1:00 pm Moderate & Cloudy Weather. Working to Windward into the Bay.
5:00 pm Thick Rainy Weather with Squalls.
8:00 pm At day light the White Sandy Way in Simons Bay bore NW. False Cape SE½S. Cape of Good Hope SW½S. Off shore about 2 or 3 leagues.
12:00 am Moderate & Cloudy Weather.
5:00 am Strong Breezes & Squally. At ½ past Weighed under Double Reefs and Stood towards Seal Island carrying 22 to 24 fathoms Water and Tacked with Seal Island bearing N¾W Simons Bay WNW & False Cape SSE.
9:00 am Attempted to get through between Noahs Ark & Roman Rocks, but the Squalls being very heavy and thick Weather I bore round the Rocks & Worked to the Northward of them. And at ½ past 11 Came to an Anchor in 9 fathoms and Moored Open hawse to the NW. The Weather very thick and Rainy. Found here One Dutch outward Bound India Man and 5 other Dutch Ships with One French East India Country Trader.
Perhaps a Voyage of five Months which I have now performed with out touching at any one place but at Tenarif, has never been accomplished with so few accidents, and such health among Seamen in a like continuance of bad Weather. There is nothing I think has happened more material to remark than this happy circumstance, having never had a symptom of either Scurvy, Flux or Fever, and as such a fortunate event may be supposed to have been derived from some peculiar Mode of Management it is proper I should point out what I think has been the cause of it.
It is well known that the heavy calamities that attend Seamen in long Voyages are the diseases above mentioned, and that those are occasioned by improper Diet and severe Colds. To act respectively against those diseases Government has given us Grand specifics, and as to Fevers they will be more or less common in proportion to the prevention of Colds. We have it much in our power to act against the latter by taking care of the Men in their cloathing, and the rest will generally be prevented, by the timely distribution of the necessaries that Ships may be supplied with, and a strict regard to cleanliness.
Seamen will seldom attend to themselves in any particular and simply to give directions that they are to keep themselves clean and dry as circumstances will allow, is of little avail, they must be watched like Children, as the most recent danger has little effect to prevent them from the same fate.
The Mode I have adopted has been a Strict adherence to the first grand point cleanliness in their persons and bedding, keeping them in dry Cloaths & by constant cleaning and drying the Ship with Fires, to this I attribute their having kept free of Colds so wonderfully as they have done. A Great nuisance which is in general an Attendant in ships in a long continuance of bad weather is dirty Hammocks and Bags, this I think I perfectly got the better of, by having two sets, one of which was in charge to be got cleaned and dryed as a general Stock or property whenever they were done with, and by this Means I had it in my power to deliver Clean Hammocks and Bags as often as I saw it necessary. One Person of a Watch was appointed to dry Cloaths by the Fire and a Man never came on Deck or went to sleep in wet apparel. No foul Cloaths were ever suffered to be kept without airing, and in cleaning Ship all dark holes and Corners the common receptacles of all filth were the first places attended to.
After all that can be done perhaps Ships may be subject to Fevers and Fluxes; but the Scurvy is realy a disgrace to a ship where it is at all common, provided they have it in their power to be supplied with Dryed Malt, Sour Krout and Portable Soup. With these Articles properly issued, I am firmly convinced no Scurvy will appear. Chearfullness with exercise, and a sufficiency of rest are powerfull preventitives to this dreadfull disease, a calamity which even at this present period destroys more men than is generally known. To assist in the two first particulars every opportunity I directed that the Evenings should be spent in dancing and that I might be secure in my last I kept my few Men constantly at three Watches, even in the Worst of Weather, and I found them additionally alert on a call when their immediate Service was required.
Was I to lay down a general Rule for the issuing of the Articles I have just mentioned, it should begin within a fortnight after a Ship leaves a Port of good Supplies, before salt diet begins to produce any ill effects. The Malt infusion by pouring boiling Water on when it is ground, at the rate of four to one, after being let to stand for an hour should be given to the people at a pint Wine measure per Man as often as the quantity on board will allow; but in case the quantity will not afford it very constantly, it is necessary it should be continued for a fortnight at a time, and let the intermissions be properly fixed, as in Cold and Wet Weather it is a fine and comfortable draught, and refresheth, the Men exceedingly. I have seen the most Valuable effects from it.
The Portable Soup is a very grateful and nourishing thing, boiled with the Pease at the Rate of One Ounce to four of Pease, as the directions are, is fully sufficient and makes a most Valuable Meal; but I have preferred instead of boiling it with the Pease on those days when there is Meat, to boil that quantity into Soup mixed with Krout on Mondays which is a Banyan day and generally a poor one for living. The boiling it with the Oatmeal too makes an excellent breakfast, out of necessity it must be made thinner than Burgoo, which of itself is a great advantage, for I consider it certain, it would in common cases on board of Kings ships, if instead of giving the People Burgoo three time a Week, the same quantity was divided and a hot Breakfast made every day of thick Gruel; it would be much more salutary. Hot breakfasts are particularly to be prefered in Stormy and Wet weather to eating a Scrap of Salt Meat or a piece of biscuit, but very common Seamen do their duty without any breakfast at all, and this has a pernicious tendency.
To avoid this in the late stormy Weather I gave every one a hot breakfast of ground Wheat and Sugar with butter, but this cannot commonly be done, as the Allowance will not admit of it however thick Gruel with Portable Soup added at the rate of One Ounce of Soup to two Ounces of Oatmeal or even three, will make it a nourishing Meal and this Plan also I adopt.
The Sour Krout may always be Supplied, and the consumption of it need not be more than half a pint per Man a day. Four Quarts boiled every Pease day to 10 Quarts of Pease enriches that Meal exceedingly and is sufficient for forty Men.
The Infusion of Malt I always prefered giving between ten and Eleven O'Clock in the forenoon to any other time. Mustard & Vinegar I gave in such quantities as the People could use, & however these two Articles are thought little of, I consider them of real Use to people on Salt diet.
This has been the general Mode of my management, and is what I had in view when I applied for the different Articles. I had besides Pot Barley & essence of Malt; but I have not thought it Necessary to issue those articles, they will become of great Use hereafter, particularly the former in hot Weather, when I may divide the Allowance of Salt Beef and make barley broth, or as other circumstances may make it necessary in such a Climate.
The Winds and weather we have had in the tract from Cape Horn here; seem to point a certainty that I just left it in good time, and that at the beginning of Winter it is exceedingly tempestuous with constant westerly Winds, and it appears to me too, that those Winds are prevalent the whole of the Winter Months, which I do not consider to fully set in before the Month of March. I am thoroughly convinced that had I been a fortnight sooner there I could have made my passage round the Cape into the South Sea with the greatest ease.
I have forgot to remark that I have made it a rule to Issue Flour and Fruit in lieu of One half their allowance of Salt Beef.
The Tract I have taken to this place which I endeavored to make of some Avail, has been productive of No new circumstances. The Sea appeared evidently free of any particular Lands; as I did not meet with the least signs that could lead me to an Idea that I was any way in the neighbourhood of it. The Weather likewise was too boisterous & Cloudy to make many observations the most material of which might have been the Line of no Variation. In the Latitude 39°51′S. 26°11′W I had 3°17′ East Variation, but I had no opportunity afterwards to observe it until in the Latitude 35°30′S. 5°21′W. when I found it to be 11°35′W.
I wished much to have fixed the situation of the Isle Grand, but a Strong SW Gale put me past it. I was equally unfortunate in my intentions to make Tristan de Cunha, which however I beleive I have determined does not lie between the Latitude 37°00′S. & 37°37′S. between the Longitude 16°30′W & 12°15′West as I have fully remarked on the 11th May.
The Time Keeper which the Board of Longitude favored me with made by Mr. Kendal has performed remarkably well. The difference of climate we have been in has made it fluctuate a little in its rate, but the changes have been very triffling, so much so, that I consider it the most superior Watch I have yet met with, and for its performance hitherto deserves to be deemed excellent.
It gave the Longitude of this place 18°47′40″E. whereas it is said to be in 18°33′East, a difference of only 14′40″ in Longitude equal to 12 Geographical miles, and is by what I could assertain by my Lunar observations nearly its greatest error in any one part of the Voyage.
The lowest we have had the Thermometer was 32 degrees but it is to be remembered that the temperature of the Air was 2 degrees below whatever it is marked, as I found by frequent experiment. The Thermometer being kept in a Safe to prevent it being broke, so that 30 became the real height.
The Grand Object now became the refreshment of my People, about which I heartily set to Work, having only one Man not able to do duty which was occasioned by a fall.