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A sealer's journal; or, A cruise of the Schooner "Umbrina." George, William 1895

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The above named vessel is registered at 99 tons;
is 98 feet in length, with a width at the waist of 22%
feet. She is fitted for sealing purposes, carrying 8
boats—7 hunting and 1 stern-boat.
Her crew, number 25 all told, as follows:—
Captain—Charles Campbell;
First Mate—Charles Dahlberg;
Second Mate—William Green.
Hunters—William Dominey,
William Edwards,
William Anderson,
William Pourie,
Thomas Cummings,   |
Thomas Pappenberger,
James Loveless.
Crew, Forward—John Friday,
William Hickman,
Peter Hansan,
John Raggatt,
Frank Apelgreen,
Joseph Cederberg,
Albert Schweickhardt,
Alfred Iones,
*Otto Glatued,
* Randolph Isosaksin,
*John Garmann.
Japanese sailor—"Dick."
Cook—James Dominey (formerly Oscar Ingleson.)
Cabin-boy—William George.
The three following men were formerly of the crew, but left in
Hakodate, Japan, June 13, 1895:—William Harris, Phillip Steeple
and Patrick Conlon.
* Denotes substitutes, who joined June 14, 1895, in Hakodate.
December 26th,1894—Whilst lying peacefully at
anchor in Rock Bay, Victoria, B. ffi a beautiful place
at the entrance of the "Gorge" river, from where one
can see the traffic of trains and electric tram cars,
that cross the bridges on either side, we were suddenly disturbed by the weighing of anchors, whilst the
tugboat "Sadie" made fast, taking us to Porter's
wharf, near the swinging bridge which parts Rock
Bay from James Bay. The schooner "Brenda," a sister vessel, also of the same firm, was afterwards
brought from her anchorage, and made fast to us.
At the same time, the schooner "Mermaid," formerly
a British revenue cutter, was being towed alongside
by three boats, two men in each. This hiade it look
very busy along the water-front for a while. Here
we remained nearly three weeks, during which time
we completed preparations for a nine-months sealing
The "Umbrina"has tanks fitted, capable of carrying 5,000 gallons of water, and has storage room for
carrying about 18 tons of coal, as well as room for a
good supply of provisions, while independent of this,
there is plenty of working room. She is not a very fast
vessel, nor was she built for one, but certainly I must
admit she is a comfortable home, and can weather
a gale as well as anything of her class.
Provision list is as foliows:—20 barrels of fine
plate beef, 3 barrels of prime pork, 9 barrels of roll
butter, 1 barrel of salmon, 2 kitts of salmon bellies,
4kittsof mixed pickles, 120 bags of flour (50 lbs. in a
bag), 20 cwt. of brown sugar, 3 cwt. of granulated
sugar, 6 bags of rice, 8 bags of beans, 9 cases of table
fruit, 4 cases of pie fruit, 9 cases of condensed milk, A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
16 cases of roast beef, 11 cases of boiled mutton, 6
cases of assorted soups, 20 cases of corned beef, 200
lbs. of tea, 8 cases of coffee, 4 cases of canned green
peas, 4 cases of corn, 8 cases of canned salmon, 4
cases of split peas, 1 case of pearl barley, 1 box vermicelli, 4 boxes of macaroni, 8 cases of tomatoes, 9
cases of Royal baking powder, 4 cases of clams, 1 box
of yeast cakes, currie, mustard, pepper, salt, raisins,
currants, vinegar, 2 doz. bottles of Yorkshire sauces,
2 cases of corn starch, sago, tapioca, spices, flavoring
extracts, 6 cwt. of codfish, 1 cheese,! ton of potatoes
from Victoria, 3 tons from Yokohama and 1% tons
from Hakodate, Japan, as well as ample supply of
mixed fresh vegetables, and fresh meat, which was
had daily whilst in port. I don't know whether I
have mentioned our entire stock, but if not, I think
there is plenty.
January 13th, 1895—We were fully prepared for
sea, but remained alongside the wharf till 4 p.m. on
Jan. 14th—Then the tugboat "Sadie" again made
fast to us. When all was secure, she signalled to have
the swinging bridge opened, which is four blasts from
her steam whistle. This done we were soon rippling
through the water and reached James Bay ten minutes later, where we anchored for the night. There
were three other schooners lying here, the "Brenda"
of Victoria, "C. D. Rand" of Vancouver, and the "M.
Morrell" of Seattle.
Jan. 15th—Had breakfast at 7 a.m., after:Which
the crew were set to work to prepare for our final departure. During the forenoon the Captain's wife and
children came on board, also many friends of the crew
to see us off. Quite a ceremony of kissing and handshaking took place, whilst the familar word "goodbye" was often repeated. About 10 a.m. the tugboat "Falcon" which was chartered to take us out,
came alongside and made fast. After several petty
delays, which is often the case when a vessel is ready
for sea, we weighed anchor at 1.30 p.m., and were
under way at 2 p.m. On reaching the outer wharf
the tugboat, in which all our friends had to return,
let go. The only accident that occured was the parting of the tug's bow line.>uA new one was immediately put in place to prevent other accidents. We set the
foresail, staysail, jib and flying jib, and with a good
fair wind from N. W. and free sheets, made good time. \
By 3 p.m. we were rounding the Race Rock lighthouse,
9 miles from outer wharf. The schoonfer' 'Brenda" came
out soon after, running wing and wing. At 4 p.m.
we set mainsail and topsails, and were off Cape Flattery at 8 p.m., distant 65 miles from Victoria. During the night wind increased rapidly, and we took in
mainsail and topsails at 10 p.m., coursevS. S. W.
Jan. 16th—The weather was still fine, with a light
breeze from N. N. W., set mainsail and topsails at 8.a.
m. and by noon it was dead calm. Wind freshened
again.during the afternoon, increasing toward night,
averaged about 6 knots an hour.
Jan. 17th—Weather still fine, with a strong wind
from N. W. which was acceptable. During the forenoon we double reefed mainsail, single reefed foresail,
and made good 9 knots an hour throughout the day.
The crew wasn't employed in any work, except taking
their turn at the wheel. All's well, bound for Yokohama.
Jan.18th—Weather fine, with a strong North wind,
having hauled from N. W. during the night. Forenoon course S. S. W. and at noon it was changed to
S. by W. About 1.30 p.m. we shook the reef out of
foresail, and one reef out of the mainsail, and set flying jib. A heavy sea was running, which gradually
went down toward evening. ™
Jan. 19th—Weather still fine, with a nice breeze
from the North, but not so much as yesterday.    At 8
a.m. shook single reef out of mainsail, and set baloon
jib and topsails. From 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. it was
nearly calm, after which the wind gradually increased.
The morning course was S. E. by S. and at 3.30 p.m.
it was changed to S. E. By 5 p.m. the wind was so
strong that we were obliged to take in all light sails,
and single reef mainsail. Later in the night we took
in mainsail and single reefed foresail.   Next morning,
Jan. 20th—We experienced a strong gale from W.
S. W. and hove the vessel to, under close-reefed foresail and reefed staysails. It moderated toward noon,
shook out stavsail reefs and one reef out of the foresail
and steered by the wind. Set jib at 3 p.m. but took
it in again at 11 p.m.
Jan. 21st—The wind was still strong from W. S.
W. which continued throughout the forenoon, course
S. E. by S. During the afternoon the wind lulled, and
at 1.30 p.m. shook out another reef of foresail, and
set jib and storm trysail, and an hour later the trysail was relieved by the mainsail, and the single reef
shook out of foresail, and all light sails set. Toward
5 p.m. it became calm, but did not last long, for at 7
p.m. the weather set in squally. The wind being a-
head, hauled aft the sheets, and took in all light sails,
and steered by the wind.
Jan. 22nd—Weather dull, with a strong head wind
from W. S. W. Long before daylight the mainsail was
single reefed, and at 10 a.m. single reefed the foresail.
About 11 a.m. the wind hauled to N. W. (once more
a fair wind) and we steered toward S. S. E. During
the afternoon weather moderated and at 4.30 p.m.
shook out all reefs, and set all light sails. Made good
five knots an hour. OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 9
I think it will be laughable, and interesting to
some of my readers if I mention some of the doings
and sayings of the crew.   We are now a week out,
and everybody on board is getting settled down.    All
those who got sea-sick recovered by the third day out.
As for myself I did not get sick but felt squalmish, but
would rather have been sick to ease that pain, but
fortunately I was myself again,  and could do  my
work with ease, as if I had been out amonth.    Oscar
Ingleson, our cook, could not get around/very well.
He always seemed as if he was top heavy; that if he
didn't catch hold of something, hewrould measure his
length on the galley floor, and get mixed up with the
pots and kettles.    He is a J)ane by birth, but has since
become a naturalized American.   He is tall and thin,
which makes him look like a shadow when walking.
His complexion is fair, with light hair, which is thin
at the top.   He is 42 years old, but would pass for
35 years when dressed neatly.   One thing^he has got
that he ought t^be proud of, and that is big feet—but
even these were not good enough for the Umbrina's
rolls, although they would be invaluable on terra fir-
ma, where he could coyer a lot. of ground, in a very
short time.
About 7 a.m. the Captain came on deck as usual,
taking a look round to see if everything was correct,
during which time he ordered one of the men of the
watch to slack off the main-sheet^ Obeying this order
the man took the turns offthebitts, whenhe accident-
ly lost his hold, which caused the boom to go with
terrific force against the main-rigging and he narrowly escaped having his fingers entangled* A few w^ords
that are not mentioned in the English dictionory fell
from the Captain's lips, whilst the man seemed stup-
ified, wondering what had happened. Instantly the
vessel was brought up in the wind, and the hands of 10 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
the watch, who were having breakfast, were called
on deck, to haul aft the main-sheet again.
. Later, about 10 a.m., I met with an accident; or
rather, did a careless trick. Requiring a drop of salt
water, I brought a large tin pail, which not having a
lanyard attached, I took the main-peak-purchase-fall
as a substitute, letting it over the side to draw the
water. J lost my hold causing the bucket to tow after us, whilst the vessel was. making 8 knots an hour.
It was laughable to see three men hauling at it as if
they were hauling in a seine. It was quite flat when
got aboard, owing to the force writh which it was
towed. It was lucky the purchase fall did not carry
away, or I would have got into trouble for destroying the ship's gear as well as loosing the bucket. As
it was, the Mate had occasion to tell me never to use
any of the ship's gear for lanyards, but to use the
draw bucket. Certainly I had no excuse, for the draw
bucket stared me in the face as soon as I came on
deck ; but no I must act contrary and get myself into
trouble. However, it is all over now, whilst those
on deck at the time had a good hearty laugh over it.
Another mistake occurred this evening. Abqut 7
o'clock one of the men went down to the main hold
for the side-lights, in which place they are kept. After lighting and taking them on deck, he hung them in
the boats' curtains instead of the proper place, and
thev were not taken notice of till earlvnext morninsr.
Whether the man did not know any better, or did it
for a joke, I cannot say; but I should think that anyone that knew anything about a vessel, would know
where to put them, or at least see the fixtures for the
same in the port and starboard fore-rigging. Speaking of it at the breakfast table caused a good laugh,
but though the Captain laughed also, he told the
Mate to find out such men and caution them against
such mistakes. Jl B OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 11
This is my third voyage sealing in this vessel, and
I find the entire crew to be an exceptionally fine lot of
men; wrell behaved, sociable and full of fun. They
pass away many hours at card playing and draughts;
when tired of those they commence singing and dancing, accompanied by accordions and mouth organs.
Joseph Cederberg is an excellent player of both instruments, and Alfred Jones must not be left out, for he
can play the bones so well that he would make a good
corner man in a Negro minstrel troupe. And then
there is "Paddy," who isjthe greatest comic onboard,
always making plenty of fun, and causing sidesplitting
laughter every five minutes in the day. Without exaggerating, I admit he would make an excellent clown
for a circus, and by going sealing he is losing time and
money. -The hunters keep themselves in amusement
with their pistols, rifles and shot guns, with which they
frequently take the lives of poor sea birds, which fly
close around the vessel waiting to devour the refuse
that maybe thrown overboard. When these live targets are scarce, tins, bottles, or pieces of stick serve
as a substitute. Not onlv does it serve for amuse-
ment, but it is a practice which makes them perfect in
their aim. Having stated a few occurences on board,
I will now continue our passage to Yokohama.
Jan. 23—We had exceptionally fine weather, with
light fair wind from N. W., had all sail set, and steered toward S. S. W.    The crew were employed setting
up new rigging. At 1.30 p.m. changed our course to
S. by W. At 4 p.m. the watch finished the rigging for
the day, after which they washed down, and cleared
up decks.
Jan. 24th—Weather dull/and squally, with a fair
wind. Steered toward W. by S. throughout the day.
During the forenoon the wind increased, and then took
in all light sails. It rained heavy all day, but cleared
toward evening, whilst the wind went down a little. If
Jan. 25th—Weather again fine, with wind still
fair, and although very light it was acceptable, course
S. W. The hands were employed to-day making chafe-
ing gear, or "bag wrinkle " as it is termed by sailors,
and they were also occupied slushing down masts and
The cook, whose description I have already given,
has suffered terribly from home-sickness, but is now
recovering, for which I am not sorry for he would
have driven me crazy, or home-sick, with his simple
"home, sweet home," which words he was often heard
to repeat, especially when the noted "Umbrina" gave a
roll.    On one occasion, a very rough day, with a heavy
sea running, whilst this poor unfortunate was in the
thick of his cooking, and the stove full of pots, the
vessel gave an unusual lurch, carrying away the pot
and kettle halyards, causing the pots to reach the
floor, where they chased each other from one side of
the vessel to the other.   The poor cook, who was in
their midst, could do nothing but secure and keep
himself from falling.   He could not even attend to the
Hj        hash that lay cooking on the floor, while to add to it
all, a kettle of water found shelter in the fire, causing
^^^|    I it to go out.   During this most tiresome time, I said
;j        I        to him jokingly "now is the time to sing home, sweet
{ home."   He did not reply to this, but looked as if he
^1    I didn't see where the joke came in.   I repeated it again,
■ when he told me I was very ignorant.   I might have
been so in his opinion, but that with the fun I was
enjoying, went together well, such as "fun and ignor-
| anee.' \   When he was able he was not long In clearing
Bj! i UP tne galley wreck—although the food was not re-
I placed in the pots, as might have been done had some
other cook been in his place, adding that "a little pepper from the floor would not hurt," or "what the eye
doesn't see the heart doesn't feel." OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER  "UMBRINA." 13
William Green, Second Mate, took sick to-day, suffering from pains in his back, causing him to be confined to his bunk, and as he performed the duty of keeping the Captain's watch, the latter now performs that
duty himself.
Jan. 26th—We had fine weather, with a light
breeze from E. N. E, Had all lower sails set and
steered toward the S. W. At 6:30 a.m. set the topsails; later the wind increased rapidly and became
squally. Took in all light sails, and single reefed for-
sail and mainsail. When the squall struck us first the
jib-topsail halyardsicarried away, but a new one was
soon rove off. The weather moderated during the
day and by 7 p.m, it was quite calm, and raining hard
which continued all night.    Next morning,
Jan. 27th—The weather was very dull, with a
high S. W. wind, vessel laying to under,reefed foresail and staysails. At 8 a.m. we shook out reefs, set
mainsail, and light sails,and steered by the wind. At
10 a.m. it became quite calm, and the sun shone out
in all its glory, and the dull clouds cleared away,
showing the bright blue sky, making it look beautiful.
The sea was as smooth as glass, and one would think
it impossible for it to rise into mountainous waves.
During the calm every stitch of canvas was taken in;
but this weather was too good to last long, for at 2
p.m. it became squally, at which time we set the foresail and staysails. The scene was changed; the once
smooth sea was now disturbed, making it choppy
with feather-white tops, and the beautiful blue sky
was now hidden by fast sailing dark clouds. It moderated again during the day, and by 8 p.m. was fine.
Jan. 28th—The weather was beautiful and calm,
At 8 a.m. a light breeze arose from the N. E. Set the
mainsail, and half an hour later it became calm and
continued so throughout the forenoon, and the storm /if
trysail was triced up to dry. At noon a nice breeze
rose again from the N. E., and the vessel was able to
make good 6 knots an hour. At 1:30 p.m. the fore-
stay carried away, which resulted in employing the
afternoon watch repairing it.
Jan. 29th—The weather was fine, with a light
breeze from the N. E. Steered toward W. S. W., and
averaged 4 knots an hour all day. Nothing else
worth mentioning for this day.
Jan. 30th—This day brought excellent and calm
weather, and at 10 a.m. a light breeze rose from N.
by E., and we steered toward S. S. W. The hunters
passed away a few dull hours to-day in preparing
their boats for sealing.
We have only four boats on our deck now, but
will get four new ones in Yokohama on arrival, making a total of eight, including the sternboat. The
latter is only lowered during acalm, and the Captain,
Mate and myself form the crew. Sternboats are generally smaller than the hunting boats proper, their
length being about 18 feet, while the latter range
from 22 to 24 feet in length; their sterns are the same
as the bows, with a cross piece fitted, and they are
steered with a paddle when a rudder is not shipped*
When the boats are lowered, the vessel is always
brought up in the wind, with staysails to windward
and head sails lowered. The boats all leave together,
each taking a separate course but keeping ahead of
the vessel, and in case of a leeward boat getting behind, as is generally the case, the windward boats
have to wait, so as to avoid giving scent of the boat
to any seals that may be to leeward. All boats sail
close on the wind, and on sighting a seal, the boat is
kept off, sail lowered, and the steerer creeps cautiously in case of the seal sleeping, so as to avoid waking
it.   Sometimes they wake before the boat is close OR, A   CRUISE   OF   THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 15<
enough and dive under; but they soon show to the
surface again, when the hunter, who is prepared, generally gets a shot at and wounds it. If wounded, a
chase is made till they are played out from the loss of
blood; but if seals are plenty, hunters don't care to
give one seal a long chase, but let it go and try for
others. I may say that some seals, even if they are
badly wounded, manage to outdo the swiftest boat
when rowed by three men, so that it is not worth
while giving a long chase. Seals only sleep when it
is fine, with the sun out. Some may be found sleeping in different weather, but only when they are very
tired. The following are a few of the names given by
sealers to seals: "Travellers," "sleepers," "tinners,"
"rollers" and "mouchers." The boats keep going all
the day, and if there is any wind the vessel follows,
but keeps a good distance from the boats, so as not
to disturb any seals. In case the boats^should run
out of seals, they tack and hunt on another course,
and the vessel is brought up in the wind, till the boats
are far enough ahead, after which she tacks and follows . Each boat is fitted writh lunch boxes and 'water
kegs, for in most cases they do not return till late.
If the weather is fine, and seals around, breakfast is
given at daybreak, after which the boats are lowered
and do not return till late if the weather continues
fine. Each hunter is furnished with 3 guns and 200
shells, with ample supply of powder, shot and wads.
One of the principal things on approaching sleeping
seals is to avoid making the slightest noise, for they
awaken verveasilv. I remember on one occasion last
year, whilst I was in the stern-boat and creeping up
on a sleeping seal, I hardly dared to breathe for fear
of waking- up the sleeping beauty, for the Captain
had bad luck—all the seals seemed to wake up before
the boat could get near enough.    The Captain, mad- ►16 A   SEALER'S JOURNAL;
dened at his ill luck, fired recklessly at one at long
range and killed it outright, proving himself to be an
excellent shot. He was so excited at this unexpected
piece of luck that he could hardly express himself. A
few minutes later, and he was on the thwart from
where he said he was going to have a good look
round for seals. Suddenly, as I was pulling, I felt
something heavy fall on my shoulders and on looking
round saw that the Captain had left his perch, caused
by the force of the boat going through the water. I
could have laughed heartily, had it not been for
waking the sleeping seals.
Jan. 31st—We had fine ■weather, with a nice breeze
from E., and steered S. W. by W.      j:
We are having very hot weather now, and I took
this opportunity of getting my head shaved clean to
the scalp, without fear of catching cold. This caused
general laughter among the crew, at my bald head.
The Captain delighted in exposing me before all hands,
and used to stay on deck, on purpose. Every time I
came aft or went fore'ard he used to take off my cap,
and keep it for several minutes, until everybody had
a good laugh. They soon found for me a few distinguished names, such as "Old full moon," "Bill Nye,"
"Bladder of lard," etc. Certainly I did not mind, as
long as it amused them, for I am full certain it amused
me, "so let well alone."
February 1st—The weather was still fine, with
a light breeze from S. E. steered S. W. Nothing else
worth mentioning for this day.
Feb. 2nd—Weather still fine with a strong breeze
from S. E. steered toward S. W., had all sails set, and
made good time, averaging about 9 knots an hour
for the day. About 2 p.m. weighted a vessel off our
starboard bow, sailing on the reverse tack to us, but
she was so far off, that we could not make her out. OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 17
We are all suffering from the most unbearable
heat, which strikes down from old Sol during the day,
and our poor old cook feels the effect most, for he remarked to the Captain, that the luxury of a windsail
would be convenient to lead into the galley. The
Captain full well knowing the sufferings of the poor
unfortunate, readily granted his request, and set some
men to work about it at once, who completed it by
evening. The cook did not want to be told when it
was finished, for he was right handy, and helped to
set it up. As soon as it was let down into the main
hold, which adjoins the galley, he was not long in
stowing away half his form up the shute of canvas,
just showing his legs, which looked more like two
sticks encased in a pair of pants about 8 inches too
short, forming part of a scare-crow, than human legs.
He was stowed away for fully ten minutes, showing
that he was determined to break it in properly, and
let it know its duty. Coming out from his hiding
place,\he blowed as if imitating a whale or some other
monster of the deep, when it comes to the surface to
blow. He sleeps in the main hold in a hammock, preferring it to sleeping aft in the cabin. His reason for
so doing, is to be handy to the galley, as well as to prevent having to go to and from the galley, in bad
weather, which is not very pleasant in the early morning when it is cold and raining. He doesn't forget the
windsail, even if he does take to the hammock, for he
always fastens it to the latter before retiring.
" Feb. 3rd—We had a strong wind from the South,
took in all light sails. Toward noon the weather moderated and all light sails were again set. The Captain expected to sight the Sandwich Islands, although
he was not sure of his reckoning, owing to the incorrectness of his chronometer./ During the afternoon
the wind blew strong again which resulted in once more 18 A SEALER'S JOURNAL;
taking in of light sails. The day wore by without
any signs of land, although a strict look-out was kept.
I will finish this day's work, by stating that William
Green lost his hat overboard. Jill
Feb.4th—First part of morning we had a strong
head wind with rain. Steered by the wind, and at
10 a.m. it became quite calm, which lasted till 3 p.m.
when a nice breeze rose from S. E. Set all light sails,
and made about 5, knots an hour. It did not last long,
for by 6 p.m. it was again calm, with the exception
of a few occasional puffs. The hands were employed
to-day making sinnet and chafing-gear.
The cook who found it very hot to-day during the
calms whilst his windsail refused duty, could be seen
often with his sweating form half-way up the hatchway, gasping for fresh air, as well as to cool himself.
Wm. Dominey who has secured agood quantity of
pinewood taken from the empty provision boxes,started sawing and planing, preparing it for making fancy
picture frames, whilst Thomas Pappenberger who is an
expert frame maker puts it together. Some of the other
hunters generally lend a hand, when they feel like doing something, or else to have a change from the constant sleep, or card playing, etc., which is indulged in
when a passage is made, or when it is not fit weather
to lower boats.
Feb. 5th—Weather fine, and nearly calm. The
hands were employed slushing down masts and booms
and a few other trifling jobs not worth mentioning.
"Paddy," and John Brewer busied themselves today making a windsail to lead into the forecastle as
they seem to feel the want of one, as well as the galley
squad. Whilst they were making it, Paddy remarked that he must hurry up, for he expected a "Paddy's
hurricane," for which he must set the windsail, in the
forecastle as a steadier. At 5.30 p.m., just as supper was finished, we sighted land, which the Captain said was one of the Hawaiian Islands bearing North from us. On Paddy seeing
land,he quit working at his windsail,and started jumping around the deck, pushing one here and pulling
another there all taking it in good part, for they knew
full well that Paddy was only in fun. Then he quit
jumping around, and gave orders to the men, telling
them to stand by with lines, and prepare for taking the
Island in tow, for the purpose of an ample supply of the
tropical fruit, etc., which grows abundantly on its soil.
Whether Pat's order was misunderstood or not, is
left to find out, for it was not carried out, and we saw
that "Garden of Eden" onlv to leave it without the
taste of its growth.
Owing to the intense heat we experience every day,
most of the crew have their meals, and even sleep on
deck, so the poor bedbugs which are numerous on
board in hot weather, have to manage to creep on
deck, if they want to torment anybody for his
blood. Some that I have seen will never manage to
get that far, for they are so fat and lazy, that they
would rather wait till the men returned to their bunks
again than work too hard to get up the ladders.
Feb. 6th—We had fine weather again to-day, with
a light N. E. wind, which continued all dav; and we
made good about 4 knots an hour.
Some of the crew passed away a couple of hours
this evening at their "g3^mnasium" with physical exercise. The former was constructed out of a stout rope
which was fastened to the port fore-rigging and the
foremast—by saying it was made fast to the foremast,
means^that the rope was passed through two hoops of
the foresail, and then hauled very tight by a number
of men, and made fast. Belaying pins acted as a substitute for the physical gear, and then the music com- nrtmm
; 4
bined, made quite an enjoyable evening.   It was past
10 o'clock before they retired for the night.
Feb. 7th—This day also brought fine weather,
with a light N. E. wind, which freshened a little at 8
o'clock. We then winged the vessel out, making good
about 6 knots an hour. The men were not employed
at any work to day, more than to take their turn at
the wheel.
From 8 till 11 p.m. the men that usually sleep on
deck, had a great ruff-and-tumble time of it, wrestling
and tumbling each other about, and throwing each
other's clothes around (of which some narrowly e^
caped going overboard), and did the best they could
to see how much noise they could make. Whether it
annoyed Neptune or not I cannot say, but the poor
cook, who was trying hard to catch a wink or so of
sleep, had occasion to go on deck and tell them ofc
their annoyance. Whilst he was speaking his voice
was drowned by the noise of those happy-go-lucky sailors . He retired again disgusted,and said that the mainmast would take more notice than those thoughtless
men. He further remarked, more to himself than any
other person, "that the morning watch would be
minus their 4 o'clock coffee, for he wasn't going to
turnout after being kept awake all night." But next
Feb. 8th—The cook took no notice of the annoyance
of the previous evening, for he was up at 3 a.m. and
by 4 the coffee was hot and waiting for the watch as
usuaL I may sa3r it would be against his nature to
have stopped their early refreshments, for he is so
good, that it would have hurt his feelings. This day
was excellent, with a nice breeze from N. E., had all
sail set and made good 6 knots an hour. The maintop-
mast staysail got torn, and was taken in at 2 p.m. for
repairs.   At 2:30 p.m. we winged the vessel out.       II OR, A   CRUISE   OF   THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 21
Feb. 9th—The weather was still fine; wind fair
from N. E. We ran wing-and-wing with all sail set,
and made good 5 knots an hour till noon, when it
became calm. The hands were employed making
chafing gear, and slushing down masts and booms.
About 7:30 p.m. whilst the men were grouped a-
round leisurely on deck, washing that a breeze would
come, to take us to our destination, a booby, a large
sea bird, happened to fly across our port quarter, but
was suddenly checked by Thomas Pappenberger who
was standing there at the time, when like an eagle
snatching at its prey, he caught this bird by the
wing and threw it to the deck, where it remained
helpless. Its presence soon brought everybody to the
spot, who enjoyed teasing it by poking it with sticks
or throwing the tomcat at it; the latter being more
frightened than the bird. It proved itself capable of
biting, for whilst one of the men was in^the act of
picking it up, the bird bit him in the thigh leaving a
scar; this caused him to drop it very quick, as well as
to give it, a wide birth thereafter. Whilst on board
it got sick, at which time it was set free. It was a
fine moonlight night and calm, and we were able to
see the bird rest on the water when a safe distance
from the vessel.   Sunday,
If Feb. 10th—Weather still fine with a light N. E.
About 9 a.m. we were surrounded with porpoises,
which soon brought all the hunters on deck, with guns
and shell, who kept firing on them as fast as they
showed out of water. Some were killed, and several
others wounded. One that was badly wounded could
not go far, and remained afloat. We were just lowering a boat to get it, when one of the hunters fired
again, killing it outright, which caused it to sink
instantly.   Had it not been for that last shot, we 22 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
would have been able to live on "Hamburg steak" pretty freely.
Feb. 11th—Weather fine and calm, which continued throughout the forenoon. A light breeze rose
fromN. E. at 1 p.m. and by 2 p.m. it was again calm,
which continued for the remainder of the day. The
hands were employed tarring down the rigging and
oiling decks. Nothing else worth mentioning for this
day. %>
Feb. 12th—Very early this morning about 4
o'clock, we experienced aheavy squall with hard rain,
which carried away the maintopmast staysail, tearing it from leash to leash. Both watches were called
to shorten sail, but it moderated soon after and all
sail set again at daybreak. The Mate, with the watch-
on deck, soon set to work and repaired the torn sail,
after which it was again set. The weather continued
fine throughout the forenoon with a light wind. But
at 1:30p.m. the long-looked-for fair wind came down
on us from the N. WMike a bloodhound when it scents
its victim, making the vessel heel over, whilst labouring under the quantity of well-set canvas, throwing
a little spray over herself occasionally and cutting
through the water at the rate of 9 knots an hour.
Most everybody appeared on deck at this time,
each one looking cheerful over the vessel's rapid progress to her destination. Even the poor cook managed to gain the deck, and stood amidships leaning
against one of the boats innocently watching the
vessel's progress. He had not been there long when
she shipped a heavy sea, close to where he stood, that
drenched him to the skin. It caused quite a jolly
laugh amongst those present, whilst the poor cook
slunk away to his caboose like a half-drowned rat,
little caring whether he was going to Yokohama or
the North Pole. H
^f Feb. 13th—Weather fine with a strong breeze
from the North, having hauled from N. W. during the
night, and the vessel making good about 9 knots an
All hands happy—the general conversation being
the talk of Yokohama, and what each one is going to
buy and do, etc. They also talk quite freely of wrhat
schooners have been, or will be in on our arrival, and
how many days it took such-and-such a schooner to
make the passage, and wondering which one will do
it in the least time, also whether anv men have been
lost or any accidents occured, etc.
Feb. 14th—First part of morning the weather
was squally, with a strong wind from N. E. Made
good about 8 knots an hour. By 9 a.m. the weather
moderated, although a heavy sea wras running, and
at 9:30 winged the vessel out. About 2:30 p.m.
whilst the man at the wheel was keeping the vessel
off to avoid colliding with a heavy cross sea, the
foresail jibed over with a thundering crash, carrying
away the fore-boom tackle; while the foretopsail
also carried awav, which was afterwards sent down
for repair. The block was soon replaced, and the
boom-tackle was once more doing its duty by keeping
the foresail from jibing. It was lucky that the fore-
boom was triced high, or it might have done more
damage from the force with which it went over.
Feb. 15th—Weather dull, with a light fair wind,
the vessel being winged out and making good about
6 knots an hour. We repaired the foretopsail that
carried away yesterday, and set it at 9 a.m.
Early this morning whilst the Mate was taking a
walk round the deck, he secured two flying-fish, that
must have flew aboard the previous night. Being
pleased over his prize, he asked Ingleson to cook them
for his breakfast, who replied, "All right."    Breakfast 24 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
f: was served at 7 a.m., and in front of the Mate's place
were those two fish beautifully cooked. The Mate
felt proud, knowing that he was the means of having
such a dainty dish present. Not being selfish, he let
each man at the table have a piece, which, although
||jj small, was acceptable if only to test its quality.   Our
tomcat, aware that something unusual was around,
came sniffing about wondering what it was that
smelled so good. He was soon set at ease, for a plate
of fish bones was set before him which he devoured
About 8 p.m. the wind hauled ahead, which resulted in our hauling aft the sheets. The hands not
being otherwise employed, passed the time in making
sinnet for their oars and rowlocks, which is used to
prevent making a noise when rowing, on approaching
sleeping seals.   Wind light all day.
Feb. 16th—Weather fine with a light N. E. wind.
At 6 a.m. it became dull away to the N. W., but this
soon passed away and it became clear again.
About this time we were surrounded with porpoises, whilst the flying-fish could be seen very often
flying around in every direction to escape their big
enemies. The presence of these "sea-hogs," soon
brought all the hunters on deck with their guns and
shells,bent on great slaughter. "Bang,bang,bang,"
as if two vessels were engaged in an angry conflict,
went the guns, as the hunters kept firing on the porpoises, killing some and wounding others. They are
so quick that it takes a man with a keen eye and
good judgment to lay one out, for they are not too
easily killed. William Pourie, a hunter, who is about
22 years of age and is a big, strong man of about 230
pounds, is the best shot we have on board; the entire
crew as well as myself admitting the fact, he having
proved himself so many times while shooting from OR, A   CRUISE   OF   THE  SCHOONER  "UMBRINA."
the vessel. On this occasion whilst shooting at the
porpoises, Pourie killed one which hardly showed
out of water, and the wray in which it was done w^as
clever.: He was standing right on the jib-boom dodging from one side to the other, as the porpoises
were playing round the vessel, when quick as a flash
of lightning, bang goes the,gun, and Mr. Porpoise
lay as dead as a log. The vessel was not making
much headway, so we tried to gaff the body, but the
gaff being too .short and we not having a longer one
handy, it floated astern only to become food for sea
birds and sharks. Had we wanted the carcass badly
we could easily have got it by lowering a boat and
fetchingit, but not thinking it w^orth while it was let
go. Although Pourie is so big and heavy he is not
clumsy, but can move around with the agility of an
Having been visited by flying-fish arid porpoises
1 may as well give a short discription of them. The
former, resembles a mackerel in shape and color, with
the exception of the wings. They can only fly from
60 to 80 yards at a time, as their wings get dry and
become useless; then they dive underneath and swim
a considerable distance before coming to the surface
again to fly. If the sea is smooth, it looks beautiful
to see those fish flying, leaving a trail caused by the
tail dragging along the water. I need not describe
the porpoise, as they are numerous enough in our
own waters and can even be seen in our harbours.
One thing I must say, however, and that is they are
good eating, and make a good change from the constant salt provisions we receive daily. The meat is a
very dark red, and is more palatable if hung up for
at least a week before cooking. When cooked it is
very tender arid tastes very much like liver. It is
good for making "Hamburg steak."   I have partly 26 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
described two of Neptune's subjects, and I will now
finish the day by saying that the weather remained
fine throughout.
jj Feb. 17th—Crossed the Meridian in Lat. 21, losing this day, making it the 18th^
Feb. 18th—The weather was beautiful, and hot,
with a light N. E. wind. Made good about 4 knots
an hour during the forenoon. During the afternoon
it became nearty calm, but freshened again toward
evening and blew strong. Had all sails set and made
good about 10 knots an hour.   Next day, r|j|
Feb. 19th—The weather was still fine with a
sti'ong breeze from the N. E., and made good about
9 knots an hour for the day. Lost the fan off our
taffrail-log this morning, which was afterwards taken
in and a harpoon logused as a substitute. The hands
were employed trimming the vessel by shifting salt
and heavy stores, so as to enable her to run well, and
also to bring her up by the head; they were employed
also setting up and tarring the rigging. Toward
night it looked threatening, as if we might have dirty
weather. The Captain remained on deck all night
keeping a strict look! out, owing to the appearance of
the weather. Took in all light sails at 9 p.m., and
about midnight a heavy squall struck us. The mainsail was instantly lowered halfway down but not
reefed, and remained so for the night, as it showed'
no signs of moderating.
Feb. 20th—The wind continued strong from the
N. E,, and a heavy sea was heaving. About 9 a.m.
we set the mainsail and flying-jib.
The Captain, who had been up keeping watch all
the previous night, without having any sleep, did not
turn out when called to his breakfast, but remained
in his bnnk lill 9 a.m. Turning out about this time
and feeling kind of peckish, he went to the galley a»4 OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 27
asked the cook if he had anything left from breakfast.
The cook replied, "No sir; but I will soon get yoti
something ready," at the same time dodging about
a§ if hewas looking for somebody. The Captain not
caring to put him to any trouble, said that a cup of
coffee and a slice of raw ham was all he wanted, and
then went off to his cabin, waiting the arrival of this
curious order. The cook in the meantime seemed to
have lost all control of himself, and had to ask me
five minutes later, what it was'the Captain ordered.
On my informing him, he busied himself in its preparation; but when it was ready, he poured out a
cup of stone-cold tea, forgetting that he had made
fresh coffee. Correcting him of his mistake he said,
"Now what do you think of me? I'm getting that
crazy that they will be for appointing me to the lunatic asylum if I carry on like this." I laughed heartily
at the remark; but finallv after this delerious state of
his, I was making my way to the cabin with a splendid cup of hot coffee and a nice slice of raw ham with
bread and butter. The Captain seemed quite ready
for it; and when finished he remarked "That it was
out of sight," which I found to be true when I cleared
away the empty plate and cup.
The wind increased toward night, with the seas
running wild; the night watchmen, especially the man
at the wheel, secured themselves with bowlines, to
prevent being washed overboard, for the vessel was
plunging heavily into the trough of the seas, whilst
the seas occasionally broke over her. We were running right before the wind, and the seas chased on after. The Mate said that between the hours from 10
to 12 p.m. they narrowly escaped being washed overboard; whilst we were lucky in not having the deck
swept right fore and aft, taking everything movable with it.   Next day,     If--- ~ 1      - -** ill
Feb. 21st—The weather was still squally, with a
fair wind from N. E. Early, about 4 a.m., a heavy
squall struck us. Had all sails set, and our main-topmast backstay carried away when it struck, which
caused us to lower the mainsail. It moderated rapidly during the forenoon, although a heavy swell was
|SH running.\ About 9 a.m. it was discovered by one of
|j§ the crew, that the mainmast was sprung, and as no
body had ever noticed it before, it left a doubt as to
whether it was an old crack, or whether it was done
recently. TowardVioon the swell went down and it
became fine, the sun shining bright. Set the mainsail
and light sails at 1 p.m. and steered with free sheets
making about 5 knots an hour.
The hunters had another gay time to-day shooting
at porpoises, but did not trouble getting any of their
Feb. 22nd—This day brought fine weather, although we had a strong fair wrind from N. E. Averaged from 8 to 9 knots during the day.
During the forenoon we were again surrounded
writh porpoises, which were continually playing round
the bows of the vessel. This gave the hunters a little
pastime, who enjoyed the sport of shooting them.
The crew not being employed at any work to-day
they took the opportunity to air and repair their best
clothes, for the purpose of being ready to go ashore
on arrival in Yokohama.   It was amusing, especially
H to a landsman to see those jolly-o' sailors trying on
each others clothing; wishing to know how they look
iij ^this hat,  and that coat, and so on, which very I
often looks comical, especially when a weatherbeaten
old'tar tries on a piece of the latest pattern clothing j
and it doesn't fit either way, although he fancies himself fit to kill.   I would like to be able to catch some
r I*
of their comical remarks, in these cases, bu't through f OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA."
being constantly employed working,-1 have to pass
on without noticing it.
Feb. 23rd—Weather still fine, with the wind from
JST. E. We made good about 8 knots an hour.
The hands were employed slushing down masts and
booms, and other trifling jobs which go toward making the vessel have a clean appearance on arrival in
port. Toward night it set in squally, and we took in
all light sails, whilst the watch on deck remained handy
in case of the necessity of reducing canvas in a hurry.
Next day, Sunday,
Feb. 24th—The weather was still squally, with/a
strong N. E. wind. Before daybreak wewere obliged
to single reef mainsail and foresail, but as the weather moderated during the forenoon, the reefs were shook
out, and all light sails set, About 4 p.m. the wind
freshened again, and hauled to N. N. E. Took in all
light sails, and toward evening, single reefed the foresail.
About 8 p.m. after the day's work was over, and
we were all sitting together in the hunters'room, discussing the cause of our losing a day on crossing the
Meridian, we were suddenly checked by the shipping
of ^heavy sea, of which no small portion came through
the skylight of the hunters' room. There was a rush
for the lockers, for we all had slippers on, and the
water ankle-deep, rushing wildly from one side to the
other, caused by the roll of the vessel. Poor Mr. Anderson who got his feet wet, wished the water somewhere else, and although he did not give vent to his feel-
. ings by language j his face looked like a thunder cloud,
but later turned calm. Those who escaped a wetting
had a good hearty laugh, and half an hourl later the
confusion was over, and the place once more dry,
whilst the Meridian subject was decided, only to be
followed by more questions of a similar nature which 30 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
were each answered in their turn.   We finished our
Sunday night's chat by 10:30, and then retired.
Feb. 25th—Weather squally, with variable winds.
We had all sails set, and at 5 a.m. carried away the
main-throat-halyards, which were repaired soon after.
About 9 a.m. we were obliged to take in all light
sails. The hands were kept busy hauling aft and
slacking off sheets, owing to the contrary winds,
which increased rapidly toward noon, resulting in
reefing the mainsail and foresail. A large flock of
pelicans flew past us to-day making for the N. E.
The weather moderated during the night.
Feb. 26—The weather was fine, with a nice breeze
from N. N. Shook out all reefs and set all light
sails at 7 a.m., and made good about 7 knots an
hour.    Nothing else worth mentioning to-day.
Feb. 27th—The weather was.rough first part of
morning, with a strong North wind, but by 8 a.m. it
moderated rapidly, and was nearly calm by noon.
About 1 p.m. the wind rose again and blew strong,
and at 1:30 we reefed the mainsail and foresail.
About 5 p.m., whilst the vessel was going through
the water at the rate of 7 knots an hour, we were
followed by a number of porpoises, playing around
the bows.   This gave the hunters a little more sport,
and they succeeded in killing three outright, whilst
another, which must have felt the effect of a shot,
leaped or breached as high a ten feet from the water,
and kept going at a good rate; but showed up once
too often and was at last killed.   During the shooting
some of the men stood by with gaffs in case a carcass
floated handy enough to the vessel, but no such lucfe
happened. Had we been badly in need of one, we
could easily have lowered a boat and got it, but as
we were making good time toward our destination,
it was not worth while. [During the night the wind
hauled to N. N., E. and blew very strong.} fL OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 31
Feb. 28th—We experienced a strong wind from
N. N. E. and put vessel under close-reefed sails, with
sheets hauled well aft, and steered toward N. W. by
N. Weather very cold and dry. During the forenoon
it moderated; we then shook one reef out of the mainsail, and toward evening if became fine, although a
heavy sea was running. Shook out all reefs at 8 p.m.
and set flying-jib; after which we made good about 6
knots an hour.
March 1st—Very early, about 2 o'clock, this
morning the mainboom-tbppin'lift carried away. We
took in the mainsail and stowed it, and at daybreak
the Mate with the watch on deck set to work repairing it, which they completed by 8 a.m., when the
mainsail and light sails were again set. The weather
was beautiful, with a very light wind from N. E. We
only made from 2 to 3 knots an hour all day. Rove
off anew wheel-rope this afternoon, and shifted Stores
from the after storage room to the main hold. Finished work at 4 p.m.; had supper at 5, and the remainder of the evening was spent in singing and
William Pourie and Pat. Conlon arranged to-day
for a friendly boxing contest of six rounds, which was
to take place on deck at 4 o'clock sharp, when work was
finished. Pourie was on time but Pat. was nowhere
to be seen; but finding him at last, Pourie asked him
if he was ready for the mill; whereupon the latter
answered, "No, but I will soon get ready," and also
reminded him not to hit below the belt. This being
agreed to, Pat. arrayed himself for the occasion. Ten
minutes later he appeared on deck, with apparently
as much earnestness as if he was about to encounter
the great American champion fighter; But somehow
or other Pat. must have forgotten (or perhaps never
knew) where the belt was to be worn, for he wore a 32 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
hat around the rim of which his belt wras placed, and
as hitting below the belt was prohibited, it resulted
in a draw without a blow being struck." -^   J§;~
March 2nd—The weather was still fine, writh a
light breeze from the South, and we steered toward
N. W. by N., making about 5 knots an hour. dj/ff
J|J When James Loveless turned out of his bunk this
morning just before breakfast, he went on deck to see
what the weather was like or if there was anything
around. Bill Dominey came up soon after, and said,
"What are you looking at, Loveless?" The latter answered, "I fancy I can see a schooner away ahead."
This caused Dominey to strain his eyes in the direction
that Loveless was looking, but not seeing anything
he exclaimed, "Get away with you ! there's no schooner ahead; it must be a bedbug crawling over your
eyebrow, and you are trying to/make me believe it to
be a schooner." Loveless only laughed at this remark, and went below to breakfast. The subject
being broached at the table caused a general laugh
all round, followed by other jokes and funny sayings.
The wind changed to S. W. at 10 a.m., and we
steered close on the wind. The hands were employed
slushing down masts and booms, and doing other
trifling jobs.
After the day's work was done, the crew'passed
away another pleasant evening, singing and dancing,
Joseph Cederberg and Alfred Jones supplying the
music. Mr. Anderson although past 40 years of age,
joined in the dancing and proved himself an expert,
for he was so light on his feet that we could hardly
hear him. He is a comical old sort, always ready to
join in any fun; or to sit down and tell his experience.
If he notices anyone inclined to disbelieve him, he will
express himself with such earnestness as would make
a cat laugh. March 3rd—Weather still fine, with a light S. W.
wind, which about 7 a.m. hauled to the N. W. and
soon became calm. This only lasted a couple of hours;
then the wind freshened again, accompanied by hard
rain, which lasted all day. Toward evening it blew
hard, and at 6 p.m. we took in flying-jib, and reefed
mainsail and foresail, and steered by the wind. About
10 p.m. the standing-jib carried away, which was
afterwards taken in.
March 4th—Weather fine, and we steered by the
wind, although strong from the N. W. Repaired the
standing-jib, after which it was set.
About 9 a.m. we sighted a schooner to leewrard,
on the same tack as us, and apparently bound for
Yokohama. The Captain took it into his head to
run down and make her out, for which purpose all
reefs were shook out and flying-jib set. An hour later we were only about half a mile off, and made her
out to be the sealing schooner "M. Morrell" of Seattle.
We did not go down to speak, but kept on our course
toward our destination. During the afternoon the
wind hauled to the North, and moderated toward
evening. The men passed away the time in playing at
cards, draughts, quoits, etc.
March 5th—This day brought fine, calm weather,
and though all sails were set, they flapped limply for
want of wind. During the forenoon all sail was taken
in, and the hands were employed unreeving the main
and fore sails, which were stretched and rebent, and
afterwards set.
About 10 a.m. a turtle was seen from the vessel.
We lowered a boat and tried to get it, but the turtle
went under water, and wasn't seen again. The boat
returned and was hoisted aboard and secured.
During the afternoon a light breeze rose from the
N. W., and we then steered by the wrind. 34 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
March 6th—The weather was still fine, with a
light breeze from the N. W. At 9 a.m. it hauled to the
N. E., and we steered N. W. by N. It hauled again
at 6 p.m. to E. N. E., at which time we gave her free
sheets and made good about 6 knots an hour.
The poor cook was sick to-day; but kept on his
feet working as best he could. He was weak and
looked topheavy. When he moved from place to
place it was dangerous to be near, lest he should fall
and measure his longBliinform on top of you, instead
of on the floor, for fie was obliged to hold on to
something lest he should lose his balance.
March 7th—Weather still fine, with a light S. W.
wind, and our course was N. W. by N. About 8 a.m.
it became calm, which continued all the forenoon.
At 10 a.m. a shark was seen from the vessel. We
enticed it close by thro wing small pieces of pork overboard, and having succeeded in gaining his society,
we prepared a trap for him. A stout- rope with a
running bowline was sooii ready, which the Captain
held over the side; but before this was of any use
another rope, with a large piece of pork attached and
a couple of iron bolts with which to sink it, was
brought. The latter was cast over the side, and let
sink a foot under water, and the other end made fast
on board. Sharky soon followed for his prepared
meal, and just as he snapped at the pork the Captain
tried to pass the bowline under him, but it went right
into his mouth instead, only to be bitten in two pieces.
He alsofbit the rope with which the pork was fastened
and escaped, having swallowed his sandwich composed of iron bolts and pork. Several shots were
fired at him but to no effect, for he escaped uninjured.
March 8th—Weather still fine, with a light S;.,JY.
wind. Steered N. W. by N. with all sail set. and about
8 a.m. themaintopmast-staysail carried away, which OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA."
was instantly taken in and repaired. The work was
done in a hurry, and not short of several homeward-
bound stitches, and when completed it was again set.
During the afternoon the wind freshened, and all light
sails were taken in, and by 6 p.m. we were able to
make good 8 knots an hour.
The crew amused themselves this evening, in various ways, such as testing their strength, climbing
ropes hand-over-hand, and balancing themselves on
tightropes. The latter was the most amusing, for it
was sidespliting to see some of the clumsy fellows fall
when they made an attempt to do this feat. I don't
mean that the tightrope was erected aloft; no, it was
just three feet from the deck; and the way they balanced
was by lying on their backs across the rope, with legs
crossed and arms stretched out as a balance. Two
or three of the men proved themselves experts at this
as well as the other athletic feats. After tiring themselves of this, they finished by singing and dancing;
then retired for the night.
March 9th—The weather continued fine, although
there was a strong wind from S. W. Had all lower
sails set, and steered N. W. by N. % N., making good
9 knots an hour; As the day wore on the wind increased, and by 1 p.m. we single reefed mainsail and
foresail. An hour later, it blew so strong that we
were obliged to take in and stow the mainsail, and
close reef the foresail. At 4 o'clock the wind hauled to
the N. W., which was a head wind, at which time the
vessel was hove to. On inquiring how far we were
from Yokohama, the Captain said just 125 miles,
and that if it was/clear we would be able to see land,
an island just 100 miles from Yokohama. After heaving to she rolled heavily, causing some of the stores
to shift in the mainhold. The poor cook who has
been more or less sick since he left Victoria, tinkered 36 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
around with hammer and nails doing his best to secure everything solid. Laying his hammer down for
a while to get something, gives him a long search for
it; he is so absent-minded he forgets where he left it.
Presently a whole pile of boxes came down by the
run, which made the cook so mad that he said:
"Where the duce is that hammer? If I could only
find it I'd throw it overboard!" After more than
half an hour's search, he found it (but did not give it
a watery grave), only to continue securing his stores/
Not being a very good nail driver, he would
manage now and then to come down on his fingers
—the words which followed the act I will not mention.
He perspired freely when finished, and remained sit-
| ting in the hatchway till cool, after which he retired
for the night.
The Captain told the watch to keep a strict lookout for land to the South'ard.   Next day, Sunday,
March 10th—Brought dirty weather—raining and
squally. At 6.30 a.m. we set single-reefed mainsail
and jib, and steered N. by W. Sighted land at 7 a.m.
bearing W. N. W., which we found to be a group of
islands about 100 miles from Yokohama. We tried
to weather them, but as we were fast drifting on shore,
our course was altered to West, and then ran to leeward of them. The wind although strong, became
stronger, and when under lee of the island we took in
mainsail, and double reefed foresail. The islands were
inhabited, as we could see houses, and fires which w^re
burning in the open air, as we could see the smoke
very plainly. In some places the land was low and
level, which looked beautifulfand green, and would
be still more beautiful if a few European-built houses
were situated in the midst, surrounded by large trees, j
We cleared the islands about noon, and then steered by
our former course, N. by W.   A couple of hours later,
j  "\
a strong head-wind came up, which caused us to run
back under the lee of the land. Here we remained,
just sailing round in smooth water till 10 p.m., when
the weather moderated and we got away, and by
midnight it was calmr
March 11th—At daybreak this morning, we found
ourselves about 15 miles from the islands, with fine
weather and a light head-wind from the N. W. Had
all sails set, and steered bv the wind. About 7 a.m.
the wind hauled one point in our favor and kept
gradually hauling, so that by 9 a.m. we were able to
lay our course. Passed several islands during the
forenoon, which made it a pleasure for one to remain
on deck and view the scene. The wind hauled ahead
again, and the sheets, which were slacked off, were once
more hauled tight aft. About 1 p.m. it blew strong,
and not being able to weather one of the leeward
islands, stood off and sailed to the leeward of it. We
did not feel the effect of the wind whilst under its lee,
but as soon as we cleared it we were obliged to shorten
sail, taking in all light sails and single reefing mainsail and foresail. We were just able to lay our course,
making about 4 knots an hour. Passed another island at 3 p.m., to windward, with a burning volcano,
which was visible after dark, showing very plainly its
bright redflames. At 8 p.m. we sighted "Cape Mara
light," which was about 30 miles off, and is 60 miles
distant from the harbour of Yokohama. At 8:30 it
became quite calm, which made it a beautiful evening
with clear moonlight and a smooth sea. Shook out
all reefs and set light sails; but the}r were not of much
use till midnight, when the wind freshened from S.W.,
giving us a fair wind up the straits. f§
March 12th—Very early this morning, about 2
o'clock, everything was full of life, for we were surrounded with Japanese fishing boats, two of which
V      -jL" U 38 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
came alongside. This soon brought the hunters, who
did not care to sleep or seem to care whether those
who have to work or keep watch slept either, on
deck. They had all the lights burning in the cabin,
enough to illuminate a large ballroom, wrhilst they
kept cackling like a lot of rooks in a rookery, imitating
the poor Japs., and laughing and making fun of their
boats, or "sandpans," as they are called by the Japanese. We exchanged hard biscuit and meat for fish,
which were cooked for breakfast, and enjoyed by
everybody. Mr.; Anderson, whose first visit this is^
to Japan, got so excited at all he saw, that he could
hardly express his astonishment at the manner of the
Eastern races. When he helped himself to fish, he said
"I'm darn if I hav'nt jumped into another kingdom,
and I wont know om single soul whilst there is nor
nother bit o' fish around., Aint thatgoodfish? Bill,"
referring to Bill Dominey. "I would'nt change it—no
I would not—for all the salt meat that ever was put
up. Would you Bill ?" "You are right, Anderson, it
is good fish all right!" answered Dominey Jand justice
was done to it by both.
After breakfast those lucky hunters, who have
nothing else to do, prepared to go ashore, by giving
themselves a respectable appearance; and then came
on deck, to take in the sights on our way to harbor.
Unfortunately when about 15 miles off it became,
calm, which lasted till noon, and disappointed everyone; but the3r were soon made cheerful again, for a
nice fair breeze rose at 1 p.m., allowing us to near the
long-looked-for harbour at the rate of 6 knots an
hour. We arrived all safe at 3:30 p.m., and anchored
outside the breakwater.
Whilst on our way up, several Japanese boats
managed to make fast to us; some with curios, while
others brought visitors from several of the schooners
that lay in port, some of whom I knew. There was
quite a ceremony of shaking hands; also questions
concerning the voyage, etc.
About an hour after anchoring, there were not
more than six men left on board; for the others had
taken the opportunity to leave and go ashore. The
cook arrived on board at 7 a.m., well satisfied with
his previous night's leave, and had breakfast ready by
8 o'clock, composed of beefsteak, eggs, fish, etc. This
finished, the Captain told him to go ashore and seethe
doctor, to find out if his complaint was in anywayf
serious enough to prevent him from continuing the
sealing voyage. Complying with this order, he left for
shore soon after dinner, and returned at 3 p.m. with
the news that he was to be paid off and sent to the hospital. Thus we parted with our goodnatured old
"chef"   . f |;' * f■ |f |        B
March 14th—The weather was beautiful, with a
light wind from the S. E.
Mr. James Dominey, formerly cook of the British
sealing schooner "E. B. Marvin," of Victoria, B. C,
was signed at the shipping office, Yokohama, as cook
for the "Umbrina,"and commenced dutvon the even-
ing of this date. He left the "Marvin" at his own
request, with the intention of returning to Victoria;
but after much persuasion by the Captain, and his
brother, who is one of our hunters, he finally agreed
to join us.
March 15th—The sealing schooners in port, both
British and American, were as follows:—
British vessels that sail out of Victoria: "Umbri-
na"of Shelburne, N. S.; "Brenda" of Shelburne, N. S.;
"Agnes Macdonald"of Shelburne, N.S.; "Ocean Belle"
of Victoria, B. C; "Charlotte G. Cox" of Victoria,
B. C; "Sadie Turpel" of Victoria, B. C; "Diana" of
Victoria, B. C; "City of Santiago," "Vera," "Casco"
nd "E. B. Marvin."   The four last named were for-
merlv American vessels.
American vessels: "Mattie T. Dj^er" of Portland,
Ore.; "Rosie Sparks" of San Francisco, Cal.; "Bow-
head" of San Francisco, Cal.; "Jane Grey" of San
Francisco, Cal.; "Ida-Etta" of Seattle, Wash.; "M.
Morrell" of Seattle, Wash.
There were also two men-o'-war present, an English and a Russian. The English one was H. M. S.
"Gibraltar," a protected cruiser of 7,700 tons, with a
complement of 500 men. The Russian warship was
named "Admiral Korniloff," a battleship of 5,500
tons, with a complement of 400 men.
March 16th—I paid a visit to the English warship to-day, where I soon found two of my old chums
who were shipmates with me on board of H. M. S.
"Warspite," when flagship of Vice-Admiral Hotham,
C. B., on the Pacific station from the year 1890 to
'93, in which I served two years and nine months,
leaving at Esquimalt on Dec. 1st, 1892, at my own
request, which was granted by Captain the Hon.
Hedworth Lambton. Whilst on board the Gibraltar,
I was shown all over, and soon learned that she was
sent from England with relief crews for certain warships on the China station, and will leave a week
after this date for Hong Kong and other ports, from
whence she will return to England. Being thoughtful, I took on board quite an assortment of books,
knowing full well they would be invaluable to those
poor sailors, who travel from place to place, waiting
months at a time for a mail; whilst other poor fellows
get no mail at all. It was raining hard, and I was
fortunate enough to have my umbrella.
The day after our arrival, we received a mail,
which was welcomed, and resulted in a busy writing
tournament to answer the same. OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA."
The crew enjoyed ample leave on shore, as well as
paid visits to the several schooners that lay in port.
The Captain gave every man money, so that it was
an encouragement to land on terra firma, and buy a
few trifling articles which a mariner generally needs
after a long sea voyage. I went ashore and enjoyed
myself thoroughly with all I saw. I engaged a carriage
or jinrikasha as it is called by Japanese, in which I was
driven all over the city, enabling me to see all the principal parts, which a person would never find if/on
foot, and not knowing his way about. These jinrik-
ashas are small, and are driven at a rapid speed by
men and boys, at the rate of 10 cts. an hour, or 1 yen
a day, which is only about 65 cents a day American
money.   On,
March 17th—Mr. James Dominey and myself
went on shore, and after engaging a jinrikasha each,
were taken all over the city. As it was Sunday we
went to Christ Church—Rev. E. Champneys Irvine,
M. A., Rector. Being too late for service, we were
shown around by the Japanese man who cleans and
locks up the church, after services are finished. Everything reminded one of the English fashion, writh its
large organ, books, and choir settings. Satisfied
with what we saw, we paid our men for driving us
around, after which we went to the Royal Naval Club,
where we met with several men-o-war's men. The
place was cosy, and comfortable, and kept by an Englishman formerly of the navy. Here we remained and
interested them in the sealing business, as they interested us with naval affairs, etc. Two hours later we
wished them good night, and then returned on board.
During the afternoon the "Empress of China"
arrived here from Victoria, B. C.
March 18th—I was lucky in getting a letter from
my home in Plymouth, England v which came in the
mail brought yesterday by the Empress.    She left
to-day for Hong Kong and other ports.
Yokohama is a large seaport town, and is only
25 miles from Tokio the capital of Japan. It can always be seen with a large number of vessels of all
kind, for every day large numbers ply in and out of
the harbour, whilst the steamers make no small noise
when whistling to warn small crafts to keep clear.
The Japanese fishing fleet, which exceeds 300, looked
very picturesque as they lay fishing, with their snow-
white sails, especially when the glorious sun shone on
them. On coming up the straits, forts can be seen on
either side, showing it to be impregnable, as well as
adding to the beautiful scenery of which it can boast.
During our stay we reprovisioned and took in
water. We also got four new boats, and a large
quantity of bamboo, with which to make gaffs and
boat booms, etc.   Finally, on jg
March 19th—After a weeks stay, we weighed anchor at 2 p.m. for the sealing grounds ; but unfortunately, half an hour later the Captain discovered that
he had left his clearance papers on shore, so the vessel
was put about and aboat lowered, which in less than
an hour was again alongside and hoisted on board,
and we were again on our way out, steering South.
At 4 p.m. we passed the British sealing schooner
"Rosie Olsen," she being bound in. [During the night
the wind became strong, and we took in light sails.
and single reefed mainsail and foresail, and steered by
the wind as it was head.] Next day,
j: March 20th—The weather was fine, with a light
breeze, and at 6 a.m. shook out reefs and set flying-
jib. During the forenoon a Japanese trading junk
passed us, bound for the islands, with provisions and
stores. Toward noon, the wind breezed up, and we
again reefed sails, and made good time. OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER  "UMBRINA."
March 21st—Weather dull, with a strong headwind. We steered by the wind. Nothing else worth
mentioning for this day.
March 22nd—Weather continued dull, with hard
rain and strong wind. Toward night it blew very
hard; so we took in mainsail, double reefed foresail
and hove to.
Paddy, who had been employed taking in sails,
when finished came to the galley and bawled out:
"Hi, cooky! the old packet is laying eggs; I'll send
them down directly for my supper. Have them nicely
cooked; turn them, and garnish with potato peelings.''
The cook said that he w^ould be only too glad to do
him such a favor, provided he would send the eggs in
Now I must relate a little anecdote about an
alarm clock, which was bought in Yokohama for the
use of the galley squad. This piece of furniture is of
great service to the cook, for if it was not here, the
cook would sometimes make a mistake, by giving
breakfast at 2 or 3 o'clock, or perhaps at dinner time,
which would not be very suitable hours for our bold
jolly tars. It is true it wras an alarm clock, for it had I
a bell and springs to prove such, but the deuce of any
Sound would it give us when wound up. We did
all sorts of things to make it speak, but still it would
not do its duty. Being tired of its stubborness, we
hung it up, with the idea of never hearing it ring.
Later the vessel gave a few good rolls, whets, something happened.    The rolling must have put a little
life into the old clock, for it surprised us by letting off
a loud ring, as natural as if trying to tell us that it
was not seasick.
About 4 p.m. two of the fore-starboard boats
shifted loose from their lashings, caused by the heavy
rolling. The watch was soon called, and the boats
were once more secured. mm
jr w
March 23rd—Weather bright, with a strong wind
from North, and vessel lying to under double-reefed
foresail and staysail. Set the jib at 1p.m., and steered by the wind. Later about 4, the wind went down
and the reefs were shook out and trysail set.
March 24th—The weather was beautiful and calm
till 8 o'clock, at which time a nice breeze rose from
the South'ard. This was a fair wind, and we tookin
trysail, and set mainsail and all light sails. About 9:30
a.m. we spoke the American sealing schooner "Edward
E. Webster." She reported having secured a catch of
of 130 seals up to date, and that she had spoken the
American schooner "Allie I. Alger a week since, with
a catch of 110 seals. After speaking she steered to
the N. E. and we continued on our course. During
the afternoon the wind increased, and the mainsail
and light sails were taken in; the trysail was afterwards set and foresail single reefed.
March 25th—The weather was still fine, although
a strong S. W. wind was blowing. The vessel was
hove to under close-reefed foresail and staysail. Toward noon/it moderated, and at 1p.m. the reefs were
shook out, and trysail and headsails set, after which
we steered to the N. W.
Half an hour later a sleeping seal was seen from
the vessel, and after bringing her up in the wind, with
staysail hauled to windward, a boat was lowered.
Unfortunately, before the boat was close enough, the
seal awoke, and Pourie who was in the bow fired a
double shot, trusting to Providence whether it hit or
not, as it was so far off; but the seal escaped uninjured, and the boat returned. The trysail was afterwards taken in and mainsail set, and soon after, the
boats were lowered for the first time this season.
They had not been out more than an hour, when
Tom. Cummings returned, owing to the boat being OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA."
in a leaky condition. He having seen only one seal,
the Captain told the Mate to hoist the return flag,
and by 5 o'clock all boats were secured on board,
after which we steered E. by N. Took in mainsail at
6 p.m.   Our catch for the day, was 7 seals.
March 26th—Weather dull, with a good breeze
from N.  N. E., and we continued steering E. by N.
Early, about 5, the trysail was set, and breakfast
was served at 6 instead of 7 o'clock, the usual hour.
About 8 a.m. saw a sleeping seal from the vessel;*
lowered a boat, and Thomas Pappenberger whose
watch it was, went in it and succeeded in killing the
seal. During their absence all the other boats were
prepared to lower, and cleared the vessel by 8:30.
An hour later the wind increased rapidly with hard
rain, causing the boats to return. All on board by
10:30 a.m. with only one seal, which was got in Wm.
Pourie's boat; the rest returned without any—or
what is commonly termed by sealers "skunked."
After all boats were secured, we steered North. About
11 a.m. the foremast-head band carried away. The
foresail was/instantly lowered, and the work of repairing quickly started, and when the work was accomplished, the foresail was again set. During the
afternoon the weather moderated and became beautiful, and toward evening it was calm.   Next day,
March 27th—The weather was still dull, with a
light Southerly wind and a smooth sea. During the
forenoon it breezed up, and blew very hard by noon.
Whilst at dinner, the British schooner "Diana" crossed
our bows. We just had time to hear how many skins
she had (80) before she was out of speaking distance.
We continued on our course till 6 p.m., when we
double reefed the foresail and hove to.
March 28th—    '   f:
March 29th— mmmm
March 30th—and
March 31st—The vessel remained hove-to, with
variable winds.
Having been confined on board all that time without a chance of lowering boats, and not even seeing
any seals, made most everybody anxious, cross and
uncomfortable; especially those poor fellows who
have to depend on what seals they get, to make
wages; for if any thing should happen so that the
boats did not get any seals, they make no money.
It is different now to the four previous years, when
hunters were gettingfrom $3 to $5 a skin, and if seals
were plenty^an average hunter could manage to secure a catch of 400 seals in his boat in a season. The
boats' crews were given wages to the sum of $1 a
day, from the time they left Victoria till they returned
again, whether they went in the boats or not. Then
there was another encouragement to the boats'crews;
for in most cases, if a hunter did well, he gave both
his men from 25 to 50 cents a seal, on the catch of his
boat.    But that is all over now.
Soon  after dinner to-day the subject of sealing
was[dwelt upon, and its results at present.    Two or
three said there must be a "Jonah" on board to bring
such bad luck.    Then they talked of casting lots to
find out who this "Jonah" was, and soon put it into
execution.    The Captain, who enjoyed this fun, cut
enough ballots to go all round, and on each one was
written some comical   phrase,  such   as, "Good for
clams,". "Ring-tailed monkey," "Old  keg-drainer,"
etc.    I wont mention them all, as I don't think it is
worth while. The Mate having drawn the ballot
with "Jonah" written on it, caused a loud, long and
hearty laugh; and he was for several days looked upon as an unlucky individual. "Good for clams" came
to my lot, which caused another hearty laugh; and
as each one drew, a good laugh was the result. OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 47
Soon after supper, a travelling seal was seen near
the schooner, which was fired upon, but it managed
to escape. Weather moderating and prospects good
for lowering boats tomorrow.
April 1st—Brought a fine day, with a light N.
N. E. wind. At daybreak we sighted a schooner to
windward, which lowered her boats at 6 a.m. We
set all sail with the intention of getting to the windward of her, but about ten minutes later a seal was
seen sleeping ahead. We brought the vessel up in the
wind and hauled staysail to windward; lowered a
boat, and after killing the seal the boat returned and
was let hang in the burtons. Through this delay, all
intention of windwarding the other vesse^ was abandoned, and after lessening canvas we lowered boats,
clearing the vessel by 8:30 a.m., and which returned
at 6 in the evening with 27 seals.    Next day,
April 2nd—The weather continued fine, with a
light N. E. wind. Lowered boats at 5:30 a.m., which
returned at 7:30 p.m. with a catch of 53 seals.
April 3rd—Weather dull, with a light S. W. wind.
Saw two schooners; one to the windward, the other
to the leeward, and both had their boats out. We
lowered our boats at 5 a.m., and at 11 four of them
returned owing to the scarcity of seals; the other
three boats which had continued hunting, were now
brought back by the hoisting of the recall flag. By
dinner time, all boats were secured on board, and after setting the mainsail, we steered toward N. E.
About 4.30 p.m. we spoke the windward schooner,
which we found to be the American sealer "Anaconda'
of Seattle. She was then lying-to under foresail, and
staysail, taking her boats on board. We lowered a
boat in which the Captain paid her a visit. He there
learned that she had a catch of 115 seals, 5 of which
she caught to-day. An hour later the Captain returned, 48 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
and hoisting the boat on board we continued steering to the N. E.   Next day, 7|„ X
April 4th—The weather was squally, with a
strong wind blowing from S. W. The vessel was hove
to under foresail and staysail till 8 a.m. when a reef
was put in the foresail; slacked off the sheet, and
steered toward E. N. E. Nothing else worth mentioning for this day.
April 5th—First part of morning the weather was
dull, with light fog, and a strong S. W. wind blowing.
It moderated rapidly during the forenoon, and by 10
o'clock the sun was shining brightly, whilst the sea
went down with the wind. 'Dinner was given at 11
a.m., after which we lowered boats, which returned
again at 6:30 p.m. with 10 seals. As soon as the
boats were secured on deck, we made for another
sealing ground, owing to the scarcity of seals here.
The wind hauled to the S. E. and our course was S.
W. bvS.  I §|. I    I •    S
I may as well relate a little accident that occured
to the galley squad this morning. About 10 o'clock
our Japanese boy, who stowed away in Yokohama,
and is now better known as "Jonnie,'^ and myself,
were comfortably pealing potatoes for dinner, and
utterly ignorant of danger, we were suddenly disturbed by the falling of a pot of nearly boiling water
from the stove, scalding both of us badly about the
head, neck and back. I being the nearest, received
the worst of it. The pot struck me in the back, while
some of the scattered water went over the poor Jap.
Although in an agony of pain, and nearly faint from
the result, I felt sorry for the Japanese boy, who could
not speak a word in English of his pain; but rushed
wildly to a bowl of cold water, and commenced bathing the places where he had been scalded. He was
suddenly checked from this as he was only making it
-iT worse. I afterwards went aft in thecabin, where the
Captain gave me some salve and clean white rags,
and was soon doctored up; after which I laid downi
for an hour to relieve me of my faintish feeling. The
Jap folio wed my example in lying down, although
there was not much cause for his doing so. However
we let him lay till supper time, when we asked Dick
a Japanese sailor, to ask him if he was hurt much.
Dick who can speak the English language very good
told us that he wasn't hurt much, although he could
do/with a little sleep. His cuteness made us laugh,
for if he was let alone, he might have stopped there a
week. Wm. Pourie who soon heard of the accident
came to the galley, and bawls out to the vcook, "You
scald yer kids, hey?" repeating it two or three times,
in such a comical manner that the cook nearlv fell
dead laughing. He promised to do my work, while I
rested, but as I refused this offer, he persuaded me,
adding that I wrould feel much better for i
April 6th—The weather was fine, with a light N.
W. breeze. We had all sails set, and steered toward S.
W. by S., with free sheets. Each hunter according to
his boat-crew's watch, remained on deck keeping a
strict lookout for seals. At 7 o'clock we got one seal,
and between the hours of 8 and 10 we secured two
more, and another one about 10:30 a.m. The latter
was a piece of smart work, and it was William Pourie who killed it. Pourie was fore'ard amongst the
crew, having great fun with boxing gloves (knocking
everybody out, as he called it), while the perspiration
flowed from his brow freely, when presently a voice
shouted, "aseal! aseal!"and Pourie who had his gun
handy, snatched it up, and without taking aim, fired
and killed the seal asdead asadoornail. Aboatwas
lowered to fetch it, whilst Pourie continued his fun among the crew. About noon our course was changed
to E., the wind being nearly ahead, we hauled aft the
sheets. Toward evening the wind increased, and at
6 p.m. w^e took in mainsail and head sails, single reefed the foresail and hove to.   Next day,
April 7th—We had a strong wind from N. E., and
vessel was still hove-to. Toward noon it moderated,
and at 1 p.m. we set trysail and jib and steered toward theS.W.—having drifted for more than 60 miles
since the time of heaving-to, owing to the force of the.
current that runs here. Hove to again at 6 o'clock
and took jib in. Although cold, it wras a fine, clear
moonlight night.
April 8th—Weather very dull, with a strong N. E.
wind still blowing, and vessel hove-to; but at 8 a.m.
set jib and steered S. W. Fired at and killed two
seals from vessel, and in spite of the heavy sea, a boat
was lowered and we got them. It remained dirty
throughout the day.
April 9th—The wind increased rapidly during the
night, and was now blowing a living gale from S.W.,
having hauled from N. E. Early, at 3 oclock, we
hove to under close-reefed foresail and reefed trysail.
The barometer was down to 29-30, and it rained
very hard till 8 a.m., when the dull clouds cleared
away, showing the beautiful blue sky; whilst the sun
shone out in all its glory, giving signs of a lovely day.
The barometer rose gradually, and by noon it was
nearly calm; but leaving a disturbed sea, which made
the vessel roll badly. Sighted a vessel to leeward, at
3 p.m., with her boats out. Later, we got two seals
from our vessel. The sea went down toward evening.
April 10th—The weather was beautiful, with a
nice breeze from E. N. E. Lowered boats at 7 a.m.;
and at 9 we spoke the British sealing schooner "Arie-
tas," the vessel that was in sight yesterday.   They OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 51
lowered their stern-boat, and Captain Scarf paid us
a visit. His boats were out hunting, so he could not
stay long. He reported having 134 skins, 34 of which
he got yesterday; and he further stated that he was
going into Hakodate to fill water, expecting to leave
for that place in two weeks time. Our Captain took
advantage of this good opportunity, by writing a
couple of letters, which he gave Captain Scarf, asking
if he would favour him by posting the same on his arrival in port. The wind increased gradually, and by
10 o'clock all the boats,had returned, with only four
seals. Some of the hunters stated that they had seen
a lot of travelling seals going to windward. It was
impossible to get near them owing to the cross seas,
some of which occasionally found their way into the
boats, and kept a man continually bailing it out.
After all boats were secured on board, we steered towards S. E.   Next day,
April 11th—The wind was stronger from N. E.,
so we double reefed the foresail at 4 a.m.; but at 6
we shook out one reef again, and continued steering
tothe S.l E. '  'I   r |:/      I,"'
April 12th—Weather fine, with still a strong N. E.
wind blowing; but it moderated a little during the
forenoon. At 8 a.m. we shook the single reef out of
the foresail; took in trysail, and set mainsail and
head sails, and kept steering to the S. E. From 10
a.m. till dark we passed through a lot of seals. Although it was too rough to lower boats, we man-
ged to get 6 seals from the vessel during the day.
The weather moderated greatly during the day, and
— O mS CD •/     I
next morning,
April 13th—The weather was beautiful, with a
light breeze from S. S. E., having hauled from N. E.
during the night. Lowered boats at 5:30 a.m., after
which the Mate commenced repairing the band for 52 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
the mast head, which carried away last night for the
second time this season. This work took him most
all day, for it is no picnic for a man to be doing carpenter's and blacksmith's work when aloft, with the
vessel all the time rolling. All boats, with the exception of one, returned at 6:30 p.m., the other returned a
little after 8, with 61 seals all told. Took inmainsail
at 9 o'clock, and hove to.
April 14th—The weather was dull, with a strong
Southerly wind blowing, and the vessel hove to under
foresail and staysail. Sighted a vessel to leewrard at
7 a.m., and at 9 a.m. we slacked off the fore-sheet and
steered to the N. W. Later the wind hauled to the S.
W. and blew hard, with heavy rain. We afterwards
turned over and secured boats; took in staysail and
jib; double reefed the foresail, and hove to.   Next day,
April 15th—The weather was fine again, and
calm. Shook out all reefs; set staysail and jib, and
lowered boats at 6 a.m., which returned again at 7
p.m. with 64 seals. One of the hunters reported seeing a vessel whilst out in his boat, but was too far
off to make her out.
April 16th—The weather continued fine with a
light S. E. wind, and the vessel lying-to under foresail
and staysail. Set the jib at 6 a.m. and at 6:30 we
lowered the boats. The schooner kept following the
boats, steering close on the wind. About 10 o'clock
the wind freshened, and by 10:30 all the boats had
returned with one seal. This one was got in Mr.
Anderson's boat—better known on board as "let-'em
-bide" or "soul-case's" boat. After getting boats on
board and secured, the trysail was taken in, and
mainsail set, and we steered by the wind.        -| j
About 1:30 p.m. we sighted two schooners ahead,
both with their boats out. We soon found one of
them to be the "Penelope" of San Pedro, California, OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 53
one of her boats having spoken us at 3:30 p.m. Her
hunter asked how many seals we had ; to which our
Captain replied. He sailed away too quick for any
further conversation, so we continued on our course,
and half an hour later we made the other schooner
out to be the "E. B. Marvin" of Victoria, B. C, lying -
to under small canvas. Our course was altered, and
we were soon running down to where the "Marvin"
lay, with a view of speaking. It was past 5 o'clock
when we got down to her, and she was then getting/
some of her boats on board. At 6:30 we lowered a
boat in which the Captain paid her a visit, and there
learned that she had a catch of 275 seals. She further
reported having spoken eight schooners during the
past week; among them was the "Allie 1. Alger" of
Seattle, and the "Sophie Sutherland" of San Francisco. We learned that the latter vessel had picked up
a boat, with crew, who were out five days in the open
sea, having got astray during a thick fog. I don't
know what vessel the boat belonged to; because
those that broughtfthe news, did not think of asking
During the absence of our boat, the mainsail was
taken in, and as the wind increased we double reefed
the foresail, whilst it rained to perfectionin the meantime. Boat returned at 8 p.m., and after securing it
on board, we continued steering by the wind. Next
JJApril 17th—We had a strong wind from S. W.,
and the vessel was hove to under double-reefed foresail, trysail and staysail. The rain cleared by 8 a.m.,
whilst the clouds cleared away, showing a bright sky
and giving signs of a lovely day. By 9 a.m. the wind
went down considerable; we then shook out reefs and
set jib and flying-jib, and steered by the wind. About
9:30 we spoke the American schooner "Rosie Sparks"
of San Francisco; a small vessel of 45 tons, carrying fl'—-'
four boats, and who reported having 120   skins on
board.   After speaking we continued on our course.
April 18th—Proved to be a fine and calm day.
Lowered boats at 5:30 a.m., and at noon Wm. Anderson returned to the vessel with three seals; and
after he and his men had had a good cup of tea, they
left and continued hunting on another course. All
boats returned at 6p.m. with a total catch of 27 seals.
One of the boats reported speaking a boat belonging
to the"RosieSparks," who.said that theyhadspoken
several schooners lately, allfwhich reported seals to be
scarce, and which we ourselves admit to be the truth.
The foresail which carried away to-day, caused
J3y the constant flapping during the calm, was taken
in and repaired. About 6p.m. a light breeze sprang
up from North; we then set the foresail, and after all
boats were got aboard, we steered toward W. S. W.
Took in trysail at 7 p.m.
April 19th—First part of morning was dull and
calm. We lowered boats at 6 a.m. About Saheavy
rain squall, with a little wind struck us; all the boats
turned to come aboard, but as it soon cleared they
continued hunting. It grew calm again, and remained fine all day. A light breeze rose from N. E. at 3p.m.
and at 4 all the boats returned with the exception of
one, which was out till 6:30 p.m. One of the boats
reported speaking the schooner "Herman" of San
Francisco, but did not give any news of any conse-
quense.   26 seals was the catch for the day.
-April 20th—Brought with it dull weather with
rain, thunder and lightning, and a strong breeze from
S. E. About nine a.m. we saw a sleeping seal from
the vessel; lowered a boat, but it was of no use because
the seal awoke and escaped. After hoisting the boat
in the burtons, where it was let hang, the mainsail
and jib were set, and we steered by the wind.   The OR, A  CRUISE  OF   THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA."
weather became fine toward noon; but as night came
on the wind increased again rapidly. The mainsail
and head sails were taken in, and trysail set, and foresail single reefed; after which the vessel was hove to.
April 21st—The weather was beautiful and bright
although a strong wind blew from S. W. and a heavy
sea running. Vessel hove-to all day under reefed foresail and staysail.
April 22nd—The weather was fine and calm, although a heavy swell was heaving. Lowered boats
at 8:30 a.m. "Pat' who has been excused from duty
this last week through having sore eyes, resumed work
again to-day. Wm. Dominey returned to the vessel at
5 p.m. and reported that he had only seen^3 seals for
the whole day, out of which he got 2. As there were
no other boats aboard, he left again and continued
hunting, returning again at 6.30 p.m. wdth another
seal, making three for the day. All the other boats
returned an hour later, with 27 seals all told. During theevening alight breeze rose from the South, and
we steered toward the West.
April 23rd—The weather continued fine, with a
light breeze from South. Set the mainsail at 5:30 a.m.
and at 6 lowered boats; but they were obliged to tack
at 10 o'clock, through coming in contact with the
"Geneva's" boats, which were hunting on the reverse
tack. The vessel was brought up in the wind, allowing the boats to get far enough on the other tack.
Wm. Dominey passed close to us, as we were lying-to
and bawled out that he had got 5 seals, j As soon as
the boats were far enough ahead we continued after
thern. About 4:30 p.m. -we saw a sleeping seal; and
the Mate, who was handy with the gun, soon killed it;
threw over a small flagstaff to mark the spot, and
then lowered the stern-boat, and soon got it. Hoisted
the boat onboard again, and continued following the 56 - A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
hunting boats. They all returned at 7 p.m., with a
catch of 69 seals. Thomas Pappenberger, reported
having paid a visit on board the "Geneva" which vessel spoke the Arietas" two days ago with 440 skins.
The mainsail was taken in during the night.
" | April 24th—We had a strong wind from S. W.
with heavy rain and the vessel was hove to. The barometer was very low, and at 7:30 we prepared for a
heavy blow, turning over and lashing boats, and
double reefing the foresail. It moderated a little toward noon whilst the sun shone out bright; but soon
after dinner it was again dull with strong wind and
rain, so we set the trysail and lay to for the remainder
of the day.
April 25th—The weather was fine, with a strong
N. W. wind blowing; heavy sea running, and vessel
lying-to under double-reefed foresail and staysail. It
moderated rapidly during the forenoon; and by 10
o'clock we shook out reefs; set trysail and jib, and
steered toward the N. E. • A little later the Captain
came fore'ard to the galley, and told the cook to hurry
dinner, as he wanted to lower .boats. At 10:30 we
got 2 seals from the vessel; at 11 dinner was given,
after which boats were lowered; returning at 7 p.m.,
with the exception of Wm. Pourie's boat, who had
gone on board the schooner "Arietas," one of whose
hunters is a brother of his. Later the "Arietas" ran
down to us, with Pourie's boat hanging in her burtons. It was dark at the time, so we had the pleasure of witnessing a grand display of fireworks which
she constantly set up. We joined in the fun by sending up a number of rockets and roman candles, which
caused no end of amusement. Pourie left the "Arietas" at 8:30 p.m., and a few minutes later was on
board of us, with four seals, making the total catch
for the day 44. OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA.
April 26th—The wind continued blowing strong
from the N. W., and we steered toward N. E., under
foresail, trysail, staysail and jib. Toward afternoon
it set in squally; but moderated toward evening. We
killed and secured one seal from the vessel at 4 p.m.,
and at 6:30 took in trysail and jib; reefed the foresail;
wore ship and hove to.
April 27th—We had beautiful weather, with a
light S. W. wind. Set sail at 5:30 a.m., and at 6 we
lowered boats; which returned at 7:30 p.m. with 81
Mr. Anderson, wrho has been very unlucky during /
the past month, did very well to-day, by getting 13
seals in his boat—the "high" boat only had 15.    He
was very much excited,   when   telling   us   how he
got them.    He said:   "I more than soaked it to them
to-day! I knocked the soul-cases clean out of them !
I told you I'd give them the proper medicine, when I
come across them; and you bet yourn life I done it!"
It was amusing to see his attitude when giving vent
to his long experience of the day. He told us how
they slept "Talk about sleeping—ji. never seed the
like afore—they slept like logs; so that a boat could
nearly row over them without waking them! And
to see how they would coil themselves up in the kelp
(or "kelup," as "let-em-bide" calls it), looking so innocent, that it seemed a sin to kill them ; but you see
I was not there to look for sin, it was seals I was after, and you bet I got some!"
April 28th—The weather was fine first part of the
morning. Lowered boats at 6 a.m., and during their
absence the Mate employed himself salting the skins
that came on board yesterday; whilst the cook who
was up very early, retired to rest and it was not long
before he was sleeping peacefully. The Captain, our
Japanese boy and myself were employed on deck taking
->" 58
in and stowing the foresail, and other odd jobs such
as can often be found on board of a sea-going vessel.
About 10 a.m. a thick fog set in, and we kept the fog
horn blowing, and fired the cannon occasionally, for
the purpose of directing the boats toward the ves-
S< '
n a case of fog setting in, when boats are out,
all sail is immediately taken off, and the vessel let lie..
If it was not for a cannon, or fog-horn, many boats
would get lost, whether they took bearings from the
vessel or not when leaving^/as the vessel drifts' considerably, caused by the currents and tide-rips which
are often met with.
Four 01 the boats returned as soon as the fog set
in. The fog cleared again at 11:30 and we were able
to see the absent boats, although they were a long,
ways off. The Captain then ordered the flag to be
set, which brought the boats back and all were on
board by 1p.m. All sail was again set, and we steered
toward the West'ard till 2:30 p.m., when we lowered boats again. Whilst lowering, "Cockney" fell
overboard, and, to prevent^ loosing time, I acted as
boat-puller in his place, whilst he remained on board
to change his clothes. I enjoyed the change, as the
weather was warm and fine. We had not been gone
long when Frank Apelgreen, who was steering the
boat, lost his hat overboard; but we were not long
in putting about and securing this piece of" headgear;
afterwards, continuing on our course. We returned
at 6:30 p.m., and the other boats were riot long in
following our example, bringing 16 seals all told.
April 29th—The weather-continued fine, and at 6
a.m. lowered boats, which returned at 7 p.m. bringing six seals; thus showing them to be very scarce.
The wind, which was from the N. E., and light most
of the day, gradually increased toward night; whilst OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER  "UMBRINA.'
the barometer fell. At 8 o'clock p.m. we took in the
mainsail and headsails; single reefed the foresail, and
hove to.
April 30th—The wind was still blowing strong,
but had hauled to the N. N. E. It increased during
the forenoon, and at 10 a.m. we double reefed foresail;
set trysail; turned boats over and secured them, and
lay hove-to for the remainder of the day.
May 1st—The weather was fine, with a light
North wind blowing, and we shook out reefs; set
head sails, and lowered boats at 5:30 a.m., which returned again at 6 p.m.f with 13 seals.
May 2nd—The weather continued fine. Although
we knew seals to be scarce we were obliged to lower
boats, for it was such a dead calm that the vessel
could not go anywhere. The boats returned again
about the same time as on the previous evening, with
15 seals. As the barometer fell gradually, and the
wind kept breezing from the S. W., we single reefed
the foresail at 8 p.m., and hove to.
1. May 3rd—The wind was still blowing hard from
the S. W., and at 7:30 a.m. we double reefed foresail;
set jib, and/with a free sheet steered toward N. N. E.
till 2 p.m., at which time we tacked ship and steered
toward N. N. W. The weather moderated during the
afternoon, and by 7 p.m. it was nearly, calm. About
8 p.m. we hauled aft the sheet and let her lie-to for
the night.
On the completion of this work, most of the hunters who were on deck, remarked that.we were in good
sealing water, when Bill Anderson's voice drowned all
the rest, by bawling out: "You bet your life its good
water! andl wouldn't mind betting orn dollar that
I can smell seals or whales or some darn thing or
other!" All being satisfied, they went below and retired for the night, expecting to have a day's hunting
on the morrow.   Next morning, 60 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
May 4th—It was very calm; weather dull, with
heavy rain; vessel lying with all sail off, with the exception of the staysail. The forepeak halyards carried away last night, which was the cause of the foresail being taken in. Rove off new halyards at 8 a.m.
and then set double-reefed foresail, although it wras
still calm. The rain cleared by 9:30 a.m., and a light
wind rose from the North; and at 11 a.m. we shook
out reefs; set mainsail and head sails, and steered by
the wind, so as to get closer to shore; we being about
200 miles off the nearest land at present. It became
calm again by noon; and as the mainsail kept constantly flapping, we lowered the main-peak as a preventive. The wind freshened again during the afternoon, and after hoisting the main-peak, we continued
steering by the wind. We got three seals from the
vessel during the day. About 8 p.m. the mainsail
was taken in, and soon after it was nearly calm, while
the vessel rolled heavily, caused by the heavy swell.
Next day, Sunday, tf|
May 5th—The weather was beautiful and calm.
Set trysail at 5 a.m. and at|5:30 lowered boats.
During the afternoon we lowered stern-boat, in which
the Captain was hunter, the Mate boat-steerer and
myself boat-puller. We saw plenty of seals all of
which were very wild. We were lucky in getting one,
which was killed while asleep; but it wa§ just on the
point of sinking, when I grabbed its flipper, with
which I dragged it into the boat. The second seal
we approached, the Captain killed as dead as a log;
but unfortunately it sank like a rock. Three more
seals were badly wounded, and although we gave a
long chase they managed to make their escape. A
torpedo boat could not catch some of them, let alone
the clumsy box we were tugging around. It was
laughable at times to see the Mate shoving on to a OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA."
supposed seal so cautiously, whilst the Captain stood
in the bow of the boat ready to take aim, and send a
dose of lead into it, and then find it is nothing more
than a piece of driftwood we have been creeping on.
We were fooled like this more than once, but could
only laugh at the mistake. When we were about 4
miles from the vessel, we turned to go back, arriving
at 6:30 p.m. The other boats returned between the
hours of 8 and 9 p.m., with 101 seals, making 102
seals for the day's catch.
May 6th4-The weather continued fine and calm,
and we lowered boats at 5 o'clock. At 8 the Mate
saw two sleeping seals about 200 yards ahead, so
we soon lowered the stern-boat noiselessly. I did not
take my place in her, for John Brewer, who has been
suffering from rheumatism for some time past and
excused from duty, wished to go for a little exercise.
They had only been absent about an hour, when they
returned to the vessel again, minus the seals, and the
boat was hoisted and let hang in the burtons. The
Mate told me how the seals had made their escape
before the boat got within shooting distance; and he
further stated how they were again fooled two or
three times by creeping up on driftwood, which they
took for seals when a long way off.
About 10 o'clock the Captain came fore'ard and
asked me to make them up a lunch, as they were
going out again and did not expect to return till 3
o'clock. Having packed a dainty lunch in a small
box, and made some tea, they placed both in the boat
and were soon away from the vessel, leaving me in
full charge of the deck. During their absence I went
aloft, and remained for half an hour in the fore cross-
trees, from whence I scanned the horizon. Whilst
there I sighted a schooner, bearing S. W. from us and
about 6 milesa way, which I learned later to be the
F*"* tW
"Retriever" of Yokohama; owned by Mr.  Laffin,  a
ship chandler of that city.
f About 1 p.m. Wm. Dominey came alongside putting on board 9 seals, and after he and his boats cr^w
had partaken of some refreshments, they left again,
and continued hunting on another course. The Captain returned at 3:30 p.m. with 3 seals, and as a
breeze rose from the S. E. we followed on after the boats
which had already set their sails. About 5 o'clock
Bill Anderson came alongside; he looked so excited
that we thought something was the matter. Presently
the Captain said "Well, how/did you do to-day, Anderson?" He replied, "Don't say a word—I more than
struck them again to-day, and knocked the soul cases
clean out of them—getting 28 all told. I more than
struck a rookery—and if they had all been sleeping, I
would bet my life I could have got 50! As true as
the light;" he continued, "I never seed the like afore
since I dropped into this kingdom—seals ! —you bet
your life!—seals where ever youlook!" At thelasteen-
tence he was so excited that he flung his arms round,
giving /vent to his feelings in true shape; which made
us all laugh so heartily that we nearly cried. All the
other boats returned by 7:30 p.m., with 168 seals all
told. I I ' :p
During the evening one of the boats belonging to
the "Retriever" came alongside. John Derby was the
hunter's name, whilst his crew was composed of a
Kanaka and a Chinaman. Our cook who is acquainted
with Mr. Derby soon gave me an introduction, after
which we gave him and his crew a little refreshment.
We passed awray a pleasant hour in conversation,
talking principally of sealing. He left for his own
vessel at 8 o'clock which was only about 1 mile away.
As soon as supper was over, we ran down and spoke
her; lowered a boat in which the Captain, cook arid
some of the other men paid a visit on board. They
returned again about two hours later, bringing a large
assortment of books, which were received with many
thanks. The "Retriever' had secured 50 seals to-day
giving her catch of 530.
Mav 7th—The weather was dull and cloudv al-
though very califi. Breakfast was given at 5 a.m. and
by 6 o'clock all the dull clouds cleared away, whilst
the sun shone out in all its glory, giving promise of a
fine day. A light breeze rose from W. S. W. at 6:30,
and at 7 we (lowered boats. The " Retreiver " was to
windward -of us with her boats out. About 9 o'clock
our boats tacked, owing to. the obstruction of the
other schooner's boats whilst we on board brought
the schooner up in the wind, till the boats were far
enough ahead on the other tack, at which time we
We saw
i p,
trie ** Ketrn
r    with
her flag set, after we tacked, which caused her boats
to return; then we saw her sail away for another
hunting ground. All our boats with one exception
returned at 6 p.m., and that one at 8 p.m.,bringing a
total catch of 33 seals for this day.
May 8th—The weather was fine, with still alight
W. S. W. wind blowing; lowered boats at6a.m., and
at 11 a.m. the Captain sighted two sleeping seals.
The vessel was instantly brought up in the wind, and
the stern-boat lowered ; we were not long in getting
up to them, and when close enough, the Mate who
wds in the bow, fired, killing one outright and wounding the other. The later dived under water when disturbed, whilst we waited for it to come to the surface.
We had hot long to wait, when it showed up bleeding
from the leftside of its head. The mate fired again
and killed it; but unfortunately it sank. The first
seal that was killed, was let lie all this time, but was
just on the point of sinking when I caught its flippers 64 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
with which I dragged it into the boat. We returned
to the vessel again, and let the boat hang in the burtons, in case of seeing another seal, after which we
continued following the boats. About noon the wind
changed to S. E., and all the boats with the exception
of tw^o tacked; we tacked also, and at 3 p.m. sighted
a sleeping seal. We lowered the stern-boat, but it
was of no use; for the seal had awoke and escaped.
All the boats returned at 6:30 p.m., with the exception of the tw^o that did not tack; and/as they were
nowhere to be seen, the Captain grew anxious, as he
was quite ignorant as to whether they had tacked or
not. Anyhow he gave her all sail and steered in the
direction where they should be, if they had not tacked.
He then went aloft, taking his glasses, and would
not have any supper till he had sighted the boats.
After remaining in the for'ard cross-trees for over an
hour, straining his eyes for a glimpse of the boats, he
yelled out—"I can see them!" This good news put
everybody at ease, for ij^was fast falling dark, and if
they had not been sighted then all hopes of their return might be abandoned. They must have been
fully twelve miles off when sighted, for we were running for two hours at about 5 knots, whilst they kept
coming toward us. It was past 9 o'clock when they
came on board, and they told us how they turned at
1 p.m. for the schooner, not knowing that the vessel
had tacked; whilst che Captain was left in the same
ignorance about them. They further told us how
they had given up all hopes of seeing the schooner,
and as they were together, they arranged to keep so,
come what might. They had agreed that they would
keep from eating and drinking anything till next
morning when each one would share alike of the scanty provision, so as to make it last as long as possible.
Fortunately they had not to endure this hardship OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 65
for John Friday who was Tom. Cumming's boat
steerer, just happened to see the schooner, when they
were about to turn to run for land, which was about
200 miles off at the very nearest. They had a fair wind
to run to land, had they been compelled to do so. 70
seals was the catch for this day. (Thomas Cum-
mings and William Edwards were the names of the
hunters of the absent boats).
May 9th—The weather was fine, with a strong
W. S. W. wind blowing; had all sails set, and steered
toward the N. E., and got one seal from the vessel at
11:30. At noon the wind increased so, that we took
in mainsail and head sails, and at 1 p.m. single reefed
the foresail, and hove to.
May 10th—The weather was dull, with a thick
fog; but by 6 o'clock it became clear and,calm. Lowered the boats at 7:30 a.m., after which the Captain
and Mate, with the galley*squad's help, shook out
reef and hoisted the foresail. Soon after, the repairs
of the mast-head gave out again, which caused the
foresail to be lowered, when the Captain and Mate
set to work and repaired it once more. Whilst they
were employed at this work, a thick fog set in; and
the boats returned in the interval, but left again after
partaking of some hot tea, etc. They finally returned
for the day at 7 p.m. with 26 seals, all reporting the
seals to be scarce. During the forenoon the foghorn was
kept continually blowing and the cannon fired every
little while. At 8 p.m. we set foresail, staysail and
jib, and steered by the wind.
May 11th—The weather was still dull, with a
strong S. E. wind, and we sailed toward W. S. W.
under small canvas. We shot one seal from the vessel
at 9 o'clock; and later, we had to single reef the foresail on account of the gradual increase of the wind.
During the forenoon quite a laughable incident Q6 A   SEALER'S JOURNAL;    ~
occured.    Whilst James Loveless, Tom. Cummings,
and Wm. Anderson were fore'arc! looking out for seals,
the former saw something a long -way: off,   which
looked ver}^ much like a sleeping seal, and bawled out
"hurry up Anderson, get a gun, quick !"    The latter,
who got very excited, managed to fall over a few obstacles, but finally gained the cabin, and after taking
a gun from its rack and a few shells from his ammu-
ition box, rushed on deck like mad, and was soon in
a position to send the lead where it was wanted.
Whilst he was absent  after his/gun, the others  had
found out that the supposed seal was nothing more
than a small black tub.    However they said nothing;
only thought   to   carry   out   the joke; and  as  for
Anderson, he was too excited to notice what it was.
Presently they sang out in chorus:    "Now stand by
Anderson—stand by!    Take aim quick!"   He 'was
just in the act of taking aim, when he detected what
it was, and then turned his eyes in the direction of
those two innocent individuals, who were looking on
without a smile, although they were ready to burst.
When their/eves met, Anderson looked as black as a
thunder squall; whilst he let put a bushel of angry
words, reminding them of their foolishness.   | \ You are
the biggest fools I ever seed; and I don't think I could
find your equals if I was to hunt the whole darn kingdom!   Youneverneed ask me to get nor no ther guri, for
I wouldn't get one for toy-father—nor my Godmother.
To think those two eagle-eyed fools, would see a man
break his neck, for the sake of getting a gun, to fire at
a darn ol' tub.   No as I said before, I'd never get nor
gun,let them be seals nor tubs."  But his fury was all
over in 5 minutes, so that he could not help joiningin
laughing himself.   Next day, Sunday,
May 12th—The weather was dull, with a strong
S. W. wind blowing and we steered toward N. N. E.
under foresail, trysail, staysail and jib. About 4 a.m.
a heavy squall struck us, at which time the trysail,
and jib were taken in; foresail double reefed, and vessel hove to. It rained very hard, which made it quite
miserable; but by 8 a.m. the rain ceased, and the
weather became fine. Lowered boats at 8:30 which
were obliged to return at noon, owing to the windin-
creasing, with only two seals.
||| During the boats' absence, our tomcat amused
himself in chasing round the vessel after a snipe,
which kept pitching around the vessel. Tom's last
chase was out ori^the jiboorn, where he managed to
claw some of the tail-feathers out, though the bird
escaped.    || |§K I
After all the boats were secured, we set mainsail
and head-sails, arid steered to the S. E.    By 3 p.m. it
became calm, and the sun shone out brightly,•making'
it lovely; but the wind freshened again by 6 o'clock,
and we continued steering our course. 111
III    May 13th—This day the weather was beautiful, 111
with a light South wind; having hauled from S. W.
during the night. We had all sail set, and steered toward E. S. E. I At davbreak we sighted a vessel ahead
which lowered-her boats at 5 a.m. As she was to
windward, we did not lower so early, but kept sailing
to get to windward of her; this took a long time for
her boats had a good start. Whilst sailing, wesighted
four seals; brought the vessel up in the wind; lowered
a boat, and managed to get two of them.   At 9:30 a.m.
we found the schooner to be the "Geneva, "one of her
boats having spoken us at this time. The hunter said
that they had-a total catch of 750 seals; he also reported having spoken the "E. B. Marvin," with 612
seals, and that they had spoken the "Arietas," with
760 seals, the latter vessel then bound for Hakodate
to1 reprovision and fill water.   After speaking her we A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
continued on our course, whilst the "Geneva" tacked
ship. Soon after dinner we lowered boats, which returned at 4:30 p.m. with 16 seals, making 18 for the
day's catch.
Bill Dominey met with an accident, whilst out,
by carrying away the main-boom of his boat, but as
soon as he came on board, he made a new one.
Toward evening wre sighted another schooner to
leeward, but was too far off to make her out. Steered E. by S. all night. Ill
May 14th—Weather was dull with a light breeze
still from South. Lowered boats at 6:30 a.m., which
returned at 8:30, owning to a rapid increase of wind,
with only one seal amongst the lot. As soon as all
the boats were aboard, we took in jib; single reefed
the foresail, and steered toward E. S. E. At 4 p.m.
we double reefed the foresail, and hove to for the remainder of the day.
May 15th—This day the weather was beautiful,
with a good breeze from N. W., having hauled from
the South during the night. About 9 o'clock the
wind went down a little; and at 9:30 we lowered the
boats, which returned again at 7 p.m., with 16 seals.
During the absence of the boats, the Captain, Mate
and the galley squad shook reefs out of the foresail,
and set jib.
May 16th—First part of the morning was dull,
foggy and calm; but at 8 o'clock a light breeze rose
from S. E., whilst the fog cleared away, and we lowered the boats at 8:30; but soon after it was again
calm, which continued throughout the day. During
the forenoon we sighted a schooner to leeward, with
boat* out; but she was too far away to make her out.
We got one seal in the stern-boat at 3 p.m., and after
returning to the vessel let the boat hang in the burtons, in case of seeing another one.   All the boats OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 69
finally returned by 8:30 p.m., with 35 seals, making
36 for to-day's catch.
E    May 17th—The weather was dull and cold, with
a strong Easterly wind.   About breakfast time, 7 a.
m., we sighted two vessels to windward.   They were
both sailing in our direction, and about 8 o'clock we
made out the nearest to be the "Arietas;" when the
Captain ordered the flag to be set, to show that we
wanted to speak.   She soon answered by hoisting her
flag, and when close enough, we lowered a boat, and J
the Captain and some of the crew paid her a^visit.
Soon after our boat left, the "Arietas" lowered a
boat, in which four of her men came aboard of us;
who were welcomed in the best manner that could be 111
expected under the circumstances. We gave them
refreshments; exchanged books, and passed away an
exceedingly sociable time. They told us that they
arrived in Yokohama on May 5th, not being able to
make Hakodate through constant head winds, and
remained there four days; during which time they re-
provisioned and filled water, which was the cause of |j
their going into port. From the time she left, up to 1]
this date, she had only, got one seal.                  jf                              {Hi
Whilst we were thus having such a good time, the ;
other vessel passed between us; hauled up in the wind,
and spoke. She was a whaler; a big checkered-side,
barque-rigged vessel, named the "Charles Morgan,"
of San Francisco.   She reported having five whales ; ijPj
also, that they passed through a lot of seals to the
N, W., lat. 40® 30** N., long. 144° 40' E.  After speak- |
ing, she continued on her course.
Our boat returned at 11 a.m.; bringing a lot of
Yokohama papers, printed in English, giving fullest
details of the Eastern war, and how it came to an
end, etc. We had a lot to talk about afterwards, and
also several points to argue over.   After hoisting and
w M
securing our boat on board, we coritinued steering to
the S. W. We tacked ship at 3 o'clock; and at 4 the,
wind increased so, that we took in trysail and jib,
and hove to for the day.
May 18th—The wind was blowing strong from
S.W., having hauled from E. It was a miserable day;
for it was raining hard, whilst a dense fog surrounded
us. We lay hove-to under double-reefed foresail till
toward noon, when it became calm; at which time
the foresail was taken in to prevent its flapping and
tearing the repairs of?the foremast-head apart; while
the trysail and staysail were afterwards set to steady
her. About 4 p.m. the wind rose again and hauled'
to W.N. W., and we then set the double-reefed foresail; took in trysail, and steered to the S. W. About
5 p.m. we sighted a steamer ahead, quite a distance
off. As soon as the Captain was informed of it, he
catne on deck, arid with his glasses looked to ascertain wdiat she was, and what course she was steering.
On discovering this, the Captain ordered the reefs to
be shook out, and head Jsails set, and steeredeon an
off course; for the steamer would cross our bows,
although a long way ahead, and we wanted to get
as near as possible before she did cross. By and by,
the Captain seeing that we could noteet near enough
to speak, hoisted and dipped his flag, which was answered from the steamer, but to no effect, for she passed
and was soon out of sight. The vessel was afterwards
brought up in the wind; head sails taken in and hove
to. There were four more vessels visible, threeto windward, and one to leeward; but we could not make any
of them out.   Next day*.Sunday,
May 19th—The wind was still blowing strong
from W.N. W., and vessel hove-to under double-reefed
foresail. It moderated during the forenoon, and by 10
a.m. we shook out reefs; set trysail arid jib, and soon T\
:after dinner, lowered boats, although a heavy s
was running. They returned again at 6:30 p.m. with
12 seals. It became calm toward evening, and remained so all night. .\4   r Sftll
fciflMay 20th—The weather was fine and calm, and
the vessel was rolling lazily, from the swell that wras
gradually going down, with only staysail set. A
light breeze rose from the S. E. at 6 a.m., at which
time the Captain ordered all sail to be set, as it was his
intention to sail to another feeding ground 15 miles
distant. But as it became calm again directly, the
boats were, lowered at 6:30 a.m. Soon after they
were clear from the vessel, we on board took in and
stowed mainsail, and did such work,as was required to
be done, during the boats' absence. The boats returned at 8 p.m., with 61 seals. Later a light breeze
rose from South, whilst a lot of black clouds gathered making it very dull. The wind increased so rapidly toward midnight, that the foresail was double
reefed, and vessel hove to.
May. 21st—The weather was still dull, with a
strong Southerly wind, and the vessel hove-to under
dQuble-reefecj[/ foresail and staysail all the forenoon.
Soon after dinner we sighted a schooner ahead, and
at 1:30 p.m. we made.her out to be the "Rosie Olsen"
of Victoria, B. C. We spoke her at 2 o'clock; and
then lowered a boat, in which the Mate went on
board to get soriie rowlocks, providing they could
spare them. j p
Whilst on board the "Olsen" the Mate learned
that they had spoken the sealing schooner "Agnes
Macdonald" on April 27th, at which time she had a
catch of 350 seals. They.also reported having spoken
the schooner "Brenda'.' recently, with 650 seals; also
that the.latter had to return to Yokohama with a
sick man, during which time two of her men deserted. 72 . A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
Having secured more men she proceeded to sea, there
to continue her sealing voyage on this coast. When
finished she will again fill water and then proceed to
Behring Sea, where she will finish the sealing season
with spears, as the use of firearms is strictly prohibited in those seas. |j|
After our boat returned  from the  "Olsen" we
shook reefs out of the fores ail, set trysail, and lowered
boats.   It was about 2:30 p.m. when they left, and
flj! returned again about 6:30.   It was not fit weather
to lower, as the wind was still strong, with a choppy
sea; but jfthe Captain heard somebody muttering
about it moderating, an,d that the boats ought to be
out. He soon took advantage of this half spoken
remark, and satisfied their curiosity, doing the thing
grand. I knew that there would be no picnic in a
small boat in that weather; and whoever it was that
uttered such a foolhardy remark must have been
crazy. William Edwards was not out long before he
carried away his mast, and was obliged to return to
the vessel, when he spoke strongly against lowering in
such weather. Soon after all the boats were aboard,
the weather rapidly became worse, with strong wind,"
rain, and thunder and lightning. At 7:30 p.m. we
took in trysail; double reefed the foresail, and hove to.
May 22nd—The weather was dull and calm. A
light N. W. breeze rose at 7 o'clock; we shook out reefs,
and set trysail and heads sails. The dull clouds all
cleared by 8 and the sun shone out brisrhtlv, whilst
— CD •/    7
the wind had increased rapidly, which the barometer
had indicated. About 11 a.m. we turned over and
lashed the boats; took in trysail and head sails;
double reefed the foresail, and hove to. During the
afternoon, we set trysail, and steered toward S. E.
Saw plenty of travelling seals on the way. I Passed
close to the "Rosie Olsen" at 8 p.m. as she was to
windward and steering S. W.,but did not speak as it
wras blowing too hard.
May 23rd—This day was fine, shook out reefs at
5:30 a.m., and set trysail and jib, and at 6 o'clock
lowered boats. Sighted the "Rosie Olsen" again to
lfceward, with her boats out; and about 10 o'clock
the "Arietas hove in sight, with her boats out. All
our boats returned at 7:30 p.m. with 29 seals. William Edwards reported having spoke the "Arietas,"
and learned that they had heard from the schooners
"Mermaid" and "Casco;" the former with 1200, and
the latter with 1135 skins. After supper was finished,
the Captain set up some rockets, to attract the
attention of the crew of the "Arietas;" but finally
came to the conclusion, as she was a good distance
off, that they might think we had strayed boats for
which we set up the fireworks.
May 24th—The weather was beautiful and calm
first; but at 5 o'clock squally looking clouds formed
to the S. W., which struck us about 7 a.m. The squall
was nothing; it was but a hard rain which only lasted
about an hour, and it was again fine. Set mainsail
and jib at 8 a.m., and steered by the wind. Got one
seal from the vessel at 4 p.m.
Although at sea and far from land, Her Majesty
the Queen's birthday was not forgotton by the crew.
This is her 76th birthday. Everybody respects her;
so we wished her good health, and that the grace of
God might be with her, and that she may long continue to reign in peace and prosperity.
May 25th—The weather was still fine, with a
strong N. W. wind. This was a head wind for where
we wanted to go, and were obliged to tack occasionally. It moderated during the afternoon,and by 6 p.m. it
was nearly calm. Sighted a schooner to windward
about two miles distant, making to the west'ard. 74. A   SEALER'S JOURNAL;
We kept close on the wind, to try and speak; but the
wind was too light.
May 26th—The weather was again fine, with a
strong wind from S. S. W., and we steered toward N.
W. under foresail, staysail and head sails. Set trysail at 9 a.m., and at 10 a.m. we got two seals from
the vessel. About noon the wind hauled to S. W., so
we hauled aft the foresheet, and continued on our
course, but did not see any more seals for the day.
About 4:30 sighted a schooner, and after supper
she was close enoughyto make her out to be the "Mattie
T. Dyer" of San Francisco.    Spoke her at 6 o'clock,
and soon after lowered a boat in which the Captain
paid her a visit.    They reported having spoken several
schooners latelv ; some of them are as follows: "Bren-
da," with 650 seals; "Jane Grey," 900 seals; "Annie
E.   Paint,"  1100 seals;   "Ocean Belle,"  650 seals ;
"Casco," (not known); "Sea Lion," nearly 300 seals;
"Mascott," (notknown); "Pioneer,"58.0 seals; "Mermaid," nearly 1300 seals ; "Rattler," about 270 seals.
They reported the latter vessel having|4pst her First
and Second Mates, whilst hunting seal in the stern-
boat.    It was calm weather at the time; so it was
supposed that their boat was capsized byi whales, and
they drowned.   They searched for them, but all to no
effect.    Our boat returned  after an hour's absence,
bringing some books and papers, which were given
by the Captain of the "Dyer."
May 27th—The weather was still fine, with a light
3. E. wind.    Lowered boats at 8 o'clock.    At  10 we
sighted a schooner to leeward; at 11 sighted another
one ahead, which we thought was the "Ocean Belle"
through not having a foretop-mast, and only having
a boat's mast in the place of maintop-mast. We were
not long in confirming this opinion, for she came close
enough to be made out;.but she afterwards kept off OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 75
without speaking.    Our boats were out, or else we
would have run down to her.   Our Captain was determined to speak if the "Belle" would, and so dipped
his flag three times.   The "Belle" responded in the
same manner, and kept on her course.    We afterwards
sent up several rockets, which brought theentirecrew
of the "Belle" on deck to witness the scene.  It looked
very beautiful although it was  daylight; but even
this did not alter her course, for she kept on, on, on,
and passed out of sig]tit.   An hour later our boats
tacked, at which tim$ the vessel was brought up in
the wind; and when the boats were far enough ahead,
we tacked and folio wed.   About 5 p.m., we saw the
"Ocean Belle" engaged in speaking with a schooner,
which we learned later to be the "Annie E. Paint;"
one of our boats having spoken her whilst out hunting seals.   The men went aboard and4 learned  that
she had acatchof 1112 seals.   All our boats returned
at 6:30 p.m., with 22 seals.    After all the boats were
secured on board, every stitch of canvas was set, and
with a fair wind from S. E. we steered with free sheets
toward N. E., to continue and finish hunting on this
course.    By going N. E. we were- going in-shore towards Shckotan, owing to the scarcity of seals offshore.
to     May 28th—The weather continued fine, with a
strong wind from E. N. E.    Took in all light sails at
4 a.m., and altered course to N. E., steering with free
sheets.    The sea was smooth, and the weather very
cold.    About 11 a.m. we jibed ship, and then steered
N. E.a "Sighted a schooner to leeward at 5 p.m. with
all sails set, making to the S. W.; and at 6 p.m. we
"sighted land 9 miles distant and about 60 miles from
Shckotan.    We then brought vessel up in the wind,
hauled sheets well aft, arid steered by the wind, making S. E.    Saw four seals to-day. ^^$^^^  ■ -  ||fj =p| May 29th—The weather was dull, with a strong
N. E. wind and hard rain; so we double reefed the
foresail and hove to at 7 a.m. Early, about 5:30 a.
m. we spoke the "Brenda," but as it was blowing
hard did not exchange many words. Captain Locke
just held his hand up, and asked our Captain if all
was well; to which the latter just raised his hand, as
a manner of satisfactory reply. She was soon a good
distance off; and we afterwards saw her lying-to to
windward, under reefed foresail and trysail. About
10 a.m. we turned over| and secured boats. It was
very cold; whilst the wind and rain continued throughout the day, making it most miserable.
May 30th—The weather was beautiful and bright,
with a light breeze from W. N. W. About 7 a.m. we
set trysail, and steered toward E. N. E. Soon after
breakfast, Tom. Cummings went aloft as a matter of
curiosity; but was not there more than ten minutes,
when he bawled out, "A schooner ahead!" and ten
minutes later, reefs were shook out; trysail taken in,
and mainsail and all head sails set. The Captain
wanted to speak; so a^wegained but little after three
hours sailing, we set the flag, and fired the cannon
two or three times; but even this did not attract her
attention, for she still kept on her course. At 1 p.m.
we set topsails and gradually gained on her—she lowered her boats at 2:30 p.m., which gave us a chance
to do so. The wind was so light that it took us till
7 o'clock to make her out; at which time her boats
returned. Some had said it was one schooner; some
had said another; but now all were able to read for
themselves, "Bonanza of San Francisco." Spoke her
at 7:30 p.m., and she reported having a catch of 900
seals; but lately had done nothing worth speaking
about. Her Captain said that he had on board a boat
with crew, belongingto the schooner "Emma Louise," 1)
having picked them up two months ago, after being
absent from their schooner three days. He also reported having spoken the "Brenda." two days since,
with750 seals, arid the "Mermaid," with 1150. After
speaking, we steered by the wind.
I may state that to-day is my 24th birthday,
which will ever be a memorable day to me. Several
shots were fired from shot guns in honor of the day,
which made all hands chaff me about it. Several
wished me many happy returns of the day, to each of
which I answered "thank you." The principal topic of
the day was about me and my birthday. (The
weather was beautiful and mild, which gave promise
of a fine day tomorrow).
May 31st—The weather was again fine, with a
light N. W. wind. We steered by the wind trying to
get closer to Shckotan. About 9 o'clock ^we sighted
the "Bonanza" again, to leeward, sailing before the
wind. About noon it became calm; but it only lasted
till 1:30, when the wind rose again from N. W. The
Captain being convinced that there was little here;..
and what there was so very small that it would be
profitless to fetch them aboard, our course was altered for on-shore, steering E. by S. to a hunting
ground 400 miles from Shckotan. It became calm at
4 o'clock, and we lowered a boat and got a "mure"
(a large bird that can be found in millions in-shore
off Lower Kamchatka, Siberian coast), and the boat
returned again half an hour later, as the wind had
risen again, though very light.
About 6:30 p.m. we saw something a good distance off to windward, which looked very much like
a sleeping seal, A boat w^as lowered and William
Edwards was soon in the bow with gun and shells,
ready to take the life of the supposed sleeping seal.
On nearing the object, they found it to be nothing /If
more than a piece of driftwood; but Edwards, who is
full of life and fun, thought he would have a joke and
fool those on board. Creeping cautiously as if on a
sleeping seal, they crept on this piece of wood, and
when near enough Edwards fired a double shot, and
then dragged it into the boat. It was mentioned on
board more than once: "He has got the seal alright"
—but how different it was, when he threw on deck
the worthless piece of wood. Some looked at each
other, and then laughed; whilst others did not know
whatj/to make of it. "Now what do you think of
that devilskin," Mr. Anderson yelled out, "don't he
take the biscuit ? I wouldn't have believed the devil
if he had told me it wasn't a seal! No, you bet your
life! wouldn't—not if he come with all his iron-winged
Toward night the wind gradually increased, and-
and a light fog set in.   Next day,
June 1st—The weather was dull, with a strong
N. W. wind; and \ve steered toward E. by S., with
free sheets,? making good about 8 knots an hour.
About noon our course was again altered for the
land, as the Captain had come to the conclusion that
he would not be able to run that distance arid stay
with the seals, as they had already started to travel
to the North'ard; but owing to the wind increasing,
we took in all light sails. sS
June 2nd—The weather was beautiful and nearly
calm,, which continued throughout the day. We had
all sails set, which flapped limply from side to side,
whilst the vessel rolled lazily, as if she did riot care to
move any more.
During the forenoon we lowered a boat, in which
some of the hunters passed a couple of hours, exercising themselves at rowing. They returned at dinner
time; after which they left again, taking with them OR, A   CRUISE   OF   THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 79
guns  and  ammunition, with which to pass the Sab- J|
bath afternoon, bird-shooting. They returned again
at 5 p.m., with six sea birds, four sea parrots, one
booby, and one mure. These were enjoyed next day
for dinner; and although not very much, each one
had a taste and wras satisfied.
About 7 p.m. a light breeze rose from the N. E.,
and we were once more making our way for Shckotan.
June 3rd—The weather was still fine, although
very cold, with a nice breeze from E. N. E., and the
vessel making about 6 knots an hour. About 7:30 a.
m., we sighted three vessels ahead, close together.
We ran down to them, with a view of speaking, and
found them all lying-to under small canvas. The first
one we spoke was the schooner "Diana," with 700
skins; next the "Edward E. Webster," 720 skins;
then the "Winchester," with about 728 skins. While
we were engaged speaking the "Webster," the men
fore'ard from where I was looking on, started chattering like a lot of rooks, so that we could not hear
a word that was spoken from the other vessel.
Presently a voice from the crowd bawls out, "Order
in court while the judge eats some beans."    This re-
mark caused a hearty laugh, which was only stopped
when the Captain ordered a boat to be lowered, in
which he and some of the crew paid them" a visit.
John Raggatt, who had acquaintances on board the
"Webster," fell overboard whilst in the act of jumping into the boat, but cleverly swam clear of being
jammed against the ship's side. On his gaining the
deck, he shivered terribly from the cold; but was not
long in relieving himself of his wet clothes, and putting on dry ones, and afterwards strolled about as if
nothing had happened. The staysail was hauled to
windward, and jib and flying-jib taken in.
During our boat's absence, the "Diana" lowered
y - 80
a boat, in which some of her men paid us a visit.
They remained an hour, and passed a pleasant time.
They spoke of several schooners, all of which had small
catches; among them was the "Agnes Macdonald,"
with nearly 600 skins, of which Jack Matthews'boat
is "high boat," with 90 skins. This goes to show
that seals are scarce this year: for I know that Captain Cuttler is an experienced sealer, and his hunters
are the pick of Victoria, B. C, all experts in seal
hunting. They also reported seeing her two days
previous to this date, with her boats out; and as
they kept firing very often, the "Diana's" crowd
thought that they had got among seals. But they
learned different, when the two vessels were engaged
speaking later in the evening after the boats were all
returned, for it was forty-eight birds and one seal
that was the cause of so much firing from the "Mac-
donald's " boats.
The Captain returned about dinner time, afterj
which he ordered all sail to be set; tacked ship, and!
with fair wind, squared away for Hakodate, which
is situated on Yezo Island. The cause of our going
there, wasito land a sick seaman by the name of John
Brewer. Land was visible, bearing N. W. by W., and!
we steered W. by S. During the afternoon we made
good about 7 knots an hour; but by 6 p.m. the windj
went down, whilst rain and fog set in.
June 4th—The weather continued dull, with ai
thick fog and a strong S. W. wind. Had all sail set
with sheets hauled well aft. Three blasts were bio wri|
from the fog horn every five minutes, to warn vessel*
that we were running. About 2 p.m. the fog cleared!
and the sun shone out brightly. It became calm at |
o'clock, but the wind rose at 4 and gradually haulef
ahead. The Captain ordered the pump to beshippe<
and gave the men the privilege of usin^ as much watd OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 81
as they liked to wash their clothes, and clean themselves before arriving in port. Several took advantage of this, and the scene would have made a comical
picture had a photographer been present with his
June 5th—The weather was beautiful with a light
head wind from S. We steered by the wind with all
sail set. About 7:30 a.m. we passed several Japanese
fishing and trading vessels. Sighted land at daybreak
and the smell of its vegetation was something refreshing. At 10 a.m. it became calm, and the hands were
employed shifting stores, and cleaning main-hold.'
This work caused a delayed dinner, which was not
served till 1p.m. The wind rose again at 2 from S. W.
and we again steered by the wind. The afternoon
watch was employed slushing down masts; repairing rigging, and reeving off new gear. We got
one seal from the schooner at 5 o'dockland by 6 we
were off "Akishi," about 200 miles from Yokohama.
Sighted two vessels to leeward; one lying-to under
small canvas, and the other sailing with all sail set,
on the port tack, but were too far off to make them
out. The wincifchanged to the N. W. at 6:30 p.m., at
which time we slacked off sheets and steered toward
S. W. by W., making good about 7 knots an hour.
June 6th—The weather continued fine, with alight
S. W. wind, having hauled during the night.    It became
calm again at 9 o'clock, andtsoon after dinner some of
the hunters left in a boat to go bird shooting.    They
had not been gone more than fifteen minutes, when
they were obliged to return again, owing to a strong
S. W. wind. We did some good tacking till 3 p.m.,
when]the wind moderated, and the rain came down
in torrents. | The wind remained light all night; but
the rain cleared at 10 p.m.
June 7th—The weather was fine, with a light N.
E. wind, which hauled from S. E. early this morning,
and we made good about 5 knots an hour till 10 a.
m., when the wind hauled ahead again and blew hard.
While the wind was light, one of the boats was out
with a couple of hunters, and returned at the change
of wind, with one seal and two large birds. The latter were cooked and eaten by those who most
frequented the galley, and were enjoyed. About 7
p.m., a large steamer passed our bows, bound for
Hakodate; while we also saw two Japanese trading
junks, outward bound.
June 8th—The weather was fine, with a light fair
wind from N. E. It became calm at 8 a.m., and the
hunters took another opportunity to see what they
could get, and left in a boat taking guns and ammunition with which to kill their prey. A light breeze rose
at 8:30, and at 9 a.m. the boat returned, with one-
seal and four birds. Half an hour later the wind
freshened, and although we had to go against a six-
knot current, we were making good time. Land was
visible on both sides; and we sighted two steamers to
leeward, outward bound. Soon after dinner the port
and starboard anchors/were prepared for letting go,
with ten fathoms of chain paid out for each. A thick
fog set in at 2 p.m:, which caused us to keep our foghorn blowing; giving three blasts every five minutes,
as a signal that we were running. About 4:30 p.m.,
we "could hear the foghorn, or "siren," which is situated on the port side at«the entrance of the Straits of
Tsugaru, blowing. We entered the straits about 5
o'clock; and at 7 p.m. the fog cleared, and we found
ourselves about eight miles inside, with land all
around. The Captain said that we were only forty
miles from anchorage, but we might take a week to
get there if we did not get a breeze to go against the
continual 6-knot current. We were becalmed at 8 p.
m., and gradually drifted out. OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER  "UMBRINA." 83
The men made themselves happy, by passing a
couple of hours in singing and dancing; as well as
practising at physical drill.    Next day, Sunday,
June 9th—The weather was beautiful and clear,
with a light fair wind. We found ourselves only 14
miles from anchorage, having crept up well during
the night. We were becalmed again at 9 a.m., and
drifted out about ten miles before we had the wind
again, which rose about noon from W. S. W.; we
kept close to land to avoid the force of the current;
and made good time.
Soon after dinner we sighted a schooner ahead,
outward bound, and we soon made her out to be
the "Sadie Turpel" of Victoria, B. C. When about a
quarter of a mile apart, she took in light sails, and
hove up in the wind, after which she lowered a boat
in which her Captain and some of the crew paid us a
visit. We were ready to throw a line for the boat to
catch hold; but they bawled out that we were going
too fast, and that they could not get alongside. We
instantly took in all light sails, and brought the vessel up in the wind.. The boat was soon alongside,
and in a few- seconds the visitors were on board.
They looked happy, and were welcomed in good style;
the usual ceremony of hand-shaking took place, and
the well-known phrase "How do you do?" was often
repeated. They gave us lots of news—much of which
we had heard from other vessels. They spoke of several schooners having been in and out of Hakodate,
during the last week, and now bound for the Copper
Islands, to continue seal hunting. They also spoke
of the disaster to the British sealing,} schooner "Walter E.Earle," which was lost, with all hands, in a
severe gale, whilst sealing off the West coast of North
America. They also gave us a clipping cut from the
Victoria, B. C, "Colonist," giving the details of her mm
loss, and the names of her crew, which confirmed the
statement. They also told us that there are at
present twelve British men-o'-war in Yokohama,
among them being H. M. S. "Centurion," a first class
battle ship of 10,000 tons and 14,000 horse power,
with a complement of 650 men; and that H. M. Ss.
"Caroline" and "Peacock" left here yesterday for
Yokohama to join the fleet. After passing away a
good sociable hour, they left for their own vessel.
Through thus speaking the "Sadie Turpel," we
drifted out about seven miles; but we afterwards
tacked, and steeredfdirect for Yezo Island. About 4
p.m. we were again becalmed, and kept drifting out
till 5 o'clock, when a light breeze rose, at which time
we steereed toward the mainland, to meet the eddy
tide. By 6:30 we were only one mile from shore, and
then crept up gradually. The scenery was beautiful,
in all its summer greenness; whilst pretty villages
filled the vallevs between the high mountains. While
under the land, -we hardly had wind enough to keep
the sails from flapping; but as soon as we cleared it,
we felt the effect of a strong head wind,? when we
took in all light sails and beat our way up, making
some good tacks. About 10 p.m. we were struck by
a heavy squall; we then double reefed mainsail, single
reefed foresail, and kept a strict lookout, as w.e were
among many dangerous reefs. The Captain remained
on deck all night, and for most of the time kept the
wheel, to avoid accidents. The wind went down by
11 p.m., and at 11:30 all reefs were shook out; we
then steered bv the wind till midnight, after which
mf CD I
we hove to till morning.
June 10th—We found ourselves becalmed, and
only eight miles from anchorage. The weather was
fine and clear. Several steamers passed us; some
bound in, and others outward bound.    All hands not OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER  "UMBRINA." 85
working remained for the most time on deck, watching the small fishing and trading vessels plying to and
fro.   A light easterly 'wind rose at 8  a.m. and  we
gradually made our way in port, and at 10 o'clock
Mr. Cox, who is owner of the   "Carlotta G. Cox'
and has shares in other sealing vessels, came on board
and was received kindly by Captain Campbell.    Mr.
King, who is an assistant to Mr. Laffin, ship chandler
of Yokohama, came on board and piloted us up harbor.     While the latter was performing this duty,
Captain  Campbell and  Mr.  Cox made jthemselves
comfortable in the cabin.   They were soon in deep
conversation, at the same time enjoying the luxury
of a cigar apiece.   Captain Cox was asked to stay to
dinner and  accepted   the  invitation   with   thanks.
About 12:30, before dinner was half through, we arrived all safe, and anchored about a mile and a half
from shore. ||j
Everything looked full of life, with the traffic of
shipping; steamers loading and unloading, whilst the
hard-working natives swarmed in the harbour with
their small crafts. A custom house officer was put on
board-of us on our arrival, and remained till/6 p.m.,
during which time he sealed the salt-room, where our
sealskins were stowed. Several visitors came on
board; among them being men that had been left
ashore from other vessels, some through sickness, and
others through desertion. I am sorry to relate that
they did not forget to bring intoxicants, which is the
cause of much evil. We landed John Brewer, seamen,
and placed him in the hospital, suffering from rheumatism. The men were employed scrubbing round the
vessel's sides; after which they went on shore, each
being supplied with money by the Captain.
June 11th—The weather was again beautiful, and
at 8 a.m. a large lighter was brought alongside, in which w^e landed our skins, and two tons of salt.
When landed they were packed carefully in barrels
with ample salt, by Captain Cox; from here they will
be shipped to London, England, via C, P. R. After
all the skins were clear from the vessel, the deck was
washed down and cleared up. In the afternoon the
hands were employed sending down the fore-topmast,
and preparing for the fixing of anew mast-head band.
In the evening, after the day's work was finished,
The Captain eave the men 24 hours leave of absence
in watches, that one watch \would be aboard to do-
the work, while the other watch would be on shore.
About 3 p.m. the weather became very dull, followed
by heavy rain with thunder and lightning. The rain
continued all night, making it very unpleasant for
those on shore, in a place like Hakodate that never
saw a sidewalk or pavement.
June 12th—The weather was still dull, but gradually cleared, and by 9 o'clock it was beautiful and
fine. About 10 I went ashore on leave, and returned
again at 6:30 p.m. Whilst ashore I visited the prim
cipal places in the City such as the British-Consul's
house; the English and French Churches; the post and
telegraphic offices, and the Japanese Students College;
and also took considerable notice of the numberless
shops, which are kept very clean by this hard -working
race. I also noticed that the clothing, boots, fancy
articles, and agreat many other articles, are imported
from England; and that everything of their own manufacture, is sold at a very low figure. I was alone
and preferred it,-so that I might stop and look at
what I liked, and as long as I wished, and go just
where I pleased. I went to one of the theatres, the
admission being 30 sens, or 15 cents of our money,
and was shown by one of the ushers where to go.
Having ascended a flight of stairs I found myself in OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 87
what we would calk the gallery in our theatres, but
here it was the place for the more select people, as I
soon round out for myself.    The hall was large, arid
lighted by^ a large number of Japanese lanterns.     It
was well filled; and I should judge it to hold about a
600 people.    The pit was packed like sardines in a
box, and they looked a rougher set than those in the
gallery, where I was.    The play had started before I
went in, but from what I did see of it I should judge
it to have beenla tragedy.  The most amusing part was
during the intervals, when several men and boys were
running around selling tea, rice, oranges, monkey nuts,
etc.    The noise they made was uproarious, and was
only quelled, when the drum and cymbals, of which
the band consists, began.   After an hours sta}T I left,
satisfied with what I saw.  As soon as I came aboard
James Dominey went ashore and returned at 9 p.m.; \
and after partaking of supper we retired for the night.
June 13th—The weather was beautiful and hot.
The men on board were occupied taking aboard provisions, water/ and other stores. Finished the newr
mast-head band to-day, which work, was done by
Japanese workmen. The fore-topmast was afterwards
set, and vessel prepared for sea. About 3 p.m. the sealing schooner "Golden Fleece" arrived, and anchored
not far from us. A custom house officer was soon
put aboard, where he sealed her salt room, as was
done with us. (We heard later that she had a catch
of 655 skins).
June 14th—Early this morning, about five o'clock,
we were all aroused in the cabin and hunters' room,
by three or four hunters belongingjto the "Ocean Bell. \ \
They had hurried from that vesseras early as 4 o'clock,
and as soon as they got aboard of us, they kicked up
such a racket, that it was no use thinking about
sleeping; for they started dragging us out of our bunks 88 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
and took our bed clothes away, and doing everything
for mischief. They were very eager to hear any news
we could give them. They told us that they had arrived about midnight, and anchored 4 miles out; they
also said that they had secured a catch of 1055 skins.
They stayed to breakfast, and looked as cheerful and
happy, as if they had just returned to civilization,
after many years absence in foreign wilds. It was
fun to see how they chaffed each other, and did everything they could to be pleasant. About 10 o'clock
the "Belle" weighed anchor, and!was towed closer in
by her boats.
I may mention that I had the pleasure of making
the acquaintance of Mr. Y. Musashi, a Japanese custom house officer, who can speak and write excellent
English. He talked of his visits to several parts of
Europe and America; and also spoke of the progress
of Japan during the last five years, and of the present
Eastern war. He is well acquainted with the Rev.
Mr. Andrews, the English minister at Hakodate, and
is a believer in the Christian faith instead of the Idolatry which is practiced in his native landi I am pleased
to be able to state that there are hundreds morewho
are followers of Jesus, in Japan, through the teaching
and influence of Mr. Andrews.
About 11 o'clock we set sail and weighed anchor,
and after sailing about four miles out, we anchored
again. Soon after dinner, the Captain "went ashore
to see about getting three absent men aboard again.
Failing to find them, he reported the same to the
British Consul, and then .shipped three new men in
their places; making four new hands, counting the
one that was shipped in the place of John Brewer, the
sick man. The Captain returned at 6:30 p.m., with
the new hands and his clearance papers. He then
ordered all sail to be set and  anchor weighed, and OR, A   CRUISE  OF   THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA."
with a fair wind we finally sailed for the Copper Islands, on the Asiatic coast; where we will continue
and finish sealing for this season. Two hours after
our departure it became calm; and as we were drifting
toward shore, we had to lower and man three boats,
and tow the vessel clear. One of the boats nearly
filled with water when out about ten minutes; this
was caused through the seams being opened by the
excessive heat to which it had been exposed. It
caused quite a sensation; but was soon hoisted on
board, and another boat lowered in-its place. About
11:30 p.m. we struck a breeze, when all the boats returned, and were hoisted and secured on board.
The city of Hakodate is situated on Yezo Island,
and bears W. N. W. on going up the Straits of Tsu-
garu. It is notedfor a strongfort; which can be seen
at the mouth of the harbour. It is a noted fishing
station; whilst across the harbour from the town
can be seen large ice works, and large wharves wrhere
steamers and ships load and unload their cargoes.
During our stay in Hakodate, James Dominey
went ashore; and/with a note given to him was
directed to the rectory of Mr. Andrews, where he
expected to find letters awaiting him from a friend, a
Mr. Somerton, a hunter on the sealing schooner
"Pioneer." He engaged a jinrikasha, and was not
long in reaching his destination; then decending he
rang the bell, and was received in the kindest manner.
He was asked to stay to tea and accepted the invitation with thanks. Mr. Andrews invited the Japanese man, who had drawn the jinrikasha, to tea also;
after which all united in prayer, when Mr. Andrews
prayed earnestly that/w^e might have a pleasant and
successful voyage and arrive home safely. The minister entertained Mr. Dominey by talking of his travels
in Japan, and the manners and habits of its people, 90
etc., for a couple of hours; the latter then taking his
leave and bidding Mr. Andrews good bye, who kindly
asked him to call again tomorrow. Complying with
this request, Mr. Dominey arrived at the rectory at
3 p.m next day, and again passed a couple of pleasant
hours. He was again asked to stay to tea, for which
Mr. Dominey thanked him. Before leaving, Mr. Andrews presented him with several books and papers,
and some Japanese photographs, one of which is of
Mr. Andrews with a group of Japanese men who are
believers in the Christen faith.
June 15th—Weathe^dull, with a thick fog, which
made us keep a strict lookout and blow the foghorn
continually. The wind was head, but the force of
the current took us out of the strait; and when the
fog cleared at 7 p.m. we found ourselves close to the
shore. We tacked, to avoid going nearer; and soon
after we sighted a schooner, which we made out to
be the "Rosie Olsen," bound in. About noon we
cleared the Tsugaru Strait, whilst the ship rolled and.
pitched heavily, through the heavy swell caused by
the recent wind; but toward evening it became fine,
and the swell went down.
June 16th—The weather was still dull, with head
wind and rain. Steered by the wind, and about 11
o'clock we sighted a schooner ahead, lying-to under
stnall canvas; we passed her at 1 p.m., and found her
to be a Japanese schooner. Sighted another schooner
at 3:30 p.m., ahead, with all sail set running wing-
and-wing. About 4:30 we heard her fire six rounds
from a shotgun, as a signal that she wanted to speak.
We fired six rounds as a reply, and then hove to.
Supper was served at Slo'clock, which gave us plenty
of time to finish it before the "Agnes Macdonald"
would get within speaking distance. Supper finished
most every body went on deck, to learn  any news OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 91
that might be obtained when speaking. When the
"Macdonald" was about a hundred }rards off, our
Captain hailed her to heave to, as he wished to speak
her; the latter complying with this request, took in
her fore and jib topsails, and after sailing round our
stern, hove to. During this time we lowered a boat,
in which the Captain went on board; and there arranged with Captain Cuttler to bring our mail,
should any arrive during his stay in port. Thev re-
ported having a catch of 709 skins; also that they
are bound for Hakodate to fill watery! and have any
work that may be required done; after which they
will go direct to the Copper Islands, and there hunt
seals till it is time to make for Behring Sea, which will
be open on the 1st of August,'where they will'finish
the season hunting with. spears. They : reported-'
speaking the schooners "Brenda" and "Vera;" the
former with 785 skins, and the latter with 800. Our
boat returned in an hour's time, and was4 hoisted on
board; and Ave continued our course, steering by the
wind. The "Macdonald" afterwards set all sail, and
proceeded on her voyage. K
H June 17th—The wind was still head, and we
steered by it till 9:30 a.m., when it hauled to the N.
E., and we were able to lay our course; while the
weather was fine, and the sun shone brightly. The
hands were employed bagging up the salt that was
used in curing the skins that were landed at Hakodate. It became nearly calm towards evening; but
later, the wind changed to S. E., and freshened
gradually. HI
wa June 18th—Weather mild but dull, with a strong
S. E. wind, xSteered toward E. till noon, when the
course was altered to N, N. E., when we slacked off
sheets, and set fore, main and jib topsails. An hour
later, all light sails were again taken in, through an 92
increase of wind. Since 2 o'clock we made good ten
knots an hour. Rove off a new fore-peak down-haul,
a jib-topsail down-haul, and fore and mainsail halyards. Wind moderated at 4 p.m., and light sails
were once more set; only to be taken in again at 7:30
p.m., owing to a rapid increase of the wind. Later,
about 10 o'clock, the mainsail was taken in, and foresail double reefed, and after setting the trysail, we
hove to for the night.    Next day,
June 19—We had a strong gale from S. E., with
vessel hove-to under double-reefed foresail. I During
the day the Captain distributed a number of papers
to the crew, which caused a general reading all round;
and those who could not read satisfied themselves by
listening to others reading. Nothing else worth mentioning for this day.
June 20—This day was dull with fog and heavy
rain, wmile the wind still blew strong from S. E.,
whilstwe lay hove-to. Towrard noon the windhauled
to S..W., and moderated; we then set trysail, staysail
and jib; shook one reef out of the foresail, and steered
toward E. S. E. By 5 p.m. it became calm, and the
sun shone out bright and clear, w-hich made it pleasant to be on deck. There was a heavy sea running,
which caused us to roll badly, but it gradually went
down during the night.
June 21—Early this morning we were lying-to
under trysail and staysail, with the weather beautiful and calm. Soon after breakfast was finished, we
lowered a boat, in which a couple of hunters left to
try and kill some birds, to feed "Tom" and "Kitty,"
our two pet cats. Mr. Anderson who wasmoreeager
than anyone else, spoke, saying: "Tomcat must be
fed; and I'm darned if I wouldn't as soon die in the attempt, rather than see it starve! " After an absence
of two hours, they returned with nine birds; among OR, A  CRUISE  OF  THE SCHOONER "UMBRINA."
them was a large goonev, measuring 7 feet 1% inches
from tip to tip of.wings. William Edwards made a
beautiful tobacco-pouch out of one of the feet of this
large bird; whilst the cats did justice to the portion
given them. Anderson looked delighted to see the
cats fed, and said, "Them cats wont know us for the
next five vears,for I'm darned if they don't think thev
have struck another kingdom.1' Alight breeze rose
at 1 p.m. from S. S. W.; so we set all sail, and steered
toward E., with free sheets. It became//calm again
at 5 p.m., at which time we took in the mainsail to
prevent its flapping. The wind rose again at 7 p.m.,
when we set mainsail, hauled aft the sheets, and steered by the wind.
Ip June 22nd—Weather calm and dull; and vessel
lying-to under bare poles. At 6 a.m., a strong wind
rose, with rain; but the latter cleared by S o'clock.
At 8:30 we set mainsail, foresail, staysail and jib, and
steered by the wind; later the wind hauted to the N.
E., and we were able to lay our course, and at 1
o'clock! we were able to steer free; at which time we
set trysail, which was taken in again at 3 p.m., on
account of too much wind.
Tune 23rd—Very early this morning, about 3
o'clock, the kringle of the jib-sheet carried away;
which caused the taking-in of that sail till daylight,
when it was repaired and again set. The weather was
fine, with a strong N. W. wind; and our course E. N.
E., with free sheets. At 8:30 a.m. the wind hauled to
the North, when we trimmed sheets. About 1:30 p.
m. we saw a sleeping/seal to windward, and after
bringing the vessel up in the wind, we lowered a boat;
but it was of no use, for the seal awoke and made
off. After the boat returned, and was secured on
board, our course was altered to N. E. by E.; and by
5 o'clock the wind hauled to the S. W.,at which time 94 A   SEALER'S JOURNAL;
the sheets were slacked off, and we made good about
5 knots an hour.
June 24th—The weather was dull, with a light
breeze from N. E., and our course by the wind. Had
all sail set; and at 7 a.m. it began to rain, and about
10 it became calm, which lasted till 11 a.m., when the
wind rose again from the N. E., and increased gradually.   All light sails were taken in at 1 p.m.
Tom. Cummings occupied most all the forenoon
fixing and preparing his boat for sealing; and when
finished it was turned oyer and secured.
June 25th—-
June 26th—
June 27th—
June 28th—There was nothing worth mentioning
for the past three days. The weather was dull, cold and
miserable nearly all the time, with a strong head "wind.
Yesterday, we did get a couple of hours sunshine, so
that it was pleasant to stop on deck, for a while, and
get the beautiful breeze, after the long confinement
below. It soon set in raining again, with thick fog,
and the wind increased rapidly; so we double reefed
the foresail and hove to.
All hands anxious to arrive on the sealing ground,
as well asj to receive mail from the "Agnes Macdonald.' The men pass away the dull time by playing at
cards and draughts; "when not engaged at either of
these, some pass the time by sketching, painting, or
fancy-frame making. This is the fourteenth day out
from Hakodate, and the constant head wind makes
it tiresome for the men who have to depend upon
what seals they get in their boats for wages.
About 7 p.m., whilst I was engaged writing in
this journal, in the main hold, the cook and William
Hickman being also present and deep in conversation;
we were hailed by the Mate, who was keeping his OR, A   CRUISE  OF   THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 95
watch on deck, to hurry up and see the man-o'-war.
Certainly we, not knowing the difference, hurried up,
and commenced looking around, but we could not
see anything. Being convinced that we had been
fooled, we turned our eyes toward the Mate, and
found him laughing ready to split. It was too cold
to stop on deck long, so we hurried below again;
closed the hatch and lighted the lamp, and with a
good fire, made ourselves comfortable. We made
some tea, and enjoyed it and a long uninterrupted conversation.
Only those who have sailed in the "Umbrina'
these (two last seasons, can speak of her comforts
from fore'ard to aft. Unlike most vessels that are
engaged in this business, this one, I must admit, is a
good home. She is well ventilated, and everything is
kept clean. From fore'ard to aft she can truly be
called one of the finest equipped vessels engaged in
this business.    On
June 29—The weather was fine with a light easterly wind, and smooth sea. The hands were employed
to-day making "bag-wrinkle,'' or chafing-gear.
The galley was visited, by some of the hunters,
where we enjoyed a comfortable chat together, r Mr.
Anderson who was present, made some very funny
remarks, which kept us all laughing a good part of
the time; the principal subject being the prospects of
Victoria, B. C, and what each one will do on arriving
there. The subject was afterward changed to the
condition of Newfoundland, in its present state.
It became calm by 2 p.m., when some of the hunters left in a boat to go bird-shooting. They returned
at 5 p.m., with thirty-two birds, out of which only
eighteen were fit to cook, and they will serve for
tomorrow's dinner. When supper was (finished, as it
was still calm, they left again for another slaughter;-
I 96
but an hour later a light E. wind rose, which caused
the boat to return. On their way back, they came
across a sleeping seal—two shots from the gun, and
it lay asleep forever, and was not longin being robbed
of its skin, which was soon put in salt. We also
managed to secure a live pup seal. The captain took
a great fancy to it, and wished to rear it. He washed
it with some lukewarm water, and then put it into
a large box with some old clothes to keep it warm.
It was fed onjf condensed milk ; but most of the time it
remained restless and cried like an infant. So^that it
would not disturb anybodjr, we kept it in the main-
hold, where it could cry to its heart's content. Next
day, Sunday,
June 30th—The weather was beautiful and calm,
and the sea as smooth as glass. Breakfast was given
at 7 o'clock, and soon after a finning seal was seen
from the vessel. We lowered a boat, and after a
short chase, succeeded in killing it, when the boat
returned. After thro wing the seal aboard, they left
again to go bird-shootingj and returned at noon with
eighteen birds, mostly sea parrots. All hands enjoyed a
good dinner from the birds that were killed yesterday.
I am glad that I can state in this book that we
have a good, earnest Christian man on board,by the
name of William Hickman, who always does his best
at saying a few words for our Lord. This morning
he read aloud in the forecastle the 7th chapter of
Matthew, and afterwards sang several hymns, in
which some of the other men joined. I thought that
in was a great encouragement to the men, as well as
pleasing to the Master. May the seed sown bring
forth fruit, and lead many to the Lamb of God.
Soon after dinner, it being still calm, the hunters
left again to shoot birds; but returned at 2 p.m.,
owing to a breeze rising from N. by Er.   This being OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA
head, we steered by the wind. The afternoon passed
quietly on board; and soon after supper seven or
eight of the crew assembled in the galley, where they
made themselves at home, conversing chiefly on religious points and the progress of Jerusalem, til! 9 p.m.,
when they dispersed and retired for the night.
July 1st—The weather was dull, with a thick
fog, and head wind.   Nothing else worth mentioning.
July 2nd—Fine weather, with a strong N. W.
wind, so that we were able to lay our course; and
with all sail set, made good about nine knots an/ hour.
About 8 a.m., we sighted a schooner to windward,
on the same tack as wewere; and at 8:30 sighted the
Siberian coast. Half an hour later, a heavy squall
struck us; whilst a thick fog set in, hiding everything
from view. Took in all light sails, and single reefed
mainsail and foresail. The fog cleared an hour later,
and we were able to see the schooner orifce more, far
ahead, with all sail set. It moderated during the
afternoon, and became fine; and by 8 p.m. we shook
the reef out of the foresail, aud set flying jib. /
July 3rd—Weather beautiful and mild, with a light
S. W. wind. About 7 a.m. it became dead calm; and
some of the hunters lowered a boat in which to go
Shortly after 7 o'clock, we were visited by a
beautiful seagull of snow-white plumage, slate-colored
wings, red feet and yellow beak; and so tame that a
person could have picked it up without it attempting
to fly away. The tomcat was brought and thrown
down in front of it; but Tom did not seem to like this,
and sneaked away to what it considered a safe distance, and crouched down, keeping its eyes steadily
fixed on the bird. The gull having satisfied itself,
with what it saw on board, flew away without permission, whilst the tomcat fell overboard in a vain 98 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
attempt to catch it. Tom proved a good swimmer,
and struggled hard to scratch its way up the vessel's
side mewing all the while. It was such a pet, that
there were soon a dozen men leaning over the side to
catch it, and presently a rope was let down the side
when Tom was not lon^ in fastening his claws in it,
and was soon safely on board. It was so very weak,
that it could hardly bear up its own weight when
walking to'a place to be alone. The Mate, who is
the cat's best friend,) nearly cried when unformed of
Tom's condition; and dried it with a piece of his own
clothing, after which he fed it. The seagull kept flying around the vessel; and one of the hunters was
just on the point of shooting it, when he was checked
by the Captain, who said it would be a pity and a
shame to kill such a pretty bird.
About 10:30 a.m. the boat returned with eight
sea parrots. Soon after they were aboard the wind
rose, and gradually increased; so that with free sheets
we made very good time. During the afternoon the)
hands were employed unbending the old, and bending the new foresail. Killed one seal from the vessel,
which sank instantly. "Saw two more during the
day; but it would have been useless to lower a boat
for them, as they were fast travelling for the Copper
Islands. About 7 p.m. we sighted a schooner ahead, I
on the reverse tack to us, which we made out later
to be the American sealing schooner "Winchester," of
San Francisco. Spoke her at 8:30 p.m., our Captain
hailing, "Where are you bound?" "East of Copper
Island!' was the reply, and then we were* out/of
speaking distance. |j|
July 4th—-The weather was dull, with a thick fog,
and a nice S. W. wind; and we had all sail set, making good about 7 knots an hour. Fog clearing at
9:30, we sighted Cape Shipunski, thirty miles distant,
and the volcano "Juinanova," 8854 feet high, with
its snow-capped peaks mounting to the clouds, and
sparkling in the rays of the morning sun. The volcano lies thirty-five miles inland. The cape is fifty
miles distant from Petropaulski, Russia's naval and
military station in Behring Sea, situated on the peninsula of Kamchatka. We were steering toward N.
N. E., making for Cape Kronotski, the prominent cape(
of peninsula of that name. It is distant 130 miles from
Cape Shipunski, where we expect to arrive tomorrow, and lower boats if the weather proves fine.
Behring Island is 129 miles distant, bearing due West
of Cape Kronotski, the southern cape of the peninsula
of Kamchatka, lat. 53° V N., long. 160° 9' E. It is .
noted for its fortress, in which long-termed prisoners
are kept; also noted for salmon and birds in abundance. The weather continued beautiful, after the |j
fog cleared.
July 5th—and
July 6th—There was nothing worth mentioning;
except that we were shut in with thick fog, and that
the winds were light.    Next day, Sunday,
July 7th—The weather was beautiful and clear,
with light S. E. wind. Had all sail set, and with free
sheets j made good 4 knots an hour. We were surrounded by birds at times, and the hunters took a
greatdelight in shooting them. Several of them were
killed, and we tried to gaff some of them from the
vessel, but failed. We afterwards lowered a boat,
with a long stout rope attached, and towed it astern
for the purpose of picking up the birds that were
killed from the vessel. This proved very unsatisfactory; for although there were over fifty birds killed,
not one came near enough to be gaffed from either
schooner .of boat.   The boat was going zigzag most
?.^ia ^&t*"
of the time, caused  by the peculiar steering of the 100
vessel, which certainly could not be helped, because
the helmsman did not bother looking at the compass
much, for he preferred viewing the sport that was
going on. Finally after a couple of hours of failure,
They returned to the vessel without any birds. Dinner finished, the boat left again; but instead of being
towed astern, kept ahead of the vessel, and when
they returned again at 5 o'clock, supper time, they
had eighteen mures. With the exception of this
Sabbath sport, the day passed pleasant and quiet
on board.
July 8th—The weather was dull, with a thicjk fog,
and a lights. E. wind, Later it became brighter, and
by 9 o'clock the fog cleared, when we found ourselves
only a mile and a half from shore, near Cape Stelbovi,
and thenoted "Sea-lionRookery," lat. 56°40/N.,long.
163° 20' E., the greatest in Behring Sea. We crept
slowly along by the shore, which looked very beautiful with its green and snow white patches; and here
and there, some very low land, which was level enough,
to make an excellent park. Just about dinner time
we jibed ship, and kept offshore, going just about) 3
knots an hour. Dinner finished, the Captain gave
some of the crew the privilege of going ashore.
For this purpose two boats were lowered, in one
of which I had the pleasure of going. The names of
the men in the boat with me, were: Bill Dominey, Bill
Anderson, Bill Edw^ards and Alfred Jones. In the
other boat were: Bill Pourie, Tom Cummings, John.
McCall and Minematsu Sayetsugu, a Japanese sail or.
We cleared the vessel and made sail, and with a nice
breeze, soon reached the shore. We saw several hare-
seals and sea-lions, but made no attempt to shoot
them. As we neared the shore, we lost the wind ; so
we were obliged to lower the sail and pull in. Thousands of birds of all species perched on rocks, met our
■ a
gaze as we came closer in; whilst the seagulls looked
beautiful with the sun shining brightly on their snow-
white plumage. William Dominey who steered our
boat, passed through several reefs, and secured a
good landing. All the others had prepared themselves
with sea boots, etc.; but poor me had not given a
thought to this, and made off in a hurry, so the first
thing I knew, my shoes were filled with sand, which
made it uncomfortable when walking. It was not
long before I again found the need of long boots; for
we had to cross several swift-runnin^brooks. Alfred
Jones was kind enough to carry me over each one, on    |J 11
his back, and we narrowly escaped falling into one II
of them. The chief reason for going ashore, was to
get mures' eggs, which are good at this time of the
year. After roaming about for an hour, without
finding even the shell of an eggy we turned to go
aboard; at which time the vessel jibed, and sailed to
meet us. On hoisting our boat on board, the head-
strop carried away, causing the boat to fall headfirst
with a terrible crash into the water. Twenty-five
gunishells were lost overboard; and had the stern not
been lowered immediately, we would have lost a rifle
and shotgun also. A handy-man was not long in
placing a new strop; after which the boat was hoisted
safely on board. We afterwards tried to sail Northwards, and the wind being ahead, were obliged to
tack; but did not make much progress, owing to the
strong current.
Soon after supper, we again lowered two boats,
William Pourie, Tom Cummings, John Raggatt and
Albert Schweickhardt going in one, and William
Dominey, William Anderson, William Edwards and
myself in the other. It was nearly calm, and we were
bound for an island four miles distant, known as "Sea-
lion Rookery," and from there to another island three 102 A   SEALER'S JOURNAL;
miles further, where we expected to get a boat load
of mures' eggs. Tne Captain drew out a sketch of the
land and position of the islands, as a-guide, and we
went fully equipped; for it was our intention to stay
ashore all night; sleep the best way we could, and to
load the boat with eggs next day.) We took lunch
boxes with ample food, and plenty of water; also guns,
rifles, ammunition, knives, hatchets, matches, and
every thing else required, even if we should be compelled to stay longer than we expected. Mr. Anderson was good company! for he kept us laughing most
of the time with his comical sayings; telling us how
.he was going to make a living sacrifice of something,
when he got ashore, and that he would turn over the
whole kingdom. He kept talking all the time; but
also worked hard with a pair of oars, which caused
him to perspire so freely that he was obliged to take
his hat off. He continued the conversation, saying:
"I wont know orn single soul, till I have eaten two
hundred dozen of them mures' eggs, and half a dozen
mures to finish off with, which will just give me an
appetite for breakfast;" and so he kept on all the
while he w^as in the boat.
About an hour after leaving the vessel, we were
about a hundred yards off the first island, which we
found to be thickly inhabited by sea-lions, and the
continual roaring of these numberless animals, put
one in mind of a sawmill at work. We fired in
among them freely with rifles and shot guns, killing
several of the largest, which kept tumbling into the
water from the slippery rocks. It was laughable in
one sense, yet pityable in another, to see the older
ones tumbling overithe younger ones which looked so
frightened. I found out that the large ones were not
easily killed; for after sending two bullets into one,
from a rifle, it shook its head like a dog after coming OR, A   CRUISE   OF   THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA."        .103
in from the water, and took no further notice. After
killing about fifty of them, we landed; and then
climbed about twenty feet of slippery rocks, and from
there found the interior to be nothing but a deep open
valley, in which there was a very large and deep
pond, filled with these animals. The little ones were
frightened when we came close to them, so we petted ||
and carressed them, but they did not seem to appreciate it.    A large bull, which I should judge was king
among them, was lying down quite peacefully; he
did not move, nor/seem to mind our presence at all, or
be aware of danger.    He was soon disturbed from his
quiet repose, by a bullet from William Edwards'rifle;
but was not killed till five bullets were put into him.
Being convinced that he was dead, we all went to
examine his carcass.    Without exaggerating,  I am
sure it would weigh about two and a half tons.    We
tried to cut off its head, but this was a hard task; for
its skin alone was two inches in thickness, and we
had not the proper tools, for it would require a cross-/
cut saw, instead of knives and hatchets such as we
had brought.    Presently the sky was covered with
black clouds, followed by wind and fog.    The schooner
was abreast of us by this time; and one of the men
who was viewing her from a high rock, shouted, "the
flag 's up," which resulted in our returning to the vessel, instead of continuing our excursion.    Before leaving we killed four of the young sea-lions, and brought
them aboard, for the purpose of making a couple of
pairs of sea boots out of their hides.    Roughly speaking, I should say there Were from six to eight thousand
sea-lions on the island; a great sight; and  many a     j
person would give a considerable sum  of money to
be in a position similar to ours  on that occasion, jl    g
We arrived on board about 9 o'clock; after which we
took in mainsail, and kept off shore.   It was   late 104 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
before we retired that night, as we were all deeply
interested in conversing about what we had seen.
We had many questions to answer, from those who
stopped aboard; whilst they seemed as well satisfied
with our description of what we had seen, as though
they had been ashore themselves.
July 9th—The weather was beautiful, with a light
South wind; we steered by the wind, and kept further
offshore. Lowered two boats at 9 a.m., which kept
ahead of the vessel shooting birds. They returned
again at dinner time with thirty-one mures. These
were cooked for| supper and enjoyed by everybody;
while the two cats were not forgotten, and did justice
to what was given them.
The "sealing-wTatehes" commenced to-day; which
means that two men remain on deck, instead of four,
which is the case during sea-watches. It also means
that whilst on sealing grounds, and not sailing or
shifting, only one man at a time is necessary on deck.
The Captain also gave the cook orders, to give meals
according to the routine of the sealing grounds.
July 10th—Weather still fine, with a light S. W.
wind. Breakfast was given at 5,0'clock, and at 6 we
lowered boats. Sighted a vessel at 10 o'clock bearing
South from us, and on the port tack; she passed us
at noon, but was too far off to speak. We sighted
another schooner at 2 p.m., bearing E. S. E., and
sailing right for us. Four of our boats returned at
this time. We made out the approaching schooner
to be the "Willard Ainsworth," of Seattle; and when
she came within hailing distance, our Captain spoke,
asking how many skins they had. They replied 1227;
also stating that they had spoken the "Ida-Etta,"
a few days since, with 550 skins. Her Captain asked
how many skins we had, and the reply was 1200;
he also inquired if we were going into Behring Sea, OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 105
and our Captain said that he didn't expect to. Having finished speaking, she bore away to the N. W.,
making toward theland. By 4p.m. all our boats had
returned and been hoisted on board, bringing but two
seals; thus showing them to be very scarce, and it is
even surmised on board that they have not vet left
the rookeries. We learned from ong*bf the hunters, that
the other schooner was the "Mary Taylor," he having
passed close to her whilst out in the boat. Sighted
another vessel to leeward at 4:30 p.m., on the same
tack as us; and at 7 p.m. we took in mainsail and
head sails, and hove to for the night.
July 11th—and
July 12th—On this and also the previous day the
weather was fine, with changeable winds. Lowered
boats each day but did npt get any seals. One of our
boats spoke a boat belongingjto the "Mary Taylor.'
They asked whether we had seen the schooner "Pion
eer," which vessel is to bring them an outfit of provisions. They said they have been here a month, during
which time they were anchored for five days in shore,
waiting fan the time when the seals would leave the
rookeries. Some of the men went ashore whilst anchored, and had a great time; succeeded in killing six
bears, and several sea-lions and birds. We saw four
other vessels around during the day; and spoke one,
the "Borealis," with 813 skins. She lowered a boat
in which her Captain and some of the crew paid us a
visit. They told us how they lost a man overboard,
one dark night, when off Cape Flattery; that there
was a strong wind blowing, with a heavy sea, whilst
the vessel was making 8 knots an hour. | Everything
was done to rescue the poor fellow, but all to no purpose. They also told us that they were going to
Behring Sea to finish the sealing season with spears.
After staying for about two hours, they left, taking 106 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
with them some books, which we had collected together and given them. Half an hour later they lowered their boats. || |
July 13th—This day the weather was dull with
thick fog; breakfast was given at 4:30 a.m., that in
case of fog clearing the boats would instantly be lowered; the wind was light from the South,-but gradually
increased during the day. We steered by the wind.,.
under foresail, trysail and staysail, and at 6 in. the
evening hove to.
July 14th—Sunday—The weather was dull, with
a strong Southerly wind blowing, and the vessel
hove-to. At daybreak we/sighted a vessel to windward, with all sail set, and free sheets, sailing in our
direction. Spoke her at 7:30 a.m., when we found
her to be the American schooner "Golden Fleece."
We asked them if they had got any seals on this
coast; and they replied "No." We then asked whether
they had seen the "Agnes Macdonald;" when they
again answered "No; but we passed a schooner to
windward, lying-to." After speaking, we set the trysail, and then steered W. S. W., making toward the
land. Soon after, a thick fog set in, which cleared
again bynoonjt when wewere able to see land plainly.
Sighted a schooner at 3 p.m., close to land; sailing
along the coast, with all sail set, making N. by W.
We all supposed that it was the "Pioneer; and our
course was changed, so as to run down to her.
After sailing for about two hours without getting
any nearer, we gave up all hopes of making her out;
and then hauled up in the wind, took in trysail and
jib, and hove to.
July 15th—First part of the morning the weather
looked dull, as if inclined to rain and blow. Breakfast was given at 5 o'clock; after which we waited
an hour, to see how the weather was going to turn a
out; but as there was no change at 6:30, we lowered
boats, and soon after it became beautiful and fine,
and remained so throughout the day. The boats
returned at 8 p.m., with 19 seals. William Pourie
reported speaking a boat belonging to the schooner
"Mermaid;" and learned that she has a catch of 1350
skins, 50 of which she got on this coast. They asked
if we had seen the "Pioneer." That makes the fourth
vessel which has asked the same question; for Captain
Baker of the "Pioneer" has made very good catches,
and all are anxious to know/of his whereabouts, and
where he gets so many seals. But Captain Baker is
too cute; he is always ready to keep clear, should a
vessel happen to heave in sight, to avoid being made
out. It certainly shows that he must^be an expert
sealing man, for he has been successful in all his voyages.
Whilst our boats were out, the Captain brought
a compass on deck, and  placing it on the binnacle,
took bearings of several points of the land between
Capes Shipunski and Kronotski.    When finished, the
Captain went below to work on his chart, leaving
the/compass where he had placed it.    Presently our
Japanese boy came on deck, and, inquired of the Mate
who was standing aft, what the Captain was doing.
"Oh, only taking photographs of thejand," said the"
Mate; "and if you get ready, I'll take yours.'     He
was not long in making his preparations, and then
stood about twenty feet from the supposed camera;
whilst the Mate had by this time put himself into the
attitude of a photographer, and placed his coat over
the compass.    "Are you ready ?" shouted the Mate.|||
"Yes," was the reply.    "Now then," said the Mate,
"put your hat on right; stand up straight; keep your
hands down by your side, and look at me!'     The
poor, innocent Jap. did as he was told;  and  was (m
afraid to smile, for fear of making himself look ugly.
The mate then put his head underneath the coat, and
burst into such a side-splitting laugh that he very
nearly knocked the compass down; and when he took
his head from underneath the covering, he laughed so
that he couldn't tell the bov that it was finished.
The latter then came aft to examine the photographic
machine; when finding it to be nothing more than a
compass, he said to th& Mate: "You lie, hey?" and
went off, very much diser listed with the ioke.
Soon after supper was finished, 4 a travelling seal
was seen from the vessel; when we lowered a boat,
and altera good half-hour's chase succeeded in killing
it; thus making 2Q for to-day's catch.
July 16th—The weather was beautiful and calm;
and we lowered boats at 5:30 a.m., which returned
at 8 p.m., with 24 seals.
An hour after the others left this morning, we on
board lowered the stern-boat, to tighten it, although
it did not leak badly. In the afternoon, the Captain,
Jap. boy and myself, went out in the boat for a little
exercise; and when out about a quarter of) an hour,
the Captain put his hand up, and fold me softly not
to make a noise, but to shove the boat cautiously as
he saw a seal ahead. Ten minutes later what should
we find but a piece of driftwood, which looked for all
the world like a sleeping seal at a distance. The Jap.
on finding out our mistake, laughed so heartily that
he could hardly pull the boat any more that day.
William Pourie was obliged to return to the schooner
at3o'clock, owing to his boat-puller, Albert Schweick-
hardt, taking sick with pains in his phest. Saw two
schooners around; but too far off to make either of
them out.
July 17th—Weather dull, with rain and fog, and
a good breeze from E. S. E.   Having left off-shore the OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 109
previous night, we tacked ship at 7 a.m., and made
in for land.. Fog cleared at 9 a.m., and at 9:30 we
saw the land. About 10:30 we sighted a schooner
to windward, running with free/sheets, and all sail
set; but as soon as she made us out, she jibed ship,
and kept offshore. We were under small canvas at
the time; but soon set all sail, jibed, and gave chase.
Whilst hoisting the jib-topsail, it caught in something
and wa§ torn badly; which resulted in hauling it
down, and stowing it again. However We gained
gradually^ and an hour later we made her out to be
the "Pioneer," the vessel everybody is looking for.
After two hours chase, she took in her mainsail, and
hove up in the wind. We soon caught up to her,
when our Captain asked Captain Baker how he was
getting on; and the latter returned the compliment,
and asked our Captain to come aboard. But Captain Campbell knew better than to lower a boat and
go aboard a vessel that deliberately ran away from
him; giving him a long stern chase. vThe crews of
both vessels were on the decks, and/waited eagerly
for a boat to be lowered; which would have resulted
in several hours social and interesting conversation
together, giving and receiving all the news; but we
sailed right past her, after which we hauled aft the
sheets, tacked ship and made for the land again. At"
4:30 p.m. we took in mainsail and topsails, and set
trysail, and steered by the wind.
July 18th—Weather continued dull, with a strong
N. E. wind, having hauled from E. N. E. We were
hoye-to, and at daybreak we sighted the "Pioneer,'
only a quarter of a mile off, hove-to. We were drifting so fast, that at 6 o'clock our logline was caught
by a large snag, which got entangled round the fan,
All hands, with the exception of the Mate, cook, man -
on-deck and myself, were sleeping; and it took us four
y 110
all our time to rmul it in, and clear it. When cleared,
we brought it aboard; and after everybody had seen
this piece of obstruction, it was thrown overboard.
At 8 o'clock we set the jib, and tacked ship; making,
another effort to speak the "Pioneer." The latter
which was to windward, and aware of what we
were doing, soon set more canvas, and kept out of
our way; but we. kept close on the wind, thinking
that Captain Baker might take it into his head to
run down to us. But such did not prove the case; so
we jflid not bother her anv further, but steered to-
ward the shore. About 5:30 p.m., the wind changed
to N.N. E., and later fog and rain set in. The men
took the opportunity of catching rain-water, and were
thus able to wash their clothes, etc. The Captain,
Mate and hunters, all enjoyed themselves in the cabin
this evening, playing at tricks, cards, etc. 1 and did
not retire till a very late hour.
July 19—The weather was dull, with a light Easterly wind., and we steered by the wind. At 7:30 a.m. we
saw a sleeping seal to leeward ;| kept the vessel off,
and stood by with guns; but unfortunately the noise
of the vesselgoing ahead, awoke it, when it instantly
dove, and was a long way to windward before it
came to the surface again. Continued steering by the
wind, and later it set in fog and rain; and on fog
clearing we found ourselves close to shore; at which
time we tacked, and sailed off with free sheets. About
1 p.m., Tom Cummings shot a seal from the vessel,
arid killed it; a boat was instantlv lowered, with
which it was soon brought on board.| Soon after, we
saw several porpoises. We fired, and wounded one
badly; then lowered the boat again, and managed to
secure it. As soon as it was dragged into the boat,
Mr. Anderson yelled out, "Get your pans ready, cooky,
and start frying away; for I wont know anybody till aN
it is all gone! " Everybody7 was glad that we got it
to feed on—not because we were short of meat, but
because it makes a most palatable dish. The fat was
all cut off, and boiled down for its oil. The weather
continued dirty throughout the day; and at 7 p.m.,
we took in mainsail, and hove to.
July 20th—The'weather continued dirty, with a
strong E. N. E. wind; and we made sail at 6 a.m.,
and steered toward shore. Breakfast was served at
7 o'cloek; when everybody enjoyed a good meal of
porpoise, which was fried|like beefsteak, and strewn
with onions. Mr. Anderson was so pleased with it,
that he said, "I'm darned if I would change that porpoise, for all the salt meat that ever was put up since
the kingdom was made. No, and I'm not going to
leave the table till I have eaten four pounds of it!'
All the forenoon, we were making in shore; but at
noon the wind changed to N. E., when we tacked ship
and stood off shore again. The wind increased toward evening, and at 6 p.m. we took in mainsail, jib
and flying jib, arid get trysail. j?
July 21st—The weather was still dirty, with a
strong N. E. wind; set sail at 7 a.m. and steered by
the wind. Sighted a vessel at 1 p.m., ahead, sailing
toward us; when close, she hove up in the wind; and
we soon made her out to be the "Diana, "of Victoria.
Spoke her at 3 p.m., and learned that she had a catch
of 900 skins. She reported having just arrived here
from Hakodate; and that they only got one seal during the whole passage. Our Captain asked her Captain aboard; upon which they lowered a boat, and ten
minutes later, he was on board, and also two of his
I hunters.
Soon afterwards, four of our men took the
" Diana's "boat, and paid a visit to that vessel. During their absence a travelling seal showed up close to our stern. This brought a couple of hunters on deck,
with their guns; but they Were too late, for the seal
-was too far off when it showed up again. William
Edwards, one of those who hurried on deck, managed
to get two shells jammed, and to prevent an accident,
fired them off. This caused our men to return aboard
sooner than they had intended, for they took the firing to be signal shots.
The "Diana's visitors stayed to supper; and we
learned from them that the British sealing schooner
"Rosie(01sen," was wrecked on a reef eight miles outside of Hakodate, whilst making that port to land
skins; to provision and fill water. All hands were
saved, as well as her entire outfit. She had an Indian
crew, who have since joined the "Agnes McDonald; "
which vessel is going to Behring Sea, there to finish
the season's sealing with spears. This gives her a
large crew, as well as a deck load of boats. We also
heard that a man by the name of "Barney," a forecastle hand of the sealing schooner "E. B. Marvin,"
was killed while ashore! in Hakodate, and his body
thrown overboard; but the cause of this outrage, I
am at a loss to know. After two hours stay the visitors left for their own schooner; and at 7 p.m. we
took in mainsail and head sails; set the trysail and
hove to.
July 22—The weather was worse than on the
previous day. Set lower sails at 7 a.m., but by noon
it blew so hard, that we were obliged to take it in
again, and set the trysail. The wind was N. E., and
the barometer was very low, indicating bad weather.
July S3rd—Weather still dirty, with a > strong
North wind, having hauled at 3:30 this morning from
N. E. A hea\w swell was running, and the vessel
rolled badly. Steered toward the N. W., making-
land; sighting it at 1 p.m., only six miles off.   It was OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 113
misty, so we could not see a great distance; but as
soon as land was sighted, we tacked ship. Weather
moderated, whilst the barometer rose gradually;
and during the forenoon, we shook the double reef
out of the foresail—it was put in yesterday, although
I forgot to mention it in yesterday's work.
July 24th—Weather dull and dirty, with a strong
North wind, and rain.    At daybreak we sighted  the
"Pioneer," only a quarter of a mile off, to leeward.
She was lying-to, under double-reefed foresail, trysail
and staysail; but we did not make any attempt to
speak.   The weather moderated during the forenoon,
and at 8 o'clock we took in trysail; set mainsail and
head sails, and steered to the North'ard.    About 2 p.
m. we sighted a vessel ahead, a long way off; made
her out later to be the "Mary Taylor," and spoke her
at 5 p.m.    They asked if we had seen the "Pioneer;'
to which the Captain replied, "Yes; she is  away to
leeward; to  the S. E."   Our Captain then asked if
they had any gum boots aboard; and Captain Lavender answered that they had plenty.    We then lowered a boat, and the/ Mate went aboard; when he was
given a pair of the boots, and returned half an hour
later.    The "Taylor" afterwards set all sail, and with
free sheets sailed in the direction of the "Pioneer;'
the latter vessel  being visible at 6:30 p.m., through
the mist clearing away.    The "Pioneer'  tacked and
sailed to meet the "Taylor," as soon as she made her
out.    We lessened canvas at 7 p.m., and steered by
the wind.
July 25th—Weather as bad as ever, with the same
Northerly wind. Made sail at 7 a.m., and beat to
the North'ard all day, tolkeep in a good sealing
berth; for the strong current that runs here continually, would take us away to the South'ard, if we did
not keep plenty of sail on the vessel, and   beat our 114 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
way. Sighted the schooners "Mary Taylor" and
"Pioneer' again, to-day; beating their way to the
North'ard, the same as ourselves. At 7 p.m. we took
in mainsail and flying-jib, and set trysail. Weather
moderated during the night.    Next day, -
July 26th—The weather was just as bad; so we
single reefed the foresail at 9.o'clock, and like yesterday, kept beating our way to the North'ard. It
moderated, and became fine toward evening.
July 27th—Weather beautiful, and nearly calm.
Everybody up early, and at 4:30 a.m. breakfast was
given. The schooners "Diana" and "Mary Taylor"
were close byAboth having all sail set, and making
for sealing berths. By 5 a.m. the wind freshened, and
at 6 o'clock we made all sail, and steered bv the
wind, making land. Lunched at 10 a.m., and at
10:30 we lowered boats. I went in Tom Cumming's
boat, instead of John Friday, his boat steerer, who
was sick, suffering from sore throat. I acted as steerer, and took a W. N. W. course, making shore. The
"Taylor's" boat's lowered soon after, and hunted in
shore, as we were doing. We were third windward
boat; so that I had to alter our course occasionally,
according as the other boats did. As we gotlnear
land, and it was dead calm, the boats finally got
mixed up, and hunted to their own advantage. We
got two seals, one sleeper and one traveller; the latter
gave us a sweater, for we chased it for a solid twenty
minutes, and only managed to gain when Cummings
wounded it badly by a long shot. We returned to
the schooner at 7.30 p.m., and was the first boat
aboard; the others, with the exception of two, returned at 9 p.m. Did not wait for/the other boats,
but gave supper; the last two boats returned at 11
p.m., arid brought the total day's catch up to 29
skins.    Sunday, OR, A   CRUISE   OF   THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 115
July 28th—Weather still beautiful and calm. Gave
breakfast early, and at 5 a.m. we lowered boats,
which returned at 7 p.m., with 56 skins. Saw the
"Mary Taylor" well to leeward with.her boat's out;
she had drifted so far out that her boats had a poor
berth for seals. As soon as our boats came aboard,
we set jib; and with a free fore-sheet, sailed further to
the North'ard, near Sea-lion Rookery.
Tulv 29—Weather fine, with a light Easterlv wind.
*J oj 7 CD ~*
We sighted two vessels to windward; but could not
make them out. Had breakfast at 4:30^.m., and at
6 o'clock we lowered boats; which hunted toward
shore, we at the time being about 15 miles off. They
returned again at 6:30 p.m., after a good sail in and
offshore, with the small catch of 9 seals.
July 30th—Weather dull, with a thick fog, and a
strong Southerly wind. Steered by the wind and off
shore, under small canvas all the forenoon; it being
too rough to lower boats. At 1:30 p.m. we tacked
ship, and set mainsail and jib; and with free sheets
sailed once more toward land. Fog cleared at 3 p.m., \
at which time we sighted a schooner ahead, on the
same tack as us, and later we made her out to be the
" Viva. " As soon as we sighted her we tacked again,
and steered by the wind offshore till 5 p.m., when we
tacked again and stood in shore. Took in mainsail
and jib at 6:30 p.m., and at 7:30 we saw a sleeping
seal; but before we could get a boat out it had awoke
and escaped.
July 31st—Weather still dull, "with a thick fog,
and a light S. W. wind. Though the sea was very
smooth, we did not lower boats owing to the fog;
but when the fog cleared at 9 o'clock, we lowered
them. Land was visible; also a schooner, which we
made out to be the " Pioneer, "steering to ward shore
with her boats out.   Our boats were not more than if'
a hundred yards off, when James Loveless shot a seal
and soon gaffed it into his boat. Two or three more
of the hunters soon afterwards lowered their sails,
having seen seals, and began creeping up on them; and
so they kept on till nearly out of sight. It became
calm at 11 a.m., but only lasted an hour, the wind
freshened at noon, but not strong; and at 1 p.m. the
boats tacked, and we did the same when they were
far enough ahead, and continued following. They returned at 8 p.m. with 29 skins. Tom Cummings reported speaking one of the " Sadie Turpel's " boats ;
and learned that she had got 900 skins up to date.
He also learned that the British sealing schooner
"Brenda" was wrecked when in the Behring Sea, and
making port to fill water. The crew were saved; also
the skins, provisions, coal, sails, etc. They said that
theschooners "Agnes Macdonald" and "Geneva" took
the crew to Unalaska, and from there they will be
sent to Victoria, B.C., their sailing port, at the earliest
Angiist 1st—The weather was beautiful, and
bright and calm, throughout the day. Served breakfast at 4 o'clock/aind the hunters left at 5 and returned
at 7:30 p.m., with 60 skins. Our Japanese boy, who
has been longing to go in one of the boats, to see how
seals are got, was given the opportunity by William
Dominey, in whose boat he went. Dominey who liked
the boy, decided to give him a chance to satisfy his
curiosity. The boy exercised himself at rowing for a
couple of hours, but then got tired, so was then told
to go and sit in the stern sheet, where he remained
till they got back. The weather was so warm, \that
he fell asleep, and did not a wake, even when Dominey
fired and killed two seals. He was so well pleased
with his excursion that he hardly knew how to express himself, when he came aboard. OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 117
Aug. 2nd—-Weather dull, with a light South wind
and we lowered boats at 5 a.m., and hunted offshore.
Owing to the scarcity of seals, the boats turned at
9 o'clock to come aboard, arriving at 11:30 a.m.; after
which we set all sail, and stood in for shore. The
schooners " Pioneer " and " Mary Taylor " were in
sight, with their boats out. Spoke one of the former's
boats at 2 p.m., and bringing our vessel up in the
wind, hoisted it in our burtons. The hunter's name
was James Shields, a friend of Captain Campbell's.
He passed away a! pleasant hour, during which he
and his crew enjoyed a good cup of tea. We learned
that the "Pioneer" has 1211 skins, 25 of which she
got yesterday. We arrived close enough in shore by
7 p.m., at which time we tacked ship? and reduced
canvas;   and lay-to for the night, under foresail and
Aug. 3rd—Weather still dull, with fog and  rain,
and  very light wind  from  E. S. E.    Had  breakfast
early; but did not lower boats this forenoon, owing
to the fog.   A school of "killers" passed round the
vessel at 8 o'clock, which brought William ^Edwards
and William  Pourie on deck with their rifles, who
fired among  them  freely, but to no effect.    Toward
noon the rain and fog cleared, and it became calm.
Dinner was given at 11:30 a.m., and  at 12:30 we
lowered boats; which  returned at 6 p.m., with  11
seals all told. § William Pourie told us that he went
on board the "Viva," and learned that she has ft
catch of 760 seals.   Supper was given at 7 p.m., after
which we took in mainsail and head, sails, and then
hove to for the night.
Aug. 4th—The weather was again dull, with rain
and fog; but by 9 o'clock it cleared, and we then
lowered boats. As soon as the fog cleared, we sighted
four schooners; two of which we foundJjto be the ra
of the   former's
"Sadie Turpel" and "Vi\
boats paid us a visit at 6 p.m., in which Charles Tite
was steerer, who was a shipmate of mine last year,
on board this schooner. He said that he was going
out as a hunter next year, should he be spared; and
he also compared his present vessel with this one,
wishing he had there the comforts of this vessel. Our
boats returned at 7:30 p.m., at which time one of the
"Viva's" boats paid us a visit. James Bishop was
the hunter's name, and he and his crew stayed to
supper. Bishop gave us later news about the crew of
the ill-fated "Brenda," and said that he was not sure
whether they were taken to Unalaska by the schooners
"Agnes Macdonald" and "Geneva" or by H. M. S.
"Caroline," one of the British patroling vessels in the
Behring Sea, or went in their own boats, which were
saved without being damaged.! The "Viva's" boat
left us at 8:30 p.m., and made for their vessel, which
was six miles off. It was calm all day, and the evening was beautiful.    Next day,
Aug. 5th—Weather dull again; with fog, as light"
North wind and smooth sea. Breakfast was given
at 4 p.ill.; but we did not lower boats till 7 o'clock,
at which time the fog cleared, and it became calm,
which continued throughout the day. Prepared for
anchoring, as we were only about eight miles off
shore at 5 p.m., and kept drifting that way without
any- wind to drive us off. The boats returned at 6 p.
m.,with 31 seals, and at 6:30 supper was given; after
which we enjoyed the lovely evening on deck. The
sun was shining brightly on the beautiful green-clad
land, whilst here and there (were patches of snow
sparkling in the light, like diamonds in emerald settings, and adding greatly to the beauty of the scene.
Our attention was soon taken from the land by the
"killers," that kept showing up around  us to blow, OR, A   CRUISE   OF   THE   SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 119
in large numbers. This brought Edwards and Pourie
on deck again, with their rifles; who fired among
them freely, hitting some of them in tender places, as
we could tell, when they shook their fins. At 9:30
p.m. the wind rose from N. E., when we managed to
sail offshore.
Aug. 6th—This day we had a stong wind from N.
E.   It was too roughto lower boats, so did not breakfast till 7:30 o'clock ; so as to give the men a rest after
their early rising, and late retiring, during the spell
of fine weather.    We steeredljby the wind ; and sighted
and passed the "Viva" at 6 p.m., about one mile to
leeward.    Sighted another schooner at 8 a.m., sailing
toward us; which wemadeout later to be the "Ocean
Belle;" and when close, both vessels took in light
sails, and hove up in the wind and spoke at 9 o'clock.
They lowered a boat, in which Captain  Martin and
some of his crew came aboard; and shortly after a
second boat was lowered, in which several more of
the crew visited us.  They reported having 1240 skins
up to this date.   They all had dinner ton board, and
stayed till 3 p.m.; and we all had a long, social and
interesting conversation.    They said that they were
short of coal, although they had an ample and excellent supply of provisions.    When they left for their
own vessel at 3 p.m., our Captain and several of the
hunters went with them, and returned the visit, but
did notstaylong-  After securing our boat on board,
we set all sail, and steered to the N. W.   The "Belle"
afterwards set all sail, and steered the same course,
but we soon left her a long way^astern.
Aug. 7th—First part of the morning the weather
was dull, with a thick fog, and a strong N. N. E.
wind. It moderated during the forenoon, and we
were sailing to the Northern Cape, close on the wind.
It was blowing right off the land, and the fresh and /4fl
fragrant odor was delicious.   Had lunch at 11 a.m.,
and soon after we lowered boats.   The "Mary Tay*
| if lor" was close to us, with her boats out; and as they
were hunting in-shore, our boats hunted off-shore.
During the absence of boats we spoke the "Taylor."
At 5 p.m. the Captain hoisted the flag, which caused
our boats to return, bringing 10 seals all told; and
we afterwards steered toward E. by S., hunting for
seals. I!;
Aug. 8th—Weather fine and calm ; had breakfast
at 4:30 a.m., and at 5 lowered the boats. We were
a long way off shore^ having drifted out during the
calm, but about nine o'clock a light breeze rose from
South, when we were able to.follow the boats, which
were hunting toward shore. The wind increased during the day; and at 5p.m. all the boats had returned,
with 18 seals. Soon after supper was finished, we
set all sail; steered to the N. W. with a view of having
a good birth tomorrow. The "Mary Taylor," which
had been sealing not far from us to-day, soon followed
on in our wake.   Next day,
Aug. 9th—The weather was fine, with a strong
N. W. wind blowing. We were sailing in towards
shore, under lower sails, and at 7:30 a.m. we were
only 8 miles from shore; at which time we were becalmed under its lee. Lowered boats at 8 a.m., which
hunted offshore; but were compelled to return again,
owing to the strong wind that was blowing. They
were all aboard by 2 p.m., with the exception of Wm.
Dominey. There was another schooner in sight to
leeward, but she was too far off to make her out.
Dominey being still absent, and not in sight by 5
p.m., anxiety was felt for,his safety; as the whales
("killers") abound here in large numbers. Fired the
cannon and blew the foghorn, at intervals, to attract
his attention, should he be anywhere within hearing
distance. Finally, at 5:30 p.m., we took in mainsail,
and with a free fore-sheet ran down toward the
schooner, where we thought he might be. The reason
for taking in the mainsail, being that if the boat was
astern, it would be able to sail as fast as the schooner,
and would catch us whilst speaking the other vessel.
But as luck would have it, such did not prove the
case; for after sailing for about two hours, we saw-
the boat a good distance off, and from the direction
in which it was sailing, we judged it had justfleft the
schooner we were running down to. Half an hour
later William Dominey was alongside, when his boat        . |j|
was soon hoisted on board. He told us that the
other schooner was the "Pioneer," his, old ship in
which he was seal-hunting last year. He went aboard
and was welcomed by Captain Baker, his late captain, and stayed there a couple of hours, during
which time he was given tea, etc. Her boats were
out at the time, and he did not care to wait for
their return. He told us that he was determined to
go aboard that vessel once this season, even if he had
to pull five miles to windward against a strong
breeze; and whilst everybody was anxious about his
safety, he was as comfortable as could be on board
the "Pioneer," partaking of the luxury of tea. He
also told us that some of the "Pioneer's" boats went
ashore; and just as the men were landing, five or six
hungry bears made for them. The men made for
their boats, and when a safe distance off, they fired
freely among the bears. The brutes seeing no chance
to get at the men, slunk off; and the men returned to
the schooner, where they reported their adventure.
Dominey reported that the "Pioneer" had 1275 skins.
Speaking about whales I might state that Wm.
Edwards had occasion to keep out of a whale's way,
for when it came up to blow, it sent some of the water 122 A  SEALER'S JOURNAL;
right in his face; and Edwards said, that if he had a
mind to, he could easily have jumped on its back.
He took his revenge later, by sending  a charge of
leaden pills into its carcass.
Aug. 10th—and
Aug. 11th—On these two days the weather was
fine; and we lowered boats each day.    One of the
"Taylor's" boats visited us on the 10th; and on that
day we got 22 seals.   On the 11th the boats hunted
I in the bay between Cape Stelbovi and Cape Ozerni.
Saw three schooners off Cape Ozerni; and later made
out two/of them to be the "Ocean Belle" and "Mary
Taylor," through our boats having spoken theirs.
Aug. 12th—Weather still fine; and we lowered
boats at 5 a.m., and hunted in the same bay as
yesterday. About 11 a.m. we on board had lunch;
and as it was calm we lowered the stern-boat, of
which the Captain, Japanese boy and myself formed
the crew. We hunted toward Cape Ozerni, and returned after an absence of two hours, with one seal,
which we shot whilst sleeping. Whilst I was steering, the oars made too much noise in the rowlocks.
Toiprevent this, I,.topk off my boots and socks and
put the latter in the rowlocks, and was thus enabled
to go along quietly'. Presently, whilst I was keeping
my eye on the seal, the noise of the rowlocks again
drew my attention, when I found my socks had slipped out and were floating far astern; but we would
not stop for such a trifle, so continued creeping up on
the valuable seal. We saw plenty of travelling seals,
whilst out; but made no effort to give them a chase.
All the boats returned at 7 p.m., with 26 seals.
Aug. 13th—Weather still fine, with a strong breeze
from E. S. E. We lowered boats at 6:30 a.m., which
returned at 5 p.m., with 7 seals.   Seals are scarce.
Aug. 14th—Weather dull,  with   a  strong S. E. OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 123
wind. At daybreak we sighted the "Pioneer" to the
leeward, sailing on the wind under small canvas.
About 8 a.m. a thick fog set in, and as we were close
to shore, we set mainsail and jib, tacked ship and
steered offshore. Saw several seals during the forenoon, out of which we managed to get one. The fog
cleared by 10 o'clock; and at 11 we tacked, and again
made for in-shore. Toward noon it became fine, but
we did not lower boats; while toward evening the
wind freshened again, at which time we took in the
mainsailland jib, single reefed the foresail, set trysail,
and hove to.
Aug. 15th—The wind was still blowing hard from
E. S. E., with hard rain; and being too close to the
shore, at daybreak we set the jib, and kept off.
Aug. 16th-—Weather dull, with a light S. E. breeze
By 8 o'clock it became calm; and at. 9we lowered the
boats, which returned at 7 p.m., with 28 seals. The
schooner "Geneva" was in sight; and William Edwards told us that he went aboard of her, where he
unexpectedly met his brother, who is also a\|seal-
hunter. He was formerly on the "Brenda,'' but joined
the "Geneva," after the other schooner was wrecked.
After securing our boats on board, we set all sail, and
steered toward shore, owing to the considerable distance we were off. The wind rose from North during
the afternoon.
Aug. 17th—Weather still dull, with a strong
Northerly wind, which moderated during the forenoon; and at 9 a.m. we sighted land. Lowered
boats at 1:30 p.m., which returned at 8 p.m., with
15 seals. The schooners "Mary Taylor" and "Pioneer" were both in sight, with their boats out. Supper was given at a quarter past 8 o'clock; after which
we got another seal, from the vessel, making 16 for
to-day's catch,   By 8:30 p.m. it became dead calm. ml
Aug. 18th—First part of the morning the weather
was dirty, with hard rain, and a strong N. W. wind.
It became calm, suddenly, at 8:30 a.m.; at which time
we lowered boats. The rain continued all day; and
by 3 p.m. all the boats returned, bringing 18 seals.
After all the boats were aboard we steered direct for
a schooner, which had been in sight since 1 p.m. She
was only about three miles away, and most everybody thought it was the " Pioneer;" but at 5 o'clock
"when we spoke her, we found her to be the "Sadie
Turpel," She was lying-to under small canvas, and
was getting her boats aboard, which had just returned
from hunting. We lowered a boat, in which several
of the crew paid her a visit. Soon afterwards they
lowered a boat, in which the Captain and some of
the hunters paid us a visit. After a couple of hours
of this pleasant pastime, the boats returned to their
respective vessels. We afterward steered by the wind
with all sail set. |||
Aug. 19th—The wind was 'kgain strong from the
N. W.; but it was dry and cold. Having reduced
canvas during the night, we were now under foresail,
trysail and staysail. Made all sail at 8:30 a.m., and
steered toward shore, as we were a good distance off.
As we neared land we did not feel the force of the wind
so much, and the sea was smoother. Got one seal
from the vessel at 3 p.m. At 4 it was quite calm;
and at 7 p.m., we got two more seals. It continued
calm all night.
Aug. 20th—Weather dull and calm, first part of
the morning. About 5 o'clock we lowered boats;
but by 6 o'clock a strong breeze rose from S. E., and
a little later a thick fog set in. We on board took in
all sail, and let the vessel lie-to; after which we kept
the foghorn bio wing continually, and fired the cannon
every quarter of an hour.   Our boats were a long OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER  "UMBRINA." 125
way off when the fog set in; but by 10 a.m. four of
them returned, without any seals. By noon, it
cleared again and became fine; and we again lowered
the boats; and by 7 p.m. they all returned, with the
small catch of 8 seals. Saw four schooners around
during the day.
Aug. 21st—Weather continued dull, with a light
S. W. wind.    Lowered boats at 5:30a.m., and two of
them returned at 11 a.m. without any seals; and from
that time till 4 p.m. the others returned, with a catch
of 14 seals.    Seals are scarce every place.
Aug. 22nd—First part of morning the vessel was
hove-to; the wind was blowing strong from S. E.,
with drizzly rain. Steered by the wind at 6 o'clock;
and at 7 a.m. we sighted a schooner ahead, bearing
down on us with free sheets, and soon after made her
out to be the "Mermaid." Spoke her at 9:30 a.m.,
and asked them to come aboard. Both schooners
then took in their jibs, hauled staysails to windward,
and hove to. Soon after, they lowered a boat in
which Captain Whitely and the hunters came on
board; and it was not long before they lowered the
second boat, in which several of the crew boarded us
also. We welcomed them right heartily, and made
everything as pleasant as possible for them. It was
not like being at sea; one would have thought that
the vessel was anchored in some sheltered harbour;
or that they were in some room ashore, so steady was
the schooner. The cabin of the' 'Umbrina," is so large,
clean, and comfortable, visitors do not care to leave it
in a hurry; for it is a pleasant change, from the small
cabins to be seen in most schooners in which the crew
are so long confined. Captain Whitely and the other
visitors stayed to dinner, and made themselves at
home; and we entertained one another till 3 p.m.,
when tea and cake was served, and at 4 p.m. they
J 126
left for their own schooner. I Our Captain and several
hunters returned the visit, going in one of our own
boats. They stayed till 8:30 p.m., during which time
they had supper; and found plenty more news to talk
about. As soon as the Captain returned, he set up
a lot of fireworks; which was answered by cheers
from the crew of the "Mermaid." ^ Thedisplay of fireworks was beautiful and bright, in the darkness of
the night. Soon after the wind increased followed by
rain and fog.
Aug. 23rd— t'l .
Aug. 24th—and J|
Aug. 25th—There has been nothing worth mentioning, except that we have had constant bad weather;
strong winds, and kept sailing in and off shore to
keep on sealing grounds, instead of letting her lie-to
and drift into another "kingdom."
Aug. 26th—Weather moderated, though it is still
unsettled; Served breakfast at 5:30 a.m., and at 8
a.m. lowered boats; having waited this long to see
how the weather was going to turn out. We were
only twelve miles from land; but the boats hunted off
shore, but finding nothing they tacked, and hunted in
shore. Wm. Pourie came aboard whilst near, on his
way toward shore; and after he and his crew had
each partaken of a good hot cup of tea and a piece of
pie, they left and continued hunting. All the boats
returned by 7:30 p.m., with the exception of James
Loveless, who did not return till 8:30.
It was a beautiful, bright and calm evening when
suddenly up came Tom Cummings with the foghorn,
and blew it to perfection, till it nearly became hoarse,
and then the Captain came up and set off a lot of fireworks. Loveless was only about half a mile off when
Cummings said: I hope Lovejoy wont be lost; and
then gave the foghorn  another rattle up.    Finally OR, A   CRUISE   OF   THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 127
Loveless came along side, when several in chorus sang
out: "Have you seen Lovejoy anywhere. Do you
think he heard the foghorn?' and "Do you think he
saw the fireworks ?' repeating it two or three times.
Loveless who is a quiet good-natured fellow, took
the joke all in good part, and only laughed! 10 seals
was the catch for to-day.
Aug. 27th—The weather was beautiful, with a
strong breeze from W. N. W., right off the land, which
was a change from the usual salt sea breeze. It was
very clear and cold; and we could see more land today than we have seen since we first came here. Set
all sail at 8:30 a.m., and steered close on the wind.
Sighted two vessels ahead, which we made out to be
the "Viva" and "Mary Taylor.' Two boat crews
belonging to the latter came aboard; passed a pleasant time, and also stayed to dinner. Soon after din-
ner we lowered boats, which returned at 8 p.m.,
with 4 seals. The men from the "Viva" reported hav^
ing 965 skins. Toward evening it became calm, and
remained so all night. Our Captain gave us the pleasure of viewing another display of fireworks to-night.
Aug. 28th—Weather dull, with a light W. N. W.
wind..  Lowered boats at 6 a.m., which returned a-
gain an hour and a half later, owing to an increase of
wind, with rain.   Soon after all boats were aboard,
we steered with free sheets toward E. by S.;  had  all
sail set, and at 11 a.m. we altered course to N. E. and
hauled aft the sheets.   Sighted the "Sadie Turpel" a-
head, with her boats out; and one of them came a-
board of us at 11:30, at which time it became calm.
During the afternoon Ave had the wind again, and
then kept sailing till 7 p.m., when we took in mainsail, and headsails, and hove to for the night. Rain
cleared at 6 p.m.
Aug. 29th—Weather dry and cold; and wind blowing a gale from North, which continued throughout 128
the day. At 8 a.m. we set storm trysail, and double
reefed the foresail. At 11 o'clock, we shook out the
reefs, and sailed a safe distance offshore, as we were
drifting; after which we reefed again and hove to.
Aug. 30th—We still had a strong wind, but from
the N. W.,and vessel lying-to under foresail and staysail. (The trysail was taken in during the night.)
About 8 a.m., we close reefed foresail, took in staysail
and set trysail. Remained hove-to till after dinner,
when Ave shook one reef out of the foresail; set stav-
sail and jib; turned over and lashed boats, and steered
toward E. S.E. Jibed ship at 4p.m., and then steered
S. W. The wind moderated toward evening, and we
then shook out all reefs and kept sailing. Next
Aug. 31st—The weather was beautiful and calm.
We lowered boats at 6:30 a.m., which returned at 6
p.m., with 9 seals. As soon as the boats cleared the
vessel this morning, the Mate, with the help of the
galley squad, unbent the flying-jib, and took it in for
repairs; and the Captain and Mate occupied the best
part of the day in patching the weak places. About
3 p.m., a light breeze rose from S. E.; and after all
the boats were secured on board, we steered toward
N. W. by W.    Looked very dull.
September 1st—Beautiful weather, and calm;
and we lowered boats at 6 a.m., "which returned at
5 p.m., with 4 seals.    One schooner in sight.
Sep. 2nd—Weather dull, with a light Southerly
wind. Lowered boats at 6:30 a.m.; and about 9 a.
m. we were visited by one of the "Geneva's" boats,
who reported that they were just eleven short of 1600
skins. They also reported speaking the "Ocean Belle"
a few days since, but were not sure whether they had
1600, or more. After refreshing themselves with a
good cup of tea, they left, and continued hunting. OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 129
Later, a thick fog set in. We, on board blew the foghorn continuallv, and fired the cannon at inter-
vals; but about noon the fog cleared; the wind
freshened, and we sighted land six miles distant.
James Loveless, being unwell, returned at 1 p.m. He
was not aboard long when a seal showed up, close to
the vessel. The Mate, who was handy with his gun,
fired and w^ounded it; we then lowered the boat again
and after a good chase secured it, making two for
that boat to-day. All the other boats returned at 3
p.m., with the exception of Wm. Dominey's, and
brought a lot of birds of different species. A lunch
was given at 3:30 p.m., when they talked freely of
how they enjoyed themselves onshore, and what they
had seen. The conversation interested the Captain,
who took this opportunity and went ashore himself.
Two boats were lowered, several men going in each
They had a good wind, and was not more than an
hour reaching shore. One of the men, John Friday,
accidently fell overboard, whilst leaning over the boat
to regain an oar, which had slipped into the water.
He had the main sheet entangled in his legs, so that
Tom Cummings, who was in the boat, had to throw
the mast, sail and everything overboard, to prevent
an accident. The boat was going at a good speed,
and in was fully five minutes before he was picked up;
but though he was no swimmer, he managed to keep
afloat. However this did not stop him from going
ashore; wet or no wet, on he went, and enjoyed himself as well as the rest. They had guns and ammunition with them; and they took the lives of several
sea-lions, four of which they brought aboard for the
purpose of making sea-boots out of their hides. They
returned at 8 p.m., and had a lot to talk about.
They told us that they saw mures in millions; and
also the tracks of bears, where they had dragged
salmon from the water, and left the remains. a
The catch for to-day was 6 seals, 113 birds of
various kinds, and four sea-lions. Whilst our boats
were ashore, the "Sadie Turpel" passed by, only two
miles from shore; and some of her crew landed and
went in company with our men, and helped them out in
their sport. During the night we kept off shore.
Next day,
Sep. 3rd—The weather was still dull with a light
S. E. wind. As we were a long way off shore, we
steered our way in at daybreak, and prepared to lower
boats at 7 a.m.; but as the wind increased, the order
was cancelled, and we then kept steering W. by N., toward shore. About 9:30 a.m., we got aseal from the
vessel; and at 10 a.m. we lowered all boats, which
made right for the shore, only eight miles distant.
Made out another vessel astern, running with all sail
set, in our wake, which spoke us at 2 p.m.; when we
found her to be the "Retriever." She lowered boats
about this time, two of which paid us a visit. Her
Captain came in one of the boats, and Mr. Derby
in the other. She has a crew of Chinamen, and has a
catch of 800 seals. We learned that they went ashore
a few days ago, and had great sport. They told us
they killed four bears, and brought them aboard to
have bear meat for a change. Our boats returned at
6 p.m., bringing 250 large birds, of different species,
and one seal.
Sep. 4th—Weather still dull, with a light S. E.
wind. Lowered all boats, except the one in which
James Loveless hunts, at 8 a.m. Loveless was sick,
and the Captain judging that seals were scarce, did
not think it worth while letting the Mate go in his
place. The boats went ashore again, and did not return till the cannon was fired and the flag hoisted.
This soon brought them aboard, after a good race in
which   Tom   Cummings was   first.   They   brought OR, A   CRUISE   OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA." 131
several more birds; and a large quantity of blue-berries,
with which we made pies, and had great feasting
times. They saw a large bear, but did not attempt
to shoot it. After the boats returned, we kept off
shore and steered N. by E.
Sep. 5th—Weather dull first part of the morning, with a light E. S. E. wind. Lowered boats at 6
a.m., and at 8 a.m. two of them returned, through
the wind freshening; but the others kept on their
course. An hour later the wind went down, and the
sun shone out beautiful and bright; while the wind
kept hauling gradually to N. N. E. The boats that
had come aboard left again, and remained out till
3:30 p.m., when they returned, with the exception of
Tom Cummings, who did not get aboard till 5 p.m.,
with only two seals as the catch for the day. After
all boats were got on board, we took in mainsail, set
trysail and steered by the wind.    Next day,
Sep. 6th—We had a strong wind from N. N. E.,
and steered by the wind till 8 a.m.; at which time the
Captain gave the Mate orders to form "sea-watches,"
and steer South. We had a fair wind ; and we made
good time, with free sheets, and a heavy sea running
after us; bound to the South'ard of Copper and
Behring Islands, to look for seal.
Sep. 7th—Wind still strong from N. E., and we
steered toward E. S, E. Nothing else worth mentioning to-day.
Sep. 8th—As   the weather  was still   bad,  with
strong wind, the Captain came to the conclusion
that it was no use lying around waiting for a fine
day, when seals were so scarce; so rather than put the
vessel to any more expense than necessary, he resolved
to go home. He then gave orders, at 8:30 a.m., to
set all sail; and with free sheets we steered toward
E. S. E., to clear the previously named islands, and
made good 8 knots an hour. —-
Sep. 9th—The weather was dull, with less wind,
and we only made 6 knots an hour. We started in
cleaning paint-work; and the Mate set some of the
men to work sharpening scrapers, with which to
scrape masts, booms and other wood-work. This
work is done to give the vessel a respectable appearance on arrival in port,    On
Sep. 10th—We had it calm all day; and on
Sep. 11th—We had the wind again. It was a fair
wind, and we averaged about 8^ knots all day.
Sep. 12th—The weather was beautiful, with fair
wind, which increased during the night; we had all
sail set, and made good 10 knots an hour. Crossed
themeredianat4p.m. Toward night it set in squally
and at 8 o'clock we took in all light sails, lowered the
mainsail, and jibed ship, after which it was again set.
Havingcrossed thelinegoing Eastmakes thisday
12th again.    The weather was fine, with a good fair
wind.    The hands were employed to-day scraping and
oiling masts and booms; also setting up new rigging.
Everybody happy, with the expectation that we will
soon reach Victoria.
Sep. 13th—and
Sep. 14th—Still fair wind; and the vessel averaged
10 knots an hour, both days.
Sep. 15th—        m*%
Sep. 16th— §
Sep. 17th— |
Sep. 18th—    ' -I
Sep. 19th—
Sep. 20th—
Sep. 21st— :f|-  .
Sep. 22nd—and
Sep. 23rd—We have had exceptionally fine weather all this time; and made a good and quick passage,
without carrying away a ropeyarn. Some of the
men aboard, who have been several years sealing, say
that the whole season has been an exceptional one, OR, A   CRUISE  OF  THE  SCHOONER "UMBRINA " 133
and that they have never seen the like before of such
continual fine weather. We are keeping a strict
lookout for "Cape Flattery light' to-night, as we are
getting close to land.
Sep. 24th—The weather was beautiful, with a
very light S. W. wind. Sighted land at daybreak, off
our port bow; but could only see the tops of the
mountains, showing out through the thick haze. At
the same time we sighted a schooner off our starboard
bow, about three miles distant. The sight of land
put everybody at ease, and settled the questions of
how far we were off; and how many hundred miles
have we to go; and'when do you think we will get in;
and how many miles do you think we have done, etc.
Such were the questions asked daily, by most every-
body; enough to drive a person crazy, if he tried to
answer them as often as they were asked. Well any-
how I'll continue the account of the dav. All the
forenoon the wind was light, and the men passed a
pleasant time salmon fishing, having been supplied
with hooks and lines hy the Captain. It was fun to
see what trouble they had in getting some of the salmon on board; and to see others getting away with
both bait and hook, which occured several times.  We
were lucky though, for we managed to catch twelve
large ones; enough to last us two days, and made a
good change from our usual salt provisions. Sighted
Cape Flattery at 4 p.m., through the haze; and at 7
p.m. we were abreast of Flattery light, which showed
brightly in the darkness of the night; we also saw the
light on Bonilla Point bearing off our port quarter.
At this time we went up the straits at the rate oi 8
knots an hour; but at 9:30 it became calm, and rained
very hard.    Weather very dull.   Next day,
Sept. 25th—Early this morning at daybreak, we
found ourselves a very little farther than half way up
the straits, with the wind nearly calm, and exceptionally fine weather.   What wind there was was fair; and we crept up gradually till 9 a.m., when the wind
freshened.    There were three other schooners in the
straits:—the "Carlotta G. Cox," "Casco," and "City
of Santiago ; " the former being about one mile ahead
of us, whilst the others were not far astern.    We were
abreast of "Race Rocks lighthouse" by 11:30  a.m.,
and here we felt the effects of a strong tide, which
was against us.    However we managed to go ahead,
with a fine breeze, under all sail.    The tugboat "Constance," of New Westminster, spoke  us when only a
mile from the "outer wharf," and  asked  us whether
we wanted  a tow in.    Our  Captain  replied, "No;  I
expect wind enough to take me in."    We finally arrived, and anchored in James Bay at 1  p.m., after  a
voyage of eight and a half months; with a total catch
of 1749 skins, of fine quality—1187 were secured off
the Japanese coast, and 562 off the Copper Islands,
making this total.    (Total catch in five years 9,561.)
We were only anchored half an hour, when the
tugboat "Sadie" came along and made fast to us;
and from there she took us alongside of the "Viva,"
which vessel was alongside the C. P. N. Co's wharf,
unloading her skins, and other gear. After she hauled
out, we went alongside, and unloaded our skins and
gear. Then the vessel was taken to Rock Bay, her
winter moorings, where she will remain till it is time
to fit out for the next sealing voyage.
The completion of the voyage brings my journal
to an end; but on two following pages will be found
an extract from the Victoria, B. C, "Colonist" newspaper, entitled " Racing to Japan" which I thought
interesting enough to have reprinted.
And now, kind reader, I will take this opportunity
of asking you to excuse all mistakes or faults which
you may have seen in this book, bearing in mind
that it is simply a record of the voyage, not originally intended for publication, kept by the cabin boy,
Close Contest Among the Crack Sailers of the Victoria Schooner
The "Vera" Shows Her Speed—Two Popular Sealers Lose
Their Lives.
Racing across the Pacific has varied the monotony of the run
to the Japanese side for not a few of the Victoria sealing fleet now
preparing for the season's operations in that locality. The Ocean
Belle gave the Viva as close a brush as is recorded in the annals of
ocean racing; the Agnes Macdonald defeated the E. B. Marvin by
but the few hours that she had to her advantage in the start; and
the neat little Vera, which as the Halcyon has shown her heels to
almost every cutter on the Pacific coast, outsailed everv one of her
rivals of the Victoria fleet and made the passage in the fast time of
48 days, while the Macdonald and the Marvin were 51 days from
port to port. At the time the Tacoma left Yokohama there were
in that port, of the Victoria fleet the Casco, Ocean Belle, Agnes Macdonald, Diana, Vera, Geneva, Sea Lion, Viva, Worlock and W. P.
Hall, the latter two having wintered on the Japanese side.
The Agnes Macdonald, Capt. Cutler, and the E. B. Marvin,
Capt. Byers, left Victoria on the same day in January last on their
race across the Pacific. They were fifty-one days on the passage,
and neither sighted the other from the day they started until they
arrived off Sunosaki. The Marvin was a few hours before the Macdonald at this point, but the latter got into harbor two or three
hours before her rival. The Marvin lost her foretopmast in her
anxiety to crowd on canvas enough to beat out her opponent,
while the Macdonald sprung her topmast, but did not once take
her jibboom out of its lashings during the entire voyage,
" A bet of $250 gold " notes the Yokohama Advertiser, "was
wagered it is said on the race, but however that may be, both
schooners found that the little Vera, formerly the Halcyon, which
left the home port a week later than they did, had arrived in Yokohama harbor three days before either of them. "
The Casco's skipper had the satisfaction of beating the Diana
across by a day, having left about 24 hours behind, and dropping RACING  TO JAPAN.
anchor five minutes before her in Yokohama harbor. The Ocean
Belle and the Viva got away from here together, spoke each other
thirty-five days out, and arrived within a few minutes of each other, the Ocean Belle coming to anchor first.
The Belle was one of the unlucky ones on the trip, although the
schooner herself escaped with scarcely the loss of a rope, she having the misfortune to lose a man and a good one on the passage. He
was boat steerer Charles Parker, who met his death on February
24, while the schooner was off the Japanese coast. He had gone a-
loft and was standing on the main crosstrees when a lurch of the
schooner caused him to lose his hold on the rigging and pitch head
first into the sea. A boat was immediately lowered but the unfortunate sealer was not seen to rise. He was a general favorite
among his shipmates by whom his loss is keenly felt. Parker was a
Puget Sound man about 25 years of age, and had been one of the Victoria sealers for three or four years past. The Casco was also unfortunate in losing one of her company, Mate Arthur Pennell having been drowned on the night of January 18th, duringagale which
overtook the schooner off the California coast. He was an Englishman in his 45th year, and had property interests in Victoria
and relatives in the old land.—Victoria Weekly Colonist, Friday
March 29th, 1895. fi^M4^M»^|ll|k
Cruise of Sealing Schooner
Umbrina Published Many
' vj    ~ Years-Ago      '  m
When the sealing industry was at
its   peak   an^fcupported between
fifteen and sixteen hundred men on
the    seventy-odd    vessels    hailing
from   the   port   ofpVictoria, small
attention was paid, on the part of
those actively engaged in the pursuit of the fur seal at least, to keep
any record of what transpired to
vessels between the time of clearing
at the Custom House for the sealing grounds and the day of making
entry on the return to port.
Only the log books, with their
brief references to the "day's work,"
hinted at "moving accidents" and
the perils encountered on the broad
Pacific between Bering Strait and
Cape Horn. To the sealing skipper
and his crew, happenings which
would loom as spectacular episodes
to the landsman were rated all in
the same day's work and treated
with scant attention accordingly.
Although evidently imbued with
the desire to present a picture of life
on a sealing schooner as it was for
the benefit of the people of his day,
many of whom, particularly in Victoria, were interested in the varying
fortunes of the pelagic seal hunters,
William George undoubtedly overlooked many thrilling incidents
which surely might have happened
during an eight to nine months'
cruise on the high seas in an 80-ton
schooner, because „of this same attitude and daily contact with danger,
a condition which Invariably "breeds
William George had signed on the
schooner Umbrina, Captain Charles
Campbell, as a cabin boy, and he
kept a diary of the voyage, which
he had published in j Victoria, the
firm of H. G. Waterson printing
the little book in the year 1895. The
book, entitled "A Sealer's Journal:
Or a Cruise of the Schooner Umbrina," takes the reader from Victoria across the Pacific to the coast
of Japan, follows the seal herds
along the coast of Siberia north
until the September gales and the
vanishing of the fur bearers ends
the hunt and winds up the cruise
with the arrival of the schooner at
While it relates the routine aboard
the vessel day after day and faithfully pictures a sealing voyage in
the early "nineties, the general impression, on reading it. is that the
writer overlooked a number of opportunities to set down happenings
really worth while, and which would
have had the tendency to produce
a thrill or twoi impelling tangible
appreciation—in other words, for
the deeds of courageous men, for
the sealers were that above all
things, always."
However, the little paper-covered
book which The Colonist has been
privileged to peruse through the
courtesy of C< W. Geiger, is, nevertheless, valuable for its small talk
and presentation of the daily life
on the sealing schooners forty years
ago. Printed as a limited edition,
there are probably very few copies
of the "Sealer's Journal" in exis-
tence^now, a circumstance which
also mak^s it valuable to the collector of sealing material.


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