I sent an officer on shore, to acquaint the governor of our arrival, to obtain his permission to purchase refreshments, and to tell him that I would salute him, if he would engage to return an equal number of guns. The governor readily agreed; and at sun-rise, on Tuesday the 1st of December, I saluted him with thirteen guns, which he returned with fourteen from the fort. Soon after, the purser sent off some fresh beef, and plenty of vegetables, which I ordered to be served immediately; at the same time I called the ship’s company together, and told them that I would not suffer any liquor to come on board, and would severely punish those who should attempt to bring any: And I took some pains to reconcile them to this regulation, by assuring them that in this country, intemperance would inevitably destroy them. As a further preservative, I suffered not a man to go on shore, except those who were upon duty; and took care that none even of these straggled into the town.
On the 2d, I sent the boatswain and the carpenter, with the carpenter of the Falmouth, to look at such of her stores as had been landed at Onrust, with orders, that if any were fit for our use they should be bought. At their return, they informed me that all the stores they had seen were rotten, and unfit for use, except one pair of tacks, which they brought with them: The masts, yards, and cables were all dropping to pieces, and even the iron work was so rusty that it was worth nothing. They also went on board the Falmouth to examine her hulk, and found her in so shattered a condition, that in their opinion she could not be kept together during the next monsoon. Many of her ports were washed into one, the stern-post was quite decayed, and there was no place in her where a man could be sheltered from the weather. The few people who belonged to her were in as bad a state as their vessel, being quite broken and worn down, and expecting to be drowned as soon as the monsoon should set in.
Among other necessaries, we were in want of an anchor, having lost two, and of three-inch rope for rounding the cables; but the officers whom I had sent to procure these articles, reported, that the price which had been demanded for them was so exorbitant, that they had not agreed to give it. On Saturday the 5th, therefore, I went on shore myself, for the first time, and visited the different storehouses and arsenals, but found it impossible to make a better bargain than my, officers. I suspected that the dealers took advantage of our apparent necessity, and supposing that we could not sail without what we had offered to purchase, determined to extort from us more than four times its value. I was, however, resolved to make any shift rather than submit to what I thought a shameful imposition, and therefore told them that I should certainly sail on the next Tuesday; that if they would agree to my terms in the mean time, I would take the things I had treated for; if not, that I would sail without them.