With this squadron, together with the St Albans and Lark, and the Turkey trade under their convoy, we tided down channel for the first forty-eight hours. In the morning of the 20th, we discovered the Dragon, Winchester, South-Sea Castle, and Rye, with a number of merchantmen under their convoy, waiting for us off the Ram-head. We joined there the same day about noon, the commodore having orders to see them, together with the convoy of the St Albans and Lark, as far as their course and ours lay together. When we came in sight of this last-mentioned ship, Mr Anson first hoisted his broad pendant, and was saluted by all the men-of-war in company. After joining this last convoy, we made up eleven men-of-war, and about 150 sail of merchant ships, consisting of the Turkey, the Straits, and the American trades. The same day Mr Anson made a signal for all captains of men-of-war to come on board, when he delivered them their fighting and sailing instructions, and then we all stood to the S.W. with a fair wind; so that next day at noon, being the 21st, we had run forty leagues beyond the Ram-head. Being now clear of the land, our commodore, to render our view more extensive, ordered Captain Mitchell, in the Pearl, to make sail two leagues a-head of the fleet every morning, and to repair to his station every evening. Thus we proceeded till the 25th, when the Winchester, with the American convoy, made the concerted signal for leave to separate, and this being answered by the commodore, they left us, which, was done by the St Albans and the Dragon on the 24th, with the Turkey and Straits convoys.
There now remained only our own squadron and the two victuallers, with which we stood on our course for the island of Madeira. But the winds were so contrary, that we had the mortification to be forty days on our passage to that island from St Helens, though it is often known to be done in ten or twelve. This delay was most unpleasant, and was productive of much discontent and ill humour among our people, of which these only can have an adequate idea who have experienced a similar situation: For, besides the peevishness and despondency, which foul and contrary winds, and a lingering voyage, never fail to produce on all occasions, we in particular had substantial reasons for being greatly alarmed at this unexpected impediment; since, as we departed from England much later than we ought to have done, we had placed almost all our hope of success on the chance of retrieving