Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

CHAP. I.

The Port au Prince sails from Gravesend-Arrives in the

River of Plate --Touches at the Falkland IslandsDoubles Cape Horn-Falls in with the Earl St. Vincent, South whaler-Attempts to cut two whalers (that had been taken by the Spaniards) out of the Bay of Conception-Accident to Thomas Turner--Arrives in Coquimbo Roads—Desertion of eleven men-Captures three Spanish brigs-Attacks the town of Arica-Captures the town of Hilo and burns it to the ground-Loss of the Begonio brig by fire-Captures a small Spanish brigPicks up a boat with six hands on board, belonging to the Minerva, South whaler, whose crew had mutinied -Falls in with the Lucy privateer -In company with the Lucy, engages the Spanish frigate Astræa-Makes Chatham Island, and parts company with the LucyArrives on the whaling ground-Makes the Isle of Plate -Captures three Spanish vessels-Anchors in Tacames Roads-Sails and anchors in Tola roads-Friendly reception from the governor of Tola-Anecdote of the governor's daughter.

ON Tuesday, February 12, 1805, at eleven o'clock A. M. the Port'au Prince weighed anchor at Gravesend, made sail, and worked down the river. At twelve P. M. she came to an anchor at the Warp. The following day

VOL. I.

B

1

she weighed anchor again, passed through the Downs with a fair wind, and, sailing down the Channel, proceeded on her intended voyage. No particular circumstance, worth mentioning, occurred during several weeks, except the loss of a seaman, who was found one morning dead in his hammock, without having had much previous illness! The wind continued fair, but variable. On the 20th of March, in the afternoon, the mizen mast gave way by the jerk of a swell, and was found much decayed under the copper, in the way of the mizen gaff: this damage, however, by the next day was completely repaired. On her arrival (April 9) in lat. 21. 55. long. 38. 38. a very heavy gale came on. The foretopsail yard, being now discovered to be rotten in the slings, was sent down and replaced by a new one. The gale continued to increase, and from three to five in the morning, continual flashes of lightning came on from different quarters, with loud and repeated claps of thunder, succeeded by very heavy rains.

From this period till the time of her arrival off the river of Plate, the weather was changeable, and for the most part stormy. On the 6th of May she commenced her cruize in this river ; nothing particular, however, occurred for several days, except the loss of a boy, who

accidentally fell overboard and was drowned, in spite of every exertion made to save him. On the 13th, being off the island of Lobos, a boat was sent on shore to reconnoitre. In the evening she returned, without having discovered any inhabitants ; a number of seals, however, were seen, and proper apparatus for skinning them, which in all probability had been used by persons from the main land, in the habit of resorting to this island for the express purpose of procuring seal skins.

On Tuesday, the 14th, two boats were sent on shore to the high land above Maldonado, to reconnoitre and kill wild cattle, which were seen in abundance; the vessel in the mean time plied in a bay under the high land. The boats returned next morning at eight o'clock, with one bull, not having been able to kill

more, on account of the storminess of the weather, which rendered them too wild. The crew were detained on shore much longer than they otherwise would have been, on account of the desertion of two men, who had been left to take care of the boats ; and after a search of several hours, without effect, they were under the necessity of returning without them. About three hours after their arrival on board, the two men in question were seen on the beach, making sig

nals to be brought on board, which being done, they were seized up and received a dozen lashes each. Their object was to have gone over to Maldonado, but a river lying in the way, one

of them not being a swimmer, and the other ; unwilling to proceed by himself, they thought proper to return.

On the 18th, finding it impossible to remain in the river, owing partly to the strong flood and partly to contrary winds, she stood out of the river and bore away on her voyage. The next day very heavy gales coming on, she was found to make much water from a leak supposed to be on the larboard bow, near the surface of the water, which was afterwards found to be the case. The Falkland Islands appeared within sight on Friday, the 31st, a few days after which, the weather becoming calm, with a smooth sea, the carpenter was let down over the larboard bow, to nail lead and canvass over a cracked plank, now discovered to be the source of the leak.

Monday, the 17th of June, Cape Horn bore; W. by S. four leagues. The weather was very snowy. The leak still continued. On Wednesday, the 26th, Gilbert's Island bore N. five leagues. From this place she took a fresh departure.

« ForrigeFortsæt »