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Sailing for the Canadas


The ship "Triton" weighed anchor bound for the Canadas on September 26, 1791, on a day that was, "blowing, fresh, fine and clear."

”Wind east, blowing fresh, fine and clear. It became calm this morning, and at one o'clock p.m., we embarked on board His Majesty's frigate "Triton" 28 guns . . . I became giddy (seasick) as soon as I entered the ship and went to my cabin, an apartment just large enough to swing a cot, which I immediately got into. On leaving Weymouth . . . one of the port hole windows was stove in and the gentlemen at dinner were quite wet.“

Sept. 26th, 1791

Drawing: Nov 2nd, 1791 - The Liberty from Whitby (detail)
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Nov 2nd, 1791 - The Liberty from Whitby, (detail)
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Pencil, wash sepia paper
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-6
Archives of Ontario, I0006857

“Wind N.W., cold, hard gale. This hard gale did not cool the cabins, which had been so extremely heated. I was, therefore, glad to be on deck to get rid of my headache, notwithstanding the weather was so rough that I was obliged to hold fast by a cannon. The waves, rising like mountains, have the grandest and most terrific appearance, and when the ship dashes with violence into the sea, much as a chaise in the act of overturning, it is surprising she rights again. I viewed this tempestuous scene with much astonishment. ”

Saturday Oct. 15, 1791

“. . .fine morning & fortunately made Isle of Sable before 12 o'clock 13 leagues N. 8 1/2 fathoms only immediately grew foggy and rained. if the wind holds till tomorrow we hope to go thro' the Gut of Canso instead of roundby...”

October 28th, 1791

Watercolour: October 29th 1792, 4 o'clock P.M. Richmond I or Isle Madame near the Gut of Canso. Vessel coming out of Arishart Harbour [Newfoundland], 1791 (detail)
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October 29th 1792, 4 o'clock P.M.
Richmond I or Isle Madame near the Gut of Canso.
Vessel coming out of Arishart Harbour [Cape Breton], 1791, (detail)
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Watercolour
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-1
Archives of Ontario, I0006853

The coast of Nova Scotia came into view on October 29th and on the 30th the boat sailed past Louisburg on the coast of Cape Breton Island.

“...we saw the Gut of Canso at a distance. At 4 we saw at the south end of Cape Breton, Richmond Island, so called in some charts, in others Isle Madame...It is a bold, and perpendicular, dark red rock, shaded almost to black, and covered with pine...”

October 29th, 1791

Watercolour of Islands, 1791 (detail)
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Watercolour of Islands, 1791 (detail)
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Watercolour
Reference Code: F 47-11-1-0-8/9/10
Archives of Ontario, I0006860

Watercolour: Isle of Entry [one of the Magdalene Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence], (detail)
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Isle of Entry [one of the Magdalene Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence], (detail)
Elizabeth Simcoe, (1766-1850)
Watercolour
Reference Code: F- 47-11-1-0-12
Archives of Ontario, I0006864

The Triton made its way past the Magdelene Islands and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on its way to Quebec City.