Land has just disappeared from view. The excitement, expectation, and anticipation of your journey are gone. Now you are beginning to wonder just exactly what you ahve gotten yourself into.
You have left your home and friends behind, and you wonder if you will ever see them again.
It hasn't taken long, and many of the passengers are sea sick.
It will take a few days before the land-lovers get their "sea legs".
The passengers, for now at least, are quiet and keep to themselves.
But, as time goes on, people meet people and have a wonderful time getting acquainted.
From passing ships you hear rumors about gold being discovered in California.
Most travelers left with great haste, but very few left without a notebook, a pen, and an ink bottle.
Many passengers on board are keeping journals of the experiences they have on their journey,
Playing cards, singing, reading, sunning, and wrestling are other popular activities.
Any reading material on board was read to tatters before the journey had barely begun.
The captain is relatively young as captains go, but he is a wise and frugal man.
He makes use of the wind and sails at every opportunity, to conserve the supply of coal and to prevent wear and tear on the steam engine.
The food on board is not as bad as expected.
In fact, at times it is quite tasty! (If you are really hungry!)
Rations that are provided in the galley are quite safe. Very few get sick from eating them.
The usual fare is hard-baked biscuit, salted beef, and boiled pudding once a week.
In the course of the trip various activities begin to occur on board.
There are debating societies, clergymen have sermons and prayer meetings on Sundays, a band has formed, a ship newspaper has been started and professionals on board give lectures on scientific subjects.
There is also a group called "SSA"...
Which stands for "Sea Sickness Anonymous".
This group meets at the at railing of the ship.
a place definitely disliked by crews without steam.
Many a sailing ship would lie still in the water for days, even weeks, waiting to take advantage of even the slightest wind.
This is one of the greatest advantages of steam!
While other vessels lie motionless, with smoke belching from your sokestack, you press on!
The captain is proud of his ship because it makes way even in the calm.
But he is constantly aware of the danger of having that flammable material in the hold.
You are aboard a mighty steamer, but it is not the most common type of vessel on the high seas.
Clippers are the sovereign of the seas!
It will not be uncommon to see many clippers during your voyage.
While passing through the area of the equator, the heat gets unbearable.
The deck is too hot to walk on.
The tar in the seams of the deck bubbles.
Rumors abound on the actual story pertaining to this island. Some say Alexander Selkirk, more commonly known as Robinson Crusoe, was exiled here. Others claim that the Brazilian government uses the island as a place of exile and a prison. who really knows?
In calm weather, especially aboard the sailing ships, one of the favorite pastimes is catching porpoises, cowfish, or any other fish that can be hooked! These catches provide a much needed diversion fro your now monotonous diet.
Eventually, the familiar constellations of the Northern Hemisphere begin to disappear, and the Southern Cross, composed of four brilliant stars marking the four corners of the cross, begins to rise in the night sky.
Another new sight in the night sky is the Magellan Clouds. This is a golden mist in the sky similar to the Milky Way.
The competition is fierce, especially among sailing vessels.
However, captains of sailing vessels love to beat steamers at every opportunity!!
When approaching a port, the crew begins painting and polishing! They want the steamer to be "ship shape" when it pulls into port!
Even at sea, the crew is rarely idle. They are continually busy, tending to theneeds of the ship to make your voyage a speedy one.
You pass many ships leaving rio as well as many barques and brigantines steering south towards Rio.
The prominent landmark in this famous port is called "Sugar Loaf".
Every person on board is looking forward to going ashore! You have been like a caged animal on this ship for nearly six weeks!!
Ships of every kind - brigs, barques, brigantines, schooners, clippers, steamers - from nearly every country come and go.
Whaling, cargo, passenger and even slave ships come and go.
The stay in Rio normally lasts about 10 days; could be more, could be less, depending on the extent of the repairs.
During this time supplies, including coal, wood, fresh water and food, are replenished. Small repairs are made and the ship is prepared for the next leg of the journey.
The fruit here is plentiful! You manage to secure more of the ruit to which you attribute your good health.
This is a fine well protected southern harbor, which makes it a favorite stopping point for ships preparing to round the perilous Cape Horn.
Just south of Rio, the captain advises you that you have crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, that invisible line on the globe at 23 degrees, 27 minutes south latitude that separates the torrid zone from the south temperate zone.
Most passengers on board have little use for such trivia but it is reassuring to know you are making progress!!
Romors are starting to spread about the difficult times you are going to encounter in a few short weeks.
You hear horror stories about getting around Cape Horn.
Passing the 45th Parallel, the temperature begins to drop.
Passengers begin spending ore time below deck.
When you left Brooklyn, it was the dead of summer.
It seems to have slipped everyone's mind, at least until now, that June is the dead of winter here!
The freezing temperatures are making this painfully clear.
Captains vary in age, experience and wisdom.
But all captains, no matter what their background or experience, approach The Cape with great respect.
They all realize they are extremely vulnerable to the elements.
As you approach the southern tip of South America, the captain advises all persons aboard that the sea you are about to encounter attains a degree of violence unknown in any other part of the globe.
Just before rounding Cape Horn, the captain points out Deceit Rocks, which are colored white from the bird droppings.
Rounding the Cape from east to west is not an easy task.
I all goes well, it is usual for a sailing ship to allow three to five weeks to get to the west side of the Horn.
Winds in the area of the Cape rarely blow less than 45 miles per hour and almost always fro the west.
Gales in this area can easily pick up a schooner and smash it into the rocky shore.
The raging seas are the temperature of melting ice.
You scarcely get six hours of daylight. When it is light, it is of little benefit.
The overcast hugs the seas and visibility is very low.
It is not uncommon for it to snow here in the summertime.
The captain is continuously looking through his looking glass, keeping trac of the ship's progress and position.
He also makes entries in his log religiously.
Nowhere is navigation more difficult than in these waters.
Some sailing ships would take seventy days to round the Cape.
Some ships would turn back because of the damage the sea had done to them.
Some ships would not make it at all.
Occasionally you see floating wreckage and debris from less fortunate vessels.
With the rounding of Cape Horn (also called Cape Stiff by many sailors because of the difficulty of rounding it) behind you, the captain steers the steamer north by northwest. It is everyone's goal to reach the port of Valparaiso, which means "Paradise Valley".
As the temperature rises so do your spirits.
Off the coast of Chile, the ocean is swarming with sea cows.
A little farther off the coast of Chile, about 400 miles to be exact, is Juan ernandez, the island most often recognized as the island on which Robinson Crusea was actually exiled in 1704.
Every person on board has been looking forward to arriving at Valparaiso.
They have been in close quarters or too long!!
The port at Valparaiso is shallow, so the boat is anchored offshore.
People go ashore and supplies are brought abard by a continuous stream of small boats going back and forth from the shore to the ship.
While ashore people would nearly kill for a current newspaper to read.
But the word is confirmed ...
GOLD HAS BEEN DISCOVERED IN CALIFORNIA!!!
We waste no time in loading the ship with only that which is absolutely necessary and head for California.
The only excitement today was crossing the Tropic of Capricorn for the second and last time on the second and last time on this voyage! The unbearable heat isn't far away again!
When the captain sees another ship, he always knows what kind of ship it is and under what flag it sails.
"There goes a British full-rigged three-master!"
Saw an interesting sight today...
Fishing has become one of the favorite pastimes, especially since the weather has warmed up.
Those who don't partake in the fishing enjoy watching for whales and poorpoises.
On the west side of South America, the crew anticipates arriving in California and begins putting things in order.
The crew is busy scrubbing the deck, chipping off rust, painting and polishing.
Most of the passengers who were keeping journals at the beginning of the trip have stopped by now.
But throughout the entire trip people have been reading whatever they can can get their hands on.
Many days aboard the ship are spent in utter monotony. There is nothing to do, at least nothing you feel like doing, but watch an occasional ship come and go; watch the sun rise out of the water, move across the sky, and then set into the water again. Day after day after day ...
The last leg of the journey is slow and seems to drag on forever.
The walls seem to be moving in.
You are positive the ship is only half the size it was when it left Brooklyn.
Moments of solitude and privacy are nonexistant.
Fellow passengers, who only a mnth ago were easy to get along with, now seem impossible to tolerate.
Fights break out over trifles. There is constant bickering and gossip.
Before, you complained of having the same food to eat meal after meal...
...but now you would gladly eat anything.
Provisions are running dangerously low.
The Captain has given the word that you are only a few weeks from the coast of California.
This seems to calm everyone's nerves.
The arguments and fights subside.
As the ship nears California, you begin to forget the hardships and tough times you have just endured.
The promises made to The Almighty while rounding the Cape are all but forgotten.
Somehow those times don't seem as tough now.
Much more important now is the topic of nearly every conversation on the ship: where people plan to go to search for gold, how they are going to get it, and what they are going to do with the fortune they discover there.
There is also uch fretting and worrying about arriving too late and missing out on the best opportunities.
Hopefully there will still be plenty of gold left when you get there.
For the crew, no portion o the voyage is without danger.
They must maintain their vigilance to the very end.
You are fortunate that the ship has a sufficient supply of coal to make it to California. Other steamers ran out of coal. When that happened spars, doors, bunks, and portions of the deck were ripped up and fed into the ire box to keep that ship noving toward the gold fields!
The ship is now approaching the Golden Gate, and your journey is approaching its end.
The dense fog akes it difficult, not to mention dangerous, to ind the entrnce to the Golden Gate.
All hands are on deck as you approach California To the gold seeking passengers on board, it is the long-awaited promised land!
Everyne cheers for the captain as he guides the ship through the "Golden Gate."
The shoreline is covered with lush green plants.
What a beautiful sight!!
The bay is filled with boats of all kinds from every country.
The boats and ships are too numerous to count. It looks as if they are stacked on top of each other!!
But they seem to be deserted...
Everyone on board is sure they are too late now!!
Energy levels run high among the prospectors on board.
They know there is no time to waste!
The captain takes you across the bay and up the Sacramento River.