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The Pasage from Plymouth to Madeira, with some
Account of that Ifand.
AVING received my commission, which was 1768. dated the 25th of May, 1768, I went on board May.
on the 27th, hoisted the pennant, and took Friday 27. charge of the ship, which then lay in the bafon in Deptford Yard. She was fitted for sea with all expedition; and stores and provisions being taken on board, failed down the river on the 30th of July, and on the Saturd. 30.
: 13th of August anchored in Plymouth Sound.
Auguft. While we lay here waiting for a wind, the articles Satur. 13. of war and the act of parliament were read to the ship’s company, who were paid two months wages in advance, and told that they were to expect no additional pay for the performance of the voyage.
On Friday the 26th of August, the wind becoming Friday 26. fair, we got under fail, and put to sea. On the 31st, we saw several of the birds which the sailors call Mother Cary's Chickens, and which they suppose to be
Wedn. 31. 1768.
the forerunners of a storm ; and on the next day we September.
had a very hard gale, which brought us under our Thurs. 1. courses, walhed over-board a small boat belonging to
the Boatswain, and drowned three or four dozen of
our poultry, which we regretted still more. Friday 26 On Friday the ad of September we saw land be
tween Cape Finister and Cape Ortegal, on the coast Monday 5.
of Gallicia, in Spain; and the 5th, by an obser-
During this course, Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander
from Cape Finister, several birds which have not been 1768. described by Linnæus ; they were supposed to have
September. come from Spain, and our gentlemen called the species Motacilla velificans, as they said none but sailors would venture themselves on boad a fhip that was going round the world; one of them was so exhausted that it died in Mr. Banks's hand, almost as soon as it was brought to him.
It was thought extraordinary that no naturalift had hitherto taken notice of the Dagysa, as the sea abounds with them not twenty leagues from the coast of Spain; but, unfortunately for the cause of science, there are but very few of those who traverse the sea, that are either disposed or qualified to remark the curiosities of which Nature has made it the repository.
On the 12th, we discovered the islands of Porto Monday 12. Santo and Madeira, and on the next day anchored in Funchiale road, and moored with the stream-anchor but, in the night, the bend of the hawser of the streamanchor flipped, owing to the negligence of the person who had been employed to make it faft. In the morning the anchor was heaved up into the boat, and carried out to the southward; but in heaving it again, Mr. Weir, the master's mate, was carried overboard by the buoy-rope, and went to the bottom with the anchor : the people in the ship saw the accident, and got the anchor up with all possible expedition; it was however too late, the body came up intangled in the buoy-rope, but it was dead.
When the island of Madeira is first approached from the sea, it has a very beautiful appearance ; the sides of the hills being entirely covered with vines almost as high as the eye can distinguish, and the vines are green when every kind of herbage, except where they shade the ground, and here and there by the sides of a rill, is entirely burnt up, which was the case at this time.
On the 13th, about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, Tuesday 13. a boat, which our failors call the pruduct boat, came on board from the officers of health, without whose permission no person is suffered to land from on board a ship. As soon as this permission was obtained, we went on shore at Funchiale, the capital of the island,
and proceeded directly to the house of Mr. Cheap, who is the English consul there, and one of the most considerable merchants of the place. This gentleman received us with the kindness of a brother, and the liberality of a prince; he infifted upon our taking porsession of his house, in which he furnished us with every possible accommodation during our stay upon the island: he procured leave for Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander to search the island for such natural curiosities as they should think worth their notice ; employed persons to take fish and gather shells, which time would not have permitted them to collect for themselves; and he
provided horses and guides to take them to any part of the country which they should choose to visit. With all these advantages, however, their excursions were seldom pushed farther than three miles from the town, as they were only five days on fhore; one of which they spent at home, in receiving the honour of a visit from the Governor, The season was the worst in the year for their purpose, as it was neither that of plants nor insects; a few of the plants, however, were procured in flower, by the kind attention of Dr. Heberden, the chief physician of the island, and brother to Dr. Heberden of London, who also gave them such specimens as he had in his possession, and a copy of his Botanical Observations ; containing, among other things, a particular description of the trees of the island. Mr. Banks enquired after the wood which has been imported into England for cabinet work, and is here called Madeira mahogany; he learnt that no wood was exported from the island under that name; but he found a tree called by the natives Vigniatico, the Laurus Indicus of Linnæus, the wood of which cannot easily be distinguished from mahogany. Dr. Heberden has a booķ-case in which the vigniatico and mahogany are mixed, and they are no otherwise to be known from each other, than by the colour, which, upon a nice examination, appears to be somewhat less brown in the vigniatico than the mohogany; it is therefore in the highest degree probable, that the wood known in England by the name of Madeira mahogany, is the vigniatico.
There is great reason to suppose that this whole island was, at some remote period, thrown up by the explosion