Mr G.F. speaks with much more enthusiasm, as one might have expected, of Dr Sparrman, extolling his talents and activity in the course of science, but lamenting, at the same time, that this voyage, on which he now set out, yielded much less matter for observation than his ardent mind had anticipated. That gentleman’s labours at the Cape, it seems, however, especially in botany, were very successful; he and Dr Thunberg having, it is said, gathered above a thousand species entirely unknown before.—E.
Departure from the Cape of Good Hope, in search of a Southern Continent.
Having at length finished my business at the Cape, and taken leave of the governor and some others of the chief officers, who, with very obliging readiness, had given me all the assistance I could desire, on the 22d of November we repaired on board; and at three o’clock in the afternoon weighed, and came to sail with the wind at N. by W. As soon as the anchor was up, we saluted the port with fifteen guns, which was immediately returned; and after making a few trips, got out of the bay by seven o’clock, at which time the town bore S.E. distant four miles. After this we stood to the westward all night, in order to get clear of the land, having the wind at N.N.W. and N.W., blowing in squalls attended with rain, which obliged us to reef our topsails. The sea was again illuminated for some time, in the same manner as it was the night before we arrived in Table Bay.
Having got clear of the land, I directed my course for Cape Circumcision. The wind continued at N.W. a moderate gale, until the 24th, when it veered round to the eastward. On the noon of this day, we were in the latitude of 35 deg. 25’ S., and 29’ west of the Cape; and had abundance of albatrosses about us, several of which were caught with hook and line; and were very well relished by many of the people, notwithstanding they were at this time served with fresh mutton. Judging that we should soon come into cold weather, I ordered slops to be served to such as were in want; and gave to each man the fearnought jacket and trowsers allowed them by the Admiralty.