On the fifth day at sea, as we approached the Bahamas we stumbled into a squall, quite common during the late summer months in this area. The storm was so windy, I finally gave up trying to smoke my pipe. Anitelu has resorted to chewing his tobacco rope. That said, he never liked the time it took to pack and light a pipe and I think only smoked his pipe in reverence to me.
We came upon the squall so quickly, and its ferocity was so great, we were, unfortunately, slower than I had hoped at pulling down the canvas and securing for gale-force winds. Thus a few of our forward yardarms were damaged as well as some of the sails.
Lord Marsden grabbed hold of a rope near me with his pipe held at a high angle and began to laugh. “This is what I had hoped for Captain! Adventure on the high seas!”
His amusement was not shared by the good doctor, who was giving praise to Neptune on the port side. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so green before.
We engaged our steam engines and rigged for running through the storm and away from the rocks and shore to ensure the ship would survive and this I think damped Dr. Hughes spirits even more as he had hoped we’d find a port during the storm.
“It’s too late for that now Doctor!” I yelled though the rain bands and crashing waves.
Then one of the left yard arms snapped and fell into the water, the crew quickly ran to cut the rope free and ensure more damage didn’t occur, but one of the crew, Michael, was not so lucky and was crushed by crashing wood and then dragged overboard to the depths below tangled in the ropes.
We decided to put in at Jamaica for more coal, to further assess the damage, and have a memorial for our fallen crew-member.