Saturday 30 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

The winds are now, as Capn Duff foretold many days ago, very variable, & last night we experienced rather a severe squall. I was first apprized of it by Harriet’s awakening me in consequence, as she said, of the rain blowing in upon her (though swinging in the cot nine feet from the stern windows) and Mrs Duff immediately afterwards was at the door in great alarm begging me to go on deck but wherefore I believe she hardly knew. On reaching the stern windows, I found what Harriet took for rain was the sea, the waves of which breaking on the ship, threw a quantity of water into our cabin. Having shut these, I ran on deck, where all hands were at work in taking down the sails in the labor of which I cordially joined. After about a quarter of an hour, the squall & Mrs Duff’s alarm abated, the only injury sustained being one sail (the main royal sail) which was torn into shreds. During the squall we crossed two streaks in the sea of about twenty yards wide, and which were perfectly white. The cause of this peculiarity is unknown, but it occurs to me that it was possibly owing to the same which produces the phosphorescence (whatever that may be) for this phenomenon was more than commonly brilliant during the squall. The track of the ship bore a close resemblance to the milky way in the heavens on a very bright evening, only to form a correct idea of the appearance the stars comprising it must be imagined to be very much larger, always moving & emitting vivid coruscations. Harriet, who is still quite well, did not manifest the least fear, but on the contrary succeeded by her composure in calming Mrs Duff.

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