Page 55

Cornelius Gold Journal, Page 55

Our sky so blue, the leaping waters of foam and green,
white-winged ships [1], and land are in exquisite and exciting
contrast. Long live this day. Close reefed topsails and foresail,
courses and light sails all in. Shake out reefs at sundown and
reef again at midnight. Monday, Dec. 8. Fine.
In the morning sight Cape L’Agulhas. 20 miles distant.
Good Hope and the intervening coast in view through the
day and their longitude behind us in the night. Orange
sunset. Work today on the spun yarn winch with
more before breakfast and in afternoon watch, clean tar
buckets. Australian Auxiliary Steamer (4 masted), four ships in company.
Christmas. Lat. 18º 5’ S., Long. 6º 14’ W. Sky overcast, as
usual since entering the trades this time, and wind light and variable.
Poor ‘Scotty’ thinks "something" is wrong somewhere, has always
carried fine winds with him before. Painting and scraping ship
are under full headway. We begin to look quite bright and nice
here about. A Black Christmas Pig and a mince turnover
pie for each man made the forecastle holiday dinner.
I waited and took my portion from the dry bones of a goose (in the galley), the last
remains of cabin table, after officers, steward, and cabin boy.
Green peas, carrots, + turnover. (A crack dinner is wasted!) Cook having hid my fork, am
reduced to eating gravy with my fingers! Evening read “Maud[2]
as a pleasant and only way of reviewing the Past. That is but a