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

    From Captain Joshua Slocum@21:1/5 to All on Fri Jan 25 06:00:48 2019
    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.


    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, or not Atkinson.


    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 smash 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 ice.

    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. 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 even for Councillor Jackson.

    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

    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


    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 photographer 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. 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

    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 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

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