Once the Boston departed Hull on September 3, 1802, John R. tells us the journey across the Atlantic was pleasant and uneventful, that is after a few days of sea-sickness, he admits. Once recovered though, he says his health and spirits were never better, and he worked hard not so much involved with the sailing of the ship but as armourer, forging daggers, knives and small hatchets for the Indian trade -- never imagining of course, that these very weapons would one day be used against him and his fellow crew members.
It took 29 days to reach Captain Salter's planned stop at St. Catherine, an island off the coast of Brazil. It was a well-known stopping off point where ship maintenance could be done and the crew could go ashore to gather provisions including wood and fresh water from the springs. Once they again set out on their voyage, it was another 36 days before Boston could round the treacherous straits of Cape Horn at the foot of South America, known for its rough waters where the Atlantic meets the Pacific. The fog, ill-winds, dangerous currents and rough weather repeatedly forced them back.
At long last, on December 25th Boston managed to
make safe passage, but in the narrative no reference whatsoever
is made to Christmas Day. As hard as it is to imagine now, apparently Christmas was not a very big deal until later in the 19th century. But whether they recognized the day or not, they certainly must have celebrated. That Christmas gift may have also been a good omen as John reports that from there on, the winds were favorable, the weather fine and the men were able to relax a bit from their duties, even enjoying music on Saturday nights played by some of the crew members. What a time it must have been singing and dancing under a moonlit sky in the middle of the Pacific.
And so they continued on until March 12, 1803 they reached Nootka Sound, an inlet on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island.
This was Captain Salter's intended stop where the crew could resupply the ship again with wood, water and other supplies before continuing on up the coast to trade for furs. Here, it was said, the local Indian population was more friendly than elsewhere, such that the harbor had come to be known to Europeans as Friendly Cove. The local Indian village was known as Yuquot, and it was ruled by the powerful Chief Maquinna, whom they were soon to meet.
Marvinas Bay at Nootka Sound where it is likely the Boston anchored.
The abundance of salmon and other marine life figured prominently in the lives of the local Indians;
it is no wonder that today Marvinas Bay is a world class salmon fishing destination
Links to Related Sites
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Rod Collins - Lincolnshire Thro' History, Life, Lens and Words
The Old Palace Lincoln - Elegant Bed and Breakfast
National Portrait Gallery - London
College of Arms
The Jewett Family of America
History and Geneaology of the Jewitts of America
Marvinas Bay Lodge
First Peoples of Canada