Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/31

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Sept. 1st.—While fishing with a piece of pork as bait, a Cape pigeon caught the hook in his bill and was pulled up. Porpoises, and an albatross about the ship. Weather cold, like the month of March. Thermometer 52°. Drew the quilt over me for the first time for many weeks.

11th.—A heavenly day, like one of our autumn days; but rather too calm for our impatience the Cape being within less than a hundred miles. Great cleaning out of the ship preparatory to our arrival.

13th.—The breeze has, most provokingly, freshened to a gale, and we are obliged to keep off land, for there is no shelter from this wind in Table Bay. It is most tantalising to be within view of the light-house and flag-staff on the mountain, and then to recede from them.

14th.—After a storm last night, which to my inexperienced eye was sufficiently terrible, the wind has moderated, and we are now standing in for the Bay; straining our eyes to have the first peep of African scenery, turning the glass towards every flat-roofed villa as it appears on the shore, and gazing as we near the quays, at the great teams of twelve or fourteen oxen drawing waggons.****


20th.—We are now under weigh for Australia. I have brought some cuttings of vine and fig trees in earth, and pumpkin and orange seeds.

25th.—A week has now elapsed since we left Cape Town, and we have made no progress, but have rather gone backwards; so difficult is it sometimes to weather the Cape. We may now have to run to the fortieth degree of south latitude before we meet with a west wind.

I have stumbled upon a pamphlet written by Dr. Macartney, 1810, on the luminous appearance of the sea. He describes one luminous animalcule like a shrimp so far his microscopic observations agree with mine; but he does not conjecture (as I do) that the small globules are the spawn,