Tag Archives: flying fish

The Journal of Hugh Campbell, Part X: Going fishing

This week, Cap­tain Gale smooths things over with the skep­ti­cal pas­sen­gers, and the crew goes fishing…sort of.


28th July
W. Lon. 32, N. Lat. 45 degrees 50’

The wind had been favor­able hereto­fore but some days it appeared to set­tle in the West. The pas­sen­gers began to get unhap­py and as is always the case, mur­mured against the

Emi­grants at dinner.

Capt. and offi­cers when they could blame noth­ing else. Sev­er­al ridicu­lous sto­ries were cir­cu­lat­ed and believed by most of them. Some said the Capt. had lost his reck­on­ing and was tak­ing us lord knows where, oth­ers that the ship had sprung a leak and that he was mak­ing for the near­est port to get ashore before she would sink and a third swore that the ship was such a clum­sy, slow sail­ing ves­sel that we might not get to New York before Christ­mas. It required all the influ­ence of the Capt. to rec­on­cile the fer­ments that such ridicu­lous sto­ries were cal­cu­lat­ed to pro­mote. He would sit in the steer­age and laugh half the day with pas­sen­gers and when any­thing nice was cooked for his own table he was sure to send the greater part to the female pas­sen­gers and old men. By these and many oth­er lit­tle atten­tions he grad­u­al­ly gained the good will of all and I ver­i­ly believe that they sup­port­ed their tedious voy­age with greater for­ti­tude than they would have done under any oth­er Capt.

August 1st
W. Lon. 34.50, N. Lat. 44


Fly­ing Fish

About this time we began to see the beau­ti­ful fish called the Dol­phin and their unfor­tu­nate prey the fly­ing fish. I caught one of the for­mer by a bait this day. Noth­ing can sur­pass them in beau­ty when tak­en out of the water. All the var­ied col­ors of the rain­bow seem to unite in their skin. When cooked with pork and pota­toes they make a dish called chow­der, which tastes mighty well on the sea though the fish itself is very dry and lit­tle more than palatable.


When they per­ceive a fly­ing fish they swim in pur­suit with uncom­mon swift­ness. As
soon as the fly­ing fish finds itself in dan­ger, it ris­es to the sur­face, expands its fins or wings and flies in a smooth rapid man­ner as long as it keeps moist. But its ene­my still watch­es its course, swims under it and fre­quent­ly receives it into its mouth as it falls.


Next week:  Sailor Hugh