Ill And Conscience-Stricken
WHEN I came down to the ship I found it strangely removed. The forecastle, which lay
before buried in sand, was heaved up at least six feet, and the stern, which was broke in
pieces and parted from the rest by the force of the sea, soon after I had left rummaging
her, was tossed as it were up, and cast on one side; and the sand was thrown so high on
that side next her stern, that whereas there was a great place of water before, so that I
could not come within a quarter of a mile of the wreck without swimming I could now
walk quite up to her when the tide was out. I was surprised with this at first, but soon
concluded it must be done by the earthquake; and as by this violence the ship was more
broke open than formerly, so many things came daily on shore, which the sea had
loosened, and which the winds and water rolled by degrees to the land.
This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of removing my habitation, and I
busied myself mightily, that day especially, in searching whether I could make any way
into the ship; but I found nothing was to be expected of that kind, for all the inside of the
ship was choked up with sand. However, as I had learned not to despair of anything, I
resolved to pull everything to pieces that I could of the ship, concluding that everything I
could get from her would be of some use or other to me.
MAY 3. - I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam through, which I thought held
some of the upper part or quarter-deck together, and when I had cut it through, I cleared
away the sand as well as I could from the side which lay highest; but the tide coming in, I
was obliged to give over for that time.
MAY 4. - I went a-fishing, but caught not one fish that I durst eat of, till I was weary of
my sport; when, just going to leave off, I caught a young dolphin. I had made me a long
line of some rope- yarn, but I had no hooks; yet I frequently caught fish enough, as much
as I cared to eat; all which I dried in the sun, and ate them dry.
MAY 5. - Worked on the wreck; cut another beam asunder, and brought three great fir
planks off from the decks, which I tied together, and made to float on shore when the tide
of flood came on.
MAY 6. - Worked on the wreck; got several iron bolts out of her and other pieces of
ironwork. Worked very hard, and came home very much tired, and had thoughts of
giving it over.
MAY 7. - Went to the wreck again, not with an intent to work, but found the weight of
the wreck had broke itself down, the beams being cut; that several pieces of the ship
seemed to lie loose, and the inside of the hold lay so open that I could see into it; but it
was almost full of water and sand.