Friday 11 November 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

Friday Nov. 11. A miserably rough night & the Captain’s voice A X
at least; a squall it appeared to be & we & every one in the ship
heard it. The old officers who were disturbed ran upon deck saw the
confusion, & returned to their berths grinning & shrugging their shoulders
But what followed in the way of tom-foolery I leave to my husband
to explain. – What has kept the officers & many of the best men grin-
-ning all day in each others faces is this; a shoal was marked in our
chart near our position to-day as seen by a Dutchman in 1736.
It is named the “Slot van Capelle” The joke is, that if it exists at
all, which is very doubtful, we must have passed by or over it
at two o’clock this afternoon, seeing that at mid-day we were by
good observation distant from it twelve miles: but at six p.m.
our wise Captain, who is also our Governor more’s the pity, ordered
the ship to be wore and we are now standing west; so that if there
is danger & we missed it in the afternoon, we may have better luck
& hit it in the course of the night. Ask any officer in the ship the
meaning of all this, & he grins in your face & turns away laughing.
The Captain has been ordered to proceed in his voyage with the
greatest possible expedition, & he turns back to look out for a
shoal! Verily his love of opposition is strong. An American ship
which was yesterday six miles astern passed us and was going on
almost “hull down” when we wore to discover the “Slot van Capelle”
She had her topgallant set and we – cautious folks to be in a
hurry – were dodging on under double reefed topsails! What
will their Lordships of the Admiralty say to all this trifling?

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