447842520 Hrs. 40 Min. — Chapter VIIAmelia Earhart



Log Book:

JUNE 5,―2:45. There is a howling gale outside. The wind has blown steadily since we arrived and is getting worse now. Bill says it would be grand if we were in the air, but we can't take off against the hill across the bay. We'd have to turn and turning would mean a slide into the water, with a heavily loaded plane and side wind.

Slim is aboard now repairing a crack in oil tank with cement and adhesive tape. It was thought first that the case would have to be taken off an impossible job in the wind.

Everything is being done for a possible departure. The radio was cutting out yesterday but today Bill says he found the trouble in a loose connection.

We are lodged in one of the mansions of the town.

It is difficult to raise anything here but "badadoes," "tornips" and cabbage. Each family has a garden, a few sheep and usually a cow.

The stove here is a three-decker, with the oven on top. Heavy iron kettles and pots are used for cooking. Tea and coffee only are known. Houses are clean and fences white-washed.

I could enjoy myself were it not for anxiety about a take-off today, and the disgusting news of publicity. Every few minutes a telegraph operator patters over and hands me a telegram from some one. Some are lovely, and others disturb me greatly. The latest says B. papers carry a story I went to recoup fallen fortunes of family.

A photographer is on the way. The train has just pulled in―it comes twice a week, and the town watches to see who gets off.

(Continued after tea.) The boys have come. All are cheerful. One by one the natives drop in to see us.

I was welcomed at the landing as the first woman to come to Newfoundland. I didn't get the point. Perhaps the agent mean flyin'. I dunno. I said I was honored. He said Nfld. was. La de da.

School had been let out early and I have a vision of many white pinafores and aprons on the dock. As soon as we stepped ashore we were given three cheers and the (aforementioned) government agent rushed up. Also the telegraph operator with three telegrams for me. We were led to a dinner of chicken and dandelions and "badadoes."

Mrs. Deveraux (at the home of whom we are lodged) was quite overcome, and felt me to be sure I was present in the flesh.

We may not get off tomorrow as the wind is as violent as ever; which means the expected storm is coming nearer.

**** The wind held the key to our problems. For three days it blew briskly from the northwest. This was ideal for the flight itself, but far from ideal locally, as it stirred up such sea it was impossible to load the gasoline with safety. What's more, Bill feared that the heavy weight of the load left on board the Friendship might seriously injure her as she was buffeted about in the rough water.

The necessity of landing at all at Trepassey was a tragedy for us, the extent of which became apparent during the fortnight of delay which followed. Had we been able to carry enough gas from Halifax we certainly would have kept on eastward as the flying conditions on the day of our arrival appeared ideal. But once in Trepassey we were trapped.


Log Book:

(Next morning.) The wind is changing though still stormy. The additional gas is being put aboard and Bill, after looking over the situation, is snoozing. The wind is veering back and forth, now from S. now from N.? The old-timers say a S.W. wind is due. We hope so!!!!!

After supper, June 6. Bill has just been flying the kite and trying out the emergency radio. Andy Fulgoni, Claud Frazer and I went into the doctor's and heard his signals very plainly. He was trying to reach Cape Race. Just now the gang has gone to W.U., and I haven't heard whether they were successful.

We have spent one indolent day. After the excitement of the morning, when the wind seemed to be shifting permanently, all of us had a sleep. Bill chopped a little wood. Slim and I played "rummy." I read one of the six books here, "The Story of the Titanic Disaster." We have read telegrams and scanned maps and weather reports. I took a walk with Andy and Claud Frazer.

For supper we had canned rabbit. Bill's comment when he first tasted it was: "Here's something they caught last year—something that couldn't get away."

We had fish today for the first time—canned last year in Newfoundland. Slim hates fish, and had been told that was all there was to eat. Also that even eggs would taste of fish because hens were fed on fish. He has been eating chocolates by the package and seems to thrive.


Slim hails from Texas. Geographically and temperamentally he is no sailor. Even the word "pontoon" made him stutter a bit, and neither salt water nor its products held any joy for him. Consequently he had been plentifully stuffed with stories of what life meant in a fishing village by the sea. To make matters worse he had had a severe attack of ptomaine poisoning from eating clams in Boston just before we started. The only escape led to the little local store and its limited supply of candy. Before we left we had completely absorbed its entire stock.


Log Book:

Bill has just come in, with weather reports. He has wired Byrd for confirmation of plans and advice. If the wind holds as now (from north) we can get away. The old codgers talking here, told me the wind calms down about 4 A.M., so I suggested we get out of this trap and into the next harbor. The change in the wind may make this unnecessary. The


Main Street, Trepassey
Main Street, Trepassey


boys have retired in the hope the wind stays as is, or moves north.

Funny spelling in the paper from St. John's. "D'oyleys" meaning little paper mats. The language is peculiar. There are too many "r's." And often an "oi" sound where one doesn't belong. "Poilet" for pilot.

I investigated hooked rugs today. Mrs. D. has them all over the house; some made from cotton washed ashore twenty years ago from a wreck. By the way, much of the silver and some furniture is from wrecks which ground on this "Graveyard of the Atlantic."

**** The cruelty of country and climate is surely a contrast to the kind hearts of the people of Newfoundland. They were untiringly good to us.


Log Book:

June 7, 1928.

After an early rise to get the ship ready, the wind calmed, and we waited for it to freshen and also for weather reports. After getting favorable ones we thought about noon we would be able to get off, as the wind changed and water grew rough.

In vain we tried three times and had to give up. Slim had cemented a pontoon which had sprung a leak and is now soldering the cracked oil tank which the cement and adhesive tape didn't repair.

Just now Bill is playing on a strange instrument with Andy. They are trying to learn it from directions given. The fence is lined with listeners who are starved for music. The only music here is two "Gramophones"―this instrument, a "guitar harp"―and a piano. The fence is lined with men as soon as any music is started. Though the people crave it, they don't try to have any. How different from the expressive South! Here emotions are as unexpressed as nature is barren.

Friday. Is it possible we have been here so long? I didn't get up very early ce matin as I depended upon being waked. The thing which did get me up was the strain of "Jingle Bells" played by Wilmer Stultz on the strange instrument described before. Just now Slim is asleep.

Bill and Andy and Frazer out in a dory with a sail. Bill has my leather coat as neither of the boys brought anything but ordinary coats.

They played at tying knots all the morning, and Slim and I had "rummy" games. I have been having a terrific run of luck—winning every game nearly, at a cent a point. We played until after ten last night—very late hour for us.

The men are simply great under the strain. Our hopes are high today as the barometer is rising and everything points to favorable weather soon.

I went out in a launch yesterday and was run on the rocks. The leak made was so bad that the boat had to be beached this morning for repairs. The water is shallow along the shore, and, as I have said before, the rocks are cruel.

The men from here go fishing next week and will be gone five weeks. They are preparing for their voyages now. I should think they'd get out of the habit of working. I am sure they would if living didn't have to be scratched for so hard.

Compared with Tyler St. the children here seem very quiet. I think they are unusually so anyway. I just heard two make some noise and it sounded very strange. Of course, they are shy, too.


For two years I have been associated with Denison House, Boston's old settlement center on Tyler Street, where the children are anything but quiet. There they are mostly Chinese and Syrians. All city children somehow seem noisy. Perhaps that is because of their cramped surroundings. And especially, of course, the urban child is boldly independent, while the children of remote communities have so little contact with the outer world that they are self-conscious with strangers.


Log Book:

June 9, 1928.

The evening of the day is here. The boys and I played "rummy" all the morning and I lost for a change. At luncheon we had lamb stew. Apparently no one knows about cooking lamb except by boiling. I should love to have a chop. At supper we had fresh salmon. It was delicious. Slim and I sat and talked over the meal while Bill went to W.U. The boys had been out fishing in the afternoon. They started to explore a cave but found the water too rough. There are two good caves here which have never been explored. How I'd like to explore them. There might be buried treasure—in fact, there have been several attempts to dig up some at the other end of the bay. I don't know who the "buriers" are supposed to be.

Mr. Deveraux has just come in and suggested we go eeling. I have just returned from a walk and the boys from Fulgoni's. Eeling is off. The gang is going down on a gasoline rail car for a ride. They have wired the Supt. for permission to use it and are off to Biscay Bay. They wear their flying suits, as the wind is really cold.

Our telegrams decreased today. I had time to wash my hair. I wish I had manicuring facilities and a bath tub.

June 10.

The indefatigable Bill insisted on going celing or trouting or exploring. Slim refused to get up and slept until five. Bill dragged the other two, and two natives, with him to the other end of the bay. They constructed an eel trap before they left but took poles too. At six they returned with some beautiful speckled trout, nearly all caught by B. S. He hiked back into the woods to a stream while the others sat and caught one sea trout from the boat.

Fog has come in thick and woolly and rain is now accompanying. The weather reports sound favorable but there is no chance of our getting out of this fog I fear. Job had nothing on us. We are just managing to keep from suicide.

June 11.

The fog has cleared and I think a wind is coming. Bill has a hunch we move soon. I hope he is right. We have not yet received G.P.'s report.

10:35 P.M. I have never been so faithful to a diary. No luck today. We could have got off here but the Atlantic wasn't inviting. Reports today say mayhap tomorrow noon will be propitious.

The gang went to see the old spiked cannon on the hill at the mouth of the bay. They are overgrown and are at least 200 yrs. old. They bear G.R. on them. We all came home and tried to work puzzles the whole evening.

Andy has a passion for stuffing the town gossip here, so slipped out to tell him the usual string of stories for the day. This morning he had him [the t.g.] up at five for the take-off which he promised rain or shine.

Oh, if only we can get away soon. It is hard indeed to remain sans books, sans contact with one's interests and withal on a terrific strain.

The wind is chill tonight and even with a flannel nightgown I know I shall shiver.


The flannel nightgown referred to was borrowed and I began to feel that even its sturdy fabric would be worn out before we ever got away from Trepassey―although I didn't know about the wearing qualities of flannel gowns, never having had one before. Incidentally its warmth was supplemented by the down beds upon which we slept and into which we sank luxuriously.

I have said my outfit consisted of a toothbrush and two handkerchiefs when we shoved off from Boston. The toothbrush was holding out, which is more than I can say for some of the rest of my personal equipment.

After a week of waiting, a telegram came from G. P. P. in New York.

"Suggest you turn in and have your laundering done."

To which I dispatched this reply:

The top of a Western Union telegram.
The top of a Western Union telegram.

Received at









© International Photos



It is a long time since I have bought hose at 35c a pair. That was top-price in Trepassey. A khaki shirt was another purchase. With a safety pin taking a tuck in the back of the collar, it fitted reasonably well.

Bill and I wore the same size shirt. An echo of its tailoring came later when Mrs. Stultz confessed to me that on first seeing Bill's Trepassey purchase she had asked him what it was.


Log Book:

June 12.

This has been the worst day.

We tried for four hours to get away in a wind we had been praying for. The most unexpected and disappointing circumstance ruined the take-off. The receding tide made the sea so heavy that the spray was thrown so high that it drowned the outboard motors. As we gathered speed, the motors would cut and we'd lose the precious pull necessary.

The ship seemed so loggy that Bill felt there must be water in the pontoons. So Slim stayed on the job and opened every hatch to see. He found only about a gallon and swears he'll never open another one.

We unloaded every ounce of stuff from the plane—camera, my coat, bags, cushions, etc.

She would have gone but for the motors. There was salt water above the prop. hubs.

I received some letters today and Andy brought over some "day after the take-off" papers in Boston. I couldn't read them under the circumstances of this day. We were all too disappointed to talk. The boys are in bed and I am going soon. We rise at six.

Wednesday Evening.

The days grow worse. I think each time we have reached the low, but find we haven't.

Vainly we tried to rise today with our load.

Today Bill and Slim tried to take her off after she had been "degassed" by 300 lbs. The left motor cut and they couldn't get her off light. While working with it they set some yokel to watch the tide, but he forgot, and it ran out leaving them on a sandy ledge. They got the motor repaired and will have to go out at midnight to float her down to the buoy. We may try for the Azores tomorrow, if possible at dawn.

I went to the Catholic School for maps but found nothing helpful but a huge globe. I promised to write the sisters if we hit land anywhere. I am going to bed as I can't help and none of us are sleeping much any more and we need all we can get. We are on the ragged edge.

Bill is getting ship reports at midnight tonight and will make his own weather map from them.


The next log book entry emphasizes our isolation. The only newspapers we'd seen had been a stray batch from Boston, describing the takeoff. By then that seemed in the dark ages. So far as we knew we were comfortably forgotten,by the world. Echoes only came to us in personal messages, and at that time it was impossible to realize that any general interest remained.


Log Book: Apparently from the telegrams to me today our troubles are painted heavily for they all say "stick to it," "we're for you," etc. One inventor has written he will install his invention gratuitously and guarantee we can get off with maximum load. Our efficiency will be increased 35% etc. It will take only a month to get the apparatus here, and twelve hours to install. We all wish we had a dozen with us.

I saw an interesting stunt. There are wells here and all water has to be carried to the houses. A little girl—a really little girl—put two buckets of H₂O on a stick and then separated the buckets by a barrel hoop and stepped inside. Thus she could carry the two without having them hit her legs.

The evening of the 15th day. We have had a musical evening again tonight. The old harp was bro't forth and Bill and Andy played. It is very funny to see two able-bodied men picking out "Jingle Bells." Two are required for the feat and I am terribly amused. Bill has a good deal of music in him and knows some Spanish stuff of which I am very fond.

Today has been happier as a whole. We all appeared this morning vowing to change clothes and clean up. I bought a 90c green checked Mother Hubbard, the best in stock and a pair of tan hose. With borrowed shoes, skirt and slip, I pitched in and washed everything else. Bill borrowed trousers, and had his suit cleaned and pressed and his shirts laundered. He purchased a new tie as the one he had was fast "going to the devil" and some Trepassey socks. Slim also is spic and span. All we need are baths, manicures and haircuts—none of which are obtainable here.

**** In those last days at Trepassey, one bit of news that did filter in from the outside world cheered us mightily. That was word of the successful flight of the Southern Cross from San Francisco across the Pacific. She was a trimotor Fokker, engined with Wright Whirlwind motors, practically identical with the Friendship except that she was not equipped with pontoons.

They made it; so could we. Their accomplishment was a challenge.