Got a reminder this morning from palaeontologist, maritime historian and HMS Beagle aficionado Dr Gordon Chancellor, asking if we were going to mark the 180th anniversary of HMS Beagle's second voyage. He then kindly offered up the vignette below:
Monday December 12th 2011 is a good date on which to recall that exactly 180 years ago a certain HMS Beagle was lying off Plymouth, waiting for a favourable wind to set off round the world.
On board was a twenty-two year old naturalist who had finished his Cambridge degree that summer. His name was Charles Darwin and he had started to keep a journal of his expedition for his family to read in instalments.
He wrote, once ‘snug and quiet’ back in his small berth in the poop cabin, that there was a heavy swell that day and that he feared sea-sickness. He had been ashore and dined with Sir Manley Dixon, returning to the mother ship after a ‘long and rough pull’, presumably in the dark. Darwin’s day ended at eight bells (midnight) as he turned into his hammock.
More to come...