“Up at 8. As yet no wind or signs of any. From the first mate I hear today that we have done 2003 miles up till yesterday at 12, but unfortunately only 1100 in the right direction so you can imagine what weather we must have had.
At present we are off the coast of Portugal & if we do not get fair winds soon we stand a good chance of spending our Xmas on board. We have just sighted 4 vessels, one with masts broken. Being Sunday & no work so the sailors are all looking nice & clean. After a good dinner of Pie, Soup & Plum pudding we had a bottle of champagne in honor of Clara’s birthday & felt quite at home, it being so smooth. Spoke the vessel “Savanatta” bound for the West Indies”
Extract from A.Whelen’s travel diary aboard the Hesperides sailing from England to Australia in 1878