July 1-11, 1866
Highlights of the Journal of Edwin Mitchell, Vol. I:
July 1: "We had a splendid dinner, it consisted of fresh meat stew, pea soup, two pies and hard bread, and some company in the bargain; they were the stewardSteward
The person aboard ship in charge of provisions and aiding the cook. and Charley, probably the reason for the dinner."
July 2: "Turned to this A.M. at three bells and went at my morning jobs, got breakfast at eight bells. I amused myself until four bells by reading my old letters, then took a sleep."
July 4: "Becalmed all day...Turned to this morning at three bells, done my washing and moping (sic) and then went in the between deck at work with Mr. Brown....The captain fired at some birds with his rifle, killed one and wounded three at one shot. They lowered the boat and brought them aboard. We had boiled pork and hard tackHard tack
A hard biscuit baked without salt made of wheat flour and water. It became very hard and would keep for a long time. While it could be made on ship, it was more commonly bought in barrels. for dinner....In most of the American skiffs they keep this day, but this is as much as you can expect of one who wishes to see the stars and bars float over the Belfast Customs House....I thought today of the difference in the living and pleasure I have had today and that of a year ago...Such is the life of a sailor in a down-east packetPacket
A vessel traveling on a regular schedule between two ports for the carriage of mail, goods, and passengers.."
July 6: "This P.M. the second mate sent me to slush down the foremast, he is down on us boys and he gave it for a making up job but it was just what I liked....There has been a light breeze the most of the day, but it is not from the right direction....I am afraid we shall make five and a half months of it."
July 8: "We are within five hundred and forty miles from Frisco, have made two hundred and forty miles since last Sunday, heavy business. We have got into the doldrumsDoldrums
An area of calm winds near the equator and it is a hard matter to get out again. Just at dark saw a sail in the western (?) bow....It is two months tomorrow since we saw the last one."
July 11: "Just before noon saw another sail in our western bow, she passed quite near us, we signalized her but did not get any answer....We expect to be in San Francisco tomorrow night if the wind holds."