Narrative of the Wreck of the ‘Favorite’ on the Island of Desolation

The narrative of a shipwreck on the Kergulean Islands and the wonders of Providence after this disaster.

p. 22: …according to the captain’s promise [the whalers] received their extra allowance of grog, with which they retired to their cabins and wiled away the evening in happiness and joviality, telling merry tales and drinking to their absent wives and sweethearts, a prosperous season in the whale and seal fishery, and a happy return to old England! [The traditional officer’s toast to “wives and sweethearts, may they never meet,” dated appropriately enough from Nelson’s era, until January 2013 when it was banned by the Royal Navy because by then so many women were serving in the RN.]

p. 47: Most of us had read the “Arabian Nights’ Entertainment;” the wonderful “Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor,” and the tale of “Beauty and the Beast”—how the fair lady was thunder-stricken at the sudden and unexpected appearance of the Beast—but our astonishment was scarcely less than hers is represented to be as we approached the crystal bars of the cavern and looked through; for within were no less than fourteen young sea elephants completely imprisoned….

p. 71: after taking refuge in the abandoned Loon “inexpressible feelings of gratitude arose within our minds towards that Being who in His great mercy had exhibited another proof of His overruling Providence!”

p. 95-97, while trying to rehabilitate the Loon, from parts of the Favorite, Nunn discovered some books: After taking various articles from the partially sunken shallop we removed a plank of two from the deck of the quarter which lay above high-water mark, when, to our great surprise and joy, we found two books—viz., one volume of Young’s “Night Thoughts” belonging to me, and a Prayer Book belonging to the cook of the Royal Sovereign. These were secured with great delight, for we believed that they would enable us to pass away much agreeable time: we had the consolation of being possessed of a book through whose agency we could perform and join in divine service, which we continued regularly to do. As the weeks came round we assembled in our cabin, and the mate (Mr. Lawrence), being chief-officer, performed the duties of chaplain and read the services to us. These assemblings and unions of feeling were at all times extremely consolatory…. The time might come, through the agency of that Providence which had hitherto afforded us its protection, when we should be again restored to our families and friends; and then we should be induced more thoroughly, perhaps, than ever to appreciate the comforts, delights, and privileges which our native country affords us to all whose minds are properly disposed to avail themselves of such benefits…. By Young’s “Night Thoughts” many a delightful hour was passed; for one of our party would read a chapter, whilst the others were engaged in some of the few occupations which our situation afforded.

p. 125: At such times the mate resorted to his log or memorandum book, in which he wrote the occurrences of the day in the gall of the albatross as we had no ink. Our mate also devoted his time to the preparation of a board which one of us intended to take to Shallow Harbour after it was finished. Upon this board large and conspicuous letters were carved relating the circumstances of our being cast away upon the island and describing the situation in which we were living.