[Footnote 2: There is an error in date here, as it has been already said they first got sight of the coast of Brazil on the 18th, obviously two days before. Hence, if the former date be right, this ought to be the 20th.—E.]
We could perceive from our ships two fortifications at a considerable distance from us, which seemed intended to prevent the passage of an enemy between the island of St Catharines and the main. We could also soon see that our squadron had alarmed the coast, as the two forts hoisted their colours and fired several guns, signals, as we supposed, for assembling the inhabitants. To prevent any confusion, the commodore immediately sent an officer to compliment the governor, and to request a pilot to conduct our ships into the road. The governor returned a very civil answer, and ordered us a pilot. On the morning of the 20th we weighed and stood in, and the pilot came aboard of us about noon, and the same afternoon brought us to anchor in five and a half fathoms, in a commodious bay on the continent, called by the French Bon-port. From our last anchorage to this, we found every where an oozy bottom, the water first regularly decreasing to five fathoms, and then increasing to seven, after which we had five and six fathoms alternately. The squadron weighed again next morning, in order to run above the two fortifications formerly mentioned, which are called the castles of Santa Cruiz and St Joam. Our soundings between the island and the main were four, five, and six fathoms, with muddy ground. We saluted the castle of Santa Cruiz in passing with eleven guns, and were answered with an equal number. At one in the afternoon of the 21st December, the squadron came to anchor in five fathoms and a half, Governor’s Isle bearing N.N.W. St Joam’s castle N.E. 1/2 E. and the island of St Antonio S. At this time the squadron was sickly, and in great want of refreshments, both of which we hoped to have speedily remedied at this settlement, celebrated by former navigators for its healthiness and abundance of provisions, and for the freedom, indulgence, and friendly assistance given here to all the ships of nations in amity with the crown of Portugal.
Proceedings at St Catharines, and a Description of that Place, with a short Account of Brazil.