In June of 1885, Parnell Smith Pease of Martha's Vineyard joined her husband, Capt. Charles William Fisher, on a whaling journey aboard the Alaska that was expected to take several years. It was custom then for some wives to accompany their husbands on board. After all, walking a widow’s walk in wait could become very tiresome for both parties, in particular newlyweds.

Captain Fisher, a widower, was 50 and Ms. Pease in her early 20s when they married.

In the book Whaling Wives by Emma Whiting and Henry Beetle Hough, Captain Fisher was described as, “an outstanding figure . . . . he possessed good skin and a pleasant expression, though his profile showed a prominent and almost craggy nose, and his hair had retreated somewhat from his forehead and was thickest at the back of his head, Old Testament fashion.”

As for Ms. Pease, she was a young beauty. “Her features were regular and finely proportioned, her hair curled above her forehead, and she was radiantly young when she married.”

To pass the time on the journey, Ms. Pease kept a diary. That diary is now up for auction on Thursday, Feb. 4, at Swann Auction Galleries in New York city, priced in the $4,000 to $6,000 range.

The diary begins in September 1885 and ends in December of 1887. Imagine a young bride today setting sail with her older husband in search of whales rather than enjoying a honeymoon parked on a beach somewhere in search of a lovely tan. Ms. Pease spent the trip mostly seasick. The chapter on her in Whaling Wives was titled “Parnell Disliked the Sea.” She had no experience on a boat and had to be dropped off at various islands along the way to recuperate for months at a time.

“It was hard to have him go, but he says he will be back in a few months, and I must try and get well,” Ms. Pease wrote while staying on the Chatham Islands off New Zealand.

She did witness whale hunts, though, while on board.

“We took a whale . . . the largest one this voyage,” she wrote. “They call it a hundred and fifty barrel one. Mr. Francis got stove when he first went down but afterwards came back and took the low boat and went down again. . . . It was dark when the whale was along side, and today is a gale of wind, so bad they have not done much. I do hope it will be good weather tomorrow so we can save it. . . . We lost the large whale we took on the 18th.”

She also seemed to fare better at sea as the years continued, although she was left on land several more times. But upon encountering Australia, her spirits lifted.

“We are four weeks from Sydney. Today the Capt. is reading aloud a History of New Guinea Island. I come on deck most every day now and walk and feed the chickens. They do not look very well, 7 have died. I hope we get a lot of whales and make up for some of our ill fortune. Today I made a cake, the first I have made since leaving home.”

In the Bering Sea, the crew had more good luck.

“Sept. 20. Whales in sight every day. My cabin boy is no good when a whale is in sight. Two men sick. The last whale made about 81 bbls,” Ms. Pease wrote.

“Oct. 19. Weather good, raised whales in the morning. Lowered the larboard boat, had to cut off, too much wind. Plenty of whales in sight. Finished a pair of mittens for the steward. Snowing a little. Colder.”

Although the journey continued for two more years following December 1887, and Ms. Pease remained alive, the diary ends rather abruptly. Perhaps after nearly two years of weekly entries, the stormy seas finally caught up to Ms. Pease and her creative juices ran dry. Or better yet, maybe she found something better to do, like setting out in a low boat to heave the iron with the boys.

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