Log Book, August 1876 - June 1877

Log Book of William Gardiner Anglin,
August 1876 - June 1877

MY LOG BOOK (part 1),
for a trip to Scotland and Ireland,  
August 1876 - June 1877


Being about to take a trip to Glasgow and return on the iron clipper ship, "Lake Michigan", of Montreal, belonging to the Canada Shipping Co. I have bought this book with the intention of noting down in it something of each day's proceedings.

I left home on Friday morning, August 4th, 1876, for Montreal on the Steamer "Spartan". There were about 160 passengers on board. I had for company Mr. Whiting, a young lawyer from Kingston, whom I had known for some time previous. He was going to Montreal to visit with his family. The run down was very pleasant and running the rapids was very exciting, drawing from the passengers exclamations of wonder and delight. Before shooting the Lachine rapids we took on board the Indian pilot, Baptiste Delisle, a noble looking fellow with an eye like an eagle's. These rapids are the most dangerous in the St. Lawrence, the rocks showing up in several places and the wild water surging and roaring over them. It needs a quick eye and a powerful arm at the helm to ensure safety, but one feels quite safe after taking a glance at the countenance of the Indian who is assisted at the wheel by three able men. At Prescott, 72 miles below Kingston, a "runner" for the Ottawa Hotel, Montreal, came on board to urge the claims of his "House" upon the Tourists. He was very pleasant and of course talkative, in fact he was a regular walking guide book, pointing out all objects of interest or beauty on the route and fully explaining them. Just as he had finished a long talk, we passed close by a beautiful point on the Coteau Lake on which was a graveyard or cemetery. Here he was sorry to inform us was the resting place of a number of unfortunate people who had been talked to death by the representatives of Hotels. Then as we were approaching the rapids, he said that "if any of the ladies desired to faint in a gentleman's arms, to come to him and he would hold them", and so on. He enlivened the trip very much by his genial manner. After shooting the Lachine rapids, we pass under the Victoria Bridge and into Montreal Harbour. I went to the "Montreal House" and spent the night.

Saturday, August 5th, 1876

After breakfast at the Hotel I went down to the "Lake Michigan" and took a look around and was much pleased with her appearance. The Captain was not on board, so I went back to the Hotel and had my trunk, etc. sent down to the ship. When I went down before dinner I met Capt. Lamont whom I found to be very sociable and friendly. We talked together for quite a while and at the conclusion found that, on a matter of the most vital importance for time and for eternity we are of the same mind. At dinner I met the Mates, both fine men and the Steward, who is very active and cleanly, and thoroughly understands his business. The Capt., Mates and Steward occupy the Cabin and I am the only passenger. From present appearances I expect a very pleasant voyage. The "Lake Michigan" is an iron clipper ship of eight hundred and eighty tons, rather small but she is splendidly fitted out and has the reputation of being the best seaboat that leaves Montreal. The Cabin is very finely furnished. My stateroom is quite roomy and there is a bathroom where I can have a salt water bath and shower bath every morning or as often as I wish. The table is well furnished and I have every comfort and attendance. I think I will enjoy the trip much more than if I went by steamer. We have no noise, dirt or smoke. Of course the voyage will be much longer but, as I am seeking health, this also will be an advantage.

The Company are trying to have the vessel loaded tonight but will not be able to do so. The Stevedores with their men worked until 12 P.M.

Sunday - 6th August

I had slept on deck all night as it was hot and close in the cabin and there was no peace to be had on account of the flies. The weather has been extremely warm. In the forenoon the Captain went to church. I had a severe headache and remained on board. In the evening we both went to St. James St. Methodist Church and heard a very able practical discourse from Rev. M. Sparling, a young man, from the text "Be not deceived; God is not mocked, etc.", Galatians 6th, 7th and 8th verses. We then walked around to the Y.M.C.A. rooms but, as it was still close and warm, and we were both fatigued, we concluded to return to the ship. I retired about 10:30.

Monday - 7th August

The vessel was loaded by 7 A.M., the men working since midnight. I was up early and had a run through Montreal. After considerable delay from tugboats, we got under way by 10:30 A.M. - in the tow of the Company's Tug "Lake", a very fine craft, built last year in Philadelphia, U.S. It is very pleasant to get away from the dust and heat of Montreal and get the cool refreshing breeze from the River. As soon as we started we made some sail on the ship, and went down the river at a quick rate under the combined influence of steam and wind. The run down the river was very grand, pleasant scenery and plenty of crafts going up and down. The SS "Tague" passed us upward bound. The pilot brought the ship to an anchor just above the City of Three Rivers about 6 P.M. to wait till morning for high water. The Captain and I were rowed ashore in the gig. Before we left Montreal the Captain got a Newfoundland pup about six weeks old, quite a playful little fellow. So we took a can ashore for some milk. We came to a house occupied by French and I had to bring my limited knowledge of the language into requisition. I succeeded in buying the milk and also a beautiful young cat for which I paid twenty-five cents. We then saw a man driving down the road in a covered buggy made in the style of the province with spring-board and got a drive down to the City about 3 miles distant. I enjoyed this drive very much, the farms looked fertile and the houses clean and comfortable, some of them quite unique and elegant. Walking down the street, Notre Dame, I noticed the name of Trenaman over a Confectioner's store. We went in and called for soda water. I then enquired from the lady in attendance whether she knew a Mr. John Trenaman, our Station-master at Kingston and found out that she was his sister, and that her brother, Samuel, was managing clerk of the Post & Telegraph Office in the City. We went down to the office and got in although it was after hours, and wrote some letters. I sent one home. Mr. Trenaman was very obliging, walked round the Town with us and drove us back to the ship. We found the men waiting for us and were soon on board. It was a very fine night, the moon was shining brightly. However I retired about 11 o'clock and was soon fast asleep.

Tuesday - 8th August

We got under way this morning about 7 o'clock, and were again favoured with a fair breeze. We passed Quebec about 2:30 P.M. where we exchanged Pilots. I was struck with the magnitude of the fortifications and the fine appearance of the City. The harbor also presented a fine appearance, a great number of craft being in port, two of the Allan Line of steamers among them. The scenery down the river is something grand. I have been looking over the charts and noticing the different points as we pass along. Our cat and dog are becoming friends, they amuse us by their play. Another beautiful bright night. I retired about 10:30 P.M. I sent a letter home by Pilot at Quebec.

Wednesday - 9th August

I rose before five, and wrote a letter which I gave to the Captain of the Tug, along with the Captain's letters, to post at Riviere De Loup. The tug left us at 5:30 A.M., and we proceeded under full sail with a fresh breeze. At 8:30 we hove to and discharged the Pilot off Bicquette. I gave him a letter to post for Home. At 11 A.M. we passed Father-Point.

This morning I had a bath in salt water and found it very refreshing. I also drank half a tumbler of salt water. Last evening I went forward to the bow to have a look around and crossed the sailor's line for which I was condemned to pay a fine, and when that is done I will be at liberty to go wherever I please and listen to their yarns if I wish. The Captain advises me to keep aft as much as possible.

Thursday - 10th August

We are making about 8 knots with a fine breeze. The Ship "Abiona", which left Montreal Saturday, the 5th, is about a day ahead of us now. There are a great number of vessels in sight, most of them Barques inward bound. I commenced to get sick about 4 P.M., the wind blowing pretty fresh. I felt very uncomfortable for some time. The Captain recommended me to take a dose of castor oil which I did and in a minute or so vomited the contents of my stomach. I then laid down and suffered a good deal of pain. This morning - Thursday - 10th - I feel somewhat better though very weak. The men hollystoned the poop deck this morning and made it quite clean & bright. We came in sight of the west point of Anticosti about 8 A.M. The Captain thinks of taking the Straits of Belle Isle to gain a day or two if the weather keeps bright. We have had a fresh breeze and came a good distance since last night. About 11 A.M. the wind fell off and we had but a slight wind the rest of the day. In the afternoon I saw a whale blowing near Anticosti and half a dozen or more porpoises playing around the ship. They go jumping along pitching themselves out of the water as if they enjoyed it immensely. They seemed to be about 6 ft. long. I felt better in the evening and went to bed about 9 P.M. I was not able to take any dinner today.

Friday - 11th August 1876

I awoke this morning about 6 o'clock after a most refreshing slumber. The water was quite smooth with a light breeze. Found that we had made about 60 miles during the night and that we were just abreast of the south point of Anticosti. I had a good bath and then had a fine appetite for my breakfast. Yesterday I was reading Talmage's "Around the Tea-table" along with my Bible, which of course I study each day in compliance with the command of Jesus and the expressed wish of my mother that I "search the Scriptures". This morning I have been reading III Chap. St. John's Gospel and have derived much benefit. My mind has been dwelling on the great love of Christ wherewith he hath loved us. I do love Jesus. I am now going to read a sermon on "Flesh and Spirit" by Rev. D. Fraser of Glasgow. Had read a page or two when the wind failed and a perfect calm set in off South Point of Anticosti. The Captain got his fishing line and let down, in a minute or so up came a fine cod, soon followed by others and, as the Captain had three hooks on his line he brought up three large cods at one time. I soon got a line rigged with two hooks and set to work. We had to let down twenty fathoms with heavy sinkers attached and bait of pork or a bit of codfish and, as soon as we felt the bottom, raise gently a few feet and in a short time we would have a bite and then commenced the tugging. We had to play them and bring them up slowly to drown them as the men said. I brought up two at a time on my line twice or thrice and caught one of the largest, over four feet long and weighing about thirty pounds. We were drifting about all afternoon and sometimes got off the bank but altogether we caught about 160 fish, averaging about 8 lbs. each or, say 1200 lbs. fish - not bad for an afternoon's work. It was very exciting and pleasant work but very hard work when indulged in for any length of time, as hauling a thirty pound fish up through twenty fathoms of water is no joke. Of course we could not haul these fellows up the side, so we put the side ladder over and sent one man down to the water who caught the fish by the gills and handed him up to a man a few steps above him and we passed him on deck. Our decks resembled those of a Fishing smack as the men were dressing the fish in the evening. We placed them in large tubs and salted them. We will have enough fresh fish for the voyage. In some of the fish we found as many as half a dozen crabs which had been swallowed shell, claws and all. I should think the cods would be troubled with indigestion, no wonder they took our fresh, soft baits so eagerly. I saw a seal today quite close to the ship, rather a nice looking specimen. We got a breeze about 7 P.M. and moved off from Anticosti, to which island we had been rather too close for safety. About 8 o'clock we had a fine sight of the "Samatian" of the Allan Line, which passed us quite close inward bound. We requested them to report the "Lake Michigan" at Montreal. I should have said we fired a rocket and showed two green lights before hailing. I had a good bath and then retired.

Saturday - 12th August

I felt rather still and tired this morning, not having slept well in the night. When I got up found the water very calm. Had my bath as usual, took a run up through the rigging. The sun is very hot today and scarcely any breeze. The weather so far has been all that would be desired. Towards evening we got a light breeze and commenced to move through the water. I saw another whale this evening, snorting and blowing, at some distance from the ship.

Sunday - 13th August

Rose at four o'clock and had a magnificent view of the Clipper Ship "Lake Superior", the largest vessel belonging to the Canada Shipping Co. She passed us quite close with all sail set. We exchanged signals. This is my first Sunday at sea. We are now between Anticosti and the Straits of Belle Isle. It is a beautiful, warm, calm day. I am making the most of my time reading and studying my Bible and other good books. When I get tired of reading I pace up and down the deck for a while or sit and look upon the placid, heaving waters, and then resume. Towards sundown two large whales passed close on the leeside of the ship, evidently chasing one another, every few minutes showing a large portion of their bodies above the surface. The wind also freshened and we expect to make the Straits in the morning.

Monday - 14th August

Rose and had my bath as usual - a nice breeze and the ship making about 6 knots - weather thick - made the Newfoundland Coast about 10 A.M. - saw numerous fishing huts on the shore and several smacks cruising about. The sun came out strong and the fog has almost cleared away. We have a fine, fair wind through the Straits. One needs to be careful here as it is only 10 miles from land to land. Met the "Lake Ontario" at 12 noon in the Straits, passed within speaking distance, waved congratulations to each other and exchanged compliments - we also fired our gun. Came in sight of Icebergs before dinner. I am going to count all I see in the Straits. I will mark each of them thus 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, -two of these very broad and long and one of them rising to an immense height. 1, 1, rather small - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 on the lee side - all mountains of pure crystal towering up alongside of us, the rays of the sun sparkling and glistening on its surface - 1 large one on the weather side, 1, 1 small ones on lee - 1, 1 very large and high.

Saw the Labrador Coast at 3 P.M. about 15 miles from Belle Isle - 2 large Icebergs on weather bow. This makes a total of twenty (20) Icebergs in the Straits that came under our observation. Towards evening we got a stiff freeze and were soon out on the broad Atlantic. About 7:30 P.M. we met one of the Dominion LIne of Steamers bound for Montreal. Wind fell off and we did not make much way.

Tuesday - 15th August

Rose this morning and found the air very cold; the vicinity of so many icebergs will account for this. I am not feeling very well. I walked the Poop Deck all morning. After dinner saw a large iceberg close to leeward.

Wednesday - 16th August

Rose and had my bath as usual. Weather cold, passed quite a number of icebergs during the night. I saw two large ones astern. Then I went on deck and saw two or three others during the day. Commenced to rain about 11 A.M. and blow so that I have to stay below. The Steward put up the stove in the Cabin after dinner and I find the bright coal fire very acceptable. I have not been real seasick yet but am very bilious, with loss of appetite and severe headache. I expect I will not feel better until I do get real sick first. We got a very stiff breeze today and are making about 11 knots.

Thursday - 17th August

I did not sleep much in the night, the ship tossed about so much. The vessel has been going at the same rate all night and up till now, 7 P.M., with no prospect of the wind abating. I have been holding sweet converse with the Mate today on religious topics of Jesus and his love and of the great privileges of Christians. I feel that God is leading me on hourly, yet I do not enjoy that peace of mind which, as a Christian, I should do. I did not feel well this evening and took no supper but retired to my room where I lay on my berth. The Mate - thoughtful fellow - brought me a book that he had spoken about during the day, "Memoir of Adelaide L. Newton". I read the first chapter and, while meditating on it and thinking over my condition, I felt that the reason that I did not enjoy peace was that my heart was not wholly given up to God, that I was trying to serve both God and Mammon, that Christ was not all to me, that self occupied too prominent a position in my everyday thoughts and actions. Blessed be God. I was enabled to see this and to give myself fully to him, to cry "None but Christ to me be given. None but Christ in earth or heaven" and Oh the unutterable peace, the joy in feeling that one is wholly the Lord's. Now I cast all my care upon him. I had thought I had done this long ago but I see that, while going to the Lord with my troubles, I was still trying to bear part of the burden alone, but now, blessed Jesus, I give myself no further anxious care as to health of body. I leave it all with Thee. I will serve Thee each day, each moment with the strength which Thou suppliest through thine Eternal Son. My head is tired now so I will not write any more but my heart is joyful, peaceful and happy trusting in Jesus. Oh, that I work for Him and spread abroad the Glories of his Name.

I went on Deck and had a long conversation with the Mate, a noble looking fellow and a thorough Christian, one who feels that Christ is always present. I enjoyed our talk very much and I trust was much profited thereby and then retired to rest with a feeling of security and peace, unutterable peace, such as I had never felt before. We met the Ship "City of Montreal".

Friday - 18th August

This has been a delightful day, nice fresh breeze and our vessel going steadily forward on her course. Indeed we could not have had finer weather since we left Montreal than we have been favored with. I have been very happy today - with the feeling of the perfect surrender of all of self to Christ. It is - Not I but Christ. My prayers that I may grow in Grace hourly, yea every moment. What a wonder it is that men do not rush to the Saviour and be healed, bring to Him all their troubles and be relieved and enjoy that peace of mind which the world cannot give nor take away. I have been reading Miss Newton's Memoir and my Bible in which I see new beauty and still increasing light.

My health is also improving. Mr. Elliott's last words to me were Health to your body and soul, but Blessed be God, the order has been reversed. He has given me a healthy soul and now he is bestowing a healthy body. He has given me a clean heart and now he is giving me a strong stomach. I can now see the object of all my sufferings - to draw me closer to God. The way has been very dark but oh! how bright the Ending. My soul is lost in wonder, love and praise. I am enjoying my trip very much. We have made good progress and expect to reach our destination in a week's time.

Saturday - 19th August

Another beautiful day, sea quite calm with but a slight breeze. Enjoyed myself by reading, pacing the Deck, etc., inhaling God's pure air. When the Sun of Righteousness shines in upon the soul, every barrier being taken out of the way, how pleasant and fair the ordinary objects of every-day life become. One sees the hand of God in everything. Here in mid-ocean, one gets an idea of the Power of God and of the helplessness of Man, and yet He holds the waters in the hollow of His Hand. How safe and how secure even in the wildest storm only tossed about in our Father's hand. The Everlasting Arms around, and beneath us to uphold, guide and strengthen. I retired to my berth at 8:30 P.M. and enjoyed refreshing sleep.

Monday - 21st August

Heavy head wind still with sea running mountains high - making progress to the Northward. Rain fell most of the day. After dinner one of the Dominion Line of Steamers passed our Bows in full view. We exchanged signals. At 4 P.M. the Allan Mail Steamer passed our Stern. Have been on Deck the greater part of the day. Am still reading the "Memoir". Today we have had a very heavy sea and the vessel has been pitching, but I have not been seasick. A School of Porpoises passed close by at 6 P.M., followed by a Flock of Birds.

Tuesday - 22nd August

Head wind still. Saw two ducks swimming close to leeward out here in mid-ocean. We have been working up pretty far north the past few days against the wind. The twilight lasted this evening until after 9 o'clock and the western sky was perfectly grand in the variety and brilliance of its tints. It was drizzling rain most of the day, so I enjoyed my evening walk with the Mate very much. Our subject is always similar but one never gets tired of conversing on it. I feel Christ more precious to me every passing moment. I am being drawn away from self more and more.

Wednesday - 23rd August

In 5% North, right in the Great Circle track of homeward bound vessels. We are almost becalmed. The Captain is very fidgety and anxious. Does not know whether it is my presence or not but he never had such luck before on this run. I have been reading a work on Arctic Expedition, very interesting and instructive, was much struck with the idea of the Formation of Icebergs - circulation - same as rivers, Amazon. At times I am feeling lonely but when I look away to Christ, all is bright. Oh! for power to be constantly looking. No wind yet. Beautiful weather. Am enjoying myself very much.

Thursday - 24th August

We have but a slight breeze this morning, not going more than 2 knots. As far as the eye can reach there is nothing to be seen but a vast waste of water, with the exception of the gulls which are with us continually. We seem truly to be alone on the mighty deep. "Alone, yet not Alone." Today I have been up to the Main top and was well repaid for my trouble by the fine view and the clear atmosphere which I inhaled with delight. It was taking in health by the mouthful. I went out on the top gallant yard also. Yesterday I went up to the Mazen-royal. The sailors' songs, whilst hauling on the braces and hoisting yards are amusing. One will sing a line, perhaps like this, "Oh whiskey is the drink for me", etc. while the chorus will be "Whiskey, jolly whiskey for my Johnny", or to another song the chorus will be "Ranso boys, ranso" with a strong pull with each syllable, or another song about Napoleon with the chorus "John France of War". These look silly enough when written down but sound splendidly when sung out by their manly voices. It also seems to lighten the labor. Talking with some of the men I have heard thrilling accounts of sea life, dangers, disasters, etc. A great number of the men have been all around the world. I am reading a good deal these days without its affecting my head. With God's blessing I am daily growing stronger. "Praise Him from whom all blessings flow". I am hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Oh that I may soon be filled. My desire is to have my mind stayed on Him in perfect peace. A fine breeze sprang up about 8 P.M. After a good walk on deck I retired between 8 and 9 P.M. which is my usual time for going to my berth. I am able to sleep well.

Friday - 25th August

We are nearing the end of the month. Oh how time flies and how we ought to redeem it. We are ploughing along at the rate of eleven knots, all canvas set, to a fine breeze. This morning a great big seaman was trying to shirk his morning watch on the plea of sore throat. The Captain sent for him. He came aft with a large muffler round his neck and began to complain. The Captain scolded him and sang out to the Steward "Have medicine for this man". "What medicine, Sir?" "Tincture of Rhubarb and castor oil." I was down in the cabin at the time. The Steward filled the glass about quarter full of the tincture and then filled it up with oil. It was very amusing to see the faces the fellow made both before and after taking it. There was another fellow on the same watch who was beginning to get a sore throat but, strange to say, he recovered in a remarkably short space of time. Castor oil is the one great remedy for all ills from Head to Toe. We have had a stiff breeze all day. I have another attack of my old complaint tonight. "These light afflictions" make us think of the sufferings of Jesus in order to redeem guilty fallen man. How we ought to love Him who first loved us. I like the idea of a service of Love better than one where the impulse is Duty. If our love is pure and strong, being constantly renewed from the great fountain, there need be no anxiety as to the result. Looking away from self and unto Jesus is our great safeguard. The vessel is rolling from side to side as we are running before the wind with yards square. I do not expect to sleep much, although "rocked in the cradle of the Deep".

Saturday - 26th August

A bright, clear morning - wind fresh and right astern, Course S.E. 1/2 E. If wind keeps up expect to make land Monday. It is a glorious sight to see the seas running mountain high coming after us in full chase with their white crested tops but the noble ship ploughs on and they are still left behind. The sun is shining brightly, the sky is azure blue and the air is refreshing and balmy. How thankful we ought to be to the Giver of all our mercies which are daily renewed and, though at times the way may be dark and the voyage of life stormy, how secure to feel that we are anchored to the Rock of Ages and that there we are safe. The darkest cloud has a silver lining.

Sunday - 27th August

This has been a delightful day, cool and pleasant with just sufficient breeze to send us along at the rate of 6 knots. I have been much comforted and blessed in the study of the Bible today, particularly so with the following passages - Isaiah XL 28-31; 3rd and 4th Chapters of Malachi; 21st and 22nd of Revelations and the General Epistle of James, also III Colossians; indeed every page is full of life. How different our faculties are when God opens our eyes.

Monday - 28th August

This morning when I went on deck I found that we were bowling along with the wind right astern, a bright pleasant morning. About 10 A.M. we saw the Coast of Ireland on our Starboard bow. We are heading in the Channel with a fine breeze. I have been up to the foretop enjoying the view and clear atmosphere. I omitted to state that I had some pleasant conversation yesterday with the Mate in which we each related our heartfelt experience. I also was privileged to talk with the Bosun. His wife is a converted person but he himself has not yet found the pearl of great price. I talked with him faithfully; he is well inclined. Oh May the Lord show him the exceeding sinfulness of sin and lead him to the Fountain where he may be washed whiter than snow. I do so long to do something for Jesus each day. The love of Christ constraineth me. I have laid my all upon the Altar and the Lord is to do with me as He wills. How sweet to have our wills swallowed up in Godıs will. Oh Lord hasten the time when Christ shall be all the world to me. And all my heart be love.

At 3 P.M. today we sighted the first land, Tory Island on the North Coast of Ireland, then the Bloody Foreland. We had a fine breeze and soon opened out on Sheep Haven, Mulroy Bay and Lock Swilly, then we passed Malin Head, a bold rocky promontory, indeed as much of the coast as we saw was very wild and mountainous and to all appearance not very fertile, quite capable of producing wild Irishmen, but I must not run down my own Country.

At 8 P.M. we passed the island of Instrahull on which a very fine Lighthouse is erected. The night was dark with heavy rain and I retired at 9 o'clock.


                              Go to MY LOG BOOK (part 2) for the next section of W.G.'s log.


                              Go to MY LOG BOOK (part 3) for the last section of W.G.'s log.


                              Return to THE ANGLIN FAMILY STORY, PART 3.2 .