May the ___. Today at 8 in the morning we sailed along the island of Wight. Yesterday the sea took on a lively green color. In the background there was England's steep coast, rainy and weather-beaten; it looked like water ghosts reaching out of the sea. It was a most outstanding view. The 10th Wittsuntide {Whitsuntide-Pentecost}.

The 11th of May, 1845. For six days I could not write. On the 6th of May we finally came out of the channel and entered the open sea, which was so _____ that I could not write. And also since we left Bremen it has been very cold; one can hardly hold pen to write. The water in the Atlantic Ocean has a much darker color than the North Sea. The 7th May. It was foggy, rainy and cold. The 8th May. Rainy and windy. At about noon the wind got stronger, and towards the evening we had a fiery heavy storm. It came so unexpected, the wind from the right side, and the left side of the ship touched the water. I and most of the other passengers watched with awe and horror how all the sailors climbed up on the masts and, despite the storm, tied the sails down. Then we heard the call of the captain, "Hold tight." And we had just time enough to hold on, as our ship went up to a terrible height, and was thrown sideways with a horrible speed in the depth of the sea, with such a force and roar that it took our breath away; and the ship was filled with water. Our first thought was about the sailors up on the masts, whom we believed to be swallowed by the sea. But they all came down safe and sound. I try to write everything down exactly for all of you. I would like to be with you all on this holiday. But I must stop writing for today, because of the terrible rocking of the ship, and to wait for better weather. May 12th (holiday).

Today I stayed on deck until 9 o'clock in the evening, but the big waves got me so wet that I went below to my cabin. But I was sorry about that soon. I should have stayed on deck as I had in the first storm. I climbed up into my cot with difficulty, and as soon as I lay down, the rocking of the ship caused me to stand on my head, and the next time I was in a vertical position. And on top of that the horrible creaking of the boxes and the clinking of the metal dishes was enough to drive anyone insane; so there was no thought about sleep. Just the thought of the cabins being lower than the surface of the water, so that I could hear the roaring and hissing of the water, made me feel as though I was buried in it; and it was frightening. It seems when waves hit the bow of the ship, it stands still for a moment and it shakes, as though it was knocked unconscious. One can imagine our longing for that day when we get off the ship.

May 9th. The storm slowed down, but the water is still choppy, and big waves are still coming overboard. Seasickness is still raging among the passengers. I think some won't get better until we arrive in Texas. Today we are in an even line with Oporto in Portugal. It is about 18 German miles away, and we feel in the air that we are quite a bit closer to the south.

May 10th. Last night the sky cleared. Everywhere around the ship there are waves which look like lively shiny sparks of phosphorous glitter, like billions of lightning bugs. When a wave hits our deck, it looks like fiery rain.

Today is a fair day, favorable wind; and we sail at 8 knots, in an hour 8 English miles, or in 4 hours 8 German miles!

May 12th. (2 Pfingst {Pfingsten- Pentecost} holidays). The weather is good, but the ship still rocks a great deal. We see more ships around us now.

May 13th. The rocking has almost stopped, and I am at least able to hold my pen. Despite low wind we sail along at about 5 knots. We are now not too far from the island of Majorca and I would not mind if we had a little storm now, so that we would be forced to land there and we could take a load of their good wine on board. It is getting quite hot now, so that about 11 o'clock I took my clothes off and wore only my shirt and pants. The sun is now 70 degrees latitude above us, and in 14 days from now it is going to be 90 degrees straight above us.

May 14th. We had a cloudless sky last night, and the moon and the stars were shining very bright. And the sight of falling stars was very wonderful, like the upper regions of the sky were alive. It rained early this morning, and I got up to catch rainwater, partly to drink because our daily ration is 1/4 quart, and partly to wash, because one can not wash himself clean with salty seawater. Despite the early morning, the temperature is already at 13 degrees R {Reaumur-an old temperature scale, developed by and named after a French physician}. It is about 8 o'clock. The weather is good, and so is the wind. We sail along at about 7 knots. Today we saw a shark for a short time and a dolphin, a sea swallow, and also a sea eagle.

May 15th. The sky is nice and blue, but only little wind. We sail at about 3 knots. The water furnishes quite some entertainment today. It is of a light color, and it reflects a beautiful blue, that of the sky. From the back deck where I watch the rudder, it doesn't look like it is in the water. It looks like it is moving in the blue sky. All day long we see many nautilus floating on top of the water.

When we saw the first ones in the distance, we thought they were little round Schnapsbullen {Schnapspullen- bottles of schnaps} [?]. In the afternoon we were lucky and caught one, and also a qualle {jellyfish} which is something like an oyster. The nautilus is an oval bubble, which looked like sort of a head in front. Some people who touched him got swollen fingers. At noon I got invited to the captain's table, where I, for the first time since we left Deal, had a regular meal.

May 16th. Last evening it was very warm. At 11 o'clock in the evening I was still only in my pants and shirt. Another passenger and I had a big barrel of salt water in which we took a bath. The moon is so bright that some of the big stars almost disappear in darkness. I stayed up until 12 o'clock; and then after I took a bath, I sat there in my light clothing. This morning, without wind, the sea got restless and made big waves. About 9 o'clock we saw a big school of truggs [?] at a distance of about a mile, headed straight toward our ship. They swam atop the water for a while and then underneath and so on until they reached our ship, which they circled a few times around; and then they disappeared in the same way as they came. Only a few were left behind, and they accompanied us for a long time. It was the before-mentioned pig fish, which is triple the size of our carp. The school was about 1000 _____, and you can imagine what a beautiful sight that was; maybe like a herd of buffalo on the great prairie. The sailors said the fish fled because of a storm they had endured somewhere or maybe that we will get one today. It is 4 o'clock in the afternoon and it doesn't look like a storm yet. The ocean is calm and a beautiful blue.

May 17th. The temperature is getting warmer. Early in the mornings it shows 16-17 degrees. And about noon, the sun burns very hot on our deck.

May 18th. Last evening we saw another big school of pigfish, but they did not get as close to the ship. This time they brought wind with them. Unfortunately, the wind blew in the wrong direction, from the southwest, from the same direction where we were going. Therefore, we had to maneuver south and then west. Today was not a good day for me on board. As I mentioned before, the man named Marz from Hanover is a very happy fellow, and we got along great; and I made a decision to settle side by side in the colonies. But our good understanding was very much disturbed by some bad news. The man named Marz who lived before in Adolphinck around Nassau had squandered a fortune and lived off people; and here on the ship he tried to start trouble. Fortunately, we got wise to his doings soon. He was forbidden to go on the foredeck. This morning he got some of his friends together; as a man named von der Vechte and I walked to the foredeck, Marz stepped in front of a barrier (which was put up because of him). We heard him insult us, actually mainly me, in a blunt way. I know the heat sometimes makes my temper rise, and it did it again this time. As soon as I heard his insults, I jumped over the barrier, grabbed him with my left hand and asked him what he meant by his words. As he did not explain himself immediately, I slapped him across the face a couple of times. That was the sign for general rebellion. As soon as I slapped him in the face with my right hand a couple of times, I proclaimed, "Oh God! Oh God! Everyone help!" For all of his friends started in on me, and they would have done me in, but then my party came in action. The captain, the boatsmen, and the sailors, and all the righteous thinking men came to aid me. And soon after that peace was restored. I regretted it when the ordeal was over; I was afraid I had lost the respect of the captain, but I found out that he did not care for Marz; and that he got the opportunity to release his feelings for him as even a captain would like to do. And the same day he invited me to his table for lunch.

May 19th. Today we passed the Azores and sailed south, parallel to the African coast.

May 20th. The same as yesterday.

May 21st. Last night almost the same thing happened as on the 18th. A man named Reicha, Oekonomie Verwalter {an economic administrator of some sort} [?], paid for a middle deck cabin when we left Germany, but it was so overcrowded that there was hardly room to sleep. So he asked the captain if he could pay a little more and move in with us. But we found out that he was a very good friend of the aforementioned Mr. Marz and that he has a very crude character. And that every word we speak around here gets back to Mr. Marz; and the trouble with him keeps on. And also he is a very moody person, lies around all day in the middle deck, where everything is crawling with lice already. I told him he should go where he came from, so that we could get some peace and quiet and also some cleanliness again. But he seems to be in no mood to do so. Just to get rid of him, our whole cabin stayed awake until we went to bed at 11:30 in the evening. He just fell asleep. I had a bottle of seawater, and since he slept in the bunk below me I poured it through a crack in my bunk and it hit him right in the face and most likely also in the mouth. With a terrible curse he jumped up and screamed, "He pissed in my mouth!" He jumped out of his bunk, grabbed a glass bottle and tried to hit us on our heads. In the same moment we all jumped on him and put him upon the foredeck. So he went back to the place where he came from, and hopefully we will get some peace and quiet here.

May 22nd. Today we finally got favorable wind again. The temperature is about 17 degrees at sunrise at about 6:30 a.m. Yesterday afternoon we sighted a ship, which sailed about 3 miles ahead of us. We sail now in the east passage. It is so hot now that by day one can hardly stay on deck; and at night it is nice and warm when one takes a bath; and I can lie down in light clothing and sleep on the foredeck. This morning about 10 o'clock we passed a ship, a schooner, which is a ship with two tall and one shorter mast. The name of it was Fanny and it came from Glasgow. The ship was about a mile away as they raised their flag as a sign that they wanted to converse with us. As they pulled closer, about 20 feet from us now, they conversed in English (through a megaphone). "Ship afore [?]?" Answer: "Fanny from Glasgow." "Where are you going?" "Sir, to Jamaica!" The questions came from every direction. "What's your ship's name?" "Johann Dethard. Captain Lindering." "Which way?" "To Galveston, Texas." "What is aboard?" "150 passengers." (30 of them were exaggerated.) "What is the longitude?" "28 degrees 40." And in this way a half-hour passed. Our ship gained a good lead way. The captain of the Glasgow ship said, "Your ship sails very well, sir!" Our captain said, "Oh no," and with the megaphone, he said, "I wish you a pleasant voyage," and from every direction we heard, "Thank you, thank you." And so we departed.

May 23rd. It was very hot yesterday. A heat of the kind we don't know in Germany. I carried my bedding upstairs to the foredeck and spent the night in the open. Everyone knows how the nights are after a very hot day, usually cool, but here I could not stand my jacket at night. About 12:30 p.m. my sleep was over, and the moon was over me in its full light. Even though the sky was full of clouds the moon shone brighter as though there weren't any clouds. In the morning at 5:30 I had to get up because they scrubbed the deck down, which is done every morning at the same time. The thermometer showed 19 1/2 degrees R. Today every now and then we have seen flying fish. A school of about 16 feet long fishes, but I could not get the name of them. The ship from yesterday was not in sight; it was gone.

May 24th. Last night the moon did not appear until 9 o'clock, but it got dark at 7 o'clock so we talked about the beautiful stars. Today there are herds of flying fish, followed by dolphins.

May 25, 26, 27 & 28th. The days passed by very slowly and boringly; and there was nothing to write. Today we saw much grass floating on the surface. It may have come from the Azores. And we saw a plant which forms a blanket and has little green berries the size of currant berries. We caught a couple of bundles; they were stems, leaves and fruit of an equally green-yellow color, the leaves in the shape of a cactus but smaller. We had the bundles laying on deck, and we discovered a lot of snails, some insects and something like crabs. They were the size of a bedbug, had 6 legs and 2 scissors just like a crab has, except they had different looking eyes. But at the slightest touch, they walked backward. A bad accident happened today. Two men stood on the very front of the ship. The wind blows stronger there than on any other part of the ship. They were trying to cool off from the 27 degree R heat. All of a sudden there was a sudden wind gust, a huge rope blew around and hit those two unfortunate men in the head and sent them overboard. The straw hats which they had bought in Bremen also blew overboard, and it wasn't long until they disappeared from our view. Peace be with them! We have started to have more and more lice on our Johann Dethard. We could see them on the masts, and it is hard to stay away from those creatures. I hated very much to go to my bunk below, so I asked the captain if I could sleep upstairs on the foredeck for the payment of one tallar to the poor fund. He let me do it without paying. So I was more or less assured that I could stay free of the bugs.

May 29th. Last night we saw another ship from afar. Nobody goes to sleep before 12 o'clock. It started to rain after I lay down under the open sky. I took my clothes off and let myself get soaked, and when it stopped raining, it was still so warm that I did not have to put my clothes back on and I slept until morning without getting uncomfortable. I got up early; and I looked for the ship which we saw the other day; and, oh God, it is very close to us, about 3/4 of a mile; I think it will pass us; it seems to be a better ship than our Johann Dethard. We passed the Tropic of Cancer. From here to the Tropic of Capricorn, about 22 degrees latitude to the south, the heat stays the same. It does not cool off at night, and early in the morning it is already 20 degrees; and about noon it is between 25 and 28 degrees R. And it is only the end of May. Whoever reads this should take a map and I will explain where we are while I write this the way I heard it from the captain. You look for the Tropic of Cancer where it crosses the 45th longitude where we are today. Northeast of Puerto Rico, about half of the trip.

May 30th. The ship from yesterday is about one mile to the left of us. It caught up with us longways. The captain waited until 10 o'clock before he raised our flag. He looked a little cross because the ship had caught up with us. As the other ship raised its flag, we found out that it was also from Bremen and German. He came very close, and we heard, "Good morning, Captain Lindering." He had already seen the ship's name through his telescope, and he knew that it was Captain Lindering's ship. The ship came so close that we could talk with each other without a megaphone despite the roaring of the waves. The ship's name was Bremen, and it came from there. It lay in Hamburg during the winter, frozen in; took cargo to Bristol, England, and left on the 10th of May to sail to Mexico. They conversed for over an hour, and then they wished us a "happy voyage" and left.

May 31st. The sun is nearest to the Tropic of Cancer, and it glares straight down at us, 89 degrees 55 minutes. Our captain told us that many heatstrokes happen here. He told us about some terrible cases of sunstroke which had happened to passengers. We can see many birds now; I think we are close to the West Indies.

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