[Footnote 291: Hakluyt might have said whether they did come home or not, which he certainly might have known; but he often leaves us in the dark as to such matters.—Astl. I. 185. a.]
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Note.—It may not be improper to state in this place, that no ship need be reduced to utter distress for want of fresh water at sea; as distilled sea water is perfectly fresh and wholesome. For this purpose, all ships bound on voyages of any length, ought to have a still head worm and cooler adapted to the cooking kettle, to be used when needed, by which abundance of fresh water may always be secured while cooking the ships provisions, sufficient to preserve the lives of the crew. In default of that useful appendage, a still may be easily constructed for the occasion, by means of the pitch kettle, a reversed tea kettle for a head, and a gun barrel fixed to the spout of the tea kettle, the breach pin being screwed out, and the barrel either soldered to the spout, or fixed by a paste of flour, soap and water, tied round with rags and twine. The tea kettle and gun barrel are to be kept continually wet by means of swabs and sea water, to cool and condense the steam. This distilled water is at first vapid and nauseous, both to the taste and the stomach; but by standing open for some time, especially if agitated in contact with air, or by pumping air through it, as is commonly done to sweeten putrid water, this unpleasant and nauseous vapidness is soon removed.
The nautical world owes this excellent discovery, of distilled sea water being perfectly fresh, to the late excellent and ingenious Dr James Lino, first physician to the general hospital of the navy at Haslar near Portsmouth during the American war, the author of two admirable works, on the Scurvy, and the Means of Preserving the Health of Seamen during long voyages, to which the British navy, and seamen in general, owe inestimable advantages. The editor, while giving this useful hint to seamen engaged on long voyages, is happy in having an opportunity of bearing this feeble testimony of honourable respect to the friend of his youth, under whom he had the happiness and advantage of serving, in that magnificent asylum of the brave defenders of the glory and prosperity of our king and country, for the last three years of the American war. Besides being an eminent and experienced physician, Dr Lind was a man of exemplary humanity, and of uncommon urbanity and singleness of manners: He was truly the seaman’s friend. The rules and expedients which he devised and proposed, founded on the solid basis, of observation and experience, for Preserving the Health of Seamen on long voyages, were afterwards employed and perfected by the great navigator and discoverer COOK, and by his pupils and followers; and are now universally established in our glorious navy, to the incalculable advantage of the service.