March 11, 1820 – Lat. North 2° Long. West 115°. Again we have entered our own hemisphere. We have this day special occasion to acknowledge the kind providence of God. About one o’clock P.M. there was a calm and several of the brethren, and some others, having been denied the privilege many weeks, allowed themselves to enjoy the pleasant and healthful exercise of bathing in the Ocean. Not long after they were safely out, while one of the sailors was employed in painting the bowsprit, with his feet in the water, a common sized shark was seen to approach him. Had he not been seasonably warned to avoid the monster, he might have lost a limb, if not his life. The shark then played or rather raved around the brig with the boldness and fierceness of a hungry tiger. By the dexterity of George P. Tamoree and one of the mates a snare was fixed upon him. Then flouncing like a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke he seized, with violence the end of a strong pole and tho it broke many of his pointed teeth he held fast until by the pole and ropes he was drawn on board. The mingled emotions of our company, arising from a sense of danger escaped by the gracious interposition of our divine and strong deliverer, evinced by tears and congratulations, cannot easily by described. On opening the shark, there were found a porcupine fish and a large beef bone which had been thrown overboard by the cook at the time the brethren were bathing, so that he could not have been far distant at that time. But while we acknowledge this deliverance from unknown and unexpected danger, we regard it as an admonition to be always watchful and guarded when surrounded with dangers and enemies, and as a kind intimation that the same hand that shut the mouth of this Lion will also shut the mouth of the roaring Lion and so far as his cause requires it will mercyfully deliver us from the power of ungodly men and all that rise up against us. (Thaddeus Journal)
March 11, Lat. 4° S. A calm of 6 or 7 days has detained us here in the most sultry region of the globe, where the hot and scorching rays of the sun are almost insupportable. We hoped to be at or near Owhyhee before this time. but the Lord would have it otherwise. and for wise reasons, no doubt; perhaps it is to try our patience and prepare us for future trials. During the calm we caught 2 Sharks. and a Boneator [bonito]. the latter of which made us an excellent dinner. A distinguishing interposition of Providence relating to the catching of the first Shark. I cannot fail to notice.
On the afternoon of Saturday 11th, 6 of our Missionary Gents went into the sea to bathe. They remained 15 or 20 minutes in the water, swimming about the vessel, heedless of danger – but they had not been out of the water long before George Termmoner discovered a large Shark close under the bow of the ship; which had no doubt been playing around the ship, seeking for prey while the men were in the water.
On being caught (for the ship’s company were so fortunate as to catch the Monster) it was found to be the blue Shark, a real Man-eater, 10ft. long, and a mouth sufficiently large to take in a man’s leg or head. Within him, was found a beef bone which the cook had flung overboard just before the men went in, and a porcupine fish which was an object of great curiosity.
This merciful preservation of the lives of our brethren. Was not passed unnoticed; and while we reflect that it was God who shut the mouth of the fish, may we not hope that it is an earnest of his further deliverance from the power of the enemy. (Lucia Ruggles Holman)
11th. Extremely hot, seems sometimes as if we should, melt. Caught a shark measuring 10 feet in length. (Samuel Ruggles)
March 11.-This afternoon, as the vessel lay becalmed, one of the officers, Mr. Bingham, Mr. Thurston, and two of the native youths went into the water to bathe. Only one hour after they came out, a shark was caught. When first observed it was approaching a sailor who was painting the outside of the vessel, his feet hanging down in the water. He was ignorant of his danger, until he received the alarm from one of our family. When caught, it seized hold of a hard’ stick of wood so violently as to break out several of its teeth, and continuing its grasp, by this means suffered itself in part to be drawn up into the vessel. A large bone was found in its stomach, thrown overboard at the time our friends were in the water. Its extended
jaws, sufficient to embrace a man’s head, are now hanging up in a conspicuous place. How it makes the blood thrill through my veins when I think of the danger to which our friends were exposed! But as a matter of encouragement, amid all the perils which may await us in a savage land, may it strengthen my faith and confidence in Him who has this clay been their preserver. (Lucy Goodale Thurston)