Monday 22 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This day, at about 6 o’clock in the morning, we crossed the Line. I was up and intended being on deck, but was not aware that we were so near it. Now, having cleared the equinox, we got into the trade winds and went at a very good rate, expecting to be at the Cape in about three weeks. It was remarkable, however, that from the time my poor cat was drowned, nearly three weeks before, we had never had a fair wind until now, although during the last few days it had been somewhat better. The captain told me that he had never been so long in passing the tropics before. I could not help thinking that even he was not wholly free from the popular superstition, in which the mate also joined. As the contrary winds prevented our being becalmed, as is often the case in these latitudes, so they also cooled the air and prevented the excessive heat which we would otherwise have felt. Notwithstanding these conditions, our cabins were sometimes so hot as to be scarcely endurable.

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