On the 24th, in latitude 33 deg. 40’ S., longitude, by account, 328 deg. 17’ W., we met with a violent gale, which split the main-top-sail and the main-top-mast-stay-sail all to pieces. The sea broke over the ship in a dreadful manner, the starboard rudder chain was broken, and many of the booms were washed overboard. During the storm we saw several birds and butterflies; and our first attention, after it was subsided, was to dry the bedding of the sick: At the same time, every one on board who could handle a needle was employed in repairing the sails, which were now in a shattered condition.
On the 26th and 27th, being in latitude 34 deg. 16’, and becalmed, we had several observations, by which we determined the longitude of the ship to be 323 deg. 3O’; and it appeared that we were several degrees to the eastward of our reckoning.
At six in the evening, of the 30th of January, we saw land, and on the 4th of February, we anchored in Table Bay, at the Cape of Good Hope.
Our run from Prince’s Island to the Cape was, by our reckoning, 89 degrees longitude, which makes the longitude of the Cape 345 deg. W.; but the longitude of the Cape being, by observation, 342 deg. 4’, it appeared that the ship was three degrees to the eastward of her reckoning.
An Account of our Transactions at the Cape of Good Hope, and of the Return of the Dolphin to England.
As soon as the ship was at anchor, I sent an officer on shore, with the usual compliments to the governor, who received him with great civility, telling him that we were welcome to all the refreshments and assistance that the Cape afforded, and that he would return our salute with the same number of guns.
We found riding here a Dutch commodore, with sixteen sail of Dutch East Indiamen, a French East India ship, and the Admiral Watson, Captain Griffin, an East India packet-boat, for Bengal. We saluted the governor with thirteen guns, and he returned the same number; the Admiral Watson saluted us with eleven guns, and we returned nine; the French ship afterwards saluted us with nine guns, and we returned seven.
Having got off some mutton for the ship’s company, with plenty of greens, I sent the surgeon on shore to hire quarters for the sick, but he could procure none for less than two shillings a day, and a stipulation to pay more, if any of them should take the small-pox, which was then in almost every house, in proportion to the malignity of the disease. The first expence being great, and it appearing, upon enquiry, that many of our people had never had the small-pox, so that the increase was likely to be considerable, besides the danger, I requested the governor’s permission to erect a tent upon a spacious plain, at about two miles distance from the town, called Green Point, and to send my people on shore thither during the day, under the care of an officer, to prevent their straggling. This permission the governor immediately granted, and gave orders that they should suffer no molestation.