There exists in Scarborough public Library a ships log. This was written by William Cammish who was the master of the Brig, Aurora. Most of the entries concern the day to day navigational and weather reports. There were often twelve reports each day of the longitude and latitude and wiond directions. However, the log seems to have been used as a jotting pad for the rest of the Cammish family - drafts of love letters!
Most log books contain weather reports and day to day activities on the ship. This ships log was no different to any other. It contains references such as :
"This day begins with light winds and pleasant weather. No duty dun. This day is sabbath"
"Still laying at anchor in Gibraltar Bay. People employed in repairing sails. Carpentor employed caulking the ship. Pumps carefully attended to"
"All sails set to best advantage"
"This day begins with clearer weather. Raised all sails. Three hands employed watering the ship. The remainder of the hands employed variously. The day ends with foggy weather."
"People employed repairing the foremast"
"Commences with strong gales and cloudy weather. Heavy sea. Ship labouring heavy and shipping much water"
During the various voyages between 1851 and 1853 the Aurora visited various ports such as Southampton, Shields, Alexandria, Glasgow, Constantinople and Quebec.
Randomly placed through the book are what appears to be draught letters of various kinds. One was written by Thomas Robert Cammish to his sweetheart Sally. It went as follows -
"Dear Sally, I have long been in love with you but was afraid to tell you... I am almost like a fool and unfit for company. I think of you all day and at night. I dream of my dear Sally. I am well settled in work. My wages are eighteen shillings a week. You and I can live on that and I will bring it home untouched on a saturday evening. I will not go to any alehouse but as soon as my work is done return home to my dear sally."
In the different section of the book appears to be another letter which could easily have been written by Elizabeth Cammish. This was probably a daughter of the ships master. Perhaps she wrote this draught letter whilst he was ashore. It went as follows -
"Dear Jack, I received your very kind letters but I don't know what to say in answer. I would be glad to marry yet you men are so deceiving that there is no such thing as trusting you. There is Tom Timber the carpentor and Jack ... (here it becoes illegible"
Other jottings and doodles include a paragraph on the christian delights, the glory or god and the voice of the father and ships master - William Cammish. These were illegible but they mention the mans life since his wife died. Mr Cammish was obviously very philosophical in his later years talking of 'God in History'.
The Aurora was shipwrecked in 1856. It foundered in a heavy gale 6th September, 1856. The crew spent two days in the rigging before they were rescued.
At one point the ships was used as a scrapbook. It featured pictures cut out of various odd looking and beautiful fish - such as lump fish, the frog fish, the trunk fish, the hammer head and the Pipe fish. There was a newspaper cut out of Scarborough elections since 1832. Also a number of inspiring drawings with captions such as "The orphan Musician" and cartoons with captions such as "The only single lady at the station".