captain's absence, and he said we should not hear the captain give a single order while the pilotremained on board. Towards noon we were out of the Thames, and at night dropped anchor inMargate Roads where we lay till daybreak next morning, the clanking of the windlass and the sweetvoices of the sailors again indicated preparations being made to resume our journey, and at eighto'clock A.M. We were gliding along before a steady breeze.The steward brought us a list of our rations, which showed our allowance of porter was a quart per diem for each man, and two bottles of grog per week for the six of us. Dover soon appeared insight, and the day being rather cloudy we could not see the coast of France, which we all had adesire to do. As we passed Dover and got into the English Channel, the pilot shouted from the poop,“Get your letters ready.” Being anxious to send another letter home, all of us that could write werehard at work till he was ready to leave us. As we one by one handed him our letters, his two menhad his boat already alongside, and, wishing us a hearty good-bye, he stepped down a rope ladder into his boat, and on us giving him three cheers, he left us in charge of our captain and crew.Brighton was then in sight, but in less than an hour we lost sight of land entirely. By this time wefound out the real nature of our diet, and our Cockney companion (William Baulsam), whoappeared to have never had any hardships to encounter, exclaimed in a very serious manner, “I can'ttackle that there junk” (salt beef). My Durham mate (George Noble) said, “When thoo com here didthoo expect thoo wis comin tiy a London eating hoose?” “If I did, I'm suck'd in,” was the reply.As we left the land of our birth behind us, we ceased to see ships, and our vessel soon began toship seas, which made us remember the old adage, “It is not all plain sailing;” and we were told thatwe were in the Bay of Biscay, I could not conceive how they knew, as I saw nothing to indicate a bay at all, only a mountainous sea before us and an angry threatening sky above us. I thought if wewere then in a bay, I did not care much about bays. On the 21
of the month a French vessel hovedin sight, and the weather being a deal more favourable, our chief mate with four of his men lowereda boat and told us if we had letters ready he would try to get them sent home for us. We each sent anote with him only to be brought back and given to us, as the Frenchman would not take them. The25
brought the islands Porto Santo and Madeira in sight, and at either we could have comfortablyspent a few days had we been permitted to do so. On passing the Canary Islands we began to behighly interested in seeing large numbers of porpoises, dolphins, bonetas, and flying fish. The lastseemed to be pursued by the dolphin and boneta, and would rise up in shoals like a flock of sparrows from a stackyard. On hearing the report of a gun, several of the fish flew on board our vessel, and were a dainty morsel to those who had the good fortune to pick them up. As we drewnear the Equator, we were several days without having a breath of wind, and only at intervals onother days, when we had squalls, accompanied with heavy rain and terrific thunder and lightning, sothat we had the disagreeable misfortune of being nearly three weeks in making a hundred milesadvance, which certainly made it a weary, tedious passage.On the 1
of April we crossed the equator, and had winds more favourable. On the 15
we passedthe Island of Trinidad, and were spoken with by a vessel called the Emerald, bound for Falmouth,which our captain told to report us well. On the forenoon of the 19
, while we were enjoying the pleasure of a fresh breeze, and imagining everything was in our favour, the captain came on to the poop and called out, “Take in all stud sails and furl the royals.” This order had scarcely been obeyedwhen foretopmast, maintopmast, mizentopmast, and flying jibboom were all carried away with atremendous crash. At that moment I thought destruction was to be our doom as I looked at the bulwark broken away by the fall of the huge heavy masts and the vessel nearly on her beam ends.This incident made me imagine I should never have any desire to be a sailor, as all the poor fellowswere harassed till sunset in clearing away; and our captain decided that we should go to a portcalled Rio de Janeiro to get our vessel repaired. We were then 1,400 miles from it, and from the ratewe were sailing at, minus our masts, we knew that it would be some time before we reached that place of refuge. On the 2
of May, while at our dinners, we heard the joyful shout of “Land ahead.”We all rushed to the forecastle, and what we were told was land seemed to be be a mere speck onthe water. As we got nearer it appeared larger, and at six o'clock, P.M., we were abreast Cape Frio.