The Old Whaling Days
Journal of Messrs. Enderby's Schooner “Eliza Scott,” Captain John Balleny, While at Anchor in Chalky Inlet and After Leaving That Port
Journal of Messrs. Enderby's Schooner “Eliza Scott,” Captain John Balleny, While at Anchor in Chalky Inlet and After Leaving That Port.
In the possession of the Royal Geographical Society, London.
References are given at end of day's entry.
Spelling of original is retained, but not punctuation or capitals.
Sunday, December, 2nd, 1838.
The wind this morng is fresh with clear fine sky. Running or rather endeavourg to run on the parallel of yesterday. Lat. at noon this day 45° 57′. P.M. Steady and clear to the end.
Steady breeze and cloudy. Unstowed the anchors and bent cables. Lat. at noon 45° 57′. At 4 p.m. saw the land which I took for Port Pickersgill.* At 7 abreast of Cape West. Blowing hard at N.W. At 8h 30m entered Chalky Bay and beat up with strong wind down and a dirty night; turned past Port Chalky in the dark and had to lay to at the head of the Bay till day light. Blowg hard with heavy squalls from the N.W. I am very glad I missd the entrance to Port Chalky for it is foul and one large rock just visible at high water in the middle.
* Dusky Sound
At day light weighed and towed the ship up to the head of the harbour and brought up in 13 fathoms. Landed some water casks and gave the people the remainder of the day to wash clothes.
Dull weather with rain, clearg hold &c. &c.. On the passage out my barometer was broken & I endeavoured to take observations by the mountain barometer, but I do not think it will be of any service at all at sea as the slightest motion of the vessel causes the quicksilver to jump up and down at such a rate that I was afraid it would break the tube. I was glad to put it away. Yesterday I hung it up again and this morng took the first observation, but even the little motion the vessel has here causes a slight rise and fall in the mercury.
The weather this morng is showery with sometimes blue sky. The crew occupied in breaking out & restowg the hold.
* Mr. McBab.
This day is fine. Gave the men 4 muskets and let them go into the woods to shoot and stretch their legs. Having no means of obtaing fresh provisions but by the hook and gun Capt Freeman† and myself have generally endeavoured to provide for part of the crew, and I think a run on shore will do the men good, in point of fact the whole crew seem so disappointed in not being able to run as they expected that they are in a state little short of down right mutiny. Therefore I have allowed them to go and ramble in the woods but have always refused the boats unless with an officer.
* The Sabrina.
† Of the Sabrina.
We have the crew employed in restowg the hold &c. &c. but scarce a day passes without rain so that it impedes our progress greatly.
Still stowg the hold. The hold full of flies and the whole of us much distressed by them, the fasten on us with such fury and fly into the nose mouth and ears; the itching they leave is positively enough to drive one mad.
Crew busy stowg water & went with a couple of hands to catch fish but had bad luck.
This morng took the boat and sailed up “Edwardson's Arm”* to the source at the top it forms two of the finest harbours in the world, the first or outer harbour being completely land locked from the Bay and the inner harbour land locked or nearly so from the outer harbour fine beaches and plenty of fresh water, but flies innumerable Shot 15 birds of size large enough to supply the two cabins for 3 days.
This morg is rainy and windy so that we can get nothing done; it is a perfect deluge.
The fore part of this day was fine. People employed watering and stwg &c. &c. Latter part rainy.
Monday morg commences with cloudy rainy weather, with light & variable winds; In the afternoon saw a whale boat sailg up the harbour for which I was extremely sorry as it will afford an opportunity for the men to run, it proved to be a boat from the settlement† in Preservation Bay.
This morning being fine cut some spars and in the afternoon Mr Freeman and myself went round to Preservation Bay and took a cask for oil, both vessels being out of that article. We could not find the settlement but found an old one deserted. This eveng I desired Mr Freeman ot keep my boat alongside of the cutter‡ as I considered her safer there, the crew of the cutter being apparently perfectly contented and a good watch being kept at about midnight all was right and safe. I did not sleep before that hour.
* Chalky Sound.
† Jones' Whaling Station.
‡ The Sabrina.
This morg at daylight I awoke and on going on deck missed the whale boat from the cutter, and I then found that 5 men belonging to the Eliza Scott had gone to the cutter, and evidently with the connivance of the watch on board the cutter, stolen the boat and made off. Thinking they might make for the Settlement in Preservation Bay Capt Freeman and self again started to find it; we were successful as far as getting a supply of oil &c from the party but could hear nothing of the crew. This is a serious loss but as the rest of the crew seem perfectly content and willing to try their luck I still do not despair, indeed the remaining crew seem glad these people have gone and they all say they will now be comfortable. Two of these men were certainly two of the greatest black-guards I ever had on board a ship and I had a great deal of trouble with them on the passage out; more mutinous rascals could not be, & they have, I think, seduced two of the others from their duty. As for the 3rd. he had been much in Sydney and perhaps was the ringleader of the whole. I deplore now more than ever my long passage out as I might perchance have saved them altho' I am aware it was their intention to run when they shipped, but I could not carry sail on the schooner and on unstowing the vessel here I found a sufficient reason. The ground tier of casks which should have been filled with water were perfectly empty and it becomes no longer a matter of wonder the ship would not bear her canvass, but a matter of wonder she got here at all; On enquiry into the cause of the casks being empty the mate says he thinks they were not filled in London and lays all blame on Capt Shuttlesworth with what truth I know not as all this was done before I gained the schooner,* when the mate informed me that the ground tier consisted of oily casks filled with water out of the canal.
* The Eliza Scott.
This morg is tolerably fine. People employed middle stitching the mainsail, wooding &c. &c. carpenter & cooper cutting spars for topsail yard & main topmast, & in getting ready for sea.
The whole of this day the weather has been squally with showers. People employed in repairing sails.
The weather this morng is showery employed in mending sails & wooding and watering.
This morng is fine Capt Freeman went round with boat to Preservation Bay for some articles we want. At noon a strong breeze, at 7 Mr Freeman returned, the night is setting in for heavy rain.
The morg blowg strong ship drove, let go 2nd anchor. At noon more moderate, hove up the anchors and warped further off shore.
This is Christmas Day & blowg hard. I dined this day with Mr Freeman on board the cutter & gave his mates leave to dine on board the schooner. I told Mr Moore, my chief mate, that I laid no embargo on his grog drinking on this day only to remember and keep within the bounds of moderation. At 10 I returned on board and the only one sober was my 2nd. mate Mr McNab About 2 o'clock it blew so hard that both vessels drove & had to let go the 2nd. anchor. The mate still that stupid that I could not get him out of his bed.
Still blowg a gale of wind with heavy rain. Getting the sails bent for sea. The mate appears not to have page 468 gotten the better of his intemperance and has been exceedg impertinent so much so that I am inclined to turn him forward.
This is not the first time or act of intemperance and impudence. It is now become almost time to put an end to it. From his conduct I am more than ever convinced he was accessory to the departure of the men and boat & is, I think, endeavourg to sow the seeds of dissention amongst the people.
The mountain barometer is of no use when there is any motion. The mercury flies up and down the tube according to the motion of the ship. It is perfectly fast and steady against the bulkhead but the slightest motion of the vessel precludes taking observations with it at such times. Consequently at sea where the motion is constant the quicksilver also is in constant motion. I am sorry for this for I wished to gratify Capt Washington, if in my power.
This morning the gale continues unabated with heavy rain. All ready for sea.
Still blowg so hard that one cannot get under weigh. Crew employed in various ways.
Still blowing hard. Everything ready for weighing as soon as it lulls a little. We must ride close to the shore on account of the water & consequently are too near to get the anchor with the wind on the land. Tide flows 11 o'clock full & change of (& rises about 6 feet.
At daylight warped the Sabrina into a fair way. At 10 a.m. got under weigh and turned out of Port Chalky At 4 p.m. came to an anchor in Preservation Bay. Got more, wood, water, & boat from Settlement.*
* Jones' Whaling Station.
Blowg hard squalls so as to render it imprudent to proceed.
January, 1st., 1839.
No wind, ship all ready for sea.
At daylight blowg hard & fair wind with heavy rain weighed from Preservation Bay at 11 a.m. Solanders Island abeam of us at 9 p.m. came to an anchor in Pattersons River,* blowg hard from the S.W. I anchored here in order to get the clothes of the people I shipped in Preservation.
It has blown a perfect hurricane ever since we anchored and still continues.
This morg blowg and raing very hard. Signals of distress flying on board the cutter;† went on board & found 3 men had deserted. Went on shore and took steps for their recovery. At 8 p.m. got them on board and all ready for sea.
Blowg a perfect drift of wind all day.
At daylight attempted to weigh but it blew so hard we had to abandon the attempt.
Light wind and shifted to N.E. Got under weigh and turned out from the Islands. At noon running to the S.E. Blowing hard. At 4 p.m. doubled reefed. Lat.
* Stewart Island.
Rainy & moderate. Wind flew round to S.W. At noon lat. observed 49° 28′ S. long. 169° 22′ E.
This morning commences with strong winds and clear. At 8 double reefed. At noon lat. observed 51° 16′ South. P.M. squally with heavy cross sea. At 4 p.m. long, in 168° 56 30.
Light winds and clear. Saw the Island of Campbell's at 8 a.m., long. 168 55 45, noon Lat. 52° 26′ South. At 2 p.m. Mr Freeman pulled to the land to try for a few skins, found none, but found 4 men who had been left 4 years ago in a most wretched plight. At 7 Mr Freeman returned. Stood off. At midnight strong winds with rain and thick.
Still dirty weather. At 8 a.m. cleared off, saw the land bearing S. by W. At noon lat. observed 52° 30′. At 7 p.m. came to an anchor in Preservation Harbour.
At daylight sent a boat from each vessel to see what they could pick up. Capt. Freeman & myself went on shore and spoke to the people. It appears they have, in 4 years only obtained about 170 skins. I have agreed to take them off the Island on condition that the skins are the property of the owners of the vessels, to be delivered up to them in London on receiving ten shillings a piece for good prime skins and others in proportion. I have further agreed to give the 180 lay to these men for whatever may hereafter be obtained but no wages. In doing this I have been guided by a wish to relieve the wretched and to attend to the interest of my employers at the same time, and I trust the transaction may beviewed in this light. At 7 p.m. boat returned, got nothing. Filled up water and all ready for sea.
Blowg hard from the Eastward:—
Copy of Agreement for the skins obtained on Campbells Island.
It is hereby agreed between
on the one part and John Balleny of the schooner Eliza Scott on behalf of his owners on the other part that on condition of removg from Campbells Island and paying to them in London ten shillings for every prime skin delivered and others in proportion they abandon all claim to the skins now on board in favour of Messrs Enderby and others owners of the schooner Eliza Scott & tender Sabrina. It is further agreed that for the cargo yet to be obtained that the sd. shall have the one hundred and eightyith share without any monthly wages and it is further agreed that Messrs Enderby shall deduct from the price of the skins the amt of all slops &c advanced by Capt. Balleny to
Campbell Island Jany 14th, 1839.
S.E. (wind) Blowing a perfect gale so that we are better here than outside.
Variable (wind) Blowing hard, the cutter got under weigh but could make nothing of it and brought up again.
Variable. Blowed hard with heavy rain and thick weather. P.M. more moderate, saw a boat, the boat belonged the Emma of Sidney Capt. Biscoe.* This is rather a curious rencontre. Went on board the Emma & I find Capt Biscoe is in search of land as well as ourselves.
* The commander of the former Enderby expedition, 1831.
This morg weighed and made sail from Preservation Harbour. The Emma could not get under weigh it blew so hard and riding with 2 anchors at noon. Lat. 52° 46′ S. Dark and cloudy to the end. Either Cape West is laid down wrong or Campbells Island. My chronometer by the old rate from Greenh. gives the long, of Campbells Island very nearly and is rather east of the assigned long, whereas the rate given the chronometer by me in Port Chalky taking it for granted that Cape West is right, gives the centre of Campbells Island 168° 58 which is 34′ West of the given longitude.