Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/127

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and ere* t" l.njand. The sequel to all this was that in four days. \\c \\CK at MM in thorough repair, with a good supply of coal, and nlt'v^ether in first class trim for cruising.

While at Melbourne tin- officers were the recipients of invitations to a number of very handsome entertainments, and to one excep- tionally so at Ballarat, a mining town about forty miles from the coast.

BURNED FOUR SHIPS AT ASCENSION.

After leaving Melbourne we cruised towards the coast of New Zealand, anil then to the northward and eastward, among the Fiji, Gilbert and other groups of the East Indies, expecting at any moment to sight some of the whaling fleet. In this we were disappointed, and it was not until we reached the Ascension Island, just north of the Equator, between the Caroline and Marshall groups, that we found and burnt four ships at anchor in the harbor. From Ascension we shaped our course for the Okhotsk Sea, a noted whaling ground, but after cruising along the coasts of Kamschatka and Siberia, and around those waters for three weeks, we only succeeded in getting the old bark Abigail. She was a veteran in whaling voyages, hav- ing been launched very early in the century, but from her officers we learned that most of the fleet had gone farther north.

SCOURING THE ARCTIC OCEAN.

Although not on the programme, Captain Waddell concluded to push on to the Arctic Ocean. On the 22d of June we had reached latitude 62 north, and then we fell in with the ships William Thomp- son and Euphrates, both whalers. We burnt them, and on the 23d we captured two more ships. This day was made additionally event- ful by crossing the iSoth meridian of longitude, making that week eight instead of seven days. We had two Fridays and two 23d days of June. We made this addition to avoid being twenty-four hours ahead of time when we got home, as it happened to Phineas Fogg in his trip "Around the World in Eighty Days."

NINE WHALERS BURNED IN ONE DAY.

Hardly a day passed now that we did not capture several vessels until the 28th, when the climax was reached in eleven prizes. Nine of them were burnt and two bonded. After this no other captures were made.

Some writer soon after the war, in giving full play to his pen, refers to the 28th of June, 1865, in these words: