On the 5th, fresh gales, and wet and cloudy weather. At noon observed in 57 deg. 9’, latitude made from Cape St John, 5 deg. 2’ E. At six o’clock p.m., being in the latitude 57 deg. 21’, and in longitude 57 deg. 45’ W., the variation was 21 deg. 28’ E.
At eight o’clock in the evening of the 6th, being then in the latitude of 58 deg. 9’ S., longitude 53 deg. 14’ W., we close-reefed our top-sails, and hauled to the north, with a very strong gale at west, attended with a thick haze and sleet. The situation just mentioned is nearly the same that Mr Dalrymple assigns for the S.W. point of the gulph of St Sebastian. But as we saw neither land, nor signs of land, I was the more doubtful of its existence, and was fearful that, by keeping to the south, I might miss the land said to be discovered by La Roche in 1675, and by the ship Lion in 1756, which Mr Dalrymple places in 54 deg. 30’ latitude, and 45 deg. of longitude; but on looking over D’Anville’s chart, I found it laid down 9 deg. or 10 deg. more to the west; this difference of situation being to me a sign of the uncertainty of both accounts, determined me to get into the parallel as soon as possible, and was the reason of my hauling to the north at this time.
Towards the morning of the 7th the gale abated, the weather cleared up, and the wind veered to the W.S.W., where it continued till midnight, after which it veered to N.W. Being at this time in the latitude of 56 deg. 4’ S., longitude 53 deg. 36’ W., we sounded, but found no bottom with a line of one hundred and thirty fathoms. I still kept the wind on the larboard-tack, having a gentle breeze and pleasant weather. On the 8th, at noon, a bed of sea-weed passed the ship. In the afternoon, in latitude 55 deg. 4’, longitude 51 deg. 43’ W., the variation was 20 deg. 4’ E.
On the 9th, wind at N.E., attended with thick hazy weather; saw a seal, and a piece of sea-weed. At noon, latitude 55 deg. 12’ S., longitude 50 deg. 15’ W., the wind and weather continuing the same till towards midnight, when the latter cleared up, and the former veered to west, and blew a gentle gale. We continued to ply till two o’clock the next morning, when we bore away east, and at eight E.N.E.; at noon, observed in latitude 54 deg. 35’ S., longitude 47 deg. 56’ W., a great many albatrosses and blue peterels about the ship. I now steered east, and the next morning, in the latitude of 54 deg. 38’, longitude 45 deg. 10’ W., the variation was 19 deg. 25’ E. In the afternoon saw several penguins, and some pieces of weed.
Having spent the night lying-to, on the 12th, at day-break, we bore away, and steered east northerly, with a fine fresh breeze at W.S.W.; at noon observed in latitude 54 deg. 28’ S., longitude in 42 deg. 8’ W.; that is, near 3 deg. E. of the situation in which Mr Dalrymple places the N.E. point of the gulph of St Sebastian; but we had no other signs of land than seeing a seal and a few penguins; on the contrary, we had a swell from E.S.E., which would hardly have been, if any extensive track of land lay in that direction. In the evening the gale abated, and at midnight it fell calm.