Thomas Crawford's Diary, 1825

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“Plenty of rum & brandy”

Entry for 21/05/1825

Saturday 21st May 1825. sailed from Leith [unclear] with contrary winds. About 1/2 past 4 a.m. went to bed with Mr. McL before tea off the Isle of May. Sunday we were becalmed. Monday off Aberdeen about 1/2 past 5 p.m. with a strong breeze; off John O Groat’s house in the evening of Tuesday, when we came through the Moray firth, with a heavy sea, almost all the passengers were sick. Arrived on Wednesday morning at the Orkneys after breakfast. Capt. Crear accompanied with Messrs. Ryrie & Scott set out for Kirkwall to procure poultry & sheep & returned on the afternoon of Thursday. Sailed on Friday morning from the Orkneys, were off Hoy head after breakfast, made little progress with contrary winds and a heavy sea, off the Sutherland shore the hills were covered with seals Saturday engaged all day in coming round Cape Wrath which we at last accomplished with very great difficulty; the wind being contrary with heavy sea hail showers & squalls the cold was very intense. Sunday off the Lewis. Monday morning off South Uist where we procured some fresh fish from the boats that came along side, the fish were a great treat; got clear off the highlands Burrow head in the afternoon about six aclock off Mingalay the weather being very calm the ship made little progress and the sun delightfully hot and the weather all the day has been very beautiful; this afternoon another boat came along side, just after we left the Land, from which we bought some Ling skate & ea. Our dinner table today was honored with Mrs & Miss Ryrie for the first time since they came on board, we had fresh boiled fish for dinner roasted & boiled beef & fish soup and irish stew with plumb pudding Our Cabin party conists of Mr. & Mrs. Ryrie & family Mr. & Mrs. Littleton (late of the 73d) & family, Governess & family of Major McLeod, Mr. T. Crawford & Mr. Chas. McLachlan both from Greenock, Messrs Little Surgeon of the ship, Fisher from Glasgow, Scott from Edinburgh and Dudgeon from Leith. During our stay at the Orkneys the boats that were on shore for water did not come till midnight, when I was awaked by the Capstone & the sailors singing all the tunes I used to hear at Greenock quays & [unclear] the rest “John Crow” which lightened my heart, & put me in remembrence of home. Our dinners generally consist of soup or Irish stew roasted and boiled beef potatoes &ea with plumb rice or bread pudding; wines port & sherry & plenty of rum & brandy cheese & bread & occasionally raisins.