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down the filling pieces, the wood-ends and some of the planks were found very much decayed. In the afternoon Captain Duck, finding -himself very ill, went on shore. The next day the carpenter discovering a plank very much eaten by rats, he removed it altogether, and replaced it with a new one.
On Thursday, the 7th of August, the O’Caen, an American ship, from Boston, came to an anchor at this island. This vessel brought information that a Spanish sloop of war was at anchor in an inlet, about three days sail to the northward, on the coast of California. She had been sent by the viceroy of Peru to receive the tributes from the different governors on that coast; but on her return, being very leaky, and her crew in a bad state of health, she was obliged to put into that place to refresh, till assistance could be procured from Acapulco. These tributes were partly in money and partly in valuable furs; and a very rich prize, no doubt, she would have proved, and very easily taken, had not untoward events ordered matters otherwise. The people, of course, were eager to possess themselves of so excellent a prize; and Captain Duck, anxious to study the real interest of the owners, although by infringing upon the strict sense of
their instructions, promised the crew to go in pursuit of their so much wished for object, us soon as he felt himself a little better. He did not live, however, to execute his intentions ; for he died on Monday, the 11th of August, at half past seven in the afternoon. The command of the vessel now devolved on Mr. Brown, whaling-master, who very much disappointed the expectatious of the men, by refusing to look after the sloop of war; urging as his reason, that the ship was in a very leaky state, and withal deficient in shot. He moreover stated his intention of proceeding to the Sandwich Islands, to put the ship in such a state as to enable her to proceed to Port Jackson, for a thorough repair.
On Wednesday morning, the 13th of August, Captain Duck was buried on shore: the captain and crew of the O'Caen attended the ceremony. A cedar board was placed at the head of the grave, in place of a tomb-stone, on which the name, age, and profession of the deceased was carved out: he was, indeed, a very worthy man, bore a most excellent character, and was much lamented by the crew, many of whom shed tears of unfeigned sorrow on the occasion. In the afternoon of this day the conduct of Mr. Brown was considered very
unwarrantable, as he obliged them, notwithstanding all remonstrances, to try out oil, though several of them refused; swearing they would not work, unnecessarily, on a day rendered sacred by the burial of their captain. All this served to increase the general discontent on board.
On Saturday, the 23d of August, the Port au Prince weighed anchor, having laid in a considerable quantity of oil, and stood out of the bay. The O’Caen still lay at anchor. On Monday, the 25th, she came to an anchor at the Benito Islands, where she remained till Monday, the 15th of September, having salted and laid in 8338 seal skins. During this time she received from the captain of the O’Caen a present of two deer; he having discovered a considerable number in the interior of the island.
On Monday, the 15th of September, the Port au Prince weighed anchor. The following day the ship was found to make more water than usual, from a leak in her Jarboard bow. On Wednesday the island of Guadaloupe appeared within sight, in lat. 28. 48. N. long. 118.30. W. bearing N.N. E. four or five leagues. The leak was now found to have increased two inches per hour more than its usual quantity. The next day a boat was sent to sound under the
fee of the island for an anchorage; she returned, however, with a very indifferent account of it, and reported to have found neither seals nor sea elephants.
On Friday the 19th of September the ship stood out to sea, taking a fresh departure from this place, for the island of Owlyee. The leak was now found to have increased so as to be at the rate of seventeen feet in twenty-four hours. On Saturday the 27th it was found to be considerably decreased ; although it had been blowing fresh for three days.
On Sunday the 28th of September, at 6 A.M. Owhyee appeared within sight bearing W. by N. 20 leagues: the ship was now hauling up for the north end of the island. During the night she kept a shore course : several lights were perceived in different parts of the island. The next day at noon several of the natives came on board, and shewed tokens of great friendship. At eight o'clock in the evening the ship anchored in Toeigh bay, and traded with the natives. On Thursday the ninth of October she weighed anchor, and made sail from Owhyee, for Woahoo; and on Friday at noon came to an anchor in Anahooroo bay. Whilst waiting for an opportunity to enter the close harbour, the inhabitants came on board and
traded. In the mean time, the chief of the island, hearing that they had a sick man on board, refused them permission to enter the close harbour, being afraid of introducing disease into the country, which calamity had happened on a former occasion, from an American ship. Although the sick man died a few days afterwards, the permission was not granted.
On Sunday the 26th of October, the vessel being plentifully stocked with hogs, fowls, plantains, sweet potatoes, tarra, &c. she weighed anchor, and proceeded towards Otaheite, having received eight of the natives on board, who offered their services, as she was in want of hands on account of the leak. This last mentioned island was the nearest where assistance was to be expected. As she proceeded on her course, the leak was alarmingły increased to the rate of nine inches and a half per hour. In order to ease the ship, it became necessary to remove the carronades from off the quarter deck, down below; the try-works were also taken down, and the bricks throun overboard.
On Tuesday the 18th of November, as well as several days preceding, the pumps were obliged to be worked every half hour out of two. By this time finding she had missed