Around 3:30 this morning I was at the wheel and Bob Leary came aft and called the Skipper. I thought that land had been sighted, but Skipper immediately took the wheel and we doused the jib. The bob-stay had broken where the shackle is hooked to the bow and it was dangerous to carry any sail on it. Continual poundings by the heavy seas caused the damage.
Went to bed at four wet, cold and tired only to be awakened at six by an “All hands” call. I rushed up on deck and found us within easy reach of Utupua and fast aground on an uncharted reef.We could feel the Yankee hit time and again and she was almost dipping her starboard bulwarks under. It was fortunate that the seas had abated and a boat was put over and soundings made ahead. The motor was started and I went out on the end of the bowsprit to bend on the jib-topsail. Every bump the Yankee took almost tossed me off, but I held on with one hand and an elbow and we soon were able to push ourselves off via Betsy. We then came to Bisilik Bay for repairs.
Doc and Leary went pig-hunting this afternoon. The rest of us stayed on board and are enjoying a nice rest. It seems strange to have the Yankee steady again. It was almost a pleasure working in the galley at noon.
We were looking at the Philips Pacific map this afternoon and the run from Auckland to Valparaiso doesn’t look so good. Jop is more in favor of it than not. If they average 125 miles a day, a feat very possible because of fair winds all the way, it would take them forty-two days to do the 5147 miles – the shortest possible great circle route. Six weeks, therefore, is the shortest time they can make. Not for me
Nora seems determined to get off at Moresby with me and will be damned if she will make that long passage. Poor Kid! – she’s nearly driven out of head by Exy and the two kids. She said that she was going to talk to the Skipper about her leaving last night, but didn’t get the chance.
As the watch was eating breakfast, we had already entered the harbor, but Loring had to make a hurry-up call to the lee rail.He upchucked a couple of times and then ate chow. Tonight I find out that he hurt his finger hauling on a line. I gave that son-of-a-bitch hell and the next time he does something like that I’m going to get real mad. He made some cottage pudding first before chow and it was lousy so we substituted apple sauce. I have told him time and again to do that stuff earlier – but no. Then he bums up and starts swearing and throwing stuff. One more episode like that and I’m going to Skipper. His “I give a damn” attitude is all wrong and I’ve told him so but he pays no attention. He had better watch himself or he is going to get into some trouble one of these days.