Two Years Before the Mast eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 591 pages of information about Two Years Before the Mast.

At midnight, the tide having turned, we hove up our anchor and stood out of the bay, with a fine starry heaven above us,—­ the first we had seen for many weeks.  Before the light northerly winds, which blow here with the regularity of trades, we worked slowly along, and made Point Ano Nuevo, the northerly point of the Bay of Monterey, on Monday afternoon.  We spoke, going in, the brig Diana, of the Sandwich Islands, from the Northwest Coast, last from Sitka.  She was off the point at the same time with us, but did not get in to the anchoring-ground until an hour or two after us.  It was ten o’clock on Tuesday morning when we came to anchor.  Monterey looked just as it did when I saw it last, which was eleven months before, in the brig Pilgrim.  The pretty lawn on which it stands, as green as sun and rain could make it; the pine wood on the south; the small river on the north side; the adobe houses, with their white walls and red-tiled roofs, dotted about on the green; the low, white presidio, with its soiled tri-colored flag flying, and the discordant din of drums and trumpets of the noon parade,—­ all brought up the scene we had witnessed here with so much pleasure nearly a year before, when coming from a long voyage, and from our unprepossessing reception at Santa Barbara.  It seemed almost like coming to a home.

[1] The next year Richardson built a one-story adobe house on the same spot, which was long afterwards known as the oldest house in the great city of San Francisco.


The only other vessel in the port was a Russian government bark from Sitka, mounting eight guns (four of which we found to be quakers), and having on board the ex-governor, who was going in her to Mazatlan, and thence overland to Vera Cruz.  He offered to take letters, and deliver them to the American consul at Vera Cruz, whence they could be easily forwarded to the United States.  We accordingly made up a packet of letters, almost every one writing, and dating them ``January 1st, 1836.’’ The governor was true to his promise, and they all reached Boston before the middle of March; the shortest communication ever yet made across the country.

The brig Pilgrim had been lying in Monterey through the latter part of November, according to orders, waiting for us.  Day after day Captain Faucon went up to the hill to look out for us, and at last gave us up, thinking we must have gone down in the gale which we experienced off Point Conception, and which had blown with great fury over the whole coast, driving ashore several vessels in the snuggest ports.  An English brig, which had put into San Francisco, lost both her anchors, the Rosa was driven upon a mud bank in San Diego, and the Pilgrim, with great difficulty, rode out the gale in Monterey, with three anchors ahead.  She sailed early in December for San Diego and intermedios.

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Two Years Before the Mast from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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