While we lay in Long Reach, thus employed, the Earl of Sandwich, Sir Hugh Palliser, and others of the Board of Admiralty, as the last mark of the very great attention they had all along shewn to this equipment, paid us a visit on the 8th of June, to examine whether every thing had been completed conformably to their intentions and orders, and to the satisfaction of all who were to embark in the voyage. They, and several other noblemen and gentlemen their friends, honoured me with their company at dinner on that day; and, on their coming on board, and also on their going ashore, we saluted them with seventeen guns, and three cheers.
With the benevolent view of conveying some permanent benefit to the inhabitants of Otaheite, and of the other islands in the Pacific Ocean, whom we might happen to visit, his majesty having commanded some useful animals to be carried out, we took on board, on the 10th, a bull, two cows with their calves, and some sheep, with hay and corn for their subsistence; intending to add to these other useful animals, when I should arrive at the Cape of Good Hope.
I was also, from the same laudable motives, furnished with a sufficient quantity of such of our European garden-seeds, as could not fail to be a valuable present to our newly discovered islands, by adding fresh supplies of food to their own vegetable productions.
Many other articles, calculated to improve the condition of our friends in the other hemisphere in various ways, were, at the same time, delivered to us by order of the Board of Admiralty. And both ships were provided with a proper assortment of iron tools and trinkets, as the means of enabling us to traffic, and to cultivate a friendly intercourse with the inhabitants of such new countries as we might be fortunate enough to meet with.
The same humane attention was extended to our own wants. Some additional clothing, adapted to a cold climate, was ordered for our crews; and nothing was denied to us that could be supposed in the least conducive to health, or even to convenience.
Nor did the extraordinary care of those at the head of the naval department stop here. They were equally solicitous to afford us every assistance towards rendering our voyage of public utility. Accordingly, we received on board, next day, several astronomical and nautical instruments, which the Board of Longitude entrusted to me, and to Mr King, my second lieutenant; we having engaged to that board to make all the necessary observations, during the voyage, for the improvement of astronomy and navigation; and, by our joint labours, to supply the place of a professed observator. Such a person had been originally intended to be sent out in my ship.
The board, likewise, put into our possession the same watch, or time-keeper, which I had carried out in my last voyage, and had performed its part so well. It was a copy of Mr Harrison’s, constructed by Mr Kendall. This day, at noon, it was found to be too slow for mean time at Greenwich, by 3’ 31” 89; and by its rate of going, it lost, on mean time, 1”, 209 per day.