April 10, 1866

Journal Entry 9: April 1866

Highlights from the Journal of Edwin Mitchell, Vol. I:

Apr. 10: "It is an easy thing to get around Cape HornCape Horn

The southern tip of South America, the main obstacle to sailing west to the Pacific. The wind blows hard from the west, and vessels could take weeks to get around the Cape, into the Pacific Ocean.
but to stay around after you get there is the next thing If I go to sea for a living I will sail in something beside a down east packetPacket

A vessel traveling on a regular schedule between two ports for the carriage of mail, goods, and passengers.
, they are poor things, slow, leaky, hard workers, poor grub and not half enough of it. There are several other things which I could mention but will not for these are enough to give any one who may chance to read this some kind an idea of what they are; this was a first class ship when she laid in N.Y. alongside a pier (16) East River and was thought to be at the head of it to but if the same persons had come to sea in her I guess they would think she had split and gone to the foot (at least I do)."

Apr. 12: "I think we shall have to go around Cape Horn again as I think we have drifted to the easterd of it."

Apr. 13: "...in the morning we had a heavy squall and it was cold to (sic), by the time a man got aloft he would not know whether he had hold of a rope or not....passed Cape Horn for the third time. This P.M. tackedTack

The side of the sail against which the wind is blowing. The vessel might be described as being on a port tack or a starboard tack.
two or three times; here we have been ever since last Sunday a getting nowhere."

Apr. 17: All us boys do is to stand by halyardsHalyard halliard

A rope used for hoisting or lowering yards, spars, or sails on their respective masts or stays. From "haul yard."
night and day, cold job in a hail squall."

Apr. 19: "Just at noon there was a heavy sea swell and took every kettle off from the stove in the galley so the men lost their dinner."

Apr. 21: "Saw two water casks and a part of a ships house, probably part of a wreck."