Having thus escaped from imminent peril, Pizarro continued his voyage for Europe, and arrived safely on the coast of Gallicia in the beginning of the year 1746, after an absence of between four and five years, and having, by attendance on our expedition, diminished the royal power of Spain by above three thousand of their prime sailors, and by four considerable ships of war and a patache. For we have seen that the Hermione foundered at sea, the Guipuscoa was stranded and destroyed on the coast of Brazil, the St Estevan was condemned and broken up in the Rio Plata, and the Esperanza, being left in the South Sea, is doubtless by this time incapable of returning to Spain: So that the Asia alone, with less than an hundred hands, may be considered as all that remains of the squadron with which Pizarro put forth to sea; and whoever considers the very large proportion which this squadron bore to the whole navy of Spain, will no doubt confess that, even if our undertaking had been attended with no other advantages, than that of ruining so great a part of the naval force of so dangerous an enemy, this alone would be a sufficient equivalent for our equipment, and an incontestable proof of the service which the nation has thence received. Having thus given a summary of Pizarro’s adventures, I return to the narrative of our own transactions.
Passage from Madeira to St Catharines.
I have already mentioned that we weighed from Madeira on the 3d November, after orders being given to rendezvous at St Jago, one of the Cape Verd islands, in case of a separation. But next day, when we were got to sea, the commodore, considering that the season was far advanced, and that touching at St Jago would create additional delay, thought proper for this reason to alter the rendezvous, and appointed the island of St Catharines, on the coast of Brazil, to be the first place to which the ships of the squadron were to repair, in case of separation.