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Captain's Log: Stardate 177 Years Forward

I doubt very much when this fellow was writing his log for the whaling vessel that he could even conceive of the idea that it would be being read and discussed by folks all over Canada and the United States (and perhaps elsewhere) over one and a half centuries later through some kind of magical communication device. It makes me stop and give pause to what it'll be like 177 years from now when OUR documents are discovered!

Anyway, today I'm going to include two pages from the ship's log, follow each one with a "blowup portion" of the page (hopefully LOL), and then try to give as much interpretation as I can figure out. I'll fill in the unknown parts with *'s. If any of you have an idea what any of these spots mean, I'd be more than appreciative. I'm going to try and get as complete a "translation" as I can, partly because I'm interested, but mostly as an accompanying document for whoever gets this next. So here goes (first the full page, then a segment of it):

My attempt at translation: I'll use *'s to substitute for what I can't make out, and ??? following translation I'm not sure about.
(First: in the margin: Thursday / September 3 / 1829 / 27 days)

Pleasant weather with a light breeze from the WNW
At 7 A.M. went on shore at Graciosa bought two bushels
of onions and 4 of potatoes which is all that could be
purchased. Sent the boat ** at 10 A O'clock?? A light
breeze from the SW.

...and here's the next page. Look down towards the bottom where he's drawn in two whale tails. Everytime throughout the log, whenever they sighted or caught one, he'd draw that little insignia in pencil (the rest is done in ink). Cool eh?

...and now for my best shot at translation (just for the segment):

(again: in the margin: Wednesday / September 9th / 1829 / 33 days)
NOTE: It just occured to me as I was typing that that today is September 9th!! Interesting coincidence!

Light breeze from the WSW and a heavy a swell?? ***
from the North *** our boats in pursuit of the whale at 12 O.C.???
and chased till *** came on board took up the boats the
West point of St. Michael's B*** By C***** S**** Shorline
sail and lay headed East way by the wind through the night
at 8 A.M. St*** of to the Eastward strong wind and equally
same rain. At 9 A.M. raised a whale, took in the ma*****
and Reaf them fore? took in the jib Reafed the Mainsail light??? to the
wind -- *** the boats chased till ** Meridian. Give??? the whale up
and came on board the Easternmost Part of the Bay heading
South -- distance 8 miles.

It doesn't really make a lot of sense yet, so any help is much appreciated. Also keep in mind that he was uneducated, so spelling and grammar are not his strong points!!

Sorry to put the margin stuff at the top, but when I tried to align it the way it is in the document, it just all smushed together. I'm suspecting there's something I haven't learned about using tabs!!


Your blog looks great!

Very interesting that you are into old stuff like this. I find it interesting as well. One thing I always notice is how lovely the handwriting is. And this man, as you say, is uneducated, yet he still has beautiful handwriting.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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