Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tuesday 15th November - Saturday 3rd December 1836

Editor's note: The three weeks from 15th November saw the Buffalo make good progress across the Pacific towards the western coast of the Australian continent.

During this period Hindmarsh's diary contains little more than the usual navigational and weather details with a few incidents worth mentioning.

The Proclamation was finally drafted: 

November 16th: Mr Stevenson has given me his final draft of the Proclamation. Other than a few spelling corrections and one or two run on sentences (for which I marked the paper "see me afterwards") I have approved it and placed it in the strong box in my cabin. I know Scoop has worked long and hard at this and I do appreciate his efforts. Sometimes he can be an arrogant sod, but he can be a decent stick at times.

A whale was sighted:

24th November: A whale swam near the ship after sporting with two or three others nearby. It swam up and surveyed us before heading back to its fellows. As Mrs Hindmarsh was on deck at the time taking her constitutional, dressed  in a large black crinoline, I am certain it turned tail and fled when it realised that it was unable to compete. I imagine the report it gave to the others was not entirely favourable,

Keeping the Governors animals continued to cause problems:

26th November: In order to keep the animals well watered I have had to strike an extra pint of water off the allowance to the passengers and and emigrants. Loud has been their whining and complaining, but I really cannot have the animals suffer and I think it unreasonable of the people to expect me to allow it.

Of course I have had the usual whining from the usual whiners, saying that they have but two quarts of water for cooking, drinking and washing, saying that the ship would move he faster if we made full sail, that our destination might be reached the sooner, but be buggered the lot of them!

We had less water than that on the Bellerophon when I was a young officer and we beat Napoleons and  the French at the Battle of the Nile. They all just need to toughen up.

Sadly, little Wilbur, the runt of the litter of pigs born as we entered the harbour at Rio, does not improve as I would like. I have had to keep the mainsail at single reef for the past month for when I allowed full sail a draft blew upon the piglets and this I cannot countenance. If little Wilbur should take a chill it would be the end of him.

My sister Anne offered to sit up through the night and watch the little fellow. Imagine my surprise when I went out in the early hours of the morning and found her nowhere in sight. After an anxious moment or two when I thought perhaps she had gone overboard I saw her emerge from the Galley, saying goodnight to the cook. At first I feared that something untoward was afoot, but she assured me that the cook had needed help getting breakfast ready and she had been helping him turn his salt pork.

I reminded her of her duty to little Wilbur and she settled down for the rest of the night.

Now I think of it, we did not have salt pork at breakfast that morning...

No comments:

Post a Comment