March 13, 1820 – The heat is more oppressive in passing the Equatorial regions than it was in the Atlantic. We have had the sun more nearly vertical for a greater number of days. Yesterday the mercury stood at 84° below deck, and at 124° in the sun.
Today another shark has been caught with a hook, and a second this evening seized and held for some time but at length escaped. So the quickened sinner sometimes breakes away at the moment when he seem to be fastened by the truth and almost drawn into the kingdom of Christ. (Thaddeus Journal)
March 13th, We find the weather truly uncomfortable, this time passing the Equator. The winds became very light between two and three degrees before we reached the Line, and have so continued, bringing us to about the same distance north. You can hardly realize the exhaustion which is felt nights, from want of air, in our confined rooms, with narrow bertha. We cannot open windows and shut window blinds, I wake sometimes and feel that it is with difficulty I can breathe at all. Yet GOD is good to us,—strikingly so. This is the tenth day we have been in this region but just moving, still the health of all is preserved—no one is on a couch of sickness, neither are we experiencing such a calm as many have. We have each day made some progress. In the midst of all the languor, we have been sometimes, within a few days, animated with the hope that we are to experience the breath of the spirit. There is reason to believe the enquiry, “what shall I do to be saved?” has seized the minds of one of the Officers—one too whose profaneness, when passion made him forget the gentleman, has pained us. Satan is alarmed, for his agents ply assiduously the weapon ridicule, lest the poor captive should escape the snare. 0, with what a load of guilt will those go down to woe who have held others in their chains! Precious truth I Christ is stronger than the strong man armed—his almighty Arm shall bring forth the captives He has purposed to redeem. Mr. B— was prepared to address them yesterday, sabbath,— his subject such as I hoped would carry conviction with it. But Divine Providence did not permit. The bell rang, but sudden clouds, with rain, soon put the seamen in motion and sent us below. We had a favored season in the cabin, and tho we could not use direct means for the benefit of these poor souls, I think GOD gave us his Spirit to intercede in their behalf.- – – A circumstance, on Saturday, of interest, which I must mention. The ocean was very calm, and sea-bathing, in this sultry region, was thought so conducive to health, as to induce a few to venture in, notwithstanding the possibility of meeting with monsters of the Deep. Mr. B— was one. He had tried it in the Atlantic. I had always trembled, yet avoided manifesting feminine fears. Judge then what were my feelings, when, but little more than an hour after, while in conversation with my dear friends, congratulating myself that bathing was over, the cry was, a shark.
The horrid monster came along side and was soon hauled on deck. He was of the true voracious kind. His frightful jaws struck terror, while my heart melted in view of GOD’s preserving mercy. In his intestines were found a Variety, taken in whole. 0, may I have in remembrance this providential escape! How my heart might have been wrung with anguish! Another shark was caught to-day, but escaped again. (Sybil Bingham)
March 13. 2 deg 40 m N Lat. The weather continues extremely warm. For 8 or 10 days past we have had but a very light breeze. Some of the time we have sailed 2 or 3 miles an hour, and then again, the vessel has moved but little more than to rock from side to side. The heat is somewhat oppressive. A shark was caught day before yesterday, and another today. The only two taken on the passage. As you requested me to be particular in mentioning every circumstance as it occurred, I have endeavored to comply with your request. I have noted down many things which, to a stranger, might appear too trivial to be named, but I Trust they will be read by you with a degree of interest. (Mercy Partridge Whitney Journal)