February 1-14, 1867

Journal Entry 31: February 1867

Highlights from the Journal of Edwin Mitchell, Vol. II:

Feb. 1: "We are running dead before the wind and she is rolling in water all the time. This forenoon I have been a bailing the water out of our room, it runs in as fast as we can get it out....In the dogwatchDog watch

Two half watches of two hours each into which the period from 4 pm to 8 pm is divided. The purpose of dividing this watch into two parts is to produce an uneven number of watches in 24 hours, 7 instead of 6. This ensures that watchkeepers in ships, whether organized into two or three watches, do not keep the same watches every day. These two watches are known as the First Dog and Last Dog.
we furledFurl

To take in the sails of a vessel and secure them with gaskets. In the case of square-rigged ships, to haul in on the clew-lines and buntlines and roll sails up to the yards. In the case of fore-and-aft rigs, to lower and secure sails to the boom or stays.
the upper main topsail. We have had several hard squalls during the day, my hands feel pretty cold when I get aloft; it makes me think of the last time I was over this ground, it is lucky it is summer."

Feb. 2: "Well we have got around the first corner in thirty-six days without having much bad weather. I am glad we are heading for a civilized country once more."

Feb. 3: "We have got into the Atlantic once more and clear of Cape StiffCape Stiff

Sailors' nickname for Cape Horn.
but not out of the weather."

Feb. 6: "This afternoon I have been a boring holes in some boxes for putting in potatoes."

Feb. 7: "In the dog watch I picked oakumOakum

A caulking material made of tarred rope fibers.
until two bells, then greased the mate's boots. We were becalmed all night and during the day, also foggy."

Feb. 10: "There is a good lot of water about decks, I got the benefit of one sea which wet me all over, but I do not care for anything except my rubber boots for I have got a plenty of dry clothes."

Feb. 12: "It has been squally all day--strong breeze. Our second bosunBoatswain bos'n, bosun

Pronounced "bos'n," the leading petty officer of the deck crew of a merchant ship, in charge of equipment and the crew.
got hit by a sea on Sunday and knocked against the bulwarksBulwarks

The wall enclosing the deck of a ship.
and hurt his leg so that he is not able to keep the deck."

Feb. 14: "It did not blow very hard but the Capt. got scared of a black cloud to windwardWindward

The direction from which the wind blows.It is used as a point of reference in designating a movement or a location.
, he is very brave in daylight or a calm, but as soon as it gets dark the old woman makes him shorten sailShorten sail

To reduce the amount of sail, or canvas, used on a vessel.