20th Dec 1831

(Plymouth Sound)
The rain fell in torrents and the South W wind blew all the morning; but now the moon is shining bright on the sea, which looks so calm, that one would think it never would again be troubled by a storm. Nothing can be more beautiful than the view from our present anchorage, on such a clear night as this is: the Sound looks like a lake. May these not turn out false signs, for that our disappointment to be the more bitter. The sailors declare there is somebody on shore keeping a black cat under a tub, which it stands to reason must keep us in harbour.

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