Saturday, July 27, 2013

1 July 1859

July 1. Very calm and HOT. Umbrella useful. Two boats filled with passengers - they pulled out about a mile from the ship and the greater part of them bathed. Saw frequently large shoals of immense porpoises which jumped in groups several feet above the surface and played all sorts of tricks.
Campbell, Alexander. Letters and papers, 1859 - 1870. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 50

July 1st. The morning was fine but no wind. Here we are between the tropics and equator with the sun nearly directly above our heads. The heat is oppressive. You will think when I tell you that it melted the pitch out of the decks in some places. As we were nearly at a standstill the boats were lowered and a few passengers with sailors rowed off a mile or two where some of them bathed and then retuned all safe back again bringing with them what is called Portugese man of war. It is nearly like a blue coloured bladder but they tell me that they have a splendid appearance as they sail erect on the water and a number of small fishes attend them called pilot fish. Several very large flag fish appeared close to our stern about noon. One of the boats went off with the captain and a few gents who rowed round the ship to view her majestic appearance as she waited with spread sails for the salubrious breeze which bore us slowly on towards night.
Booth, Thomas. Papers, 1857 - 1859. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2002/56

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