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Week 4

Commencement of 4th Week

Sunday 27th July – spoke three fishing vessels yesterday, all French and saw many others around us. Much rain during last night. To day thick foggy weather and foul wind. Nearly a calm at night, with wind inclinable to draw aft.

Monday 28th – fresh and favourable breeze last night – very fresh from same quarter to day. Cloudy weather with drizzling rain.

Tuesday 29th – cloudy weather with nearly foul wind in the morning and forenoon. In the afternoon fine weather with calms and light airs. At 9 P.M. cloudy weather. Moderate and favourable breezes.

Wednesday 30th – fine weather and favourable breeze in the morning. Spoke the Brig John Potter, from Halifax and bound to England – also the Vestal frigate bound to Halifax. [1]   

At noon the weather became thick and cloudy with sharp rain – but afterwards cleared up when we had a fresh and foul wind.

Thursday 31st July – beautiful weather. Foul wind. Spoke the Merchant Brig John Potter, out 2 days from Halifax, bound to England – also H.M. Frigate Vestal bound to the same port as ourselves. [2] Land came in sight this morning to the Eastward of Halifax and we beheld it during the whole day – very uninteresting, with no mountains or grand features: Tacking off and on all the afternoon & evening.

Friday 1st August – fine weather. Foul wind. Employed beating to windward all day. At 5 P.M. took a pilot on board, and at 2 A.M. came to anchor behind S.t George’s Island.

Saturday 2nd – thick drizzling rain in the morning – soon cleared up. Calm nearly all night. At 9 A.M. wind came up from Southward – up anchor & with a fair wind moved well up the Harbour to our Moorings opposite Marshall’s Wharf. Shortly afterwards our passenger Capt. James Scott R.N. left us for the shore. [3]

IVth Hebdomadal Period 

This week has been very variable both in respect of wind and of weather. If we had to complain of either one day – the next, and the next would more than make amends. Tho’ we were constantly in the dread of foul winds, still we made good progress. We got well clear of the Banks of Newfoundland with its fogs and cold, without coming once in contact with any one of the many vessels which are anchored within its limits. On occasion indeed it was touch and go with us. A dense fog prevailed around us and we could descry no vessels within the very circumscribed circle of our vision. The wind blew fresh and favourable, and we were dancing cheerfully along, when as if by magic, the watery curtain was uplifted, and displayed to our view a Johnny Crapeau at anchor, not more than a mile ahead of us, and as right in our way as could possibly be, for getting a very awkward clout from our bows in passing – and here and there were others so that we had hardly a chance of escape from so many lying in our path.

We also got well clear of Sable Island, the principal danger you have to guard against as you approach the coast of Nova Scotia – and we made the land with fine weather and light winds, on so far to the East.d & Northward, that we were two days in beating to our port in consequence of the prevalence of Southerly and Westerly winds. On the very day we made the land, we descried the Vestal Frigate, astern and to leeward of us about 2 miles. We tried all we could to keep the vantage we had of her – but in vain – she came up hand over hand with [us] and by night was almost out of sight to windward of us.

On Saturday 2nd August in the morning we were anchored behind S.t George’s Island, but at 9 A.M. we moved up the Harbour to the proper moorings for the Packets.

Our arrival excited some surprise at Halifax – not being expected for a week to come, and the last packet having left for England only 4 days before us. 35 days are generally allowed for the passage out and we have been only 27. You may remember that on my two former trips to Halifax, the one occupied 7 and the other 10 weeks.

Sure [sic but ‘Soon’] after we were moored, our sole passenger Captain Scott landed. A few words will suffice to describe him. Capt.n James Scott was a very fine looking man, and what is more very pleasant, agreeable, and well informed. He is the author of a work, lately published, entitled “Recollections of a Naval life.” And there you will find material enough to enable you to judge better of him than from any thing I can say of him. He has come out to be Flag Capt.n of Sir George Cockburn, in the President 52. He has our best wishes for his health & prosperity.