5:00 pm Reefed the Fore Sail & Mizen it blowing fresh and threatening dirt.
6:00 pm Handed Mizen Topsail.
8:00 pm Strong Breezes and Cloudy.
11:00 pm Set the Mizen Topsail.
12:00 am Out 2nd Reef Main Topsail.
1:00 am The Weather Appearing settled out all Reefs. Topsails.
2:00 am At 2 Saw the Land SE½E bore up at ½ past.
3:00 am Sounded 50 fathoms fine Grey sand.
6:00 am The Extremes of the Land SEBS to SW and a Saddle Hill SSE.
8:00 am Moderate & Clear Weather. The Entrance of Streights Le Maire S58E to S37E & the Saddle Hill S¼E the Northmost land in sight of Terra del Fuego SW¼W off shore 7 or 9 leagues.
9:00 am At 9 Cape St. Diego True S.
10:00 am At ½ past 10 Cape St. Anthony true S.
12:00 pm Squally Weather. In 3rd Reefs. The land of Terra del Fuego SWBS¼W it not extending One point of the Compass. Cape Anthony South. The Westmost of New Years Isles SE¼S 5 or 6 leags & the E part of Staten land EBS. In the Morning I killed a Sheep & served it to the Ships Company wh[ich] gave them a pleasant meal.
Remarks at Noon: From this Noon my Longitude by Dead Reckoning is Corrected. True Longitude at Noon 64°04′W.
The Wind has been remitted as to Strength, however notwithstanding the necessary precautions of shortening sail, we made the most of it, as I fully expected and wished to make the land as early as possible.
At 2 In the Morning with a fine Moon light, after having seen many Seals and our Dog and Goats apparently smelling the land, a few Hills were discovered, I then bore up for the inclination of the Coast and waited for day light to do more. The land now shewed itself very plain, the parts next us totally free of Snow, and the most Mountainous and inland parts only partially covered with it. Being sensible I was on the Terra del Fuego side I began to look out for Streights Le Maire. There appeared now several remarkable High lands one of which I called the Saddle Hill and from this to the Eastward I observed the land to trend away low, and the extremity appeared as a Hillock. As I advanced towards it, I found in a Moment I was near Cape St. Diego or West part of the Streights le Maire and soon after the high Craggy Hills of Staten Land proved it to me. My situation was as desireable as any person could have wished but the Wind coming to the Southward I could have no hopes of getting through Streights le Maire, it therefore remained no doubt with me how to proceed, and I pushed on to the Eastward to double Staten Land. We advanced with some progress, and having made New Years Isles it was my intention to put into that Harbour, but when I considered we were all in good health and Condition I thought the service I was on merited from me greater exertion, and I determined not to loose time seeing the Season temperate, and therefore laid aside all thoughts of refreshment untill I got to Otaheite. I am fortunate perhaps in seeing the Coast of Terra del Fuego at a time when it is freest of snow, however I cannot help remarking that at this time it has not shewn itself with all the horrors mentioned by former Navigators. The Interior parts were high and very peaked and the Summits covered with snow, but near the shore and for a large extent of the land appeared rather pleasant than otherwise, particularly towards Straits Le Maire. There was a considerable extent totally free of an Europeans Idea of a dreary and Waste Country, it had a gradual declivity towards the Sea and nothing seemed so inhospitable as it is represented. But Staten Land does at first bear a most dreary desolate appearance, the Contrast is great with the Opposite shore being excessively Mountainous, and untill we advanced towards it we thought all was covered with Snow, when we were agreeably surprized to find on the Contrary, that the inclemency of the Climate only reached to the upper parts of the Mountains. There is nothing particular about Straits Le Maire more than its conspicuity, any person would attempt it, who fell in with it. It is fair open Space that would alarm no one, but on the contrary invite them through it if they were bound that way. As to missing them, if you can see the land it is impossible. The Coast of Terra del Fuego here trends away low and Staten Land Opposite presents itself as a high Mountainous Coast. Upon the whole if I can possibly judge from appearances I realy look upon the bad or Winter Weather not yet to be set in; but as I must expect it hourly I have no right to loose a Moment of time and I am therefore determined at all events to go on and attempt to acomplish my passage.
Towards Noon as I advanced to the Eastward and abreast of Cape Anthony the land of Terra del Fuego shows itself with a variety of high and low land, and the high hills that were first seen in the Morning became the Northernmost part of it that could be seen at this time, the whole not extending above One point of the Compass. I saw the Appearance of Wood in several places.
The Westermost of New Years Isles were now first Observed, they appeared as two High Rocks of very little extent. I did not sail within 5 or 6 leagues of the shore as by that means I could make more way and be less subject to the Squalls that came from the land.
At Noon on this day my Longitude by account is corrected, the error being 1°47′ to the West of my true situation; but it is to be Observed that on the 19th March in Latitude 47°59′ S. it was near 4°40′ to the West of my true place, however this Error had begun near the Line, for on the 14th Feb. 11°59′S. it was nearly 2 degrees too far West, and from hence I only consider the error to commence on the Coast of Brasil and all the way to the Southward to the present time. This when considered upon the Whole is triffling, as the best Navigator can never prudently depend upon longitude by Account to within three degrees, and as this is all matter of chance, and no certainty of facts from investigation, which however well examined would be at the best but very complex and no general knowledge be got from it; I shall just annex at sight the Errors the Time Keeper seems to have proved on this Coast at the distance I have passed it, and from whence conclusions may be drawn whether the Currents have affected us or not.
I made the Longitude by the Time Keeper of the different places according to its Portsmouth Rate as follows, but by a presumed Rate from any Lunar Observations I consider their true Situations to be 8′24″ less. The Latitudes are good as already established.
The West part of the Entrance of Streights Le Maire 64°48′ West The East part of Do. Do. Do. 64 31 The East part of the Eastermost of New Years Isles where Captain Cook observed the Latitude to be 55°40′S. 63 52 Cape St. John or East part of Staten Land 63 27 Cape St. John according to my Observation is 8′24″ 63 18 36