Captain Phillip designing to anchor for a few hours at the Island of St. Iago, to procure water and other refreshments, if he could get in without any risk or difficulty, in the evening shortened sail, and made the convoy’s signal to close, the run from thence to that island being too great to admit of our reaching it before dark. The Supply was directed at the same time to keep ahead with a light during the night; and at twelve o’clock the night signal was made for the fleet to bring-to.
At six the next morning we made sail again, and soon after passed the Isle of May, distant about four leagues, bearing NW by W of us. Between nine and ten o’clock we made the south end of the Island of St. Iago and at the distance of about two leagues. The wind freshening soon after we saw the island, at noon we were ranging along the south side of it, with the signal flying for the convoy to prepare to anchor; but at the moment of our opening Praya-bay, and preparing to haul round the southern extremity of it, the fleet was suddenly taken aback, and immediately after baffled by light airs. We could however perceive, as well by the colours at the fort, as by those of a Portuguese snow riding in the bay, that the wind blew directly in upon the shore, which would have rendered our riding there extremely hazardous; and as it was probable that our coming to an anchor might not have been effected without some accident happening to the convoy, Captain Phillip determined to wave, for the superior consideration of the safety of the fleet under his care, the advantages he might otherwise have derived from the supply of fresh provisions and vegetables to be procured there: the breeze therefore coming off the land, and with sufficient effect to carry us clear of the island and its variable weather, the anchoring signal was taken in, and we made sail about two o’clock, the fleet standing away due south. Our sudden departure from the island, we imagined, must have proved some disappointment to the inhabitants, as we noticed that a gun was fired at the fort, shortly after our opening the bay; a signal, it was supposed, to the country people to bring down their articles for trade and barter.
July.] On the 14th of July the fleet crossed the equator in the 26th degree of east longitude. Such persons as had never before crossed the Line were compelled to undergo the ridiculous ceremonies which those who were privileged were allowed to perform on them.
From this time our weather was pleasant, and we had every appearance of soon reaching our next port, the Rio de Janeiro, on the Brazil coast.
The track which we had to follow was too beaten to afford us any thing new or interesting. Captain Phillip proposed making the Island of Trinidada; but the easterly winds and southerly currents which we had met with to the northward of the Line having set us so far to the westward when we crossed it, he gave up all expectation of seeing it, and on the 28th altered his course, steering SW. Trinidada is laid down in 20 degrees 25 minutes south latitude, and 28 degrees 35 minutes west longitude, while we at noon on the 29th were in 19 degrees 36 minutes south latitude, and 33 degrees 18 minutes west longitude.