The frame of a small vessel, twenty tons burthen, was properly prepared, and put on board each of the ships to be set up (if found necessary) to serve as tenders upon any emergency, or to transport the crew, in case the ship was lost.
We were also well provided with fishing-nets, lines, and hooks of every kind for catching of fish.—And, in order to enable us to procure refreshments, in such inhabited parts of the world as we might touch at, where money was of no value, the Admiralty caused to be put on board both the ships, several articles of merchandize; as well to trade with the natives for provisions, as to make them presents to gain their friendship and esteem.
Their lordships also caused a number of medals to be struck, the one side representing his majesty, and the other the two ships. These medals were to be given to the natives of new-discovered countries, and left there as testimonies of our being the first discoverers.
Some additional clothing, adapted to a cold climate, was put on board; to be given to the seamen whenever it was thought necessary. In short, nothing was wanting that could tend to promote the success of the undertaking, or contribute to the conveniences and health of those who embarked in it.
The Admiralty shewed no less attention to science in general, by engaging Mr William Hodges, a landscape painter, to embark in this voyage, in order to make drawings and paintings of such places in the countries we should touch at, as might be proper to give a more perfect, idea thereof, than could be formed from written descriptions only.
And it being thought of public utility, that some person skilled in natural history, should be engaged to accompany me in this voyage, the parliament granted an ample sum for the purpose, and Mr John Reinhold Forster, with his son, were pitched upon for this employment.
The Board of Longitude agreed with Mr William Wales and Mr William Bayley, to make astronomical observations; the former on board the Resolution, and the latter on board the Adventure. The great improvements which astronomy and navigation have met with from the many interesting observations they have made, would have done honour to any person whose reputation for mathematical knowledge was not so well known as theirs.
The same Board furnished them with the best instruments, for making both astronomical and nautical observations and experiments; and likewise with four time-pieces, or watch machines; three made by Mr Arnold, and one made by Mr Kendal on Mr Harrison’s principles. A particular account of the going of these watches, as also the astronomical and nautical observations made by the astronomers, has been before the public, by order of the Board of Longitude, under the inspection of Mr Wales.
Besides the obligation I was under to this gentleman for communicating to me the observations he made, from time to time, during the voyage, I have since been indebted to him for the perusal of his journal, with leave to take from it whatever I thought might contribute to the improvement of this work.