On examining our rudder, the pintles were found to be loose, and we were obliged to unhang it, and take it on shore to repair. We were also delayed for want of caulkers to caulk the ship, which was absolutely necessary to be done before we put to sea. At length I obtained two workmen from one of the Dutch ships; and the Dutton English East Indiaman coming in from Bengal, Captain Rice obliged me with two more; so that by the 26th of April this work was finished: And having got on board all necessary stores, and a fresh supply of provisions and water, we took leave of the governor and other principal officers, and the next morning repaired on board. Soon after the wind coming fair, we weighed and put to sea; as did also the Spanish frigate Juno, from Manilla, a Danish Indiaman, and the Dutton.
As soon as we were under sail, we saluted the garrison with thirteen guns; which compliment was immediately returned with the same number. The Spanish frigate and Danish Indiaman both saluted us as we passed them, and I returned each salute with an equal number of guns. When we were clear of the bay the Danish ship steered for the East Indies, the Spanish frigate for Europe, and we and the Dutton for St Helena.
Depending on the goodness of Mr Kendall’s watch, I resolved to try to make the island by a direct course. For the first six days, that is, till we got into the latitude of 27 deg. S., longitude 11 deg. 1/2 W. of the cape, the winds were southerly and S.E. After this we had variable light airs for two days; they were succeeded by a wind at S.E. which continued to the island, except a part of one day, when it was at N.E. In general the wind blew faint all the passage, which made it longer than common.
At day-break in the morning of the 15th of May, we saw the island of St Helena at the distance of fourteen leagues; and at midnight anchored in the road before the town, on the N.W. side of the island. At sun-rise the next morning, the castle, and also the Dutton, saluted us, each with thirteen guns; on my landing, soon after, I was saluted by the castle with the same number, and each of the salutes was returned by the ship.
Governor Skettowe and the principal gentlemen of the island, received and treated me, during my stay, with the greatest politeness; by shewing me every kind of civility in their power.
Whoever views St Helena in its present state, and can but conceive what it must have been originally, will not hastily charge the inhabitants with want of industry. Though, perhaps, they might apply it to more advantage, were more land appropriated to planting of corn, vegetables, roots, &c. instead of being laid out in pasture, which is the present mode. But this is not likely to happen, so long as the greatest part of it remains in the hands of the company and their servants. Without industrious planters, this island can never flourish, and be in a condition to supply the shipping with the necessary refreshments.