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Week 10 - fine weather and sea shanties

[ 24th of April 1836 to 30th of April 1836 ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 10 A Whale Of A Time ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 10 - fine weather and sea shanties ]

With good sailing conditions at last, both the Duke of York and the John Pirie were making good progress, both heading south off the coast of Africa.  By 30 April the Duke of York sighted the Island of Brava, the southernmost island in the Cape Verde group, off the coast of present day Senegal, while the John Pirie passed Madeira to the north. In the fine weather the passengers were finally able to air their bedding and clean out their quarters, to the relief of all concerned no doubt.  The sailors meanwhile went about their routine tasks – making ropes, harpoons for whaling and barrels.  Captain Morgan maintained his regime of Bible reading daily, but his sailors obviously enjoyed lighter entertainment, paining him by singing their ‘impious songs’ in the evening.  We will try to find some sea shanties – not too impious- to post on the site as examples.

Another of the nine ships, the Emma, was also on its way and Charles Hare, secretary to John Morphett, wrote a last farewell to George Fife Angas and took the opportunity to show what a good organiser he was!

image of an emigrant's trunk with leather straps and brass fittings


Although the weather remains fine, all is not so well on board ship. Captain Morgan has more trouble with some crew members, while a young mother fights for her life in childbirth below.

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Emigrant's trunk, circa 1840s. History SA, Migration Museum collection.

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