|Example of a Logbook|
At 8:00 p.m., her royal and topgallant sails are taken in when the first watch comes on duty. By 9:00 p.m. her speed drops to 8 knots at which she continues to midnight. At this time, the log reads, "Knots, 8: Course, E. by S; Wind, west: M.P. rainy." She would be nearing the end of Santa Maria Island. The official record states that "stormy conditions prevailed over the Azores on November 24 and November 25" so it's likely the crew is having an uncomfortable time of it.
- It's well known to navigators there are no harbors or safe accommodations here or elsewhere on this island.
- About 21 miles to the northeast of the island's northeast extremity lies dangerous Dollabarat Shoal on which the sea breaks with great violence in stormy weather -- its barely hidden rocks are not visible when the sea is calm.
- The present course will take them betwen this shoal and the northeast end of the island. With a shifting wind, a common occurence in these waters, the Mary Celeste's position could become a perilous one.
Possible time of abandonment -- Based on the above, it's possible that on Monday, 25 Nov, at some time after 8:00 a.m., something happened which caused the sudden abandonment of the Mary Celeste. As testified by Deveau, "The men's clothing was left behind; their oilskins, boots, and even their pipes as if they had left in a great hurry or haste." Based on the following considerations, it's reasonable to surmise abandonment took place betwee 8:00 a.m. and noon on 25 November:
- There was no food left on the cabin table
- The galley stove was knocked out of place and no cooked food was found
- The Captain's bed had been slept in, but not made
- There was no sign of interrupted or finished meal or evidence of preparations for serving a meal
- There was no log-slate record after 8:00 a.m. on a vessel where records had been systematically kept