The Supply and the three transports having taken their departure, Captain Hunter drew his little convoy into the order of sailing prescribed for them; and the boats, which had been employed passing and repassing between the Sirius and the transports, being hoisted in, about noon the fleet made sail to the south-east, having a fresh breeze at west-north-west.
December.] On Sunday the 16th of December, by computation, we were abreast of the Island of St. Paul, passing it at the distance of about sixty leagues.
The following day, on the return of a boat from the Fishbourn store-ship which had been sent to inquire into the state of the stock, we heard that several of the sheep were dead, as well as eight of the hogs belonging to the public stock.
Christmas day found us in the latitude of 42 degrees 10 minutes south, and steering, as we had done for a considerable time, an east-south-east course. We complied, as far as was in our power, with the good old English custom, and partook of a better dinner this day than usual; but the weather was too rough to admit of much social enjoyment.
With the wind at south-west, west-south-west, and south and by west, the weather was clear and cold, while to the northward of east or west it generally blew in strong gales.
We now often noticed pieces of sea-weed floating by the ships; and on the 28th the sun just appeared in time to show us we were in the latitude of 42 degrees 58 minutes south.
On the 29th, being in latitude 43 degrees 35 minutes south, the course was altered to east and by south half south, in order to run down our easting without going any further to the southward. The run at noon on this day was found to be the greatest we had made in any twenty-four hours since our departure from England, having 182 miles on the log-board since twelve o’clock the preceding day.
By lunar observations taken on the 30th the longitude was found to be 118 degrees 19 minutes east.
1788.] January.] The new year opened with a gale of wind from the northward, which continued with much violence all the day, moderating towards evening.
The evening of the third proved fine and moderate, and the sun setting clear gave a good observation for the amplitude, when the variation was found to be 1 degree 00 minutes east. At noon the fleet was in the latitude of 44 degrees 00 minutes south, and longitude by lunar observation 135 degrees 32 minutes east, of which the convoy was informed.