17 Degrees 30
Minutes W. - At About Noon We Sighted Madeira.
At first it appeared little
more than a dark cloud above the horizon; gradually the sides of the rocks
became clearly discernible, then the wind bore us onward, and soon all
traces of the sunny isle were gone.
FRIDAY, 28, lat. 4 degrees 2 minutes N., long. 21 degrees 30 minutes W. -
Another opportunity of sending letters, but as this was the second time of
so doing, the excitement was proportionately diminished. This vessel was
bound for the port of Liverpool, from the coast of Africa; her cargo (so
said those of our fellow-travellers who boarded her), consisted of ebony
and gold-dust, her only passengers being monkeys and parrots.
SUNDAY, JUNE 6, long. 24 degrees 38 minutes W. - Crossed the Line, to the
great satisfaction of all on board, as we had been becalmed more than a
week, and were weary of gazing upon the unruffled waters around us, or
watching the sails as they idly flapped to and fro. Chess, backgammon,
books and cards, had ceased to beguile the hours away, and the only
amusement left was lowering a boat and rowing about within a short
distance of the ship, but this (even by those not pulling at the oars)
was considered too fatiguing work, for a tropical sun was above us, and
the heat was most intense. Our only resource was to give ourselves up
to a sort of DOLCE FAR NIENTE existence, and lounge upon the
deck, sipping lemonade or lime-juice, beneath a large awning which
extended from the fore to the mizen masts.
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