18. New York to San Francisco

May 28, 2011

In 1902, it was cheaper to sail south to Panama, ride the train across the isthmus (before the canal), then sail up the coast to San Francisco than pay rail fare across the continent; so Hayes took the sea route despite an ongoing insurgency in Panama.

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Here and There Synopsis:

18.1 Sailing for Panama

May 27, 1902

In 1902 sea travel was less expensive than land travel; accordingly Hayes booked passage on the S.S. Finance headed for Colon, Panama. The canal across the isthmus has not yet been built, but a short train trip will take him across, then another ship up to California. He travels with a number of Chinese immigrants on their way to new lives in Peru and eight others enroute to San Francisco.

“What interests me greatly is the outbreak of a volcano in Martinique in the West Indies.” As the S.S. Finance left New York Harbor, a ship entered, “all burned down one side,” having sailed out of the harbor at St. Pierre, Martinique just ahead of the volcano that, “broke forth with all fury, destroying the city and killing every inhabitant in the place.”

Mt. Pelee, Martinique
”the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th Centruy”

18.2 Among the Bahamas

May 30, 1902

Sailing south past Cape Hattaras, the northern cold gives way to the “balmy sunshine of the tropics.” Now among the “sandy and uninteresting” Bahamas, the ship’s passengers see many small local boats as they sail quite near some of the Islands. “One, Watling’s Island, is said to be the island Columbus landed on when he reached the shores of the American continents.” (In1986, the US National Geographic Society suggested Samana Cay, just southeast of Watlings Island, as the island Columbus named Guanahani.)

“How I would like to see the new volcano!” Unfortunately, the S.S. Finance sails too far west for a look. This is not a sightseeing ship, but “all seems so lazy-like and comfy after the hunger and hard work of the Crown of India, or even the bitter bleakness of the Campania. For no care is taken of immigrants into the U.S.A. They are treated as cattle, or even worse.”

Only the reports they heard in New York of fighting in Panama mar the Caribbean idyll.

18.3 Panama Before the Canal

June 2 , 1902

Hayes starts out describing Colon, Panama in what seem to be glowing terms: “The coast of the South American Littoral is one of luxuriant greenery passing anything I have ever seen.” He goes on about the jungle crowding to the edge of the sea, and bursts of tropical rain. But then the paragraph ends with an abrupt change of tone: “It is sultry, hot, and depressing. The atmosphere is one of death.”

Razor back hogs wallow in the muck beneath huts on pilings, vultures dot the trees, and, “there are soldiers everywhere.” Child soldiers as young as twelve carry muskets and “some of the officers are barefoot and carry cane knives for swords. A towel round his waist completes his uniform.” Hayes seems to be relieved, for his own safety, that these are Columbian troops. He writes no explanation for the insurgency, noting only that the Columbian troops retook Colon and Panama.

Passing by Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti on the way here, dust from the volcano lit the sunset skies, “The entire heavens were covered with a dull red glare.” But no one in Colon shows any interest; everyone here talks only of the war.

“The canal started by the French enters the Atlantic at this place. It is little more than a muddy ditch, and machinery is rusting away all about the place.” A little desultory work continues but only to keep the French option on the job alive. US work on the canal will begin two years later in 1904. But for now, the failed French attempt only adds to Hayes’ perception of Colon: “Over everything is an air of death and decay.”

18.4 Off Flamenco Island

June 4, 1902

The train carrying Hayes and the others bound for San Francisco moved slowly across the Panama Isthmus guarded by two cars full of soldiers of all ages, “from grey heads to boys not grown.” Along the way the train passes, “much machinery rotting and rusting away where the French have tried to dig the big ditch.” The jungle will soon undo all their efforts unless new vigor arrives.

Disease rages in Panama City, “It is said there are six hundred cases of small pox in the town,” also yellow fever and Changres fever – all this on top of the war. Hayes describes Panama City in terms perhaps even more bleak than Colon.

Safely aboard ship lying off Flamenco Island, the eight passengers headed on to San Francisco on the freighter Leelanaw hope to have escaped the city without contagion. The cruiser Philadelphia lies near them, and in the shallow waters near Flamenco Island, the masts and smokestack of the Chilean passenger ship Lloa, commandeered by the Columbian government and sunk by the insurgents, still protrudes above the calm waters.

Shipboard romances have already begun. Cramped quarters in the freighter push together, a Portuguese family of three, Hayes and two other men, “and two girls, one a Finnish beauty who has a black eye handed her by a passionate steward whom she tempted on the Finance on the way down. The other, Margaret, is a girl of the streets who is making the run from the east coast to the western slope to seek better pastures.” The Finnish beauty tried to “establish more friendly relations” with Hayes but with only $2.50 left to get to San Francisco, he rebuffed her. “One finds only trouble in such transient joys, and I don’t want more than I already have.”

18.5 Slipping up the Central American Coast

June 7, 1902

Calm waters, no work, glimpses of the Central American jungles, sea turtles, the occasional shark – Hayes settles down to shipboard gossip: It looks as though Anna, the girl from Finland, will settle for the “genial bald headed Swede,” who is engineer on the ship. Much ill–will seethes between the two women who must share a berth.

June 10, 1902

More gossip:  the steward separated the women, “to avoid murder, mayhem, assault and battery or whatever is in the offing, perhaps all three.” And “Anna has the steward roped, hogtied and branded.”

Of slightly more interest, Hayes sights a great waterspout caused by a cyclone at sea.

June 16,1902

As often when life is calm, Hayes comments on the wildlife around. Off the Lower California peninsula are: pelicans, cormorants, gulls, gooneys, giant jellyfish “some with long trailing arms thirty feet in length,” countless fish, sea lions and “the ever present porpoises that play about the ship’s forefoot.”

June 20, 1902

Passing Cedros Island, Hayes reflects on the courage of the early European sailors, “who in their tiny caravels explored these barren lands.” How much more trying the adventure must have been for those men even compared to the starvation and abuse Hayes endured on the Crown of India.

June 25, 1902

In fog off the Santa Barbara Islands, the Leelanaw nearly runs aground on what Hayes thinks was Santa Rosa Island. “The skipper knocked the Greek seaman from the wheel and threw it hard over, thus avoiding the crash that would surely have wrecked the ship.” The rough seas have also interrupted the romance of the engineer and the “voluptuous Anna,” who has gone below decks suffering seasickness.

Where to go next? Look for another deepwater ship in San Francisco? That seems like a fool’s game when still weak with scurvy from the last trip . “The $2.50 in my pocket will not take me far, but something will turn up. It always has.”

18.6 Back at the Iron works

June 30, 1902

Mrs. Emslie’s mission and the old job at the iron works provide a temporary safe haven. “The scurvy from the Crown of India lingers, my teeth are loose, my joints seem weak and painful.” But the long, tough voyage around the Horn earns Hayes new respect from the bosses at the iron works; they assign him lighter work until his strength can return. The wealth of fruits and vegetables available in California further speed his recovery.

The union wars, wracking the city when Hayes left to sail south, have now been won by the unions. Their candidate, Eugene Schmitz, a musician, now holds the mayor’s seat. “Then there are a horde of laborers, carpenters and so on who are ignorant, illiterate men, acting as statesmen… Even were they fit, or even honest, then their inexperience in government would make them unfit for the places they hold.” Hayes will not stay long in this town.

July 4, 1902

San Francisco celebrates the national holiday with “firecrackers, parades, and noisemakers.” Perhaps to find something more meaningful, Hayes accompanied a Mr. Paulsell and several missionaries to the Barbary Coast. The locals showed respect, even deference, until one of the missionaries started preaching about their wickedness. Having seen a lot of hard living and the difficulty of rising in the world without self respect, courage, and hope, Hayes remarks that those on the Coast, “Are little, if any, worse than the rest of us.” Perhaps his bible reading teaches him about who should and should not cast stones.

He cannot help but see the slave girls and opium dens of China town, but his revulsion is directed more toward the tourists who “gleefully pay a dollar, or five dollars to guides who take them thru the purlieus.”

All this brings him back to his very dark opinion of humans: “The more I see of men the less I think them worthwhile. The so-called lower animals are exalted by comparison….”


17 Falmouth to New York

May 22, 2011

Which is more extraordinary, sailing on board a ship intentionally grounded on the coast of England?  Or sailing across the Atlantic while Marconi performs radio experiments on board?


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Here and There Synopsis:


17.1 Never Again

April 16,1902

Everyone on the Crown of India celebrates the end of this gruesome trip: Captain Sauter and his wife pound the piano they bought with “the proceeds of the food we should have eaten on the voyage;” Fleck taunts the men and “boasts of having taken all we have to give on this voyage;” and the crew buy drink, cigarettes, socks, and clothing on advance against their pay at Hamburg from the “bumboat” sharks who board the ship having negotiated a split with the Captain.

Hayes buys “a couple of cans of tinned milk that tasted wonderfully well,” and swears he will never again sign on as a sailor on a deep-water ship. Fleck’s sadistic taunting accurately describes the broken crew. Hayes writes, “All I can do is return home and try to regain my lost health, for to ship in another like this would kill me.”

At twenty-four, having roamed the world for nine years, twice sailing around the horn, never staying for more than a few months in any one place, one wonders what Hayes can possibly mean by “home.”

17.2 “Ful-an’-by! Right Over Ole England!”

April 30, 1902

The celebration turns out to have been premature. “A dead muzzler right down channel” prevents the ship from sailing north to Hamburg. “We have been beating up channel for near a month now, making a few miles then blowing out to sea and back again, a heart-breaking task if there ever was one.” Scarce food and futile work once again haunt the ship.

Then Fleck makes a mistake. Hayes’ port watch under Fleck’s command stumbles on deck at 4:00 AM preparing to join the night watch to turn the ship as it approaches the English coast for a tack back toward France as, “has been the custom for days on end.” But Fleck sends the night watch below, choosing to turn the ship as it sails closer to England. Fleck leaves orders for Juan Guerrero at the helm to sail “full and by the wind,” and a “sleepy Englishman … on watch as lookout,” before going below himself.

An hour later, Missouri and Hayes chat with “Chile” as the Swede Schillerstrom arrives to take the helm so Guerrero can go for coffee. Then, in the breaking light of dawn, “ I saw we were almost on the land, and ran forward to call the crew while Missouri endeavored to get the mate.”

The crew turned out to mill about the deck awaiting orders. Hayes ran back to the poop where Schillerstrom still had the wheel; no mate had yet arrived to give an order. Hayes caught “the roguish eye of Schillerstrom as he stood at the wheel,” still sailing straight on course toward the Dungeness light dead ahead. “Ful–an’–by! Full–an’–by th’ wind! That’s my course. I’m a–goin’ to run right over ole England if she doesn’t get out of the way!”

Fleck, “not realizing the seriousness of the situation,” arrived on deck just as the Crown of India drove onto the low sandy mud of the beach. All sails immediately fouled, blown back into the rigging of a ship run aground. “In a short time the decks were full of coastguards, tugboat men and many others wishing to be in at the kill.”

Oddly, Schillerstrom bears no responsibility for the grounding, “for orders are orders with a sailor and must be obeyed.” Captain Sauter furiously commanded Fleck out of sight below deck before trying “every method he knew to get the ship off the ground.” When none of Sauter’s tricks work, the tugboat captains gleefully offer Captain Sauter 3,000 pounds to pull her off the mud.

17.3 Behind a Strong Tug

May 2, 1902

Schillerstrom ran the Crown of India aground at low tide. An eighteen foot tidal rise lifts her free from the sand scattering the tugs hovering nearby. Now that the ship floats free again, a German tug, the Atlas, offers to tow her the 650 miles to Hamburg for 140 pounds. Sauter accepts and, beating steadily north past hundreds of ships, despite the cold, “it seems as if we are on holiday.”

Fleck still glowers behind Captain Sauter’s back, but he “is reduced to a mere passenger now, and the sailors are no longer afraid of him.”

17.4 Human Again

May 5, 1902

On their last day in the North Sea a favorable wind rose. Crown of India set some light sails and nearly ran down the tug Atlas. After a frantic signal to “shorten down,” both ship and tug turned up the Elbe passing Helgoland Island, Cuxhaven, Brunsbuttel, “and numerous towns and villages along the 90-mile reach between Cuxhaven and Hamburg.” The German landscape appears tidy and prosperous to Hayes with “a red-cheeked maiden busily knitting,” behind every flock of geese.

The mighty German ships headed downriver, “to China, to Australia, to New York,” testify that, “Germany is now a great and wealthy nation, proud of her place in the world and determined to surpass all others in her lust for power.”

Arriving at Hamburg, “a horde of thieves descended on us.” Hayes was able to corral Missouri and Charlie, a German-American lad, toward the German sailors home run by missionaries, but every other sailor on board found chaperones from, “houses of ill fame, brothels low and brothels high, boarding houses and bars.” While the others begin their riot in the fleshpots, Missouri and Charlie entrust Hayes with their gold sovereigns and the three treat themselves to, “a decent meal, clean and served as if we were human instead of lower than beasts.”

May 7, 1902

Charlie came for a pound, then later, despite Hayes’ remonstrations, “he took a couple of sovereigns and I have not seen him since.” With the location of the Seamanshaus, “in the quarter called St. Pauli, which is the sporting district of Hamburg,” Missouri hears the siren’s call too. “He was smitten with the ample physical charms of the Teutonic damsel and despite my efforts to ride herd on him he succumbed.”

Rising alone the next morning, Hayes tours Hamburg on foot, marking his way by a distinctive street sign, “Haltestallederstrasseneisenbaun.” After walking miles to Wandsbek, Haltestallederstrasseneisenbaun (which means something like trolley stop) appears on several different streets, heading in several different directions. Lost for the entire day, Hayes made it back to the seamanshaus just in time for the last of the five daily meals, “we receive for the modest sum of five marks per day.”

May 8, 1902

The sovereigns spent so far have been advance against payday – today. The entire crew showed up, many with “contusions and torn clothes,” but none worse than Juan Guerrero who, “tried to defeat the entire police force of Hamburg after tanking up on the fiery beverage served him at his ‘home’.”

With his pay each man receives a discharge order, based on ability and conduct. Most of the crew receives honorable discharge; only two sailors receive “decline to report” (Hayes’ quote) for ability but not conduct. However, Hayes is close enough to hear that Fleck receives “decline to report” for both ability and conduct. Captain Sauter fired him.

As the crew return to “the joys of St. Pauli,” Hayes continues to walk the city bumping into some other Americans – from Utah. “Why don’t you ask us how many wives we’ve got: all the rest do.” Hayes smoothed over this irritable remark and accompanied them to the docks where they met eleven other missionaries bound for Sweden. One of the young girls was pretty but he declined an invitation to visit their chapel.

At the Hamburg-American Line office, it turns out that a ticket directly to New York costs more than a detour through Liverpool continuing on by Cunard. So Hayes buys the cheaper ticket and one fro Missouri too who, “is repentant because of his folly in wasting his substance in riotous living.” Hayes’ other mates, Chris, Albert, McCusker, Schillstrom, and Chile show up, “trembling from spiked booze, from fighting and general dissipation in the bagnios of Hamburg.” The Crown of India sailed 176 starving, tortured days around the Cape Horn; after three furious days in port, most of her crew already need to find another ship to finance the next binge.

17.5 Spring on the Elbe

May 10,1902

Hayes and Missouri pay for passage on the British ship Warrington enroute to Grimsby, England. Spring on the Elbe pushes green grass and buds on the trees.

With no particular rancor, Hayes reports that Fleck is also sailing on the Warrington. He’s tame and speaks civilly claiming the skipper mistreated him by giving the bad discharge. “One would never realize he is the same man. Perhaps it will do him good, but he is rather old to mend his ways now.”

17.6 Stopover at Grimsby

May 12, 1902

“Three West Indian negroes, an old sailor who is as grouchy as they make them, and a couple of Jewesses from Galacia,” round out the passenger list on this “vile, rotten,” ship. When the old sailor stole Hayes’ one outfit of clothes, “the three big blacks barred the door while everybody in the forecastle turned his bag inside out.” All concerned lectured the old man, but “he was too old to turn over to the police, they would have used him hardly.”

“Grimsby is a drab town, redolent of fish smells and ragged, ill kept women.” But Hayes does admire the sailors here. They catch more fish than anywhere in the British Isles going out in all manner of seas in small craft with waves constantly dashing over them even in light weather.

17.7 Longing for Eureka in Liverpool

May 12, 1902

Liverpool “with its grimy waterfront and smoke,” rates no higher than Grimsby as a place to live. When longing for home back on the Crown of India, Hayes meant Eureka, California. After his mistreatment at sea, the mill manager Gill now seems like a quirky, congenial fellow by comparison to the likes of Fleck.

And an after thought from Hamburg: In the Seamanshaus hung pictures of crooks wanted by the German police. Among them Hayes recognized Dublin, the brawling Irishman from the Austrasia, now wanted for broaching cargo. The sailor’s hard life has already taken its toll on Dublin. “In a few years Dublin will have come to an untimely end despite his great strength, for he burns the candle at both ends.”

17.8 Marconi’s Wireless Contraption

May 16, 1902

Still in poor health, Hayes has no thought of signing on with a ship out of Liverpool. Instead, he and Missouri purchase tickets on the Campania, of the Cunard line. Quite by chance, Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian physicist and developer of the radio telegraph, also happens to be sailing on the Campania.

Guglielmo Marconi

“We have a notable in the person of one Signor Marconi, who is Italian in name, but is half English. A dark man, black and tousled hair, with deep, dark eyes. Handsome, I would call him. He seems so intense, for he is making an especial experiment with a wireless contraption slung between the masts. The sailors curse him and his invention heartily, calling it the ‘Macaroni System’, after its inventor. By this method he can send messages across the sea without wires, so he says. It is clumsy, cumbersome, has to be taken down every night and put up mornings. In port it comes down, and keeps the sailors on the hop a good part of the time.”

In addition to Marconi, the Campania carries many Irish, Poles, Russians, and Scandinavian immigrants, none of these described as quite so handsome nor quite so clean as the Italian/English inventor. To the immigrant girls, Missouri is something of an attractive novelty. “He never worries, like I do, for he always trusts in some beneficent angel to drag him out of the messes he gets into constantly.”

17.9 A Horseless Carriage in New York

May 24, 1902

Missouri disappeared before dawn on the day after the two arrived in New York.
Perhaps the bedbugs in the room on Hudson Street chased him away, or maybe he was tired of Hayes’ protective hovering. In any case, Missouri is gone and Hayes is on his own in New York.

Their trip with Marconi on the Campania established a new speed record, five days, sixteen hours, for westward Atlantic passage. Her sister ship, the Luciana, still holds the record going east. Germany has some fast ships too, all named for royalty and nobility: “such as the Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse, the Kron Prinz Wilhelm, Kron Prnizessen Cecille, Eitel Fritz and all the rest of the royal family.” When he was in Germany, swell-headed citizens boasted of war, “ridiculing the Americans at Manila and in Cuba” Soldiers and sailors stepped smartly everywhere about Hamburg. Already, in May of 1902, Hayes writes, “I wonder if there will be war.”

Not far from his rooming house, the very tall oddly shaped Flatiron Building begins to rise on a stone and steel foundation.

Flatirons Building 1903

And past this construction site chugs a bizarre new machine Hayes has never before encountered: “I see strange vehicles steaming up and down the main streets that do not have horses to draw them. These are called horseless carriages , or automobiles. They make a chug-chug sound like a motorboat, with blue, stinking smoke coming out behind. It costs ten cents to ride up Fifth Avenue on one of these cars. The horses shy at them, though are not scared at other city traffic. I like the street cars best, but have little money to spend on them or anything else.”


16. North From the Horn – Starving

May 13, 2011
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Here and There Synopsis:

16.1 The Great Rocks of Diego Ramirez

January 22, 1902

The Crown of India sailed past “the great rocks [of] Diego Ramirez” with good wind “under topsail yards all hauling.” Moss grows on the deck from the constant damp and, even at midsummer this far south, one may not look directly into the cold wind. With a little snow that falls on deck Hayes musters the energy to throw a few snowballs at a shipmate “Missouri.” All the men have “our fingers crossed lest bad wind spring up and we blow back west instead of passing the Horn.” But for now “Cape Horn is in a quiet mood for once.”

Unusually good weather, and, almost as welcome, Fleck is still below deck nursing his eyes. All the men wish him a long and painful illness lasting at least until they are safely round the Horn. Hayes is “shocked because at heart I agree with these men.” Because of Captain Sauter and his wife, every sailor on board starves on “pound and pint” rations, nevertheless all respond well to his just treatment.

“There are worlds of sea birds,” down here at the bottom of the world, from the tiny petrels “that really walk on the water” to giant albatross that “flap and run far over the sea as they endeavor to arise.” Despite the “fishy taste and coarse flesh,” catching a few for the stew pot compliments the short rations.

16.2 Shaving on a rolling sea

January 30, 1902

On the night of the previous entry, all the crossed fingers on board did not prevent a fierce gale from blowing up, forcing the crew up into the wild riggings to strip the sails. But at least the two-finger charm prevented the worst: the ferocious winds blew from the south pushing the ship smartly north into warmer weather. After a week running before this storm, Hayes and some other men “heaved the log” to gauge ship’s speed. All eleven knots ran out before their hourglass drained, “which means she is doing better than eleven knots per hour, and is almost under bare poles.” Of course, “food at its worst and growing worse daily,” and the rough seas wet everything aboard ship.

With the rough weather, the second mate hasn’t been shaved since the ship reached the Horn Latitudes on the west side. Despite the big rollers following the storm, Hayes agrees to barber. Both men brace themselves in the mate’s tiny cabin on the rolling ship with three hands on shoulders and one free to handle the razor. “We made it, but I scarred his face a little.” For now, “the men keep cheery in the forecastle despite the hardships.” The poor food, though, will become a real danger to all.

Fleck’s eyes have recovered enough that, “he imagined he could see the loom of the Falkland Islands” when he came on deck for the first time in nearly a month. With no real expectation Fleck has reformed, Hayes remarks that he “spoke to me in an even voice,” – an aberration, no doubt.

Evidently sailors frequently succumb to “Cape Fever” sailing around the Horn. Schillerstrom, the reckless Swede and comic of the ship says with a straight face, the one time he had it, “Eet was very bad, very bad.” Nothing like the real affliction Fleck suffered, men with Cape fever seem, “to eat well and sleep well, but are unable to work until clear of Cape Stiff.” Luckily, no one on board caught it this time round.

16.3 24th Birthday at Sea

February 10, 1902

Only the elements celebrate Hayes’ 24th birthday – “in fine weather now.”

How quickly Fleck has recovered his spleen. At 35° from the equator, hints of the southwest trades flutter the sails, “and Fleck is frigging the watch, hauling, trimming, sweating every rope in the ship,” pretending to catch these favorable winds. With Fleck returned to his cursing, beating, and kicking the crew, every man aboard swears he’ll never “again go deep sea.”

16.4 Even the Rats are Hungry

February 22, 1902

“Full rations are a bare subsistence,” and now the crew of the Crown of India is reduced to half. One can eat a shark, but not when prepared by this cook. “We have even considered the numerous rats the big cat in the hold drives on deck.”

The starving rats do severe damage to the ship: they eat the sails when stowed and even when furled, get into the cargo casks, chew the straps on the life preservers, and worst, chew on the feet of sleeping men. “The old Dutch cook, who is a sound sleeper and has corns, bunions and calluses on his feet, is unable to walk because of so much rat gnawing.” While dozing on the graveyard watch, a rat bit Hayes’ bare foot and, “it bled freely.” All men hate the rats and drive them overboard – thus far, no one seems to be eating them.

Least of all, the captain; he sold the crew’s food but not the officer’s. Because Hayes is handy at so many skills, he sometimes helps the carpenter, “and this takes me on the poop where the skipper plays with his much loved wife.” The careless skipper, coming too near a hammer stroke, dodged sharply sending his cork hat over the side. This brought Hayes a stern glare from the skipper and an appeal from the skipper’s happy well-fed wife to stop the ship, lower a boat, and retrieve the hat slowly receding from the ship on the calm seas. The skipper knew better than to ask starving men to delay their return home for his own folly.

16.5 Doldrums Past the Line

March 5, 1902

On deck, the second mate calls Hayes to see St. Paul’s Rocks, a small archipelago of granite rocks, flocked with birds, standing out of the sea, “almost on the equator and equally distant from South America on one hand and Africa on the other.” It is so hot here, “the pitch boils out of the seams in the decks.” More of the rain they caught for storage crossing the equator would be a welcome relief.

The starving crew can barely work. It’s a good thing they have water. Skip reading the following description of their rations if you have a light stomach: “our daily allowance now is a small portion of fat, yellowish pork and a mess the cook makes out of the sweepings of the biscuit tanks in the hold. These are half weevil larvae, wriggling like maggots and of similar appearance.”

Fleck is back to full form, frigging the men “until our flaccid muscles are worn out.” No one has energy to curse him; all move about “as if half dead.” As an officer, still on reasonable rations, Fleck has plenty of energy to fill in for any insufficiency of curses.

16.6 Beating North Into the Wind

March 20,1902

With her foul bottom, the Crown of India, can’t make headway against strong winds. They sail east half a day, turn the ship, then sail west half a day, tacking back and forth against the wind. She sails plenty of miles – while making almost no progress north toward home. The skipper restrains Fleck who still delights in frigging the crew. How can the cruel mate be unaware of the real danger to a ship worked by a crew too weak to stand? Doudou, a young German boy, “is first to break. He is semi-conscious, partly from fear of the brutal mate.”

16.7 Scurvy at Ponta Delgada

March 27, 1902

At Ponta Delgada on the island of San Miguel, the Crown of India lies in a small stream with the men gazing over green, well-tended fields, longing to be off this starving ship. A basket of oranges and a “lean beef” come over the side but disappear immediately aft for the officers. Perhaps the oranges indicate the skipper fears scurvy aft, this sailor’s malady, due to lack of vitamin C, already spreads among the crew. Hayes reports sore teeth but no swelling of the lower limbs – either is an advanced symptom of scurvy. Finally, “even Fleck has softened.” What’s the use of yelling at men who “move because we have to, instinctively rather than obedience to the officers of the ship?”

Some of the locals speak English. “It is said that there are some 9,000 priests, monks and nuns in this small town of only 16,000 population.” His observations about the large families and the power of the church are not flattering.

“For days we have been trying to contact a ship, the flag flying upside down, the symbol of a ship in distress.” Many ships pass, but none stop to offer aid. All can see that Crown of India is “a homeward bounder.” Their captains know “the ways of skippers who sell the crew’s ration and spend the proceeds on themselves.” Some of the men have collapsed from scurvy.

16.8 Finally, Some Cabbage

March 29, 1902

Captain Sauter must have procured some food at Ponta Delgada, the ship left the narrow stream and “a great feast was enjoyed aft.” And for the working crew forward? “The thrifty skipper let us go 24 hours without feeding us.” Some cabbages left over from the feast aft hung briefly for storage “under the bridge near the break of the poop.” All but a leaf and a root vanished in the night to the starving crew. When the captain finally produces some boiled beef and pan tiles for the crew, Hayes’ teeth are so loose from the scurvy he can scarcely eat.

Of course, with a little food in the crew, Fleck’s abuse returns. “He has the filthiest mouth I have ever listened too, and his spleen is always being vented on the man nearest him.” At least the ship is making headway toward Falmouth where this nightmare trip will finally end.

16.9 The End is Near

April 6, 1902

Landfall at the Scilly Islands “raises hope in our hearts that the end is near.” Now these abused and physically wrecked sailors speculate what they’ll do next. Most plan a visit home; Chris, a shipmate from Trondjehm, has patched his clothes and saved his money for a reunion, but admits, “It will be the same old thing, I guess.” Juan Guerrero, another shipmate, succinctly describes this same old thing: “enjoy the fleshpots of whatever port we make, then go out and make enough to do it in the next one.”  Guerrero, a Chilean adventurer, who has hunted rubber in South America, explored the Pilcomayo River in Argentina, faced a jaguar aboard ship, and quietly sailed the world draws this praise from Hayes: “A better shipmate than most of the crew, he is.”

16.10 Falmouth

April 8, 1902

Falmouth at last. “Every man among us are wan and broken by the hardship and hunger of this unlucky ship we want to leave.” By comparison the “ruddy-faced Englishmen” coming on board look hale and fit. The Englishmen bring food, “but it will require months to renew our health after the starvation of the past few months.”


15. South to the Horn

May 6, 2011

At the iron works in San Francisco, a general strike makes the city too dangerous, so Hayes signs on with a hungry four masted sailing ship for another tour around Cape Horn.

Click here for links to maps and downloads of more maps.


Here and There Synopsis:

15.1 A city on Strike

May 12, 1901

The mill superintendent’s browbeating at Eureka finally became too much. Hayes paid passage down to San Francisco on the steam schooner Santa Barbara, “and was seasick as a dog.” Upon arrival he found employment as a sheet iron worker’s helper at the Union Iron Works. “Pay is poor. $1.75 for ten hours.” On this slim salary, anything beyond bare living expenses still gets sent off in reparation for the misdeeds of his youth.

Still trying to live decently, Hayes finds rooms with Mrs. Emslie who runs a mission to women working the infamous Barbary Coast where business booms with soldiers coming and going to war in the Philipines, seamen from merchant and whaling ships carousing, and “especially Alaska fishermen.” Mrs. Emslie’s mission seems a fool’s errand to Hayes. As far as he can see, the women don’t want to rise. “They jeer those who would help them.” Nevertheless, Hayes stands with Mrs. Emslie in the streets enduring “catcalls and jeers” as she entreats all to a better life.

June 20, 1901

The iron works employs more than 5,000 men building “three torpedo boats, a cruiser, and several merchant ships … there is even a submarine, said to be the first of its kind,” and plenty of repair work. Hayes’ ears ring continuously from the constant hammering.

USS Grampus, one of two submarines
under construction at Union Iron Works in 1901

Labor unrest wracks almost every industry in San Francisco except the iron works. “The machinist, the boiler makers, and many others are on strike.” Replacement workers shipped in from Pittsburg run such a gauntlet of abuse from the strikers that the companies must quarter these “scabs” inside their workplaces. As an ironworker, not yet part of the strike, Hayes may pass the lines but not without surly bluster from the strikers.

July 6, 1901

Now the strike has spread to the teamsters and the seamen, paralyzing the entire town. “All workmen in the city are out now, and hoodlums are ruling the roost.” Perhaps if local police appointments reflected “their integrity as citizens” rather than fealty to the Catholic Church, some order could be instated. Corruption from top to bottom cripples the city.

15.2 One Soul Saved

July 27, 1901

Should the unions decide to run a labor candidate for mayor of San Francisco he would surely win. “Even the street sweepers have their union, the newsboys and up from there.” Workers and scabs clash by day and nightfall cues generalized violence and lawlessness.

Astonishingly, the ironworkers remain on the job. Nevertheless, Hayes’ work partner Risberg meets a mob of strikers on his way to work who beat him up – “for practice.” As an aside Hayes adds that Risberg spent eight months in jail in Honolulu caught smuggling 62 pounds of opium from China.

August 24,1901

With the strike escalating, leading citizens call for the governor to request National Guard intervention to restore order. “He refuses.” Strikers battle police daily in the streets. Hayes witnessed a dozen police round the Chronicle building just as twenty strikers marched toward them around the corner. “They opened fire without hesitation. One striker was killed, four bystanders hit.”

On the bright side: with all the strikers strapped for cash, “Times are a bit dull on the Barbary.” Even with the bawdy houses calm, Hayes complains that, “One of the worst features of San Francisco is the dope racket.” A shot sells for 10¢ at any drugstore. Mrs. Emslie, soldiering on, reports of its devastations especially in Chinatown. Hayes joyously accounts one man he’s seen saved from this life by the grace of God.

September 16, 1901

With the strike so dangerous, Hayes will no longer venture out after eleven at night. He dreams that maybe South Africa would be a better place, “where strikers are unknown, at least at present.” Of course he’s broke, but for the first time he writes of sending money home to help his mothers and sisters. That and repaying “for making sharp deals in days gone by,” leave him constantly down to the last dollar.

October 4, 1901

Desperate to get out of San Francisco, Hayes looks up “ old Herman, whaling shipping master,” who warns him off a sailor’s job here; better to try up in Portland.

15.3 Looking for a Ship in the Rain

October 10, 1901

On the steamer Columbia up to Portland from San Francisco Hayes tried a home remedy for the seasickness: “Someone told me if I would drink salt water it would make me very ill, but I would never suffer again.” The first part was correct at least.

Cold rain falls at Portland – of course. Hayes returns to Sullivan’s boarding house and inquires for jobs with the same Grant and McCarren who sent him out two years previously. Sullivan is “a man wholly without honor,” and Grant and McCarren “are not making money so easily as when they could rob a man of most of his wages before he earned them.” The dour mood of the city hastens Hayes toward any ship he can find. “Food is poor here, everything is bad. The San Francisco strike is hurting the entire coast.” Even another tour around Cape Horn seems better than this.

15.4 Four Masted Bark at Astoria

October 20, 1901

Hayes, now an “ordinary seaman” on the four-mast bark, Crown of India, sits at a shallow spot in the Columbia waiting a second day for the tidal surge to lift the ship off the sand grounding her. Ships rations, “poor food, almost none,” weaken all the men before the ship even reaches Astoria. Once there, the fourteen ships lined up waiting to be towed over the bar, signal another a long wait.

“The skeleton-like rigging,” of tall ships stripped bare in a gale blowing through the port of Astoria from the southeast against tall fir trees sodden from the constant rain make a gloomy start to the long voyage ahead. As does the cast of characters among the officers: A brutal bawling ship’s mate, his assistant “a swell headed third, just out of his apprenticeship,” and the American second mate, “a fair sailor.” “The usual drunken crew is aboard.” Some don’t even know under what name they’ve shipped.

Most ominous of all: “this ship is hungry.” Like the Austrasia, on his first trip around the Horn, the Crown of India carries wheat, but this flinty captain brooks no broaching of cargo. When the men complain about breaking fast every morning on burgoo, a “pitiful mass of glue,” the captain reduces morning rations to “a clouded, muddy liquid called coffee by the old Dutch cook.” Hayes wonders how men already weak from working full speed all day on poor food can be expected to pull hard around the stern seas off Cape Horn?

November 17, 1901

At noon the old cook boils salt horsemeat, with any bit left over served as dinner. Crown of India sails with the captain’s wife on board which surely explains the poor food: “it is rumored that he sold a good part of the ship’s stores to give her a good time on shore.” The swinging tides at Astoria regularly tangle the two heavy anchor chains holding the ship in port for nearly a month now. Hungry sailors haul them to the surface, fight them apart, then replace them in anticipation of the next tidal surge.

At least getting out to sea will escape this dreary place; after watching the fourteen ships ahead towed one by one over the bar, “We expect to be towed to sea tomorrow.”

15.5 300 Miles Due West

November 23, 1901

A fierce three-day gale out of Astoria forces sailors to scramble canvas down from the poles. All are seasick in the rough weather but the bellowing mate, never satisfied with the ship’s rigging, orders seaman aloft. “Hanging onto a jackstay with one hand, a bit of sail in the other and deathly sick at the same time is about enough for one in a gale.” The cook has found a few potatoes, but Hayes doubts this slight culinary improvement will last long.

15.6 Frigging South

December 11, 1901

“Frigging” means useless work. As when Fleck, the first mate, “Every night has kept us going sweating the braces, lifts, halyards and every rope on the ship.” Captain Sauter put a stop to it but Hayes doubts his kindness of heart. More likely Sauter sees the weakness of the crew and fears rounding “Cape Stiff” with sailors needlessly overworked to exhaustion.

Hayes’ constant seasickness, made worse by the bad food, brings Fleck’s bawling wrath. Toward those even less strong, Fleck does more than yell. Doudou, “a little German boy” suffers dizzy spells and cannot climb above the “sheerpoles.” For this Fleck “kicks the boy about with abandon, much to the dislike of the crew.” The Captain restrains Fleck – but then the Captain beat up an assistant himself.

15.7 “Drear Christmas Eve”

December 24, 1901

On a sailing ship like the Crown of India, officers quarter aft, sailors fore. In the forward mess, all the potatoes are gone which Hayes calls, “a calamity.” But aft, “there is plenty.” The men grumble – fearful of even less during the long dangerous journey ahead. The ever-resourceful Hayes offers to shave the “genial second mate” in return for a bit of extra food now and then. “In all his years at sea [the mate] has never learned to use a razor.”

The cheerless ship crosses the equator foregoing Neptune’s initiation rites. Rains “like I have never seen before,” soak the already despondent crew right through their useless oilskins for two days across the line. With all hands engaged catching much-needed fresh water, most of the fair weather sails blow off in a gale accompanying the rain. Morale is so bad, the ordinary sailors wish for a speedy trip home – contrary to their usual desire to sail slowly to earn as much as possible for the debauch at home port.

On Christmas Eve light directionless winds puff at the ship – just right for more of Fleck’s frigging: “It gives him a reason for chasing catspaws round the compass, every man hauling his heart out, no one alive enough to lead a chantey.” No sailor’s song for the holiday – just the tempo of Fleck’s constant cursing.

15.8 Jonah of the ship

January 1, 1902

Sailors on this starving, fearful ship look for a “Jonah” – the source of all their bad luck. A little rhesus monkey one of the crew picked up off Sumatra suffered this identity until the first day of the new year. After the monkey died of its mistreatment, the ship made “12 knots under to-gan-sals” for two whole days with the crew celebrating losing their totem of ill fortune. When the wind blew out, consensus settled on a good-natured Mulatto sailor as the new Jonah. But he takes it so cheerily, “Everybody swears, and wishes the monkey was back.”

As Captain Sauter continues restraining Fleck from excesses of physical abuse, Fleck bides the time sailing south content with curses and threats: “The old man can’t stay on deck all the time and watch you. Let any bloody man shirk, he’ll roost on the royal yard right round Old Stiff!” (Hayes’ quote) The unlucky Crown of India has already lost one man blown from the rigging before Hayes came aboard; ordering a sailor up to the high royals in the wild storms off Cape Horn threatens his life.

Hayes makes no mention of any celebration marking the New Year.

15.9 Fire in the Cargo!

January 5, 1902

Damp, rotting wheat will sometimes generate enough heat to catch fire. Perhaps if the hungry crew had been allowed to broach cargo, someone would have noticed heat building up before “smoke was pouring up from the after hatch.” A thousand miles from land, “a reckless Swede, Schillerstrom,” waded into the smoke saving the ship. “Must have been spontaneous combustion.”

In an unrelated development: “Fleck has sore eyes,” now swollen completely shut. Blind and enraged, Fleck calls the mulatto Jonah aft bellowing, “every curse and abominable abusive word he has in his large vocabulary.” No “man forward of the mainmast” can restrain his glee, hoping Fleck’s blindness holds until they arrive safely round the Horn. Even Hayes, who has read in his Bible that one should love our enemies and pray for those who do us evil, finds “it difficult to mean it when I pray for Fleck.”

15.10. Nearing the Cape

January 12, 1902

Even with fair weather, the Crown of India makes poor speed; “the ship has a foul bottom.” Waiting in Astoria those long weeks, the sailors dragged a “great scrubbing brush” from sided to side across her bottom – not very effectively. In calm water Hayes can see two feet of sea grass dragging along growing out from the hull.

“Flecks eyes are in frightful condition, and this arouses the greatest joy from the entire crew.” Whatever responsibility Captain Stuart has for starving the crew, at least he is not brutal. With Fleck lying below deck in severe pain, the Captain simply and competently sails the ship southward. When Crown of India “sprung a yard at its parrel,” the men would have tried to replace it for the Captain but he can see that they are weak “and is willing to give us a break.”

With humane treatment from the Captain, some of the gloom lifts from Crown of India. Still, this is a lonely dangerous place for any ship. The dangers of the Horn approach ahead and from behind, “ tremendous seas that follow us sometimes give apprehension of pooping a sea” – that is, a wave breaking over the stern of the ship.


14. San Francisco to Eureka

May 1, 2011

To some readers of the diary Here and There, segment 14 contains Hayes’ most remarkable decision.  At age 22 he’s been on the road for 7 years and apparently swindled, cheated, or stolen from a lot of people along the way (I wish he had included a little more detail about the misdeeds, the list seems to be quite long).  On September 30, 1900, he decides to make amends.

Click here for links to maps and downloads of maps.

Here and There Synopsis:

14.1 South of Cape Mendocino

June 7, 1900

After searching up and down the wharves at San Francisco, Hayes gives up on a ship to China. He cannot catch on with the British ship Straghgyle just leaving port for China, nor can he stow away – they’ve just fumigated its hold turning out 22 “embryo warriors” headed for jail rather than the Boxer War.

So instead, Hayes pays $2 to “Murray & Ready’s, labor agents and robbers who contract workers for the entire state.” His first thought was a mining job but someone in the office said that job was no good, second choice was logging work in Mendocino County.

14.2 Dumped at Usal

June 10, 1900

For transport north, Hayes and a dozen other recruits including one Bill S. Hogg, a “London Bookkeeper,” roll around the empty hold of a steam schooner, “every one of us deathly sea sick because of the stench and rolling of the empty ship.”

At Usal near Cape Mendocino, “baskets strung on cables” dump the men like cattle onto the redwood shore. In reply to Hayes’ joke about a thirteen hour work day at this camp, a grinning Irish dock man replies “Ounly Twilve” (Hayes’ quote). Bill S. Hogg blusters back at the dock man but Hayes can see Hogg already: “the city life has ruined him as a man of the woods.” Hogg doesn’t even know to load his pockets with sandwiches at dinner for the next day’s work.

14.3 Cutting Redwoods.

June 14, 1900

Cutting a redwood trunk right to the ground won’t kill the tree. The massive stump immediately sends multiple shoots struggling back toward the sky. Near Usal, “for seven miles the fine trees have been destroyed completely,” by burning and repeatedly cutting – to clear the ground for cattle pasture.

Redwood Crew circa 1900
photo sent by Kayann Short

As predicted, Bill S. Hogg broke down 17 miles out of Usal. Hayes left him a dollar alone in the woods and continued on himself, hiking 90 miles in two and a half days through the dense forest to a job in the planing mill at “a big sawmill thirty miles from Eureka.”

June 22, 1900

At every new place, Hayes almost always comments on the availability, quantity or quality of its food. At this rough lumber camp with its “vast rambling cookhouse” feeding 500 hundred hungry lumberjacks three times a day, he writes three awed paragraphs concluding: “The technique is that of hogs in a pen. No other example would express it more fully.”

Unbarring the door releases a mad scramble: any piece of fruit anywhere in the room disappears into a “sweat-soaked shirt”; whole pies vanish; a giant Swedish hand clamps the milk pitcher to the table until the giant Swedish lumberjack downs his seventh cup of milk. Hayes and a tattooed buddy, Preston, position themselves to grab as a team so that together both can insure that neither goes hungry. Each tries for a good bit of meat for the other but, “the steak and other meat seem to be put through some sort of process whereby it is preserved indefinitely.” Outside the hall, for recreation, Preston throws a piece of meat to the huge bulldog kept by the superintendent of the mill. “Every muscle under his sleek hide may be seen hauling and sliding and writhing with tremendous effort, and men gather round in admiration at his strength.”

If a man can hold his own in the cookhouse melee, at least he can get enough to fuel the heavy work required in the woods. At the camp work-shifts end at ten hours but Hayes says, “I get tired sometimes. … There is a good bit of overtime.” This written as he’s coming off a 36-hour shift. “It’s all right for a while.” Now he’s thinking maybe he’ll travel south to Australia.

July 2, 1900

Hayes must be in correspondence with his mother and sisters. He knows that one sister works as a nurse in Galveston, Texas where the tidal wave from a great hurricane has killed thousands. “Whether she be alive, I do not know.”

Galveston Flood, 1900

Hayes’ mess hall buddy Preston, “a genial German we call Frenchy,” has cleared out in search of more tattoos. “Almost every bit of his body other than his head is already covered with weird pictures of art from all the world.” The shrewd logging company, knowing the leisure time habits of its employees, lets the men drink – at the saloon owned by the company – up to the amount owed them. Accordingly, Frenchy got paid out, went straight to the bar ahead of the accountant, drank all night, and then skipped the camp.

Cutting redwoods stains Hayes’ hands black and fills them with angry splinters. The black comes off only with the skin, “so deep and lasting is the juice that filters from the wood.” Hayes still dreams of Australia even as a tug of guilt nags him about deserting the McCulloch back in San Francisco.

14.4 Eureka!

July 20, 1900

Fed up with the logging camp, Hayes hikes the 30 miles back to Eureka determined to board a ship for Australia. But just as he was “shipping to Tasmania on a sailing vessel, the Woolhara of Sydney,” an agent from a mill in Eureka offered a job at “a place too good to pass up lightly.” Australia will have to wait for another day.

Eureka is to become a place to which Hayes will periodically return from his far-flung travels over the years. “It would be hard to find a more congenial place.” So, with his hands still stained black from lumberjacking and starting into a new mill job in town, Hayes also enrolls “into a business college here with a lot of other young folk of my own age.”

August 21,1900

For the moment, he enjoys the company of the “refined type” of young people at the business college even if, “they have never rubbed up against the realities of life as I have.” And the mill work suits him: “much rowing a boat… a horse that must be looked after twice a day… helping the carpenter, the blacksmith and engineers.”

Oddly, at Eureka, Hayes fails to describe the saloons, gambling houses, and prostitutes as he usually writes when arriving at a new place – this town has a library! With a full time job and attending business college, Hayes writes that the library “ holds me most of my spare time.” How can there be any spare time? However, in addition to the job, school, and the library, some of the same missionaries Hayes encountered in Victor preach in Eureka and he starts attending church, “for though I am a wrong ‘un I like to see decent people.”

September 30, 1900

Business College comes easy, “because I always liked figures,” and Gill, the mill superintendent encourages him to continue but a remarkable new idea has come into Hayes’ consciousness: “I believe I am wrong and should pay up the money I beat people out of.” He is about to quit business school to work overtime at the mill so that he can begin sending reimbursement to everyone he ever cheated – including the railroad companies whose trains he hopped without paying fare!

14.5 Restitution

October 27, 1900

Of course, Hayes’ new conviction stems from conversion by the mission. “I have peace in my heart now that does not come to one in the world.” With “the divine presence” keeping him free from sin, he dons his oilskins out into the rain seven days a week to pay back all his old debts. “One has to be clean if he gets by in this world. I believe I will be happier for it in the end.”

A Norwegian sailor pal at Eureka, Ted Sundbye, “has fallen for a lovely missionary girl and it is likely they will be married.” Though Hayes admits marriage tempts him too, he knows he’s got to choose: a married man in Eureka will never make it to Africa. If he is to emulate “the explorer Stanley [who] has always been a demigod to me,” Hayes must “put all out of my life I can to achieve the goal I have set.” He will not marry; he will be an adventurer.

October 30, 1900

Ted’s girl left for California urging him to follow but Hayes wonders if Ted shouldn’t clean up his responsibilities back in Norway before chasing a new girlfriend to Pasadena. To Hayes’ way of thinking, the family servant Ted loved “unwisely” and the child he abandoned in the old country, are Ted’s first responsibility. Watching Ted’s low dealings, Hayes’ redoubles his own intention that all must be made right with those he cheated.

December 3, 1900

Hayes declines the honor serving as best man at Ted’s wedding in Pasadena; he’s too busy with the repayment project. “The first man I sent $25 to returned it.” Nevertheless, Hayes thinks the gesture made a “profound impression” on the man and he vows to continue despite, “the deep sense of shame on admitting his folly.” Ignoring the siren call of ship’s adventure and sure that he’s “ruining my own career,” Hayes works on in the rain. “I must clean up the entire business of the dark days regardless of what people did to me. Then there may be something else left for the days to come.”

January 16, 1901

Six month of mill work and every dollar gone to pay self-imposed debts. “Some of them write me bitter letters, some demand more… some return the money, some never answer me, some chide me.” Still he keeps on paying. The list remains long after retiring the largest debts first.

And the business of the McCulloch – deserting ship still bothers him. He thinks about returning even though, “it would be hell.” Perhaps that sin can be cleared after all the debts are paid…

14.6 About Ready to Leave

March 22, 1901

Even at a place like this with decent working conditions, the supervisors “wring every ounce of strength from every man.” Hayes writes, “Gill, the superintendent constantly worries me,” to work more and faster. Because Hayes works harder and more efficiently than others, Gill always pushes him for more.

The mill supervisors ratchet up the speed of the machinery until the older men break from the pace and can be replaced by younger men hungry for work. An older man can still do lighter work – for less pay – outside – in the rain. “I see all this, and wonder if I, too, will come to this.” With their riotous living, none of these men saves any money. But sending all his money off to clear his conscience leaves Hayes in exactly the same financial strait as his profligate workmates. “It is easy to make money if one has no scruples, that is why most of these great companies have so much ahead.”

April 16, 1901

For Hayes, “tired, both physically and mentally,” nine months is a long stay even at a good place like Eureka. The bickering Jewish landlady who wants him to wear a good luck charm, the old married couple he hears cursing each other through the thin walls of the rooming house, and worse, the “two turtle doves” newly married, all grate on the nerves of a traveling man overstayed in one place.

Then too, an event more serious than these slight domestic annoyances: Hayes hoisted the ballast from a schooner from Hawaii captained by the 21 year old son of the owner accompanied by another sailor on their way out from Eureka to Arcata at the head of Humboldt Bay. A storm in the night upset the schooner and both men drowned, their bodies washed up on the flats the next morning. From a 23-year-old adventurer poised to strike out again into the world, Hayes’ summary reads with a certain self-reflective foreboding: “Life is so uncertain. … Just as he begun life it is finished.”

But, as often in the diary, an observation of some natural beauty dispels such a dark thought: “There are thousands of ducks on the bay. Canvas backs, mallards, teal, widgeon, spring, bluebill and so many other sorts.” Who knows what beauty lies beyond the horizon line? A man wishing to see some of it has to accept the risks.