[Footnote 1: In the map of the world by Arrowsmith, the Abrolhos are made a cluster of islands off the coast of Brazil, in lat. 18 deg. 10’ S. long. 39 deg. W. from Greenwich.—E.]
We began now to grow impatient for a sight of land, both for the recovery of our sick, and for the refreshment and security of those who still continued in health. When we left. St Helens, we were in so good a condition that we only lost two men in the Centurion in our long run to Madeira. But in this run, from Madeira to St Catharines, we were remarkably sickly, so that many died, and great numbers were confined to their hammocks, both in our ship and the others, and several of these past all hopes of recovery. The disorders they in general laboured under were those common to hot climates, and which most ships bound to the south experience in a greater or less degree. These were the fevers usually called calentures, a disease not only terrible in its first instance, but of which the remains often proved fatal to those who considered themselves as recovered; for it always left them in a very weak and helpless condition, and usually afflicted with fluxes or tenesmus. By our continuance at sea all these complaints were every day increasing; so that it was with great joy we discovered the coast of Brazil on the 18th December, at seven in the morning.
The coast of Brazil appeared high and mountainous, extending from W. to W.S.W. and when we first saw it, the distance was about seventeen leagues. At noon we could perceive a low double land, bearing W.S.W. about ten leagues distant, which we took to be the island of St Catharines. That afternoon and the next morning, the wind being N.N.W. we gained very little to windward, and were apprehensive of being driven to leeward of the island: But next day,