Thence she sailed in ballast for Shanghai, where she took on a cargo of tea and silk valued at $200,000. On December 25 she started on the homeward stretch of the voyage round the world, one destined not to be completed, but to end in disaster.
The Living Age was then under command of Captain Holmes, and in all twenty-three persons were on board.
They were captain and wife, three mates, and eighteen men and boys before the mast.
This crew were American, English, a few Swedes, and one Italian, and are described as an excellent set of sailors.
The cook was French.
The northeast monsoon was a favoring wind, but the weather conditions and dense fog gave no opportunity for taking observations.
Only the heaving of the log at two-hour intervals gave any indication of speed, and the reckoning was necessarily inaccurate.
Well realizing the danger, the captain picked his way carefully along, and for a time successfully.
After four days second mate Hinckley was on deck in the earl