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CHA P. II.
Paffage from Rio de Janeiro to Port Defire; with fome Defcription of that Place.
N Monday the 22d, being now once more 1764. at fea, I called all hands upon deck, and October. informed them, that I was not, as they imagined, Monday 22. bound immediately to the Eaft Indies, but upon certain discoveries, which it was thought might be of great importance to our country, in confideration of which, the Lords Commiffioners of the Admiralty had been pleased to promise them double pay, and several other advantages, if during the voyage they should behave to my fatisfaction. They all expreffed the greatest joy imaginable upon the occafion, and affured me, that there was no danger or difficulty that they would not with the utmost cheerfulness undergo in the fervice of their country, nor any order that I could give them which they would not implicitly and zealously obey.
We continued our course till Monday the 29th, Monday 29. having frequently hard gales with fudden gufts, which obliged us to ftrike our top-gallant-mafts, and get up our ftumps; but this day it blew a storm, with a terrible sea, and the ship laboured fo much, that, to ease her, I ordered the two foremoft, and two aftermoft guns to be thrown over
1764 board: the gale continued with nearly equal violence all the rest of the day, and all night, fo that Monday 29. we were obliged to lie to under a double-reefed Tuesday 30. main-fail; but in the morning, it being more moderate, and veering from N. W. to S. by W. we made fail again, and ftood to the weftward. We were now in latitude 35° 50° 9. and found the weather as cold as it is at the fame feason in England, although the month of November here is a spring month, answering to our May, and we were near twenty degrees nearer the line: to us, who within little more than a week had fuffered intolerable heat, this change was most severely felt and the men, who fuppofing, they were to continue in a hot climate during the whole voyage, had contrived to fell not only all their warm clothes, but their bedding, at the different at the different ports where we had touched, now applied in great diftrefs for flops, and were all furnished for the climate.
On Friday the 2d of November, after adminiFriday 2. ftering the proper oaths to the Lieutenants of both
fhips, I delivered them their commiffions; for till this time they acted only under verbal orders from me, and expected to receive their commiffions in India, whither they imagined we were bound. We now began to fee a great number of birds about the fhip, many of them very large, of which fome were brown and white, and fome black: there were among them large flocks of pintadoes, whichare fomewhat larger than a pigeon, and spotted with black and white. On the 4th, we faw a great quantity of rock weed, and several feals our la
titude was 38° 531 S., longitude 51° W.; the va 1764. riation 13° E.: the prevailing winds here were wefterly, fo that being continually driven to the Sunday 4. eastward, we forefaw that it would not be eafy to
get in with the coaft of Patagonia. On the 10th, Saturday 10. T we obferved the water to change colour, but we
had no ground with one hundred and forty fathom:
next day we ftood in for the land till eight in the Sunday 11. evening, when we had ground of red fand with forty-five fathom. We fteered S. W. by W. all 1 night, and the next morning had fifty-two fathom with the fame ground: our latitude was 42° 34' S., longitude 58° 17' W.; the variation 11°3 E.
On Monday the 12th, about four o'clock in the afternoon, as I was walking on the quarter-deck, all the people upon the forecastle called out at once "Land right ahead;" it was then very black almost round the horizon, and we had had much thunder and lightning; I looked forward under the forefail, and upon the lee-bow, and faw what at first appeared to be an ifland, rifing in two rude craggy hills, but upon looking to leeward I faw land joining to it, and running a long way to the fouth east: we were then fteering S. W. and I fent officers to the maft-head to look out upon the weather-beam, and they called out that they faw land also a great way to the windward. I immediately brought to, and founded; we had ftill fifty-two fathom, but I thought that we were embayed and rather wished than hoped that we should get clear before
1764. before night. We made fail and fteered E. S. E. the land ftill having the fame appearance, and the Monday 12. hills looking blue, as they generally do at a little distance in dark rainy weather, and now many of the people faid that they faw the fea break upon the fandy beaches; but having fteered out for about an hour, what we had taken for land, vanished all at once, and to our great aftonishment appeared to have been a fog bank. Though I had been almost continually at fea for feven and twenty years, I had never feen fuch a deception before; others however have been equally deceived; for the mafter of a fhip, not long fince, made oath, that he had seen an island between the weft end of Ireland and Newfoundland, and even diftinguished the trees that grew upon it. Yet it is certain that no fuch island exists, at least it could never be found, though several ships were afterwards fent out on purpose to feek it. And I am fure, that if the weather had not cleared up foon enough for us to fee what we had taken for land disappear, every man on board would freely have made oath, that land had been discovered in this fituation. Our latitude this day was 43° 46′ S., longitude 60° 5' W.; and the variation 19° 30′ E.
The next day, at four o'clock in the afternoon, the weather being extremely fine, the wind fhifted at once to the S. W. and began to blow fresh, the sky at the fame time becoming black to windward: in a few minutes all the people that were upon the deck were alarmed with a fudden and unufual noise, like the breaking of the fea upon the fhore. I ordered
dered the topfails to be handed immediately; but 1764. before it could be done, I faw the fea approaching at some distance, in vaft billows covered with foam; Tuesday 13. I called to the people to hawl up the forefail, and let go the main sheet inftantly; for I was perfuaded that if we had any fail out when the guft reached us, we should either be overfet, or lofe all our mafts. It reached us however before we could raise the main tack, and laid us upon our beam ends the main tack was then cut, for it was become impoffible to caft it off; and the main sheet ftruck down the First Lieutenant, bruifed him dreadfully, and beat out three of his teeth: the main topfail, which was not quite handed, was fplit to pieces. If this fquall, which came on with lefs warning and more violence than any I had ever feen, had taken us in the night, I think the ship must have been loft. When it came on we obferved several hundred of birds flying before it, which expreffed their terror by loud fhrieks; it lafted about twenty minutes, and then gradually fubfided. The Tamar fplit her main fail, but as she was to leeward of us, fhe had more time to prepare. In a short time it began to blow very hard again, fo that we reefed our main fail, and lay to under it all night. As morning approached, Wednes. 14Ja the gale became more moderate, but we had still
a great fea, and the wind fhifting to S. by W. we