“H.M. Ships Hecla & Griper in Winter Harbour”[drawn and engraved by W. Westall from a sketch by Frederick William Beechey]

The circumstances of our situation being such as have never before occurred to the crews of His Majesty's ships, it may not, perhaps, be considered wholly uninteresting, to know in what manner our time was thus so fully occupied throughout the long and severe winter, which it was our lot to experience, and particularly during a three months' interval of nearly total darkness. The officers and quarter-masters were divided into four watches, which were regularly kept, as at sea, while the remainder of the ship's company were allowed to enjoy their night's rest undisturbed. The hands were turned up at a quarter before six, and both decks were well rubbed with stones and warm sand before eight o'clock, at which time, as usual at sea, both officers and men went to breakfast. Three quarters of an hour being allowed after breakfast for the men to prepare themselves for muster, we then beat to divisions punctually at a quarter-past nine, when every person on board attended on the quarter-deck, and a strict inspection of the men took place, as to their personal cleanliness, and the good condition, as well as sufficient warmth, of their clothing. The reports of the officers having been made to me, the people were then allowed to walk about, or, more usually, to run around the upper deck, while I went down to examine the state of that below . . . The officers, who dined at two o'clock, were also in the habit of occupying one or two hours in the middle of the day in rambling on shore, even in our darkest period . . . In the afternoon, the men were usually occupied in drawing and knotting yarns, and in making points and gaskets . . . At half-past five in the evening, the decks were cleared up, and at six we again beat to divisions, when the same examination of the men and of their births and bed-places took place as in the morning; the people then went to their supper, and the officers to tea. After this time the men were permitted to amuse themselves as they pleased, and games of various kinds, as well as dancing and singing occasionally, went on upon the lower deck till nine o'clock, when they went to bed, and their lights were extinguished. . . . It is scarcely necessary to add, that the evening occupations of the officers were of a more rational kind than those which engaged the men. Of these, reading and writing were the principal employments, to which were occasionally added a game of chess, or a tune on the flute or violin, till half-past ten, about which time we all retired to rest. . . . Our theatrical entertainments took place regularly once a fortnight . . . The North Georgia Gazette . . . was a source of great amusement . . . [Parry, pp. 123, 124, 125, 126, 127.]