U.S. Coast Guard
As mentioned throughout, I have several of Captain Dave’s log books. They are a wealth of information – about his work and his vessels. There are almost no personal details written. A captain knows his ship like a mother knows her baby. Every sound has a meaning known only to each. Within his log book, the captain tersely details the heartbeat and the heartbreak of his baby.

I feel it is important to include some of Captain Dave’s own words. For these are the only records of the man by the man. Perhaps between the words we can glimpse the man.

These are his entries for a week in July of 1880.

Friday, July 2nd
Str. Geranium at Key West at 5 a. m. Started for platform with scow in tow. All hands loading pailes from the reef. We got 45 pailes for tift (owner of a warehouse) and all the materials from platform except the paints and oil and got to Key West by 7 p.m. with scow. Moderate breeze from E. S. E.

Saturday, July 3rd
Str. Geranium at Key West first part. Took in 40 ¾ tons of coal from neavoy. At 4 p.m. with request of inspector we went to pull off the Steamer Carondelet which got ashore on middle grounded. We pulled 2 hours without success and we got back to wharf by 8 p.m. for the night. Both us and the Laurel. Moderate breeze from S. S. W

Sunday, July 4th
Str. Geranium at Key West at 6 a.m. Steamed along side the Carondelet and pulled till 8 a.m. Failing to get her off so we came to the dock after breaking one cleat. Moderate breeze from S. S. E.

Monday, July 5th
Str. Geranium at Key West at 6 a.m. Steamed to Carondelet and pulled till 8:20 a.m. Failing to get her off, inspector asked me to stay till next day and help him off. Se we got all the material on board for Jupiter this day. Wind S. E.

Tuesday, July 6th
Str. Geranium at Key West at 6:30 a.m. Went to Carondelet and pulled till 8:20 a.m. and got her off and we started for Jupiter at 10 a.m. Landed Kipers at American Shoal Lighthouse and at 11:30 started for Jupiter. At 4:30 p.m. passed Alligator Lighthouse. Weather smooth. At 7:30 p.m. passed Caysfort Light. Baring west at 10 p.m. passed Fowey light all bright and steered NE for Jupiter. Light moderate breeze from E. S. E.

Wednesday, July 7th
Str. Geranium at sea bound to Jupiter Light. At 3:30 a.m. made light and at 5 a.m. come to anchor and landed all the materials and stores and 9 men and all hands working on different jobs all day. Moderate weather wind S. E.

Thursday, July 8th
Str. Geranium at Jupiter. All hands working on shore putting up lightning rod, glasses in lantern, sealed watch room, shingled kitchen, repaired plaster, paint piazza and made ladder 20 feet long, paint dome of lantern. Light wind S. E.

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