Sunday, January 5th, 1868

First Sunday in the New Year and first time I have had a chance to write since the last date. New Year’s day we had a gale, the ship was so uneasy I preferred to take anything I could get to eat on the sofa, in fact we were glad to get anything cooked. That is only the second hard gale we have had, but squalls any quantity, several everyday. We can’t depend on the wind half an hour at a time. You may guess how hard it is to get along when the currents and head seas together drove us back two hundred miles in two weeks. I thought by this time we should be in warm weather again. I believe Dec. and Jany. are the two worst months for getting round here, still l think the worst is over. The weather today looks better than it has done for some time. Today we are in the Lat. Of 55.00 Long. 77.39. In about an hour the mock turtle will be ready. I would like to invite some of our friends to join us, but the distance being so great that I fear they would say, it won’t pay, the distance is too great.

Thomas is flying about pretty lively so I presume there is another squall coming. A few days ago the mate caught another Albatross. I was on deck watching the proceedings. It was really a beautiful sight. About a dozen large ones and as many small ones sitting so majestically on the water following the ship, it really seems a pity to deprive them of their native element. This one measured eleven feet from wing to wing.