1 pm: Fresh Gales and dark Cloudy Weather and a Cold Air
Exercised at Small Arms and fired
4 pm: The Weather as gloomy and dark as in the depth of Winter in England
Cannot get any Astronomical Observations
6 pm: In 2nd Reefs. I hailed Lieut. Portlock and directed him to head during the Night and Steer W½S
8 pm: Ordered Fires in all Night to Air the Ship
12 mid: Saw Land from NW½W to WbN about 4 Leagues. Hauled the Wind and made the Assistants Signal to Tack and carry more Sail, and of seeing Land.
2 am: Very smart Rain & thick weather so that we could see but a small distance
4 am: Made the Signal and Tacked.
6 am: Very Squally and dark gloomy Weather. The Land from SWbW to WbN½N 4
Leagues off shore, many Flying Fish but no Birds
Bore away for the north part of the Land.
8 am: Very bad Weather. Served a Hot Breakfast as usual. Aired below with Fires
The Extremes of the Land from the Deck S49°W to S87°W. A Table Hill S66°W 3 Leagues off Shore
10 am: Broached a Puncheon Spruce Beer
12 noon: Ditto Weather with a Glimpse of the Sun at Noon which fortunately gave me my latitude. The NE part of the Land S76°E 5 Leagues the North Cape S73°E 4 Leagues Table Hill S44°E and the Westermost Extreme S19°E 5 leagues off Shore 3 Leagues. Discovered a mountaneous Island S42°W 11 Leagues and a lump of an Island (not quite so high and regularly formed) N29°W 11 Leagues.
A fine Moon light which shone through the Clouds, gave us a better chance of seeing danger than if the Sky and been perfectly clear, and I therefore determined to stand on all Night. I took my track to the South of Maurell's latitude of the north part of Mayorga, that I might be sure to fall in with it, and I informed Lieut. Portlock of my intentions: we however saw the land first at a tolerable distance, and having made the Signal to haul the wind & Tack, we spent the Night under low Sail.
The day turned out very tempestuous with much Rain, and except severe cold, as bad as any winter's day in England. The consequence was, I had not so good a view of the land as I could wish. The northen part made a fair Cape with a very lofty shore, and the East part had some projecting heads which looked like Islands. The Southen parts were much lower, they nevertheless formed as double Lands and for that reason I believe are Islands. There are two very remarkable Hills which lie on the NW part of the Island, one is a Table Mountain, and the other nearly as high, the top of which formed like a Dukal Crown or rather a Scotch Bonnet. We could observe the Country was abundantly clothed with wood, and to the Southward of the East Cape many Cocoa Nutt Trees. The North point of the land was higher than any other, and a very steep Clift, altho some inclination, it was something like Beachy Head. The verdure which clothed the Clifts was broken in many places as if the face of the shore was Sandy, but this I attribute to the torrents of Rain that fall into the Sea, for the general outline rather marked some wonderfull convulsion which has placed these kind of Islands in this immense Sea.
The East side of the land lies in the direction of S15°W by Compass. From the North Cape it inclines S62°W and then SSW. Round the NW part I could observe a small Island, and an opening in the land and from this the land is much lower and broken & is the same to the Southward of the East part of the land, so that if the High Land forms one Island it is only about 20 Miles in Circuit whereas the whole is more than 40 Miles.
Nothing but the extreme bad weather could have prevented me from knowing more of it, as well as two other Islands which we discovered at Noon. The Northermost from the Mast Head appeared as two very inconsiderable lumps of land which I believe are connected, the Southermost a remarkable high peaked Mountain, the Summit hid in the Clouds. The distance we saw these Islands proves their height must be considerable.
At Noon I unexpectedly got a good latitude, and as I saw no good consequences attending my delay I directed my Course to the Westward.