Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Gold Rush Journal 'Round the Horn : Wildlife, Wind and Rum

Wildlife, wind and rum: sketches and observations after 2 ½ months at sea in 1849.

(by Palma J. You, Archives Technician)

After a stop on Saint Catherine, known today as Santa Catarina, the bark Croton sailed southward towards "Pattigonia on Terra del Fuego" April 3, 1849.  Mr. Chittenden notes "the streights are 15 miles wide & 50 miles long[…]mountains are high with snow upon the tops… land looks high & naked" [...].  There is "very little wood on bushes […] scattered here and thair like the western prairies." "The tide make 85 ft., Stattenland is about 30 x 7 miles. It is high and mountainous."

Mr. Chittenden writes there are "pleanty of seal & many foxes wolves tigers & the polar bair[…] large birds, the Albetrofs Petral Cape Pigion chicks Boobies Ostrich & others to numerous to mention." His sketch below is a view of the "Streights of Lamaire."

April 9th the bark Croton weathers Cape Horn:

"At 12 oclock the wind is increased to a gale, Sun obscured, Topsails reefed close, Ship laid to. It rains & hails, weather cold. Our correct position is not to be had this day. Our course is west by north of the wind […] we shall try & rum off before it."

"This cut represents the Bark Croton as she lay to in a gale off Cape Horn April 9th, 1849."

Earlier ‘Round the Horn journal entries feature a Receipt for Cholera, St. Michael and Saint Catherine.

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