In May 1846, 33-year-old Lieutenant Tunis A. M. Craven, U.S. Navy, a married father of six children, received orders to the 16-gun sloop-of-war Dale. Under Commander William W. McKean, the Dale set sail for the Pacific on 6 June. The little ship, 150 men living together in a hull just 117 feet fore to aft, encountered a week of “disagreeable weather, chilly head winds and rain,” Lieutenant Craven wrote in his personal journal, lamenting, “our ship is under water the whole time and I see small chance for comfort.” The stormy conditions further prompted him to observe that the “charms of sea life” existed “only in the minds of poets who had made a pleasure trip on a mill pond; for myself, I have never been able to discover the delights of the sea.”
Historic Fleets - 'The Good Ship Dale'
By Robert J. Cressman