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The Run from Plymouth to Madeira, and from thence through the Streight of Magellan.
[The longitude in this voyage is reckoned from London westward to 180, and eastward afterwards.]
SOON after I returned from a voyage round the '766' world with the Honourable Commodore Byron,, < "f",J I was appointed to the command of his Majesty's .sloop the Swallow, by a commission bearing date the 1 ft of July 1766; the Swallow then lay at Chatham, and I was ordered to fit her out with all possible expedition. She was an old ship, having been in the service thirty years, and was in my opinion by no means fit for a long voyage, having only a slight thin sheathing upon her bottom, which was not even filled with nails to supply the want of a covering that would more efsectually keep out the worms. I had been given to understand that I was to go out with the Dolphin; but the disparity of the two ships, and the difference in their equipment, made me think that they could not 'be intended for the fame duty; the Dolphin, which was sheathed with copper, being supplied with every
thing that was requisite for a long and dangerous navigation; and the Swallow having only a scanty supply of common necesfaries. However, I ventured to apply for a forge, some iron, a small skiff, and several other things which I knew by experience would be of the utmost importance, if it was intended that I should make another voyage round the world; but I was told that the vessel and her equipment were very fit for the service she was to perform, and none ot the requisites for which I applied were allowed me. I was therefore confirmed in my opinion, that, if the Dolphin was to go round the world, it could never be intended that I should go farther than Falkland's Islands, where the Jason, a fine frigate, which was, like the Dolphin, sheathed with copper, and amply equipped, would supply my place. I was, however, deficient in junk, an article which is essentially necessary in every voyage, and for this I applied when I got to Plymouth; but I was told that a quantity sufficient for both the ships had been put on board the Dolphin.
On Friday the 22d of August, 1766, the ship's company having the evening before received two months pay, I weighed, and made faij from Plymouth, Sound in company with the Dolphin, under the command of Captain Wallis, and the Prince Frederic store-ship, commanded by Lieutenant James Brine, We proceeded together without any remarkable incident till the 7 th of September, when we came to an anchor in Madeira road.
While I lay at this place, not being yet acquainted with my destination, I represented my want of junk, and the reply that had been made to my application for a supply by the commissioner at Plymouth, in a letter to Captain Wallis, who sent me five hundred weight. This quantity however was so inadequate to rny wants, that I was soon afterwards reduced to the difagreeable necessity of cutting off some of my cables to fave my rigging.
On the gth, very early in the morning, the Lieur tenant acquainted me that, in the night, nine os my best men had secretly set off from the ship to swim on shore, haying stripped themselves naked and left all their clothes behind them, taking only their money,