June 9, 1567
I won’t lie. Life at sea is not easy. Many men signed up to seek adventure on the open seas. Most of them had never even travelled out of their hometowns. However, some have had a harder time than others.
One of my crew members, William, began our journey with much vigor. He is a mere 22 years old, yet big and strong. His full red beard and brawny arms tell you not to get into a scuffle with him. However, it seems as though he has grown weary during our months at sea. No baths and little food has weakened him. Just last evening, he became so desperate for some extra salted meat and prunes that he stole from his shipmate, Jacob.
As the captain, I must designate his punishment. Discipline must be strict in order to maintain order on my ship. With reluctance, I have ordered Will to be flogged 19 times with a cat’o’ninetails this evening while all of his crewmates watch.
April 5, 1567
My voyage with Mr. John Hawkins has been a trying one. Because of my Christian upbringing, which I am so grateful for, I struggle with our slavetrading mission. It is hard for me to view others as less than myself. Captain Hawkins has made me an officer and I am currently leading the expedition in the Judith. It is a hearty vessel with good sails. I believe you would be proud of me. I miss you dearly and often think of you and my brothers. I sincerely hope that you are all in good health. I anticipate seeing you soon.
April 1, 1508
A life at sea isn’t as glorious as it may sound. We have to sleep on the deck where the waves often splash. This makes cold nights rather miserable. Worms and mold have attacked our precious food. My crew and I prefer to eat in the dark so that we don’t have to see the little critters crawling through our biscuits. The night sky is beautiful though, and we do have some fun as we pass the time making up new shanties.
Example #1 for today’s entry:
April 2, 1607
Today we set sail on my ship, the Hopewell. I am on a mission to find a Northwest Passage to Asia. We shall be journeying through the Arctic Ocean. I have heard that these waters are extremely frigid and treacherous. We have packed extra blankets and wool coats.
Example #2 for today’s entry:
October 16th, 1508
I begin my journey to new worlds today. I am on a quest for land, gold, and glory. My compass and trusty map are my guides. I will also look to the stars for direction. I and my crew serve the Royal Family and the crown of Spain.
June 6, 1595
I am John Rolfe. I’m 10 years old and live in Norfolk, England. England is a great place to live. When I get older, I want to be an explorer like Amerigo Vespucci or John Cabot. My dad told me all about Amerigo and how he found America, and how John Cabot discovered parts of North America. I would love to follow in their footsteps someday.
But for now I will study the adventures they went on and listen to their stories from my father. Speaking of stories, there is a man here in England named William Shakespeare who is busy writing stories and plays. I wonder if Queen Elizabeth I will ever attend his plays. She has been queen of England since 1558.