sight of Fair Island, a small barren piece of land. At 6 a.m. we came in sight of the largest of the Shetland Isles, here we have to call at a small town known by the name of Lerwick to take on board twenty more men. We had hoped to have arrived at the latter place at 1 p.m. but at about 11 a.m. we became becalmed and did not arrive until 7 p.m.

March 30th.
Today we had breakfast at 7 a.m. and at 8 a.m. two men came off in a boat to us with fish, eggs and milk. The Capt. bought some fish and I bought some milk, the latter was the richest I have ever tasted (although born in Devon!).
At 9 a.m. Capt. and myself went off to the little town of Lerwick, it's very small having only 3000 inhabitants, the streets are very narrow, not room for a cart to pass, and from all I could see I do not think they can use anything but thin little poneys. The people were all alive with the idea of seeing a few strangers from our ship. I bought a pair of gloves and, having posted my letter, I left the shore for my ship with the idea that I should never care to see Lerwick any more.
I have forgotten to mention that Lerwick, like every town in the north of England and Scotland, has its Rifle Corps of 60 men. The mail boat came in once a week and goes out once a week, it goes to Aberdeen.
At 2 p.m. we left this little town having taken on board 20 men, which makes our crew 49 strong, it's a fine afternoon with a good SE wind. I ought before to have mentioned what a fine harbour Lerwick has, you enter by a narrow strait about one mile and a half in length, this strait opens up into a fine lake which will hold a great number of ships. In five hours we were out of sight of land and ships. We have every promise of a very rough night.

March 31st.
We have indeed had a night of it. I have only just got up at 8 p.m., I am very unwell. Our hopes are sad. God only knows our end, our men cannot stand on deck, the waves lash over us, the sea comes down our cabin stairs, everything is getting smashed, may God have mercy on us. Whilst the Capt. and mate were taking their dinner the table gave way breaking of course all plates etc. I cannot write. It's too rough.

April 1st.
Thank God the storm is leaving us, it has lasted 24 hours. Had our ship not been a good vessel she never could have stood it. One thing during the storm which has proved good to us is the wind which has sent us on at a rate of from 12, 13 to even 15 miles per hour; the waves are still very high but nothing like they were yesterday for then they were like mountains and looked quite black. We have seen no ships yet since we left Lerwick. Soon after dinner today we heard a great cry on deck. The Capt. was with me in the cabin, he went up and in a few minutes I had two men brought down to me, they were not much hurt but had got knocked down on deck by a wave. The wind promises to get round to the N. which will not improve our passage. We are at present making about ten miles per hour.

April 2nd.
Today is calm and colder but the wind has changed during the night the consequence is we are not making more than from 3 to 4 miles per hour; about fifty miles more will bring us to the ice. Our men are all busy making shot and getting the guns ready for the seal shooting. We have seen no ships yet, but should the wind change we shall see plenty tomorrow as we shall then hope to arrive at our present destination. To-day the crew have had their thick gloves given them (half a dozen pair to each man). I have for the first time since I have left college taken to my books which I hope now to work away at, I ought to have got at them before but I have been so unwell and in such an unsettled state that I have not been able to get my head in working order. I think we shall have a quiet night tonight, and tomorrow I shall hope to be able to say that we have arrived at the Island Jan Mayen, our destination.

April 3rd.
We have had a very calm night and not much wind, we have been making during the night from 4 to 5 miles per hour. I have just made a good breakfast at 8 a.m. and am now going to sit down to work. To-day it's very cold on deck 22 cabin 65 I take to the latter as I always prefer heat to cold. 11 a.m. Our cabin windows have frozen over to-day. We have been busy serving out the provisions to the crew since dinner. Every hour now we expect to see the ice. The wind has risen since dinner (NE) and we are making ten miles per hour. The sea is of a dark blue colour. At 5 p.m. we had a heavy snow storm. We are all on the lookout for ice, seals etc. We cannot run on much longer without seeing the former. Our Lat is 70 N Long 8 W or there about. We expect a calm night. Our cabin is in a little better order and we can place our tea pot plates and dishes on table now without them falling off.

April 4th.
The night has been very quiet and the only sound I have heard all night is the foot-step of our watch, it's very cold on deck but warm in our cabin. The latter at 8 a.m. was 62 the former 8. I went between decks at 11 a.m. to look after some men I have sick. On my return I walked up and down the deck for a few minutes and when I came back to my cabin I found some large pieces of ice hanging round my mouth, this will give one a little idea of the cold. We had some peas soup to-day at 1 p.m. which we all found very useful. At 2 p.m. the watch came down to tell us the ice was in sight and in ten minutes more we found ourselves in the midst of a large bed of broken ice. Our ship ran well through it at a rate of about 2 miles per hour. 4 p.m. The wind has risen much during the last hour, it's blowing from the NE but in consequence of our having a large bed of ice in that direction in has no effect on the sea. We quite expect to see Jan Mayan before the morning. We have been going at a rate of from 2 to 11 miles per hour during the day so that our ship has not been idle. The wind promises to be very high all night but it will not make the sea rough just where we are, owing to the huge bed of ice to our NE, the only danger we shall have to be on the look out for will be the ice. It's just one week ago to-day since we left Peterhead during which time we have run a distance of about 750 miles and remained 14 hours at Lerwick so that I do not think that we have done badly.

April 5th.
The wind went down at 3 a.m. without doing us any harm; we run every now and then into large beds of broken ice, the latter makes a great noise against our ship's sides. At 10 a.m. one of the men saw from the top of one of our masts a ship ahead. This is the first we have seen since March the 30th, the day we left Lerwick, in consequence of our having little wind we did not come up to her until 2 p.m. when we found she was a Dutch ship in search of seals. She had killed three only. Our mate and six of our crew went off to her and from the Dutch Captain learnt that they came here six days ago, had been to Jan Mayen and saw six Scotch ships there but they had not done much. The Dutchman thought he would go a little to the south of the island to see if he could do better; we saw that before we came up to the ship (Dutch) that she had been drawing blood from the colour of some pieces of ice, our Lat is 71 32' and just about on the meridian so that we are N of Jan Mayen, (on the lookout for seals). The men are all busy putting up the crows-nest on the top of the ship's middle mast. Perhaps it would be well for me here to give a description of a crows-nest. Well, it is a common barrel fixed to the top of the ship's mast, a man has to stand in the barrel with a telescope to look out for seals and whales etc. Not a very warm job in the Arctic seas. We have been sailing at the rate of about 7 miles per hour to-day with an E wind or rather NE; it's not so cold to-day as yesterday on deck 15 cabin 65 so you see we keep the latter nice and warm with our little stove. At 4 p.m. we ran into a pack of ice which we are still in (7 p.m.) at 6 p.m. we saw the first seal jump out of one of the cracks in the ice and run. By 7 p.m. we had seen quite a dozen, this puts us all in hopes of a good day's work tomorrow.

April 6th (Good Friday).
We have kept moving in the same pack of ice I spoke of last evening, all night. and it does not look as if we are going to run through it. It has been very quiet all night the only sound I have heard has been the step of the watch and every now and then the cry of a young seal, which sounds very much like the cry of an infant. We have seen many seals today and at 11 a.m. we saw a young one sleeping within 10 yards of our ship. It was no sooner seen by one of our crew than in one moment a man made a jump from the ship over to a piece of ice, and in one moment more he had killed the seal and was pulling it along with a rope to the ship. Our captain gave this fine fellow a pond of tobacco for his daring jump and the man looked well pleased (with his tobacco). At 1 p.m. we became frozen in. Our ship is more like a house now than a ship and we fear we shall be stuck here for some time. Some of our men are out walking about the ice looking for seals. We have been giving the crew their guns, gun-powder, caps, shot etc. to-day, and tomorrow, should the ice bear well, a party or so will be sent off to look for seals. We have seen the masts of nine ships to the south of us to-day. Our Lat is 72 17' NW and Long 3 24' The thermometer is 20 below zero (3 p.m.). The days are long with us. Light at 4 a.m. and not dark until 9 p.m. so that our days just now are much longer than at home. All are anxious to kill plenty of seals so that we may not have to go on to Davis Straits, should we be successful we have our hopes of seeing Old England once more, early in the summer. I went on deck about 2 p.m. Before doing so I tied a scarf round my mouth and in half an hour I came down into my cabin and found my breath had caused my scarf to freeze to my mouth. It was so firm that I could not get it off before I had applied some warm water. The sun has shone on us to-day for a few hours for the first time since we left Scotland. Some of the crew are busy breaking off the ice from the deck and sides of the ship. The crows nest is up and a man in it with a telescope looking for seals but he has not yet seen enough of them to make it worth going after. We have sailed about 20 miles further to the NW of Jan Mayen during the night and morning. Our Captain has been able to make some observations to-day from the result of which we find our clock about two hours fast. 7 p.m., two ships in sight to the south of us.

April 7th.
At 3 a.m. the weather became milder and by 4 a.m. a SW wind came and sent us along. This much pleased us for last night when we became frozen in we quite expected to be stuck for a few days. I rose this morning at six and went up into the crow's nest to look out for seals, however I did not see many but I saw two sail and a steam-boat. These vessels were all on the look out for seals, I could see the track of our ship through the ice for miles, it looked like a little river. At 8 a.m. we had breakfast. At 9 a.m. a very heavy snow storm over took us which lasted for two or three hours. At 11 a.m. we changed our course from NW to NE of Jan Mayen, we are now about 100 miles off the said island and about 120 miles in the pack of ice I spoke of on the 5th; We have seen a few more seals since the snow storm and all are in hopes of falling in with them. I find it very difficult to write just now for every now and then a large piece of ice strikes the sides of the ship and makes every piece of timber in her shake. We have been sailing at a great rate all day through the ice having made from 8 to 10 miles per hour ever since 5 a.m. The thermometer tells us it's much warmer to-day it being only 10 below zero the coldest we have yet had. Many people find fault with the weather in England but I wonder what they might say to a mild day out here with the thermometer 15 below zero. 4 p.m. Our Captain is up in the nest looking out most anxiously for seals. 4 p.m. The Captain sees nine ships to the NW of us, this a sure sign that they have found a field of seals and therefore we at once make for them and in two hours we shall know what's up. 7 p.m. We are not up to the ships yet but we are in a field of seals. Our men are all taking in the sails. 7 p.m. All are now off for a seal hunt on the ice. Each man has a gun to shoot them, 20 bullets, a knife to take the skin and fat off for this has all to be done on the ice. The Captain has let me have a man to do this latter business. In half an hour I had shot twelve and in one hour I and my man were busy pulling them (or rather the skins with the fat) over the ice, this latter job was no very easy matter for every now and then one of us would fall through a thin piece of ice covered with snow; whilst I was firing my gun I felt something at my leg I looked round and there was a large seal making an attempt to bite through my long boots, however I fired and shot the seal I had set my eyes upon, and then with the butt end of my gun, knocked down the other. My man had now just finished taking the skin off one so I called out to him to come to me and he very soon had a fine skin off the other. We got back to our ship about 8 p.m. just before a heavy snow storm came on. At 9 p.m. we thought all our men were on board but to make sure we called over the muster roll when it was found four men were wanting. It was quite impossible that these four fellows could find the ship owing to the thick storm so the Captain fired the ship's gun in order that they might know by the sound which way to find the ship. At 10 p.m. our anxiety was all over by the appearance of the lost men, if it had not been for the sound of the gun these four fellows would have been out all night for when they heard to gun they were walking away from the ship. 11 p.m. The evening of luck is over having killed 209 seals in 2 hours. Our men will all go to bed to-night and the stewards will keep the watch.

April 8th.
This morning all our crew had had their breakfasts by 4 a.m. and were very soon busy at work on the ice. I had very little sleep all night owing to the noise of the seals; We have a fleet of 14 ships within a mile of us, five have found their way to this rich field during the night, out of the 14 ships only two are English, all the rest are Dutch, one vessel I might mention, the steamer the 'Fox', this was the little boat that went out to the Arctic seas to prosecute the search for Sir J Franklin. When she returned she was sold to a Dutch merchant.
1 p.m. Our men are all back, the rich field is exhausted and instead of being white with snow we have left it red with blood. We have had 510 brought on board this morning which will make with our stock of last night, 719 (about 8 tons) if we go on at this rate we shall find our way back next month to old England. We are now having our sails hoisted and we go to the NE to look for another storm of seals. We have just heard from another ship that during the storm of last week when we expected to have been smashed, no less than three seal ships were wrecked, but all he crews were saved. 2 p.m. It's a beautiful afternoon, the sun shines and the glass is 5 below zero. At 4 p.m. we are becalmed with 13 other ships within a mile of us. 6 p.m. The captain of the 'Fox' came on board and spent an hour with us, it's his first trip to Greenland, he left Copenhagen on the 20th of February, got stuck in the ice for three weeks off the north coast of Jan Mayen, he had only 500 seals on board. He told us that he was in London last year and hearing that the 'SS Fox' was in the market he went to see her and bought her for 2,500. He finds her too small for the seal work. The Captain spoke good English (he is a Dutchman) and he left us much pleased with the pleasant hour we had spent together. 9 p.m. No wind, we have not gone a mile since 4 p.m.

April 9th.
We are going ahead now. The wind got up at 2 a.m. (NW) it's very much colder to-day than yesterday it being 25 below zero, our Long is 2 Lat 72 10'. 10 a.m. We have got ahead of all the ships except the 'Fox' and we are making 12 miles per hour. No seals to be seen yet, our Captain thinks they are sure to be to the E of Jan Mayen. We shall soon see, we are not so much in the pack of ice now, you could not walk in it, it's too thin but we may get into another pack soon. 3 p.m. Our run since 5 a.m. has been about 120 miles. We passed a ship from Russia, a very fine vessel of about 1000 tons, on the lookout for seals. 4 p.m. We have now passed another ship. She came from Norway and on the look out like all the rest. 6 p.m. We have only seen a few seals all day but hope to see more by the morning. It's very cold, thermometer 30 below zero, but we have a very strong NE wind blowing up which will prevent our ship from being frozen in.

April 10th.
We have done well all night, thanks to the wind, we have been making 5 miles per hour through a very heavy pack of ice. 9 a.m. We see from the crows nest two ships with their sails down (to the E of us) they are in a field of seals, we are going to make for them. There are 10 more ships behind us coming on and we hope to be the first in. 10 a.m. The wind has quite left us and we do not move half a mile in one hour. 1 p.m. Still becalmed, one of our men has just killed two seals. 2 p.m. Can still see the seals with our glass about 5 miles to the windward. They look very thick but we cannot get them having no wind yet. 2 p.m. I have just been on deck and saw a large bird with my glass, about half a mile from our ship. I cannot think what bird it can be, it looks through the glass like a large duck, the body is white with a black mark over its back. If it had not been so far off I would have shot it. 4 p.m. The sun has come out this afternoon and there is a little more wind up. It's not so cold, the thermometer 15 below zero, our Long 1 24' west Lat 71. We are all very anxious to get at the seals to our windward. Another seal has just been killed. Three ships about 10 miles ahead of us, they look as if they were busy taking seals. 6 a.m. It is very cold and no wind. We see a few seals about in the ice and are therefore going to kill them. The ship is quite frozen in, the thermometer stands at 36 below zero. Even in our cabin, where the fire is always burning, the thermometer stands at 45. I am now going off with my gun to have an evening walk. It's a beautiful night. 10 p.m. I have to be thankful for another escape of my life, for whilst making a jump from one piece of ice to another my foot slipped and down I went into the water, up to my neck. One of the men was close by (with his seal rope) which he through to me. I caught hold of it and saved myself from a watery grave. I was now quite two miles from the ship and I of course went back as fast as possible. I had to run very fast to prevent my legs from becoming frozen, the ice was very bad but I arrived at the ship in about 40 minutes. I came at once down into the cabin to change but it was some time before this could be done as my pantaloons were frozen to my boots and my coat was frozen to both my waistcoat and pantaloons. I cannot think how I got to the ship so well, when I reached her my legs were so stiff I could not get to the deck by the ladder but had a rope placed round under my arms and got hoisted to the deck. We have not done badly, the Captain tells me the men have brought 95 seals on board this will make, with what we have taken before, 8 tons. I have been to bed and got myself warm and have just turned out to see if the ship is moving yet. 12 Midnight. I have been on deck, it is a beautiful night, you could see just as far as if it were daylight. Looking to the west you would think the pack of ice is on fire it's so red, I never saw nature to such advantage before at night, there is not a breath of wind up yet, the ship is well frozen into the ice.

April 11th.
I rose this morning at 5 a.m. the better for if anything for my escape of yesterday which I never shall forget. It's a very fine clear morning and a seal may be seen now and then pointing his nose just above a hole in the ice to see what we are like. A little wind up this morning, we hope to have more soon (SW) just the right direction for us. 8 a.m. More wind up and our ship is moving on now at a very slow rate though for the ice is very heavy. We can see a great many seals from our crows nest ahead of us but a great many ships are coming after them, the little 'Fox' is behind us although she has her steam up she cannot get though the ice like our ship. Our men have killed four seals this morning by the side of the ship. 11 a.m. We are still moving but it's very, very slow, it will take some time yet before we can reach the lot we see from the crows nest. 4 p.m. The wind has left us again and we are frozen in. This is very provoking, we expect by the time we reach the field the harvest will be done. 5 p.m. Our crew are all gone out on the ice to look for seals but I fear it's little use, there are 11 ships behind us, all like ourselves, frozen in. The thermometer stands at 27 below zero. We have had a heavy snow storm since dinner, the sky looks very dark. 6 p.m. With the aid of the telescope we can see all our men, most of them are sitting down of the ice, and there are only two of them that have killed any seals. This will make only seven that have been killed to-day. 10 p.m. We are still stuck fast in the ice, no wind to send us on. It's quite light and I am able to write in the cabin without the aid of the lamp. We can see 21 ships from the mast head, all stuck fast like ourselves. It's a very calm night, not a sound to be heard on the deck.

April 12th.
This morning the watch call us all at 4 o'clock to breakfast. The wind has risen a little and the men have broken up the ice. The ship is once more in motion and the seals are about 4 miles ahead of us but the ice is very heavy; the thermometer this morning stands at 23 below zero The ships are all trying hard to get along. 4 p.m. The wind left us at about 7 a.m. only having driven us about five miles. The ice is so thick that unless we get a very heavy gale we shall not get out of the pack. Finding the wind would take us no further, 44 of our men and myself taking the lead, with a compass in case of snow storms coming on, set out on foot to make for the seal field, we found it much further than we expected, it being quite six miles off. Each man brought home 2 skins and I brought a seal's head which I hope to be able to show some day to my friends, it will be a relic from Greenland. We did not reach the ship until 5 p.m. I think we are all well done up, walking over so many miles of ice makes one very tired. The little 'SS Fox' has tried hard to get up as far as our ship but the ice is so thick she cannot. It has been a very fine day, we have had only one snow storm, to get lost in a snow storm on the ice is a most serious thing, it's ten chances to one if you do not take the wrong direction for your ship if you have not a compass, then night comes on and you get tired, sit down and are very soon frozen to death. We found gone to the pack about 300 men from ships that have come not only from England, but Norway and Holland, there were thousands of seals (on the pack of ice) and if we had only had the chance of getting our ship to them we might have had a cargo worth 2,000 on board by this time, but we still hope to get up during the night, if not we shall send up tomorrow a flag and the men, the former to mark the spot where our skins must be put in the ice, and the latter to catch, kill and skin the seals. 10 p.m. Still fast in the ice, some of our men went out on the pack this evening and got chased by two bears, the men turned round and made for the ship with all speed, as soon as the bears saw the men reach the ship they changed their course. It was fortunate the men were near the ship for they had nothing to defend themselves with and had the bears overtaken them they would not have been long polishing them off. This evening I can see to read without the lamp (quarter 11), we shall in about twenty days more have it light all night. We have had many a fine night since we fell in with the ice but have never seen the moon.

April 13th.
This morning we all rose and had breakfast at 4 a.m. and at 5 a.m. our crew left the ship to walk over the ice to reach the seals. At 10 a.m., with the aid of a little gun-powder, we blasted away the ice so that the ship might be able to make a start. At 11 a.m. off she went and with the aid of a strong SE wind and her in beam and she soon cut up the ice although it was quite four feet thick. We being short of hands, the Captain and myself had to lend a hand, the former standing at the end of the ship to pick out the best ice for our ship to cut up and I taking the helm. We saw the two bears I spoke of yesterday and I fired at the nearest one but it was too far off for the ball to reach. At 1 p.m. we got up to our men. They had a flag up at the station they had made for the skins and had 750 ready for us (skins) to take on board. I never saw bees thicker than the seals and where we are at present (3 p.m.) there are no less than 25 ships loading with seal skins; the seals run along in thousands for about four miles. 11 p.m. Our men have killed since dinner and have put on board 1527 seals skins, the ice is now a mass of blood. I should say that there have been at least 30,000 killed to-day. We have now 30 tons of oil on board which is worth about 1,000.

April 14th.
We all rose this morning at 4 o'clock, had breakfast and then off to the seals. By 8 a.m. we had 500 on board. At 8 a.m. had another breakfast after which we put up two or three sails and took our ship further north. Here we took on board 400 more. 1 p.m. The seals are getting done here in consequence of the number of ships , within half a mile of our ship there are no less than 35 and all the ships crews put together have been killing seals at the rate of 80000 per day for the last three days within a space of three miles of ice. 3 p.m. The wind has risen very much, it's blowing quite a gale. The ice is fast breaking up and the only chance we have is to run out a little so many ships are about us that it's not safe to remain any longer. 6 p.m. We have had a sail for two and a half hours, there are a number of seals about us but the ice is so broken and the ship will not stay still a moment that it makes it quite dangerous for the men to get after them. 7 p.m. I have just seen another very large bear, I have also seen some of the seals he has killed, it seems that they only just bite off the heads of the seals and away they go again. This young gent seems in great trouble for it's most likely he will be drowned before he can reach the land he has come from. 8 p.m. Our men have with great trouble got on board 200 seals, the wind is still very high and it looks very much as if it would be a bad night.

April 15th.
It has been a fearful night, one of the ships we left yesterday has been made a total wreck (a Dutchman). All the crew are saved having got on board a Peterhead ship that was near at the time. 11 a.m. I have been called over to see a man on board a Hull ship as they have no surgeon on board. The poor fellow had fallen through a piece of ice and whilst he was trying to save himself a gust of wind came and sent another piece of ice against him, this about cut the poor fellow in half, however some men ran over to give him assistance. They got him up and then the captain of the ship sent over for me, our ship being about twenty yards off. I at once went on board but found on my arrival the poor fellow was dead. 8 p.m. The wind is gone down and we hope tomorrow to get some more seals. We have picked up 100 to-day whilst the ship has been sailing. Just now we found lying on the ice some ship's anchor which has been left behind. The ice is fast breaking up and the young seals are taking to the water, this they do when about 10 days old, however, I still hope we may get a thousand or two. We have had a little rain to-day for the first time since we left Peterhead. The thermometer stands at 30? we are in Long 1 24' W and Lat 71 30'. 10 p.m. We are now in a piece of water bounded on each side by ice and we remain here all night becalmed with 42 ships in sight.

April 16th.
6 a.m. A little wind has got up and we are making our way through the ice in the NE direction where we hope soon to find a few more seals. 8 a.m. I have just sent a letter home by the 'Polar Star' [Captain Sellar] 10 a.m. We have met a wrecked Dutchman with her masts cut down, we have been on board but there is not a man on board. We have taken from her a first rate telescope 5 feet long, 200 eggs, a life buoy, six brace of fine grouse, etc. 1 p.m. A ship spoke to us wanting to know if we had a surgeon on board, they having a man very ill. I at once went on board and found a sailor in a dying state. 3 p.m. We are now in a very heavy pack of ice but the wind is high and we are sailing through it at the rate of 8 miles per hour. We have taken on board to-day 137 seals. It's not so cold to-day, 30, the ice is fast breaking up, some little birds quite white about the size of a sparrow pitched on our rigging just now. 9 p.m. It has become very cold, the thermometer is 35 below zero, we are quite fast with heavy walls of ice around us.

April 17th.
Still fast in the ice but it's not so cold by 10 We have about 24 ships round us, our crew have been out on the ice to look for seals but have only found 40, so now they will all go to work at the skins we have on board, cut off the fat from them and then put the fat into the tanks and salt the skins and lay them over the tanks. 2 p.m. We have just shot a shark and got him up on the ice it's length is 9 ft. 5 ins. and the thickest part of its body is 3 ft round. We opened it and found a large seal inside. The day has been very fine but very cold, the ship is still fast.

April 18th.
We are still fast and the men are still all busy taking the fat off the skins. They rise at four every morning and work on until 8 p.m. They get a breakfast at 20 to 4 a.m., another at 8 a.m., dinner at 12, tea at 4 p.m. and another at 8 p.m. We have it quite light all night now, you may see to read at any hour without the aid of a candle, if you go on deck at about 12 at night you will see a grand sight, the horizon has a wide piece of very light red sky all round. I never saw anything so beautiful before.

April 19th.
We are still frozen in, it's not so cold and a SE wind has risen so that we hope soon to make a start. The thermometer is only 15 below zero. 8 p.m. I thought this evening I would go over on the ice to a large Russian ship close by us, so after tea away I went. The Captain and Surgeon received me very kindly, they were both Russians but could speak a little English. The Captain first of all showed me round the ship and then we went down into the cabin and had a glass of very fine port wine and some 1st class cigars, it was with some difficulty that they would let me leave but I having two or three men unwell on board my ship I was obliged to leave them. The ship is one of the finest I ever saw of 2000 tons, and a crew of 85 men, the men all had very round faces and they all looked glad to see a stranger come on their deck. When I came up from the cabin I found a very heavy snow storm was going on so that I could see my ship, I therefore thought it would be better to remain on board the Russian a little longer than to lose sight of both ships and lastly find myself lost, however in ten minutes the storm had ceased and I saw my road over the ice well. In a few minutes more I had got my corpus all safe on board my ship. 10 p.m. Our ship has just made her first start since last Monday. [16th]

April 20th.
Our ship went on very well until about 2 a.m. when she made a stop again in the ice, however we can see the sea now and a little gun-powder we hope will soon send us on again, we want to get out into the sea now, all the young seals have left the ice and now they all make for the sea over the ice until they reach the edge of it. When the sun comes out they lay and sleep on the edge of the ice, when the sun leaves they take to the ice so that we hope to have a chance of catching a few on the ice. We have blasted away a good deal of ice but not enough to get our ship clear, we shall therefore have to wait a little longer. 8 p.m. I have just been watching a bear with the telescope, ten Dutchmen have been going off after him with guns and a dog, when they came close to it the bear turned round and had a look at the men, the latter at once made their escape with all haste, it was fine fun for about half an hour watching those fellows. 10 p.m. We are still fast, it's not very cold but the ice is very heavy. We saw the sun set this evening at 9, thermometer is 10? below zero, our Lat is 72 35' N Long 3? 15' E.

April 21st.
We are still fast, it's a beautiful day, quite warm in the sun. 7 p.m. We have killed eleven sharks this morning and have landed them on the ice. We cut these open and take on board their livers which make very good oil for common use. It's quite warm, thermometer 37, no wind.

April 22nd.
We are still fast, if we could get a little wind we would soon get out of the ice, we can see the sea from our mast-head. It's warmer to-day than yesterday, thermometer 45. All the crew have a day's rest to-day it being Sunday, this is the first holiday they have had since we have been at sea. 9 p.m. We have now a little wind which has started our ship.

April 23rd.
Our ship has been going slowly all night. 11 a.m. We are now out of the pack and once more on the open sea, we are making ten miles per hour, our course will be for the present, along the edge of the ice. 2 p.m. I have just sent a letter home. 10 p.m. We have spoken to ten ships this afternoon, all from Peterhead and all of them left six weeks before us, they have not a seal on board one of them, so much for luck. 9.p.m. The wind is very high NE, it's very cold (20 below zero); we have put our ship into the ice for the night in consequence of the gale.

April 24th.
We are still in our little ice harbour, although the sea is very rough we do not feel the least motion. A ship (the 'Fairy' [Capt.D. Carnegie] of Peterhead) was lost last night about ten miles south of us in the gale, all the crew were saved and taken on board a steamer which will leave for Aberdeen directly the gale goes down. [Some of the shipwrecked men were taken aboard the 'Kate' of Peterhead (Capt. J. Scott) and three of them, James Fraser, Thomas Fraser and Abram Fraser, were later transferred to the 'Windward' for the journey back to their Shetland home.] 6 p.m. Our men have just finished taking the fat off all the seal skins, we find we have killed 5017 young seals and twenty old ones which will make our cargo worth about 3,500

April 25th.
We had a very heavy gale last night, but thank God we were in our little ice harbour. We have been sailing about all day but have seen nothing. We saw a beautiful sunset this evening at 10 p.m.

April 26th.
We are going direct north to see if we can get a few old seals. I saw this morning when on deck a huge whale quite 50ft long, one of the largest kind, too strong for a ship to master. The wind is risen again and there is every chance of another gale therefore we take to the ice again it being our only shelter out here.

April 27th.
We had a very heavy gale last night, it carried away one of our top masts but this morning it has left us, consequently we are out of the ice and once more going north. Our Lat to-day at 12 o'clock 73 15' N. It has been a very fine day.

April 28th.
This morning at 3 o'clock we made a pack of ice and by 4 o'clock we saw a large body of seals to our north. At 6 a.m. we sent our men off with guns to shoot them but directly the seals heard the reports of the guns they made off to their ice holes and although there were thousands lying on the ice before the guns went to work our men only killed eleven of them all the rest ran off from us. 10 a.m. We are in sight of both seals and ships, thousands of the former and twenty of the latter. It will not be long we hope before we reach the former. 11.30 a.m. We are once more amongst the seals but they have served us just like those in the early part of the morning did, we have only killed 15. 2 p.m. we are just sailing about on the look out. Our Lat is 74 30' N.

April 29th.
We have seen no more seals but we have spoken to several ships. It has been very thick all day and a very fine rain falling.

April 30th.
The thick mist still hangs over us. 5 p.m. This evening we have sent off six boats to look out for seals, at 7 p.m. they came back with only four.

May 1st.
To-day has brought on us a most fearful storm, it commenced about 10 a.m. and is getting worse. 9 p.m. The water and ice is coming down into the cabin, the sky-light is getting smashed to pieces by the breaking of the waves over the deck.

May 2nd.
The storm left us at 4 a.m., the Capt. says it was the worst he has ever been out in, he never saw the waves so high before. Islands of ice are to be seen in every direction, but the packs are all broken up. Our Long is 1 22' E and Lat 75 29' N. We have lost all sight of the seals owing to the storm. It has been a beautiful day.

May 3rd.
This morning at 1 o'clock we shot three seals. At 12 noon we saw a large patch of seals, the ice was so broken up the men could not walk on it, so six of the boats were sent off and at 5 p.m. they came back with 50 seals, the weather having set in thick it was not safe for the boats leaving the ship again. 8 p.m. A strong NE wind began to blow and the sea got rough but we having taken shelter in the pack Neptune could not very well shake us.

May 4th.
The sea and wind are still high we therefore stick to our shelter. 5 p.m. The weather has much improved during the last hour, we therefore set sail and steer SW, this being the course we saw the seals taking last night. 9 p.m. We spoke a ship which showed signs of Neptune having been on board at some time or other of late. We found that she had two boats taken off her deck by Neptune on the 1st of May and all the crew quite expected that their ship must have become a total wreck, we had also the sad news from this ship that three ships were lost in this fearful storm, but it's to be hoped that the lives were all saved, but the latter is not yet known.

May 5th.
It has been a very calm night and the day promises to be fine. No seals in sight but a few ships. Our course is SW. At 3 p.m. a boat came over from the ship 'Queen' of Peterhead for me to see one of her men. I at once went over and after spending an hour or so with the Captain [John Gray Jnr] I left for my own ship again. 10 p.m. Another day gone without catching or seeing any seals. It's a fine calm night and our course is NE now.

May 6th.
No seals to be seen and only two ships. The weather is very fine and Jack Frost has taken his seat on Neptune's back again to mend up the land which the latter smashed upon on May 1st. Our Lat is 73 50' N and Long 1 E, our course since 12 at noon has been SW.

May 7th.
Our course is E, we had a heavy snow storm this morning at 2 o'clock.

May 8th.
No seals yet, a heavy sea with a few small patches of ice, wind NE, thermometer 11 below zero.

May 9th.
Today at 11 a.m. sent off six boats with six men in each to try and kill a few seals that had been seen from the crows-nest, the boats came back at 5 p.m. with 51 so that we have added a few more to our number to-day. The sea is not so heavy to-day as yesterday.

May 10th.
This morning we spoke a brig, the 'Haabet' of Jongsberg, the Captain of her sent a boat for me to come on board and see a man he had very ill. I went on board, saw the case and left medicines for which the Captain was very thankful. We have not killed any seals to-day, the weather is mild but has been thick to-day in consequence of snow storms. I saw a fine sunset last night at 11.

May 11th.
We became becalmed this morning soon after four o'clock in Lat 74 11' N and Long 4 57' W by the edge of a pack of quite new ice.

May 12th and 13th.
Still becalmed.

May 14th.
This morning at 3 a little wind rose from the NE, we at once set sail leaving the sealing ground and going north to catch whales. We did not get the sun to-day until mid-night when we found our lat to be 75 20' N.

May 15th.
Rather a heavy sea but a beautiful day, the men are all busy washing the ship there being no frost to-day. Our lat is 76 32' N or about 150 miles west of Point Lookout, the most southern point in Spitzbergen. We cannot see the land, the birds have been flocking round our ship all day, we have also seen a great many wild ducks, the birds seem quite glad to see us.

May 16th.
The winter seems to have left us, as well as the ice which latter we have not yet made since we left it on the 13th. We are about 90 miles of the coast of Spitzbergen in the lat of 77 38' N and long 4 34' E, this part of the world has never been known to be free of ice before in the present month, the crew are all busy getting the boats ready for the whales, arming them with lines, harpoons, guns, for the latter etc. so that when we see a whale we shall be ready to have a battle with it. It has been a beautiful calm mild day with very little wind.

May 17th.
We have not gone far to-day owing to our having no wind. The sea is like a pond. Our lat is 78 16' N. At 3 p.m. we saw the ice from the crow's nest.

boat, gun and harpoon

A is a rough sketch of a harpoon boat with its gun.
B, the gun itself which is about five ft. long and takes a quarter oz of gun-powder to fire it off, it's fired with a cap and the trigger is pulled by means of a string placed under the barrel, the barrel is 4 ins. round.
C shows the shape of the harpoon which is fired from the gun, to prevent the loss of the harpoon in the whale a very strong rope is fastened on to the end of it, the length of the said rope is about 50 ft.

We have had it very mild all day and have had the cabin sky-light open the greater part of the day. We have a number of wild ducks after us all day to-day again and have caught some by means of a hook and line being hung over the stern of the ship.

May 18th.
This morning at four we saw the most northerly point of "Prince Charles Foreland Island" which lies a bout 10 miles west of Spitzbergen. This is the first land we have seen since March 30th, we had proposed when leaving Shetland to make direct for Jan Mayen but having fallen in with the seals beforehand we changed our course. I should say the point we saw must have been at the very least a mile above the sea. We have had very little wind during the last 24 hours, in the early part of the morning we had some heavy snow storms but towards 11 o'clock it cleared up and at 12 we found our lat to be 79 N and long 2 39' E. We have found plenty of ice now, it's very different from any I have yet seen such as no ship can break up, some of the pieces stand up 20 or 30 ft. At 7 p.m. we had a very heavy snow storm which lasted about three hours, after it had cleared we found no less than nine ships in sight. (All whalers). It is very much colder, thermometer 24 below zero.

May 19th.
This morning it came in very thick with snow and the wind began to blow a gale, with a heavy sea and twenty-one ships about us, we are close to the edge of the ice.

May 20th.
At 4 p.m. it cleared and we then found a stream of water to let the ship pass into the pack of ice, we very soon got into still water and after sailing about five miles through the pack we came to a large lake shut in on all sides by ice. In the lake we have seen several small whales. We have had a very fine day but very cold, 20 below zero. Our lat is 79 47' N. I doubt from the character of the ice if we can get any further north.

May 21st.
Finding we could get no further than the lake I mentioned yesterday we started at 2 a.m. to sail a little NW to see if we could find better ice. Our lat is 78 45' N and long 2 22' W. At 3 p.m. I was busy reading in my cabin when I heard a great noise on the deck, I ran up and saw a whale close by the ship, two of our boats went off after it but did not get it. We have had 11 sail in sight all day and have seen two large ice-bergs about twice the height of our mast (120 ft). It has not been so cold today by 16.

May 22nd.
It has been a beautiful day, the sun shine has never left us one half hour since the 20th. Our course has been all day, about the edge of a very large pack of ice, SW. Lat 77 50' N and Long 4 20' W. We have had 15 sail in sight all day.

May 23rd.
Spoke a Peterhead ship this morning at 10. Weather fine and mild. Lat 76 N.

May 24th.
The wind is rising, we expect a gale NE, the sun has gone behind a cloud for the first time after having shone for more than 60 hours. Lat 75 40' N Long 5 W.

May 25th.
We have taken shelter in an ice bay.

May 26th.
Still in the bay but the wind is leaving and the sea not so high.

May 27th.
We ran out to sea this morning at 3. We have not had the sun to-day, our course in NE. Spoke a ship at 2 a.m.

May 28th.
A fine calm day, too calm for us, our ship not making more than 2 miles per hour. We find by our lat to-day (75 30' N) that we were drifted by the ice (during the short time we lay in the ice bay for shelter from the gale) about 112 miles S. Two ships in sight and four ice-bergs.

May 29th.
Becalmed in Lat 76 20' N, a great many seals about the ship and three sail in sight.

May 30th.
Still becalmed, thermometer 34. We sent a boat out at 1 p.m. to a piece of ice to catch some seals lying on it, at 2 p.m. the boat came back with three.

May 31st.
A NW wind rose at 3 a.m. and sent us on again. At noon our Lat was 77 10' N. we passed many large pieces of ice with the prints of bears feet. At 3 p.m. we spoke a Peterhead ship, she had caught a whale on the 29th, 10 ft. long and 20 tons weight.

June 1st.
A heavy sea without wind. At 3 p.m. we spoke a Peterhead ship ['Dublin', Capt. Mackie] and the Captain and myself went on board to take tea etc. and here I found a brother student from Glasgow, we were much pleased at seeing one another. After having spent a pleasant evening we left at about 1 a.m.

June 2nd.
Not so much sun to-day, not having the sun to-day or yesterday we have not been able to make an observation but we expect our lat is about 78 30'.

June 3rd.
Rather more wind to-day, NE, no sun. At 2 p.m. got into a whale bank but saw no whales. The water over a whale bank is quite green or I should say rather looks quite green, here the fish [whales] come to feed, I find from an experiment which I made just now that the sea over this bank is full of animalcule. At 5 p.m. a ship not more than half a mile from us hoisted her Jack (when a ship hoists her Jack out here it's a sign of her being fast to a fish [whale]) and very soon we saw six boats towing a large whale along.

June 4th.
A heavy gale.

June 5th.
A very thick sort of morning but mild, 32 F., it cleared about noon and the sun came out. Lat 78 50' N, Long 2 40' E. One ship in sight.

June 6th.
A very fine warm day, 35 F., we have large pieces of ice all round us, but see no whales, only a few seals around us. Lat 79 N Long 0 42' W. One ship in sight.

June 7th.
Almost becalmed, the ice is like a lake, plenty of wild ducks etc. and now in them Master Bear shows himself but will not come within shot of us. Thermometer 38 quite hot. 2 p.m. we took the pack of ice on our NW side and after sailing for three hours with great care and two sharp men at the helm we came into a large lake bound of course on all sides by ice, the lake I should say at the very least would be 5 miles in circumference, here we sailed about all night in the company of another Peterhead ship, 'Dublin', the same ship I took tea on board the other day, and where I found a fellow student.

June 8th.
Lat 78 35' N long 2 W. Today we left the lake and again taking the pack of ice, after working the ship with great care all morning we came to another lake but not quite so large as the one we left, here we sailed about all day still in company with the 'Dublin'. At 4 p.m. the skipper and self went on board the 'Dublin' to spend the evening, after having spent a very pleasant evening we left at 1 a.m.

June 9th.
To-day has been very thick with snow storms. A great many beautiful birds flying about the ship all day, they are about the size of pigeons, quite white with black legs. Lat and long the same as yesterday. Owing to the thickness of the weather we have made our ship fast to a large piece of ice.

June 10th.
We hope to leave our lake to-day, but it's not yet clear enough to find a road out. 10 a.m. We let go our fast ropes and sailed NE. Lat 78 29' long 2 45' W. At 7 p.m. we again made our ship fast to a large piece of ice (many miles in circumference). Still in company with the 'Dublin.' We have plenty of water round our ship and every now and then we see a body of unicorns [narwhals] rise in the water.

June 11th.
A beautiful day, we are still fast but the ice drives us fast SE. We had two boats out the greater part of the morning to try and harpoon a unicorn, but were unsuccessful; it's strange but I am told the unicorn is rarely caught. Lat 78 14' Long 1 10' W.

June 12th
At 9 a.m. we set sail making a NE course through the ice with a good breeze. Lat 78 9' at noon. At 5 p.m. we are again made fast to the ice. After tea I thought I would just put a gun on my shoulder and a few balls in my pocket and take a walk on the ice, I had not left the ship long before some of the crew began to call to me !!! Doctor, back, back, a bear, a bear, run, run !!! I looked back and saw a monster bear coming after me. I thought for a moment what I had better do, if I made for the ship Master Bear would be sure to catch me so I took a steady look round me and seeing a piece of ice standing on its end I got behind it, by this time the bear had come within shot of me, I took a steady aim under the shoulder, fired but instead of the ball striking the breast it hit the shoulder bone, however it brought my fine fellow to the ground making a frightful roar. I at once loaded again and taking a steady aim at his head, fired and finished him; by this time some of the ship's crew had come up well armed with guns and lances etc., the men set to work and dragged the beast to the ship. The bear's head I hope to take home with me.

June 13th.
At 2 a.m. sent off two boats to try and harpoon a unicorn, after lying about until 6 a.m. one boat fired and made fast in one about twenty feet long, the whole body weighing about a ton, we took about thirty gallons of oil off it. The unicorns appear to cast their horns about this time of the year for the one we caught had the mark of where the horn had once been and another just showing itself. Lat 78 24'. At 3 p.m. we again set sail making now for the open sea and by 5 p. m. we got clear of the ice making our course S.

June 14th.
At 4 a.m. we again came to ice and after sailing through it for about a mile we came to a large lake. 3 ships in sight. Here we sailed about all day and at 1 p.m. we again fell in with the "Dublin". Lat 76 57' N.

June 15th
Still sailing about in the lake. At about noon the man on the lookout in the crow's nest cried out !!! A fish !!! three boats were at once let down and were ready to fire, when the fish again showed itself we found it the "King of the Sea" the "Fin Whale" it was well it was so soon found out for had it touched the boats with its tail it would have broken them in a thousand pieces.

Fin Whale

A is a rough sketch of how the whale looked off the ship.

 

 

 

 

 

June 16th.
We worked our way a little more into the ice. Lat 77 10'. Towards the afternoon it set in a thick fog with snow storms.

June 17th.
It cleared this morning about 4 a.m., we then made the ship fast to the ice, in company with the "Dublin". Lat 76 57'. 8 p.m., it has been snowing the greater part of the afternoon. 9 p.m., we saw another large Fin Whale. 10 p.m. very thick and cold, sharp frost, thermometer 15 below zero.

June 18th
It cleared this morning at 5, we then set sail. Lat 77. 1 p.m., it has come in thick again, wind SE. 3 p.m., we picked up a fir tree, 28 ft long, very thick. A sharp frost.

June19th.
Lat 76 40', long 6 20' W. Very thick all day and a sharp frost until 9 p.m. when it became quite clear and we became becalmed, at about 10 p.m. we ran out of the lake. At 11 p.m. I was busy in the cabin reading a book when I heard a great rush on the deck, I went up and soon saw what was up, a very fine bear in the water, our boats were after him, but too late, Master Bear got upon the ice and ran with all his might and soon got out of sight. A great many unicorns or narwhales are playing about. We have been fast to a piece of ice all day. Still in company with the "Dublin".

June 20th.
1 p.m. we caught a fine unicorn or narwhale, 12 ft long, 4 ft round the body, about one ton and a half in weight. It had a very fine horn, 5 ft in length. We took 45 gallons of oil off it. At 10 a.m. we let go our ice ropes and made the best road we could through the ice to the sea, which latter we reached at 5 p.m. It has been very hot all day, 48 F with a very mild north wind. We shot two seals this evening on a piece of ice, there are a great many about the ship but they are too quick for the gun. The sun shine has not left us during the last 26 hours.

June 21st.
Lat 76 58' long 4 20' W. At 1 p.m. it became very thick, the wind having gone round to the south.

June 22nd.
At sea, becalmed. Lat 75.

June 23rd.
Becalmed, a very thick fog and a sharp frost.. Thermometer stands at 12 below zero.

June 24th.
Becalmed, thick fog, not so cold as yesterday by 10.

June 25th.
It cleared this morning about 3 o'clock, at 5 a.m. we came into a pack of ice and shot thirty-one very fine seals. We found our lat at noon to be 73 30' and long 10 12' W. Two Dutch ships in sight, our course is NW. At 3 p.m. it set in very thick with a sharp frost, thermometer 19 below zero.

June 26th.
At 5 a.m. the fog left us. Lat 74 20' N, long 12 W. 10 p.m. the fog has returned and one cannot see the length of the ship. Sharp frost and snow storms, thermometer 21 below zero.

June 27th.
It cleared early this morning. Three ships in sight, lat 73 50', long 13 10' W. We are about 120 miles off "Foster's Bay". 10 p.m., a great many large whales about the ship.

June 28th.
It came on to a very thick fog this morning early and we bacame frozen in, thermometer 30 below zero. The men have been busy all day loading the tanks with fresh water taken off an ice-berg.

June 29th.
This after noon we got our ship under weigh, the frost and fog having left us.

June 30th.
Making our way out of the ice, lat 72 35' N. Thermometer 20 below zero.

July 1st.
Thick fog. At 4 p.m. left the ice and got into open sea.

July 2nd.
Becalmed at lat 69 N long 0 52' W.

July 3rd.
Wind NW with very heavy sea, lat 67 30' N. Thermometer 35.

July 4th.
Arctic Circle. Thermometer 35.

July 5th.
A very fine warm day with a N wind. Thermometer 42. Lat 64 N. We have seen agreat many whales about to-day. At 10 p.m. we had the pleasure of seeing the first sun set since we left home last March.

July 6th.
Lat 62 40' N, long 3 30' E. We have had a sight to-day of the coast of Norway. Little wind but a fine day. Thermometer 59. At 1 p.m. we picked up a large square block of timber "American Fir" 45 ft long and 2 ft thick, worth about 10. 7 p.m. we have let some fish lines over the stern.

July 7th.
We caught during the night three mackerel. More wind to-day, a thick rain, the first we have had since last March (quite a treat). Lat 61 28' N. Thermometer 64.

July 8th.
Lat 60 5' N. long 0 35' E. At 2 p.m. we came in sight of Shetland; we lay off the island all night.

July 9th.
Early this morning a fleet of Dutch Galley-yachts passed by us, 120 in all, these little ships come to Shetland every year in the month of June and remain until the end of August for the purpose of catching cod.
Several boats have come off to us during the day, the first that came brought all the news, I will here give it as I received it !!! No War !!! A great gale off the south coast of England in May, a great many wrecks, this is all the news.
Five Dutchmen came off to us in a little boat with a basket of mackerel, we gave them some beef for 3 doz., these men could speak best little English but they gave us to understand that they would rather have gin instead of beef, they wore wooden shoes, no trousers but long frocks. This afternoon we landed twenty of our crew, the boats brought back some new butter, milk, newspapers etc., from the latter we find there has been but little doing since we left home. The evening has turned out wet with a thick fog, no wind. We have caught twenty mackerel and two very fine cod since tea. The island is looking beautiful, quite green.

July 10th.
Thick fog. We have not seen the land since last night but have passed a great many boats busy fishing cod. We spoke one of them at 1 p.m., we found that we were 20 miles SE of Fair Isle. 10 p.m. We have passed 54 Dutch galleys, and 14 Shetland boats all fishing cod. A very heavy gale of wind NE.

July 11th.
The gale did not last long, it began to abate at 2 a.m. and by 8 a.m. we were becalmed about 10 miles off the Moray Firth (Scotland).

July 12th.
At 2 p.m. a breeze came from the south, in consequence of the wind being in this direction we had to sail along the coast which gave me a capital opportunity of viewing the NE coast of Scotland. We sailed about half a mile off the coast and passed a great many little villages, the chief of which were Lossiemouth, Garmouth, Cullen, Spey, Portsoy, Aberdour, Fraserburgh etc. Here we could get no further in consequence of the wind so we now just lay off the land until we get a change of wind. We have seen lots of hay-making going on this afternoon and have seen 32 sailing ships, one steamer off "Banff" and about 8 p.m. we passed a fleet of herring boats (about 120).

 

The "Windward"

A letter has been received by the owners here from Messrs Hay and Co., Lerwick, in which it is stated that the "Windward" landed her Shetland men this (Monday) afternoon ; she has 60 tons of oil, and reports no farther success to any of the Peterhead vessels.
Peterhead Sentinel, 13th July, 1860.

The Greenland Fisheries. - The "Windward" whose report we published last week as received from Lerwick, arrived here on Friday. She has about 5000 seals, and on this, her first voyage, has shown that she is a capital vessel, none the worse for the interruption she met with while leaving our harbour. In every respect she has given full satisfaction to her experienced commander.
Peterhead Sentinel, 20th July, 1860.

 

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