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May 9th
Halifax docky'd
All day yesterday we were fishing and some scores of fine Cod were caught, who we had for dinner, tea & supper. We sighted the coast of Nova Scotia early this morning & steamed up the harbour, mooring alongside the dockyard at twelve o'clock. The passage down the river was splendid, regular English scenery, Lighthouses, Forts & Batteries, and Halifax itself is quite like one of our towns at home.


Halifax in 1893, just twenty years after Challenger's visit
It is the principal Naval station in British North America and the dockyard is very extensive. The Harbour is considered one of the finest in the world, & the fish market more plentifully supplied than any other known, cod, salmon, halibut & mackerel are very abundant, & lobsters are only 1d each. The weather at present is very cold, more so than in England in May; although it is in the same latitude as Paris, the winter is more severe than it is in the north of Scotland.

Challenger's celebrity throughout the world was made apparent by their reception in Nova Scotia.

To day we have been taking in six months provisions &c, we have had any amount of visitors off to see the ship already and the Halifax papers are crazy about her...The ship is full of visitors who have come all the way from New York to see it....

Challenger did not remain long in Halifax, but set sail for the return trip to Bermuda within ten days. Matkin took advantage of the time on board to write to his younger brother Charlie with his advice on marriage:

You spoke of a chance of Your being married before I get home again. I don't think of it myself, even if you can find any one to have you. If you do marry early, you must marry for money; for myself I mean to wait at least 10 more years, & look about for a good one, White, Black or Brown, as long as they're the right sort.