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New Orleans to San Francisco in '49

Mazatlan

On the 16th of June we reached Mazatlan, where we stopped four days. Most of the passengers remained on shore during that time. Mazatlan is a typical Mexican town, and everything connected with it interested our curiosity. We had stopped for water. The bark was anchored so far out that the taking on of water was a slow operation. It was accomplished by lashing two casks together, towing them ashore, filling them, and towing them back on the 20th of June, having taken on water and provisions sufficient for the remainder of our journey, as the captain supposed, we again set sail for the land of promise. Four Mexican women were taken on as passengers.

We had all the food and water we wanted for a while. But it was evident that the officers were not accustomed to carrying so many passengers, nor to laying in supplies for them. In a short time we were again given a limited amount of water; and soon after our supply of bread was curtailed. We still had plenty of other food, such as it was.

About ten days after leaving Mazatlan we were becalmed. I do not remember how long the calm lasted; but it was long enough to make the officers look very anxious, for they were afraid that the water and provisions would not hold out until San Francisco was reached. But, at last, at the close of one sultry day, as the sun went down, a slight breeze began to stir the surface of the water, and the sails began to flap against the masts. The captain said we should have breeze enough before morning, and preparations were made for a storm. By nine o'clock the old bark was pitching and rolling, and the following morning the passengers were ordered to remain below. On the afternoon of the third day of the storm we were allowed to go on deck for s short time. The storm ceased that night, and after that the weather was cool and pleasant.

 

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