On the 1st of September, being in the latitude of 40 deg. 22’ S. and longitude 147 deg. 29’ W, and there not being any signs of land, with a heavy sea from the westward, and strong gales, I wore, and stood back to the northward, fearing that we might receive such damage in our sails and rigging, as would hinder the prosecution of the voyage.
On the next day, there being strong gales to the westward, I brought-to, with the ship’s head to the northward; but in the mooring of the 3d, the wind being more moderate, we loosened the reef of the mainsail, set the top-sails, plied to the westward.
We continued our course till the 19th, when our latitude being 29 deg. and our longitude 159 deg. 29’, we observed the variation to be 8 deg. 32’ E. On the 24th, being in latitude 33 deg. 18’, longitude 162 deg. 51’, we observed a small piece of seaweed, and a piece of wood covered with barnacles: The variation here was 10 deg. 48’ E.
On the 27th, being in latitude 28 deg. 59’, longitude 169 deg. 5, we saw a seal asleep upon the water, and several bunches of sea-weed. The next day we saw more seaweed in bunches, and on the 29th, a bird, which we thought a land bird; it somewhat resembled a snipe, but had a short bill. On the 1st of October, we saw birds innumerable, and another seal asleep upon the water; it is a general opinion that seals never go out of soundings, or far from land, but those that we saw in these seas prove the contrary. Rock-weed is, however, a certain indication that, land is not far distant. The next day, it being calm, we hoisted out the boat to try whether there was a current, but found none. Our latitude was 37 deg. 10’, longitude 172 deg. 54’ W. On the 3d, being in latitude 36 deg. 56’, longitude 173 deg.27’, we took up more sea-weed, and another piece of wood covered with barnacles. The next day we saw two more seals, and a brown bird, about as big as a raven, with some white feathers under the wing. Mr Gore told us, that birds of this kind were seen in great numbers about Falkland’s Islands, and our people gave them the name of Port-Egmont hens.
On the 5th, we thought the water changed colour, but upon casting the lead, had no ground with 180 fathom. In the evening of this day, the variation was 12 deg. 50’ E., and while we were going nine leagues it increased to 14 deg. 2’.
On the next day, Friday, October the 6th, we saw land from the mast-head, bearing W. by N. and stood directly for it; in the evening it could just be discerned from the deck, and appeared large. The variation this day was, by azimuth and amplitude, 15 deg. 4’ 1/2 E., and by observation made of the sun and moon, the longitude of the ship appeared to be 180 deg. 55’ W., and by the medium of this, and subsequent observations, there appeared to be an error in the ship’s account of her longitude during her run from Otaheite of 3 deg. 16’, she being so much to the westward of the longitude resulting from the log. At midnight I brought to and sounded, but had no ground with one hundred and seventy fathom.