We left St. Thomas on the evening
of March 24th, under all plain sail, and the dredging & sounding
at once commenced, and has continued up to our arrival here. On
the 25th we obtained the deepest soundings we have had hitherto,
and I believe the deepest on record, 3,875 fathoms, or about 4 1/2
miles. The dredge was hove overboard, and the strain on the line
was so great when it reached the bottom, that when they commenced
hauling it in it carried away an iron block that was screwed in
to the Deck, and had all the strain to bear.
The block as it flew up struck a sailor boy, named
Stokes, on the head, and dashed him to the deck with such a terrible
force, that his thigh was broken, and spine dreadfully injured.
He was carried to the Sick Bay and attended to by the Surgeons,
but he was insensible the whole time, and only lived two hours.
At 5 pm the next day, the Bell tolled for his funeral , all the
Ship's company and the Officers and Scientific gents, attending
on the Main deck....The boy came from Deal where his Father is a
Channel Pilot. All his clothes and effects were sold, and the money,
with his wages, a few Photos, letters, and his Bible will be sent
to his friends by this same mail.
We had soundings right across and the average depth
was 2,800 fathoms, nothing of importance was brought up in the Dredge.
On the evening of the 1st of April they piped "Hands to Bathe" and
about 80 of us went overboard and had a fine swim. A Boat was lowered
to keep away Sharks& c., the water was over 3 miles in depth.