Thursday, August 13th, 1868

4 pm. Felt a severe shock and trembling on board as tho we were grinding on the rocks. Thought it might be caused by the Guano Launches, as they were being turned up for the purpose of cleaning them. Still I never felt such a commotion in the severest gale! About 8p.m. a sound as tho we were dragging our stern moorings, getting all the time worse, current fearful with considerable wind. At 9 p.m. all the ships in harbour in motion dragging their moorings and doing considerable damage. The night being dark, of course could see nothing, the snapping and crackling of ropes, timbers, etc. on board other vessels was fearful. Not knowing any moment but we ourselves might be dashed onto the rocks as we were but about ten feet off them. We had heavy hawsers out to our neighbouring vessels, had they given way God only knows what the consequences might have been. As it was I picked up valuable papers, money, etc. unscrewed the chronometers and prepared for the worst. Out of forty-seven ships here forty of them are disabled, some of them very badly indeed. I heartily thank God we have escaped with the exception of a few ropes.