Sunday June 18th, 1719, well past three bells
May God save m' cursed soul. Jus' came off my turn at watch on a slow and silent sea. I sit here 'neath the swaying lantern slurring down an extra draft of grog 'cause me eyes have beheld the devil himself.
I had made my twefth turn about the deck when quite suddenly a visit by St. Elmo's FIre danced amongst the rigging, flashing most brightly upon the ropes of the crow's nest. With my eyes so fascinated by this spectacle of God's nature, I noticed not the apparition that came walking across the foredeck. A ghost. A lost soul, a sailor in tattered uniform, an ensign in Her Majesty's Service it appeared, waving a signal light, a warning I did presume.
I called with quivering voice, faint at first then in such a panic that I surely awoke some of lads in spite of their drunken sleep. The ghost stared through me with empty eyes, as if piercing my very soul with his evil. Toward me he staggered. I retreated as he drew closer until I could retreat no more. Then this shadow from the nether world passed directly through me and then off the bow and then was no more. And in that harrowing moment, I learned of death and the feel of death. It is cold. It is very cold.
And now I drink more than my ration and draft this entry with shaking hand, praying if I shall ever dare tell another of this matter.
Jonny Roe, Seaman