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The Long Haul of a Merchants life.


Jim Bligh

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Captain’s Log entry 18.11.1700

 

Took on an enterprise to purchase 50 bales of American Cotton, I have been offered the price of 500 per unit for a total of 25k. So I’ll take a fast ship for this journey.

 

I have just arrived at Cao Biscayno. On the 24th day of November after Departing from La Tortue. I have also taken the
opportunity to explore along the way, without taking a major detours, to chart the harbors and ports. I have taken on board a cartographer in my employ for this task. The ships provedore has been tasked with recording the goods on offer and goods required by the ports. Offering prices are not what one would expect. No bargains to be had in the supply of general food goods, all the essential good for keeping a Harbour town alive and running. Gun powder, light arms, tools, clothing, grain, corn, no demand or supply of these goods. One would have thought that salt and fish would have been on offer at the port side markets of the Bahamas Islands. Trade is very scars, and seems that these communities are just surviving.

 

After leaving the harbor on the 25th Nov from Cao Biscayno the ship’s crew are eager to engaged battle with a French trade cutter. Unfortunately the ship sunk. A small chest was recovered containing 3600 Gold. This keeps the ship’s crew spirits up. No floating cargo was recovered nor any survivors.

 

Two days sailing which included the engagement with the French trade cutter, after leaving Cao Biscayno we arrived at 2010 on the 27th Nov in the port of Rio Seco.

 

Depart on the tide early hours of the morning of the 30th Nov at 0215 after two days being docked for repairs. No provisions available.
Weather is reasonably good and clear. We head further up the coast with a head wind, North westerly, in search of a town that supplies this American Cotton.

 

Next stop over is the Port Town by name of Jobe. Neutral Port. Nothing of great importance other than there is a contract for Gold at the sell price of 198. Small profit to be made. It’s now the 1st of December.

 

Depart midday, wind in the SE, good cursing wind. Shipping lanes are starting to become more active.
Short journey to the coastal port of Ays. Spanish. Taking on board stores and water. Depart on the tide at midnight. 2nd Dec , Wind from NE-E good speed at 28kns making good progress.

 

Arrived 3rd Dec 1600 in San Sabastian short stop over to check out the markets, departed with a headwind N. making 3 Kn.
15 day since we left La Tortua.

 

Arrive at Nueva Smyrna, it’s now the 5th December, 0720am (17 days) in heavy fog, out of the fog came the ghostly appearance of a trade snow, sails draped dead, lifeless, slowly making its way in calm waters to the docks, making 1Kn, the winds have been against us this trip. Take the opportunity with a fair wind, Depart the Docks at 1am with a good wind change to the east, now we are making some progress at 12Kn.

 

Arrived on 6th December at 0820am in Ayamante. Still no signs of any American cotton. Looks like this will be a journey all the way to Charleston.

 

7th December Men are getting restless. Will Make a stopover in San Agustin and let the men have some time to spend the gold, hopefully this will bring their spirits up. I’ve taken a tour of the ship yards where there is a constitutions for sale priced 92776. One can dream.

 

10th December 1550 NW wind. Set a northerly course and continue up the American cost. The crew are in better spirits give the RnR. Making good speed at 25Kns Fast approaching San Mateo a Spanish port. Docked at 2040 No American Cotton.
Depart 11th December 0020 westerly breeze 16Kn, wind speed increase now making24Kns. Good progress.

 

11th Dec 0440 Arrive Saint Marys, the harbor here is quite active with the coming and going of fleets.
A neutral port. Trades gold here at a reasonable price of 200. 30 profit to be made on each unit. The buying price of Historical Artifacts is way over the top no profit to be made here at all. Sell price is 53. Loss of 20 gold for what I bought them for at 78 gold each.. Coal on offer a good price 13 unit.

 

11th Dec Departed 1800 SE-E breeze 15Kn. Trade lanes are quite full of ships a plenty.
Arrived at the first of the American Ports 2250 11th Dec winds had made up for time in just this one day
No cotton produced here.
Depart 0940 12th December and head straight into wind Heavy winds and seas coming from the North Quarter with a storm brewing out off of the cost to the east. Make it around this point and we can get the wind on the windward side and make good progress away from the storm. Neptune why the wind changes to the north as we make our way around the point. Slowing down to 4Kns the wind shifting slightly to the NE making 7Kns. Tacking out to the NE and back to the NW making 29Kn there has been a lot of tacking to make progress. Finally put the storm behind us.

 

Dock at Sunbury 2240 12th December. Still no sign of American Cotton.
Leave port 0950 13th Dec mist and fog, wind in the west quarter aft. 21 Kn. Visibility very poor. Hugging the cost so as not to bypass any towns along the way.

 

Arrive at Savannah 1500, 13th December. Still no Production of American Cotton. Starting to look like I will have to venture in to the Mexican Gulf seas. Well, if we don’t purchase any American Cotton on this trip, at lease the cartographer was able to map each town location. The ships provedore logging the towns merchandise production and consumption.

 

Depart Savannah on the afternoon tide 14th Dec, at 1450. Easterly stiff breeze, make course NE at 12Kns.
Beaufort in sight 1900hrs rounding the heads and entering the harbor. Dock at 2100.
Well seems that Beaufort is a heavy user of American Cotton, with a daily consumption of 672 bales, signs at last. The ships Provedore is out asking the local markets where their supplies come from. It seems that Charleston has good production. There is also a high demand for Iberian meat at 797 units per day

 

Depart 840 15th Dec.
Thick heavy fog visibility very limited, seems to be a storm brewing.
Wind gust 30Kn ship cruising at 28-30kn shorten the sails bough speed back to 10kn visibility still limited 1320 back tracking think we may have past Charleston in the fog. No just a sizeable bay no settlement.
1800 mist rolling in visibility once again limited. Out of the mist a battle is taking place United States and England at the disadvantage.

 

Finally on the 15th December we dock at 2300 in Charleston Harbor. And to my delight American Cotton available at the markets for a nice price. The Historical Artefacts 200 each, that we Purchase for a nice price at 78 can be sold for 150 each, nice profit. 30000 in the coffers. Made part of the month long trip here worth it, now to fill the hold with American cotton. The Crew are jubilant, spend 5 days here in rest before the long haul back to La Tortue.

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