Sunday 23 October 1836

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

Sunday Octr 23. Service to-day upon deck, indecorously interrupted by
the Captain who made a vast commotion in adjusting the sails when
there was certainly no pressing necessity for any thing of the sort.
The people were dismissed; but in five minutes he ordered them all
to be summoned by the bell: Mr Howard however declined to proceed
with the sermon and merely went through the remaining prayers. This
abrupt & irreverent conduct has created much discussion though very
little difference of opinion. It is especially strange that he should have
chosen such a time for making or shortening sail, when his favorite
position is that the fast or slow progress of a ship does not depend on
the number of sails set. Unfortunately for us this is the theory he in-
-variably puts in practice & yesterday we had for six hours the
precise amount & no more canvas spread under a moderate &
favorable breeze, than the ship bore under the heavy gale of the night.

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