Reply To: Help with Log book from 1763

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David Hepper

I have tried to decipher the log, but there are still one or two words that defeated me.
To go through the words in brackets in the order they appear:
[slesspos] – I admit I cannot quite make that word out; [ …?. ] post I think
[dropped] – drop’t = dropped
[and] – veer’d = veered (to veer a rope is to pay it out/to slacken/lengthen)
[overturned] – it actually says overset
[v erd] – veer’d = veered
[ ] [al] – several
[spritsail] – spritsail
[ ] – was
[butupast] – cut up part
…the Ship Pro on Shore… – should be the Ship drove on Shore
[trouble] – North
[shoacer] – shoares = shores
[art] at [ ] – Distress at ½ p. 10…
[ ] [ ] Ditto [Reed] our [n] – ½ p Ditto Rec’d (received) our [???]
Zephyr [ ] – Zephyr, At Noon …

Second page needs some corrections:
…touched the ground Abaft and the Tide Ebb made out strong … 2 ditto bespoked … = should be at 2 ditto reported…
…at 4 ditto several masts and [mor] cams – …at 4 ditto several boats and men came …
…small anchor and[hawfaces] to [ ] … = … – small anchor and hawsers to assist in heaving …
…in, getting the sheet anchor out [ a storm = …In getting out the sheet anchor astern …
lightning the ship [gating] = lightning the ship, getting officers stores into a Keel

Some other notes:
To warp = means to move a ship by means of a warp, which is a hawser (or rope) which is attached to a fixed object or anchor.
They released the Best Bower anchor – this means the anchor on the starboard side, not ‘the front anchor’ and then veered out to a third of a cable.
Lightening ship by ‘starting’ or opening and emptying barrels of water and beer was the standard procedure, because it was easily done and the contents flushed overboard.
Note the reference at the end to a Keel, which is the boat peculiar to the Tyneside area
Oh, and they did not ‘toss the rigging over the side’ but rather hoisted out spare yards etc over the side to use as shores or supports for the hull, to prevent the ship capsizing when the tide left her.