• SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD (completed=10+3) (1/3)

    From Cap'n Josh Slocum@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jan 26 13:11:53 2019
    XPost: uk.rec.boats.motor, alt.sailing.tall-ships

    By Captain Joshua Slocum




    A blue-nose ancestry with Yankee proclivities - Youthful
    fondness for the sea - Master of the ship Northern Light -
    Loss of the Aquidneck - Return home from Brazil in the canoe
    Liberdade - The gift of a "ship" - The rebuilding of the
    Spray - Conundrums in regard to finance and calking - The
    launching of the Spray - Eight foolish counsellors


    Failure as a fisherman - A voyage around the world projected -
    From Boston to Gloucester - Fitting out for the ocean voyage -
    Half of a dory for a ship's boat - The run from Gloucester to
    Nova Scotia - A shaking up in home waters - Among old friends.


    Good-by to the American coast - Off Sable Island in a fog - In
    the open sea - The man in the moon takes an interest in the
    voyage - The first fit of loneliness - The Spray encounters La
    Vaguisa - A bottle of wine from the Spaniard - A bout of
    words with the captain of the Java - The steamship Olympia
    spoken - Arrival at the Azores.


    Squally weather in the Azores - High living - Delirious from
    cheese and plums - The pilot of the Pinta - At Gibraltar -
    Compliments exchanged with the British navy - A picnic on the
    Morocco shore.


    Sailing from Gibraltar with the assistance of her Majesty's
    tug - The Spray's course changed from the Suez Canal to Cape
    Horn - Chased by a Moorish pirate - A comparison with Columbus
    - The Canary Islands - The Cape Verde Islands - Sea life -
    Arrival at Pernambuco - A bill against the Brazilian
    government - Preparing for the stormy weather of the cape.



    A blue-nose ancestry with Yankee proclivities - Youthful
    fondness for the sea - Master of the ship Northern Light -
    Loss of the Aquidneck - Return home from Brazil in the canoe
    Liberdade - The gift of a "ship" - The rebuilding of the
    Spray -Conundrums in regard to finance and calking - The
    launching of the Spray.

    In the fair land of Nova Scotia, a maritime province, there is
    a ridge called North Mountain, overlooking the Bay of Fundy on
    one side and the fertile Annapolis valley on the other. On the
    northern slope of the range grows the hardy spruce-tree, well
    adapted for ship-timbers, of which many vessels of all classes
    have been built. The people of this coast, hardy, robust, and
    strong, are disposed to compete in the world's commerce, and
    it is nothing against the master mariner if the birthplace
    mentioned on his certificate be Nova Scotia. I was born in a
    cold spot, on coldest North Mountain, on a cold February 20,
    though I am a citizen of the United States - a naturalized
    Yankee, if it may be said that Nova Scotians are not Yankees
    in the truest sense of the word. On both sides my family were
    sailors; and if any Slocum should be found not seafaring, he
    will show at least an inclination to whittle models of boats
    and contemplate voyages.

    My father was the sort of man who, if wrecked on a desolate
    island, would find his way home, if he had a jack-knife and
    could find a tree. He was a good judge of a boat, but the old
    clay farm which some calamity made his was an anchor to him.
    He was not afraid of a capful of wind, and he never took a
    back seat at a camp-meeting or a good, old-fashioned revival.

    As for myself, the wonderful sea charmed me from the first. At
    the age of eight I had already been afloat along with other
    boys on the bay, with chances greatly in favor of being
    drowned. When a lad I filled the important post of cook on a
    fishing-schooner; but I was not long in the galley, for the
    crew mutinied at the appearance of my first duff, and "chucked
    me out" before I had a chance to shine as a culinary artist.
    The next step toward the goal of happiness found me before the
    mast in a full-rigged ship bound on a foreign voyage. Thus I
    came "over the bows," and not in through the cabin windows, to
    the command of a ship.

    My best command was that of the magnificent ship Northern
    Light , of which I was part-owner. I had a right to be proud
    of her, for at that time - in the eighties - she was the
    finest American sailing-vessel afloat. Afterward I owned and
    sailed the Aquidneck , a little bark which of all man's
    handiwork seemed to me the nearest to perfection of beauty,
    and which in speed, when the wind blew, asked no favors of
    steamers, I had been nearly twenty years a shipmaster when I
    quit her deck on the coast of Brazil, where she was wrecked.
    My home voyage to New York with my family was made in the
    canoe Liberdade , without accident.

    My voyages were all foreign. I sailed as freighter and trader
    principally to China, Australia, and Japan, and among the
    Spice Islands. Mine was not the sort of life to make one long
    to coil up one's ropes on land, the customs and ways of which
    I had finally almost forgotten. And so when times for
    freighters got bad, as at last they did, and I tried to quit
    the sea, what was there for an old sailor to do? I was born in
    the breezes, and I had studied the sea as perhaps few men have
    studied it, neglecting all else. Next in attractiveness, after
    seafaring, came ship-building. I longed to be master in both
    professions, and in a small way, in time, I accomplished my
    desire. From the decks of stout ships in the worst gales I had
    made calculations as to the size and sort of ship safest for
    all weather and all seas. Thus the voyage which I am now to
    narrate was a natural outcome not only of my love of
    adventure, but of my lifelong experience.

    One midwinter day of 1892, in Boston, where I had been cast up
    from old ocean, so to speak, a year or two before, I was
    cogitating whether I should apply for a command, and again eat
    my bread and butter on the sea, or go to work at the shipyard,
    when I met an old acquaintance, a whaling-captain, who said:
    "Come to Fairhaven and I'll give you a ship. But," he added,
    "she wants some repairs." The captain's terms, when fully
    explained, were more than satisfactory to me. They included
    all the assistance I would require to fit the craft for sea. I
    was only too glad to accept, for I had already found that I
    could not obtain work in the shipyard without first paying
    fifty dollars to a society, and as for a ship to command -
    there were not enough ships to go round. Nearly all our tall
    vessels had been cut down for coal-barges, and were being
    ignominiously towed by the nose from port to port, while many
    worthy captains addressed themselves to Sailors' Snug Harbor.

    The next day I landed at Fairhaven, opposite New Bedford, and
    found that my friend had something of a joke on me. For seven
    years the joke had been on him. The "ship" proved to be a very
    antiquated sloop called the Spray, which the neighbors
    declared had been built in the year 1. She was affectionately
    propped up in a field, some distance from salt water, and was
    covered with canvas. The people of Fairhaven, I hardly need
    say, are thrifty and observant. For seven years they had
    asked, "I wonder what Captain Eben Pierce is going to do with
    the old Spray?" The day I appeared there was a buzz at the
    gossip exchange: at last some one had come and was actually at
    work on the old Spray. "Breaking her up, I s'pose?" "No; going
    to rebuild her." Great was the amazement. "Will it pay?" was
    the question which for a year or more I answered by declaring
    that I would make it pay.

    My ax felled a stout oak-tree near by for a keel, and Farmer
    Howard, for a small sum of money, hauled in this and enough
    timbers for the frame of the new vessel. I rigged a steam-box
    and a pot for a boiler. The timbers for ribs, being straight
    saplings, were dressed and steamed till supple, and then bent
    over a log, where they were secured till set. Something
    tangible appeared every day to show for my labor, and the
    neighbors made the work sociable. It was a great day in the
    Spray shipyard when her new stem was set up and fastened to
    the new keel. Whaling-captains came from far to survey it.
    With one voice they pronounced it "A 1," and in their opinion
    "fit to splurge ice." The oldest captain shook my hand warmly
    when the breast-hooks were put in, declaring that he could see
    no reason why the Spray should not "cut in bow-head" yet off
    the coast of Greenland. The much-esteemed stem-piece was from
    the butt of the smartest kind of a pasture oak. It afterward
    split a coral patch in two at the Keeling Islands, and did not
    receive a blemish. Better timber for a ship than pasture white
    oak never grew. The breast-hooks, as well as all the ribs,
    were of this wood, and were steamed and bent into shape as
    required. It was hard upon March when I began work in earnest;
    the weather was cold; still, there were plenty of inspectors
    to back me with advice. When a whaling-captain hove in sight I
    just rested on my adz awhile and "gammed" with him.

    New Bedford, the home of whaling-captains, is connected with
    Fairhaven by a bridge, and the walking is good. They never
    "worked along up" to the shipyard too often for me. It was the
    charming tales about arctic whaling that inspired me to put a
    double set of breast-hooks in the Spray , that she might shunt

    The seasons came quickly while I worked. Hardly were the ribs
    of the sloop up before apple-trees were in bloom. Then the
    daisies and the cherries came soon after. Close by the place
    where the old Spray had now dissolved rested the ashes of John
    Cook, a revered Pilgrim father. So the new Spray rose from
    hallowed ground. From the deck of the new craft I could put
    out my hand and pick cherries that grew over the little grave.
    The planks for the new vessel, which I soon came to put on,
    were of Georgia pine an inch and a half thick. The operation
    of putting them on was tedious, but, when on, the calking was
    easy. The outward edges stood slightly open to receive the
    calking, but the inner edges were so close that I could not
    see daylight between them. All the butts were fastened by
    through bolts, with screw-nuts tightening them to the timbers,
    so that there would be no complaint from them. Many bolts with
    screw-nuts were used in other parts of the construction, in
    all about a thousand.

    It was my purpose to make my vessel stout and strong.

    Now, it is a law in Lloyd's that the Jane repaired all out of
    the old until she is entirely new is still the Jane. The Spray
    changed her being so gradually that it was hard to say at what
    point the old died or the new took birth, and it was no
    matter. The bulwarks I built up of white-oak stanchions
    fourteen inches high, and covered with seven-eighth-inch white
    pine. These stanchions, mortised through a two-inch covering-
    board, I calked with thin cedar wedges. They have remained
    perfectly tight ever since. The deck I made of one-and-a-half-
    inch by three-inch white pine spiked to beams, six by six
    inches, of yellow or Georgia pine, placed three feet apart.
    The deck-inclosures were one over the aperture of the main
    hatch, six feet by six, for a cooking-galley, and a trunk
    farther aft, about ten feet by twelve, for a cabin. Both of
    these rose about three feet above the deck, and were sunk
    sufficiently into the hold to afford head-room. In the spaces
    along the sides of the cabin, under the deck, I arranged a
    berth to sleep in, and shelves for small storage, not
    forgetting a place for the medicine-chest. In the midship
    hold, that is, the space between cabin and galley, under the
    deck, was room for provision of water, salt beef, etc., ample
    for many months.

    The hull of my vessel being now put together as strongly as
    wood and iron could make her, and the various rooms
    partitioned off, I set about "calking ship." Grave fears were
    entertained by some that at this point I should fail. I myself
    gave some thought to the advisability of a "professional
    calker." The very first blow I struck on the cotton with the
    calking-iron, which I thought was right, many others thought
    wrong. "It'll crawl!" cried a man from Marion, passing with a
    basket of clams on his back. "It'll crawl!" cried another from
    West Island, when he saw me driving cotton into the seams.
    Bruno simply wagged his tail. Even Mr. Ben J - - , a noted
    authority on whaling-ships, whose mind, however, was said to
    totter, asked rather confidently if I did not think "it would
    crawl." "How fast will it crawl?" cried my old captain friend,
    who had been towed by many a lively sperm-whale. "Tell us how
    fast," cried he, "that we may get into port in time."

    However, I drove a thread of oakum on top of the cotton, as
    from the first I had intended to do. And Bruno again wagged
    his tail. The cotton never "crawled." When the calking was
    finished, two coats of copper paint were slapped on the
    bottom, two of white lead on the topsides and bulwarks. The
    rudder was then shipped and painted, and on the following day
    the Spray was launched. As she rode at her ancient, rust-eaten
    anchor, she sat on the water like a swan.

    The Spray's dimensions were, when finished, thirty-six feet
    nine inches long, over all, fourteen feet two inches wide, and
    four feet two inches deep in the hold, her tonnage being nine
    tons net and twelve and seventy-one hundredths tons gross.

    Then the mast, a smart New Hampshire spruce, was fitted, and
    likewise all the small appurtenances necessary for a short
    cruise. Sails were bent, and away she flew with my friend
    Captain Pierce and me, across Buzzard's Bay on a trial-trip -
    all right. The only thing that now worried my friends along
    the beach was, "Will she pay?" The cost of my new vessel was
    $553.62 for materials, and thirteen months of my own labor. I
    was several months more than that at Fairhaven, for I got work
    now and then on an occasional whale-ship fitting farther down
    the harbor, and that kept me the overtime.


    Failure as a fisherman - A voyage around the world projected -
    From Boston to Gloucester - Fitting out for the ocean voyage -
    Half of a dory for a ship's boat - The run from Gloucester to
    Nova Scotia - A shaking up in home waters - Among old friends.

    I spent a season in my new craft fishing on the coast, only to
    find that I had not the cunning properly to bait a hook. But
    at last the time arrived to weigh anchor and get to sea in
    earnest. I had resolved on a voyage around the world, and as
    the wind on the morning of April 24,1895, was fair, at noon I
    weighed anchor, set sail, and filled away from Boston, where
    the Spray had been moored snugly all winter. The twelve-
    o'clock whistles were blowing just as the sloop shot ahead
    under full sail. A short board was made up the harbor on the
    port tack, then coming about she stood seaward, with her boom
    well off to port, and swung past the ferries with lively heels.

    A snapper on the outer pier at East Boston got a picture of
    her as she swept by, her flag at the peak throwing its folds
    clear. A thrilling pulse beat high in me. My step was light on
    deck in the crisp air. I felt that there could be no turning
    back, and that I was engaging in an adventure the meaning of
    which I thoroughly understood. I had taken little advice from
    any one, for I had a right to my own opinions in matters
    pertaining to the sea. That the best of sailors might do worse
    than even I alone was borne in upon me not a league from
    Boston docks, where a great steamship, fully manned,
    officered, and piloted, lay stranded and broken. This was the
    Venetian. She was broken completely in two over a ledge. So in
    the first hour of my lone voyage I had proof that the Spray
    could at least do better than this full-handed steamship, for
    I was already farther on my voyage than she. "Take warning,
    Spray, and have a care," I uttered aloud to my bark, passing
    fairylike silently down the bay.

    The wind freshened, and the Spray rounded Deer Island light at
    the rate of seven knots.

    Passing it, she squared away direct for Gloucester to procure
    there some fishermen's stores. Waves dancing joyously across
    Massachusetts Bay met her coming out of the harbor to dash
    them into myriads of sparkling gems that hung about her at
    every surge. The day was perfect, the sunlight clear and
    strong. Every particle of water thrown into the air became a
    gem, and the Spray, bounding ahead, snatched necklace after
    necklace from the sea, and as often threw them away. We have
    all seen miniature rainbows about a ship's prow, but the Spray
    flung out a bow of her own that day, such as I had never seen
    before. Her good angel had embarked on the voyage; I so read
    it in the sea.

    Bold Nahant was soon abeam, then Marblehead was put astern.
    Other vessels were outward bound, but none of them passed the
    Spray flying along on her course. I heard the clanking of the
    dismal bell on Norman's Woe as we went by; and the reef where
    the schooner Hesperus struck I passed close aboard. The
    "bones" of a wreck tossed up lay bleaching on the shore
    abreast. The wind still freshening, I settled the throat of
    the mainsail to ease the sloop's helm, for I could hardly hold
    her before it with the whole mainsail set. A schooner ahead of
    me lowered all sail and ran into port under bare poles, the
    wind being fair. As the Spray brushed by the stranger, I saw
    that some of his sails were gone, and much broken canvas hung
    in his rigging, from the effects of a squall.

    I made for the cove, a lovely branch of Gloucester's fine
    harbor, again to look the Spray over and again to weigh the
    voyage, and my feelings, and all that. The bay was feather-
    white as my little vessel tore in, smothered in foam. It was
    my first experience of coming into port alone, with a craft of
    any size, and in among shipping. Old fishermen ran down to the
    wharf for which the Spray was heading, apparently intent upon
    braining herself there. I hardly know how a calamity was
    averted, but with my heart in my mouth, almost, I let go the
    wheel, stepped quickly forward, and downed the jib. The sloop
    naturally rounded in the wind, and just ranging ahead, laid
    her cheek against a mooring-pile at the windward corner of the
    wharf, so quietly, after all, that she would not have broken
    an egg. Very leisurely I passed a rope around the post, and
    she was moored. Then a cheer went up from the little crowd on
    the wharf. "You couldn't 'a' done it better," cried an old
    skipper, "if you weighed a ton!" Now, my weight was rather
    less than the fifteenth part of a ton, but I said nothing,
    only putting on a look of careless indifference to say for me,
    "Oh, that's nothing"; for some of the ablest sailors in the
    world were looking at me, and my wish was not to appear green,
    for I had a mind to stay in Gloucester several days. Had I
    uttered a word it surely would have betrayed me, for I was
    still quite nervous and short of breath.

    I remained in Gloucester about two weeks, fitting out with the
    various articles for the voyage most readily obtained there.
    The owners of the wharf where I lay, and of many fishing-
    vessels, put on board dry cod galore, also a barrel of oil to
    calm the waves. They were old skippers themselves, and took a
    great interest in the voyage. They also made the Spray a
    present of a "fisherman's own" lantern, which I found would
    throw a light a great distance round. Indeed, a ship that
    would run another down having such a good light aboard would
    be capable of running into a light-ship. A gaff, a pugh, and a
    dip-net, all of which an old fisherman declared I could not
    sail without, were also put aboard. Then, top, from across the
    cove came a case of copper paint, a famous antifouling
    article, which stood me in good stead long after. I slapped
    two coats of this paint on the bottom of the Spray while she
    lay a tide or so on the hard beach.

    For a boat to take along, I made shift to cut a castaway dory
    in two athwartships, boarding up the end where it was cut.
    This half-dory I could hoist in and out by the nose easily
    enough, by hooking the throat-halyards into a strop fitted for
    the purpose. A whole dory would be heavy and awkward to handle
    alone. Manifestly there was not room on deck for more than the
    half of a boat, which, after all, was better than no boat at
    all, and was large enough for one man. I perceived, moreover,
    that the newly arranged craft would answer for a washing-
    machine when placed athwartships, and also for a bath-tub.
    Indeed, for the former office my razeed dory gained such a
    reputation on the voyage that my washerwoman at Samoa would
    not take no for an answer. She could see with one eye that it
    was a new invention which beat any Yankee notion ever brought
    by missionaries to the islands, and she had to have it.

    The want of a chronometer for the voyage was all that now
    worried me. In our newfangled notions of navigation it is
    supposed that a mariner cannot find his way without one; and I
    had myself drifted into this way of thinking. My old
    chronometer, a good one, had been long in disuse. It would
    cost fifteen dollars to clean and rate it. Fifteen dollars!
    For sufficient reasons I left that timepiece at home, where
    the Dutchman left his anchor. I had the great lantern, and a
    lady in Boston sent me the price of a large two-burner cabin
    lamp, which lighted the cabin at night, and by some small
    contriving served for a stove through the day.

    Being thus refitted I was once more ready for sea, and on May
    7 again made sail. With little room in which to turn, the
    Spray , in gathering headway, scratched the paint off an old,
    fine-weather craft in the fairway, being puttied and painted
    for a summer voyage. "Who'll pay for that?" growled the
    painters. "I will," said I. "With the main-sheet," echoed the
    captain of the Bluebird , close by, which was his way of
    saying that I was off. There was nothing to pay for above five
    cents' worth of paint, maybe, but such a din was raised
    between the old "hooker" and the Bluebird , which now took up
    my case, that the first cause of it was forgotten altogether.
    Anyhow, no bill was sent after me.

    The weather was mild on the day of my departure from
    Gloucester. On the point ahead, as the Spray stood out of the
    cove, was a lively picture, for the front of a tall factory
    was a flutter of handkerchiefs and caps. Pretty faces peered
    out of the windows from the top to the bottom of the building,
    all smiling bon voyage. Some hailed me to know where away and
    why alone. Why? When I made as if to stand in, a hundred pairs
    of arms reached out, and said come, but the shore was
    dangerous! The sloop worked out of the bay against a light
    southwest wind, and about noon squared away off Eastern Point,
    receiving at the same time a hearty salute - the last of many
    kindnesses to her at Gloucester. The wind freshened off the
    point, and skipping along smoothly, the Spray was soon off
    Thatcher's Island lights. Thence shaping her course east, by
    compass, to go north of Cashes Ledge and the Amen Rocks, I sat
    and considered the matter all over again, and asked myself
    once more whether it were best to sail beyond the ledge and
    rocks at all.

    I had only said that I would sail round the world in the Spray
    , "dangers of the sea excepted," but I must have said it very
    much in earnest. The "charter-party" with myself seemed to
    bind me, and so I sailed on. Toward night I hauled the sloop
    to the wind, and baiting a hook, sounded for bottom-fish, in
    thirty fathoms of water, on the edge of Cashes Ledge. With
    fair success I hauled till dark, landing on deck three cod and
    two haddocks, one hake, and, best of all, a small halibut, all
    plump and spry. This, I thought, would be the place to take in
    a good stock of provisions above what I already had; so I put
    out a sea-anchor that would hold her head to windward. The
    current being southwest, against the wind, I felt quite sure I
    would find the Spray still on the bank or near it in the
    morning. Then "stradding" the cable and putting my great
    lantern in the rigging, I lay down, for the first time at sea
    alone, not to sleep, but to doze and to dream.

    I had read somewhere of a fishing-schooner hooking her anchor
    into a whale, and being towed a long way and at great speed.
    This was exactly what happened to the Spray - in my dream! I
    could not shake it off entirely when I awoke and found that it
    was the wind blowing and the heavy sea now running that had
    disturbed my short rest. A scud was flying across the moon. A
    storm was brewing; indeed, it was already stormy. I reefed the
    sails, then hauled in my sea-anchor, and setting what canvas
    the sloop could carry, headed her away for Monhegan light,
    which she made before daylight on the morning of the 8th. The
    wind being free, I ran on into Round Pond harbor, which is a
    little port east from Pemaquid. Here I rested a day, while the
    wind rattled among the pine-trees on shore. But the following
    day was fine enough, and I put to sea, first writing up my log
    from Cape Ann, not omitting a full account of my adventure
    with the whale.

    The Spray , heading east, stretched along the coast among many
    islands and over a tranquil sea. At evening of this day, May
    10, she came up with a considerable island, which I shall
    always think of as the Island of Frogs, for the Spray was
    charmed by a million voices. From the Island of Frogs we made
    for the Island of Birds, called Gannet Island, and sometimes
    Gannet Rock, whereon is a bright, intermittent light, which
    flashed fitfully across the Spray's deck as she coasted along
    under its light and shade. Thence shaping a course for Briar's
    Island, I came among vessels the following afternoon on the
    western fishing-grounds, and after speaking a fisherman at
    anchor, who gave me a wrong course, the Spray sailed directly
    over the southwest ledge through the worst tide-race in the
    Bay of Fundy, and got into Westport harbor in Nova Scotia,
    where I had spent eight years of my life as a lad.

    The fisherman may have said "east-southeast," the course I was
    steering when I hailed him; but I thought he said "east-
    northeast," and I accordingly changed it to that. Before he
    made up his mind to answer me at all, he improved the occasion
    of his own curiosity to know where I was from, and if I was
    alone, and if I didn't have "no dorg nor no cat." It was the
    first time in all my life at sea that I had heard a hail for
    information answered by a question. I think the chap belonged
    to the Foreign Islands. There was one thing I was sure of, and
    that was that he did not belong to Briar's Island, because he
    dodged a sea that slopped over the rail, and stopping to brush
    the water from his face, lost a fine cod which he was about to
    ship. My islander would not have done that. It is known that a
    Briar Islander, fish or no fish on his hook, never flinches
    from a sea. He just tends to his lines and hauls or "saws."
    Nay, have I not seen my old friend Deacon W. D - -, a good man
    of the island, while listening to a sermon in the little
    church on the hill, reach out his hand over the door of his
    pew and "jig" imaginary squid in the aisle, to the intense
    delight of the young people, who did not realize that to catch
    good fish one must have good bait, the thing most on the
    deacon's mind.

    I was delighted to reach Westport. Any port at all would have
    been delightful after the terrible thrashing I got in the
    fierce sou'west rip, and to find myself among old schoolmates
    now was charming. It was the 13th of the month, and 13 is my
    lucky number - a fact registered long before Dr. Nansen sailed
    in search of the north pole with his crew of thirteen. Perhaps
    he had heard of my success in taking a most extraordinary ship
    successfully to Brazil with that number of crew. The very
    stones on Briar's Island I was glad to see again, and I knew
    them all. The little shop round the corner, which for thirty-
    five years I had not seen, was the same, except that it looked
    a deal smaller. It wore the same shingles - I was sure of it;
    for did not I know the roof where we boys, night after night,
    hunted for the skin of a black cat, to be taken on a dark
    night, to make a plaster for a poor lame man? Lowry the tailor
    lived there when boys were boys. In his day he was fond of the
    gun. He always carried his powder loose in the tail pocket of
    his coat. He usually had in his mouth a short dudeen; but in
    an evil moment he put the dudeen, lighted, in the pocket among
    the powder. Mr. Lowry was an eccentric man.

    At Briar's Island I overhauled the Spray once more and tried
    her seams, but found that even the test of the sou'west rip
    had started nothing. Bad weather and much head wind prevailing
    outside, I was in no hurry to round Cape Sable. I made a short
    excursion with some friends to St. Mary's Bay, an old cruising-
    ground, and back to the island. Then I sailed, putting into
    Yarmouth the following day on account of fog and head wind. I
    spent some days pleasantly enough in Yarmouth, took in some
    butter for the voyage, also a barrel of potatoes, filled six
    barrels of water, and stowed all under deck. At Yarmouth, too,
    I got my famous tin clock, the only timepiece I carried on the
    whole voyage. The price of it was a dollar and a half, but on
    account of the face being smashed the merchant let me have it
    for a dollar.


    Good-by to the American coast - Off Sable Island in a fog - In
    the open sea - The man in the moon takes an interest in the
    voyage - The first fit of loneliness - The Spray encounters La
    Vaguisa - A bottle of wine from the Spaniard - A bout of
    words with the captain of the Java - The steamship Olympia
    spoken - Arrival at the Azores.

    I now stowed all my goods securely, for the boisterous
    Atlantic was before me, and I sent the topmast down, knowing
    that the Spray would be the wholesomer with it on deck. Then I
    gave the lanyards a pull and hitched them afresh, and saw that
    the gammon was secure, also that the boat was lashed, for even
    in summer one may meet with bad weather in the crossing.

    In fact, many weeks of bad weather had prevailed. On July 1,
    however, after a rude gale, the wind came out nor'west and
    clear, propitious for a good run. On the following day, the
    head sea having gone down, I sailed from Yarmouth, and let go
    my last hold on America. The log of my first day on the
    Atlantic in the Spray reads briefly: "9:30 A.M. sailed from
    Yarmouth. 4:30 P.M. passed Cape Sable; distance, three cables
    from the land. The sloop making eight knots. Fresh breeze
    N.W." Before the sun went down I was taking my supper of
    strawberries and tea in smooth water under the lee of the east-
    coast land, along which the Spray was now leisurely skirting.

    At noon on July 3 Ironbound Island was abeam. The Spray was
    again at her best. A large schooner came out of Liverpool,
    Nova Scotia, this morning, steering eastward. The Spray put
    her hull down astern in five hours. At 6:45 P.M. I was in
    close under Chebucto Head light, near Halifax harbor. I set my
    flag and squared away, taking my departure from George's
    Island before dark to sail east of Sable Island.

    There are many beacon lights along the coast. Sambro, the Rock
    of Lamentations, carries a noble light, which, however, the
    liner Atlantic , on the night of her terrible disaster, did
    not see. I watched light after light sink astern as I sailed
    into the unbounded sea, till Sambro, the last of them all, was
    below the horizon. The Spray was then alone, and sailing on,
    she held her course. July 4, at 6 A.M., I put in double reefs,
    and at 8:30 A.M. turned out all reefs. At 9:40 P.M. I raised
    the sheen only of the light on the west end of Sable Island,
    which may also be called the Island of Tragedies. The fog,
    which till this moment had held off, now lowered over the sea
    like a pall. I was in a world of fog, shut off from the
    universe. I did not see any more of the light. By the lead,
    which I cast often, I found that a little after midnight I was
    passing the east point of the island, and should soon be clear
    of dangers of land and shoals. The wind was holding free,
    though it was from the foggy point, south-southwest. It is
    said that within a few years Sable Island has been reduced
    from forty miles in length to twenty, and that of three

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