October 23-November 5, 1880
Saturday Oct. 23: Made Cape Spartel on the African shore at 2 o’clock this morning. Was prevented from seeing light on Spanish shore by the thick haze. On African shore good many high hills. At 8:25 a.m. a large ocean steamer passed us. It is very calm and has been so since yesterday morning. The Rock of Gibraltar at first sight looks like a high mountain in the sea, but on approaching it nearer you can see that it is attached to the mainland. On the top is a lookout to see vessels’ signals. Gibraltar is about 600 miles from Marseilles.
Sunday, Oct. 24: A very heavy dew fell last night and it was quite calm. Can just see the African shore in the distance. On the Spanish shore there are very high hills covered with snow.
Monday, Oct. 25: This morning at 6 o’clock made light on Cape de Gata. Are very near shore today. This morning a bumboatBumboat Heave
A small boat used to ferry supplies to ships moored away from the shore. came off and we got some fruit.
Tuesday, Oct. 26: It was calm all last night but this morning there is a little wind.
Wednesday, Oct. 27: It is calm this morning. This morning at 6:30 saw light on Cape Palos, 410 miles from Marseilles.
Thursday, Nov. 4: Since I last wrote I have a rough time of it. From Wednesday to Friday evening had a good wind. On Friday night when we were about 90 miles from Marseilles the wind changed. A Northern blew, lasting till Tuesday noon, when it calmed down. At 4 o’clock a fair breeze sprang up lasting until midnight, when it began to rain and blow some. At 12 the next noon a terrific gale of wind struck up and it was fearful. This gale lasted 24 hours and did some considerable damage. … A pilot-boat was coming off to us when a squall struck and she went back.
Friday, Nov. 5: This morning at 8 o’clock saw a tug coming off which looked more like a large wash tub than anything else, but coming nearer saw it was a tug, and as we had a head wind we took it. It took the tug about an hour to tow us to the oil wharf where we dischargedDischarge discharged
When referring to a vessel's cargo, discharge means to unload or empty the vessel.. At about 10:30 the quarantineQuarantine Quarintine
The correct spelling is quarantine. It refers to the practice of required isolation to prevent the spread of something considered dangerous, usually disease. In the 18th and 19th centuries, international conferences set quarantine regulations for shipping. boat came along side and took Father to quarantine. 38 days from New York.
Margaret Oakes spent the next two months in the port city of Marseilles. See her account of her visit in our chapter Stories of the Sea: Women’s Roles.
They departed for Cuba on January 9, 1881.