January 6, 1820 – no entry. (Thaddeus Journal)
Jan. 6th. Thursday morn. The sea remains tempestuous—the wind strong and violent and directly ahead.
We reel to and fro, and are weary with our tossing.
For the last twenty four hours we have made no advance, but a retrograde step. As we were leaving the cabin, Tuesday evening, from prayers, a heavy sea broke over deck, threatening destruction before it. It took from their place several heavy things, tossing them about like little toya—dashing off a large space of the boards upon the side of the deck. Capt. B— was swept by it in various directions, not knowing, as he afterwards said, what prevented his being washed overboard— passengers he thought would have stood little chance. Providentially none were up, tho near it; one or two having ascended the stairs of the companion way. I, returning from prayers, stood at the foot, thinking I must ascend for a breath of air. Suddenly the water came rushing, in such a tremendous torrent, as to drench me as completely as if plunged in the sea. Under these circumstances we went to our berths, feeling there was a peculiar uncertainty as to our state when the morning light should appear. But our Heavenly Watchman, our Divine Pilot brought us safely through. The morning dawned, finding us still in safety; and in the midst of mountainous waves we have been preserved still another day and another night. This morning, I ventured again at an attempt upon deck, to behold the sublime scene;
Mr. B—, before I went out, having been up to the round- top to take a more extended view. I had looked about— put a little water upon my hands and face, when again, another wave drenched me as before. It was much less than the other, but I was just in the way of it.
Evening. Peel, to-night, truly like a pilgrim and stranger,—as if I had no abiding place. All the objects my heart so lately loved, far, far away. Amidst all, the flesh fainteth, O, my Gracious Redeemer, how do I need thy kind support ! I know that thou art infinitely more than friends or country—let my restless heart rest in Thee.
9 o’clock. GOD does allow me comforts, many tender and precious comforts. Still, I am continually forfeiting all. O, that I were constrained by them, in the hour of sadness, not to repine! I have felt my sorrows soothed, my troubled mind composed, by the seasonable tenderness of my dear husband. O, may I watch to cheer and encourage him, on his way, not often requiring his energies to rouse mine, his spirits to support mine; since, to aid him who hopes to be more directly employed in our Master’s vineyard, is the way in which I can, at present, most rationally expect to be the honored instrument of good. Thanks for that divine support which I trust I have hitherto experienced. May I be led by it to trust for the time which is to come. (Sybil Bingham)
Jan. 6. A gale of wind from the SW has driven us several leagues out of our course, towards the Cape of Good Hope. This gale has been the most severe which we have experienced. It is three days since it commenced. You can hardly conceive of the sublimity of the scene. The water rolling into heaps like mountains; waves dashing one against another, and sometimes against the vessel with a great violence; while our floating habitation has rolled and tossed with incessant motion. Capt Blanchard and several of his men, were knocked down by a wave which came over the vessel, and burst off several of the boards on quarter deck. The water came rushing down the companion way, so that our little room which was near was very wet. Owing to the good providence of God no lives were lost. The tempestuous wind begins to subside, and I trust we feel truly grateful for preserving mercies. (Mercy Partridge Whitney Journal)
6. – Old ocean seems to be moved from his lowest bottom; but the promise ‘Lo I am with you’ cheers my drooping spirits. As we have not been able to carry sail for the last 12 hours, our vessel has been left to the mercy of the winds & waves. I should have said at the mercy of God for surely the elements are under his control. (Samuel Whitney Journal)