• SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD (completed=10+3) (2/3)

    From Cap'n Josh Slocum@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jan 26 13:11:53 2019
    [continued from previous message]

    lighthouses built on it since 1880, two have been washed away
    and the third will soon be engulfed.

    On the evening of July 5 the Spray , after having steered all
    day over a lumpy sea, took it into her head to go without the
    helmsman's aid. I had been steering southeast by south, but
    the wind hauling forward a bit, she dropped into a smooth
    lane, heading southeast, and making about eight knots, her
    very best work. I crowded on sail to cross the track of the
    liners without loss of time, and to reach as soon as possible
    the friendly Gulf Stream. The fog lifting before night, I was
    afforded a look at the sun just as it was touching the sea. I
    watched it go down and out of sight. Then I turned my face
    eastward, and there, apparently at the very end of the
    bowsprit, was the smiling full moon rising out of the sea.
    Neptune himself coming over the bows could not have startled
    me more. "Good evening, sir," I cried; "I'm glad to see you."
    Many a long talk since then I have had with the man in the
    moon; he had my confidence on the voyage.

    About midnight the fog shut down again denser than ever
    before. One could almost "stand on it." It continued so for a
    number of days, the wind increasing to a gale. The waves rose
    high, but I had a good ship. Still, in the dismal fog I felt
    myself drifting into loneliness, an insect on a straw in the
    midst of the elements. I lashed the helm, and my vessel held
    her course, and while she sailed I slept.

    During these days a feeling of awe crept over me. My memory
    worked with startling power. The ominous, the insignificant,
    the great, the small, the wonderful, the commonplace - all
    appeared before my mental vision in magical succession. Pages
    of my history were recalled which had been so long forgotten
    that they seemed to belong to a previous existence. I heard
    all the voices of the past laughing, crying, telling what I
    had heard them tell in many corners of the earth.

    The loneliness of my state wore off when the gale was high and
    I found much work to do. When fine weather returned, then came
    the sense of solitude, which I could not shake off. I used my
    voice often, at first giving some order about the affairs of a
    ship, for I had been told that from disuse I should lose my
    speech. At the meridian altitude of the sun I called aloud,
    "Eight bells," after the custom on a ship at sea. Again from
    my cabin I cried to an imaginary man at the helm, "How does
    she head, there?" and again, "Is she on her course?" But
    getting no reply, I was reminded the more palpably of my
    condition. My voice sounded hollow on the empty air, and I
    dropped the practice

    But it was not long before the thought came to me that when I
    was a lad I used to sing; why not try that now, where it would
    disturb no one? My musical talent had never bred envy in
    others, but out on the Atlantic, to realize what it meant, you
    should have heard me sing. You should have seen the porpoises
    leap when I pitched my voice for the waves and the sea and all
    that was in it. Old turtles, with large eyes, poked their
    heads up out of the sea as I sang "Johnny Boker," and "We'll
    Pay Darby Doyl for his Boots," and the like. But the porpoises
    were, on the whole, vastly more appreciative than the turtles;
    they jumped a deal higher. One day when I was humming a
    favorite chant, I think it was "Babylon's a-Fallin'," a
    porpoise jumped higher than the bowsprit. Had the Spray been
    going a little faster she would have scooped him in. The sea-
    birds sailed around rather shy.

    July 10, eight days at sea, the Spray was twelve hundred miles
    east of Cape Sable. One hundred and fifty miles a day for so
    small a vessel must be considered good sailing. It was the
    greatest run the Spray ever made before or since in so few
    days. On the evening of July 14, in better humor than ever
    before, all hands cried, "Sail ho!" The sail was a barkantine,
    three points on the weather bow, hull down.

    Then came the night. My ship was sailing along now without
    attention to the helm. The wind was south; she was heading
    east. Her sails were trimmed like the sails of the nautilus.
    They drew steadily all night. I went frequently on deck, but
    found all well. A merry breeze kept on from the south. Early
    in the morning of the 15th the Spray was close aboard the
    stranger, which proved to be La Vaguisa of Vigo, twenty-three
    days from Philadelphia, bound for Vigo. A lookout from his
    masthead had spied the Spray the evening before. The captain,
    when I came near enough, threw a line to me and sent a bottle
    of wine across slung by the neck, and very good wine it was.
    He also sent his card, which bore the name of Juan Gantes. I
    think he was a good man, as Spaniards go. But when I asked him
    to report me "all well" (the Spray passing him in a lively
    manner), he hauled his shoulders much above his head; and when
    his mate, who knew of my expedition, told him that I was
    alone, he crossed himself and made for his cabin. I did not
    see him again. By sundown he was as far astern as he had been
    ahead the evening before.

    There was now less and less monotony. On July 16 the wind was
    northwest and clear, the sea smooth, and a large bark, hull
    down, came in sight on the lee bow, and at 2:30 P.M. I spoke
    the stranger. She was the bark Java of Glasgow, from Peru for
    Queenstown for orders. Her old captain was bearish, but I met
    a bear once in Alaska that looked pleasanter. At least, the
    bear seemed pleased to meet me, but this grizzly old man!
    Well, I suppose my hail disturbed his siesta, and my little
    sloop passing his great ship had somewhat the effect on him
    that a red rag has upon a bull. I had the advantage over heavy
    ships, by long odds, in the light winds of this and the two
    previous days.

    The wind was light; his ship was heavy and foul, making poor
    headway, while the Spray , with a great mainsail bellying even
    to light winds, was just skipping along as nimbly as one could
    wish. "How long has it been calm about here?" roared the
    captain of the Java , as I came within hail of him. "Dunno,
    cap'n," I shouted back as loud as I could bawl. "I haven't
    been here long." At this the mate on the forecastle wore a
    broad grin. "I left Cape Sable fourteen days ago," I added. (I
    was now well across toward the Azores.) "Mate," he roared to
    his chief officer - "mate, come here and listen to the
    Yankee's yarn. Haul down the flag, mate, haul down the flag!"
    In the best of humor, after all, the Java surrendered to the

    The acute pain of solitude experienced at first never
    returned. I had penetrated a mystery, and, by the way, I had
    sailed through a fog. I had met Neptune in his wrath, but he
    found that I had not treated him with contempt, and so he
    suffered me to go on and explore.

    In the log for July 18 there is this entry: "Fine weather,
    wind south-southwest. Porpoises gamboling all about. The S.S.
    Olympia passed at 11:30 A.M., long. W. 34 degrees 50'."

    "It lacks now three minutes of the half-hour," shouted the
    captain, as he gave me the longitude and the time. I admired
    the businesslike air of the Olympia ; but I have the feeling
    still that the captain was just a little too precise in his
    reckoning. That may be all well enough, however, where there
    is plenty of sea-room. But over-confidence, I believe, was the
    cause of the disaster to the liner Atlantic , and many more
    like her. The captain knew too well where he was. There were
    no porpoises at all skipping along with the Olympia !
    Porpoises always prefer sailing-ships. The captain was a young
    man, I observed, and had before him, I hope, a good record.

    Land ho! On the morning of July 19 a mystic dome like a
    mountain of silver stood alone in the sea ahead. Although the
    land was completely hidden by the white, glistening haze that
    shone in the sun like polished silver, I felt quite sure that
    it was Flores Island. At half-past four P.M. it was abeam. The
    haze in the meantime had disappeared. Flores is one hundred
    and seventy-four miles from Fayal, and although it is a high
    island, it remained many years undiscovered after the
    principal group of the islands had been colonized.

    Early on the morning of July 20 I saw Pico looming above the
    clouds on the starboard bow. Lower lands burst forth as the
    sun burned away the morning fog, and island after island came
    into view. As I approached nearer, cultivated fields appeared,
    "and oh, how green the corn!" Only those who have seen the
    Azores from the deck of a vessel realize the beauty of the mid-
    ocean picture.

    At 4:30 P.M. I cast anchor at Fayal, exactly eighteen days
    from Cape Sable. The American consul, in a smart boat, came
    alongside before the Spray reached the breakwater, and a young
    naval officer, who feared for the safety of my vessel,
    boarded, and offered his services as pilot. The youngster, I
    have no good reason to doubt, could have handled a man-of-war,
    but the Spray was too small for the amount of uniform he wore.
    I could never make out. But I forgive him.

    It was the season for fruit when I arrived at the Azores, and
    there was soon more of all kinds of it put on board than I
    knew what to do with. Islanders are always the kindest people
    in the world, and I met none anywhere kinder than the good
    hearts of this place. The people of the Azores are not a very
    rich community. The burden of taxes is heavy, with scant
    privileges in return, the air they breathe being about the
    only thing that is not taxed. The mother-country does not even
    allow them a port of entry for a foreign mail service. A
    packet passing never so close with mails for Horta must
    deliver them first in Lisbon, ostensibly to be fumigated, but
    really for the tariff from the packet. My own letters posted
    at Horta reached the United States six days behind my letter
    from Gibraltar, mailed thirteen days later.

    The day after my arrival at Horta was the feast of a great
    saint. Boats loaded with people came from other islands to
    celebrate at Horta, the capital, or Jerusalem, of the Azores.
    The deck of the Spray was crowded from morning till night with
    men, women, and children. On the day after the feast a kind-
    hearted native harnessed a team and drove me a day over the
    beautiful roads all about Fayal, "because," said he, in broken
    English, "when I was in America and couldn't speak a word of
    English, I found it hard till I met some one who seemed to
    have time to listen to my story, and I promised my good saint
    then that if ever a stranger came to my country I would try to
    make him happy." Unfortunately, this gentleman brought along
    an interpreter, that I might "learn more of the country." The
    fellow was nearly the death of me, talking of ships and
    voyages, and of the boats he had steered, the last thing in
    the world I wished to hear. He had sailed out of New Bedford,
    so he said, for "that Joe Wing they call 'John.'" My friend
    and host found hardly a chance to edge in a word. Before we
    parted my host dined me with a cheer that would have gladdened
    the heart of a prince, but he was quite alone in his house.
    "My wife and children all rest there," said he, pointing to
    the churchyard across the way. "I moved to this house from far
    off," he added, "to be near the spot, where I pray every

    I remained four days at Fayal, and that was two days more than
    I had intended to stay. It was the kindness of the islanders
    and their touching simplicity which detained me. A damsel, as
    innocent as an angel, came alongside one day, and said she
    would embark on the Spray if I would land her at Lisbon. She
    could cook flying-fish, she thought, but her forte was
    dressing bacalhao. Her brother Antonio, who served as
    interpreter, hinted that, anyhow, he would like to make the
    trip. Antonio's heart went out to one John Wilson, and he was
    ready to sail for America by way of the two capes to meet his
    friend. "Do you know John Wilson of Boston?" he cried. "I knew
    a John Wilson," I said, "but not of Boston." "He had one
    daughter and one son," said Antonio, by way of identifying his
    friend. If this reaches the right John Wilson, I am told to
    say that "Antonio of Pico remembers him."


    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.

    I set sail from Horta early on July 24. The southwest wind at
    the time was light, but squalls came up with the sun, and I
    was glad enough to get reefs in my sails before I had gone a
    mile. I had hardly set the mainsail, double-reefed, when a
    squall of wind down the mountains struck the sloop with such
    violence that I thought her mast would go. However, a quick
    helm brought her to the wind. As it was, one of the weather
    lanyards was carried away and the other was stranded. My tin
    basin, caught up by the wind, went flying across a French
    school-ship to leeward. It was more or less squally all day,
    sailing along under high land; but rounding close under a
    bluff, I found an opportunity to mend the lanyards broken in
    the squall. No sooner had I lowered my sails when a four-oared
    boat shot out from some gully in the rocks, with a customs
    officer on board, who thought he had come upon a smuggler. I
    had some difficulty in making him comprehend the true case.
    However, one of his crew, a sailorly chap, who understood how
    matters were, while we palavered jumped on board and rove off
    the new lanyards I had already prepared, and with a friendly
    hand helped me "set up the rigging." This incident gave the
    turn in my favor. My story was then clear to all. I have found
    this the way of the world. Let one be without a friend, and
    see what will happen!

    Passing the island of Pico, after the rigging was mended, the
    Spray stretched across to leeward of the island of St.
    Michael's, which she was up with early on the morning of July
    26, the wind blowing hard. Later in the day she passed the
    Prince of Monaco's fine steam-yacht bound to Fayal, where, on
    a previous voyage, the prince had slipped his cables to
    "escape a reception" which the padres of the island wished to
    give him. Why he so dreaded the "ovation" I could not make
    out. At Horta they did not know. Since reaching the islands I
    had lived most luxuriously on fresh bread, butter, vegetables,
    and fruits of all kinds. Plums seemed the most plentiful on
    the Spray , and these I ate without stint. I had also a Pico
    white cheese that General Manning, the American consul-
    general, had given me, which I supposed was to be eaten, and
    of this I partook with the plums. Alas! by night-time I was
    doubled up with cramps. The wind, which was already a smart
    breeze, was increasing somewhat, with a heavy sky to the

    Reefs had been turned out, and I must turn them in again
    somehow. Between cramps I got the mainsail down, hauled out
    the earings as best I could, and tied away point by point, in
    the double reef. There being sea-room, I should, in strict
    prudence, have made all snug and gone down at once to my
    cabin. I am a careful man at sea, but this night, in the
    coming storm, I swayed up my sails, which, reefed though they
    were, were still too much in such heavy weather; and I saw to
    it that the sheets were securely belayed. In a word, I should
    have laid to, but did not. I gave her the double-reefed
    mainsail and whole jib instead, and set her on her course.
    Then I went below, and threw myself upon the cabin floor in
    great pain. How long I lay there I could not tell, for I
    became delirious. When I came to, as I thought, from my swoon,
    I realized that the sloop was plunging into a heavy sea, and
    looking out of the companionway, to my amazement I saw a tall
    man at the helm. His rigid hand, grasping the spokes of the
    wheel, held them as in a vise. One may imagine my
    astonishment. His rig was that of a foreign sailor, and the
    large red cap he wore was cockbilled over his left ear, and
    all was set off with shaggy black whiskers. He would have been
    taken for a pirate in any part of the world. While I gazed
    upon his threatening aspect I forgot the storm, and wondered
    if he had come to cut my throat. This he seemed to divine.
    "Senor," said he, doffing his cap,

    "I have come to do you no harm." And a smile, the faintest in
    the world, but still a smile, played on his face, which seemed
    not unkind when he spoke. "I have come to do you no harm. I
    have sailed free," he said, "but was never worse than a
    contrabandista. I am one of Columbus's crew," he continued. "I
    am the pilot of the Pinta come to aid you. Lie quiet, senor
    captain," he added, "and I will guide your ship to-night. You
    have a calentura , but you will be all right tomorrow." I
    thought what a very devil he was to carry sail. Again, as if
    he read my mind, he exclaimed: "Yonder is the Pinta ahead; we
    must overtake her. Give her sail; give her sail! Vale, vale,
    muy vale! " Biting off a large quid of black twist, he said:
    "You did wrong, captain, to mix cheese with plums. White
    cheese is never safe unless you know whence it comes. Quien
    sabe , it may have been from leche de Capra and becoming
    capricious - "

    "Avast, there!" I cried. "I have no mind for moralizing."

    I made shift to spread a mattress and lie on that instead of
    the hard floor, my eyes all the while fastened on my strange
    guest, who, remarking again that I would have "only pains and
    calentura," chuckled as he chanted a wild song:

    High are the waves, fierce, gleaming, High is the tempest
    roar! High the sea-bird screaming! High the Azore!

    I suppose I was now on the mend, for I was peevish, and
    complained: "I detest your jingle. Your Azore should be at
    roost, and would have been were it a respectable bird!" I
    begged he would tie a rope-yarn on the rest of the song, if
    there was any more of it. I was still in agony. Great seas
    were boarding the Spray , but in my fevered brain I thought
    they were boats falling on deck, that careless draymen were
    throwing from wagons on the pier to which I imagined the Spray
    was now moored, and without fenders to breast her off. "You'll
    smash your boats!" I called out again and again, as the seas
    crashed on the cabin over my head. "You'll smash your boats,
    but you can't hurt the Spray. She is strong!" I cried.

    I found, when my pains and calentura had gone, that the deck,
    now as white as a shark's tooth from seas washing over it, had
    been swept of everything movable. To my astonishment, I saw
    now at broad day that the Spray was still heading as I had
    left her, and was going like a racehorse. Columbus himself
    could not have held her more exactly on her course. The sloop
    had made ninety miles in the night through a rough sea. I felt
    grateful to the old pilot, but I marveled some that he had not
    taken in the jib. The gale was moderating, and by noon the sun
    was shining. A meridian altitude and the distance on the
    patent log, which I always kept towing, told me that she had
    made a true course throughout the twenty-four hours. I was
    getting much better now, but was very weak, and did not turn
    out reefs that day or the night following, although the wind
    fell light.

    I just put my wet clothes out in the sun when it was shining,
    and lying down there myself, fell asleep. Then who should
    visit me again but my old friend of the night before, this
    time, of course, in a dream. "You did well last night to take
    my advice," said he, "and if you would, I should like to be
    with you often on the voyage, for the love of adventure
    alone." Finishing what he had to say, he again doffed his cap
    and disappeared as mysteriously as he came, returning, I
    suppose, to the phantom Pinta. I awoke much refreshed, and
    with the feeling that I had been in the presence of a friend
    and a seaman of vast experience. I gathered up my clothes,
    which by this time were dry, then, by inspiration, I threw
    overboard all the plums in the vessel.

    July 28 was exceptionally fine. The wind from the northwest
    was light and the air balmy. I overhauled my wardrobe, and
    bent on a white shirt against nearing some coasting-packet
    with genteel folk on board. I also did some washing to get the
    salt out of my clothes. After it all I was hungry, so I made a
    fire and very cautiously stewed a dish of pears and set them
    carefully aside till I had made a pot of delicious coffee, for
    both of which I could afford sugar and cream. But the crowning
    dish of all was a fish-hash, and there was enough of it for
    two. I was in good health again, and my appetite was simply
    ravenous. While I was dining I had a large onion over the
    double lamp stewing for a luncheon later in the day. High
    living to-day!

    In the afternoon the Spray came upon a large turtle asleep on
    the sea. He awoke with my harpoon through his neck, if he
    awoke at all. I had much difficulty in landing him on deck,
    which I finally accomplished by hooking the throat-halyards to
    one of his flippers, for he was about as heavy as my boat. I
    saw more turtles, and I rigged a burton ready with which to
    hoist them in; for I was obliged to lower the mainsail
    whenever the halyards were used for such purposes, and it was
    no small matter to hoist the large sail again. But the turtle-
    steak was good. I found no fault with the cook, and it was the
    rule of the voyage that the cook found no fault with me. There
    was never a ship's crew so well agreed. The bill of fare that
    evening was turtle-steak, tea and toast, fried potatoes,
    stewed onions; with dessert of stewed pears and cream.

    Sometime in the afternoon I passed a barrel-buoy adrift,
    floating light on the water. It was painted red, and rigged
    with a signal-staff about six feet high. A sudden change in
    the weather coming on, I got no more turtle or fish of any
    sort before reaching port. July 31 a gale sprang up suddenly
    from the north, with heavy seas, and I shortened sail. The
    Spray made only fifty-one miles on her course that day. August
    1 the gale continued, with heavy seas. Through the night the
    sloop was reaching, under close-reefed mainsail and bobbed
    jib. At 3 P.M. the jib was washed off the bowsprit and blown
    to rags and ribbons. I bent the "jumbo" on a stay at the night-
    heads. As for the jib, let it go; I saved pieces of it, and,
    after all, I was in want of pot-rags.

    On August 3 the gale broke, and I saw many signs of land. Bad
    weather having made itself felt in the galley, I was minded to
    try my hand at a loaf of bread, and so rigging a pot of fire
    on deck by which to bake it, a loaf soon became an
    accomplished fact. One great feature about ship's cooking is
    that one's appetite on the sea is always good - a fact that I
    realized when I cooked for the crew of fishermen in the before-
    mentioned boyhood days. Dinner being over, I sat for hours
    reading the life of Columbus, and as the day wore on I watched
    the birds all flying in one direction, and said, "Land lies

    Early the next morning, August 4, I discovered Spain. I saw
    fires on shore, and knew that the country was inhabited. The
    Spray continued on her course till well in with the land,
    which was that about Trafalgar. Then keeping away a point, she
    passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, where she cast anchor
    at 3 P. M. of the same day, less than twenty-nine days from
    Cape Sable. At the finish of this preliminary trip I found
    myself in excellent health, not overworked or cramped, but as
    well as ever in my life, though I was as thin as a reef-point.

    Two Italian barks, which had been close alongside at daylight,
    I saw long after I had anchored, passing up the African side
    of the strait. The Spray had sailed them both hull down before
    she reached Tarifa. So far as I know, the Spray beat
    everything going across the Atlantic except the steamers.

    All was well, but I had forgotten to bring a bill of health
    from Horta, and so when the fierce old port doctor came to
    inspect there was a row. That, however, was the very thing
    needed. If you want to get on well with a true Britisher you
    must first have a deuce of a row with him. I knew that well
    enough, and so I fired away, shot for shot, as best I could.
    "Well, yes," the doctor admitted at last, "your crew are
    healthy enough, no doubt, but who knows the diseases of your
    last port?" - a reasonable enough remark. "We ought to put you
    in the fort, sir!" he blustered; "but never mind. Free
    pratique, sir! Shove off, cockswain!" And that was the last I
    saw of the port doctor.

    But on the following morning a steam-launch, much longer than
    the Spray , came alongside, - or as much of her as could get
    alongside, - with compliments from the senior naval officer,
    Admiral Bruce, saying there was a berth for the Spray at the
    arsenal. This was around at the new mole. I had anchored at
    the old mole, among the native craft, where it was rough and
    uncomfortable. Of course I was glad to shift, and did so as
    soon as possible, thinking of the great company the Spray
    would be in among battle-ships such as the Collingwood ,
    Balfleur , and Cormorant , which were at that time stationed
    there, and on board all of which I was entertained, later,
    most royally.

    "'Put it thar!' as the Americans say," was the salute I got
    from Admiral Bruce, when I called at the admiralty to thank
    him for his courtesy of the berth, and for the use of the
    steam-launch which towed me into dock. "About the berth, it is
    all right if it suits, and we'll tow you out when you are
    ready to go. But, say, what repairs do you want? Ahoy the Hebe
    , can you spare your sailmaker? The Spray wants a new jib.
    Construction and repair, there! will you see to the Spray ?

    Later in the day came the hail: " Spray ahoy! Mrs. Bruce would
    like to come on board and shake hands with the Spray. Will it
    be convenient to-day!" "Very!" I joyfully shouted.

    On the following day Sir F. Carrington, at the time governor
    of Gibraltar, with other high officers of the garrison, and
    all the commanders of the battle-ships, came on board and
    signed their names in the Spray's log-book. Again there was a
    hail, " Spray ahoy!" "Hello!" "Commander Reynolds's
    compliments. You are invited on board H.M.S. Collingwood , 'at
    home' at 4:30 P.M. Not later than 5:30 P.M." I had already
    hinted at the limited amount of my wardrobe, and that I could
    never succeed as a dude. "You are expected, sir, in a
    stovepipe hat and a claw-hammer coat!" "Then I can't come."
    "Dash it! come in what you have on; that is what we mean."
    "Aye, aye, sir!" The Collingwood's cheer was good, and had I
    worn a silk hat as high as the moon I could not have had a
    better time or been made more at home. An Englishman, even on
    his great battle-ship, unbends when the stranger passes his
    gangway, and when he says "at home" he means it.

    That one should like Gibraltar would go without saying. How
    could one help loving so hospitable a place? Vegetables twice
    a week and milk every morning came from the palatial grounds
    of the admiralty. " Spray ahoy!" would hail the admiral. "
    Spray ahoy!" "Hello!" "To-morrow is your vegetable day, sir."
    "Aye, aye, sir!"

    I rambled much about the old city, and a gunner piloted me
    through the galleries of the rock as far as a stranger is
    permitted to go. There is no excavation in the world, for
    military purposes, at all approaching these of Gibraltar in
    conception or execution. Viewing the stupendous works, it
    became hard to realize that one was within the Gibraltar of
    his little old Morse geography.

    Before sailing I was invited on a picnic with the governor,
    the officers of the garrison, and the commanders of the war-
    ships at the station; and a royal affair it was. Torpedo-boat
    No. 91, going twenty-two knots, carried our party to the
    Morocco shore and back. The day was perfect - too fine, in
    fact, for comfort on shore, and so no one landed at Morocco.
    No. 91 trembled like an aspen-leaf as she raced through the
    sea at top speed. Sublieutenant Boucher, apparently a mere
    lad, was in command, and handled his ship with the skill of an
    older sailor. On the following day I lunched with General
    Carrington, the governor, at Line Wall House, which was once
    the Franciscan convent. In this interesting edifice are
    preserved relics of the fourteen sieges which Gibraltar has

    On the next day I supped with the admiral at his residence,
    the palace, which was once the convent of the Mercenaries. At
    each place, and all about, I felt the friendly grasp of a
    manly hand, that lent me vital strength to pass the coming
    long days at sea. I must confess that the perfect discipline,
    order, and cheerfulness at Gibraltar were only a second wonder
    in the great stronghold. The vast amount of business going
    forward caused no more excitement than the quiet sailing of a
    well-appointed ship in a smooth sea. No one spoke above his
    natural voice, save a boatswain's mate now and then. The Hon.
    Horatio J. Sprague, the venerable United States consul at
    Gibraltar, honored the Spray with a visit on Sunday, August
    24, and was much pleased to find that our British cousins had
    been so kind to her.


    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.

    Monday, August 25, the Spray sailed from Gibraltar, well
    repaid for whatever deviation she had made from a direct
    course to reach the place. A tug belonging to her Majesty
    towed the sloop into the steady breeze clear of the mount,
    where her sails caught a volant wind, which carried her once
    more to the Atlantic, where it rose rapidly to a furious gale.
    My plan was, in going down this coast, to haul offshore, well
    clear of the land, which hereabouts is the home of pirates;
    but I had hardly accomplished this when I perceived a felucca
    making out of the nearest port, and finally following in the
    wake of the Spray.

    Now, my course to Gibraltar had been taken with a view to
    proceed up the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal, down
    the Red Sea, and east about, instead of a western route, which
    I finally adopted. By officers of vast experience in
    navigating these seas, I was influenced to make the change.
    Longshore pirates on both coasts being numerous, I could not
    afford to make light of the advice. But here I was, after all,
    evidently in the midst of pirates and thieves! I changed my
    course; the felucca did the same, both vessels sailing very
    fast, but the distance growing less and less between us. The
    Spray was doing nobly; she was even more than at her best;
    but, in spite of all I could do, she would broach now and
    then. She was carrying too much sail for safety. I must reef
    or be dismasted and lose all, pirate or no pirate. I must
    reef, even if I had to grapple with him for my life.

    I was not long in reefing the mainsail and sweating it up -
    probably not more than fifteen minutes; but the felucca had in
    the meantime so shortened the distance between us that I now
    saw the tuft of hair on the heads of the crew, - by which, it
    is said, Mohammed will pull the villains up into heaven, - and
    they were coming on like the wind. From what I could clearly
    make out now, I felt them to be the sons of generations of
    pirates, and I saw by their movements that they were now
    preparing to strike a blow. The exultation on their faces,
    however, was changed in an instant to a look of fear and rage.
    Their craft, with too much sail on, broached to on the crest
    of a great wave. This one great sea changed the aspect of
    affairs suddenly as the flash of a gun. Three minutes later
    the same wave overtook the Spray and shook her in every timber.

    At the same moment the sheet-strop parted, and away went the
    main-boom, broken short at the rigging. Impulsively I sprang
    to the jib-halyards and down-haul, and instantly downed the
    jib. The head-sail being off, and the helm put hard down, the
    sloop came in the wind with a bound. While shivering there,
    but a moment though it was, I got the mainsail down and
    secured inboard, broken boom and all. How I got the boom in

    [continued in next message]

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