Nor were the Navy and Victualling Boards wanting in providing them with the very best of stores and provisions, and whatever else was necessary for so long a voyage.—Some alterations were adopted in the species of provisions usually made use of in the navy. That is, we were supplied with wheat in lieu of so much oatmeal, and sugar in lieu of so much oil; and when completed, each ship had two years and a half provisions on board, of all species.
We had besides many extra articles, such as malt, sour krout, salted cabbage, portable broth, saloup, mustard, marmalade of carrots, and inspissated juice of wort and beer. Some of these articles had before been found to be highly antiscorbutic; and others were now sent out on trial, or by way of experiment;—the inspissated juice of beer and wort, and marmalade of carrots especially. As several of these antiscorbutic articles are not generally known, a more particular account of them may not be amiss.
Of malt is made sweet wort, which is given to such persons as have got the scurvy, or whose habit of body threatens them with it, from one to five or six pints a-day, as the surgeon sees necessary.
Sour krout is cabbage cut small, to which is put a little salt, juniper berries, and anniseeds; it is then fermented, and afterwards close packed in casks; in which state it will keep good a long time. This is a wholesome vegetable food, and a great antiscorbutic. The allowance to each man is two pounds a week, but I increased or diminished their allowance as I thought proper.
Salted cabbage is cabbage cut to pieces, and salted down in casks, which will preserve it a long time.
Portable broth is so well known, that it needs no description. We were supplied with it both for the sick and well, and it was exceedingly beneficial.
Saloup and rob of lemons and oranges were for the sick and scorbutic only, and wholly under the surgeon’s care.
Marmalade of carrots is the juice of yellow carrots, inspissated till it is of the thickness of fluid honey, or treacle, which last it resembles both in taste and colour. It was recommended by Baron Storsch, of Berlin, as a very great antiscorbutic; but we did not find that it had much of this quality.
For the inspissated juice of wort and beer we were indebted to Mr Pelham, secretary to the commissioners of the victualling office. This gentleman, some years ago, considered that if the juice of malt, either as beer or wort, was inspissated by evaporation, it was probable this inspissated juice would keep good at sea; and, if so, a supply of beer might be had, at any time, by mixing it with water. Mr Pelham made several experiments, which succeeded so well, that the commissioners caused thirty-one half barrels of this juice to be prepared, and sent out with our ships for trial; nineteen on board the Resolution, and the remainder on board the Adventure. The success of the experiments will be mentioned in the narrative, in the order as they were made.