14th Feb 1832

St. Jago to Fernando Noronha
To day at noon we were 150 miles from the Equator, and have experienced the weather which is so frequent in these regions. The wind has been light and variable accompanied by small squalls and much rain. The thermometer is night and day between 75 and 80. (The) air is very damp and oppressive. The appearance of the sky is in these parts generally striking: the scene after sunset was particularly so. Every class and form of clouds was present, and by their shadows gave to the sea a dead black colour. The sails were flapping against the mast and a long swell quietly rolled the ship. The place where the sun had set was marked by a long red streak on the horizon and higher above it by a clear yellow space, which cast a glare on that part of the ocean. It is in such moments that one fully recollects the many miles that separates our ship from any land.

Everybody is alive with the anticipation about Neptunes appearance, and I hear of nothing but razors sharpened with a file and a lather made of paint and tar, to be used by the gentlest valet de chambre.

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