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The Voyage of the "Surge" (2)
18th Sept.Tuesday - A beautiful morning. About five o'clock a violent storm of wind and rain came on and all was confusion on board. The ship went at ten miles per hour and when it abated there was a perfect calm and the wind turned against us and we went back all the rest of the day. A very hot day and idle swell.
19th Sept.Wednesday - In the morning we were still going back at about one mile per hour but a change of wind soon enabled the ship's head to be turned and we again went south at about two miles per hour. Caught a shark.
20th Sept.Thursday - Rather more wind and ship going all right at about four miles per hour. A very fine and hot day.
21, 22, 23 Sept.- Still becalmed and scarcely going above one mile per hour. Weather most beautiful and the heat intense. A good deal of rain fell in the night and we are in Lat. 7.24.
24th Sept. Monday - A fair morning, very warm. Just after breakfast we descried a homeward bounder, the "Ounder" and immediately proceeded to finish our letters.
25th Sept. Tuesday - Saw several ships, the "Derwent Water", London to Hobart Town.
26th Sept. Wednesday - Some wind against and plenty of rain.
27th Sept. Thursday - More rain and passengers getting wet. Two ships in view at a distance.
28th Sept. Friday - Washing on board. No wind or progress.
29th September, Saturday - More wind and slight advance. Sickness on board. A jollification between decks for Mrs Fielder's birthday. Fine.
30th Sept. Sunday - First mate still sick. Grumbling about mess. Squally all night. Lost jib during the night.
1st Oct. Monday - Squally with rain. Wind SSW. Cuddy meeting this morning called by the Captain to propose the abolition of the Gentlemen's Lunch or that otherwise the stores were likely to run short. Examination of steward's books to show that full rations were not drawn, they were therefore to be continued for another week as usual.
2nd Oct. Tuesday - Wind better. Squally and showery. Birds like gulls approaching the line. First of the Trades; getting along satisfactorily. One or two squalls during the day. Within 27 miles of the line - all well heading crossing the line.
4th Oct. Thursday - Heading on towards the line. Sun nearly vertical at noon. Some quizzing about Neptune shaving the new hands. In the evening the Sea God came on board, trident in hand looking rude and uncouth and had a talk with the skipper. Great uproar, cheering and excitement. Were ordered grog by the skipper. He promised to call the next day and get introduced to his new children. Captain made no objection but told that he should treat them kindly which was promised. And after drinking the grog, departed over the ship's side amidst the cheers and yells of the passengers.
5th Oct. Friday - All on the qui vive for the shaving. After Neptune and his wife had paraded the main deck, three of the crew, one cuddy, two intermediate and two of the steerage passengers were shaved. Some money was collected and netted a little with which some got drunk and pitched into each other; some bruises etc. Fine and favourable.
6th Oct. Saturday - all quiet. Sighted St Pauls on the evening of the 4th about 10 miles to the ESE. Fresh breeze.