Monday 15 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Yesterday the second mate caught an albacore weighing about 40 lbs &measuring as under:
From the snout to the fin             1.0 ½
At the insertion of the fin             2 ¼
From the fin to the tail                 2.8
Length of the tail                         9 ¼
Total length                                4.8

Orbit of the eye           1 ¾ inch
Girth of the body         2 ft 10 in.

The colour of the fish is dark brown nearly approaching to black at the top of the back, gradually being lighter underneath. Between the dorsal fin and the tail and underneath immediately opposite are nine fins of a brilliant gold colour about one inch long, but not possessing the power of contraction or dilation. Inside it were found four flying fish nearly perfect. We paid this fish the compliment of a place at the cuddy table at breakfast, & dinner on Sunday, and at breakfast on the following day, at each of which times his personal merits drew forth warm encomiums. Broiled, stewed, made into a pie, and pickled, he was alike praised; putting us in mind of veal, or sturgeon without its richness. A fine flying fish caught about the same time was his companion at breakfast, & was much extolled. From this last mentioned fish I corrected the drawing made on the 26 ulto. Several dolphins have been sporting about the ship today, but we have not succeeded in taking any.

We had to bewail yesterday the death of one of my Cashmere kids, a beautiful female, and, as usual when a favorite dies, the prettiest of the flock. It had not grown much since its arrival & gradually became weaker until it died. The disease appeared on a post-mortem examination to be an inflammation of the [? intestine] occasioned most probably by confinement and change of food. Two others, a male kid and a young ewe seem also unwell, but as they have now the privilege of running up and down the deck in fine weather, it is possible they may yet survive the voyage.They are fed on grain, paddy, bran, and hay, instead of on oats & chaff as recommended by Mr Tower. We have now but four, 2 males & 2 females. We have also, I fear, lost the beautiful heliotrope which my Mother so kindly left as a last gift on board the ship to Harriet; it has had water regularly, but whether it is the sea air or the absence of the sun (for it could not be hung on deck) which has killed it, I know not; nevertheless the stump, cut down as it is, shall be still a cabin passenger in the hope that the climate of Australia may revivify any spark of life which may yet be at the root; the mignonette before withering providently gave us its seed; and the third little pot of treasure, the musk plant, still lives but in a very precarious state. Our other pets,the dog and the bird are well and contented.

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