woensdag 19 september 2018

Benjamin Franklin -- 20 september 1726

Benjamin Franklin (1705-1790) was en Amerikaanse wetenschapper en politicus, een een van de 'Founding Fathers' van de Verenigde Staten. Tijdens een zeereis in 1726 hield hij een dagboek bij.

Tuesday, September 20
The wind is now westerly again, to our great mortification; and we are come to an allowance of bread, two biscuits and a half a day.

Wednesday, September 21
This morning our Steward was brought to the geers and whipped, for making an extravagant use of flour in the puddings, and for several other misdemeanors. It has been perfectly calm all this day, and very hot. I was determined to wash myself in the sea to-day, and should have done so had not the appearance of a shark, that mortal enemy to swimmers, deterred me: he seemed to be about five feet long, moves round the ship at some distance in a slow majestic manner, attended by near a dozen of those they call pilot-fish, of different sizes; the largest of them is not so big as a small mackerel, and the smallest not bigger than my little finger. Two of these diminutive pilots keep just before his nose, and he seems to govern himself in his motions by their direction; while the rest surround him on every side indifferently. A shark is never seen without a retinue of these, who are his purveyors, discovering and distinguishing his prey for him; while he in return gratefully protects them from the ravenous hungry dolphin. They are commonly counted a very greedy fish; yet this refuses to meddle with the bait we have thrown out for him. ’Tis likely he has lately made a full meal.

Thursday, September 22
A fresh gale at West all this day. The shark has left us.

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