Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/415

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363
THE LABRADOR JOURNAL

the sailors are reefing. I forgot to say that when a man walks towards the Gannets, they will now and then stand still, merely opening and shutting their bills; the Gulls remained on their nests with more confidence than the Guillemots, all of which flew as we approached. The feathering of the Gannet is curious, differing from that of most other birds, inasmuch as each feather is concave, and divided in its contour from the next. Under the roof of the mouth and attached to the upper mandible, are two fleshy appendages like two small wattles.

June 15. All our party except Coolidge were deadly sick. The thermometer was down to 43°, and every sailor complained of the cold. It has rained almost all day. I felt so very sick this morning that I removed from my berth to a hammock, where I soon felt rather more easy. We lay to all this time, and at daylight were in sight of the Island of Anticosti, distant about twenty miles; but the fog soon after became so thick that nothing could be observed. At about two we saw the sun, the wind hauled dead ahead, and we ran under one sail only.

June 16, Sunday. The weather clear, beautiful, and much warmer; but it was calm, so we fished for cod, of which we caught a good many; most of them contained crabs of a curious sort, and some were filled with shrimps. One cod measured three feet six and a half inches, and weighed twenty-one pounds. Found two curious insects fastened to the skin of a cod, which we saved. At about six o'clock the wind sprang up fair, and we made all sail for Labrador.

June 17. I was on deck at three this morning; the sun, although not above the horizon, indicated to the mariner at the helm one of those doubtful days the result of which seldom can be truly ascertained until sunset. The sea was literally covered with Foolish Guillemots, playing in the very spray of the bow of our vessel, plunging under it, as if in fun, and rising like spirits close