About 4 o'clock this morning the door was again burst open by the force of the waves. Two large casks filled with barrel heads had broke from their lashings, and were hurled by the water on deck from side to side of the ship like a sledge hammer. One of these had struck the door and broke it down. The gale appeared to be somewhat abating, and as I could get no help to fasten up the doorway again it had to take its chance. I had slept none all night and felt very weary and uncomfortable. To get myself warm I commenced bailing the water out of the cabin, and continued at intervals until 6 o'clock, when several of the brethren and other passengers came to my help. The gale was evidently abating, but the ship looked gloomy enough. The empty barrels and barrel heads were floating from side to side of the deck. The sides of the ship were pretty well shattered. The force of the barrels had knocked the plank off her sides for 8 or 10 feet in length, and from 2 to 3 feet high. Through these holes the seas were continually washing in and out of the ship, rendering it dangerous for any person to attempt to go outside of the cabin door.
The Captain and mates consider that we are now in the utmost danger, as the wind has abated considerable and the tremendous swell of the sea, is liable to break away the masts, or founder the ship between the mountain waves. However we were mercifully preserved, and did not lose as much as a spar or [sail], neither was there a sail damaged. The Captain says he has been on the sea 20 years but he never witnessed such a gale before. Twice we were fairly in the trough of the sea, with mountain waves running on each side, when it appeared impossible to avoid being engulfed and sunk by them; but the Lord bore up the vessel and caused her to ride nobly on their angry bosom without any material accident. The Captain and all hands, regard our preservation as a miracle, and we feel to give glory and gratitude to our Father in Heaven, for this manifestation of his preserving care over us.
[Source: George D. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1995, http://bit.ly/WilliamClayton]