Fair Wr. with Calms in the first part.
About 9 O'Clock in the Morning I got on shore by favor of a strange Boat, common civility and attention being so much wanting here that I could not procure a passage.
About 11 OClock I waited on the Governor His Excellency Jacob Corneilus Vande Graaf who received me with every degree of politeness, and in the most friendly manner felt for my misfortune, offering me every assistance that laid in his power. I presented an Account to him of the loss of the Ship with a description list, and requested in his Majestys Name that the Pirates might be taken if they appeared.
I dined with His Excellency this day and he informed me of Captain Hunter having sailed from this in February with necessary articles for Port Jackson. He was in the Sirius and had come East round Cape Horn. That Lieut. Riou in the Gardian had also been here and Sailed about 8 days ago loaded with Cattle and necessary articles for Port Jackson. That Capt. Straghan had been here also in the Vestal outward bound.
I remained at this place untill Monday the 28th when the Captain having received his dispatches we embarked. Westerly Winds however prevented our sailing untill Saturday afternoon 2nd. Jan'y. 1790, when a Southerly Wind carried us to Sea. The Astrae Frigate Sailed in Comp'y.
The Harpy South Sea Whaler arrived here with about 500 Barrels Spermaceti & 400 of Real Whale. They had seen Commodore Cornwallis (at Johanna) in the Crown, with the Phenix, Perseverance, and Atalanta Sloop. They Sailed from Johanna on the 6th August last. The Crown had been on shore and nearly lost. The Ariel left them after they had passed the Cape.
A Dutch Packet called the Expedition arrived after a passage of 4 Months from Europe.
During my stay here the vast attention and politeness of Governor Vande Graaf can be only equalled by his great inclination to render every service to his Majestys subject. I have to thank His Excellence for his peculiar civility, and particularly as independant of being a British Officer I had daily singular marks of his friendship.
My health lately began to improve very much, and I determined not to wait for my people who were to follow me, as such a proceeding could be of no use; but on the contrary attended with expence, and my time of arrival in England be later by at least 6 Weeks, in the course of which it appears probable to me that Government may have other means, that through an immediate equipment to send in quest of the Pirates. Another reason equally strong is, that we must still continue our route in different Ships, so that my staying here can answer no one End.
There is a general order from the Company that no person who takes his passage from Batavia for Europe can be admitted to leave the Ship untill she arrives at her intended Port. This information came only to my knowledge on my taking leave of the Governor General at Batavia, & too late for him to give the Captain a Written order to permit me to land in the Channel, he however to prevent me from labouring under such an inconvenience gave me leave to make use of his name to Governor Vande Graaf, that he might give the Captain of the Packet necessary orders for my disembarking if I found it elligible. It was most readily complied with, and the Captain had written orders to that effect. A Copy of which was also given to me by his Excellence himself and likewise Honorary letters in case I should be obliged to proceed to any part of Holland.
The Fruit in Season at this time weare Apricots, Pears, Almonds, Figs, Plumbs and Mulberries. Very few Grapes were yet ripe.
Chevalier d'Entrecastaux having politely offered his service to take any letters I wished home, induced me to inform the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty of my proceedings, but the Wind prevented his Sailing untill we accompanied him.
I left a letter with Mr. Brand to be sent to Commodore Phillips by the first opportunity. This contained a short account of my Voyage and a description list of the Pirates, So that every part in India will be prepared to receive them, as I informed Lord Cornwallis from Batavia and orders are sent to all the Dutch Settlements.
On the day of my leaving this place I received the following information.
That a respectable Farmer called Holhousen, who is one of the members of the County of Swellendam and lives there (8 days Journy from Cape Town) has had information from the Caffrae Hottentots that in their Country there was a Craul (Hottentot Village) where were White Men and Women and which this person supposed to be some of the Groveners Crew lost that part.
He asked the Governor permission to go in search of these people through the Country of the Hottentots, with some of the Farmers, and that he requested only to bear his expences 1000 Rix Dollars. The Governor refered him to the Landros Mr. Wocke of Graverennett (a new Colony in his way) to enquire about it for more certain information and get leave of him. But the place where Mr. Holhousen lived to where the Landros Mr. Wocke lived is a Months journy, he therefore could not think of risking such a journy, when after all he might be refused by the Landros & obliged to return with all his expences which would be too great for him to bear.
It is thought that to find these unfortunate people an expedition must be made by land through the Caffra Country from some of the Dutch Settlements, and that no knowledge will be gained of them on the Sea Coast. Month of Sept'r. best time to begin the expedition,. It may last 5 or 7 Months. People can be got who understand the language. The Party should be at least 10 Europeans and about 12 Hottentots to attend the Waggons and Cattle.
It was in October last that Mr. Holhousen offered to go on the expedition. He was among those who went in search of the unfortunate people (when a few of them first made their appearance at the Cape) along the Sea side.
I have only to remark on the above account, that could I have had time to have asked the Governor about it, he would perhaps have put it in another point of View, for I have been informed that the Dutch Farmers are fond of such expeditions that they may have opportunity of taking away Cattle. It is from such like reason perhaps that the Governor has not encouraged the undertaking, an Expedition which I am sure if he thought was to be attended with any success he would most readily set on foot and render effective by every means in his power.
If there are people still desirous at home to determine this affair, leave should be got from Holland and the expedition instantly set on foot, as many will be found to undertake it and surely as here 1000 Rix Dollars is only stated at the expence, a much larger Sum may instituted to insure success; but I would advise that the party whoever they are should be obliged to go at least 100 Miles to the Northward of where the Ship was lost.
The Rain begins in the Month of May & continues untill the last of August.
In August & Sept'r. the Wind is remarked to be mostly SW'ly.
Upon the whole from what I have been able to learn we may consider.
May, June, July, Aug't Stormy Months with Rain. Winds W'ly and NW'ly.
September, October Variable Wr. SW'ly Winds.
November, December, January, February Fair Summer Wr. mostly SE'ly Winds.
March, April Variable Wr. and Winds.
Since I have been here the Winds have been from South by the West to NNW